Interview: Embitter

New born fire legion out of Poland. I recommend this to anyone who likes Arkangel and Reprisal and often finds themselves thinking how sick, corrupted and unmoral this world has become. What can I say, Orwellian is just THE shit, bruh. That record has all the time-honored and perhaps even cliched tropes of European metalcore golden age. The violence, the darkness, the mayhem. Get berserk!

For those unfamiliar with the band - what people should know about Embitter?
That’s a tough question to begin with and to tell you truth I am not sure where to start. I guess, all you need to know that we are a band supporting vegetarian & vegan lifestyle. Some of us are straight edge and we do love metalcore. Morning Again, Arkangel, Integrity - shall I name more?

The music on the Orwellian is dark and heavy and grimy in the best tradition of classic edge-metal. I was curious what made you gravitate towards that type of sound?
We had some kind of an idea what to play when we had recorded our first EP but looking back, it was some kind of a fight between directions we wanted to go. Starting the band we had different understanding of metalcore. Mine was Unbroken, Poison the Well but for example Adam’s was clearly Arkangel or Length Of Time. “Orwellian” is a more complex and solid piece in my opinion. It gives a clue what you may expect from the upcoming LP. We managed to work out let’s say our way to play this kind of music.

What’s the story behind the cover art? It looks sick and fits the music definitely, but is there any deeper meaning behind the cemetery gates?
All artwork is made by our good friend and Heatseeker vocalist Maciek Wolanski. We usually have some ideas when it comes to the artwork before we reach out to him. Once me have made the decision on the direction, we let Maciek know and he adds his understanding and sometimes convinces us to do or not to do some things. This artwork definitely sits well with us and how about leaving this interpretation thing to all interested ones? What would you say? I guess, in each song you may find some quite easy connections with this artwork.

Tell me something about Youth 2 Youth. Why them? Who run it? What other records did they release?
I believe it could have been a bit surprising that we had a tape out on a label rather known from releasing youth crew bands. The thing is that we have known each other for quite some time and we figured out that we would like to do something together. It happened and turned out to be a cool cooperation. Y2Y is run by Maciek (Protein/VxC) and Pawel (Regres/VxC). They have released so far such bands as: Heatseeker, Protein and Foresight just to name a few. It’s great to see people who still want to release records, organise shows or support some charity events. This is what hardcore is all about.

Orwellian is a phrase that is constantly thrown around to describe the state of the world and this new order forced on us, but what meaning it holds to you?
I must admit I love George Orwell’s - “Animal Farm” or “1984” are one of my favourite books ever. Just add “Fahrenheit 451” and we are close to my top five. It’s true that this phrase may feel a bit overused especially in hardcore/punk scene. However, if as of now, we still face situations where this phrase seems to fit perfectly, this topic needs to be addressed again and again. This can be understood as “a situation, idea, or societal condition that George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free and open society”. I mean this exactly what has been taking place for years in Poland. Now, it seems it reaches a point when our society might be changed with a no way back. Is it the last call? I don’t know but I am sure there is no much time left before it happens.

Global warming, wars, wealth disparity, total surveillance by the state - do you think we’re on the path for self-destruction, or is there coming back?
Unfortunately, I have some bad news here. I have always been a fan of technical development, hi-tec stuff and what not. It brings so much into our lives, makes it so much easier. You may say life is good. This is true but there are some setbacks too. People not being able to keep up with what’s around this leads to mental issues. We produce more and more so the pollution is on the rise too. Trying to save ourselves we kill ourselves - this is how I see it. Politics is yet another thing, I guess this interview would take hours if we wanted to touch even the tip of an iceberg. It’s only about power and money - I am disillusioned. Quoting integrity - “humanity is the devil”. We are guilty of making this place so ugly. And no, there is no way back.

How important for you is that the kids actually take the time to read the lyrics and think this stuff through?
It really matters to me. There are great bands with generic lyrics and they are great. But still I take my time find out what the band is really about. It doesn’t really matter if the band has emotional content or showing some political or environmental stuff. As long as these lyrics touch me in some way I consider them really great. I love buying records and always appreciate things I can find out from the lyrics sheet. Even if they address the topics discussed many times.

Outside of the themes in the lyrics, what are the other things that matter to you?
There are quite a lot things that do really matter to me. I guess some generic ones like family and friends. I try support them as much as I can. The thing is that the world changes so fast that some people are unable to keep the pace. This results in many serious health issues. I have been a witness of those kind of situations much too often. I wish the healthcare could give some more spotlight on mental issues people have been facing as now it's getting really serious and impacts more and more people. I just feel so bad watching this world turn so ugly.
I wish i could be involved in so many other things but I guess my organizational skills seem to be not good enough as I am unable to squeeze many other activities after work.

Finally, what are you looking forward to for Embitter this coming year?
First and foremost, we would like finish writing our LP and record it. It’s an extremely time consuming process but it progresses. I guess we would like to get it done faster but this is how it is. Can’t complain now but just work hard on it. As you have probably noticed we have not been too active this year but this is only because of the writing process. We have planned some touring in the end of August and beginning of September. When all details have been set up, we will announce it. Just couple more shows booked here and there. So summing up: recording will be definitely our priority now.

Pics by Piataesencja / Michal Bajur