Naked Brown interview with Maciej Rekowski

May 11, 2014

Naked Brown interview with Maciej Rekowski

Paging all Motohead fans! 
Remember when Lemmy was fresh out of Hawkwind and they were all about
the massive riffage and devastating guttural vocal howling?  Well don’t worry, you’re not alone.  Naked Brown remembers those days too.  They’ve recalled a lot of the glory and
splendor that traditional heavy metal represented back when it really was the
rebellious thing to do.  Back when punk
was dead, when being metal actually meant something.  Naked Brown bring heavy as all hell,
monstrous riffs along with gnarly, lightning precise bass that leaves your
heart battered and out of rhythm, all propelled by tastefully understated drums
that are really running the show here giving the bass and guitar room to revel
in the stew of heady noise and distortion. 
This is some seriously good music here. 
From the pummeling rhythms of toe-tappers like album opener, “The King
is Back” to the fuzzy, psyched out solos on “Henry, Sexy Little Dwarf” and “Not
So Bad” Naked Brown’s self-titled album is sinister, catchy and heavy in all
the right places. Their self-released Self-Titled debut album appeared on my
radar shortly after it dropped in November of last year (2013) and I am stoked
to be able to finally dish on the details of this killer group of guys.  The global metal scene is uniting and the
resurgence of bands that pay homage to the honest and raw roots of it all are
beginning to pop up more and more often, but not a lot of them pull it off like
Naked Brown do.  There’s just enough of a
tasteful dose of gnarly deep-fried southern 70’s rock and unhinged 80’s lo-fi
DIY psychedelic garage rock in there to keep the sound extremely interesting,
and while planted in a certainly definable sound, it allows Naked Brown to draw
deeply from a well of classical and contemporary influences without sounding
derivative or repetitive by any stretch of the imagination.  In a time when I’ve heard a million and one
Sabbath-worshipping bands, I haven’t heard many people making a push back to
the pre-hair metal of the late 70’s and 80’s that really did help define the
genre.  So listening to someone like
Naked Brown do it, and do it well, is a real treat.  So without further ado, kick back and dig on
some real metal!
while your read: http://nakedbrown.bandcamp.com/
What is the lineup
for the band these days?  Has this always
been Naked Brown’s lineup or have there been any changes over the years?
Yeah, I guess
there have been some changes, but I guess it depends on how you look at
it.  Mateusz Plastuch, Mateusz Rumba and
I used to play together, but it was with the previous vocalist, Rafał.  After a short break Plastuch began to sing
and we came up with completely new material, we just didn’t change the name
Naked Brown.  We prefer to think of that
moment as our beginning.  Later, a second
guitarist Przemo joined us and after recording the EP, Stiven replaced Rumba on
drums, which is the lineup we have today.
Are any of you in
any other active bands right now?  Have
you released any music with anyone else in the past?  If so can you tell us about it?  I love playing the musical connect the dots
game, but I have to admit there’s nothing more fun than getting to cheat ha-ha!
Yes.  Stiv used to play in a hard rock band
Psychollywood.  I played in HeadShot for
about a year.  Right now Plastuch has a
small side project and some of us sometimes play with other people, but so far
there’s nothing big to be concerned about really.
Where are you
originally from?  What was the local
music scene like there when you growing up? 
Did it play a large role in your childhood or your musical tastes or
even the way that you play?
Each of us
comes from a different town in northern Poland. 
We have slightly different musical tastes, but as we play in one band we
of course find a lot of things in common! 
As far as I’m concerned, when I was growing up the local musical scene
had nothing to do with my musical tastes or the way I play.
Was your home very
musical growing up?  Were either your
parents or any of your relatives musicians or extremely involved/interested in
music when you were growing up?
really.  When I was a kid my sister
taught me how to play the piano, but my relatives and parents weren’t
interested in music at all.
What was your
first real exposure to music?
That was in
high school when my music teacher came up with the idea to form a rock band
with the students.  He taught me how to
play the drums in the beginning, but later I chose to play the guitar.  We played Black Sabbath covers at the school
assemblies, can you believe that?
If you had to pick
one defining moment of music, a moment that changed everything and opened the
door to all the limitless possibilities of music, what would it be?
Right at that
When did you all
originally meet and how was that?
Plastuch and
I met at the Technical University, Przemo was our friend and Stiv just called
us when he decided to join the band.
When and how did
Naked Brown form?
We just
started playing together.  The band was
established in 2007 after we found the right drummer and vocalist.  Then, after a short brake we were reborn in
2009.  In the beginning of 2010 Przemo
joined the band on the guitar and then Stiven joined us in the spring of 2012.
Is there a shared
creed, mantra or ideal that the band lives by or shares?
Yes!  We’re people who share a passion for playing
rock’n’roll.  We believe in pizza,
barbecue, and good Polish sausages!
What does the name
Naked Brown mean or refer to?  Who came
up with it and how did you go about choosing it?
It’s just a
play on words.  We just wanted to come up
with something that sounds good, although we really love listening to people’s
associations.  Some of them can be truly
funny!  So please, feel free to tell me,
what comes to your mind? 
Where is Naked
Brown located at these days?
We’re located
in Gdańsk, or rather the so called Tricity.
How would you
describe the local music scene where you’re at now?
It’s hard to
say.  There are a lot of good bands out
there right now, but I don’t think there’s any such thing as a common style for
them.  When it comes to hard rock or
stoner, we have some stuff in common with our friends’ band Octopussy.
Are you very
involved in the local music scene?  Do
you book or attend a lot of local shows or help to record or release any local

We sometimes
play at local shows.  We organize them or
are invited by friends.  And of course we
try to attend any good shows, if any are taking place, but that just seems to
be normal.

Do you feel like
the local music scene has played a large role in Naked Brown’s history or the
way that you all sound or do you feel like you could be doing what you’re doing
regardless of your location or surroundings?
We don’t
think that the local music scene had anything to do with us starting.  There were some good rock bands in Tricity at
the time, for example Broken Betty, Psychollywood, Riverhead and
Clockwise.  But we felt that we had our
own path to follow.
There are a lot of
things that I love about music and a lot of things that I love about my job,
there’s not a whole lot I love more in the world than sharing new and amazing
music with people all over the world. 
The one part of my job that I don’t really care for though is describing
bands that people have never heard to them; I’m just no good at it.  I don’t think that music fits into these tidy
little organized labels and boxes that we like to assign them.  Rather than me making some bizarre and
meandering attempt at describing your sound, how would you describe Naked
Brown’s sound to our readers who might not have heard you before?
We try to
sound energetic and compact.  Our style
can be described as a raw blend of hard rock, stoner, old school heavy metal
and some 70’s/80’s sounds. 
While you’re
sharing so much about the background and history of the band with us I’d like
to ask about who some of your major musical influences are.  Who would you cite as the major musical
influences on the band as a whole rather than individually?
Our major
influences are: Clutch, Orange Goblin, The Atomic Bitchwax, Five Horse Johnson,
Black Sabbath and Motörhead.
What is Naked
Brown’s songwriting process like?  Is
there someone who comes to the rest of the band with a riff or more finished
song idea to work out and compose with the rest of you or is there a lot of
jamming and exchange of ideas that gets distilled into a song by the band as a
whole during practice and rehearsal?
All of those
ways.  Most of the songs on the new album
were written from beginning to end by Mateusz, although two songs were written
by me.  A lot of the time when we’re
working on a finished song at rehearsal the whole idea turns upside down!  Sometimes, somebody comes up with one or two
riffs and we finish them together.  We
tried jamming, but that’s not easy for us. 
I think we’re more like metal players.
Do you all enjoy
recording?  As a musician myself I think
that most of us can really appreciate the final result of recording, there’s
not a lot in the world that’s better than holding an album in your hands
knowing that you made it and it’s yours. 
Getting to that point though, heading into the studio or even recording
on your own, especially when it comes to recording with an entire band, can be
a little stressful to say the least.  How
is it recording for you all?
Yeah, that’s
an interesting process when you write songs, play them, enter the studio, the
material is processed, and then finally, you have the end result.  It makes an enjoyable story and we all like
it.  It isn’t stressful for us at all!
How do you all
handle recording?  Do you utilize studio
space to record or is it more of a do-it-yourself, on your own time and turf
kind of prospect?

We decided to
record live, as it’s the best way for us, and probably rock’n’roll music in
general.  We tried to capture as much of
the natural dynamics and groove as we could. 
Next time we won’t be recording tracks either, that’s for sure!

What about prep
work?  Does Naked Brown spend a lot of
time working out arrangements and compositions before recording or is it more
of an organic changing process where things have room to evolve and transform?
We tried to
do it the following way; first, the material evolves and matures slowly and
then when everything is ready, we enter the studio.  But it wasn’t easy to book time in the
studio, so when we finally succeeded there wasn’t much time, and the songs
weren’t ready.  Then, we had to start
working really hard, recording rehearsals, etcetera, and we finally managed to
be prepared on time but we had only seven songs.

The first music
that I know of you released was the self-released the self-titled Naked Brown
Demo EP in 2012 which is available on Bandcamp still.  Was that digital only or has there been a
physical release of that material?  Can
you talk a little bit about the recording of that material?  Where and when was it recorded?  Who recorded it?  What kind of equipment was used?  Was it a fun, pleasurable experience for you
We recorded
this material with our friend from Gdynia, Michał Koziorowski of Airline
Records.  We needed an EP, but didn’t
have enough money to book a professional studio.  So, we decided to record each instrument
step-by-step in a different place. 
  First, we recorded drums in the
Blues Club pub in Gdynia where we could get a nice natural reverb, at the time
we were playing with Rumba our first drummer. 
Guitars and bass were recorded at Velur Studio in Gdańsk.  Vocals were recorded in our friend’s home
studio in a basement, Michał who also edited the tracks and did the final
mixing and mastering.  It resulted in a
pretty cool sound, but we’ve found it a little bit too clear and sterile for us
for the most part.

You followed up
the Self-Titled EP with the Not So Bad album in November of 2013.  Was the recording of that material very
different than the session(s) for the earlier release?  Can you share some of your memories of
recording Not So Bad?  Was it a fun
pleasurable experience for you all?  When
and where was it recorded?  Who recorded
it?  What kind of equipment was used?  Who put out Not So Bad?
Recording our
album was a great time for all of us.  We
enjoyed it a lot, and that played an important part!  It was different, because we recorded most of
it live and then the guitar solos and vocals later.  Our friend Jan Galbas from Gdynia was our
sound engineer at the studio; he did some great work and helped us a lot.  We recorded it in the summer at Custom 34
studio in Gdańsk where we got an amazing sound right from the beginning.  We used Orange guitar amps, a vintage Ampeg
bass amplifier from the 70’s, Les Paul, SG and Tele guitars, and a Spector and
a Fender P-bass, which helped us get some pretty raw tones.  The drums in that room sounded
mind-blowing!  I can’t tell you much
about the studio equipment, but as far as I know there was some badass top
drawer stuff.  Finally, Dziablas edited
the tracks and did the final mix.

Does Naked Brown
have any music that we haven’t talked about yet?
Yes, we have
a demo from 2010.  It hasn’t been
released physically, but unfortunately you can still find it on YouTube.  
With the release
of Not So Bad only a little while ago are there any other release in the work
or on the horizon at this point?
Yeah, we’re
working some new material, but at the moment it’s too early to talk about
another release.
Where’s the best
place for our readers to pick up copies of your music?  With the recent international postage rate
increases I try to provide people with as many options for picking up music as
I possibly can.
You can order
our CD from our 8merch store or download a digital version from our Bandcamp page.
And where’s the
best place for our readers to keep up with the latest news like upcoming shows
and album releases from Naked Brown at?
Just follow
us on Facebook.
What, if anything,
do you have planned as far as touring goes for 2014 so far?
So far we
don’t have any tour plans for this year. 
Generally speaking, we don’t make any big tour plans, we just plan some
gigs or small trips in a line, improvise when a good opportunity arises.  Besides, all of us have regular jobs.

What was the first
song that Naked Brown ever played live? 
If you can remember what it was, when and where was that?
The first
place we played a gig was a small local pub Sobiewola in Iława, northern
Poland.  It’s a nice place next to a lake
with lots of beer.  We played some songs
that we don’t really remember now to be honest.
Who are some of
your personal favorite music acts that you’ve had a chance to share a bill
Twice we’ve
had the opportunity to play on one stage with one of the best Polish classic
rock bands, TSA.
In your dreams,
who are you on tour with?
George Michael.
Do you have any
funny or interesting stories from live shows or performances that you’d like to
share here with our readers?
really.  Once we played on a festival
with a well-known Polish pop-folk band, Golec uOrkiestra and we got hungry and
ate their sandwiches from the wardrobe. 
I don’t think they even realized it.  
If you can’t tell
I’m not only passionate about the music itself but I’m passionate about the
albums and about collecting.  There’s
always been one major problem with having a massive music collection, aside
from having to move it with you every time you get a new place ha-ha!  Before now you have never really been able to
take your collection on the go with you. 
Even with CDs and tapes I could never take enough stuff with me on the
go to keep me sated throughout an entire day. 
Digital music has changed all of that basically overnight!  And as if that weren’t enough when you team
it with the internet you have a real game changer on your hands.  While it’s exposing people to a whole world
of music that they otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to, illegal downloading is
running rampant and it’s becoming harder and harder to get noticed in the
chocked digital jungle of music that seems to be seeping from every pore.  As an artist during the reign of the digital
era what’s your opinion on digital music and distribution?
We don’t
think there’s anything wrong with downloading music, nor can it be
stopped.  We want to catch as many
listeners as we can.  You’re right, it
isn’t easy getting noticed.  We have our
music up for download, and if you want, you can download it for free from our
Bandcamp page.  There’s nothing we can do
about it, our mp3s are already available on The Pirate Bay! If
you want to support us, please order our stuff and come to our gigs!
I try to keep up
with as much good music as I possibly can but there’s just not enough time in
the day to listen to it all.  I spend
more time than I would like to admit listening to random stuff online looking for
new awesome stuff every week and I stop in at the local shop at least once a
week to see what they have in the new arrivals bins and chat up the employees
for suggestions and recommendations but a lot of the best tips that I get come
from musicians like you.  Is there anyone
from your local scene or area that I might not have heard of that I should be
listening to?
You should be
listening to Blindead, Ampacity (Interview here), Octopussy, Sautrus and The
Meizterz, but I’m sure you’ve heard of some of them.
What about
nationally and internationally?
From just
what comes to mind at the moment, listen to Satellite Beaver, Major Kong
(Interview here), Rust, Snake Thursday and also Greenleaf, Grandloom, Horisont,
Captain Crimson and of course, Blues Pills!
Thanks so much for
taking the time to finish this, I know it wasn’t short and it can’t have been
quick to finish but I hope it was at least a little fun ha-ha!  Is there perchance anything that I might have
missed or that you’d just like to take this opportunity to talk about?
I would like
to thank you for this nice interview and your interest in our music, and all
the best to the readers!

(2012)  Naked Brown –
Naked Brown Demo EP – digital – Self-Released
(2013)  Naked Brown –
Not So Bad – digital, CD – Self-Released

Interview made by Roman Rathert/2014
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2014
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