The following is an online interview from 10/14/06 with Maciej, guitarist and grim vocalist of the NYC based Gwynbleidd. They currenlty have an EP titled "Amaranthine" which is available through their website and also from The End Records. You can listen to sample excerpts of "Amaranthine" on Gwnbleidd's MySpace page.
WSWB- So, who is Gwynbleidd?
Maciej - Gwynbleidd is: Michal (guitars, clean vox), Adam (drums), Maciej (guitars, growl vox) and Jakub (live bass).
WSWB- What was the idea behind Gwynbleidd when you first decided to follow this path?
Maciej- Gwynbleidd started when Michal and I emerged from the breaking of a band we used to play in. We knew we wanted to do our own thing from that point. The first few meetings were rough; we didn’t have a clear direction yet. Then Michal played a few things he wrote, I played a few things I wrote. And the stuff worked well together. I think our idea for the first few years of writing as a 2 piece was to write whatever comes to us naturally. Before Gwynbleidd I played bass in a local band with Michal. It never went anywhere. I also recorded one demo with another band called Ante Lucem. That didn't go anywhere either. Played a few shows and the band went into a hiatus. I've also recorded bass for Requiem Aeternam's second album "Philosopher"
WSWB- Your primary role in Gwynbleidd is guitar and rough vox, yes?
Maciej- Yes. Composing music with Michal, recording bass and part of the rhythm guitars, growl vox and a tiny bit of clean or spoken vox.
WSWB- Who came up with the name "Gwynbleidd" and what is the specific meaning behind it?
Maciej- Well, it was my idea. It was hard picking out a name. Gwynbleidd is a character's name in Andrzej Sapkowski's "The Witcher" series. The idea was for it to be foreign sounding but nearly meaningless so that hopefully after a while when someone thinks Gwynbleidd, they just think about the music we're writing.
WSWB- I'll admit I looked it up online before chatting with you. I didn't find anything about the name, but I did find a lot about the band. You’re all over the Internet. Things are starting to pick up for Gwynbleidd, aren't they?
Maciej- Yes. They are in a way. We are starting to get the name out there. We have been given some really nice opportunities. Heathen Crusade II Festival is coming up, and the soon to be announced gig with Ballet Deviare. We've got all that with minimal effort so far; hopefully we can put in more work to allow us to establish ourselves further.
WSWB- Your MySpace page mentions a deal with The End Records. How's distribution going for you and how are people reacting to your music?
Maciej- I think the reaction so far is excellent! We have heard only positive comments. I'm sure there are a lot more people who'd actually enjoy the type of music we do. The question is how to get them to hear us. The End distribution deal is cool for several reasons. First it was a symbolic step that kind of puts us on the map. Second it’s very convenient since they just moved to Brooklyn (10 minutes from where I live). It’s an excellent online store I buy from personally, and now it’s at my fingertips AND carries Gwynbleidd CDs. 2 birds with 1 stone.
WSWB- I’ve always liked the service from The End, and I've never heard anything bad about how they treat their bands. In this genre, that's an indication of a good thing. So I'm psyched for you on that. Also, for what it is worth, I have a friend (Rena) who heard your CD being played in a music store recently in Arizona. You have a lot more fan out there than I think you're aware of.
Maciej- Really? That’s amazing! We'd gladly send some CD's to whatever store would like to carry them.
WSWB- I’ll make sure to post your contact info at the end of this then. What label are you looking at? I assume right now you are self-produced?
Maciej- Yes we self produced "Amaranthine" EP, and will most likely self produce the first full length as well. We're not looking at any specific labels right now. On one hand we'd like to have a great partner and be able to just focus on music. On the other I have a feeling we'd be able to do the promotion and production thing ourselves. I think there will come a time soon where we will send promos to labels and see what happens. Who knows maybe someone out there will be interested?
WSWB- I’m pretty sure someone will be interested. Your music is infectious. I have to say that I cannot stop playing "Awakening". Over and over. How many different instruments did you use on the acoustic / folk portions?
Maciej- There are 2 acoustic guitar tracks. A tapping electric guitar, 1 or two tracks of ebows, bass, the big "folky" drum and a drum set. Then once distortion rhythm hits that’s one more guitar there.
WSWB- Yeah, I noticed that. I assume you the guitarist I should be bowing to? That’s some excellent work!
Maciej- Haha! Actually Michal did guitars on all of that. We wrote it together, starting with his acoustics and my tapping. Then we developed the heavy rhythm guitar track together, and then he added the ebows. Actually there are two more guitar tracks mimicking ebows but played regularly now that I recall... but yeah, Michal recorded all of that. I just did the bass.
WSWB- All the songs I have heard have a very ethereal feel to them. Where do you draw your inspiration / influence from?
Maciej- Primarily the fact that one of the reasons we write music is to get away from the day to day reality. I think its so many things going into what inspires people. But between epic movies, fantasy books. Memories of growing up in Poland, etc.
WSWB- You have conveyed that very well in the composition, and the recording is very well done for a self-produced. Did you record in a studio or at home?
Maciej- We recorded in a studio in Brooklyn. It wasn’t the most professional setup but the guy had excellent equipment. He's also a friend of Adam's (drummer) so we had a great deal and didn't have to stress out while there. A few extra tracks were done in our rehearsal studio.
WSWB- What’s next for Gwynbleidd? Any new recoding plans or upcoming gigs?
Maciej- Heathen Crusade II January 20th in Minnesota. January 5, 6, 7th we're going to play live in a theater as part of Ballet Deviare's upcoming production. Oh and yeah, we're going to play The Awakening in its entirety. Other than that we're working on the preproduction for the first full length. That should be out some time in 2007.
WSWB- That’s a pretty full plate. When do you sleep?
Maciej- I sleep like a rock. Actually I hope we'll be doing more and more stuff. I look forward to writing more new music after we're finally done with that first album. The second album will be like Lure of the Land and The Awakening. Folky epic stuff
WSWB- I want to thank you for taking the time for this interview, it is appreciated. And you can bet I'll be looking for that full-length to come out. Any parting thoughts before we wrap this up?
Maciej- Don't be afraid to search for new music, it’s out there. There's always something amazing somewhere waiting for you to discover. Oh yeah, and recycle.
WSWB- Wise words, all.
Maciej- thanks for