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Krzysztof “Krizz” Maryniewski (Armagedon)

Interview with Krzysztof “Krizz” Maryniewski from Armagedon
by Grigoris Chronis at 08 August 2010, 2:08 AM

Bands formed years and years ago that return ready to kick some ass is always good news! ARMAGEDON is one of the oldest Polish extreme Metal outfits (older metlahads may recall their leading “Invisible Circle” 1993 album) and – judging by the quality of their fresh “Death Then Nothing” CD – they still have a lot to say with their music. Krzysztof “Krizz” Maryniewski shares enough of his thoughts regarding the band’s savage past, ruthless present and mean future.

Hi Krizz, hello from METAL TEMPLE, pleased to talk to you!
Hi Greg, pleased to talk to you as well! Especially that this is a first time we are in Greece with our interview. Hail to all of your readers and Metal maniacs in this fascinating country!

ARMAGEDON is not a new band as many Extreme Metal fans may assume, right? Formed in the 80s, it seems you had a long long break for a dozen of years, now to unleash your power with a brand new album. Which are the reasons you called it quits in the mid-90s and what was the motive to reform some 3-4 years ago?
Well, indeed ARMAGEDON is one of the Polish bands that really created the Metal scene in Poland in the 80s/90s together with VADER, IMPERATOR and many others. That time we were very young. We strongly believed in our Metal mission. Unfortunately there were a plenty of negative issues (private and band-related) accumulated at that time around us. We were too young and inexperienced to solve all of them in a good way. So, we decided to “hold on” for a while. We did not intent to stop with ARMAGEDONcompletely. Unfortunately our not-attendance took too long… 16 bloody years…We never expected this will continue for such a long period. During these years we focused on our private things, but we never lost contact with the Metal scene, shows and our fans!

Your latest album “Death Then Nothing” has some symbolic meaning behind its title, for a start? Is this some kind of message, band experience or something like that?
No, not at all. Our new album does not “touch” our past. Maybe somehow it looks as there is something in common, but believe me, this is a brand new release of today’s ARMAGEDON. We’re proud of our past, but we look and go forward!

Took you 3-4 years to release “Death Then Nothing” after you guys came back in the Metal map. Which were the key points in the making of the new album (songwriting, recording etc)? Was it obvious it would take you all these 3-4 years to release the CD or you just worked sporadically for the album?
There were several trials (in these invisible years) to be back, but due to different reasons (like the death of our drummer in 2002) we were not able to re-start.Me and my brother Slavo (vocals) finally in 2006/2007decided to create new material, record it and release it via an official label. This was quite an ambitious plan, but we were strongly motivated. At that moment the band was not “collected” yet, we started slowly with new material at our home studio. In summer 2007 we started the first rehearsals and in fact this was a break even point for our new material. We finished it somewhere at spring time 2009. Our recording session was divided into 2 parts: drums in August and the rest in October. Summarizing this period, real and complete work (including recording) on our new material took around 14 months. This was a fantastic time!

There’s been quite a gap between “Death Then Nothing” and 1993’s “Invisible Circle” debut full-length. I would not try to make any comparisons (it’s been years, as said) but what’s surely of interest is the fact that ARMAGEDON back then was one of the really few Polish extreme Metal bands. Now Poland is enjoying a whole scene with many acts being well known worldwide. Surely the “Invisible Circle” CD is certified as one of the most important Death/Black/Thrash/whatever extreme Metal albums of Poland back then, but the (healthy or not) competition is quite hard. Is ARMAGEDON a band willing to get back in the map for good and grab any chance that may appear in order for the ARMAGEDON name to grow bigger and bigger or you would not like to focus on something more than just enjoy playing the music you love?
Easy and difficult question… We are back with our full confidence and believe in ARMAGEDON! This is our love, passion and everything you can imagine. But we are also quite reasonable people with realistic perspective on today’s Metal scene worldwide. We know how difficult it is to get to the ‘next level’. But we will do our best to get it done!

With the new “Death Then Nothing” CD having a monolithic sound-strength-talent team above any competition, what you believe the impact of the CD on both older and younger Death Metal fans will be? You believe you are focusing on some specific target group with this kind of sound and playing, really?
We never targeted our music. Our philosophy was always very easy: we play what we would like to listen to, as we are Metal maniacs as well. We just love extreme, killing, but parallel simple sounds going forward. And our music reflects what we really like. We never divided our fans into younger and older. I think everyone who likes what we play will be satisfied with our new “Death Then Nothing” release. And moreover, we believe that many new Metal maniacs will join us after they hear first timeARMAGEDON or see them live!

Being located in some other European country/area (e.g some Mediterranean country or the UK or Finland) you think it would have a different impact in ARMAGEDON’s style? What’s daily life’s impact in the band’s songwriting and lyrics?
I can not judge the location’s influence on the other bands’ lyrics. I think geographic location should not have the biggest impact on it, but rather it’s what message you would like to share with your fans. Sometimes this can be really nothing, but sometimes these can be really valuable contents. Our “Death Then Nothing” album in a lyrics platform is just reflecting our natural ideas/thoughts – no false ideas or subjects.

Are there any particular themes popping out of the songs’ lyrics?
As I said, all the songs are connected with our main “Death Then Nothing” concept. And this idea is captured in a different ways in all of our lyrics on the album. From one hand “Death Then Nothing” is very easy phrase, but it also takes time to get to this statement on your own. We are very close to Dawkins’ theory that is in line with our perception of the existence. We look on everything around thru “death then nothing” perspective.

Tour? Any tour? Local Polish dates or you’re up to something wider? Can you cross music and daily jobs successfully, you think?
This year we played across Poland in theCreative Act Of Music Tour, performing in 13 biggest cities. We will still play some single gigs. I hope after our next album (that we’re working right now on) there will be more opportunities also worldwide. We are ready for this.

I love enough classic Metal bands from Poland: TSA, KAT, TURBO, MECH and DRAGON I can think of right now. You had any influence from earlier Metal bands or used any of their help in your early days or you were in a completely different direction flirting only with what was early extreme Metal?
Well, we are more from ‘extreme’ Metal scene. Bands mentioned by you were (so called) mainstream in Poland, rather far from what we were doing. That time the scene was divided into the “commercial” and “independent” - we were in a second one.

Would you agree the extreme Metal scene in Poland sees bands helping each other and not fighting against?
Absolutely! There are many of real friendships among the bands and people. This is amazing!
Ronnie James Dio’s death – for many – is the critical point for classic Metal music as we knew it: in the next decade more and more classic Metal bands/monsters will call it quits; you think then the nudity of the Metal bands left will be a fact? You believe there’ll be again Metal bands capable of selling out arenas and stadiums?
I believe that Metal is a never-ending story. The scene does not accept a gap or emptiness. I think many bands for many years will be able to gather dozens of audience at big arenas and stadiums.

From the late 80s to now’s 2010, terms like “Death Metal” or “Black Metal” have surely gone under significant changes. What’s your or the band’s thinking when asked about such definitions? You’ve been years and years in this field of music, so your opinion has enough importance I guess.
Well, we see this from a different perspective. We always wanted to play an extreme music with some melodic elements – always ina special climate. We did not place ourselves into the ‘Death’ or ‘Black’Metal definition. We just play fucking extreme Metal that we like! And we also do not look on other bands thru music definitions or stickers. You like it or just don’t – this is all music is about! Does not matter the type or name of music kind you play or you like.

Mystic Production: this label’s showing its teeth for good lately! Is your cooperation smooth enough?
We are proud to be in this team! We are convinced that this is a best label we could be in right now with our comeback. Full professionalism, trust and smooth cooperation.

Do you recall something from the “gonna-sign-to-Peaceville” days back in the 90s? What happened and finally Carnage Records released the “Invisible Circle” album?
Indeed there was a big chance that our first full length material would be released by Peaceville Records. We did sign a contract with them. Unfortunately due to some unknown by us reasons, they did not manage to fulfill their duty towards ARMAGEDON at that time. We are happy that Carnage Records did release our “Invisible Circle” album finally.

With the release date for the US market being this August, you believe there’s a target of metalheads really interested in what bands like ARMAGEDON plays?
We are receiving many from all kind of supports and contacts from US Metal maniacs. We just have to be there with our new “Death Then Nothing” album. No other way.

Do you have some kind of interest in the so-called ‘melodic Death Metal’ style? Do you believe the opinion of many old-school fans that this sub-genre does not belong to the wider Metal sound that much?
I get the music from my perspective. I do not like also to discuss a lot about the music. This is an Art! And you can have number of opinions according to number of people that heard it. For me it’s more to feel than to talk, check, discuss and so on. I hope most of the Metal maniacs think the same way!

Thanx for your time, Krizz! Really hope we won’t have to wait another dozen years for a new ARMAGEDON album! Dziekuje bardzo!
Thanx to you Greg as well. Our new album is slowly under ‘creation’. Using this opportunity once more: greetings and hails to all Metal maniacs! We hope to see all of you somewhere during our live shows.


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Edited 26 September 2022

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