KROMHEIM – das Interview
Heute Morgen konntet ihr hier die Review zur EP „Kromheim“ des Ein-Mann-Projektes von Mikołaj Popławski lesen. Da es die erste Veröffentlichung von KROMHEIM ist, wollte ich mehr über dieses Projekt, die Entstehung der Songs und weitere Hintergründe erfahren. Daher habe ich Mikołaj ein paar Fragen gestellt. Hier sind sie – und natürlich auch seine Antworten.
This morning you could read the review of the EP „Kromheim“ by Mikołaj Popławski’s one-man project. Since it is KROMHEIM’s first release, I wanted to find out more about this project, the creation of the songs and other background information. So I asked Mikołaj a few questions. Here they are – and of course his answers too.
KROMHEIM started some years ago
Did you plan KROMHEIM as a one-man project from the beginning or did it come about because of the Covid-19 pandemic?
KROMHEIM is a project that I started 15 years ago when I first picked up the guitar and started playing music. All the material that’s on the EP is from that time and there never was any real plan on what to do with these songs. So, in that sense you could say that it came about because of Covid-19.
Do you otherwise play in a band?
Currently not – the last band I was in, was a Melodic Death Metal band called GRAVASTAR (not functioning anymore unfortunately). And before that it was another Melodic Death Metal band called EPHEMERAL (defunct as well).
You are from Poland. Your music is i.a. inspired by medieval, fantasy and Viking themes. How do you relate to these topics?
It’s pretty much the stuff that I grew up on, which was anything from listening to AMON AMARTH and BATHORY as a teenager, all the way to reading all the ‘Witcher’ – books, to binge-playing Skyrim. All these things got my imagination going back then and they were what I was thinking about while writing the material. Also, the reason why I chose these themes in the end is because I didn’t want this project to be anything like contemporary social/political commentary but rather an experience that lets you drift away into a different world with its own stories (exactly like picking up a fantasy book).
So on what topics did you include in the lyrics?
The songs relate to a fictional nordic village called Kromheim and how it got pillaged by some unknown invaders. The EP starts with the people of Kromheim praying to their gods, to getting captured, to planning their revenge and eventually to dreaming about being at sea again.
Why did you choose Melodic Death Metal as the basic structure? I’m asking because Fantasy and Vikings – that is usually more associated with Folk-Metal. How do you relate to Death Metal?
The bulk of this material was written 15 years ago, and Melodic Death Metal is what I grew up on and was into back then. Generally I always wanted to contribute something to this amazing genre and one thing that I’ve been seeing over the years is that the genre is losing the ‚Death‘ part and steering away from a balanced mix that we used to see in the early 90’s. As for straight up Death Metal: I like it, but I’m definitely a Black Metal fan if I had to choose between the two.
Tremolo riffs, blast beats and epic melodies – to paint with the whole palette
I like that mix of powerful Death and Black Metal Elements and melodic parts. Why does this combination appeal to you? What kind of expression does this allow?
I don’t like to constrain myself creatively and of course it’s much easier to stick to some rules within a specific genre. When polishing the songs, I was thinking more about what would convey the mood best in each section. Would it be a fierce tremolo riff with blast beats, an epic melody or maybe a folk instrument? If you can paint with the whole palette, it allows for much more artistic freedom I’d say. I should probably also mention that Melodic Black Metal is my second favourite genre (with bands like DISSECTION, early DIMMU BORGIR, VINTERLAND etc.)
Death Metal scene in Poland
Where in Poland do you live? Is there a scene for Death Metal? Do you plan to bring KROMHEIM on stage at some point?
I am currently living in London, but I’ve always been based in Warsaw and that’s where the origin of this project lies in as well. As for bringing KROMHEIM on stage, I haven’t really given it too much thought, but I can see that people like the material so far, so I might consider it in the future. And yes, there is a great Death Metal scene in Poland (maybe not so much for Melodic Death) but bands like DECAPITATED, VADER and HATE (and BEHEMOTH if one wants to consider them partly Death Metal) are really driving the Polish death metal scene forward!
Yes, VADER – I’ve seen them in 2019 at Rage against Racism-Festival in Duisburg.
The cover artwork shows Kromheim, people in chains, burning huts. It was designed by Pantelis Politakos. How did you get in contact with him?
I found Pantelis‘ artwork online and I thought that he was extremely talented – the thing that appealed mostly to me was the fact, that he had an obvious love for drawing fantasy themes!
Full length album in 2021
What about your plans for the near future and KROMHEIM in particular?
I’m currently working on a full LP for KROMHEIM which I will hopefully be able to release in early to mid 2021. The material so far is shaping up to be a bit more atmospheric, but of course with Melodic Death Metal being the main building block.
I wish you good luck for implement many of your plans and thank you for answering the questions. Is there anything else you would like to give our readers to take along?
Thank you so much for the interview! I also want to give a huge thank you to everyone who has supported KROMHEIM so far and hopefully we’ll be able to see all our favourite bands on stage soon! Stay safe everyone!
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