Below is an interview with Polish band Stworz. You can visit Stworz on my space here
Greetings! First could you tell us a bit about Stworz, its origins and its message?
Stworz came to life at the end of 2007, I already had some one-man projects earlier, but most of them was total crap and none of them got ever signed (except Dystopia). Then I thought of establishing a “normal” band and started to seek people who could help me. Of course, response was very little or none, and people who answered my calls were complete idiots, who had no idea about paganism whatsoever.
My idea was to set up a band, that would not speak be about Slavic Faith, but also about ’s (and other Slavonic countries) history, about patriotism and personal reflections on love to Motherland. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anyone, who would follow my vision. One day I got a message from some unknown guy - M. - who turned out to be very good guitar player and his vision was common with mine. We started jamming together and to my surprise very soon we recorded first songs and release offer followed. From then everything went fast. Now we are slowly starting records for the second full length album.
Message? It is simple. Patriotism and Slavic Faith. The Pride of being a Pole, but also the joy of being the part of great Slavonic family. History; also elements of Jan Stachniuk's philosophy. Aims to establish high culture, so may once again shine among European nations.
Personal reflections on those matters and some pagan, patriotic poetry. And of course, most important thing - praise for Nature, its everlasting beauty and glory!
Your first album, 'Po czasu kres', has recently been released. It seems to be based on traditions and paganism, like many other European bands. Where does your interest for Pagan Black Metal come from?
When I became interested in paganism and patriotism many years ago, when I first heard of it, I realized this is something that was inside me since always, but back then I couldn't name it properly and develop it further. Then I wasn't even aware that such music exists. After some time I discovered Russian Arkona I think, haha, and that is how it all started - I realized pagan metal (apart of traditional folk music of course) is a great way to spread paganism and express feelings on that matter, as it can be both gentle and aggressive and has very much to offer, while not being hermetic and narrow. But even if I didn't like such genre, Stworz would probably come to life, but maybe in different form. It is natural to me, and birth of project dedicated to
express my reflections on matters like my Fatherland and Faith of my Forefathers was unavoidable. Times change, but our Faith and Culture (even if partially) have remained –
and Stworz is a tool to express our feelings regarding it. After all, we are but an ordinary folk, we are born, we live, gain knowledge, and then die, but on top of that we are trying to leave a mark, make our culture richer. Everyone makes it in his own way, some men are sculptors,
some great writers and some are poets. It is all a part of our beliefs and how we see it, so as you see playing music comes rather naturally. I can’t imagine life without that.
The Polish NSBM is extending a lot since few years, with groups such as the Pagan Front, Heathen Circle and many others. What is your relationship with such groups?
I wouldn't call Stworz NSBM band, we usually do not attend politics, and music is quite different compared to majority of genre. Of course we do express patriotic feelings, love and respect for our culture and heritage, still we do not see it as a political matter, but as a way of life, and a
part of our Faith and ideology. When I speak "my Motherland" to me it is rather a spiritual term, not a political one, it is in my heart first... It is the land of my ancestors, and will be forever. Same for modern nationalism. It is an active form of patriotism, it not necessarily must
mean hate to other nations, especially to those of same descent - if it was like that, how could there ever be any Slavonic Pride ideas? Nationalism is a way to show care for your land and folk, it is this unnamed feeling that was present in hearts of our ancestors since ages… But today
people only associate it with totalitarianism etc., and that is wrong. To say it short, every nation has its place in the world, and it should know it, and care for its own land. But the problem nowadays is, that people turn away from their own cultures and try to poison, spoil and abuse what is not theirs, you probably know what I mean… Thus, some tensions are unavoidable, and need to preserve own nation’s culture is now bigger than ever...
As for the Heathen Circle, it too wasn't and is not a NSBM group in the first place; at first this community seemed to be a good idea to gather pagan bands and promote them, as well it seemed a great way of making it possible to connect people involved in paganism etc. from all over the world together. HC even did some good work - like releasing a CD compilation and printing official zine (only first number was made though). But after some time all went to pieces, as people lost interest in organization's work. Stworz joined HC at the very beginning and I must admit being a member helped us in getting some promotion, but for a while now Stworz is not a member of any movement and group. Or to be precise, we are considered a member of
Heathen Circle, but as it has very small or none activity, the question is if there is still point in making such statement.
How do you perceive Polish politics? And how are you perceived by the population in general?
Modern official polish politics are a total joke and I have very little interest in them. Even if there are some more or less good options, they usually also have many flaws which are unacceptable. The everlasting lack of any direction, multiple scandals and bowing down before USA and EU... it is all pitiful, and I try to not bother myself much with this farse. What is important to me is cultivating our true culture and faith and passing all this precious wisdom to the next generations, and while young people often do not have interest in politics (or they see things from only one perspective, I mean the one on the left…), to achieve that we must take a different approach. Because catholic church has a very strong position in Poland, pagans are often pictured as "devil worshippers" and nationalists are called "nazis” (or something in that vein), we are portrayed as evil and blasphemous. People doesn't care what the truth is like, they’d rather rely on a stereotype and gossip instead. This does not need a comment. But in Poland we see more and more people become interested in Old Faith, both as a curiosity from the past and real philosophy and worship. Some very strong pagan groups exist here and they state clearly that respect for culture and motherland are very big and inseparable part of Slavic faith - and this way we are gaining interest and strength and even some respect among masses, certain sectors of it at least (but obviously it is still a very long road to travel). And of course every coin has two sides, and while some work hard to build our culture anew, some can only shout their slogans while doing nothing or even making things worse by taking mindless actions.
I know that relationships between national-revolutionaries, skinheads and NSBM are often tensed. How do you position yourself?
I personally am not involved into any subculture. Sure I know some skinheads and nsbms, but what can I say - there are some worthy and many unworthy people on both sides, it is natural. I didn't know relationships between those groups are tensed, as I am not interested in such matter, but from what I see here such problem does not exist, especially among young representatives of both subcultures - and good, because in unity lies strength, doesn't it? I get along quite well with both "sides", but me and most of my comrades are not involved in any of them. We have more or less same common goals, but those need to be achieved through gaining knowledge, not through clinging to some youth groups. Not that I discredit people involved in nsbm and skinhead movements, this is some good way to unite right wing youth. But the problem with subcultures is that because of them serious matters are being often turned into empty style or trend. I know people who consider themselves nationalists etc, but they can only wear clothes with emblems and badges, and when it comes down to serious discussion, it turns out they have nothing serious to say. They often do some stupid things, and then society links it to "those damn pagans/nazis/whatever" etc. Of course I do not say that I am against skinheads or nsbms – nothing like that, they have my support if they are to defend traditional values and
culture, but if they do so they should use their heads in the first place; of course I surely do generalize a bit on that matter, but I have already seen many mindless actions that caused only trouble, so I will not pretend everything is fine. My opinion is – you do not have to label yourself
and belong to any group to be a nationalist, a patriot. It is in your heart.
You have proudly talked about your Slavic pride. How is it reflected in your music, knowing that Slavic NSBM is in a boom?
I personally am supporting the old idea of Slavic union, but not if it would mean communism or another UE-like terror. My country, its traditions, culture and history are very important to me, and first I am a Pole, then a Slav. The beauty of all Slavic nations is that we are different yet very similar to each other - and we should celebrate our bonds of blood, our kinship, but remember our diversity. Slavs would once again have respect among other European
nations if we were to unite as a political, economic and military force (another problem is that people doesn't care much these days...); then we surely could take care of our business then – and fight for what is ours. The echoes of this idea can be heard in some of our songs, for example
"Pride of Slavia" or "Sons of the Sun". From what I have noticed, many bands have a similar attitude - I mean first they praise their own motherland, and then the common Slavonic heritage. And this is very good. I am very proud of my Slavonic origin and heritage - but first of all I swore my allegiance to the Polish White Eagle!
Your influences are probably North European, but your music also reminds us of French and German bands such as Forest of Fog and Kristallnacht. What were your main influences for your composition?
Hmm, I must disappoint you, because main influence was and is Eastern scene. I mean Ukraine, Poland, - bands from these lands. I could list them all but it would be rather pointless, let me just say my favorite band was and is Temnozor and probably they will remain biggest inspiration, however this is not heard in my music I guess:). I listen to vast variety of pagan bands and my interest is not only limited to metal. I listen also to pagan folk, ambient, martial – if the band carries something worth paying attention, I will surely take a closer look.
As for the bands you mentioned I of course know them and Kristallnacht is piece of very good music, but I never were inspired much with their art; however now that I think of it some similarities might in fact be heard, but this wasn't done on purpose, haha.
Anything else to add?
Thanks for the interest and interview. Keep the pagan flame burning, wherever you are!
Thanks a lot!