The Magnificent Brotherhood Interview with Kiryk Drewinski (vocals & guitar)
Thank you very much for agreeing to do this interview. You started your music carrier in a band called Liquid Visions around 1994. What can you tell me about that experience?
Actually I joined the Liquid Visions much later. Guess it was 1999 or so when I did the cover artwork for one of their LPs, “The Endless Plasmatic Overdose”. By that time The Liquid Visions had another guitar player but things went rough between the band members and so I replaced him short after. In the very last period even my brother Erik (our organ player with The Magnificent Brotherhood) joined on bass guitar.
I was a kid back then still exploring my guitar. We used to jam for hours at gigs but also at the rehearsals. Being high on fuzz and wah-wah I learned a lot during that period. Funny enough The Liquid Visions were one of the first bands I have ever seen live in my life but never would I dream of joining them. They were still playing with Wolfgang Seidel (former Member of “Ton Steine Scherben”) by that time.
But even before I ended up playing with the Liquid Visions their other guitar player HP played in one of my very first bands called “Strawfever” alongside with Erik. HP replaced Lenny on drums who is now playing guitar with The Fuzztones. You know the 60s scene was and still is very small in Berlin and even smaller if it comes to musicians that are into this kind of sound.
You made four albums with Liquid Visions. The first one is from 1998 and its called Liquid Visions. I really like the vintage sound on the first release. In 2000 you released album called Endless Plasmatic Childhood Overdose that is kind of a tribute to Hawkwind. A great one I have to say. In 2002 you released Hypnotized, which is in my opinion your best release. Last album Liquid Vision did is called From the Cube. I would like if you could share few words about this releases you did with Liquid Visions?
By the way: The first album, I know, was recorded on 4-track cassette recorder and the live album was recorded using a cheap ghetto blaster which explains why it is so vintage sounding. The first album I’m on is “Hypnotized”, the other one is “From The Cube”, which is the band’s last official studio album. I also remember a few sampler tracks I was playing on and some single tracks. “Ibiza Bar” we recorded for a Pink Floyd Tribute album. Another tune we did was “Phantom Child” by “The Lincoln St. Exit”. …there are probably some more tunes but I can’t really remember them as it was a very hazy time for me.
To be honest, I haven’t heard those records in years. For me writing songs is what moves me most. I’m never 100% satisfied with the result of a recording as it never ends up 100% like it was in my head (guess that impossible). But once a song is recorded I don’t go back listening to it too much again. I just like to know that it’s “safe on tape”. Then I can go on writing the next one.
What happened next? You went different directions with band mates. In 2003 The Magnificent Brotherhood was born. What can you tell me about the very beginning of the band?
At some point (guess it was 2003?) we became tired of the heavy and slow side of the Liquid’s sound and so Erik & me formed “The Magnificent Brotherhood of Eternal Love and The Happiness’ Close Companions”, which first was not only a band but more a kind of hippie commune consisting of ca. 20 friends, lovers, dedicated music freaks, weirdos, dealers etc. Our aim was to party as hard as possible, every day. …an man, we did!
Prior to that Erik & me recorded 3 songs as early as New Year’s Eve 1999/2000 in a house in the Swedish woods (in the middle of nowhere) just for personal fun, not thinking of forming a band yet. These songs were “Mindgarage” and ” Old Tattoo” which we much later recorded again for our first album & “Mimi’s Tune” which can be found on our live album “Live Ammunition”. We shortened the band name to “The Magnificent Brotherhood” just before the release of the first album. That’s how it all begun.
The Magnificent Brotherhood released EP in 2006 and the second one in 2007. I would like to know how did you like it when it was released?
Actually we didn’t release any EPs yet. Those releases were only demo recordings done in our garage/rehearsal room on a laptop but somehow they got on the internet and people started to copy them like crazy. We re-recorded all of those songs and included them on both of our studio records.
In 2008 the first album was released. Wonderful 60s garage/west coast psych for which I am a huge sucker! I absolutely love the sound. How did you record it? I would also like to know what were some of your inspirations to record this? You must be a huge fan of Quicksilver Messenger Service, like I am?
We recorded the first record using as much old equipment we could get/afford in a tiny studio in Berlin, Kreuzberg. We also tried to do as less overdubs as possible catching most of the stuff live. But of course there are many vocal overdubs as Erik & me do all the lead and backing vocals. Also a sound collage, percussion etc. were added.
Yes, by the time we recorded the first album we were very much influenced by bands like Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Warlocks, Music Machine, The (early) Mothers Of Invention, Strawberry Alarm Clock and the American west coast psychedelia sound in general. Live we also used to cover songs by those bands like “Amphetamine Gazelle” by Mad River or “Are You Happy?” by Iron Butterfly. Especially to me as a guitarist the west coast sound appeals very much as it’s based either upon jangley guitars with a lot of spring reverb and Bigsby, which I love very much or upon fuzz guitar which I am a freak for. I still love psych music and am rather bored of 100% pure garage punk without any psych, weirdness or humor to it.
Your latest record is called Dope Idiots. What can you tell me about this release?
“Dope Idiots” is like phase 2 of our first, self titled record. Some songs on Dope Idiots we used to play live long time before we even recorded our first album. So the first two albums are our live set divided in two studio albums. It’s pure coincidence which songs ended up on which record. Really, to us it could be just the other way around. We like both records.
It’s like listening to some Zappa records from late 60’s. What more can you tell me about your latest release?
Yeah, we love Zappa! He has brought a very important quality into pop music: humor. We hate bands that take their music too seriously. After all it’s only rock’n’roll, right?!! …or at least that’s what we’re interested in. Apart from that I guess we are fun people. We love to laugh a lot etc. Guess you can’t escape from being who you are. And after all you can hear that in the music.
We always write songs about people we know or things that had happened to us or them. Most of the lyrics are not too serious because we don’t do much serious stuff in our lives I guess. So Dope Idiots is a record for the good times again. We absolutely don’t wanna teach or trying to “change the world” with our music or something stupid like that. No! We think rock’n’roll should be for the fun of it!
Who did the cover artwork for your first and second album?
I do all the artwork for The Magnificent Brotherhood, as well as for many other bands (like for example the latest releases by Baby Woodrose, The Flying Eyes, DeWolff etc.).
Guess the Artwork should always fit with the music, so the visual side became an integral part of our band too and a characteristic feature. It’s good when people don’t have to actually read the poster to recognize what kind of music they can expect from a band. You just get an immediate feeling or association if you see a certain picture. It’s the same with music. …or for me it’s pretty much the same thing.
You can check out some of my stuff here: www.Kiryk.com.
What are some of your future plans? New album, perhaps?
Yes, we sure want to record a new album soon but we don’t push our selves to do it too much. We don’t have any label that would tell us to do so or anything like that, so we do things if we feel we wanna do them. That’s a kind of luxury to us. Meanwhile we write lots of new songs and are playing live everywhere we can.
Touring? Where can we see you in the future?
We will tour Italy in the very near future and Spain, Sweden, France and Russia later that year. Hopefully some more places will be confirmed soon. Be sure to check www.MagHood.com for tour dates.
I would also like to hear some groovy concert experience you had.
Well, there are lots of funny things happening on tour but mostly before and even more after our concerts as we usually get into that certain mood if you know what I mean.
But on stage one of the things that is happening pretty frequently are people coming on stage starting to dance and freaking out. This all developed when we started that dance contest thing, awarding the craziest dancer with an album or shirt but after a while we stopped it as too many people were coming on stage and everyone of them was so freaky dancing that we couldn’t tell who we should give the stuff to. Since those days the people just jump on stage spontaneously letting themselves go. That’s nice!
When can I see you performing in my home country Slovenia, at Metelkova?
Anybody, get us some gigs and we will be right on our way!! We’d love to play Slovenia!
Thanks for you time and effort. Would you like to share anything else about the band or yourself, that I didn’t ask?
We would like to say thank you to everybody who is supporting our kind of music & the underground music scene in general!! Even if it feels different sometimes, be sure: You’re not alone!!!!
Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2011
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