It all starts with the family. Then add some feminine energy, a pinch of groove and an international friendship. Mix it all in and you get Uświt, which is Adam Jański, Grzegorz Śnieg, Joanna Mirowska, Kutay Güler and Beniamin Łasiewicki.
Five people from different places were united by the student’s life. Wrocław brought them together to make music and have fun while doing it.
I asked how are bands like them surviving the current state of the global epidemic – not only musicaly, but also regarding the friendship and maintaining the bound, which people who decide to play music together usually have.
– What are your plans for after the reality returns to its normal state?
UŚWIT: It’s hard to say, because we had arrangements to play some concerts and festivals, but they got cancelled. I wonder if places that we’ve played in, or were to play in – like Nietota or Alive, will still exist after this crisis.
– I think that current situation is especially hard for bands that usually perform in these smaller clubs. There is a chance that only the bigger, elite clubs will survive, and then there might be a lack of places where the new, underground bands can play…
UŚWIT: The main plan is the same as before– we want to be able to play the concerts. I think we will find a way and a place for it. There are a lot of bands right now that ask for help and to buy their merch and digital albums, but we are not planning to do that.
- And how are you holding up? Is there a way for you to do something together right now? I know some bands started to broadcast live concerts from their flats.
Grzegorz Śnieg: Everybody lives somewhere else, so it is impossible for us to meet. That was always the way we made music – together, in the same space. I don’t know, maybe we should do something to work, you know, online.
Adam Jański: But I think it’s a good time for me to slowly come up with new ideas for the band.
Joanna Mirowska: The break could be too long for us… And figuring out this online stuff, would be a waste of time, especially that we don’t know yet if we will return to normal studying at the university. I don’t even have a microphone in my flat right now.
– Hopefully we will return to semi-normal life soon. So let’s throw it back to the good times – how did you actually start to play together? On your site it says that you’ve started the band in autumn, but the Demo came out in spring.
Grzegorz: The first ideas for the songs for UŚWIT were made by me and Adam (because we are brothers and we would sometime play together). But it never went too far; it ended always where it started – it was a long time ago. Someday Adam came to me with very complex ideas and so we wanted to add something more to them: the drums, vocals, keyboard, and eventually build a band.
I’ll say it right now, that it wasn’t a direct thing from the beginning, because every idea that we initially had was changed eventually, after people started coming to the band. The first of which was Ben. I met him during lectures at university, we became friends and I asked him to play the base guitar in the forming band.
And then for vocals… It’s funny because we actually never wanted a vocalist and at the beginning the idea was to sing all together like a choir. We were trying it out but it wasn’t very good… So we started to search for the proper vocalist. And the first pick was Asia. Her voice really fitted the music. At the time (it was like a year ago), we also had a different drummer but he decided to leave the band shortly after the winter holidays. And then Ben suggested to ask a new drummer, Kutay, to play with us.
Kutay: Ben sent me some tracks; I think those were the first 5 songs that UŚWIT had put out on SoundCloud (that had been recorded with the previous drummer). I practiced playing like 3 of them and at the first rehearsal we just clicked.
– So, then the next thing: you released a self produced Demo?
UŚWIT: Yea, it was really immediately after Kutay joined the band, suddenly it all just clicked.
It was very quick. We wanted to record a demo with all the proper instruments because we’ve never done anything like this before. Adam started to record the keys in his house, on his own, and somehow, we managed to do it all in one week (to record everything else).
We were looking for a way to record the drums because Kutay hasn’t got a set, we don’t have a set neither, and it’s not so easy to record the drums anyway. In the end we used a Zoom recorder and it came out well. Kutay needed just one take; it came out perfect.
Before we released the Demo, we’ve sent it to “Muzyczna Jesień” (it’s a music festival in Grodków) because right from the beginning we really wanted to play concerts. The deadline for applying was approaching fast. We quickly mixed the recordings and sent them. Eventually we got accepted and debuted on the stage. After that, we released the songs on the internet, one by one.
– Well, you are quick! Are there any roles in the band? Is there someone who pushes you to get things done, or the other way around, someone who tells you to just chill?
UŚWIT: I think Grześ and Adam are usually giving a structure to the band and are coming up with the new ideas. Typically if someone has an idea for a melody or harmonic changes, we meet at the rehearsal and we try to play it. Everything happens on rehearsal; we try different approaches and changes and we combine them with another loose ideas. It’s a very good workflow for us.
The foundation for all the tracks are the harmonic changes or accords that we can build on. They change and evolve during our rehearsal, so we don’t write out any notes to be in specific places, everyone just adjusts what he’s playing accordingly.
Adam: I think that not having a straight composition is good, because it allows everyone to play what feels good to them- so we don’t force anything. We play what’s natural and it helps with the flow.
– Grzegorz, your lyrics have a lot of Wroclaw in them, and the city in general, but what also makes you want to write?
Grzegorz: We have 2 songs about Wroclaw. I think they emerged from very specific situations and most of the time my writing is connected with demolishing something.
The first song, “Zefir”, was about silos in Popowice. I was really sad when I found out that they were about to be blown up. It was a beautiful, but at the same time a devastating moment. So i asked Ben whether he would want to come with me and see those giants fall down. It was a really magical moment for us. That’s why in the lyrics I didn’t really put my point of view. I think I tried to represent Ben’s point of view and to catch some phrases he said to me that day.
– Asia, I feel like your lyrics on the other hand are more personal. Is it easier for you to sing something that you wrote yourself?
Asia: I think it’s always easier for me to sing my own lyrics, because I simply memorize them better. Sometimes the process of writing takes few days, sometimes few weeks, sometimes it’s one evening. I used to write out some interesting phrases that I’ve heard from somebody, or that I’ve made up myself, and then I would either combine them or came up with something that would involve them.
– Surely not only the lyrics have the power to express emotions. I went to your concert once and I feel like you sound so much more expressive, especially the solos, in which the drums and the keys sound incredible. Do you think that might be because the concerts offer you a bigger sense of freedom and expression?
Asia: I think during the recording of the Demo we were trying to be perfect, so it was more about creating than about flowing. When we all meet and see each other we have this energy that motivates us. I prefer concerts too.
Grzegorz: Of course! It’s the best way to play music. I’ve always considered concerts to be the best way to experience music, of course they are also shitty concerts... But, in general, concerts give you the energy that’s coming from no-one-knows where.
It makes you do things that you wouldn’t do in normal conditions. Concert is a scene. For me– it’s a different space.
A successful concert also doesn’t have to be necessarily perfect in a musical sense. Our music, I think, is better suited for concerts than for recordings.
– I listened to „Wyjść z tobą” recently and I find it very relatable especially right now. It ends with words: „Will I ever find a good reason to get out of the house?”. That’s what I would like to know too! My last question is: what will be the first thing you do after the quarantine?
UŚWIT: A long rehearsal! Recalling the lyrics and all the accords will be a long process!
Adam: Combining my two biggest wishes right now– wanting to go out and wanting to play music, I came up with an idea to set up a concert in some kind of an open area, like a park, and to play an acoustic session there.
Grzegorz: Very well. However, I think during this situation doing just about anything would be great.
Autor: Aleksandra Simla
Zdjęcia: zespół Uświt