Royal Spirit is a really good polish punkband with their roots in a little bit older style of punkrock and that my kind of band. It took a while before they answered my questions but here they are now! January-2017
Please tell me a little bit history of the group?
-Royal Spirit, like lots of other bands happened by coincidence. At the time each of us was involved in separate musical projects. We met by accidence, and as we were all looking for new challenges and inspirations we decided it would be a cool idea to try to make some music together. It was clear from the very beginning that it was going to work, the chemistry was there. We knew we are in it for a long run.
Please tell me a little about every member in the group right now, age, family, work, interests and something bad about everyone? Earlier bands? Other bands on the side?
-Macio (bass) is a computer programmer by trade. He is constantly on the go, rushing around absent minded but when it comes to party he is always at the heart of it. Wito (guitar) is an eternal optimist and incredible composer. He is able to create 3 songs during a single session and they always turn out to be good pieces. Aslan can only be described as a little devil. He is the soul of the band. Drums are his life and he is an extremely positive and kind of individual. However when necessary (and sometimes without a cause) he is turning into wrath and fury. Jelon is a lead vocalist. He used to play guitar but he suffered serious injury his arm and never fully recovered. He jokingly says that singing is all that he is left with. He is always doing thousand things at once rarely completing what he started.
I can hear much different influences but mostly punkrock from the past etc? Favorites from the past? Dezerter?
-Dezerter, you can easily say that its early work heavily influenced with the majority of Polish punk rock formations. Today this band almost turned pop playing at big venues, but their lyrics are still relevant. Common denominator of our musical interests are the classics of punk rock, from New York scene to British sound of the 70s era. Ramones, Misfits, Plasmatic, Buzzcocks, Vibrators, Blondie, Dead Boys, Talking Heads are among many others we look up to and take inspiration from.
Royal Spirit are you satisfied with the name? How did it came up? You weren´t afraid that some other band would be named like this. Which is the best bandname you know? Why an English name?
-The name of our band sounds english but it is in fact play with words. The word Spirytus means 96% alcohol volume in Polish, Spiryt in jive talk- very close to english Spirit. Thru out the 90’s during the political changes in Poland you could buy Russian alcohol called Royal. I have no idea what that stuff was made of but consumption would very often result in serious health consequences. It was really dangerous…so we thought it would be perfect name for us. Royal Spirit. The worst name for the band? Worst Band Ever sounds really good.
What´s the best thing with playing live?
-Being on stage, mishaps you need to find a way out of, free alcohol and meeting people. The feeling of energy flowing between the band and the audience is like a drug.
And where is best to play? And the worst place?
-It does not matter where you play but who you play for. If the crowd is having a good time and the party rocks on you don’t need anything else.
How is to play this sort of music in Poland right now? Which types of bands do you have concerts together with?
-Punk Rock is not a widely popular music genre but there are few very decent Polish groups. Werwolf 77, Inhalators, Dumbs, Bulbalators, Profanacja, Zbeer, Cela nr 3, Satellites, Sex Bomba, Po Prostu, Karcer and a few others are worth mentioning.
How would you describe your music in three words?
-Definitely Punk rock’n roll.
What does punk mean to you, is it only a word or is it a lifestyle?
-Punk to us is a form of liberation and rebellion against the established reality. You have to be your own self and not let anyone decide for you about your business and your life. This are the elements that inspire us when we are making music. But bare in mind that we are not taking ourselves too seriously and we are not trying to be mentors. You can interpret us however you like.
How do you see on downloading, mp3 and that stuff?
-Virtual streaming became the most popular form of buying music in recent. Personally I prefer original cd’s and vinyls and I own a big collection. When I listen to them I like to read thru booklets, it’s a form of ritual.
How is it to live in Poland right now? Politically? How is it with fascism?
-It was never easy. The current government pretends to be far right but is in fact acts very much like communists. Country is divided between two groups: specific type of catholics who believe the Jesus Christ was Polish and the rest of population. The first blindly follows government in exchange for benefits give away that destroys budget. The second group is outraged and tired by the ridiculous rulings of the leading party.
This is a question good for a separate interview. Polish politics became everyday topic of heated discussions.
Is there any good bands from Poland now? Is the punkscene/hardcorescene big? How is it in your hometown?
- As I said earlier there is a lot of good stuff going on but Punk is not on so called top of the charts. In our city there are maybe two other punk rock bands.
What do you know about Sweden?
-We know you exist :), you don’t like Finns and you have great respect for ecology and the earth. Your cuisine is very good (your fish soup is inarguably the best in the world)… and of course Lattöl. As far as I know your shops are expensive :).
Have you heard any good bands from Sweden?
-But of course!!! Perkele!!! Driller Killer, Misconduct, Refused…your backyard is rad.
Your lyrics, who does them and what influences you? Is it easier to do lyrics now or was its easier to do it when you was younger?
-We sing about alcohol, embarrassing matters and stuff that is pissing us off. Our lyrics are very down to the ground but not lacking of humour.
Of course it was much easier to write when we was younger and one could use various adventures as an inspiration, these days it is more complicated.
Is there any subject that you never will write anything about?
-We will never write a song that praises any political system or a song that tells how you should live your life. We are not here to preach and pointing fingers. You have the church and police for that :).
Politic and music, does it goes hand in hand? Which is your most political song?
-Politics and music is a bad combination unless the songs tells the story of how useless politicians are. Not long ago we have written a fun piece that describes Polish reality, but in general we try to avoid the subject.
Best political band/artist?
-In this matter no one can beat Dead Kennedys…ever!
Do you think that music(lyrics and so on) can change anyones life, I mean people who listens to music?
-Of course music can influence your emotions but life changing …we leave that to ourselves and our friends.
Your cover on your CD looks really nice, is it important to have a record cover which shows people which type of music you play? Your favorite recordcover? Who does your covers? And do you have any good recordstores in your hometown?
-The story about our record cover goes like this: we had an idea to have a soldier holding a flamethrower but instead of flames he would throw vodka. Our friend Michal Arkusinski is an illustrator who designed many covers for Polish bandsand he took the concept and the rest is his own creation. I believe that a cover should attract an eye but music is of course the most important feature.
I like graphics in horror punk fashion but my favourite punk rock cover belongs to Ramones first album. It’s clear and simple.
With regards to music stores…we have chain stores but the best music comes from small recordlabels or artists themselves releasing albums with DIY methods.
Is it important to get out physical records of your stuff? Why or why not? Vinyl, CD, cassette, what do you prefer if you could choose whatever ?
-It depends what you like. Myself I prefer to have my favorite music on original media like vinyl and cd.
Please tell me a funny thing which have happened during your career and under some gig?
-Hahahaha, actually interesting things happen every time we are on tour. Stories are usually linked to alcohol but I guess that is the way being in punk rock band. Someone says something inappropriate and the fun begins.
How does your audience look like? Which people do you miss on your concerts? Which is the biggest band you ever have played together with?
-It is very hard to say, we would have to stand on the other side of the stage to be able to say anything. We try to make things fun, more music less talking and of of course we have to be tipsy.
We had a great gig with The Vibrators. There was loads to drink and the guys have lended us their guitar after our malfunctioned. The caliber of the band is best to be rated by what kind of folks their members are.
Please rank your five favoriterecords, five favoriteconcerts and five most import_ant things in life?
-Ramones- Ramones, Misfits- Collection I and II, Dead Kennedys- Fresh Fruits…, Bad Religion- Anti- nowhere League - they totally rocked:)
The most important things life? Health, friendship, ability to think and make decisions independently, positive thinking and alcohol :).
First, last and most expensive record ever bought?
-My first music buy was the Iron Maiden cassette in 1985. I have it until this day. The most expensive would be the Misfits coffin I bought from eBay for $230. I love limited edition releases but most of the time I can’t afford it.
Is it boring with interviews? Is it much interviews?
-I don’t know…this is my fourth interview. I’m enjoying it but if I have to do it everyday I probably couldn’t be bothered.
If you could choose five bands from the past and the history and nowadays and both dead and living bands to have a concert together with your band. Which five have you been chosen?
-This one is easy: Ramones, Pork Dukes, Iggy Pop, GG Allin and Blondie (you know Debbie Harry. She is still hot).
Is music a good way to get out frustration and become a nicer person outside the music?
-If you love music it is something of an air and water to you. Music can channel and release bad emotions and can also positively charge you for weeks. It’s frame of mind tuning fork.
Which is the oddest question you ever have got in an interview?
-Somebody once asked us if we put piercings on each other’s intimate parts. What an idiot.
Which is the question you want to have but you never get. Please ask it and answer it?
-This question is: Do you know how popular you are among the girls? The answer: I don’t believe it.
Futureplans for the band?
-Play, record, releasing albums, partying.
-To be able to live on music. That would be a dream come true.
Something to add?
-It was great talking to you. Greeting to all the readers.