banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

A Dirty Dozen with WOJCIECH KAŁUŻA from GRIEVING – September 2021

| 3 September 2021 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “GRIEVING are following the footsteps of their forefathers, with sounds of doom accompanying them as they weave stories of devils, witches, ghouls and the endless capacity for evil in the heart of every human being. Singing songs for the weary, they grieve over this dying world. The band includes members of Mentor, Furia, Thaw, ARRM, Gruzja, Las Trumien, J. D. Overdrive and Pure Bedlam. The album, was recorded and mixed at Satanic Audio and was released on July 26th, 2021. The album will be released on vinyl on August 27th.” We get singer Wojciech Kałuża to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Songs for the Weary is our debut album and we are thrilled to have it released on CD and vinyl. We’ve been slowly working on this material for a few years now but finally it’s complete and we’re really happy with the outcome. I think people might see it as a love-letter to traditional doom metal releases but hopefully they’ll hear our own individual spin on the genre as well. As far as hidden nuggets go, there are some semi-operatic vocals buried in the mix on “Lucifer Wept” that you might not hear at first. There’s also a muffled scream at the end that was basically us goofing around in the studio but it actually came out so good that we decided to keep it.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I think my dad played quite a big role in that. Back in the 90’s when I was a kid, we got most of our music in Poland on bootleg tapes, with wacky albums like Guns N’ Roses: Best Ballads and whatnot. My dad bought me a bunch of G’n’R tapes and I loved them ever since (still got some copies back home!), I guess they kickstarted my fascination with guitar music in the first place. Then I got to listen to heavier stuff and by the time I was 19 I was a full-blown metalhead with long hair and all the works. I remember watching music videos on satellite and thinking “Hey, I could do that!.” And while it hasn’t been an easy process, 18 years later here I am, living the dream 🙂

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

I’ve had very few friends who listened to metal when I grew up so my options were limited. At some point I really got into the whole nu metal craze and to this day I consider Korn (especially around their third album) a pretty important band in my life. But as I grew older, my tastes went onto more extreme music and I got heavily into death, black, doom and stoner metal. Right now I just like to listen to stuff that’s just good, never mind the genre. Be it pop punk, hardcore, crust, post black metal or whatever, I probably have at least one band in that style that I really enjoy.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Gosh, I don’t know, the possibilities are endless. It depends on the band I’m doing the collaboration for I guess. For Grieving I wouldn’t mind Neil Fallon of Clutch or Dave Wyndorf of Monster Magnet to share a vocal line or two. And if we’re reaching for the stars – The Prince of Darkness would be the obvious choice.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour? What do you like to do to unwind?

I’m a huge video game nerd but I mean like really into some old school retro nostalgia shit 🙂 I own more than 20 game systems and probably over 1500 games. Keeps me occupied, that’s for sure. I’m also a huge fan of horror movies, modern or classic – I love ’em all. I’m also dabbling in graphic design a bit, usually connected to my musical projects so that’s a plus! Love anything that keeps me creative.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

In a nutshell, it’s doom metal worship. We wear our influences on our sleeves and don’t shy away from paying our respects to the forefathers of the genre. At the same time we like to think we’re putting our own little spin on this style as well. Haven’t had any cringeworthy comparisons so far, everyone seems to get the idea we’re trying to get across.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

With Arthur (guitars/bass/synths) and Bartosz (drums) we mostly hang out on tour with our other band, Mentor, so there’s definitely more drinking involved than food. And no one’s doing the cooking, there’s no time for that. We’ve actually never played shows with Grieving before but hopefully that will change in early 2022 – right now we’re completing a live line-up and are eager to kick some ass on stage. Acoustic guitar for a sing along? Sounds like my idea of hell.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I actually work in the music business and luckily I’ve been immune to being starstruck for quite some time. The last time I lost my marbles a bit was probably around 2010 when I met Serj Tankian. Super nice dude and of course I was a huge SOAD fan at that time.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

I think it’s all about the creative process, the fact that you can make something from scratch and it stays on this earth forever. Or at least until we nuke the whole planet. But yeah, leaving your music behind for other people to discover and experience has always been my main motivation in doing what I do. If I were to have a different job, I’d still like to use my voice for it. Maybe dubbing for cartoons? That could be fun.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Never thought about it really. I kinda like the more creative ones, like “What sort of cheese would you be and why?”. Or something equally silly. Silly is usually fun. As for the questions I get tired answering, the classic “Tell me something about your band” pops up to mind. It’s called a BIO, guys, look it up. It’s all there.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Since Grieving’s journey is only beginning, I’m happy to say that so far things are looking really good for us and we’re excited to see what’s in store for our band. As for my other projects, there is one episode with cowboy hats I’m not particularly prod of but other than that, it’s mostly been smooth sailing.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Gimme a cowbell and let me on any of Monster Magnet’s albums. I promise I won’t overstay my welcome, just a few bangs so that my name can be linked in any way to one of the greatest rock bands that ever walked this earth.



Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad