ZAWODY by Piątsaesencja
Interviews

Polish Punk / Hardcore artists comment on 2020, the pandemic era, best new music to dive into

ZAWODY by Piątsaesencja, fb.com/piataesencja
There’s no doubt that for many people around the world, the year 2020 has been the worst year of their lives. The pandemic enforced a kind of communal isolation, framing a cascade of public and personal struggles and injustices, laced with loneliness and fear about the future. But thankfully, through the loss and sadness, the one thing we have all been gravitating toward is hope, stories of inspiration, good news reports, or art, which has always been a therapeutic form of self-expression, a method of giving voice to the alienated and voiceless, mostly due to its power to instantly conjure an emotional response.

With the global pandemic havig impacted the creative the cultural and arts scene, opportunities for musicians to play live and connect to their local music communities have drastically diminished. As bands scramble to figure out what to do next, many have stayed active, recorded new music, started livestreaming gigs on social media, and looked for other ways to support independent music.

We remain eager to hear from more artists from various local music communties about their activity, concerns, as well as creative solutions for how to cope in these extraordinary times.

Our today’s focus is modern independent Polish Punk & Hardcore, a scene and community carrying the torch of the older generations of and rich punk traditions dating back to the revolutionary “independent culture” days in the 80s. Today, we’re giving a nod to our roots with a special presentation of various punk rock, hardcore and metal influenced bands who, despite being in isolation, remained active and released new music in 2020.

Joining us today for a special multi-artist interview are 28 bands (!) from all over the spectrum of punk influenced music, covering genres like metalcore, alt indie punk, emo punk, youth crew hardcore, grindcore, ska punk, pop punk and more! To coincide with our mega-feature, we have launched a special Spotify Playlist with new tracks from some of our guest bands active on the platform, and asked them to give us their thoughts on 2020, their take on the big shift in live music, perspectives for post-pandemic era, updates on their projects, and fed our hungry souls with their best releases of the year.

Spotify Playlist - Polish Punk 2020

Featured punk & hardcore related artists with new releases in 2020:

Scroll down to see all 6 chapters of our mega interview / PRO-TIP: since this lengthy feature requires a lot of scrolling, feel free to use CTRL+F to quick find names of bands and navigate through their following answers.

– vicious metallic hardcore pack EMBITTER (Warsaw) – new album “1134” out August 14th via The Coming Strife Records,
– garage alt math post hardcore rockers GUIDING LIGHTS (Warsaw) – new album “Cold Reading” out November 27th via Fonoradar Records,
– melodic oi punk rockers PLEASURE TRAP (Warsaw) – “Walls” LP out October 10th via Oldschool Records,
– melodic hardcore punk rockers WIELKI LAS (Rzeszów) – “List Motywacyjny” LP our October 25th via Pasażer Zine & Records,
– crusty, d-beat infused death / black metal trio CZERNINA (Szczecin) – “Hymns of Pestilence” LP out November 7th,
– hardcore band THE DOG (Wrocław) – “Avenge Us” EP out February 24th via Arcadian Industry,
– emotive, moody indie punk rockers VERMONA KIDS (Wołów, Ostrzeszów, Rybnik) – “RSVP” out Novemebr 27th
– alt indie rockers SYNDROM PARYSKI (Poznań) – “Karczewko Sessions” and “Letnie Noce” single out July 3rd and April 15th via Peleton Records,
– groovy hardcore pack EASY (Warsaw) – “First Six Tracks” MC out October 5th via Youth 2 Youth Records,
– noisy post hardcore emo punks ZAWODY (Bąki / Bielsko-Biała) – “chcemy gotować freegańskie posiłki na dachach płonących radiowozów” LP out November 5th via Peleton Records and Youth 2 Youth Records,
– raging metalcore / metallic hardcore band LAST PENANCE (Warsaw) – “Last Penance” LP out September 21st,
– powerful hardcore punks MOIRA (Bielsko-Biała) – “Ona” and “Jestem” singles out April 14th and June 1st,
– mosh friendly hardcore gangsters SIX STEPS FORWARD (Żywiec, Silesia) – “Survival of the Worst” Schizma cover out October 17th via Hardcore Tattoo Records, “Bomb The World” EP out in December via Hardcore Tatoo Records
– hardcore punks NIC ŚMIESZNEGO (Dębica) – “nihil ridiculum” LP out May 31st,
– melodic skate pop punk rockers CF98 (Cracow) – “Dead Inside” EP and “Dead Inside + Rotten To The Core” double EP out May 15th,
– noisy alt post hardcore punks ZESPÓŁ SZTYLETY (Gdańsk) – “Zostaw po sobie dobre wrażenie” LP out on June via Koty Records,
– grungy emo alt punk rockers DAYSDAYSDAYS (Warsaw) – “podium nie ma” EP out January 9th,
– gritty emo pop punk rockers CLIFF JUMPS (Cracow) – “demo” release out February 11th via Sorry Hombre Records,
– crusty dark hardcore band NUKK (Wrocław) – “The Four of Us Are Dying” out December 6th,
– youth crew hardcore punks CARE (Częstochowa) – “DEMO 2020” out October 17th via Youth 2 Youth Records,
– explosive metalcore powerhouse VIOLENT ANSWER (Poznań) – “Violent Answer” EP out October 23rd,
– violent grinders noisemakers LWSTNDRDS (Zabrze) – “Succumb​/​Annihilate” out November 9th,
– folk punk rockers HAŃBA! (Cracow) – “Nikt nam nie zrobił nic, czyli opowieść o tym, jak Polska w roku 1940 wespół z Anglią i Francją rozgromiła Rzeszę Niemiecką i stała się hegemonem Europy Środkowej” out September 1st,
– high energy melodic hardcore band LIE AFTER LIE (Wrocław) – “Pętla” single out November 21st,
– noisy, sludgy, powerviolent grinder duo DULE TREE (Gdańsk) – “Owl’s Eye” out November 20th,
– thrash metallers SANITY CONTROL (Warsaw) – “War on Life” out August 7th,
– oi street punk rockers MAXCADY (Lublin) – “Miasto” LP out April 26th,
– garage punk’n’rollers MORON’S MORONS (Warsaw) – “Looking For Danger” LP out March 20th via Slovenly Recordings,
– hardcore punk / punk rock label Hardcore Tattoo Records (Cracow) – Schizma is a state of fucking mind” – tribute compilation to legendary hardcore band SCHIZMA (Bydgoszcz), out October 2020,

Other Polish punk & hardcore (and some metal) related artists with new releases in 2020, some included in our Spotify Playlist, but not featured in the interview below:

– veteran crust punk band INFEKCJA (Wrocław) – “Sanctus Propaganda Sessions Vol. 1” live album out December 10th via Sanctus Propaganda,
– modern post punk act WILLA KOSMOS (Poznań) – “Wszystko będzie dobrze” LP out May 29th via Koty Records,
– dark, atmospheric post metallers KATHAA (Rzeszów) – “Symbiosis. Hollow. Embrace.” LP out Junw 25th via Sanctus Propaganda,
– sludgy dark hardcore pack THE THRONE (Szczecin) & crusty hardcore / post metal hybrid ORPHANAGE NAMED EARTH –  Split Release out March 1st via Sanctus Propaganda (plus new follow up two track single with guest vocals by Gosia from Mind Pollution, Next Victim, Sagarmatha, Dyym, Sorrow.)
– hardcore techno duo WOLFHEAD59 (London) – “We are not OK” EP out July 3rd via Sanctus Propaganda,
– metallized hardcore quartet SEROTONIN ZERO (Warsaw) – “Promo 2020” single out September 5th,
– melodic, high-octane hardcore punks DYYM (Poznań) – “2020debut LP out September 22nd,
– grungy alt post hardcore rockers LOVE GLOVE (Wrocław) – “Bummer” EP out June 18th and “Summer Hits Hard Vol. 1” remix compilation out August 31st,
– metal/hardcore band FROM TODAY (Warsaw) – “From Today” LP out in January 2020,
– melodic, emotive hardcore punk rockers LONG WAY TO GO – “Sesja Po Omacku” EP out June 11th,
– progressive metalcore act LAST OF THE CROWN (Katowice) – “Arbitrary” EP out October 20th,
– electronic infused deathcore / metalcore act DOWN TO THE HEAVEN (Bielsko-Biała) – “Dissociation” single out February 9th,
– youth crew hardcore punks PROTEIN (Częstochowa) – “The Things Promo” MC out January 23rd via Youth 2 Youth Records, and “The things I cannot hide” EP out April 3rd via Refuse Records,
– straight edge hardcore legends CYMEON X (Poznań) – “Rock na Bagnie 2015 Live” out in September 2020 via Black Wednesday Records,
– gritty, raw hardcore punks JAD (Warsaw) – “Wstręt” EP out March 11th,
– high-octane hardcore pack BRAVE GRAVE (Wrocław) – “Justice” single out May 21st,
– intense melodic metalcore band ACROSS THE VOID (Poznań) – “Perfect World” single out January 31st,
– melodic hardcore punk rockers THIS NOISE (Wrocław) – “Melodie Chaosu” LP out March 23rd via Lou & Rocked Boys,
– d-beat fast hardcore punks SKÄM (Szczecin) – “Gówno Widać” EP out August 12th via Hasiok Records,
– cold wave / new wave post punks HÄNDE (Warsaw) – “Uwaga Szkło” LP out January 17th via Bat-Cave Productions, Hasiok Records, D.I.Y Koło Records, Atman Records, Black Wednesday Records,
– art punk performers SIKSA (Gniezno) – “Zemsta na wroga” out September 4th and “Proste Hasło” single out September 6th,
– legendary Polish crust hardcore punks HOMOMILITIA – “Homomilitia” LP out March 20th via NNNW from Nowy Targ and Sanctus Propaganda
Schizma is a state of fucking mind” – tribute compilation to legendary hardcore band SCHIZMA (Bydgoszcz), on Hardcore Tattoo Records, out October 2020,
– punk rock veterans BULBULATORS (Silesia) – “Homo Polonicus” LP out November 20th via Pasażer zine and Records,
– d-beat crusty death metallers ZATRATA (Wrocław) – “Zatrata” LP out June 24th via NIC Records and DIY Koło Records,
– experimental post punk infused kraut noise rockers TITANIC SEA MOON (Słupsk) – “Exit No. 2020” LP out September 18th,
– death metallic hardcore beast BLOODSTAINED – “Downfall Magnificat” LP out November 14th.


Chapter #1: Reflections on the year 2020, thoughts on the turbulent year, the pandemic and its impact on modern society:

EMBITTER: Global wise, we are fucked. Economy is barely alive; people are getting more and more frustrated and tired. People have been losing jobs, if possible, work from homes but some of them of course because of the work they do – can’t. Now, the polish government has just passed a bill through the court to ban almost all abortion. People are on streets protesting the state and church. And on the top of that Sean Connery passed away.

GUIDING LIGHTS: A short answer would be a quote from the booklet of Sonic Youth’s “Goo” album – “I would give my soul to be where I was a year ago”.

On a global level, we would say things went from bad to worse – there is even more economic inequality, more right wing violence, more of oppressive and indolent government trying to introduce church state. It’s interesting to reply to this question after coming back from another protest agains almost complete ban of abortion in Poland. With that in mind – we’d rather not even try to recap 2020 before it ends, but may try to share some reflections on what we are experiencing.

𝑊𝑒’𝑟𝑒 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑠𝑢𝑟𝑝𝑟𝑖𝑠𝑒𝑑 𝑏𝑦 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑚𝑖𝑐, 𝑎𝑠 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑑 𝑎 𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑡𝑙𝑒 𝑎𝑏𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑠𝑒𝑞𝑢𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑒𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑒𝑛𝑣𝑖𝑟𝑜𝑛𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑑𝑒𝑣𝑎𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑙𝑜𝑖𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛, 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑠𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡𝑜 𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑒𝑐𝑡.

We only wish it didn’t come so soon. So here we are in the middle of Roland Emmerich movie, except it is not and people don’t want to unite miraculously so let’s hope for a happy ending. So far 2020 is revealing the worst of us, science and reason is losing against conspiracies. We’ve gotten used to a comfy, care-free life of consuming and this world is just going through a shake up. We’re hoping to see a better, post-capitalistic future. It is scary that the isolation deepens some of the serious problems of the modern world: mental health issues, social media addiction and social polarization.

One of the very few positive sides of pandemics is that it exposed how ridiculous our life was. No one needs to travel by plane 15 times a year and buy every stuff transported from thousands of kilometers away. Global shocks like pandemics bring opportunities to rethink and modify many things. However, we remain sceptical that humanity is going to change for good in a longer perspective.

PLEASURE TRAP: It’s been a crazy year indeed. But to be honest it’s a little hard to judge or even determine some general afterthoughts regarding the pandemic. Notice it’s not over yet. But there were many mechanisms (that should have been) commonly known that were recently only like highlighted. I mean on how to control the society and what are the main concerns of the people in power. In Poland it’s unbelievable how our ruling party is handling the situation. But at least, more and more people are waking up and noticing the problem. We’ll see what happens next. One, a little bit conspratorial comment, sorry, is that: take a look at how the lockdown situation is by the way used to choke the underground DIY scene, which has always been a breeding ground for ideas and movements against the system.

WIELKI LAS: Pandemic is bad thing, it’s obvious. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Banksters and millionaires always will be fine. Our government is everything doing wrong. They are stealing money and fighting against people, not against virus. But in the whole world people see, that something must be changed, because status quo is bad.

CZERNINA: 2020’s totally fucked (suprise!). Due to the virus, all our gigs planned for the whole year were canceled: Tricity, Poznań, Warsaw, Kraków, Łódź, some significant shows in our home city – Szczecin. We were supposed to travel with a quite close musicians and their even more amazing bands, so it took a long time to overthink and accept the current world situation. Sorry, but there will be no comforting words from us regarding the covid situation in the world, the truth is that the live shows industry has hit rock bottom, depriving an unimaginable amount of people of a permanent learned job, or has led to the bankruptcy of businesses / venues that mainly live off organizing events / concerts. We’re so grateful that we had and still have a permanent day job before starting all of this, I don’t even want to think about what mental state we would be in now if our professions were closely related to the cultural sphere, forbidden by the necessary medical requirements for this moment. Apart from the music industry, further observations about the present times are also not very promising in our eyes, especially when we’re talking about living in a country like Poland. We’re not a politicized band, in any case, but if anyone is interested in what we are talking about, just read the news about what is happening (but not from TVP, please). In short, the current situation is exploited under every possible circumstance by filthy, fat pigs, that prey on the harm done to poor, innocent people. Man, fuck this shitty reality! If all of this is going in only one direction, then I guess that we would have liked the evolution of this virus to wipe out the entire human race and simply allow the globe to function naturally, then it would be fair enough I think.

THE DOG: At first – when COVID-19 appeared in Europe – there was an explosion of positive and solidarity actions. You could really feel like “we’re in this together, bro”. Now when we are about to enter the second wave of pandemic I get the impression that – guess, what – we’ve failed. The society was primarily divided in 2 groups – the ones who can isolate themselves, work from home and just stay safe for the next couple of months and the ones who had to expose themselves on disease in order to earn money for living. I was so disgusted with reading all these hint-articles on, for example, “How to avoid argues with your husband while staying home”. I mean – the majority of the society have to deal with the not-dying-issue for the fuck’s sake!

𝑂𝑛𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑣𝑖𝑟𝑢𝑠 ℎ𝑎𝑠 𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑤𝑛 𝑢𝑠 𝑖𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑤𝑒, 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑖𝑡 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑠𝑢𝑟𝑣𝑖𝑣𝑎𝑙, 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑑𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑒𝑔𝑜𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑐 𝑣𝑜𝑖𝑑 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑖𝑡’𝑠 𝑎𝑙𝑤𝑎𝑦𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑎𝑚𝑒.

War, disease, cataclysm… Just pick one. Poland is no longer a nation. After the recent events, when abortion ban was being pushed a level up just to cover the indolence of the goverment with dealing with the pandemic, I have only the worst scenario thoughts in my head. 

VERMONA KIDS: Bartek: Just wishing for the “ZOZO year” to be over with. Mostly outraged, overwhelmed. But not giving up. Though I don’t think I’ve ever seen the society as divided as it is right now.

SYNDROM PARYSKI: The current year is certainly very strange and lonely. Social distancing made us truly appreciate simple human interactions such as having a beer with friends or going to a gig. We also find 2020 to be a very frustrating year, mostly because of peeps who deny that coronavirus is a serious threat, but we’re also seriously concerned with the actions of our government that is using the pandemic to push their far-right agenda, whilst turning a blind eye to the police and nationalist groups using violence against protesters.

SYNDROM PARYSKI by Piątaesencja, https://www.facebook.com/piataesencja

SYNDROM PARYSKI by Piątaesencja

EASY: Weird – that’s the first word that comes to my mind when thinking about 2020. Weird and very different. Apart from the tragic aspects of this whole pandemic considering so many casualties which is awful and very sad this is indeed a very interesting social process to observe and me a part of at the same time. I remember the beginning of March when literally day by day the streets and world at least from our perspective seemed to change rapidly. One day all is normal and suddenly two weeks later I’m cycling to work and although it’s the middle of the week and I’m right in the centre of Warsaw the streets are almost empty. It’s been frightening at first, but after a while I guess we all sort of got used to this weird new reality. Well – maybe not new, but surely slightly different. I (Robert) tend to have optimistic thoughts and hope for better, so I’d like to think that many people have used these times locked at home to think on what’s important. Many people had have their lives turned upside down, changed in some way and were often forced to slow down a little. I would like to imagine that some part of society had the time to kind of step back from their everyday pre-covid routine’s and just take a breath, think things through and hopefully make something good out of all this. I would love to believe that the 1% way up there have had a thought or two and maybe changed their priorities as well, but I guess I’m not that naive…

But what’s been a beautiful picture to observe more than ever was (and still is) people just simply helping out each other with no expectations have receiving anything back whatsoever and realizing that putting a smile on a strangers face and hearing “thank you” is sometimes one of the best feelings you can imagine. It sounds obvious and of course it’s not like this hasn’t been a thing before, but especially now when the internet is coming in handy more than ever we can see how many people are eager to help some random stranger on the other side of town with some little issue. This has truly been heartwarming. I feel really sorry for all those who have lost their jobs or their businesses, but apart from those shitty issues I try to see some positivities in this whole shit storm called 2020. I only hope I’m not that stupid.

ZAWODY: Spluwa: Fuck covid and fuck the governments. Especially the governments, because covid at least let our planet breathe a bit as it made the capitalistic economy slow down. This year, the governments fight us so hard that it hurts. It also hurts to see how they use the pandemic to excuse fighting us.

ZAWODY live

ZAWODY live

Kaczka: The political situation has become so extreme that there’s no room left to be a centrist or to pretend that it doesn’t affect us. We can see it on the streets, on the internet and in the culture. As a person who wants the world to change, I am partly glad to see it, but I’m also terrified of the extent of the violence and the vision that everything may change for the worse: “the other side” no longer needs to hide their intentions. Every day brings at least one thing that seemed to be completely ridiculous. That’s how it is with Poland – it has never been good there and I’m afraid that it may not get better.

LAST PENANCE: I believe that 2020 is a reality check for the world so far. It has constantly showed the shortcomings of world leaders, a lack of long-term planning of politicians and true colors of most people. It had its ups and downs, and forced many people to face themselves, making it really hard to keep avoiding solitude. It has forced the world to stop, in a brutal way. I believe that the pandemic, the lock down and the post pandemic economical depression will have an impact on many years ahead. Long story short, fuck 2020.

MOIRA: Paradoxically, it was not the worst year for us. Despite the fact that times are not even moderately favorable for DIY bands, we’ve managed to record an album and finalize all the issues related to its release. Some of us also had time for side projects (Paula: Brudne Czyny, End Forest; Tomek: zawody, Skorb). It is known that in terms of performance itself, the times of the pandemic are far from optimal, but such a moment to take a breath is useful in life.

However, when it comes to more general considerations, the whole situation related to COVID-19 has certainly shown us how fragile our entire civilization turned out to be when faced with a global challenge like Covid. We are in the 21st century and despite the fact that the technique is so well developed, the whole world has been stopped by a virus that no one is able to eliminate 100% at the moment. The collapse of the health service, the economic crisis, absurd restrictions, often issued in an ill-considered manner and harmful to various industries, and the flawed education system are only some of the consequences of this disaster.

MOIRA live

MOIRA live

In Poland, the ‘fire’ was additionally fueled by the fact that in a situation when the pandemic started to accelerate again, and the government began to introduce newer and newer restrictions, created during ‘tea time’, the changes tightening up one of already most restricted abortion laws, were pushed through the back door. The Polish government once again showed its already ugly face. A face full of hypocrisy and nationalistic shit. However, we hope that this is the beginning of the end of the rule of PIS and other such peculiarities.

SIX STEPS FORWARD: We can’t sum it up because 2020 ain’t finished yet. We would say, 2020 mauled us pretty hard… First, our long time friend and former guitarist Krzysztof Polak passed away tragically, then the pandemic situation over the Poland, months of isolation and now – violation of human rights. It’s tough but we press on, to not lose mind completely.

We are going to release our EP in December, but we had to cancel our release party in Cracow that day, due to covid restrictions. Anyway, we don’t want to get off the radar. We still meet for the rehearsal focusing on new tracks. By the mid of 2021 we would like to get back to the Sound Stone studio with LP this time. We don’t lose hope for the shows to come, so we keep eagerly observing the scene movements, to get ourselves into the line up. Still, 2020 is “ideal” for writing songs especially in the underground due to the current socio-political situation. Polish government oppression, pandemic, restriction, great assault on women rights are definitely the subjects to write about. We want to speak about it out loud.

Regarding shows, we would like to restart the shows season with two top prio shows:  our release party with previously announced line up – Good Lookin’ Out, Last Penance, Burning Sky – Cracow – together with Hardcore Tattoo Records; Last Penance release party – where we would share the stage with Pale Path and of course Last Penance – Warsaw.

You are going to hear about us once the restrictions will release a little tension, that’s for sure.

NIC ŚMIESZNEGO: Undeniably, this whole situation is in someone’s benefit. There is no denying something is there, but no matter how we name it: COVID-19, flu or some other shit, panic made by it is far more lethal. We have to deal with global hysteria consuming society from the inside. The “Pandemic” has become yet another leash for humanity. The Government are restraining people without making their hands dirty. It’s the exact thing C.S. Lewis wrote about in “The Screwtape Letters”.

𝑇ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑖𝑠 𝑛𝑜 𝑛𝑒𝑒𝑑 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑎 𝑣𝑖𝑟𝑢𝑠, 𝑤𝑒 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑘𝑖𝑙𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑒𝑎𝑐ℎ 𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑏𝑦 𝑏𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑣𝑢𝑙𝑛𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑏𝑙𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑎𝑛𝑖𝑐 𝑎𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑑 𝑢𝑠.

CF98: I believe the attitude towards this year was changing throughout all 2020. It started with frustration of cancelled shows and fests, travelling abroad, insecurities in private life, insecurities regarding our jobs. Me and Mateusz have jobs strictly connected with working directly with people (trainings + barbering), we couldn’t do it all as home office. In the middle of the year I was trying not to think about it that much as it was pulling me down – I covered it all with sports, friends, activities, alcohol, working, kayaking, sailing. We still had rehearsals, we played 8 shows total in 2020 which is basically fantastic as for 2020, but mostly I was pretending that it’s all quite ok. Now, when the year is nearly over, I know that this year was the biggest lesson I had for quite a long time. It was a wake up call regarding our environment, our shallow life, it forced us to focus more on what’s closer to us, appreciate friends and family more, set new priorities. 

ZESPÓŁ SZTYLETY: First of all, hello – I’m Marcin (guitars) and I will be responsible for this interview.

Our lovely government is completely unable to cope with the situation and so many people unnecessarily lose their means, health and life. Due to this fact a lot of people are totally absorbed by the stress. This situation affects the growth of the celebrity-foil heads with their social media meltdowns.

Zespół Sztylety by Bartosz Macikowski

Zespół Sztylety by Bartosz Macikowski

We understand that a man locked up in a dull room with himself is simply going insane, looking for an explanation, it’s a very sad thing, but I very much hope that soon it will be over.

DAYSDAYSDAYS: Indeed it’s a crazy year. Staying home for such a long time was pretty tough and we had to figure this out and reorganize our lives. The hardest part of the covid lockdown was the inability to do our usual stuff. Things we used to do, like hanging out together or work. But seeing our friends losing their jobs and then struggling to find something new also hit us hard. Many places are now closed or went bankrupt, especially music venues, which also affected me personally (Jacek), as I’ve been working in one of the Warsaw clubs for many years.

CLIFF JUMPS: We feel like we’ve wasted 2020 even that we were able to finalize some small projects. Neverthless, those who were lucky not to get sick or got sick but passed it mildly will be hit in the end by financial crisis, mental breakdown or other sickness as access to the public health care is very limited due to covid. This year was really fucked up and it was succesful only for assholes like Bezos.

NUKK: J: 2020. It was hell of a year, with a lot of unexpected turn arounds. All of us needed to adjust to the situation and continue doing ‘my thing’ to not get crazy, with all of this uncertainty, we need to try to keep calm. Some of us lose jobs, some need to change their path I guess it affected everyone one way or another. That is what it is, it delayed releasing our stuff as well, and certainly it will be much harder to promote it these days.

P: First thing that comes to my mind when I think about this past year is the video for the song by Avalanches “Frontier Psychiatrist”.

CARE: Kuba: In this challenging time, I try to focus on happily doing what I did before. It is what it is and there is nothing to get caught up with negative emotions. Everyone is pissed off by something in this new situation, but let’s also see the positive sides. The world has slowed down for a moment, people have time for reflection, they went more to nature, they had time for their family. We’ll see what happens next.

VIOLENT ANSWER: 2020 was and still is a crazy year for us. Actually if it comes to a writing process, current situation didn’t affect us that much. I can probably even say it kinda’ motivated us to write and record our material, but if we’ll think about the promotional aspect of being a musician it basically just sucks. If we’ll look at the global side of the problem of course it’s really unsettling to see physical manifestation of the disease, but many people forget how actual pandemics affects us on the psychological level and we’d like to remind everyone to also take care about their mental state and don’t underestimate the negative impact of pandemics on it.

VIOLENT ANSWER by Stanisław Mikołajczak

VIOLENT ANSWER by Stanisław Mikołajczak

LWSTNDRDS: We won’t say anything new in this matter – the situation we all have to face in this ridiculous year is pretty challenging on so many levels. Many of people lost their fucking jobs and sources of income and they were (and still are) forced to do everything just to endure this whole mess. We don’t want to complain about everything, but as we can see, it’s just a perfect situation for different kinds od scumbags trying to use pandemic insecurity and fear for their own purposes. Fuck them, we salute struggle of our common people. Of course, beside that, we see many examples of unconditional empathy, care and love. People can unite and support each other in so many fucked up situations and that’s really awesome.

HAŃBA: Year 2020 must have happened. We – the humanity – do a lot to destroy the Earth and I am afraid that nothing gonna change in the closest future. Such an attitude is strongly connected with Hańba’s music – we sing about all these shitty things from 30’s and 40’s that rised again. Racism, greed, homo- and xenophobia – they have always been here and now is the time to stand against them.

HAŃBA by xrobakx

HAŃBA by xrobakx

LIE AFTER LIE: Undoubtedly, this year 2020 was very difficult not only from the musical perspective. The human being is by nature a social creature, the pandemic has locked us in our homes and limited human contact to phones or the internet. Many people have lost their jobs, many organizations and companies have collapsed or are on the verge of bankruptcy. This is a very sad and depressing time. But we are very happy with initiatives that show that it is possible to fight for your own and people’s approach to these initiatives. I mean all organized fundraisers or benefit events that were aimed at supporting those most in need. It turned out that despite these difficult times, we can still solidify and be good people.

DULE TREE: Scary. This word will be the best to describe this year because every time I will mention this I will be scared of years like this one to come in the future(or even worse). Of course there was a lot of beautiful things and people that happened this year that I’m gonna be grateful for rest of my life, but 2020 was definitely a try of personality. I hope it will learn us something good.

Sanity Control

Sanity Control

SANITY CONTROL: This year was crazy indeed. Covid19 situation has turned everything upside down. The whole isolation idea that all of us had to face at some point turned out to be so difficult in so many different ways. People started losing jobs, others started losing their mind because of not going out…It was difficult for everyone and everywhere. The world crisis is getting more serious and the worst is yet to come. We’ll have to find a way to deal with it. I don’t trust politicians and governments who seem to be so lost now (especially in Poland). They are trying to make things work making some random and illogical decisions which make things even worse in the end. Many things have changed irreversibly. I’m afraid that because of this we’ll never get back to being as close as we used to be, this distancing might become a new standard…

MAXCADY: The year started awesome when it comes to music. We played a some pretty good gigs in different places around the world. We tought we were going to continue on this path and we wanted to tie the tour with the premiere of our CD that had been in recording for about 10 years with the band members changing throughout that time. But as always every fucking thing is in the way. We were about to go on a tour. We were going to promote the album, release some other gadgets, fucking army men or toy cars and such.

And about our music? Maybe it’s for the worst now since there are no live shows. We never played that many shows but this year we got inspired and something had to fuck it up. So that’s not too good but it’s only going to be better since we are still young.

And for the pandemic… It’s not too good. There are already tens of consipracy theories out there. Maybe some are closer to the truth then the others. Everyone has his own opinion. Some of our friends had Covid, time passed and they survived. It’s not easy on the mind since there is only so much we can do.

MORON’S MORONS: The pandemic has taken away the flavour of our everyday lifes. We still have to show up at work but without the gigs to compensate for this ungodly effort we are forced to annoy our neighbours instead, which for now is the only mean of self-entertainment.

Hardcore Tattoo Records: Katarzyna Ponikowska: The pandemic and the year 2020 not only stopped the development of the country, society and many industries, but even reversed them, not only in music (art and publishing) and tattooing, in which we operate, but also all other – tourism, catering, trade, etc. Not only our country approached this pandemic badly. Instead of shutting down and stopping the whole world, they should mainly focus on protecting those people at risk – elderly and sick. Most people go through the coronavirus very mildly or asymptomatically. The total lockdown and prohibition of activity in individual sectors caused the world to move backwards. We see it in ourselves. Even though we exist like a tattoo studio for 8 years, and as a hardcore / punk label for 3 years, we suddenly feel like we are restarting our business. We finance the releasing CDs and vinyls mainly with the money our tattoo studios earn. Less clients in the studios means less money, among others for our releases. That’s why we released fewer records. It is very sad.


Chapter #2: Your assessment of the impact of the pandemic restrictions on your local music scene and community? From the perspective of a DIY independent artist, how serious are the losses?

EMBITTER: Being a DIY band, I don’t think we have lost a lot but for some touring and probably we could have sold more records or merch to cover some band’s expenses. It’s frustrating, we are unable to play shows as we feel we made a decent record and have received a lot of positive feedback. I guess hardcore venues are now more vulnerable to the changes going forward and they suffer a lot because they are not able to organize any events which could help them to cover some basic expenses.

Knives Out Records x Sheer Terror x Dave Decat

Embitter

I wouldn’t like to wake up in a couple of months when this madness is over or at least under control to see that these places are gone. We, as a band, gonna make it for sure and we will be back but please keep an eye on these places and support.

GUIDING LIGHTS: To say that the “independent scene” was in a great shape prior to the pandemic would be an exaggeration, but obviously things did not improve. Just like all other bands, we had to cancel all our live gig plans and we think it’s completely justified – safety of whoever would come to the shows and our safety should always come first. For us personally it did not go as bad as for musicians who make a living of music – they were the ones who were hit the hardest. The three of us have full-time day jobs, so the fact that we were not able to tour did not take any significant part of our income.

Guiding Lights band

Still, the indie scene gets beaten up a lot – there was never much money in there, no one actually has savings or resources that would help them survive the lockdown. We feel that in Poland the whole scene was already slowly shrinking for the past 2 years and the lockdown sort of sealed the deal. The worst about the whole situation is that the main ways to promote your music are the ones most suffering now – some of the gig spots shut down, our publisher, Instant Classic, went on infinite hiatus. Not to mention that doing any gigs is not an option for indefinite time. We will probably lose some important/cult places, events or publishers. But people will always be there. We think the indie scene has been the cockroach of culture – no one really cares about us, but we are the ones who can resist and survive.

𝐴𝑛𝑑 𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑑𝑖𝑓𝑓𝑖𝑐𝑢𝑙𝑡 𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒𝑠 𝑢𝑠𝑢𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑢𝑙𝑡 𝑖𝑛 𝑠𝑜𝑚𝑒 𝑔𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡 𝑚𝑢𝑠𝑖𝑐, 𝑤𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑘 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑖𝑠 𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑎 𝑙𝑜𝑡 𝑜𝑓 ℎ𝑜𝑝𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐷𝐼𝑌 𝑠𝑐𝑒𝑛𝑒.

And yet, some great things have happened in recent years in Warsaw independent scene. As always there are tons of great bands, but what is especially interesting is that more people have found courage and resources to start their own independent venues, which oftentimes utilize a co-op formula. One of the best examples are: Poglos – the best indie music club, or Lokal/Fala/Lokal de la krem – the local chain of vegan bars/cafes – to name only a few. Obviously the current pandemic situation and subsequent lockdowns threaten their existence, so it is now more important than ever to support & protect such places.

PLEASURE TRAP: The coronavirus and related lockdown impact is hugely destructive in my opinion. From the DIY band’s perspective we haven’t been hit that hard though. I mean we don’t do it for the living, so the worst that happened for us is the situation we couldn’t really play much live, which we love. But I think that the music industry, and I mean both the professional artists and stages, pubs and venues, might end up, if not already have, with an enormous money problem in general.

WIELKI LAS: DIY bands will be OK. This is passion, not work. But for sound engineers and music clubs, this is Armageddon. We yearn for gigs, but they will be back at last. It’s much more worse situation with venues to play. They may don’t open any more.

CZERNINA: The first factor is the closure of all venues enabling the organization of the events, it seems to me that this is a main issue that completely blocked the remnant of creative people who still showed the will and passion to keep ‘live music’ alive. If there is no audience, there is no artist, simple.

THE DOG: The DIY bands are out of reach of the pandemic because they don’t make money anyway. Big bands have to deal with it. I’ve just read that guys from Mastodon are on unemployment benefit and it’s totally understandable. Clubs suffer the greatest losses and for sure some places will not get by until the whole situation is over. We can’t play shows but we still can make music.

𝐿𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑤𝑠 𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑜𝑤𝑒𝑑 𝑝𝑒𝑜𝑝𝑙𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑑𝑖𝑓𝑓𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑝𝑜𝑠𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑒𝑚𝑒𝑟𝑔𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑤 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑑𝑒𝑠𝑝𝑖𝑡𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑑𝑖𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑒 𝑠𝑜𝑐𝑖𝑎𝑙 𝑔𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑝𝑠 𝑤𝑒 𝑎𝑙𝑙 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑎 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑚𝑜𝑛 𝑝𝑎𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛.

It allowed us to count the number of people in one place with our eyesight and show that this type of music is still alive in our hearts. Maybe some people look different on the streets on a daily basis, or they are spread all over the city and you can’t really see how many of them are, but once you got there, it gave you a kind of satisfying belonging feeling and that you’re not alone with all that shit, that there are people in the same town nearby who listen to your favorite bands as well and that they experience this music as much as you do. DIY bands struggle with similar problems as Worldwide Entertainers. The largest amount of merchandise always sells during your concert, regardless of whether you released the record / printed T-shirts yourself or the label did it.

VERMONA KIDS by Bartek Klimek

VERMONA KIDS by Bartek Klimek

VERMONA KIDS: Bartek: We’ve had a few shows cancelled so far, and I guess that’s not as tough as people losing their jobs, venues going out of business etc., so I’m pretty lucky to still have some steady income. I’m no expert, but it’s sad, it might be hard to start over. Trying not to overthink any of that too much, hoping for the best as far as being united works for our scene, gotta help each other out when the time comes!

SYNDROM PARYSKI: For sure, the lack of gigs took its toll on the scene – we miss the energy that the crowd gave us on stage, and also the merch table income, but overall, the diy scene took the blow pretty well compared to bigger artists who relied solely on gigs to make a living.

EASY: For me, the “musical scene” which I feel a part of is a scene of people first – the music is of course something which makes us meet at shows etc., but with no doubt this place wouldn’t be as appealing to me without the whole feeling of togetherness, unity, friendship and support I have felt throughout the years. Meeting with these people, going or in our case playing shows as well is a huge, if not the main reason why we do what we do. With that said, yes – not being able to do that for the past months has drilled a very large in our DIY/hardcore/punk/alternative scene. Of course bands are still creating, albums are being put out, a few zines have been done so there still some buzz and this is all too strong to dissappear, but I guess it’s safe to say that things have slowed down or even went into hibernation for some time – hopefully this all ends asap. Unfortunately financial losses is a whole other matter I guess. All in Easy are in the safe spot have still having our stable jobs, but many of our close friends are struggling as we speak – promoters, people who ride bands on tour.. the list probably goes on for longer that I would know of. The least we can do is support them, by their merch and do whatever to help them get through these really tough times. I’m no expert, but as far as I know the cultural industry in Poland at least is probably the one who is getting the most hits. It’s the one which has been shut down first and will probably be the one which gets re-opened last. Definitely this pandemic is ruining the cultural industry and is putting artists and the people involved in a very tough and uncomfortable situation for the time being. I only hope it can stand back up as soon as possible – especially independent places ran by our friends such as Pogłos which has been a very important and vibrant place for our scene in the past years.

ZAWODY: Spluwa: Wonderful places such as Wyjście Awaryjne in Opole or most of the squats have financial problems. A lot of their inhabitants have lost part of their earnings and the collective budget can’t be fixed by organising events. People still listen to music, engage in things, gigs have been replaced by protests, which is not bad. The DIY scene still does the same things as always and the pandemic simply has changed our activities into other subjects. In contrast to the music scene in Poland – it is awful. Fuck everyone who got a lot of money from the government on the basis of some bullshit regulations. The Golec brothers are the worst ones.

Krzyś: Everything as Spluwa said (well, the money for the Golec brothers was supposed to go to their crew and their musicians, no to them personally). Most bands on our scene don’t have losses because of the pandemic as they never had any gains from playing music. It’s usually the reverse – you don’t need to travel across the country to play a gig for five people and pay for the petrol. Most of the bands also have prepared some new stuff, so now we only have to wait to hear a lot of great music. I only miss talking to people at gigs.

Last penance by kalopsiaonfilm

Last Penance by kalopsiaonfilm

LAST PENANCE: From the band perspective it has been bizarre. We have been planning to come to official existence for a while, and we wanted to do it differently from our previous experiences. You know the usual start – a short EP and you start playing shows, promoting the band and then you release an LP. With Last Penance we had a very clear vision of what we want the band to be musically, so we wanted to start with an LP.

I believe that LP’s, even though they are less popular nowadays, give a better understanding of the band. I always thought that while EP is a collection of tracks, a LP is a composition in its own right. The pandemic hit as the record was starting to get mixed, which not only prolonged the final stages of the process, but also put us in a bad spot. Believe me, a pandemic is not a great moment to start a band and to promote a LP. With very limited live shows and the general focus shifting away from music, I’m afraid that our record did not make the splash we were hoping for. That is our biggest loss. Still, I believe that once we get this show on the road, our album will reach greater audiences.

MOIRA: The biggest problem is certainly the inability to playing at gigs, socializing, social initiatives, which is basically everything that is the driving force of the DIY scene and its quintessence. However, with such large and easy access to music, either newly formed bands or older ones, concerts often give us a real opportunity to associate with it. There are plenty of bands that sound great live, which doesn’t necessarily have the same effect when we listen to their records. Of course, if we like the band, we’ll buy the album anyway, if only for sentiment or for support. And that’s how it turns around a lot. That is why the inability to play live, to appear on stage, creates fewer opportunities to reach a wider audience. Is it such a heavy load for the DIY scene in terms of cash register? I think that everyone who is or wants to be a band in this type of scene should be aware that the money invested in general may never pay back and in fact the assumption is that music itself should have the supreme value. Of course the labels, recording studios, tattoo studios or gastronomy, which were also completely closed in lockdown, and often these places are an integral part of the scene, suffered huge losses. The mass of great places has already ceased to exist or is on the verge of bankruptcy, which of course is associated with the prospect of the collapse of the stage base in the future. Besides, it is just simply so sad to see that the mass of great initiatives is collapsing or that human enthusiasm is fading away, and generally for some it is a very hard time in life.

Six Steps Forward

Six Steps Forward, by Mariusz Dwójka

SIX STEPS FORWARD: The virus is a real threat, if not for us, maybe for our relatives. Now, the number of infected people is peaking and the noose is tightened. All can agree that small businesses (including venues, bars, sound-industry businesses) are suffering terribly. Government proposals of aid are gest toward polish entrepreneurs during the times of crisis. People have a right to be pissed off.
If you are asking if the entertainment industry will rise again? Its hard to say, for sure people are hungry of entertainment and will support their favourites. We would like to ask everyone who is reading this, please support your local booker/promoter/venue/artist/label/recording studio. Without them nothing will be the same again.

From our perspective… we minimize the damage done to SSF. We never took the benefits of playing in this band. We always worked to “waste” our salaries on the band :D this is a passion we are dedicated to, so we are not at that level to claim major loss due to covid19 restriction. Even without the shows we keep meeting to create new tracks, so not all is lost. The only sphere where we lose as a band is that we do not operate with any managerial support. It makes things a bit tougher with reaching the wider audience than the range we can generate on our own by social media.

NIC ŚMIESZNEGO: The biggest problem is that there are no live concerts, definitely. Direct contact with the audience is the thing, that turns every “artist” on the most. We are giving it our all, but we are also very much depending on feedback from the audience. Unfortunately, a great amount of clubs that hosted some great gigs are closed or will be closing soon. The Brigade is always here and we are not going down, but these are hard times for us and there is no telling when we’ll be able to go back to what we had before the “pandemic”.

CF98: I think most of the bands I know started simply to work on new music. And after 2020, DIY bands are the most likely to survive – we all have different jobs, music usually doesn’t pay our bills. If your band paid the bills – I believe it’s not easy to be forced to change profession. I’m worried also if there will be any venues to play at or if those places will still be affordable for independent artists, this is my biggest concern. Fingers crossed!

ZESPÓŁ SZTYLETY: You know, talking about losses in the context of DIY bands is quite dependent and I don’t want to comment on the whole scene. You know, speaking of losses among DIY bands, context differs and I don’t want to comment on the whole scene, because here it just all depends on each, single case. We know people who are much more involved in the scene than us and now by freezing the culture they are forced to even sell their music equipment. Now I will appeal if someone wants to crowdfund some money to some rock band to make their dream come true and record their debut album for 40 thousand zlotys or to resurrect Yach Paszkiewicz to shoot a video for them in the local trains, then please think about transferring that money to the venues or bookers.

𝑊𝑖𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑣𝑒𝑛𝑢𝑒𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑏𝑜𝑜𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑏𝑒 𝑛𝑜 “𝑠𝑐𝑒𝑛𝑒”.

Not everyone has conditions to do streams of gigs. There are also a lot of people who invest most of their money or make a living from supporting the scene to some extent and they need real help. So, the biggest pain associated with a pandemic is that good people who did their best in the name of the idea and the fact that they love this music must now close their businesses and we don’t even really have much to support them. Although we would love to. 

DAYSDAYSDAYS: It’s hard to tell how it affected the whole ”DIY scene”, but many bands had a chance to slow down and work on new material. We did the same thing. The biggest loss for the bands was of course lack of gigs. For example, we released our last EP in January and managed to play only two gigs promoting it. Fortunately we didn’t have to cancel any further shows as our spring tour was still in the planning phase :D

The one thing which is really difficult for us as a band is the fact, that we can’t be sure of anything when we plan our next steps – like touring. First, we don’t know how long the pandemic is going to last. Second, many venues may not survive. Some places where we played in the past are already out of business. We are optimistic though. We will figure this out.

Cliff Jumps

Cliff Jumps

CLIFF JUMPS: Scene is dying but not due to pendemia. Scene is dying because punk rock is no longer attractive for young people and hc punk is vital part of it.  However, due to current situation in Poland we see a lot of potential for revival of the scene.  Punk rock is anti governmental at the heart and more and more people want to get rid of these jerks. We miss the shows but we know diy scene will somehow survive because this is in most cases non-profit but dedicated people efforts. 

NUKK: J: When a band makes a new record, they want to say or share some thoughts with the audience. The inability to appear in front of the people, defeats the whole purpose of the band’s existence. But formula changes, artists are finding new ways to communicate with their audience. Live sessions, music recorded in home studios. There are plenty new ways to share your art with others, but I still think it is temporary and what the people really want is to meet in front of the stage again. The biggest pain is the lack of contact with other people, and the lack of ‘vibe’ you can encounter at the concert venues.

P: If for someone performing on stage or to work around it is the main source of income he or she had a pretty rough year. Smart and creative people will find new ways to perform and earn money. Others will stand in the line for grants or handouts. Unfortunately there are also some who had to change their career just to get through a month. I hope that everyone will survive this and in near future they’ll be able to bounce off.

CARE: Kuba: No shows and therefore lack of exchange of positive energy which we share.

VIOLENT ANSWER: It’s hard to measure the exact losses on the “local scene market”, but if you’ll take a closer look it’s certainly heading in an awful direction. Music clubs are getting closer and closer to bankruptcy, booking agencies are firing employees, some shows are getting postponed, some are getting cancelled and for those most underground bands they don’t even happen. Live aspect of the local music scene is getting stomped by current restrictions, and the only thing we can do as a band is to hope that when it’s over it’ll get back on it’s legs.

LWSTNDRDS: All the pople from DIY scene are trying to do their best, but under all those circumstances, it just can’t be good. Many awesome places, like Warsaw’s Pogłos, are on the edge and, it’s sad to think about it, won’t survive this if it’ll last for the next few months. There are many fundraising actions, special online shows and that’s great, but don’t pretend – this is not we all want. From our band’s perspective it can be frustrating too – of course we don’t live from making music but it’s all about possibilities, like playing shows, meet new people, etc. It won’t be lie if we say that everyone miss going to gigs, talking to friends, support the bands – although we can honestly say that we’re pretty fucking far from feeling that we’re part of some scene. We have raised in DIY punk community, but what we play and try to present through our music is way beyond this and isn’t too popular in hardcore scene overall. We don’t feel mad because of it, being outside sometimes can be frustrating, but most of the time it feels good not to be tied up to some bullshit people and their expectations.

HAŃBA: We are truly concerd what is going to happen with all those great people who organise our gigs in smaller towns. That will be probably the biggest blow – we (musicians) gonna lose opportunity to perform somewhere else than 5 biggets cities. And it is not only matter of money but also kind of depression and indolence which takes us all over every day. In example – we released new album this year but we couldn’t feel the propers satisfaction form it due to lack of gigs and meeting people.

LIE AFTER LIE

LIE AFTER LIE

LIE AFTER LIE: For sure our local independent scene has been hit hard. The concerts and small gigs have been canceled. Many other events have been canceled not only the concerts. Fortunatelly the indepentent/DIY scene isn’t focused on earning money from music. There are people or organizations for whom this type of work is the source of money income obviously, concert organizers, tour managers, clubs or bars. Indeed, for them, the losses caused by the pandemic are devastating. The biggest pain we feel is more mental non-material, the lack of meetings with people involved in the local scene and lack of access to live music.

DULE TREE: Not only music industry got fucked. Most of the industries got a kick in the balls from surprise. But the culture got locked as well as a musical part of it and it’s in a bad condition. From a point of view of bands that has some other jobs to live from and don’t have a bigger contracts or deals I think that was a really good time to create. We just released an album and already have tracks for maybe 2 more. So personally We did a bit of things. The biggest pain is of course no gigs or happenings with a live audience. We all miss it as never.

SANITY CONTROL: I think that not being able to play the shows and promote your music was the worst thing for the bands, especially DIY/ underground bands. Of course, some demos/ albums got finally released this year, but it’s clear that for all those DIY bands playing shows is the main promotional activity – the more shows you get, the more people will hear your band. That’s why so many bands are in kind of standby mode, doing stuff but not really being able to share what they are doing. It’s not only about the bands, though. People who book and run tours and shows also lost a lot this year. Many venues are closing because of not being able to hold shows.

MAXCADY: Beata Kozidrak and the Golec brothers say it’s all OK (hehe). You know, we never played that many shows. The situation had the most impact on the mainstream music tours, it’s their pockets that got screwed. It was never our problem, we didn’t have money and that’s the way we’ll propably die.

We released the album at the beginning of the year with the hope that everything will dial down (the pandemic). For us it was always more of a hobby and that’s the way we treat our band. We do invest our time, part of ourselves but we still keep a light heart. After all it’s a bussiness that we keep investing into with no gain. It’s like people playing Wehrmaht or Spartans or Romans – we are playing Rock/Punk band. It’s a lot of satisfaction, even if we don’t play as much as we would like to we always want more. It doesn’t matter if there are 20 or 50 or 200 people there during the show. We always have the same enthusiasm. So after all, the pandemic didn’t influence us that much.

MORON'S MORONS

MORON’S MORONS

MORON’S MORONS: 2020 gave the most vicious blow to the club owners and event organizers rather than musicians. For punks music was never a source of income, we do it for pretty girls, shits and gigs and some good laughs, money is never a factor. For club owners, however, the reality is quite different not only because they rarely even meet half-decent girls but because the financial aspect is simply much more important to them. Unfortunately, DIY venues still have to pay the rent and a lot of them may not survive in this limbo.

Hardcore Tattoos Records: Katarzyna Ponikowska: In my opinion, the music industry/brand (???) has suffered huge losses. Small hardcore / punk labels have less money to spend on releasing local DIY bands and now think twice whether to invest money in records at a time when their sales are going much worse. It is known that local bands sell albums mainly at concerts, which are not available now. Sometimes labels are afraid to invest money in another band that won’t even play a concert. If the label doesn’t release the album, the band has to do it themselves, if they have the money. Sometimes, due to a pandemic, the bands also have less money, and they even don’t have it to pay for a studio and will not record music. Or they will record it but not release it due to lack of money.

As Hardcore Tattoo, we do not give up. We sell records not only at concerts, but fortunately we also have an online nad stationary record store near the studio – Hardcore Tattoo Record Store. There are still some orders, co it’s not bad.

But we suffer devastating moral losses! The greatest pain? Of course, no concerts. Bands can’t play, we can’t listen. Concerts are as necessary for my life as water is for fish. I can’t wait to get back to normal …


Chapter #3: Your project in 2020: accomplishments and reflections on the past twelve months.

EMBITTER: For Embitter, music wise it was a very good year. We recorded our first LP which was greeted with critical acclaim. We had a video out and still have some surprises which will be revealed later this year. We spent quite a lot of time working on our LP, then in the studio. The whole process took quite some time, but we couldn’t be happier than this.

Even though our shows got cancelled we are not giving up but work even harder on new songs. There is not much we can do rather than go back to our rehearsal spot and work on new record.

GUIDING LIGHTS: We started this year recording our third LP, which was planned to be released by Instant Classic in May. The release was coordinated with a short tour with Chicago’s Maco Sica, whose albums was also scheduled to be released on Instant Classic. The very moment we finished mixing the album and uploaded the master and artwork to Instant’s server for production, the lockdown started. Due to the lockdown we put our band practice on hold which took until almost the end of June. Still, in the small window between the growth of active cases and exponential growth of active cases we managed to release a split EP on Fonoradar with our friends of Columbus Duo.

We hope to have our LP released this year – again on Fonoradar.

PLEASURE TRAP: Actually our plan or 2020 was a new album. By the end of 2019 we have had the songs prepared and in the beginning of 2020 we entered a recording studio. On the one hand, we had been successful – the album is finished and out, on the other, we had no chance of touring to promote the stuff so we might have ended up with a little no return merchandise investments. We hope we’ll have a chance to get back to speed soon. According to our band engagement I think it hasn’t changed much, we love what we do, we love playing with each other, so actualy after recording a new album we’ve already been working on some new songs and how quite a lot of them, so that’s good.

Pleasure Trap by Klima Mustache Ministry Studio

Pleasure Trap by Klima / Mustache Ministry Studio

But I’ve noticed not all the bands go this way. As you mentioned, the engagement in some bands seems to drop, it’s not for me to judge, but when we planned our album promoting tours (which were cancelled unfortunately), it was not that straightforward to find a band to go on tour with. Some friends replied that they weren’t doing much recently and are not ready to play. Fortunately we are staying in touch with our Lublin friends Max Cady, who had put out an album this year too and we some touring plans together.

WIELKI LAS: We released the album! That’s very important and big thing for us. This process was taking time from January to October, but we did it at last. That’s most important target we did in 2020 and maybe at all. This is good mark after this bad year.

In February we organized nice gig “Hardcore it’s punk vol. 5” – that was before pandemy.

CZERNINA: After canceling the shows, we first decided to present a sample of our capabilities while playing live. With the help of a friend, we recorded a short live video-set with our tracks that we were supposed to play at concerts in March this year. You can watch the whole thing on our YT channel.

Then it was time to record our new ideas and sound; the first material with our third member – bassist ‘D. Witchfucker’. We started work on the last weekend of June, registering one instrument per day in our rehearsal room. I don’t know where the information on the Internet comes from that we have released a `debut LP album`, as the recording process was very similar to recording ‘one-take’ instrumental audio tracks of the cassette on a four-track audio recorder. For me it’s just another demo showing the change that took place under the influence of time and the presence of a new person in the band. The last touches and post-production were done by the same person as with the previous “Shed” Demo : Dominik Dudek.

I like the contrast that was achieved in the year between the two releases. When you listen to title after title, you see the difference in the way the song comes up with the following parts, the way it plays it, and of course the overall tone of the track. Only when you go back in time with your memory you are able to see what progress you made. We fully trusted Dominik’s idea of setting up our new music together. it’s still us. Slightly heavier, faster, still sloppy at times, but fucking raw and true. This is what we sounds during rehearsals / concerts. It’s good to hear it in better quality than audio recorder app, without focusing on playing right at the moment

THE DOG: We’ve played one show in June, when the pandemic was in retreat. We’ve also put out a new EP (LP-vinyl version will soon be ready to order) called “Avenge Us” and that’s all we could do.

THE DOG by Ewelina Michułka

THE DOG by Ewelina Michułka

VERMONA KIDS: Bartek: Had all sorts of different plans for 2020, I liked the overtone of the number itself, so it was kinda motivating. Obviously it hasn’t panned out that way, and I’ve merely touched maybe like 1/3 of my projects. But still, we were able to crank it up a notch with Vermona Kids. Initially having two songs to mess with for the season, eventually taking a fast turn to a small story-album, consisting of a few moodier tracks that we experimented on strictly through the web. September came with a real-quick-jump to the studio to flesh it out, and well, at least this one thing will end up being released this year.

SYNDROM PARYSKI: Despite all the adversities, 2020 can be considered a successful year for us – we finished recording our first LP that we had been working on since the end of last year. Now that we don’t have to worry about recording sessions for the LP, we all choose to focus on our various side projects.

EASY: We’re gonna be completely honest here – not much. I mean the beginning of 2020 was recording our first release – “First Six Tracks” which is available on all streaming platforms and a few copies are still available on tape. Hit us up if interested! Our plans were to play shows and write new songs – unfortunately this whole situation kind of slowed us down as well. We’ve been doing rehearsals and managed to play one show in the summer when the situation got a bit better for a while. But other than that, we’ve been only practicing a bit on some new songs, our guitarist and mastermind Kiryl however is thinking on new awesome riffs which we hope to put to use sooner or later. Also our original bassist has left to New Zealand for a while so although finding a new bassist wasn’t a problem at all, it did take a moment for him to adapt, learn the songs which held us back for a moment there. All of us are siked on Easy, but at the same time I feel like the perspective on not being able to play any shows for a while as also kept us at home. I wouldn’t say we’re on hold now – we’re just chilling.

ZAWODY: Wera: There were a lot of things to do, as it usually is when you release a record on vinyls, CDs and cassettes at once. When I look at the amount of cancelled gigs, I see also the bright side of it – I can only imagine how tough it would have been if we had had more concerts and rehearsals in addition to the work with the record. I’m afraid that it could have been too much. So maybe it’s not that bad, maybe we’re much more happy… or maybe we’re not, because, obviously, we miss all of those wonderful places and our friends.

Spluwa: We managed to do much more than I planned, but that’s not quite good, as I wanted to rest. Everything else is fucked up as always. We collide with reality every day, and it always hurts.

Krzyś: During those three months of summer, we played much more gigs than ever before. That means much more great memories and much more bad memories.

Kaczka: We managed to release a record, finally. About the new reality, we can’t cope with it as much as we couldn’t cope with the old one, and every reality else.

ZAWODY live by Piątaesencja

ZAWODY live by Piątaesencja

LAST PENANCE: Personally, I believe that Last Penance was one of the major forces in my life in 2020 that kept me sane. We still rehearse, we managed to play a short tour with our friends from Pale Path and we managed to play at Short and Loud fest. The pandemic has definitely slowed us down, but we manage. Since it doesn’t look like live shows will be back on the menu soon, we will now focus on polishing some new tracks.

MOIRA: In January, we recorded all the material in the Left Hand Sounds studio. Later on we wanted to add some mini trails between tracks, in Waiting Room Studio, but unfortunately the lockdown delayed us a bit. At the end of the day, in the middle of the year, we managed to complete the whole thing, record a music video and set up publishing plans. Generally, the year started very well for us. We did a few gigs, and we had big plans ahead. Unfortunately, in February, after our concert with Dezerter, there was a total lockdown, which interrupted our good streak. After our ‘defrost’ we’ve played twice, but very soon we realised that everything we’ve planned would not be completed. It is a pity, because we missed our participation in cool festivals and gigs, but we are hopeful that it will only move over time.

SIX STEPS FORWARD: Quite a lot, we would say. The list is quite huge after 6 years of silence from our side: finished “BOMB THE WORLD” EP in Sound Stone Studio by Paweł Kurowski; aligned the label Hardcore Tattoo Records; took part in “schizma is a state of fuckin mind” vinyl release; released two videos – single Bomb The World and Survival of the worst (schizma cover); focused on our social media (previously we gave zero fucks to it, unfortunately); making new tracks at rehearsals and online.

Despite the surroundings, we are more committed than ever. We are eager to create and plan SSF future, focusing on the fields that never draw our attention.

NIC ŚMIESZNEGO: In spite of everything, we’ve managed to do quite a lot. Most importantly, right before the first lockdown we had managed to record “Nihil Ridiculum”, which, with the help of the Publishers, was later released.

Nic Śmiesznego

Nic Śmiesznego

During the “temporary loosening” period of the pandemic, we played some great concerts in fantastic venues. As a band, we are trying to operate normally. For us nothing has changed. We are doing our thing and no pandemic is going to change that.

CF98: We can say that nothing changed. Of course cancelled tours and fests we’ve been trying to play for years didn’t take place but we had quite a lot of things to do – we just tried to keep ourselves busy, you know? We finished writing EP Dead Inside with ishay, we put it out together with Sound Speed Records, made few videos, few live streams and we are back working on new album for 2021. There is no energy drop, we want to keep it going and keep the spirit up.

CF98 by Szwerq

CF98 by Szwerq

ZESPÓŁ SZTYLETY: However bad it may sound, for us the first lockdown was an ideal situation to focus on releasing our debut album. Apart from the Zespół Sztylety, at that time we had many other projects like Towards the Unknown and Meat Nation. The lack of possibility to tour made it possible for us to focus on this one event. Thanks to that we polished the material, got in touch with our label – Koty Records and prepared the binding of the albums.

The second wave impacted us harder, except for single occasions we didn’t have a chance to go out with the album live to people. Great reception of concerts with Gruzja in Pogłos made us want to go somewhere and play something. But you know, these things are much bigger than we are, so we prefer to wait for it to happen instead of trying to organize shows as closed events or weddings. Here you have to be responsible as more and more people came to our gigs before the pandemic, the album spread with an echo that completely exceeded our expectations and we have no intention of risking the health and life of people potentially interested in the shows, because we don’t believe in having fun if it’s not safe and we, as musicians and concert organizers, wouldn’t be able to look into each other’s eyes if our event turned out to be another bonfire of coronavirus.

DAYSDAYSDAYS: As mentioned earlier, we released our EP (“Podium nie ma”) and played awesome gigs!

We didn’t really notice any changes in our working attitude though. Sure, at the beginning we couldn’t rehearse but this gave us time to think and write at home. After a few months everyone of us had some new riffs, melodies or ideas to bring to the rehearsal space. The only thing that really changed is the lack of shows. Everything else works pretty much the same as before covid.

DaysDaysDays live at Chmury, Warsaw

DaysDaysDays live at Chmury, Warsaw

CLIFF JUMPS: We have recorded our first demo just before first wave of pandemia hit Poland. We are not super proud of it . Production and compositions could be better but back then we just wanted to have something tangible real quick so we could book the shows. Demo was released on tape by Sorry Hombre Records, cheers to our friend Tomek Raczka. In September just before second wave (ops!) of Covid, we were able to record another 2 singles which are now being mixed & mastered and hopefully released soon. We took completely different approach, more considered and professional. Therefore, we are sure these two songs will be bangers :)

All in on all we spent a lot of time in our rehearsal space composing new songs and experimenting with the sound which was not that bad time in the end. During short summer break which was also break from pandemia ,we played shows in Krakow and Warsaw that gave us nice kick of dopamine for a while:) cheers to Gabi and entire Ada Pulawska collective for having us, beautiful place with beaufitul people!

NUKK: J: It is funny because, when going to the studio in Warsaw in the beginning of the year, none of us were expecting lockdowns, red zones, and the whole year with face masks. It slowly started to pop up in the media, but we never thought it would escalate to this degree. It took us a really long time to finally meet in the studio and start recording again, but when we finally managed to do that we knew we would give it 100%. Involvement in the band has been put to a hard test, when everyone is afraid of their own family, friends, work, and there is no room for mistakes.

P: I think nothing really changed. We rehearse very rarely because of our lifestyles. Everyone just wanted to FINISH this part of our journey with releasing an album.

NUKK live

CARE: Kuba: 2020 is the year we started. We’ve released a pretty cool demo.

VIOLENT ANSWER: In 2020 we worked really hard to get our music released in the shape and form we planned from the start. We mostly focused on chasing the quality of our recent material and fortunately we’re proud of our final results. Right now we’re fully focused on promotion of our debut EP Violent Answer and getting it straight to hardcore fans ears. Pandemics is making it harder for us as we can’t make a release party / shows / tour, but it can’t stop us from making internet our bitch :D

VIOLENT ANSWER by Stanisław Mikołajczak

VIOLENT ANSWER by Stanisław Mikołajczak

LWSTNDRDS: After it all started in March we stopped rehearsal and were on little hiatus for a few months. Of course we talked a lot about new music, ideas and thing like that – especially we had plans to record our new album this year. But it’s ok, we jammed these songs a little bit longer than usual and now we feel more confident about the shape of it. So for now we’re at the end of writing our new album, we’ll hopefully enter the studio in the first half of the 2021 to record and put it out. We also released a new ep this year, we really like it and we hope it has helped a little bit our sisters from Ogólnopolski Strajk Kobiet and Aborcyjny Dream Team.

HAŃBA: We had marvelous first 3 months – we ended music for “Nikt nam nie zrobił nic”, played few gigs in Germany, booked dozens of summer festivals – and suddenly lockdown began. So definitely we should be proud that we somehow managed to record and release the album.

HAŃBA! by Klaudyna Schubert

HAŃBA! by Klaudyna Schubert

We also take part in theater/radio drama and played a great set for Korean festival with an awesome video made by our friends. So after all we should admit that we acted really well. But on the other hand we are going to remember 2020 as an endless struggle and I hope that faith gonna reward us that we didn’t give up in the middle.

LIE AFTER LIE: We were able to record and release online the single “Pętla” that we were planning to release.

Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to write a new material for the new album. In our case, the pandemic turned out to be even more noticeable, because our vocalist Radek got stuck somewhere in Asia, where he went as a tourist at the beginning of the year, and drummer Adrian stuck in the Netherlands, where he was working at that time. Even if we really wanted to meet in full band it was logistically impossible. We are still very much committed to the band and we want to start creating new material as soon as possible.

LIE AFTER LIE by Piątaesencja

LIE AFTER LIE by Piątaesencjali

DULE TREE: As I mentioned this whole pandemic and this time stop made us able to meet 3-5 times a week on a rehearsal room. We made a lot of new stuff, have been working on a sound, we made a lot of side projects. Pawel will release like 20 albums this years. There was more difficult times specially speaking about interpersonal relations, but I think it has learned us something.

SANITY CONTROL: I’m really happy that, against all odds, we somehow managed to release our debut LP. Big thanks to Seeing Red and Selfmade God for putting a lot of work and making it happen. I’m also happy that we could play the release show, I know that many shows got cancelled later on. I guess we were really lucky. For now we are trying to stay as active as possible…We do meet and practice, we’re trying to come up with some new songs – it’s all we can do now. Definitely, we’re not giving up and we’re doing our best to keep the band going.

MAXCADY

MAXCADY

MAXCADY: First of all it gave us much needed time, to organize ourselves and finish everything up. If not for the pandemic we would still probably play a couple of shows a year and not much more. But it all came together, we have made t-shirts and CDs which all of the crazy 100 copies got sold, so we are satisfied.

MORON’S MORONS: We recorded the LP in January 2019 and we had our deal sealed with Slovenly shortly after. Vinyls were pressed in early 2020. Nobody realised how annoying this year was going to be, but the pandemic has no influence on our activity. We still want to go on. We’ve put to the good use the lack of shows and tours to write new material. Now we intend to record our second LP “High-Tension Situation”. We’ve also recorded cover songs for The Cramps and New Bomb Turks tribute compilations. The first one is to be found on bandcamp at Kafadan Kontak Records form Istambul, the second one will be pressed on vinyl by Warsaw’s Heavy Medication Records.

Speaking of our other projects – we also did a New Bomb Turks cover with Red Crap for the above mentioned compilation, with Nameless Creations we wrote the new LP material, and we’re planning to release an EP with two older and unreleased tracks. Nameless Creations’ song “I decline” will be included on compilation “Kitchens, Toilets & Musicians in a Pandemic Volume 2” released by All You Can Beat label which has its premiere 17th of December this year.

Hardcore Tattoos Records: Katarzyna Ponikowska: Unfortunately, due to the lockdown and the fact that we were banned from operating as a tattoo studio for several months, we lost a lot of money, and therefore we could not afford to release as many albums as we planned and wanted. We actually focused on 4 releases. We made a reissue of the Good Old Days album “Knock it off” on vinyl, we co-released the cd by the band Nic Śmiesznego, we released a compilation with Schizma covers on vinyl – “Schizma is a state of fucking mind” and a cd by the band Six Steps Forward. This last release will reach us at any moment, so we don’t know what the sale will be. But with all this hopeless situation in the music industry, the three releases of 2020 are selling well, so maybe it’s not as bad as we think. But we still wish we could release more bands and CDs.

Before the pandemic, we also managed to organize some concerts. Unfortunately, we had to cancel a few, incl. Aggressive / Castet / Not For You and Release Party Six Steps Forward, where was also supposed to play, among others Good Lookin’ Out.


Chapter #4: Plans for 2021

EMBITTER: It’s so hard to plan anything right now. All we know is that we are working on new songs and when the time comes, we will be ready to hit the road.

GUIDING LIGHTS: At the moment it’s impossible to say what will happen in a month, so making plans for 2021 would be absurd. We hope sometime in 2021 the pandemic will be under control, but it will take many months for the scene to recover. We hope to make some more new music, but we don’t think it’s very likely we will have a chance to present it live in the foreseeable future. We have drafts of 3 brand new songs, and we plan to use the isolation time now to perfect them, so when the opportunity arises to meet again, of course record them.

PLEASURE TRAP: Regarding to our 2021 plans, as I mentioned, we do play with eachother regularly, so we’re like always working on new songs. I hope we will have a chance to get back into bus and do some live gigs. We already have some propositions and tours booked but it’s not yet announced. Let’s hope t all works out just fine.

WIELKI LAS: It’s still too risky to plan anything, but we hope that spring will be normal. We want play and organize gigs, but time would verify, if this would be possible. Maybe we will release our music on streaming platforms, make merchs and new songs. Those are things, that we can do regardless of pandemic.

WIELKI LAS live, by Artur Wzorek

WIELKI LAS live, by Artur Wzorek

CZERNINA: I think extreme music is having a renaissance right now. For obvious reasons, everyone, if they have such an opportunity and time, focuses on creating / composing new material and registering it for the next release. Unfortunately, the concerts will not come back for a long time. It is difficult to predict anything at this moment, but that is our opinion. As far as we are concerned, at the moment we have decided to focus on our side projects. We have a lot of ideas, I hope that the circumstances will be favorable for their implementation. I don’t want to reveal too many details, but if everything goes well, there will be two projects, one will turn more towards classic releases, the other will be even faster and heavier than the material presented on “Hymns of …“.

THE DOG: We are focusing on writing songs. It’s really hard to predict when we’ll be able to play shows so the burden of the band existence has to be pushed on more online-ground. By the end of the year we’re about to enter the studio to record a couple of tracks. We still don’t know what we’re going to do with them, but putting out smaller albums (but more often) seems to be the right way.

VERMONA KIDS: Bartek: I did write a lot for a while, so there’s a bunch of new songs for all sorts of different projects (and friends keep bringing new stuff as well, which is not always a given, I guess). I’m trying to focus my plans on that, whenever I find the time or money. We’ve had just one online show with VK so far, it was a cool experience, but it’s not what keeps me too excited. So we’ll see! I want to stay positive, but I won’t take any of my plans for granted.

SYNDROM PARYSKI: The only thing that’s set in stone is the release of our LP. We can’t predict whether we’ll be able to play gigs again in 2021, so we’re not making any huge plans for the upcoming year – we’ll see how it goes!

EASY: If we can – work on and finish a new material, play shows and if we’re lucky – get recognized here and there. I think we have some nice jams to offer the world so all I hope for is that we will be able to dp so – digitally, but more importantly face to face, at shows jumping on each other and whatnot. Even of covid doesn’t back down and gigs will still be just a memory of the past we hope to at least create some new tunes for y’all to bounce to and put it out in some physical form. We hope for our next material to be put on a 7” and take over the world with it.

ZAWODY: Spluwa: To burn a police vehicle and still feast on freegan blueberries.

Kaczka: Not to go to prison if Spluwa is serious about burning a police vehicle. And to survive. I also would like to organise a benefit concert to help my friend, who is raising money for transition. And to not argue with my brother (Spluwa). I feel like somebody asked me about my New Year’s resolutions in November.las

Wera: Speaking of concerts, it will probably be again a race against time and uncertainty, if anyone would take on organising gigs. A lot of people believe that their festival is going to happen, others cancel it early in order not to toil with things pointlessly, few people also don’t even think about organising shows. I’m not surprised, because a lot of hard work went down the drain this year. On the other hand, if we still have faith, we shouldn’t give up, perhaps it’ll be possible to organise at least a part of those concerts and a new dose of great memories will fulfill our hearts.

Krzyś: My own goal is to try to act like this year didn’t happen.

LAST PENANCE: 2021 is still a mystery. We would love nothing more than touring as much as possible next year, but that is still unsure. We plan to put out some fresh tracks in 2021, an EP or LP, we will know when we get there. For sure we have to stay flexible when it comes to planning, but you can be sure that we will not lie low.

MOIRA: At the moment, it’s hard to predict anything. Perhaps it will turn out that year 2021 will be similar to 2020. Unfortunately, we do not see any other option but wait out the whole situation. It’s also a good chance to take a breath, create new songs, focus on side projects. Who knows, if the situation will be similar to what’s going on now, we will be able to create completely new material. Especially we want to close a chapter with the current album, which will probably be released at the turn of the old and new year. So it is the time for us to finalize the entire project. As for touring, everything is under a question mark. Streaming concerts does not suit us entirely, so we have to wait for better days for the stage.

MOIRA by Agnieszka Chodorowska

MOIRA by Agnieszka Chodorowska

SIX STEPS FORWARD: Sad to say. Many of the related bands that we partied with, just broke up. Some of them – even after releasing great Demo/EP/LP in 2020. We believe, shows are the true engine for the existence of the bands. Without live events many of the bands just suspended their activities. We really hope we will get out of this situation pretty soon and we will attend more shows than in 2019 as a band or even as listeners. If you ask about Six Steps Forward, we are kind of busy with releasing the EP now.

Our thoughts are around the video we are planning to shoot for “unleash the dogs” track, once traveling abroad would not be such an effort. We would like to invest our time into the new tracks which already pays off. Currently we got two tracks ready for the new release. All of us are looking for new inspiration which overflows us with new music across all the genres. All above, will provide us the good start for upcoming 2021, when we want to kick off the new live event season!

NIC ŚMIESZNEGO: Realistically, for the next year, the most important thing is to get back to the studio and record an EP, a full album maybe. Also, we’ll be included in a medley called “Tribute to…” with covers of a certain famous, not existing anymore, Polish HC/Punk squad.

As for the concerts, we hope everything will come back to some kind of normality. Personally, we believe that if any band is involved 100% in what they are doing, the pandemic is not an excuse, it’s just another obstacle to overcome.

CF98: We really hope gigs will come back in second part of the year, but we don’t want to think about it and set any expectations – cause every cancellation hurts physically haha. We just know that we want our new album out, we love the process, we love to arrange new music, visuals and expression through that. That’s it for now.

ZESPÓŁ SZTYLETY: We’ve already written the songs and we’re getting together for a recording split with the band Żurawie. These will be two songs much more hardcore punk based than most of our material so far. Regarding gigs, as I’ve written before – we’re patient, it’s an opportunity to gather forces, and we’ll need those, because as soon as there’s such an opportunity we’ll play as much as we can.

DAYSDAYSDAYS: We hope that we will be able to go on the road. We want to go on a bigger tour through Poland (or maybe also somewhere else) to check some Aquaparks! (and of course to play gigs ;)) If there will be problems with finding venues, then we can play in someone’s rehearsal space. We just want to go on tour again, meet our friends from different cities and play with awesome local bands.

We hope that we will be able to go on the road. We want to go on a bigger tour through Poland (or maybe also somewhere else) to check some Aquaparks! (and of course to play gigs ;)) If there will be problems with finding venues, then we can play in someone’s rehearsal space. We just want to go on tour again, meet our friends from different cities and play with awesome local bands.

CLIFF JUMPS: Plan for 2021? Record something longer than demo or another single. We hope we will have pandemia songs for that. Of course we would love to play as many shows as possible but you never now how it’s gonna be. Hopefully next year world will get back somehow to normal.

NUKK: J: We want to be ready for any situation. If venues will open, we would like to book a couple of shows to properly promote the new album. But I think we just need to realize that this situation is fluid and this can and probably will happen in the future, so it is hard to predict anything. I think we just need to be united and help each other.

P: We will be able to get out in front of people or we will need to become more creative to reach them. Just look at Code Orange and what they did. Very smart. Getting back to us, if the situation changes we’ll try to be part of some bigger events, shows, gigs or even going on a tour WITH A FUCKING BUS.

CARE: Kuba: Play shows! I’m looking forward to making material and release LP too.

VIOLENT ANSWER: It’s hard to plan anything for such an uncertain future. Some of the 2021 shows are already getting postponed to 2022. For sure we are not going to stop with writing. It’d be cool to have some new stuff ready to release in pair with the comeback live shows, whenever they’ll happen.

LWSTNDRDS

LWSTNDRDS

LWSTNDRDS: So as we said before – we hope things will get back to normal as soon as possible, but honestly we don’t think it’ll be sooner than second half of the next year. Then we’ll see how many booking agencies survived, how many places are still with us and how many bands will hit the road again.  About the polish bands – most of the diy hc/punk bands are not living from making music, so we hope they’ll still be there after that.

HAŃBA: Well, we already have some dates in our calendars and I even saw that one of German festivals has already started selling tickets but… we try to not plan too much, especially in booking. However it doesn’t mean we are going to do nothing. We work at some side things that we never have enough time to do like a new video for one of the newest songs or some kind of mockumentary. We have been also invited to take part in a quite big theatre production. Last but not least, it’s conceivable that we simply do some new songs.

LIE AFTER LIE: As I mentioned, we want to write material for the new LP and we stick to it. Of course, we would also like to play some gigs because we miss it a lot.

LIE AFTER LIE by Call Me Killer

LIE AFTER LIE by Call Me Killer

DULE TREE: It’s hard to speak about plans if we are not sure about anything in upcoming year so far, but there’s a new age coming and I hope that stars will help to change this in 180 degrees. But I can mention about a live stream of Owl’s Eye played live, we are going to record two or more albums, build a merchandise and if it’s gonna be possible play gigs as crazy. Noise is the way to save humanity.

SANITY CONTROL: I hope that in 2021 things will start going back to normal and we’ll finally be able to do some touring. We miss playing shows a lot. Most of the shows booked for 2020 got cancelled, so we’d like to make up for it and play them. Honestly, I have no idea what to expect so I guess we’ll take what the future gives us:) It’s very hard to plan anything for the future right now…

MAXCADY: Play some shows in GDR, HRL and RSA, get drunk, fuck and listen to some music. Those are our plans. Finish up our music video that we started filming in 2019, go on a fun tour and who knows, maybe even come back from it.

MORON’S MORONS: We want to tour next year. Spring seems to be unrealistic but we hope that In the fall it will be possible. We also look forward for the releases of our already recorded tracks and record some more. We have a plenty of ideas.

Hardcore Tattoo Records: Katarzyna Ponikowska: First of all, I hope that normality will return, that we will be able to organize and go to concerts, that we will be able to release as many bands and albums as we want. We definitely want to organize concerts that did not work out in 2020 and a few others. The ideas are here. At the beginning of the year, we also plan to release a CD compilation with Schizma covers, so far it has only been released on vinyl. I also have a plan to release a few bands, but a lot depends on them and when their music will be ready, so I will not reveal the details for now.


Chapter #5: Perspectives, outlook and possible fears for live shows in the upcoming year, from the attendees’ perspective:

EMBITTER: I guess we (as people) quite quickly get used to different scenarios and once we have noticed the virus thing has been on the ease then I think we will start going to shows again.

GUIDING LIGHTS: If and only if the pandemic is gone or in actual decline, we will put our concert-goers hats back on. Typically, this time of the year is the time of summaries, 10 best gigs of the year, and so on – and for us it’s just a handful of gigs this year, not even enough for top 10, which speaks for itself. Currently the idea of having the opportunity to see our favourite bands live again seems like a dream, but of the kind that we hope will eventually come true. Just be patient.

PLEASURE TRAP: Things have to go back to normal, because if they don’t the coronavirus might be not our main concern in terms of modern society problems like poverty, unemployment, public service condition. I’m not saying that if there will still be a problem, some new regulations might follow in terms of crowds at music venues. I just think that common bankruptcy of the music industry and economic collapse of the country in many different areas might be much worst than the virus itself.

Pleasure Trap live

Pleasure Trap live

And, let’s make things clear: for the DIY hardcore punk scene, we don’t, and have never excpected, “crowds”. The reality is like dozens, occasionaly hundreds people in the audience more or less, so it can really be handled I guess.

WIELKI LAS: We will probably be a little afraid, but desire to full participation in gigs will win in the end. Alcohol will dispel our fear.

CZERNINA: Let me put it this way, it will be news like informing a drug addict that his favorite „snack” has just been legalized. Being part of it is so natural, just like air breathing. Can’t wait to the day when we can finally listen to live music, without any fear, and spend some time in a great group of people.

THE DOG: I work at the place where a lot of people gather everyday, no matter if the lockdown is on or off. I got used to the risk of being infected.

VERMONA KIDS: Bartek: I’ve heard lots of people saying they’d just go to any given concert, whatever it may be, if it all was fine already. I’ll definitely attend as many local shows as it’s going to be possible, but I’d love for my first come-back-to-normal show to be outstanding. And I’ve still kept some of my tickets for bigger shows like Jimmy Eat World or Bon Iver as far as I remember, so can’t wait for that to happen as well.

SYNDROM PARYSKI: We all have the same opinion on this matter, we’ll start going to gigs as soon as it’s possible, as long as all the risks related to the pandemic will be brought down to a minimum.

EASY: It might be weird at first, but if the covid numbers drop to an amount that let’s us feel somewhat safe and comfortable, then I’m in. I guess this is also the time when we need to take that risk and just ask ourselves – how long can we live locked up at home and be afraid of living and going outside. Besides – getting back to the outcomes of this pandemic – I hope we also tend to take care of our bodies better. Eat healthier, workout more, spend more time outdoors and stuff like that.. if we treat ourselves better and stay healthy I think we’re more likely to stay that way in terms of these deadly viruses.. hopefully. But yeah, I think I’ll take that risk when this cools down. I need to eventually catch up on some moshing for crying out loud!

ZAWODY: Ule: I’ll be glad to go there. I miss gigs so much.

Spluwa: If it won’t endanger the others, I’ll be going to concerts as often as possible.

Krzyś : There were a lot of gigs in the summer, and all of them were crowded. I was afraid, but I was there anyway.

LAST PENANCE: If the pandemic ends, I guess it will take some time to adapt back to crowds. It will be uncomfortable in the begging, but that will go away quickly. So yes and no.

MOIRA: Some of us have already got sick. To be honest, we can get infected anywhere, so we all expect it sooner or later. Concerts and meetings are, however, quite an important ‘battery-recharge’ in everyone’s life. Everyone is aware of some risks, but life goes on and a mechanism has to move forward again.

SIX STEPS FORWARD: As much as the situation will become less dangerous, we’ll surely try to attend as many shows as possible. Still safety goes first, so we will stand up on mindfulness on every show we take. You know, the current condition is new to all of us, so we don’t want to push blindly for all the shows. That doesn’t change the fact we are ready to give our best on all upcoming shows in 2021.

Nic Śmiesznego live

Nic Śmiesznego live

NIC ŚMIESZNEGO: During the loosening of restrictions around summer we played a few concerts, both open-air and inside, so there is no anxiety around us. Going further: we played some gigs, so we are not afraid of being in audience also. Someone has a good interest in our fear, so you can’t give in to it.

CF98: It’s going to be weird for sure. I think that some of the measures regarding safety will stay with us for a long time, but as the vaccine will be implemented, people will start to forget the bad shit and feel more and more convenient. I think keeping the distance will last through all 2021.

ZESPÓŁ SZTYLETY: “Be afraid of” it’s a wrong term, we will be careful and the first thing after the lockdown will not be a heavy rave party in Sopot. Our last concert in Warsaw proved to us that it can be done – as far as possible, of course – safely, with our faces covered and with full respect for the restrictions. If there will be no problem on the part of the audience with observing the rules, these will surely be still in force at the beginning, and we will be very happy to return to the world of the living.

DAYSDAYSDAYS: It depends on how serious the pandemic will still be. If it will be as tough as it is now, then we will have to stick to the rules and wait a little longer. Hopefully it will change soon. Fingers crossed.

CLIFF JUMPS: Taking all necessary safety measures we will try to enjoy live shows as much as possible but we hope that by next summer pandemia will go down in history!

NUKK: J: I think it is an individual matter for all of us. In my opinion the worst is behind us, we are more immune and more hungry for cultural events at the same time. As soon as there are events, I’ll be eager to attend, I really miss that.

P: I want to perform. I want to attend other shows.

NUKK live

NUKK live

CARE: Kuba: If everyone is going to be safe in this situation we are hungry for stage dives.

VIOLENT ANSWER: That’s the kind of decision in which you have to take into account not only an urge to make some noise but also remain open minded about the health of our fans. If our shows will be fully safe for our moshers, we will deliver.

LWSTNDRDS: If the situation will be under control and there will be no half measures like we could see them through this year in many places – we will go to shows immadietely. But, until then, fuck this, stay healthy and watch hate5six.

HAŃBA by Absynth Photography Tomek Wiatr

HAŃBA: We can’t wait for it. But a mass vaccination first.

LIE AFTER LIE: The pandemic won’t last forever, and we believe the virus will be as curable as soon as possible. Then we will have no fear of diving into the crowd at huge concerts.

DULE TREE: Not scared at all. Yet we will be more careful in every way, but I am ready to risk my health for all of this world.

DULE TREE by Marek Emesz Szeremeta-

DULE TREE by Marek Emesz Szeremeta

SANITY CONTROL: It all depends on the situation of course. If you know that the virus is not spreading so fast anymore, and you know that there are some safety measures taken and you also try to be responsible and aware of the danger it should be OK. I mean, you can’t stop doing things and going out for the rest of your life. One of the things stemming from this whole situation is the fact that we’ll have to learn how to live with it and how to deal with the fact that you might catch it anytime. Staying sane and careful are the key things to do.

MAXCADY: We hope there really will be a ton of people! We’de love to go for some hard crowd action. We are not scared, we are the recovered, our friend lost his eyesight but it came back.

MORON’S MORONS: We can’t wait to go out and party.

Hardcore Tattoo Records: Katarzyna Ponikowska: As soon as the gigs start again, I will go to whatever concerts I can get to! Between the first and second wave of the epidemic, a couple of concerts took place. I’ve been to 6 or 7 concerts, before they were completely forbidden to organize them. It never crossed my mind not to go to the concert because of the fear of the coronavirus.


Chapter #6: New releases and best records of the year worth a spin:

EMBITTER: When it comes to our local scene, I will go with my fav Love Glove. I’m just a diehard fan here.

GUIDING LIGHTS: Tropical Soldiers in Paradise – II, Future – Demo, Coriky – s/t, Tribe Called Quest “Midnite Marauders”, Herbie Hancock “Head Hunters”, Volfpeck “The Beautiful Game”
Stwory “Jet EP”, June of 44 ” Revisionist: Adaptations And Future Histories In The Time Of Love And Survival” (+ first two Lp’s reissues), Hum “Inlet”, RX-101 “Serenity”, Makaya McCraven “Universal Beings E&F Sides”, Septage “Septic Decadence demo”, Titanic Sea Moon “Exit No. 2020”.

PLEASURE TRAP: So our friends from Lublin, a hardcore street punk band Max Cady has put out a very good album this year as I’ve already mentioned. High Vis is a band I recently listen to and they have put out cool „Society Exist” EP. I’ve heard Savage Beat is working on some new stuff, which I’m quite excited about. Back to Poland, JAD has put out an EP too which hits well. I almost forgot the “20/20 Vision” by Anti-Flag which was put out in the beginning of 2020, so I had a chance to see them live promoting the album before the whole pandemic situation, I think there are very good songs there and I come back to this album once in a while this year. Outside hardcore punk, I’m a big fan of The Manor, UK three-piece rap group, which has put out some great singles this year too. So, this year has not been that bad in terms of some good music coming around.

M: I love all of the recent works by my friends from Serbian band Fiskalni Racun, I’m huge fan of Anti-Flag since Underground Network, and 20/20 is a really good album. From outside of punk scene, I really enjoyed new album by Sleaford Mods and polish rapper Włodi.

K: Worth to mention is new album of Spitfires, band who continue tradition of British sound – I really enjoy it. And outside the scene: the last album of Tony Allen – one of my favourite musicians of all times, who passed away this year, called Rejoice (recorded with Hugh Masekela). Great afrobeat/jazz, love the unique sound of Tony’s drums.

WIELKI LAS: From Poland: PEJA – Black album (Polish rap classic), BIESY – Transsatanizm (weirdo black metal), HAŃBA! – Nikt nam nie zrobił nic (folk punk meets alternative history), KOMETY – Alfa centauri (very nice indie(?) with rockabilly roots), From the USA: CORIKY (new album from Dischord).

CZERNINA: Other artists who are also notable and released really good new material this year are: Próchno (PL), Witchtrail (BE), Toadeater (DE), Filmmaker (COL), Heads. (DE), Vatican Shadow (US), Rites of Daath (PL), Turia (NL), Fange (FR).

THE DOG: I was really into the new Deftones album. I guess it’s the only not strictly hc/punk album of the 2020 I’ve been maniacally listening to. For the whole year from the one hand I was stuck in the music of my youth – MTV stuff like Nine Inch Nails or Faith No More – and 90s metal from the other, so I’m not the best person to recommend new albums.

VERMONA KIDS: Bartek: I’d definitely select some of my favorite Polish releases this year from between the latest stuff by daysdaysdays or Love Glove. I’ve discovered Willa Kosmos, which is awesome, and have just listened to a gripping debut album by Zawody, which makes me happy cause they live pretty close to me, pushing our local scene forward. On the other hand, my album of the year in general will probably not be too heavy – if nothing changes in my book it might be just “Punisher” by Phoebe Bridgers. Lots of new fun discoveries too, like let’s say Dogleg or Empty Country.

SYNDROM PARYSKI: Remember to listen to new releases and support your favourite artists at this difficult time! Our picks: Żabson ft. Mata – Aromatyczne Przyprawy, Wojtek Filipowicz – Hańba “Nikt nam nie zrobił nic”, Pa Salieu “Send Them To Coventry”, Wojtek Pawlak – Vacations “Forever in bloom”, Bastian Najdek: New releases from Somerset Thrower, Mil-Spec, Fake Eyes and Modern Colour, Sebastian Polus: Powerplant – People of the Sun, cursetheknife – “Thank You For Being Here pt. I”, Dawid Graczyk – “I’m stuck in the 80s and I can’t bring myself to listen to any new releases”.

EASY: Personally I tend to often go back and re-discover or actually discover music I’ve sort of known or heard when I was a kid and suddenly felt like checking out once again. So I’ve been listening to a lot of grunge lately – mainly basic shit, “The Big Four” and what Spotify has to offer in the “Grunge Forever” playlist, but it’s a good way to get your foot in the door. Lots of older polish hip-hop which has had a huge impact on me during my teenage years and which I still cherish today. But I’ve also been checking out new stuff – I’m really on board with some of the top polish rap/trap artists of today – mainly Bedoes, but I’d mention Mata, Miętha or this totally new kid Asthma – hope he goes far. The new Nothing record is great, the new Embitter record is great, check out the the last Three Knee Deep album, Higher Power, polish emo kids Zawody.. there’s really been so much and this is only me speaking and I’m only scrathing the surface here, for real.  But I can’t not mention that I’ve really gotten into podcasts lately – I enjoy the music ones – especially those which revolve around hardcore/punk, but not only. I guess my favourite one right now would be The Hard Times, but I should also mention 100 Words Or Less and One Life One Chance for a start. We even got our first Polish hardcore podcast done by a fellow hardcore kid – “Okiem Briana” Podcast (“Through Brian’s Lens” Podcast). Only 3 episodes so far, but if you speak polish be sure to tune in on that, support and hit that subscribe button. Podcasts are awesome. Thanks for reaching out to us. Peace and stay safe.

ZAWODY: Wera: ‘Kaspar Hauser’ – Konstanty Usenko and Siksa’s music to the spectacle that I haven’t managed to see yet; reissue of the record ‘Uwaga! jedzie tramwaj’, ‘Cud’ of Karolina
Czarnecka, Malaria!, Brakha, Orphanage Named Earth, The Comet is Coming, Das Bierbeben – a record that my friends found at second-hand; strike music, eight stars, (…), Alyona Alyona, Gattaca and, ooof… a loooot of others!

Kaczka : I’m in love with the new project of Lauren Tate – she’s making feminist rap as Delilah Bon.

Spluwa : Русский Бэнд is this year’s best eastern band, and, speaking of the east, I have to mention the best sessions: Цех live. About rap music – Pezet moved me, Płomień 81 set me on fire, new Lordofon is also great, but not as much as his demo. DE’WAYNE from the US made a good anthem. Screamo was won by For Your Health and the most beautiful song about love was made by Brożek.

Ule: Embitter, Easy, Titanic Sea Moon, Clown CoreLie After Lie’s new song is also cool, especially its music video!

Krzyś: All those midwest emo mixtapes that contain songs of teenage bands, which released demos and have split up.

LAST PENANCE: The best would be to give you a rundown from everyone:

Michał: I have been enchanted by the new singles from Harakiri for the sky, New ep from Zeal and Ardor is worth a go, I got a bit into Alcest, At the gates and Idles. Plus I cannot stop listening to the BMTH EP (it so pop influenced, it hard to call it scene related) and FEVER 333. From Poland I like the track I heard from the upcoming Six Steps Forward EP that is dropping this month, be sure to check them out.

Kostek: Because of the global pandemic I spent a huge amount of time exploring my music taste. From bands like Soft Kill or Ritual Howls, through Mgła and Sun Worship to movie soundtracks – the list goes on. Also, Endless Heights’ LP – Vicious Pleasures is still one of my best recent discoveries.

Jurek: I’ve spent most of 2020 listening to jazz music – artist such as GoGo Penguin, Snarky Puppy or Yuseff Dayes were a huge inspiration for me and have been fueling my drive to develop drum skills . I really enjoyed listening to the new album from Run The Jewels. From our genre I listened to new Bring Me The Horizon album recently. Alpha Wolf and Bleed From Within stayed for a while on my playlist. I listened a lot to instrumental tracks from Northlane and Thornhill albums. I need to give new Deftones album another listen for sure. 2020 was more about going back to old things than discovering new stuff for me.

Staszek: Music is a very important part of my life, since it affects my emotions. Personally, I don’t like sad slow songs because it makes me gloomy. I really enjoy music with an original vibe that is taking you for a musical journey. Lately I’m mostly listening to jazz and trap music. My music taste is very open – I can appreciate all genres, as long as they are original and interesting in any way.

My recommendations: Kamasi WashingtonJuice WRLDChester Watson, Totorro, Trap Them, BMTH.

Piotrek recommends the following: Great American Ghost – Power Though TerrorJustice For The Damned – Pain Is PowerBleed From Within – FractureNorthlane – AlienLoathe – I Let It in and It Took Everything.

MOIRA band

MOIRA

MOIRA: Paula (voc): Among the Polish ones, it is worth mentioning the new album by Hańba. From foreign countries, very good noise Human Impact, cold-wave Molchat Doma, post hardcore E and a solo album by Steve von Till.

Staś (dr): Gojira, Ne Obliviscaris, Odraza, Spiritbox, Kwiat jabłoni, Whitechapel.

Karol (bass): Deadlife – Dark Nation, Dance with the Dead – Blackout, Dryve – Dryve, Envy – The Fallen Crimson

Tomek (git): Clown Core.

SIX STEPS FORWARD: Ou… there are a lot of crazy releases out there! Some of these are already on your list! Let’s start with the bands from Poland: First congrats goes to the Love Glove – band from Wrocław that completely crushed our minds with Bummer EP (2020) – definitely, give it a listen! Another amazing release belongs to friends of ours Last Penance (self-titled) from Warsaw. Actually we were supposed to gig at their release party but got cancelled, we are planning to overcompensate for this miss once it’s possible! Another band worth mentioning goes also to Warsaw to Keymakers – metalcore. They released the lyric video lately “Diamond”. Check it out if you like it heavy + melody.

As far as we remember, there was also another release from From Today (Warsaw) with a self titled album. Check it out if you like rough HC. The funny part was that the former lead voc was Bart (from Six Steps Forward) but due to SSF duties had resigned.

The black horse of the race might be the last recommendation of ours. Bane of Mind from Silesia. If you like heavy dark metalic hardcore, expect their release. Pretty sure it will blow your mind.

Honorable mentions: Last of the Crown, Near Youth, Awakeness, Down to the heaven – worth to check!

Six Steps Forward by Kamil Chlebek

Six Steps Forward by Kamil Chlebek

Answering the second part of your question, there was a shitload of stuff to listen to! We are huge fans of The Ghost Inside, their latest release S/T LP is a punch! Especially after they come back after the bus crash. Its inspiring as fuck! Next shot belongs to Acacia Strain – Slow Decay – amazing production which smashes previous ones. We must add Slipknot’s – We are not your kind without any additional comment. We believe the quality speaks for itself here. Another discovery for us was a Loathe as a band. Its really hard to pick any of their albums and grade it with A+. All equally killer – how could we miss it? Don’t know. We need to confess that secretly we are also romancing with nu-metal releases. It would be disgraceful if we would not mention Ocean Grove – Flip phone fantasy – this LP is simply crazy come back to 2000’s nu-metal but 20yrs later. Last but not least, we listened to the meat grinding Traitors. Break down after Break down. Truly cruel band.

NIC ŚMIESZNEGO: I could name a few and we can’t forget about some “hidden gems” in hc/punk bands. From our own “neighborhood”: Burek! Dobry Pies, World Histery X, Long Way To Go, Wadada and more from around the world, last records of: Bad Religion, Anti-Flag, Hollywood, Undead, Refused, Youth Code – Commitment to Complications, Code Orange, Marilyn Manson – We Are Chaos, Słoń Dope d.o.d – six6six, Greg Puciato, Grimes. just to name a few.

CF98: We all listen to different stuff, from hip hop, through punk rock to bring me the horizon, editors, new Hayley Williams – I absolutely love petals for armor. From punk rock new releases check those bands: The dead Krazukies, Death by stereo, F.O.D, Bearings, Anti Flag. You won’t regret.

ZESPÓŁ SZTYLETY: 2020 is a good year for music. I often listen to this year’s releases: “Rzeczom“, “W/88“, “Art Brut 2“, “Exit No. 2020”, “Glory! Glory! Apathy Took Helm,” “Ultra Mono”, “Czarny Swing“, “Berliner Vulkan” and by the way, Converge, every Nick Cave project, lots of black metal, sludge and post rock – Suffocate for Fuck Sake, Cult of Luna, Unwound, Furia and so on and so on.

And guys: Lukasz listened to Scandinavian Swords IIII, Amensia Scanner – Another Life, Jass – Whities 27, Birds in Row – We Already Lost The World, Skee Mask – Compro

Ignacy – Bambara – Stray, HTRK – Venus In Leo, END – Splinters from an Ever-Changing Face, Deftones Ohms, Gulch – Impenetrable Cerebral Fortress

And Szymon – Transsatanizm from Biesy, Ultra Mono from Idles, CKOD 2 and everything from Turbonegro.

DAYSDAYSDAYS: Metz (A boat to Drown In; Atlas Vending), IDLES, Cloud Nothings, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, shame, Deftones, Viagra Boys, Nothing, Yo La Tengo, Woodkid. And a couple of tips from Poland: Syndrom Paryski, Love Glove, Zawody, Młody Dzban, donGURALesko, UNDADASEA.

CLIFF JUMPS: Maciek: Louis Cole, Mateusz: Dads, Przemek: Black Marble.

NUKK: J: Fidlar, The Growlers, Men i trust, ORB, they became my escape. However, I must admit that for some of these `bad moments` my poison and the cure will be some of the olders releases of Comeback Kid, Shai Hulud, TRC or even Jungbluth, Alpinist.

CARE: Kuba: I will recommend the movie Skandal. Ewenement Molesty. It was cool to watch it. I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts.

VIOLENT ANSWER: Once we talked about what stuff we listened to this year we saw the whole spectrum of different musical styles. For the purpose of this interview each one from the VA crew wrote two albums. There are some modern hardcore stuff such as Void of Vision – Hyperdaze, Conform – Circa ’95 & Cursed Earth – The Deathbed Sessions, blackened deathcore album Immortal by Lorna Shore, ambienty’ Carbon Based Lifeforms – Interloper, cooling down AURORA – A Different Kind Of Human and impressing with guitarwork Polyphia – New Levels New Devils. We also sinked into some Polish artists like Polish Hip-hop Profesor Smok – Zły Puzel, and female vocalists such as Marcelina – Gonić Burzę and Mery Spolsky – Dekalog Spolsky.

LWSTNDRDS: There were no shows almost the whole year, but despite that, there are still so many great music to listen to, like the newest Odraza, Of Feather And Bone, Imperial Triumphant, Void Rot if we talk about metal music. But there are many great non-extreme acts and artists with new music like Angel Olsen, Eartheater or Shygirl. Right now I’m listening to collaborative ep from Varg and Exploited Body, awesome material as always. The list is long and even if this year fells like a fucking bad joke, there are still awesome music to enjoy. 

HAŃBA: I have to admit we’re impressed how hip hop kids – Zdechły Osa or Asthma – feel and express social tensions.

Keep an eye on them! I have listened new Protomartyr (‘Ultimate Succes Today’) a lot. I am also a huge fan of 2020’s brexitcore albums – Fontaines D.C.’s ‘A Hero’s Death’ is my album of the year.

LIE AFTER LIE: Freshly released album by Dawid Schindler from Love Glove/Torn Shore, Air Hunger – F-I-X-E-R, full of reverb, very personal music, 100% DIY music record with phone, we recommend it.

DULE TREE: Staying in hc/punk for a while we should take a look on Radek from tegoslucham.pl na YouTube. There’s a lot of great albums that came this year found by Radek on Bandcamp. Pure underground. Speaking about other genres there was a lot of Nails and Metz in the speakers. In Poland album of the year may go to Lotto.

SANITY CONTROL: There have been some cool things released this year. Lately, I’ve been spinning Embitter debut LP 1134, we played a really cool show with EASY, I also saw a great OHYDA show filmed exclusively for CVLTnation’s series called SONIC UNREST. Enjoy!

MAXCADY: Lazy Class, Pleasure Trap, Serce, Tobi King, Chris Rea and a diarrhea. And of course Native American Hip-Hop.

MORON’S MORONS: We are listening to punk music All the time. To kill the boredom during lockdowns it’s a thing that keeps us going. From 2020 we recommend to check out: The Cavemen, Chubby and the Gang, Muro, The Spits, The Reflectors, Kool and the Gang Bangers, The Chats, Wyldlife, Dark Thoughts, Satanic Togas, Nerve Button, Erik Nervous, Sweeping Promises, Smarts.


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Spotify Playlist - Post-Hardcore Spotify Playlist - High Energy Spotify Playlist - Easy Spotify Playlist - JAZZ Spotify Playlist - Rhymes Spotify Playlist - Punk Rock Spotify Playlist - ROCK

Polish Punk / Hardcore artists comment on 2020, the pandemic era, best new music to dive into
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