Are you into brutally downtuned death/grind music? Well, I really hope so, 'cause UNBORN SUFFER from Poland is the right choice for that purpose. The trio's latest album "Nihilist" is about to serve you a fine lesson in brutality and that's for sure! My questions were answered by Damian "Sfenson" Bednarski (guitar/vocals) and Lukasz "Lukass" Ziolkowski (drums).
Last year Selfmadegod Records released your fifth album in the row, titled as "Nihilist". It was your debut for the label. How do they treat UNBORN SUFFER and what kind of deal did you sign with them? "Nihilist" was spread by them in different versions. Please describe us all the variations.
Sfenson: It was released in two CD formats: standard and a limited edition in black case. It was also available in bundle with a t-shirt. We signed a very simple and good deal and we are very satisfied with it. The label treats us good and contact is very fluent. It was a small dream came true for me personally, so I'm very happy with it. You can still buy our stuff here, new t-shirts are on the way: https://selfmadegod.com/shop/
"Nihilist" is a kind of massive yet ultra downtuned Death/Grind madness consisting of 17 cuts. How do you remember on the creating process of the aforementioned 17 songs? Do you compose songs altogether or separately? Who writes most of the riffs in the band?
Lukass: I remember it rather positively. It was a long process. Now we are mainly working on a distance, but not always. We try to find time to meet and assemble the song together, arrange it together, discuss it. As far as "Nihilist" goes I rehearsed most of the songs with Damian.
In what tune you play lately? What kind of gear you use for the sonic extermination live, in the studio and at your rehearsal room?
Sfenson: Right now I play a 9-string guitar, Ibanez RG9, tuned to C# (factory tuning), so it's 6 strings in E standard + B + F# + C#. Dreadrock plays a 5 string bass, Ibanez K5, tuned to F#, but the F# string is tuned unison and any sounds I play on C# string he plays on his B string.
We generally use the same equipment live, in studio and during rehearsals. It's very important for us to maintain the same sound in every environment so when it comes to recording we try to use as small studio interference as possible, not to loose our sound identity.
I own a Marshall 1960 B cabinet and play a Marshall JCM 2000 but I recently decided to use it only in studio and bought a Line 6 Flextone II for live performances and tours. Dreadrock uses an Ampeg B2R head + Sansamp + Ashdown Bass Drive Plus distortion. Lukass uses Czarcie Kopyto drum pedals, Pearl Werbel Joey Jordison Signature snare, Alesis D4 drum module + Roland RT10K drum trigger (we only trigger the kick, rest of the kit is live sound) and cymbals.
I've noticed that most of the Polish Death/Grind acts are really in love with cowbell. What is the reason for that in your opinion? When did you start to use it for the music of UNBORN SUFFER?
Lukass: This is not my favorite drum element. I use it for the band's needs. I guess there was always a cow bell in UNBORN SUFFER so when I joined the band in 2009 I was asked to use it as much as possible. (laugh)
For the track "Open Defiance" you've made a crazy video clip and as I see, for its visual story, two of the band-members were also in charge. I am really curious what is the main idea and story behind it? Who helped you to film and realize your ideas visually?
Lukass: The main idea was given to us by the text of this song. I remember being very happy that this track was chosen by us on video. Later we brainstormed. Everyone was supposed to come with the idea how to describe themselves. Piotrek had already recorded his performance much earlier when he cut his dreadlocks. Damian was filmed in his basement. I recorded my image in Bydgoszcz, in a skyscraper, in some empty dirty room with Damian and Jaroslaw Piskozub who was our director and assembled the video clip.
There was a cool live album out digitally in 2014, it was called "Live Suffering", and then a year later it was released on CD by Infernum Media with some splits and an EP of yours. Where that live material was recorded, how do you personally remember that show? As I see you like to record and also play quite a lot of covers live. Recently which covers are colorizing your live set?
Lukass: Everything is correct. That concert was registered in Warsaw club Fonobar, which no longer exists. It was in 2013 on a gig supporting PARRICIDE and SPASM. I recall this event very warmly, though the temperature was under minus. It was really sensational. This is one of the best concerts we have ever played. Everything was positive, the reaction of the people, the bands, the climate and the possibility to record the sound. As for me, I prefer to play live than in the studio, covers as well. (laugh) In our two sets there are covers of: DYING FETUS - "Kill your mother, Rape Your Dog", MORTICIAN - "Zombie Apocalypse" and GROSSMEMBER - "An Impulse to Create".
Speaking about covers. Tell us what bands influenced you lately and list us some of your all-time favorite records.
Sfenson: Lately I've been very strongly influenced by social/political grindcore bands, especially ASSÜCK. It's a shame I discovered this band so late, but better late than never! But generally my influences haven't change much since the beginnings. I'm very into American style of playing, be it a death metal, grindcore, hardcore etc. DYING FETUS, MORTICIAN and SUFFOCATION, to name a few.
My all time favourite records, that's always a hard question (laugh). I'll try to name five from the brutal genre. Let's see, I think that would be (in no particular order): MALEVOLENT CREATION - "Retribution", SUFFOCATION - "Effigy Of The Forgotten", MORTICIAN - "Zombie Apocalypse", DYING FETUS - "Destroy The Opposition", NAPALM DEATH - "From Enslavement To Obliteration".
How the situation with the Polish Death Metal and Grindcore scene looks like these days? Does it better in sense of musical products than it was 10 or 15 years ago? Any newcomers you would like to recommend us?
Sfenson: Hard to say. On one hand, there are some gigs promoting this type of music and some of them are very successful. For example we played at the first edition of SWINSKI FEST (roughly translated as Porcine Fest (laugh)) in Gdansk, in June this year and it was spectacular. A lot of people from whole Poland came. But on the other hand, I witnessed a lot of good fests promoting brutal death and grindcore fade into obscurity throughout all these years, which is very sad. I don't know how the other bands are doing as far as CD/merch sales go, but we are quite happy with sales of “Nihilist”. It could be better of course, but that's life (laugh). To sum this up this scene now is different than 10-15 years ago, not better, not worse, different. No newcomer in grindcore comes to my mind in the moment, sorry.
In a few months you are going to perform at the 8th edition of UzhGoreRot festival. What should the local Death/Grind freaks expect from you live? Do you plan some special set for that event? As I know you've been to Ukraine earlier as well. Please share your memories from those past visits with our readers.
Lukass: As far as I know UNBORN SUFFER never played in Ukraine. I guess what you are thinking about is Lithuania? (Well, it seems I have mistaken Ed.)
Currently, we have two sets that we play depending on the location or number of concerts played in a particular city or country. One set is promoting the last album and the other contains songs refreshed for the occasion of our 15th birthday. I do not know yet which one will we show at the UzhGoreRot festival. But we will certainly bring out the heaviest guns!
At the end of my questionnaire please talk us a little bit about the freshest songs and ideas for the approaching UNBORN SUFFER material. When can we expect the follow-up to "Nihilist" and in what direction the new songs will be? Add your final thoughts, please.
Lukass: At this time we have prepared 6 songs. It's hard to say what the whole album will look like. There are a lot of ideas and there will be probably even more. Probably the album won't appear next year. This is quite a long process in our case and it will take a while, but at that time surely there will be a lot going on in UNBORN SUFFER. Patience and you will receive. (laugh)