Interview Piotr Grudzinski (Riverside)

“The main goal of the new album is to tell about our observations”

(March 2013, text by Zafer Yuksal, edited by Peter Willemsen, pictures by Arthur Haggenburg)

Recently the Polish prog metal band Riverside released their new album Shrine Of New Generation Slaves (see review), which can be abbreviated to SONGS. In a way this new album returns to the band's origin, but also adds a new musical approach of song orientated material. The abbreviation of the album's title makes this already clear. Guitarist Piotr Grudzinski was willing to talk about the new Riverside album with Background Magazine!

If you had to define the music of Riverside with just one word, which word would it be?

Piotr Grudzinski: “Emotions.”

Piotr Grudzinski

Currently Riverside are one of the leading acts in the European prog rock and metal scene. How did you reach this level?

“First of all you have to be determined; secondly you need to be interesting in the audience and thirdly you just need to have a bit of luck.”

Would you please tell me something about the album's concept and how the idea got into your minds?

“The word 'slave' we are using in the album title has many meanings. You can be a slave at your work, in a relation, but you're also a slave when you're not only addicted to alcohol or drugs, but also to technology, to the internet or to shopping. The main goal of the album is to tell about our observations especially about people who are disappointed with their lives, about people who only see the dark side of their lives instead of doing something positive.”

How did you decide which characteristics you would choose for each instrument on SONGS?

“We wanted to record an album which contains influences of the old school sound from the seventies, but also influences of modern music. Especially the keyboard sounds really 'old school' because our keyboard player Michal Lapaj used a lot of old analog stuff like Hammond organ, Moog and Prophet 5.”

Riverside: (L to R): Piotr Kozieradski, Piotr Grudzinski, Mariusz Duda and Michal Lapaj

How did you choose the album's title? I wonder which one appeared first, the acronym SONGS or Shrine Of New Generation Slaves?

“Our first thought was to call our new album Songs. But as always Mariusz Duda our vocalist and bass player wanted a double meaning and changed the first letters of Songs into an album title, which I explained earlier. I really like his games with numbers and acronyms.”

Would you tell us a bit about the individual songs and the meaning of the lyrics?

“Well, I'm not a songwriter, so I can't give you a detailed explanation of the song's lyrics. Mariusz writes all the lyrics in a special way. It's up to the listener to decide which clues he hears in the music and what the lyrics mean.”

Who made the album cover and what does it tell us?

Cover art 'Shrine Of
New Generation Slaves'
“Travis Smith designed the album cover and he wrote the booklet and his vision about the lyrics on the album. The cover of Shrine Of New Generation Slaves shows a big hall.”

Do you have any plans for a new trilogy after the successful Reality Dream trilogy?

“I don't think we will record a trilogy again, but never say never. I t hink we need to find out new possibilities to please our fans.”

What could you tell us as about Riverside's near future and far future plans?

“Of course, at the moment we would like to promote our new album on tour. After that we think about recording a DVD and start writing songs for a new album.”

Thank you for answering my questions.

“It was my pleasure, thank you.”

More info about Riverside on the Internet:
       review album 'Anno Domini High Definition'
       review album 'Memories In My Head'
       review album 'Shrine Of New Generation Slaves'
       review DVD 'Reality Dream'
       review concert 23-Apr-2010
       review concert 30-Sep-2011

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