First of all I want to thank you personally for 'Eye The Tide'. I had never heard of Spaceslug before I got your album to review, and somehow this entire album made a deep and lasting impression on me. I will explain that some more later on. For now, since this is the first interview (and review) Lords Of Metal does with you guys, could you please introduce the band?
Hi man, thanks for talking. My name is Bartosz and I'm guitarist of Spaceslug. We are doom/post/psych band from Wroclaw, Poland. Hope you enjoy our work.
Your first release was in 2016, and since then you have created three albums and an EP. It seems like a lot of material in such a short time span, and it makes me think of you as a very driven and motivated band. Where does your motivation and inspiration come from?
Well we really love to be in studio and creating music. Inspirations come from deep soul experience most of all. We like to create our own worlds with music. That's our passion.
'Eye The Tide' is the last part of a trilogy, that also consists of part 1 ('Lemanis') and 2 ('Time Travel Dilemma'). I haven't had the chance yet to listen to all of it but 'Eye The Tide' I think gives quite a good impression of what it is about. Can you tell us about this trilogy? Where did the idea come from?
The idea comes from the first cover art itself. Our music evolves with every record and the last one is the definition of this process. It is the end of an era in musical terms for us. So that's why the last cover art shows what it shows.
What is the story you are telling here, and what is the function of each of the three parts of the trilogy?
That you must answer for yourself. Story is driven by every listener.
Now that the trilogy has come to an end, I would understand it if that involved certain emotions, both of accomplishment and perhaps departure. How does it make you feel? And where will Spaceslug go next?
I feel very good with that, as the last record was very personal for me and also was a therapy in some sort of ways. Thanks to our music I cleansed my soul.
Some parts on 'Eye The Tide' remind me a little of some kind of Jefferson Airplane jam session, it feels comfortable and yet seems so far out there. That, and of course other bands and sounds. Yet, you have created a unique and impressive sound. I think all bands have their influences, and I was wondering if you could tell us a bit about the music (and bands, if you like) that influenced Spaceslug and its development.
Well it's a hard topic because every band member has different influences. My personal are bands like Neurosis, Yob, Black Sabbath, alot of post rock/metal things and prog rock from the 70s.
Speaking of jamming: on the one hand the songs sound partly like they were created as the result of a jam, and on the other hand they sound like they were put together very carefully and organised. How does this work? Do you have a certain song-writing process? Or is there a completely different way in which each song originates?
We do not have any process at all. When I have a riff and it's good we just hammered it to the form of the song. There's not any magical way to do that.
Another song related question: the more I listen to this album, the more things I start to notice. Subtle things I did not catch on the first spin, but also "sound effects". For instance, the beginning of 'Eternal Monuments' is so incredibly amazing, with the mourning guitar sounds that seem to echo through space and in the background some kind of cosmic storm brewing. It seems very complicated to me, deciding how to put together the right sounds, noises and effects. How DO you decide these things?
I created synths for that part and couple more on the album. I like ambient, dark stuff alot. For me it's like having another texture for the song. Songs like 'Eternal Monuments' need that kind of deep introductions and I think that that kind of synths are the best way to achieve that.
And the ending of 'Spaced By One'? Again, I find it amazing what is happening there. What was your intention with that?
We had alot of fun with that momentum in studio. Basically we just played and played the last part of it. Original Mix was like two or three minutes more of this 'jam' kind of things. We just liked this riff so we decided to play it over and over with different emotions.
A couple of months ago I did an interview with Tiberius of Deconstructing Sequence (a band from Szczecin), and he told me the Polish metal scene is doing very well at the moment. You are from Wrocław, Poland. Do you experience the scene there as doing well too?
Yes, I think now we have one of the best moments for the scene. It's growing really fast, and we have alot of VERY good bands. Can't feel better about it.
Over here in The Netherlands it was never very hard growing up while interested in heavy music or music that was a lot different from what was considered mainstream. Sometimes I hear stories (and I'm always a bit skeptical about them) about people who have had it difficult because of their interest in metal. Either because they were not accepted or the music simply wasn't readily available. (This was before the digital age.) How was this for you guys, where you grew up? And how did you develop an interest in this kind of music?
Well, my cousin showed me Metallica when I was like seven or eight years old. He was an old fashioned metal guy with all that stuff you can imagine. Well it was cool to have somebody like him in part of my growing as he showed me alot of good bands.
Something I noticed while reading about Wrocław, and this was quite upsetting to me, was a bit about "Wrocław's dwarfs". In case you wonder why this would upset me: I have had some very bad experiences involving dwarfs/gnomes, back in 2012, and ever since I have not been the same person I was before. I find the Wrocław dwarfs very interesting though, so can you please tell us more about them? Their history, why they are there, and how they affect daily live in Wrocław.
If you want you can have your own dwarf! Of course for cash. I’m not from Wroclaw directly so I do not know the exact history. But it's cool when you can discover on almost every corner some cool dwarf with his own "role" as every dwarf is somebody else. And like I said, you can have your own in the city if you want to.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this interview, 'Eye The Tide' somehow had a profound impact on me. I like going on long hikes as I listen to albums to review, and when I first turned on this record I was on a dusty road with stone pillars on both sides and the sun glaring down on it all, and all of a sudden, when 'Obsolith' started rippling its mellow waves through the atmosphere and then exploded into heavy riffs, well, I just stood there perplexed for a minute and then it felt as if my mind opened up and everything all of a sudden seemed, as I wrote in the review, more grand and adventurous. In fact, I feel it has returned to me a certain sense of wonder that had been growing weaker the past ten years or so. I think that absorbing this album will help expand people's minds and broaden their perspectives. Was this what you had in mind/set out to do?
Yes. My goal was to impact people with their own emotions. If somebody listen to this album and had certain feelings and it moves him - for me it's the biggest reward. Alot of music had this impact on me and helped me in some situations. I hope that my work can do the same.
Stoner metal, if you don't mind me putting your music in that genre, generally has a relaxing effect on people. It is music you can bang your head to, but I doubt it will ever be the cause of a mosh pit. One of the things that stood out for me were the very tranquil vocals - except on 'Words Like Stones'. They reminded me somewhat of the vocals of the late Layne Staley (Alice In Chains)and the, unfortunately also late, Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots). I could be completely off point here, but it made me wonder if the grunge movement had any influence on you then (when it was big in the 90's) or now.
On me not, but on the rest of the band - yes. They are big fans of 90s so it's noticable that in some point we have such influences. It's cool when they are mixed with my own. That's why our music is what it is.
You will also be part of 'The Wall [Redux]' by giving form to your own version of the song 'Don't Leave Me Now'. I can't wait to hear what you have made of that. How does that work? I mean, who invites you to be part of that and what do you do next to make this a Spaceslug song?
Jadd from the Magnetic Eye Records mailed us about this idea and it was like wow for us. Great opportunity as we love Pink Floyd. The song itself was challenging so we decided to make it with our own way. Can't wait to hear full album and other great bands with their covers!
Finally, with such story telling albums on which the sequence of the songs is rather important, how do you decide on which songs to play live and in what order? And, whether it is a realistic idea or not, would you ever consider playing the entire trilogy live?
For me it would be great concept to play something like that. Maybe some day who knows. But now we manage to play around two songs per album live. We have long songs so we cant play like nine or ten songs on the gig. We have limits for like six or seven unfortunately. But when we start to tour as the main act and we will have the time - yes, we like to play long. So maybe we will manage some sort of shows when the trilogy will be played as some form from start to finish.
Thank you so very much for answering the questions. If there is anything you like to tell our readers, please feel free to do so!
Thanks for interview and I hope you are doing well! Check our new album and I hope to see you on the gigs!