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12/03/2005 - Cabaret

CabaretThe Polish band Cabaret has just released their debut album, Homophobia, out on Artoffact Records. We have a chat with Jarek from the band:

How did Cabaret form and how did you select "Cabaret" for the name of the band?

Jarek: It was long story since we have got CABARET name... First name of band was Twilight Brigade... but it sounded for us very... grandiose. Than we changed it for Velvet Haze but it also was not right choice... than we named it Twilight Cabaret and after all cut this name to CABARET. Inspiration? The movie with Liza Minelli and this word sounds well... there is kind of magic hidden in this word.

I believe you have played some live shows - is your music well received in Poland?

Jarek: you will be surprised but we did play live in past often.... The polish music market is very specific... Owners of music clubs do not want to make shows of debut band. But I hope it will change right now or near future. After release of debut album and after some good reviews - we have received some proposition of live shows for next year. Most of them came from abroad promotors. We are going to play more often in near future but we want to prepare kind of multimedia show. I think people do not want to watch just 2 man with keyboards on stage right now. They expect more... video projections, good light show etc. And we wil try to give them what they expect. We want to also develope a little our list of equipment, maybe collect some more musicians to the band. we will see what future will bring to us more....

So I must ask, how did a Polish band end up releasing their debut album on a Canadian label? Why not a Polish or European label?

Jarek: The little answer you have in previous question... because polish music market is like it is... It is very unfriendly to new bands. Polish market is created through the 4 major labels: EMI Poland, Sony/BMG, Universal Music Polska and Warner Music. If you do not belong to the one of them you are not present in TV, radio, magazines. Everytime we heared or hear that CABARET playes music on high level. We have own sound and style of doing music even if many people call us 'copy of Depeche Mode'. I think there is difference between being a copy, blue print of something and taking influences from... Anyway, no one was interested in co-operation with us. And Artoffact Record was. I generally think that american and canadian labels are more open for new things. Europe has own strange rules that nobody can understand in right way... Example: Depeche Mode - so popular band on the world - always had a problems in motherland - UK. And about Artoffact: they have discovered us on compilation album 'Melodies And Structures vol 1' (4MG Records). We have sent them demo and we have got a contract for 3 albums. Those people are very cool, thy have open brains for new things. And the most important thing: they listen! They listen what we want to say, support us in many way, we are very involved into production and promo process....

What music or bands have influenced the sound of Cabaret? What inspires your music writing?

Jarek: My personal influences of doing songs are based on Leonard Cohen, Recoil, Massive Attack, The Verve, Richard Ashrocft, Depeche Mode.. Michal loves to listen Porcupine Tree, Depeche Mode, Blackfield, many art-rock/progressive rock groups...We listen a lot of different music... But also big inspiration for us is life, normal life....

The style of your music seems to blend many different styles and is hard to classify; what genre do you think you most closely identify with, or do you find trying to name a band's style pointless?

Jarek: Yes we do play music in many different styles... you can find there: pop, rock, synth pop, electro, ambient, dub, trance... And I think all of them create our own style. We play own music in own style. When we do music we do not care too much about style... We just play and record what we feel. Usually we call our music 'electro alternative music' and I think this is the best name for us. But of course journalist love to give name-stickers to all bands. I never understand: why? There is only two types of music: well played and played in wrong way. People like something or not. And who cares if it is rock, pop, reagge, synth, electro or other name...

Cabaret - Electric Chair SongHow did the video for "Electric Chair Song" come about?

Jarek: This idea come from our friend Krzysztof Szarek who did this video. The major thing was not to be very literal. 'Electric Chair' does mean only penalty thing... it is also kind of state of mind... kind of numb sensation... you are waiting for something what will happen but you do not know when... or you are expecting something what can not happen. In this video we tried to show how important thing is 'trust' and how easy is to lose it. We also wanted to show how often we are in touch with false prophet, pretenders (girl role in video) and how delusive can be implicit faith.

The word Homophobia has a very negative meaning. Can you explain your song "Homophobia (Nr 9)"?

Jarek: No.. we decided to leave some space for listeners to construe words of the songs. Only one thing w can say about this song is: there is 12 numbers in this song (without 0). Look how many hours you have on your watch dial? How many months do you have in calendar?

Fair enough. Is this the same reason you do not have your lyrics printed on the cd liner notes or available on your website? So the listener can interpret your words in their own way?

Jarek: We did not printed lirics in booklet cause we wanted to invite people to our web page. There are words of all songs (in near future we will translate them on polish language) in section Book Of Songs. And yes we want to people interpret our songs in their own way. Always when you have 10 different people there are going to be 10 different interpretations of one song. For you word 'love' can mean pleasere, for me: pain, for other: sex etc.

I know most bands sing their songs in English to reach a more international listener base, but have you considered recording anything in Polish?

Jarek: No , we do not... we are going to use only english language in our music and songs. For people in Poland they do not know english language we are going to make translations as I said in one of the previous question....

Are you working on any new material or seeing where this album goes first?

Jarek: Yes we think right now about new album. We have around 35-40 demo songs so only one problem to choice right songs and record them. We have also some songs in basic electro versions. We care what is going right now with 'Homophobia' but no matter what will happen we are going to record next album in own way and we are more than sure that this piece of music will be different than debut album. It is going to be still same already well known CABARET but we want to give something new and fresh.

Cabaret is:

Jaroslaw Pawlik (voc, k, g, prog, dr, sax)
Michal Bieniek (k, g, prog, dr, voc)