Polish/Ukrainian alt rockers BASTARD DISCO discuss new album, share perspectives on the war in Ukraine

9 mins read

Fresh off the release of their new single and music video “Satellites“, we have teamed up with Polish/Ukrainian alt rock / indie band BASTARD DISCO, to give you so more details about their exciting new release on Antena Krzyku label and share their first-hand perspective on what’s going on in Ukraine right now.

Bastard Disco’s third album, released on April 20th 2022, and introduced a new face to the band: the lyrics have been written in Polish (as opposed to English on the previous two albums), and the album was mixed by Zach Weeks of God City Studio, Salem, US and mastered by Magnus Lindberg of VRTKL Audio in Stockholm. It was released by Antena Krzyku – the oldest Polish independent label, launched back in 1984!

The song “Satellites,” (see video above) was inspired by the short story “The last night of the world” by Ray Bradbury, the film “Melancholia” by Lars von Trier, and the poem “A song about the end of the world” by Czesล‚aw Miล‚osz, and it deals with the subject of the end of the world with a fair amount of irony – describes the band’s lead singer and songwriter Iurii Kasianenko.

“The greatest inspiration for this albumโ€™s lyrics were my friends, family and my beloved.” – says the band’s lead singer and songwriter Iurii Kasianenko.

The song was written in the fall of 2021, but today it takes on a new and unexpected context in the wake of the war in Ukraine.

“At this moment, the most important thing is to stick together and not lose either humour or faith in a better tomorrow – despite everything” – adds Iurii.

“Those lyrics are supposed to praise and support them, to be both blueses and anthems. Another theme that appears is my experience in Poland as an immigrant, those lyrics are sour and ironic. And the lyrics were written in polish for the first time, because, you know, we are a local band of grown up boys and dreams of international fame have vanished some time ago.”

Asked about their sonic inspirations, Iurii says that this time the band was inspired mostly by post-punk and shoegaze approach rather than previous post-hardcore loudness and roughness. “We also changed the way of songwriting and this time most of the music came out from bass riffs.” – he concludes.


We sat down for a brief interview about the war in Ukraine, Russia’s brutal invasion and their atrocities towards the innocent civilians.

Where are you at the moment and where were you at the very beginning of the invasion? How did it look and feel like from your perspective?

The war started in 2014, on 16 of March when the Russian Federation troops annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine and very soon after – attacked the East of Ukraine. We have been at war with Russia for eight years, and when we say Invasion, we say โ€œfull-scale invasionโ€ that took place on 24 February of 2022. That night I was in Warsaw, where I moved in 2014. But my family was in Kyiv, the city I came from.

My mother planned to finish renovation of a new apartment for grandfather and to move him in, so he was staying closer to us. That was a plan for friday. The night when the Russians attacked us, my mum didnโ€™t sleep for some reason. They stayed in Kyiv for more than ten days, often sleeping in a shelter. Soon they decided to leave. But not my grandfather. He stayed in Ivano-Frankivsk (western Ukraine) for a couple of days and then returned to Kyiv. I guess the older one gets, the harder it appears to change oneโ€™s habits. Though it is โ€œbangingโ€ all the time, we still consider Kyiv to be one of the safest cities. We can only read about the horror that people in the East experience right now.

๐‘‚๐‘ข๐‘Ÿ โ„Ž๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘ก๐‘  ๐‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘˜ ๐‘คโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘› ๐‘ค๐‘’ ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘‘ ๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘ก ๐‘€๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘ข๐‘๐‘œ๐‘™.

The full-scale invasion looked exactly as American intelligence said it would look like almost two months earlier: bombardings and rocket strikes of military bases, invasion from various directions both from the territory of Russia and Belarus, with further war crimes, murders and terror of civilians, all with the intent of demoralization of the Ukrainian people. It felt insane to all the civilised people all across the world and it is a total terror for ukrainians. Considering geography – eastern cities, often considered as russian-speaking, suffered the most. Some of them, such as Mariupol, are now completely destroyed.

A resident walks along a street past burnt out buses in Mariupol on April 19. - Reuters
A resident walks along a street past burnt out buses in Mariupol on April 19. – Reuters

Whatโ€™s your take on this tough subject and how would you assess the current difficult political situation between Russia and Ukraine? Whatโ€™s your general stance on this subject?

First of all, I’d like to thank Poland. The Polish people and government are the greatest supporters of Ukraine. Their level of empathy is incredible. As a Ukrainian I am deeply touched and thankful to Polish people.

Russian aggression must be stopped. Russians are not only a threat to Ukraine, but they are a threat to the whole Western civilization. Sadly, most of Russians, statistics say – more than 70% of people, support and approve war against Ukraine and Putinโ€™s nazi politics which say that Ukraine was never a state, Ukrainians were never a nation, Ukrainian history is fiction and its language was created by Austrian intelligence – therefore Ukrainian people must be destroyed. This is a clear analogy to the totalitarian Hitlerโ€™s politics against the jewish people. Itโ€™s nazism. Russian military is committing genocide of Ukrainians. And Russian civilians support it. Moreover, they take international sanctions as something they have to deal with until they succeed in Ukraine.

The complex relationship between your countries is something widely misunderstood, especially in the Western countries. Is there a way to explain the background of this conflict to someone not educated in this matter?

I recommend the book โ€œThe gates of Europe. A history of Ukraineโ€ written by Serhii Plokhy – professor of Ukrainian history at Harvard University, where he also works as the director of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute.

๐‘…๐‘’๐‘™๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘ โ„Ž๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘๐‘’๐‘ก๐‘ค๐‘’๐‘’๐‘› ๐‘ˆ๐‘˜๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘–๐‘›๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘…๐‘ข๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘–๐‘Ž ๐‘–๐‘  ๐‘Ž โ„Ž๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘ฆ ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘› 300 ๐‘ฆ๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘  ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘–๐‘š๐‘๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘ก ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘™๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘๐‘  ๐‘”๐‘Ÿ๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘œ๐‘› ๐‘”๐‘’๐‘›๐‘œ๐‘๐‘–๐‘‘๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ÿ๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ

Since 2005 Putin and his propaganda machine bred the cult of russian victory in the World War II, which says that Russia could have won without Ukraine and Belarus. Moreover, it emphasised Ukrainian collaborators, despite the fact that millions of Ukrainians died fighting with nazists. Since 2005 Putinโ€™s speech at Moscow’s parade for the 60th anniversary of the Allied victory against Nazi Germany, russians are feeding on their militarism and cult of victory, which happens due to the lack of any other success, due to the corruption and economic disaster. So when the 2014 revolution in Ukraine happened and the regime of corrupted Putinโ€™s puppet Viktor Yanukovych fell, Putin simply proclaimed our revolution as fascists and attacked us, annexed Crimea and started the bloody war on the East of Ukraine – Donbas, as you know it.

Independent Ukraine nowadays, as Russians see it, is just a misunderstanding, a poorer state with slightly more freedom, that for some reason didnโ€™t consider themselves as Russians. Russians consider Ukrainian language as laughable and people as stupid and inferior. We donโ€™t need that kind of relationship. And we do need Russians to mind their own business and keep as far from Ukraine as possible. Today, the 19th of April, the count of dead Russian soldiers is over 21 000. Some of their dead bodies are now returning back to their mothers and we hope this will clear their minds up. But honestly, I doubt it will.

Russian troops

On the other hand, a considerable part of Ukrainian residents are pro-Russian. How do you estimate this ratio of the division between your people? Also, regarding your closest neighbourhood, have you felt any palpable appreciation and support towards Russian politics and their agenda?

There are no pro-russian Ukrainians left in Ukraine right now. So-called โ€œpro-russiansโ€ are the exact same people who suffered first, and suffered most. Those people are now refugees, live under temporary occupation or worse. There are russian-speaking Ukrainians, such as me and my whole family, for instance, but it has never been any controversial subject at all.

๐‘ƒ๐‘ข๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘›โ€™๐‘  ๐‘›๐‘Ž๐‘ง๐‘– ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘™๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘๐‘  ๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘๐‘ข๐‘–๐‘™๐‘ก ๐‘œ๐‘› ๐‘™๐‘–๐‘’๐‘ .

Ukraine is a multicultural state. We have different religions, languages and views. I have a Russian dad, jewish blood, half of my family is Arab, we speak Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, English and Arabic. This is the true face of Ukraine.

๐‘…๐‘ข๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘–๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘  ๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘’๐‘›๐‘’๐‘š๐‘–๐‘’๐‘  ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘ˆ๐‘˜๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘–๐‘›๐‘’.

By saying that, I mean both Putin’s regime and the so-called opposition. Alexei Navalny, for instance, supported the annexation of Crimea. He is an imperialist, Russian nationalist and racist. None of Russian so-called liberals should be trusted, and none of them should be allowed to step on Ukraineโ€™s land. I can literally name ONE Russian journalist that is telling the truth right now – itโ€™s Alexandr Nevzorov. I admire his bravery, considering the long history of journalist being murdered in Russia and Soviet Union, and I wish him good luck.

How do you think where itโ€™s heading? What future do you see for your country?

Firstly, we are heading towards cleaning our land from Russian militaries. Thatโ€™s the number one mission. By saying that, I mean that Russia is fighting a total war, the main purpose of which is erasing Ukrainians from the face of the earth. If it wasnโ€™t clear during the first days of the invasion – itโ€™s more than obvious now. That said – it leaves us no choice but to fight back and protect ourselves, our families, friends and our land.

Now, as to the future: renovation and modernization of our state physically, mentally and politically.

๐‘‡โ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘๐‘ข๐‘–๐‘™๐‘‘๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘ˆ๐‘˜๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘–๐‘›๐‘’.

Cities on the East should be built with Russia as their neighbour in mind. Those cities should be organised as the cities in Israel, in terms of their level of protection. The Ukrainian military should be treated with the most respect and care. The Ukrainian army should be powerful and rich with budgets and supplies, in order to protect both Ukraine and Europe.

To make it possible, Ukraine should develop cooperation both with the European Union, the United States, United Kingdom, and NATO. Western world should realise that the safety of Ukraine is the safety of the Western civilization.

All of that should be done, because the Russian invasion in 2022 is not the effect of Putin’s temporary brain disorder, but a result of an unchangeable Russia’s policy of at least 300 years.

How do you assess the European and international help Ukraine received from other countries so far?

Ukraine is very thankful for all kinds of help from our partners. First of all, for being open to refugees – women, children and seniors, who lost their homes. The kindness of all countries who support those people will never be forgotten. We are also very thankful for military help and supplies, we need more of that.

Lastly, how else could we help?

You could help by spreading the truth about the Russian invasion and their war crimes in Ukraine. We should never take war for granted as something that is just going on somewhere in the Eastern Europe.

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