Weedpecker interview with Wyro and Jeso
Weedpecker is a band straddling two times, they’re at once
extremely contemporary and remind me a lot of some of the Sludge and Stoner
rock coming out of Europe right now. But
they also bleed this late 70’s influence of Sabbath and Zeppelin worship, which
sounds especially interesting here filtered those aforementioned heavy
influences and dope stained riffs.
Weedpecker self-released their Self-Titled debut album last year and
it’s a beast, sounding a lot like Alice in Chains recording an album with Sleep
and Black Sabbath as members of the band.
Opening with the six-minute “Berenjena Pipe” the nature of Weedpecker
becomes absolutely evident in the dissonant feedback loops that loom in the
background, fading and erupting out of the distortion and chaos. The guitars really start to kick into high
gear with “Mindbreath” bringing more of the Stoner and metal influences of the
hardcore music scene founding member Wyro grew up with to the table, but
sticking with a more intelligible and controlled vocal line than most metal
bands would dare, sheltering some hidden harmonies and melodies in the muddied
stew of heady madness. “Don’t Trust Your
Elephant” follows that up with a nine-minute exploration into the psychedelic
and ambient soundscapes that Weedpecker seem to be able to conjure at
will. It’s the only song that overlaps
with the original digital demo and the refinement of the re-recorded version is
almost immediate, acoustic guitars melting and intertwining in what seems to be
a real desert rock, vision quest of a song which erupts into probably the most
interesting song on the album. Building
momentum to a bursting point, “Don’t Trust Your Elephant” propels you into the
no-holds barred “Kraken”, pummeling away with some serious Stoner Sludge for
the metal heads and Belzebong freaks out there.
It’s tracks like this that quickly remind the reader where the
influences of Wyro and a few of the other guys are based, and offers up their
own unique blend of those elements reassembled into some new deranged Kraken to
be unleashed on an unsuspecting Polish population. “Sativa Landscapes” keeps the momentum up
while showing off more of the Psychedelic Stoner sound that Weedpecker is more
than fully capable of. It’s got the best
solos of the album in my opinion and the vocals sound almost perfectly drowned
in the torrential downpour of psychosis that personifies “Sativa
Landscapes”. “Weedfields” finishes out
the album with an utterly tripped out exploration into another of the ethereal
soundscapes of Weedpecker, before suddenly absolutely transforming into a
hulking monster of shred, the cosmos-via-electronics madness of Cheesy Dude
from Belzebong providing an utterly perfect back dropping for the end of the
album. It’s a journey to be savored and
I’m really looking forward to details on the upcoming vinyl reissue of the
album. In the meantime, I managed to get
founding member Wyro and current bassist Jeso to talk some serious shop with me
and fill in all the details about Weedpecker one could ever wonder about. For the curious or the uninitiated I warn
you, these riffs may shock or alarm, but if you keep your hands and feet inside
the ride at all times and you’ll be just fine.
So role up a big ole spliff, kick back in your easy chair and prepare to
look like a classic Maxell add!
while you read: http://weedpecker.bandcamp.com/
Weedpecker’s lineup these days? Has this
always been the lineup or have there been any changes made since the band
to join the band. We are Wyro and Bandos
on guitars, Falon on drums and I’m the bassist.
beginning Adam Szczesny played bass, but as he didn’t have much time and our
paths soon separated.
the states people are involved in more than one band at a time. Are any of you in any other active bands at
this point? Have you released any music
with anyone else in the past? If so can
you tell us about that?
with different musicians sometimes and I don’t dismiss the idea of side
projects, but right now Weedpecker keeps one-hundred percent of my attention.
plays drums in Belzebong, but the rest of us agree with what Wyro said and
Weedpecker is our only band.
scene where you grew up? Did you see a
lot of shows when you were growing up?
Do you feel like the music scene there played a large role in forming
your musical tastes or the way that you play today?
I started going to amateur bands’ concerts, but most of them were heavy or
thrash metal. At that time the scene in
Poland was about extreme music, nobody played psychedelic rock & roll.
grew up surrounded by the classic hard rock of the 70´s and 80´s, along with
the local music which imitated those English and American bands. There were a lot of concerts and I have been
going to shows since I was very young.
Of course watching all those bands live awoke in me the will to perform
music on stage.
household like when you were a kid? Was
it very musical? Were either your
parents or any of your relatives musicians or extremely involved/interested in
my father has always been interested in music.
Ever since I was a child he has been playing Sabbath and Zeppelin to me,
and he also plays guitar and sings. As
far as I know, my great-grandfather, whose name I carry, played the mandolin.
was always some LP playing, flamenco, rock, soul, anything… It was my dad who played most of the music
and he also used to play harmonica and some bongos.
first real exposure to music?
ago. I went to a rehearsal as the
vocalist for this band called Fethor, that’s what we were called believe it or
not, and that’s the way it started for me.
old friend invited me to smoke some joints on the beach near Gibraltar, he had
a guitar and played some Marley and Zeppelin stuff. So I told him, “let’s make a band.” I bought myself a bass and the next month we
were in some basement playing the easiest parts of ZZ Top’s Tres Hombres album.
one moment, a single moment that changed everything and opened your eyes to the
infinite possibilities of music, what would it be?
I watched the The Song Remains The Same movie by Led Zeppelin after smoking
some hash. It was like, “Wow
Heaven” impressed me a lot when I was a child.
I played that song in my tape player all the time, and also my first
psychedelic trip for sure.
decide that you wanted to start writing and performing your own music and what
brought that decision about?
is the first project I’ve put together and the first in which I take most of
the writing on my own shoulders the way I want.
The reason for this is, I wanted to play in a band where we just play
what makes us feel high and proud.
before, old classics like Led Zeppelin, Sabbath or even Bob Marley and the
Wailers along with pot are guilty of my decision to buy an electric instrument
and perform rock. So, after passing
through several bands doing much more extreme music, I wanted to return to my
roots and found Weedpecker the ideal band to play with.
first instrument? When did you get it
and who gave it to you?
Yamaha, which my dad gave me when he realized that I was interested in playing.
father’s Moroccan bongos, my own first instrument was a bass guitar.
you all originally meet?
are brothers and they planted the seed of Weedpecker. They met Falon through some
advertisement. I answered an ad as well
in which they were looking for a bassist.
I listened to the demo, liked it a lot, and learned a couple of
fragments of the songs so we could have something to do the day of my audition
instead of me trying to speak Polish.
Ends up we got along well as they speak English too, and here we are.
formation of Weedpecker and when did you all originally form?
the concept of the band.
the very beginning I knew I wanted to do it together with my brother.
play, we really enjoy it.
to ask considering one half of your name, but what does the name Weedpecker
mean or refer to? Who came up with the
name and how did you go about choosing it?
with the idea. I wanted to make it clear
that we play Stoner, that we are inspired by weed, and we do not give a shit if
there’re a lot of bands with weed, dope or bong in their names, we feel unique
located at this point?
in Warsaw, Poland.
describe the local music scene where you’re at these days?
describe it like this: Belzebong, Dopelord, Weedpecker. Ganja rulez!
He-he-he! We have a lot of good
bands, but it’s extremely hard to mention everybody.
involved in the local music scene? Do
you book or attend a lot of local shows?
attend our friend’s shows and those of the bands we like when they come to the
and or release any local music?
plenty of work releasing our own stuff.
the local scene there has played a large or important role in the history or
sound of Weedpecker, or do you feel like you could be doing what you’re doing
anywhere; regardless of your location or surroundings?
other Polish bands have a natural influence on us. We go to each other other’s concerts and to
each other’s rehearsals where we can steal each other’s riffs… Just kidding of course, ha-ha! But apart from that, we rent a rehearsal
space together with Belzebong and very often we’re there together, speaking
about ideas for songs, and sounds and stuff.
So, for sure it has an influence on Weedpecker.
think that Weedpecker could be doing what we are anywhere, regardless of
location. Of course it would be a lot
easier if we lived some place with better weather and legal weed…
how good you are at describing the way that a band sounds they usually come up
with a description that you would have never thought of and is usually much
more apropos. How would you describe
Weedpecker’s sound in your own words?
nice dead ahead metal sound but I can hear other stuff bouncing around in there
as well. Who are some of your major
musical influences? What about
influences on the band as whole rather than just individually?
mention but if I have to say, at the moment the most influential for me are
Colour Haze, Causa Sui, Elder, Tame Impala and Electric Moon (Interviews hereand here).
feel influenced by the classics, mainly Sabbath, Zeppelin and Pink Floyd but
the old Spanish band Triana and their LP El Patio from 1975 is also a permanent
influence on me.
songwriting process like with Weedpecker?
Is there a lot of jamming and exchange of ideas when you all get together
to practice and play together, or is there someone who comes to the rest of the
band with a riff or more finished idea to work out and compose with the rest of
us comes in with some riffs that we jam around on. Once we feel comfortable with the riffs and
after having jammed on them for some time, we give them a structure in order to
create a coherent song.
be pretty open about your drug usage, at least when it comes to marijuana. Is that an important part of your writing
process? Do you all utilize any other
substances, psychotropics like mushrooms or LSD for instance, when writing or
performing your music?
me very a lot in the process of composing, but anyone who play and smokes
already knows that. It’s not any
secret. If I’m tripping I much prefer
listening to music than I do playing it, but I think it has an influence in the
post-intoxication process of composing.
I must admit that mushrooms had their influence in the process of
recording the effects parts of our song, “Weedfields”.
the 90’s baked. I practically lived
between a pothead park and a rehearsal room, so I feel a bit like Obelix with
the magic drink. I probably have THC
integrated in my DNA so I don’t even really need to smoke, it’s enough just to
smell it to feel the boogie. It opened
my mind long ago, yes, and it remains open.
improvisation is involved with your music?
There are some bands that prefer to work out every nook and cranny of a
song figuring out all the arrangements and compositions and others that just
get a frame work or an idea for a song and kind of run with it?
middle of the two, tending towards the second one. Live and rehearsing we have more freedom of
course, but it’s during the recording when the detailed arrangements and
effects come in to play. Wyro and Bartek
record a few takes with different ideas and choose the one they feel are most
inspiring for the song.
recording? As a musician myself, I think
that most of us can really appreciate the end result. Holding an album in your hands knowing that
it’s yours and you made it, it never gets old.
Getting to that point though, getting everything recorded, especially
when it comes to dealing with an entire band can be extremely difficult to say
the least. How is it recording for
record, although the conditions for the album were really poor and weak. As you say, it’s a great feeling to record an
album, to pass through all these different parts of the processes and finally
have the album in your hands and say, “I did it!”
was recorded in a short but very intensive time. We were all conscious that we didn’t have the
means or the time to get the very best out of us, so we all just concentrated
on trying to perform our parts in the most natural and accurate way we could.
handle the recording duties yourselves on your own time with your own equipment
and personnel or does Weedpecker utilize studio environments when recording?
limited funds to record so we recorded our album with the help and recording
equipment of a friend who’s a sound engineer, in our rehearsal space during one
week. One day drums, the next day the
bass and rest of the time guitars and vocals, which required more detailed
Weedpecker do a lot of preparation before you record getting things to sound
just the way you want them? I guess this
kind of goes back to my earlier question about working out songs, but is there
any breathing room for songs when you head into record, where things have a
little room to change and evolve during the recording process?
mentioned before, the structure of the songs are pretty tight as far as the
drums and bass goes, but the guitars have more room to improvise when it comes
to the solos and more spacey psychedelic passages.
material that I’m aware of is 2012’s self-released three track Weedpecker
Demo. Can you talk a little bit about
the recording of the material for that demo?
Where and when was that recorded at?
Who recorded it? What kind of
equipment was used? Was that ever
released physically at all or was it just a digital only release?
demo in our first rehearsal room. We
asked some friends to borrow the minimum amount of necessary equipment and one
friend who’s a sound tech, to record it.
The drums and guitars were recorded in one session and I recorded the
bass individually later. We never made a
physical edition of it.
up the demos last year (2013) with the self-titled Weedpecker album. There’s one song in common with the original
demo collection hat was released, “Don’t Trust Your Elephant”. Is that the same recording and mix that
appears on both releases?
the same recording. “Don’t Trust Your
Elephant” was re-recorded for the Self-Titled album.
recording of the material for the self-titled album much different than the
session(s) for your earlier demos? Can
you share some of your memories of recording that album with our readers? When was it recorded and who recorded
it? Where was it that? What kind of equipment was used?
more weed during the self-titled sessions. I remember the day we recorded the guitars, we smoked so much that we
ran out and had to stop to score some more!
process for the album started as soon as the lineup was complete with the four
of us, really. We, of course, all had
some riffs in mind which were taking form as we were jamming around on them,
crafting them into full songs. It was
funny and I remember it somewhat blurrily, as we had to change our rehearsal
space several times in the middle of the dark and frozen Polish winter, with all
that snow and cold and everything in the middle of the night and with all that
smoke and sweet weed smell following us around all the time. It was all weird and awesome at the same
Cheesy dude from Belzebong was involved with at least one of the tracks
“Weedfields”. How and when did you all
originally meet? What led to the
collaboration on the track? Was involved
at all with the recording or production of the album or anything?
an old friend of ours and he’s always been like family to the band, ready to
help out and have fun. We’re very happy
that he accepted our invitation to lie down his spectacular cosmic trip on the
“Weedfields” song, so his special touch is with us on the album.
Weedpecker have any music that we haven’t talked about yet, maybe a song on a
compilation or something that I might have missed?
extra track from the Self-Titled album session and one extra track from the
demo, but nobody’s heard them yet.
release of Weedpecker in August of last year (2013) are there any plans for any
sort of follow up release in the works or on the horizon?
already writing new material for next album, jamming around and beginning to
feel the magic again as the new songs are taking shape.
completely insane international postage increases the last few years I try to
provide our readers with as many possible options for picking up import
releases. Where’s the best place for our
US readers to pick up copies of your music?
What about our international and overseas readers?
CD directly from us via email email@example.com, you can download it
digitally from our Bandcamp site, you can buy it trough iTunes, Amazon and
Google Play and there’s even an option to buy the CD through Amazon on Demand
if at some point we run out of physical copies, but we still have some CDs to
sell directly right now. The vinyl
version’s coming out together with a digipak CD edition soon, so we will have
details on how to get them then.
the best place for fans to keep up on the latest news like upcoming shows and
album releases from Weedpecker at?
too often, it’s just there in case Facebook let’s down one day.
any major goals or plans for 2014?
or summer we’ll go and choose some inspiring place in nature, in order to record
one or two new songs live within peaceful and natural surroundings. It’ll be something really special.
release our second album this year and play some good shows.
first song that Weedpecker ever played live?
Where and when was that?
“Berenjena Pipe” in Warsaw April 18th 2013 supporting Elder; who we are fans of
by the way.
anything, do you all have planned as far as touring and gigging goes for 2014
try and choose some good gigs to get noticed by people who like the kind of
stuff we do. For the moment, we’re
managing the gigs ourselves but we’re hoping some proper tour management will
propose a collaboration.
lot of time on the road? If so, do you
enjoy touring and what’s life like on the road for Weedpecker?
anytime on the road, is a long time on the road.
trips. Soon we’re going to play a couple
of shows in Germany, Berlin and Leipzig, I’m very excited about that.
played with some seriously amazing bands.
Who are some of your personal favorite bands that you’ve had a chance to
course, Belzebong, Dopelord, Mars Red Sky, Naam and Pet The Preacher.
dreams, who are you on tour with?
very much to play some gigs with Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. Tame Impala seem to be cool guys as well, or
with some old classic band like Black Sabbath, or even something more metal
like Mastodon or Baroness.
any funny or interesting stories from your live shows or performances that
you’d like to share here with our readers?
always lots of laughs, but unfortunately we don’t remember too many of
show people told me I was putting a lot of feeling and emotion into playing but
the truth is I was suffering cramps in my feet, thus the faces and gestures
give a lot of thought to the artwork that represents the band like on flyers,
posters and artwork? Do you have any
go-to person of your artwork? If so, who
is that and how did you originally get hooked up with them?
friend Maciej Kamuda, who designs stuff for us following his own inspiration
for the most part. Of course we give him
some ideas of classic imagery and stuff we’d like to have in there, like weed
or boobs, etcetera… But the rest is up
to his hallucinating imagination.
preferred medium of release for your music?
With all of the various methods that are available to musicians today
I’m always curious why they choose and prefer the various mediums that they
do. What about when you’re listening to
and or purchasing music? If you do, can
you talk a little bit about why?
collect LPs back in the 80’s that I bought from second hand shops. I felt very attracted, not only by the music,
but by the artwork, the logos of the bands, the photos, the lyrics, anything
which could lead me to know more about what inspired those musicians to create
their stuff. Of course the digital era
has changed those tastes and textures of the good old days, but the young
people are growing up with it and it doesn’t seem to represent a problem to me.
music collection? If so can you can you
tell us a little bit about it?
of a collection but as a musician without cash, I prefer to spend money on
guitars, amps and effects.
a bunch of LPs but what’s left of them must be in some boxes in different
corners of Spain where I used to live.
around a fairly large collection of music, to me as a child though it was
seemingly endless. I was encouraged from
a really young age to listen to music and developed a deep appreciation for
physically released music. I would
wander up to then enormous shelves, pick something completely at random off,
stick it in the player, lay back in the beanie bag, read the liner notes, stare
at the artwork and let the music transport me away. Having something physical to hold in my
hands, something concrete and real made for a more complete listening
experience for me and offered for a rare glimpse into the minds of the artists
responsible for creating it. Do you have
any such connection with physically released music?
and see all the drawings and designs in a very sight friendly size, and the
surprise of finding booklets inside with lyrics and photos… Oh, it was very, very cool. I guess I’m lucky to have grown up in the
my music collection I never really had a way to take it on the go with me
before. Digital music has all but
eliminated this problem over night, I can carry more music on my phone than I
could have stuffed in the boot of my car a few years back! While digital music may have revolutionized
the industry when teamed with the internet, that’s where things get really
interesting. Together they have exposed
people to a new world of music that they otherwise would never have known
existed and for independent bands willing to harbor and promote a healthy
online presence it seems to have levelled the playing field somewhat for
independent artists these days. Nothing
is ever black and white though and while people may be being exposed to tons of
new great they’re not always necessarily paying for it. Illegal downloading is running rampant these
days and with all of the stuff going on out there, it’s harder and harder to
get noticed and make a living in the choked digital jungle. As an artist during the reign of the digital
era, what’s your opinion on digital music and distribution?
music is obviously less oriented toward a physical product, the good part is
how easy it is to distribute it. Finally
your music can reach people and corners of the world which were unthinkable
before. Also being able to listen to
music on the metro or bus is a good thing, you can’t do that with vinyl, can
you? I believe that both formats can
live and coexist together; digital for the fast, easy, portable listening, and
then CDs, and vinyl if possible, for the most fulfilling artistic experience
for those of us who enjoy the physical art and like to touch and experience
with as much good music as I possibly can using any method at my disposal for
discovering new and wonderful stuff.
Though I spend a lot of time listening to stuff online, flipping through
bins at the local shop and talking to the employees a lot of the best tips that
I get come from musicians like yourself.
Is there anyone from your local scene or area that I should be listening
to that I might not have heard of before?
nationally and internationally?
there are two bands I recently discovered and like, Pyramidal from Alicante and
The Sidereal Waves from Madrid, both have Facebook accounts (*which are
hyperlinked in the names). I like the La
Leyenda del Espacio LP by this Spanish band from Granada called Los Planetas,
where they transform flamenco music into psychedelic rock. The result is quite interesting, it reminds
me of old Triana from the 70’s with a much modern sound.
taking the time to do this interview, it wasn’t short and I don’t assume it was
quick to answer all of this stuff or easy to come up with answers for some of
it for that matter. Before we call it a
day and I sign off though is there anything that I might have missed or that
you’d just like to take this opportunity to talk to me or my readers about?
taking the time to read this and we hope our music brings you interesting
states of mind.
Weedpecker Demo – digital – Self-Released