Exclusive

Polish straight edge heritage: CYMEON X

Words can’t express how excited I am about this interview. I’ve been trying to approach these guys a few times, but it was quite a struggle, mostly due to their extremely limited time. Now I’m eternally grateful for the band, who managed to put it together. The whole feature has been divided into 2 parts, the first one conducted in November 2012 and the second one finished in March and April 2013.

CYMEON X is a legendary Polish straight edge band formed in Poznan back in 1991!  They became active and kickin’ again after the release of their latest album “Pokonać Samego Siebie” in 2011. It’s a perfect chance to get to know them better and receive a massive update on “what’s up”m what are they up to and what’s hiding in their heads after all these years :)

NOVEMBER 2012:

Thank you for taking this interview, guys. It’s great pleasure. What have you been recently up to? :)

Adam:

I’ve been a barber for 26 years. I’ve been straight edge and vegetarian for almost the same time. Recently, I’m still doing the same things in my life. I’m concerning on my family, my job and CYMEON X. I’m most focusing on new lyrics that I write for new album upcoming next fall. I’m happy father of four kids.

I’m proud of being straight edge barber what is not often profession.

Piotr:

I’m father of 2 vege devils and beside guitar in CX  my profession part of life is connected with snow, skate business. Another part of my life passion is research of alternative agriculture and food production solutions.

Maciej:

Well, I don’t like this kind of questions. Way too open. Live my life, play music, go to gigs. That’s it.

Cool, me neither.

I guess you’re gearing up for your mini tour with INKWIZYCJA and THUGxLIFE, right? Any show you’re looking forward to in particular? Is this the only trek planned for the nearest future so far?

Adam:

We’re almost ready to tour with TXL and INKWIZYCJA. A lot of strange cases still to do but everything’s going well ‘till the happy end. We are on the way to finish t-shirts and all merch and we’ll start 22 November

We planned the tour half a year ago and the band which had to be headliner with us was CASTET but unfortunately they broke up. So we decided to ask INKWIZYCJA and they agreed. That’s how it happened.

Future plans- in April 2013 we’ll tour with OUTBOUND, THE CORPSE and VICIOUS REALITY  – famous polish hardcore bands. One of that shows will occur in Poznań in March is Fuck Fascism Fest what’s a big honor for us.

After that summer festivals will come.. Some others are on the way and we still talk about them with organizers.

In November 2013 we want to record new album which lyrically is finished and musically is still in work.

So as you can see we’re still alive.

That’s a bunch of great news. I guess your last year’s reunion brought some positive feedback, huh? What made you become active again?

Adam:

It wasn’t like we were absolutely out of hardcore and punk scene. We were inside but not so much active like years before. You know-family, job, plenty of duties…but our hearts were still into hardcore, straightedge, veggie stuff and so.

CYMEON X’s come back was for us an impulse to break the silence, to see how all it changed and showed us that except we are so different we’re still together and we can make a change. Yes, it’s a change for us but it is. Now ,after that year which is behind us, me and my friends,  think that things we do are more understandable and acceptable than before.

And most important thing for me personally is that energy which waited inside of me found  the way to show it out. I had and still have a lot of things to say, to express… So it had to blast. Here we are CYMEON X.

Piotr:

There will be a serious one :) … I always believed that attitude I lived when we started with CX in 1991  is a path I can continue when I become into “adult” life. It was not a fun time only and hard core, punk, straight edge and all “alternative” statements, left their huge life’s stigma.

If we keep it so serious, I follow my poetry :) we used this stigma as part of our every day’s life and it works. Means you do not need to be just a kid in HCP scene to live “different”, you can be anybody, barber :), editor, weak skull designer :) or sport sales rep, you can be even a serious parent :) and still live “different” way, you know what I mean.

Now, it is kind of opposite direction, we are not looking for alternative on the Scene, we know we are one.

 

So what caused the sudden split back in 1994? Maybe you didn’t have to call it quits at all? I mean there were a few CYMEON X reunion shows throughout all these years, so technically you were still there. And there are so many hardcore kids that hate the word “reunion” :). Have you received any hate for jumping out with reunions instead of just admit that you’re still alive.. or the other way around – not active and finally stop playing shows? :D

Adam:

CYMEON X broke up in spring 94 and the farewell show happened in June the same year. We supported UP FRONT and V-CARD in Poznań. It was a great show with a lot of people from around thePolandthat came to see our last breath. Two months later we played first gig  as RESPECT when we played before SLAPSHOT and Ignite in Poznań, but it’s quite different story.

To the point, we split up because the straightedge punk idea that we were inside finished for us. We wanted to bring our lyrics and ideas to higher environmental and animal level.

Next, we thought that our strong anti-fascist attitude is not so necessary longer because we ( I mean HCP scene) had no more problems with Nazis in the scene that time. So we decided to quit and start a new project with more aggressive and radical beliefs that would  touch more personal cases on one hand and wide open eco stuff on the other one.

Some of us didn’t want to sing about drinking alcohol and being teetotaler anymore ‘cos world changed from the time when first lyrics were written. Youth started to use drugs ,but not like before, not like in 80’s. It looked like a fashion. It looked like not only scum use it but a middle class too. It was sad and we wanted to mention it in our new lyrics.

We were almost only sxe band in Poland for years. But in the mid of 90’s sxe scene spawned and we realized to be a part of it. It was our place and our destiny. First of all it was even our dream that there’s a sxe scene for sxe people.

Now, I think we are nearest to the ideas of the beginning of CX but I can never say that I regret anything. Respect was very important part of us and me either.

To answer shortly second part of your question: if somebody hates the word “reunion”, let him live his life. We don’t see anything wrong in our attitude and we are sure that hard core punk scene is not to divide for reunioners and the others. We all have common aims to spread our ideas all around the world and we are in case of common strife against bad society. If someone wants to break it up…hmm…probably he choose bad movement. Hardcore punk scene is against ageing and things like that.

Piotr:

To add some words to Adam’s point, from the beginning, CX was about many positive attitudes, (edge, vege /vegan life, widely understood alternative choices in life) and after few years I noted, we speak about “being against something” instead of giving right solutions. We were associated with anti-nazis movement only, not much with other our statements. And that was a right time in 94 to step forward with positive thinking and to scream about attitudes which believe, bring true change in life. Now I think we have formula which is great combinations between CX and RESPECT.

About reunion haters – well .….  we do what we believe, no one can tell us what is right and what is wrong, we wanna go our path anyway.

Maciej:

From the perspective I don’t think we’d ever split. But this is my personal opinion. CYMEON X was put on hold because we were fascinated with a new school HC (mid 90’s) which could not fit into our style. We still wanted to play. Line up didn’t change. I don’t know if this is a good comparison but it was like kid getting a new toy. I was amazed by REFUSED for example. Same with SNAPCASE. I was blown away by the energy created by those bands. Energy based more on atmosphere rather than speed. I think we wanted to try explore something new, unknown but still so much hardcore. That’s all.

Speaking of REFUSED. What’s your opinion about their 2012 reunion? They’ve played a lot of gigantic shows and mainstream festivals, but there were some tiny club gigs, as well. Do you care about them being back after all these years?

Adam:

As a RESPECT we’ve played one tour and some single concerts together with REFUSED and we liked each other. It was in the mid of 90’s. It was /and still is/ great band with cool guys which were very helpful, friendly and had no prejudice. They saw no difference between Poland and Sweden and they were always very open for us. It was great time…

I’m not so much into their latest music but it doesn’t really matter. I can’t judge them for reasons that they play mainstream shows. They want to spread ideas as wide as it’s possible and they do it. Maybe it’s the way. I’m not the one to refuse them for that. I saw YouTube videos from their tour in States and it’s amazing that U.S.kids are crazy about them, they even know their lyrics! REFUSED had really good audience in American little venues.

I saw a poster of these Swedish dudes show in London that happened in 2011. There were a lot of BIG rock bands but you know – playing with KISS is their choice.

To the point – I can understand their attitude and maybe I could do the same if anyone would ask me about this.

Piotr:

As Adam mentioned, we had w great days with Denis and REFUSED crew and they were like us :) perhaps better English :). It is their path what they do now and I feel like these people are pretty open minded and honest. I remember one funny point on our FB page when I uploaded news about REFUSED come back, we get one comment that they sold themselves. I wrote same what we mentioned now that they are cool people as we know and we get an answer: “if they are so cool, I am interested if they would play free benefit show for squat inPoland”. Had nothing to comment …

… and what’s that got to do with the price of potatoes? :D I’m really sorry for such narrow-minded people.

MARCH 2013:

 So… :D We’re back in the business, aren’t we boys? Haha! I really hope we’ll manage to finish this interview as soon as possible. Thanks in advance!

Tell me about your 4-gig November tour with INKWIZYCJA and THUGxLIFE. How did it turn out?

Piotr:

Well….. I did not expect such great time together with CX dudes and also both bands members. We were super stoked about places we played, people we met and great great atmosphere which was everywhere we ve been. Before this tour some people warned us about 4-days event which is also not easy to organize from financial point of view. In the end I have just best and very honest wishes for each friends we met and appreciate you did this tour  best we can imagine.

Adam:

The november tour was great both personally and organizing side too. We’ve met a lot of new and some old friends too. It’s kind of energy that lets you live normal till next tour.

Any bands you’d like to shout out to? Did you make new friends on the trek?

Piotr:

Ha!!! I would play only with such great bands we met as they were at least good ones!!! – TRIPIS,  BRUTALNA KONTROLA and PROZAC are super hard punk punch and positive people, WOUNDED KNEE and STONE HEART – like these hard games, EYE FOR AN EYE and GAGA are an icons of Scene, but my special word is for WATCHING ME FALL – I was standing and scared if someone see my tears (not joking) – this is band I call complete one – every piece of their show was fulfilled, starting from energy, sounds, Greg’s speeches – this band made me jealous!!! if you did not hear them yet you lost hardcore :)

You printed some special shirts for that trek. Do you have anything left?

Piotr:

wW do have some last ones – it is not an easy to sell them all :)

Piotr:

Till now / May2013 / shirts are out.

Is this at all similar for you to your early days of touring? How do our local scenes appear judging by this short tour? 

Piotr:

Think I speak for all of us – we had awesome time and funny point is that during these days we forget we are old folks :) Scene is strong and still there are kids involved what also make us proud to be a small part of it. Bielsko Biala proved that this is a capitol of Scene and believe every crew wanna play there.

Adam: 

There’re some differences like better organization, music equipment and communication that makes it easier. But if I remember well in so called “old times” most of bands’ members were vegetarians/vegans. In these  times it’s not so obvious. That’s why we are still needed :)

What differences do you see between the modern hardcore scene and the one you were building back in the 90s? How would you describe the straight edge condition in 2012?

Piotr:

Best point of our Fall United Blood Tour is conclusion that still there is same passion, same unite idea inside HCP Scene. I noted that there are some different opinions – looks like some people would see hardcore as separate “movement” – do not judge it, this is part of open discussion. I believe that whatever you call it, this is same Idea. Slogan but – It is not about music but direction we go and changes we wanna do. According SE – looks like new people coming, new iniciatives start, young blood flows. Like it, like people I know and this is most important.

Adam:

I don’t see crowds of young people which are always freshness for the scene. We meet always the same organizers and people which we’ve met years ago. It looks like youth doesn’t want to collaborate with olders. But maybe I,m wrong…

Straight Edge philosophy is the best what man created for the HCP scene in my opinion, but it doesn’t make me better or worst than the rest of the scene. I,m afraid that some could think like that.

How have your ideas evolved over the years since 1994?

Piotr:

Depends which ideas we talk about :) Last months we spoke a lot about place of the individual in the world’s system and direction to go out, to be more independent then we are now. This point you can notice every step you do – most of things you see around are more of less marketing – somebody try to sell you something, some opinions, ideas, products etc. Key aim is to put individual in position with nets of subjections around. it starts from your childhood, education system, professional relationships etc. And this is nothing new for most of us besides a fact that these days you see tremendous increase of controlling system around. Some people call it conspiracy theory, others understand it just as attempt to seize control of the population in order to increase profits. Anyway I see atrophy of individual thinking, lack of independent choice – it sounds serious and it is. To find solution is the key – if you look at positive attitudes of life, all of them lead to creation  of individuality. They provide us to the break out depending on the system. Every person, each day can reject shit of the world and make own positive choice. For me this is evolution of ideas we as CX had in the beginning.

With everyday life, jobs, families and some touring, did you have a chance to check out any new records this or last year?

Piotr:

Biased question :D New Jassie Ware :) I still have a lot of bands to hear from past times so I trust my few friends who drop me some good new recs from time to time. But Adam is listening for all of us :)

Adam: 

I’m still much involved in searching for new bands, new sounds. My fave records for 2012 are- new albums of FIRE & ICE, NAPALM DEATH, WHEN TIGERS FIGHT, EXPIRE , I love 7″ of THUG X LIFE and re-released recordings of THE CORPSE. But it’s only a little percent of new vinyl music coming to my house.

“Pokonac Samego Siebie” features a guest appearance of Adam Malik of PAIN RUNS DEEP / INHERIT. Please describe your relationship with Adam.

Piotr:

hmmmm…. I try to be more general – there are few people you do not see for a time, and still do not need to spread a word to understand each other, you can be silent, stand by and still feel same shit in your minds. This is what I feel I meet him. But sometimes we talk to each other too :)

Adam:

Adaś Malik of INHERIT has been always supporting us for years. He agreed to be a part of our crew in one minute. We respect him for his over 20 years straight edge strife and he respects us. We are just friends.

Did you go to see MINDSET during their recent European Winter tour? How do you know / like these guys?

Adam:

I like their records, both ep’s and lp. Our friends from TXL toured with them together. I didn’t see them live because there’s too much different events to see. You couldn’t see them all…

 You’re gearing up to another tour in April. It’s called “Support Hard Core Tour 2013”, featuring THE CORPSE, OUTBOUND, VICIOUS REALITY, STRIFE, H2O and EYE FOR AN EYE. Tell me more about this short run. How did the idea of another tour come about?

Piotr:

That was surprise for all of us, but we get such a great money offer that we decided to go again (joke! for sad fellows!), We plan to play less but same time we would be more active band – when we get proposal to support Strife we decided to organize North Area Support Hardcore tour with OUTBOUND and VICIOUS REALITY and then we get also an proposal to play with H2O, EYE FOR AN EYE and THE CORPSE which is also great one.

Adam: 

We’ve finished the tour a week ago. It was great experience-great bands, great people. Next injection of powerful blast to live for next half a year. I love all of those polish bands for their differences, friendship and good will to build the scene.

No Warsaw again.. Any chance to see you guys here sometime soon?

 Piotr:

We are coming !!!! Check Refuse XX Anniversary Fest in August!!!

What are your touring plans for this year? Why aren’t you planning to take your passion and music abroad?

Piotr:

We almost finished our plans – April tour and then 2 shows during summer time – we need to get rest in nursing home :D finally. But to be more serious (try to) we need to work on new records.

Adam:

Future plans-august-Warsaw, September Edge Fest in Berlin. We’re thinking about fall tour but it’s still in plans.

Do you have unreleased songs buried in the basement? Would it be wise to expect another new release in the nearest future coming from you guys? :)

 Piotr:

As mentioned we are working on new sounds and in next weeks we will have more details – sorry :)

Fair enough :)

Is there anything you are looking forward to in the future as a band?

 Piotr:

Yes, I think that we know where we need to go but it is too early to announce this facts: tour with WEEKEND band  :) Then contract with MTV for “EDGE Reality Show” and then ……

There seems to be a lot of bands at the moment doing some pretty exciting things in Poland. Tell me, how do you feel our scene is at the moment?

Piotr:

What is important that many bands feel strong to open European space for themselves and others, my impression is that from music/ creative side Scene does at least very well,- no doubt there are a lot of very good bands here – question is why there are no more people who listen to these kind of music, coming for shows, try to be more involved. I see hard is no to have more then 50-70 kids in club and a lot of bands playing very very small shows. I believe that this is one of the target to get more new people to be a part of the Scene. Realize that this is not easy for young generation to be real HCP kid, to think and to make a change of own life, but still I am sure there is a lot of possibilities for scene development.

What inspires CYMEON X to be the band you are? What’s keeping you still involved?

Piotr:

It is easy – huge money!!! Sometimes I think I am too idealistic in this matter but I really believe that we are a part of alternative vision for the world around – I mean scene is. Punk, hard core, straight edge whatever you call it, is not a music – it is part of your mind and way how you seen problems in life. Very often we are “against” instead of being “pro” but this is a problem of system we live in. I believe that things we scream about need to have positive solutions, and we can be part of ones.

Adam:

We still love the music, the people and the scene. We find out a lot of inspirations inside of it. In so called private life we work so hard that playing live shows help us to live normally.

Greetings for my wife and kids which support me much day by day.

Thank you so much for your time. Is there anything you’d like to add? Feel free, gentlemen.

Adam:

I’m still straight and I’m sure it’s great way to feel free and look sober around. I still support veggie style of life.

Thank God I have so great great friends in CYMEON X. It’s not so easy to find friends. I’m happy cos I have them! XXX

CYMEON X Facebook
CYMEON X Bandcamp

Go here to see more parts of the above show.

Live photo by KeepThisMoment.
Old schoold live pic by Robert Zabel – 29.06.1997 at Eskulap, Poznan with HOMIKI and ELEJK.

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