Interview done (and translated to Polish) by Adalbert
Links to original:
English: CLICK HERE
Polish: CLICK HERE
Choosing the more difficult path – interview with Cold Therapy
It was in the year 2010 when the project lead of Jacek Wolanski aka. Traum was released. “A time past” by his band Unsinn was the first release published by Halotan Records, and one of the few albums on the Polish scene which could be classified as dark electro. “A time past” showed that its leader is a talented musician and ambitious songwriter, who refuses to base on simple and often threadbare ideas. Since that time Jacek never ceased to impress his audience, firstly with his second band Traumatize, and now with Cold Therapy, which seems to be his most mature and atmospheric project up to date. Cold Therapy, which now has become an international Polish-German-American project consists now of theree persons: Jacek (main composer, electronics), Jan – formerly known from Tanaros (lead vocals ), and Jen from 13th Angel (female vocals). All of them agreed to answer our qiestions, concerning their new effort, entitled “Masquerade Infinite”.
Adalbert: Last interview on Halotan Record’s site was made in 2012, when Cold Therapy was launched. Do you remember why you decided to disable Traumatize and begin a new project? Are you still happy with this decision? Do you still see potential in Cold Therapy’s formula?
Jacek: Well, it wasn't just my decision about disabling Traumatize, the project had one more member. We had some problems and together decided to not continue anymore.
It wasn't only stopping working on Traumatize, in this moment I wanted to stop making music in general. After some time (few months I think) and the persuasion of friends who didn't let me just stop like that - I got back to it. I was a bit demotivated... it's not easy to start working from scratch, build everything again, but after all music is what I love to do and I missed it.
So, that's how Cold Therapy was born. This time I wanted to make something different, something more „personal”, more into my own musical tastes, to express myself.
Yes, I am happy about this decision, if it wouldn't happen, Cold Therapy would never born. I would never discover that this kind of music I make right now is the right path which I enjoy more.
If it comes to that if I see potential in Cold Therapy's formula... it depends, I would say it's yes and no at the same time. I know making this kind of music is more difficult to find new listeners, get promotion, get included in DJ sets, etc. It don't really matter to me that much, I just appreciate every single person who take the time to listen to CT and like our material. Even if that means we will reach lesser audience, it's worth it, as this is the path which I want to go, this is the music which shows my own tastes and working on it gives me a lot of pleasure.
I would like to add - soon there should be out „new” Traumatize's EP, which was an idea of the listeners. It's not really a new release, this EP will have previously unreleased songs which will be gathered together and put out for the people, who really wanted once more to hear something from Traumatize.
There will be also something new I made exclusively for this EP, like the first polish song in Traumatize's history titled „Moje Odbicie” or „Far Enough”. Both have snippets available to listen to on the Traumatize's SoundCloud page.
It should be officially the last release from this project, after that the only activity which will remain will be making remixes if anyone will request it.
Adalbert: You prepare a new album. Some snippets were already published, and they sound very promising. In which direction the new music will go? Can you can already compare the upcoming release to the previous album and ep?
Jacek: Thank you, I'm very happy you enjoy the snippets for now. The direction of our upcoming album and the future releases is... very experimental. I personally love the dark electro / electro-industrial from the 90s. Music with the old-school vibes and good atmosphere, maybe with a bit of gothic / baroque and neoclassical style. That's what you can expect from our releases from now, mixed with the modern sound.
The previous album „Embrace the Silence” was just a start on that path. It was still a mix between the style we went now (for ex. „Why do we Fall” or „Closer into Deep”) and the more aggressive aggrotech (ex. „Betrayal”, „Lost your way”). I think I had this period of time after Traumatize when I was discovering the direction in which I want to go.
The EP „Carnival of Lies” is more into our actual style and because of it I like it more. I'm really satisfied of the work we did on it.
The three songs you can listen on it are taken from the upcoming album „Masquerade Infinite”. The EP itself is connected to it if it comes to the theme, also the cover was designed by my girlfriend to it too. That's also about what I am really happy and proud of. The EP „Carnival of Lies”, the artworks, songs from it are all connected thematically to the upcoming album, this EP was something like an intro to the album, It's all one big „whole”.
This is from now the way we work, with a theme for the release where all need to fit and work together. No more randomness how it was with Traumatize and even on the first CT album „Embrace the Silence”.
Adalbert: In times of the dancy dark electro tunes made for the alternative parties you chose rather to experiment, consequently proposing more varied music which is made not only for dancing. I remember that already your first project, Unsinn, was made not only for body, but also for brain. You don’t reget to follow such path, which certainly is more difficult?
Jacek: As I told in the first question - this is what I like the most. I love atmospheric music, which express something, tells a story, have emotions. That's what I want to make. Even if I know it's more difficult path, I will not return and enjoy working on this kind of music.
That gives me a lot of pleasure when people who don't enjoy that much danceable aggrotech, but like this kind of tunes, discover our material and like it. When I see there are actually listeners who support the direction we are going and wait for the new releases.
I don't regret, that's what gives me pleasure and I think this is what's most important. To be true with myself and make music which I like, not what sells better.
Adalbert: Cold Therapy has the new permanent vocalist, plus some additional female vocals. Can you tell more about Jan which voice could be heard already on the EP „Carnival of Lies”. Why have you decided after few years of activity as one-man band invite some other musicians ?
Jacek: I know Jan for some time already. We knew each other since I started my adventure with music and worked in Unsinn. Jan at this time had his own project Tanaros.
When I started Traumatize and released first demo „Death Dealer” at the end of 2010, that was the time when we decided he will be the vocalist in Traumatize. We wanted to transform the songs from the demo for the german versions for the first album. He even recorded vocals to „Death Dealer” which was called after that „Todeswunsch” (is available to hear on Traumatize's SoundCloud or Bandcamp), but unfortunately after we made that one song, he had some personal problems I think and wasn't able to cooperate. We lost contact for a long time. After I released first Cold Therapy's album „Embrace the Silence”, Jan was back and contacted me. We were talking some time and he told that he would like to have a band where he don't need to write music, but concentrate just on vocals. I remembered that he was suposed to be the vocalist of Traumatize in the past and that I don't feel to well if it comes to writing the lyrics to the songs - I thought my english is not that advanced if it comes to writing, I always saw this aspect as the weak spot in my music. I decided to talk to Jan and asked him, if he would be interested to replace me. I saw in this a chance to make the band better. That Jan will be able to add a lot of quality with his vocals and the good lyrical work, that I will be able to fully concentrate on writing music, make it even better than before.
That's how it all started and we released the EP „Carnival of Lies” to introduce Jan to the actual listeners and show the change before the new album.
Jan: I was really sad, that I couldn’t make more songs with Traumatize back then.. but I was kind of burned out with this whole musical stuff. I stopped my own project Tanaros, too, and the contact was lost for quite a long time. I found him a few years later on facebook, where we talked about music and that he had this new Album with his new project „Cold Therapy”, and from the beginning I was hooked. It was the first time that I enjoyed new Dark Electro Songs for a long time. And we shared the same thoughts and interest in music and the scene, so I was glad when he asked me to join.
Adalbert: Is there a chance, that we could see you on stage – well, there’s much easier to perform, when new vocalist joined Cold Therapy?
Jacek: Yes, I think so. It's possible that in future we will figure something out. If there will be occasions to play and possibilities to organize everything, then why not.
Jen: There is always an option to perform live when the members are willing to travel. Personally I would love to make the trip and travel around Europe
Adalbert: How the presence of Jan changed Cold Therapy’s music?
Jacek: Jan is important in the main idea and the actual style of music we make. We were talking a lot about the direction we want to go and we understand each other well - about what I am really happy.
I think Jan gave us more possibilities and me some kind of „courage” to finally make a full step into the direction we went.
I could concentrate just on music, make it as good as I can and try to develop. It's nice to feel that comfort when I finish the song and I am satisfied of it, that I don't need to worry about Jan's work. I know he will do his job good and write good lyrics, even make the songs better.
Jan: But I don’t think that I changed the music that much. Of course changing the singer is always a bit difficult and I was afraid that they just comment to the songs: „He sucks! Do it yourself again!” but they liked it and I think it’s a similar style of vocals, so it works out well with the change.
Some of the songs are of course in german, but mostly is still in english. Maybe that will change in the future but I don’t know. It’s a surprise!
Jen: Jan has added his own character and style into Cold Therapy's songs.
I think it will give Jacek the opportunity to create even more music and at a faster pace with the help of Jan.
Adalbert: And what about the female vocals? Just an experiment, or maybe they can became more important in the future?
Jacek: The female vocalist Jen is a full member of the band, for sure not just an experiment.
That's true to this time she didn't appeared too much, had just very short sentences like in „World of Crows” song. On the upcoming album she have her own song „Mask of Deceit”, where are only her vocals. For sure her presence add to the band more possibilities along with the Jan's male vocals.
I think it's not about how important her vocals are, it's more about the songs itself and the tastes. If there will be songs needing vocals to which Jen will feel good with recording, she can always do it, but it's also up to her if she feel well with the song style. We can always mix the Jan's and Jen's vocals together in some songs, but I want to give them some freedom with the vision of vocal parts and how they want to do it.
Jan: I hope that we can work together more often in new Songs, it just didn’t resulted out of writing lyrics, but this may change. The „Mask of Deceit” Song is a very strong one, you shouldn’t miss it.
Jen: Female vocals fit and add to the feel of the story Jacek tells in each song.
It gives the music a new dynamic and adds to the drama a bit..
I am excited to be working with Cold Therapy.
When I first joined we started slowly song by song to see how it would work out and in time progressed into full songs.
Adalbert: Let’s talk about the reception of Cold Therpay’s music, and the audience – I guess it is rather international and you don't bother with the local Polish context?
Jacek: Well, I don't really think about that and never try to split it to international or local Polish. But if it comes to the matters like posting statuses on our sites etc - yes, it's always in English. I just never saw too big interest in Cold Therapy in Poland.
Adalbert: Today, in the age of the bandcamp and other platforms that allow to release the music only in virtual way it is easy for anybody to became an alternative electronic artist. What is today’s meauser of quality, since the record deal isn’t so important today?
Jacek: I don't have any problems with the growing numbers of bands / projects and that everybody can try to make music. The point is that everybody can, bot not all can be an „artist”. This just adds more possibilities these times for the underground musicians. Many of them wouldn't even have the possibility to make any music if not that. Some have the talent and show it - others not. It's like to give a piece of paper and pencil to someone and order to draw. If this person is not artist and don't have the talent, it will be not an piece of art, but a scrawl. The same is with music, not everyone can compose actual music even having the tools.
Jan: We all started with imperfect songs and that is no shame at all. But you see fast who evolves and who has no talent for songwriting. Often they said to me: „If I had better equipment, I would make better music!”, but that’s not the case at all. If you are a talented songwriter you can make good stuff with even the minimalistic resources. Jacek proved he can do more than just a four to the floor beat and some three note melodies.
Adalbert: Can you tell as something about Autumn Nocturne? Why did you start this dark, and instrumentla project?
Jacek: I really love melancholic music, dark ambient, neoclassical. I always dreamed when I was a kid that I want to compose this kind of music. Always wanted to play piano and violin.
Now I was composing neoclassical songs just for myself, but one day I thought I will share it, that's why I created Autumn Nocturne. For now are available just three songs, but there will be more.
I'm also gaining some experience with this kind of music working on Autumn Nocturne and when you will listen to Cold Therapy, you will be able to hear it. In some tracks you will hear the violins, brasses, the haunting piano melodies and many other classical instruments mixed into the dark electronic music. That's what I like to do.
Autumn Nocturne also gives me some kind of „rest” from the elctronical music and inspiration, when I need it.
Jan: Yeah, I really like that neoclassical stuff of Autumn Nocturne. Back there with my Project Tanaros I tried also to mix Dark Electro with Violins, Cello and stuff, so that is an option too I think. Let’s wait and see.