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WLM Interview: Piotr of Vader sets a date with Shepherd as a Halloween gift

October 31, 2016


It started all well and good with Shepherd and Piotr of Vader speaking via Skype. The new album Empire came up, vocal work, instrumentation; all the classic items that come up when talking to one of your metal heroes. Then tragedy struck… Skype stopped recording and we were left with only the memories of the hard copies we wanted to create. Trust me, the dramatics are necessary.

Piotr gave us some information not only we longed for, but a whole continent needed. We apologize for the lack of audio and please don’t accept these as direct quotes, but we can assure you the chat with Piotr is as accurate as a Randy Rhoads’ guitar solo. If you look back through the annals of metal journalism you will see some of the best interactions were genuine conversations without audio or video ruining the mood. Now enjoy Shepherd and Piotr talking metal:

WLM: Vader has a unique vocal sound and style, captured and presented unlike any other. I’m sure those things go together. How did it happen?

Piotr: Well, when we started I didn’t focus on the vocals as much. They were another instrument. I’m not a singer. I growl and I scream. But, after the third album I began to do more with the growling and telling stories. I’ve got to travel the world over, many times. And I’ve seen how things are, all over. When I was a teenager I was just rebellious, but I didn’t know anything. I wrote about the clash between heaven and hell, which is still a big part of Vader. But, getting older and knowing more, I’m able to be more specific and include details in my stories and songs. That came from my experiences. Vader has been about blast beats and really fast tempo, but we have done some songs that are a little slower. Not just to give our drummer James Stewart a break, but we don’t want to bore people to death, even though this is death metal. I think I’m not sure what is the line between thrash metal and death metal, but thrash metal has vocals that are clearer. Vader can do both. We have a style that is both thrash and death.

WLM: One track on the new album (Empire) that jumps out to me is Send Me Back To Hell. Can you explain how that was constructed lyrically and why?

Piotr: (With a begrudging sigh): I really hate to do that. It’s like being in school. But we always wrap up an album with me putting together something on my mind. Send Me Back To Hell is about a man at war, or a woman, they serve too; and coming back from hell, because war is hell, and finding all the corruption and pain back home. It’s just a different hell, and maybe the one at war is the preferred hell. People nowadays may be more physically strong but they aren’t as emotionally well built to handle the horrible stuff.

WLM: This is fascinating. I had no idea Send Me Back To Hell was about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Piotr: That’s just one way of interpreting it. I’m just telling stories and communicating with fans the best way I know how. See, now that I’ve explained it to you, it took away your mental image or thoughts about what the song meant to you. That’s why I don’t usually explain and detail what the stories are about. It is a way for me to get out my anger and tell stories at the same time, but now you may not wonder so much about that song and the lyrics.

WLM: Earlier you talked about the upcoming European Tour Vader is about to embark on. Of course, we want Vader back in the U.S. Rumor has it that Vader is coming to the U.S. is 2017. Is that truth or mere talk?

Piotr: We want to come back. Again. To the United States, and there are details coming very soon, but there will be some dates, yes. I think about 20 dates total. We are talking about playing the first album to celebrate the 25th anniversary of that. A gift to the fans and a celebration.

WLM: (Pressing): This is the best news I’ve heard in a long time. I’ve got to ask you about what cities and dates. We need Vader!

Piotr: (Laughing): Let me look through some stuff. I can give you some fresh news. I know we play in Raliegh, North Carolina on May 26. A total of 20 shows. We’ll be in on both coasts, and in the middle, I see a Texas date.

WLM: (Now begging): Please, you’ve got to tell me if there is a Chicago or Milwaukee date. I’ve got to know. Please.

Piotr: (Laughing even harder): Ok. Yes. June 14th we play in Chicago.

WLM: Awesome. I’m going to tell my wife that our summer vacation can’t happen the week of June 14th, that is Vader week!

Piotr: We will have to sit down and have a beer in Chicago then, on the 14th.

Confirmed tour dates and set list details from the man himself. Huge thanks to Piotr and Nuclear Blast for the chance to sit down with one of the brightest burning lights in heavy metal. ~ WLM Team

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