Jendras: The pleasure is all ours, as always. I’m Jendras, I play guitar and I’m also filling the role of someone who you might call a “manager”. Haha. We’re called ThermiT, we’re from Poland and we play a fresh mixture of old school heavy and thrash metal. It kinda sounds like an oxymoron but believe me, it really works. In Poland we’re quite a recognizable band in the “metal world”, it’s time to conquer the world. So, are you gonna help? Haha.
2. What other bands have you played in previously?
Jendras: That’s an interesting question. For the three of us who have founded the band (Młody, Przydep, and me) it’s the first band that we’ve played in, and it’s the last. Haha. Fabian (the bassist who’s been playing with us for over a year now, but he “clicked” with us so good that it feels as if he’d been playing from the start) has some musical past but nothing big. Trzeszczol however (he’s “almost from the beginning”), it’s his first serious take on vocals. I have to add, that there is no time for any side projects – you wanna play in ThermiT you have to commit to it 100%. It’s not only fun but also 100% of your engagement and devotion. Despite that, there is so much going on - concerts, reharsals, etc., that it would be physically impossible to have something “on the side”.
3. What are some of your musical influences both in metal and maybe in other styles of music?
Jendras: We always say that, listening to and playing only metal would’ve been really tiring. Haha. Our musical tastes are very vast. Of course, I love to listen to metal, but then, I’m also a really hardcore 70’s hard rock fan. Deep Purple is my favorite band from when I can remember and I love Rainbow. From the “stranger” music I really like GypsyJazz with Django Reinhardt at the head. Our second guitarist, Młody, is into hard rock as well but his greatest love is blues with Steve Ray Vaughn in the lead. Fabian, our bassist, again loves the 70’s, his holy trinity is Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, but he also likes to throw himself into Scandinavian snows with his passion for painted faces and black metal, so pretty wide range. Our drummer, Przydep, well… that’s a different cup of tea. He doesn’t even listen to metal. He’s a jazz man. Once, we’ve proposed to play a cover of Master of Puppets and he didn’t know the song. Seriously! Haha.
4. Can you please share with us your band's recording history and any interesting stories and experiences from the studio?
Jendras: Despite almost 150 shows played and many festivals in Poland won our discography isn't that long. In 2010 we recorded our first demo which sounded really shitty – we were an instrumental band back then so the whole material was without vocals. In 2012 we approached the subject more seriously realeasing Demo’n’Beer – with musical maturity we developed hatred towards the sound of this demo and we don’t like to brag about it now. In June, 2013, we released “Encephalopathy” which now collects awesome reviews all over the world, and that’s our latest big release. This year in June, we released a single with two tracks Night Driver and a cover of Bonnie Tyler, Holding Out For A Beer. I bet you’re starting to get an idea what’s it about. You have to give it a listen.
5. How about your bands live experiences? Any amusing or memorable shows you would like to share with us?
Jendras: To be honest there isn’t much shows which are worth talking about. We’re playing so many of them that it’s hard to choose one. I’ll always remember our first gig and maybe I’ll talk a bit about it. As it always is on band’s first gig the audience consisted of mainly or friends and family – so it was quite big one. It was in 2010, in January. We were playing instrumental. During soundcheck we performed the whole Morituri te Salutant (a track from Demo’n’Beer). After the aforementioned soundcheck the owner of the club approached us with a proposition to play with one of the best known Polish metal band – Frontside. That what you call “making an entrance”. Haha.
6. We have all heard of the big 4 of thrash. Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax. It has been talked about in the past and critiqued quite often. In your mind, what are the Big 4? You don't have to just list thrash bands, let’s open it up to all metal genres, past or present, what is the big 4 in your mind?
Jendras: There’s only one Big4, whether you like it or not. Perhaps I would’ve made some changes in the “personnel”, but what for? Testamen is a great band, which can kick asses of people all over the world the same way Overkill can, there’s a lot of bands which at the global level, which deserve this. There is only one band which is out of reach for everybody – Metallica. I bet that now, in the eyes of “true metals” will be called posers but we respect all what Metallica has done and achieved throughout the years. All their albums are good. Why do we think that way? Because they do whatever they wanna do and, despite that, they are admired by almost everybody which is evidenced by the sold-out shows at huge stadiums. This “hate” comes from jealousy. Because, who wouldn’t want to have such a big fan base?
7. What would be your dream supergroup? Again let’s open it up to past or present musicians, what would be the dream band lineup?
Jendras: I don’t have any excessive demands. For me Deep Purple with MKII line-up is a supergroup. They could’ve (had they all still be alive) record a successor to Battle Rages On – my favorite album from Purple’s discography. Short and simple. I won’t be asking the rest of the band because it would’ve taken thousands of hours for their arguments. Haha.
8. Now if you were to be a member of any band, who would you love to join up with?
Jendras: As I said before, only ThermiT counts so I wouldn’t want to play in any other band even if it was Metallica. Unless I would’ve done that to promote ThermiT and then I’d quickly quit. Cold calculation. Haha. I can give you one example, but it’s not about joining any band. I’ve always wanted to play a feature on one stage with Artillery and perform my favorite song called By Inheritance, with a bit higher tempo. That would be something!
9. Now it’s time to get philosophical. What IS heavy metal?
Jendras: First of all, heavy metal is not the only interesting thing in the world. There’s a lot of other cool stuff you can do, but heavy metal has one interesting and unique quality – it suits everything. You can play sports and listen to heavy metal – it’s ok. You can bang a lady while listening to Iron Maiden – It’s cool. You can be fixing dinner with heavy metal playing in the background – it’s gonna be tastier for sure. Can you catch my drift? Live without heavy metal would’ve been boring, that’s what heavy metal is. That’s how I feel. Haha.
10. What has heavy metal done for you thus far both in music and in your personal life?
Jendras: As for now, we sacrificed a lot of our time for heavy metal and we’re not getting enough in return – but that’s gonna change soon, of course. We’ve set our lives with heavy metal in mind, our work, our own companies, place of living, families, etc., all this was created so that we could play gigs, rehearse, and write music. Heavy metal is a really time-consuming hobby. Of course, no one regrets this choice of lifestyle, I can’t imagine other type of living.
11. What is your heavy metal dream? I am not talking about goals here, I am talking about going to bed and dreaming...what is the dream you are having? Or is it a nightmare?
Jendras: I haven’t had been dreaming for a long time. Once I’ve been dreaming that I replaced Hetfield at one of their shows (he was just singing because he had a broken arm) and it wasn’t a great dream in particular, despite the huge audience. I’d like to achieve something on my own without anyone’s help. You know what I mean? BTW, heavy metal is not a nightmare for sure. Unless you’re talking about metalcore. Haha.
12. What is your view on the current state of heavy metal?
Jendras: I’ve got a feeling that the pure heavy metal is having its second coming. The “metalcore trend” and all other crap is fading (at least in Poland) which gives a hope for future. We’re glad we can be a part of this young, newly resurrected wave which shows that heavy metal is not a one night stand but a long term relationship which will defend itself. As for the contemporary scene I’d like to point out that the majority of band is “beating a dead horse” and gradually they should let the young hit the stage. Young individual bands piercing to the mainstream is not enough – the biggest festivals still are headlined by the “old guard”. Is it really a case of fans not wanting anything new? I’ve heard argument “what’s the point in listening to the young bands when we have old records and they play the same” – yeah, ok, but all the time. Old people won’t be playing forever and young are craving the fame – give them a chance.
13. What are your thoughts concerning the digital era of metal? I am curious what you think of digital downloading, recording in the modern era and anything else that has changed since the early days of the industry.
Jendras: We’re not sharing the views of Lars Urlich who’s probably ready to sue me just for mentioning his name in this interview. Haha. Technology is evolving, there’s nothing we can do about it and we have to move forward. We have to accept it and adapt accordingly. The problem is that those “better” bands have troubles with distinguishing themselves from all the crappy and average groups. Sometimes I think that there is more bands than listeners but 90% of this, so called, bands are utter and total shit. The Internet gives a lot of opportunities to promote yourself and to reach your fans. It’s easier than it was 30 year ago, that’s for sure. It’s important to remember that 80’s are way past us and recording great album is not enough to push the career forward. A band has to be like a businessman. You have to know the market, know a bit about marketing, promote yourself, but first and foremost invest in your promotion. I’m gonna repeat myself that nowadays it’s harder to promote yourself but there’s no place for complains. At least there’s a natural selection in works, those weakest won’t go far.
14. Several musicians have gone on record to say that the full length album is dead. That with the digital age there is no need to produce a full length release. What are your thoughts, is the full length dead or still viable?
Jendras: I have to disagree with the statement that LP is dead. Of course, in the era of mp3 and listening to individual tracks on Spotify the idea of LP has faded a bit. Although, lots of people are collecting LPs and CDs. Also you have to keep in mind that the quality of CD is much better. Despite the drop in sales of physical albums in the recent years and despite the fact that streaming services have a huge share in music industry nowadays, it’s not that bad. Good bands, which are listened on the Internet as well as on the good old stereo, still sell thousands of LPs and there’s no downward trend. Those who wanted to convert to mp3-only did that already and those who still want to buy physical albums will stand by their choice. We, ourselves, soon will be releasing LP and we’ll conform that there’s still demand for it.
15. Okay time to talk and promote your band some more. What is the current news coming from your camp? Any new music, tours, festivals or anything going on?
Jendras: We operate dynamically on the Polish scene. We’ve won a lot of musical festivals in our country. During holidays we’ll be playing at a few open air festivals in Poland. We’re also in talks with a well-known Polish band about a joint tour. In the meantime we’re trying to setup an international tour. We’ll share some details about this soon. I want also to remind about our debut LP which we’ll be recording sometime at the end of this year.
16. What are the immediate short range goals for your group?
Jendras: To sign and seal the topic of our international tour. We’ve been working on it for quite some time. But for all intents and purposes this is just formality and soon we’ll be able to announce something.
17. What about ultimately any long range goals?
Jendras: To bring ThermiT to hearts of fans outside Poland. If the reception and response will be as good as in our country we’re not worried about our musical future. I hope you too will sometime come over to our gig.
18. Finally if you have any last words you wish to express to your fans and the metal community in general please do so here.
Jendras: Of course I want to say something. If you like heavy metal I thrash mixed in a really fresh and unique way, plus some musical ecstasies from us, give us a chance. Listen to the firs song on our EP “Encephalopathy” entitled Zombie Lover (available on YouTube) and you’ll find out that listening to ThermiT is not a waste of time. It may sound a bit arrogantly but we just know our capabilities. Also follow our progress on social media:
Thanks for the interview!