Warsaw, Poland’s atmospheric, blackened, sludge tinged post metal act ROSK have teamed up with us to discuss their stunning debut record “Miasma”, their creative process, translating music into live setting, and their local music scene. Without sacrificing extremity, ROSK captured the spirit of atmopsheric storytelling and have grounded themselves in a lane that feels familiar thanks to its finest references, but still carries the listener into the shadowy realm of dream and a whole lot of different new places. We sat down with the band to dig a little deeper and learn more about their craft. See the full interview below.
A 6-piece post rock act must mean an interesting songwriting approach. Please tell us what led you to forming ROSK and how do you guys organize your creative process with such a numerous pack of friends.
It all started with a sentence: ‘We should play music to which people would want to hang themselves’. It happened in April 2014, after Amenra and Cult of Luna played their shows in Warsaw. The same words were repeated many times during long evenings spent in the basements of local Warsaw pubs, where ROSK was being created and shaped. The sole reason for starting this band was a need for creating music that we ourselves would enjoy, music that would stand no compromise and would be completely honest. It is dark. And quite sad.
First three tracks of MIASMA were already released on our DEMO EP back in June 2016, after about 2 years of forming the band. The material was written in our homes when ROSK was only an idea, not a formal band. Once we gathered the whole band and started rehearsing the material some things started to change, some ideas started to appear. You could clearly see the difference between those tracks on our DEMO and on MIASMA. The fourth track is the one created fully by us 6 jamming in the darkness in our rehearsal room and so far it was the best creative experience. We pay a great attention to the atmosphere in which we rehearse, to the emotions it generates and to the trance we get into while jamming. It is a form of a creative activity as well as a group therapy.
It was just a word that came to the mind of our guitarist, a word without any particular meaning. That was always the struggle. To have a band name, which will have a meaning and will describe the band. We decided that we want the music to speak for itself and to give the meaning to the name, not like most bands do.
Concept-wise, what triggered the songwriting for “Miasma”? What are your feelings on the nature of the final result of your work?
Bubonic fever was our grand interest for the concept of the album on the one hand, on the other we did not want to direct people too much, leaving them to their own interpretations. For sure we can say that we wanted to take people on some kind of a journey. The album was recorded in quite a short period of time (3 days of recording drums, guitars, bass and synths in Nebula Studio and 1 day for vocals and other instruments in our rehearsal room). We were quite unsure what the final outcome would sound like, but Haldor Grunberg of Satanic Audio did a great job mixing and mastering the album. The final result was more than satisfying.
Are there plans to transform this wotk into a live experience? How do you go about touring?
In fact we are doing this right from the beginning. We treat the album as one track, one consistent journey and experience, that is how it came to be on our rehearsals and hence that’s how we perform live as well. We care about the atmosphere a lot, so we decided to add visuals to provide an environment, a background to the performance. In the case of touring we are in the middle of confirming several gigs this year, we definitely want to present the material in the form of live shows to wide audiences and discover what emotions our music will bring to those people.
How about your local scene? How do you feel the Warsaw post rock / experimental metal has evolved over the years and who were the protagonists?
People like to experiment with different styles and have different influences. From our end we have a lot of support from the bands that already settled their position in the underground scene. Because of those two things we can definitely say that the local scene is in constant development and it has not reached its final form. Which is great of course! In regards to the protagonists, those important figures in the scene, who made it evolve we see it as more private / subjective matter. As we noticed, people have different influences and some people see one band as a precursor of the genre/scene, some do not.
Now that your new record I sout, is there a sense of achievement in the band? What do you hope to achieve next with ROSK?
People seem to understand the whole concept and it affects them on some level – this is really an achievement for us. What we plan next is to perform live, try to reach more people and of course do more music.