Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

Holidays: It is worth focusing on positive moments

Kamil Downarowicz: You recently released a new EP titled “Program”. Do you think there’s something new on it that can’t be found on your previous releases? Will listeners discover a new incarnation of Holidays?

Bartłomiej Maczali: – Definitely yes. For example, the song “Chwila” that opens the EP is something – for us – radically new. It’s about style, rhythm and, above all, live drums. that we haven’t used before. Our friend Tomek Popowski played it in “Chwila”.

Jakub Żwirełło: – In “Chwili” you can also listen to the echoes of house music from the 90s. A friend of ours said that it was a very cheerful song, one that we hadn’t recorded for a long time. Generally speaking, our second album was quite dismal. In turn, the track “Matka” has a pop atmosphere, which may be a surprise to listeners who know us from previous releases. Of course, we are older, so when it comes to lyrics, we also cover different topics than those a few years ago, and it’s quite easy to notice that on “Chwili”. And we simply hope that with each subsequent album, EP or single, the audience will find something fresh. You know, this freshness effect you’re asking about is also important for us. The point is not to get bored with ourselves.

We will come back to the “Matka” issue later, but now I would like to ask about the EP itself. You released “Chwikro” on cassette, and a vinyl version is also planned. However, I was wondering why you didn’t decide to make a CD?

J.Ż.: – Let’s be honest, hardly anyone listens to CDs these days. Most people treat media as a gadget. We assumed that since streaming is available and everyone listens to music this way, if someone actually wants to buy a CD on a medium, it should be a cool gadget, which is a cassette. Of course, a relatively small number of listeners use cassettes or vinyl, but these two formats offer a different, more enjoyable experience than CDs. The sound from cassettes and vinyl records sounds very specific, while CD-iK sounds exactly the same as streaming. That’s why we decided to play it this way. As a curiosity, I can tell you that the vinyl version of the EP was released on CD 12 and only one side will have music.

“Chwila” is a confirmation for me that you are such a slightly bittersweet band. I feel a vibe in it like – hey, it’s fun, it’s cool, we’re among friends, but somewhere above it all hangs the awareness that it will all end soon, that Monday will be soon and that we will have to return to reality, which is not always nice.

J.Ż.: – It’s definitely as you say. I see myself as quite a melancholic guy. Melancholy is something that accompanies me all the time, although lately I’ve been trying to tell myself that if, for example, it’s a harder time now, maybe it will be better in some time. And that’s what “Chwila” is about. Therefore, it is worth focusing on positive moments, which sometimes last literally for a moment. I don’t know what other hope you can have in life.

BM: – Well, I’m also rather melancholic and generally we don’t pretend anything. In our pieces you will find 100% of our emotions and resolution. As Aldona Orłowska once sang: “Beautiful moments happen sometimes in life, we don’t know how they disappear so quickly.”

You recorded the music video for the song “Parawany” spontaneously after one of the concerts.

BM: – The clip was created in a hotel bathtub, and it happened in such a way that after the concert we played in Zielona Góra, I rented an apartment with a jacuzzi. It was a huge room, a really weird and weird place. A leather sofa, a glass table, a large TV and a jacuzzi in the room. And we spontaneously decided that okay, let’s shoot something here. Of course, there was a lot of laughter.

I’m asking about this music video because I have the impression that it perfectly illustrates you as people and your work.

BM: – Well, yes, that’s actually right. Once upon a time we had such a bathroom music video for the song “Górątka gold” from our first EP “1000 Problems”. Then we put Kuba in the shower and poured Pepsi on his face.

The number “Mother” is, as you mentioned earlier, quite gloomy and reflective.

BM: – Initially, we didn’t plan that it would be a song about a mother figure. Notice that the word “mother” does not appear even once in the text, so this is just a hint. In fact, this piece is about hospitality – in a very broad sense. Well, what does hospitality mean? On the one hand, these are good and warm situations, but also situations when sometimes we are thrown into social situations out of necessity and we meet people with whom we actually have little in common. This is often the case in families. Spending time at the table with your “close ones” can be very awkward. However, if among these people there is someone who is genuinely sincere, cordial and hospitable, everything can change immediately, and people who have little in common can still get along, even if only for a few moments.

J.Ż.: – I guess family was simply the structure that was easiest to attach to the text of “Mother”. We wrote it around November, when the vision of Christmas was already looming on the horizon. And we know what holidays are often like in Polish families. Of course, not in every case, but it is a figure of speech that everyone can relate to in some way.

Are you family guys?

BM: – I already have two children, so I can actually say that I am a family person. On the other hand, it is difficult nowadays to define exactly what a family person means. I have the impression that a lot has changed in this respect over the last two decades and what was once considered family is no longer so. What I mean is that people lived together in one house or in one city and you were always close to your family. Now I have the impression that this has changed in many families. If only because young people often leave their hometowns, they are more mobile than previous generations and rarely return to their family homes. Family ties are loosening a bit these days. At least for me it looks like this – I visit my parents, but I have less contact with my grandmother, for example, than I did some time ago. And I don’t know, maybe it’s a natural process, maybe it’s some negligence on my part. This is an interesting and complicated question about my family background.

J.Ż.: – Referring to these holidays, the situation is that in my house they were always celebrated for a large number of people, at least a dozen or so people. It’s all because my family lives in Olsztyn and surprisingly everyone is close to each other and even this year we had a large group on Christmas Eve. Indeed, it is not easy to answer the question about family-relatedness, because if we define it by the frequency of visits from our family, then perhaps I am not very family-oriented, but on the occasion of these holidays I feel the positive energy from these joint meetings and I write them down as a plus. So am I a family guy? I do not know.

And when can we expect the new album?

BM: – Not earlier than in a year. Now we have released an EP because we had a spontaneous need to release this material as soon as possible. And the album is a longer process and we’ll see how it goes. Music is not our only activity, so a lot depends on how other things turn out.

J.Ż.: – Recently, Bartosz Chmielewski from Muzyka Końca Lata wrote a post saying that they are releasing an album and he wonders whether releasing long-playing albums still makes sense. He gave the argument that when you release an EP or a single, each song is properly exposed and gets its own time for people to get to know them. And if you release the entire album, you know, some of them simply “get lost”. This can be seen even in Spotify statistics – there, the first three or four songs plus singles have the most listens. Then there is a gap in numbers.

BM: – That’s why the album will probably be released out of necessity, because, for example, I like listening to whole albums. However, looking from the perspective of market conditions, it seems that this is a completely senseless action. I don’t know, now I’m thinking that maybe we’ll release another EP soon… For an album you always have to gather energy, thoughts, and have an idea of ​​what direction to go. You can also release a collection of ten random pieces that were created at a given time, but it is known – how many artists, so many different approaches to the topic.

Coming back to your last album, you recorded the song “Polska”, which is very ironic and explicit. After the elections, does our country seem a bit friendlier to you?

BM: – Of all the information that has reached me so far, I am probably most happy that Agnieszka Szydłowska has become the director of Trójka. This is a very positive change and I hope that this radio station will be reinvented. Szydłowska is a great candidate to resurrect Trójka, although it will certainly be a difficult task.

J.Ż.: – As for political issues, I can actually see some positive changes, but also a lot of negative energy sweeping through our country, so for now it is difficult to say whether this is the Poland we have been waiting for for so long. Generally speaking, I think Bartek and I can agree that we do not feel like we won these elections, because these are not the people we voted for. However, we must be happy that change has come, because what has happened over the last eight years has been simply terrible. We must also remember that politicians always need to be watched. Whoever it may be.

You mentioned earlier that you are a melancholy guest. If you had to choose between living in the present day or in the 80’s or 90’s, what would you choose? After all, the music of Wczasy clearly shows the influence of those years.

BM: – This is a “science fiction” question, of course. Would I change the current times to the 90s, hmm? There were certainly a lot of cool social situations back then that simply don’t exist anymore. I don’t want to sound like an old man who says that “it happened once”, but music certainly triggered more emotions in people. Concerts in the 1990s were almost like masses and simply very important meetings that brought people together. So yes, I would definitely like to relive these types of moments. It would be nice to move to specific places for some time and experience some events firsthand. But honestly, I don’t know if I would like to change today’s times to what they were in the 90s for a long time.

J.Ż.: – I like music from the 80’s and 90’s, which can probably also be heard in our music with Bartek. Personally, I would like to go back to the times “before phones” and a lot of information, because it is tiring for me. Just a few years ago I didn’t feel so tired every day. The amount of modern stimuli is definitely too much for me. Sometimes I even think that it’s time to give up all social media. On the other hand, I realize that it would be quite difficult in the context of artistic work. Oh, and the automotive industry was great in the 90s! I’m a fan of cars from those years, so you understand.

You mentioned that you deal professionally with more than just music. So what else is there in your life?

J.Ż.: – I am still involved in artistic work and contemporary art. I make sound installations, I used to make music videos, e.g. for Król, Trupa Trupa, Schafter, but now I have somehow moved away from it.

BM: – For the last year I have been focused solely on music. Previously, I worked for about 10 years in SEO internet marketing. I haven’t had a job for a year, and during this year without a job I was able to focus more on my family and making music. I’m reaching a point where I have to decide what to do next and how to make money. So I’m at a crossroads and it takes me a lot of time to think about it and decide which direction to take. But I hope that the future will bring positive solutions.