Czarna Magia (Poland) 11/10/2020
Balrog is the guy behind Czarna Magia, the old school Black Metal band from Poland. Some time ago they released their first full length album and they caught my attention with their primitive, raw, old school style. Their case becomes more special if you consider that Balrog began learning music and playing instruments 3 - 4 years ago. So, here you will find everything about Czarna Magia and the unique personality responsible for them.
1. Hello Balrog, how are you? How are things going in Poland concerning the current pandemic? Has Poland taken extreme measures to confront covid-19?
Balrog: I’m not sure if they’re extreme in comparison to the other countries, but certainly they are noticeable.
2. Would you like to give me some info about Czarna Magia? Why did you choose this name and what represents for you?
Balrog: Czarna Magia means “Black Magic” in Polish. For me Black Magic is primarily an experience outside of the area defined by generally accepted morality. It has also a truly occult dimension. It’s a dark journey through my own subconsciousness. During this journey my goal is to find the primal core of myself. It’s also the desire to reject all artificial boundaries imprinted by education and society.
3. I know that you take part in other bands too. Which personal need, pushed you to create Czarna Magia and why did you choose to work completely alone on this project?
Balrog: Cooperation with other people was always hard to me, maybe because I don’t like compromises. Besides that, bands often fall apart. I wanted to have something which depends only on me. The project where no one limits me and I can be one hundred percent honest with myself. It’s obvious that I’m not a virtuoso on any instrument, but I have a vision of my music and I make it myself all way long.
4. Would you like to give some information about the other bands that you participate in?
Balrog: My first band was Iugulatus where I was the vocalist and the author of a lyrics. We released together two albums and a split, then we broke up. After this the band changed its name. Currently I’m involved in three projects: “Skald of Morgoth” is Black/Doom metal band inspired by the dark side of J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythology. The second is “Serpent Seed”. It’s Black/Death metal band where I’m the vocalist and lyrics author (you can hear my vocals on the second album of this band titled “Death and Decay Considerations”). The third is of course “Czarna Magia” where I play all instruments, write lyrics and music. Besides that, I’m producing “Czarna Magia” myself in my home studio. It’s probably less technical music than in other bands in which I participate and at the same time I put much more work into it than it’s needed elsewhere. On the other hand, one-man project allows me to express myself without any compromise which is extremely important to me.
5. Your first full length release, Voracious Demons of Megalomania, was released this year both in digital and in physical version. Are you satisfied by the result? Is there anything that if you could, you would like to change?
Balrog: I think that I did what I could. The bad thing is that because of problems with printing the cd version delayed. My previous plan was to release both versions in January as I did with digital stuff published on bandcamp by myself. CD’s (released by “The End of Time Records”) came in March, so two months later than it was expected. The next day after I get CD’s (they were printed in Poland) I wanted to send most of them to my publisher from “The End of Time Records” (he was in Great Britain) Unfortunately it was also the day where our borders got closed because of coronavirus. This situation caused many complications.
6. Give me some information about your music. I see your music as an homage to the old school extreme Metal, is that right? How would you describe your music?
Balrog: You right, I’m listening a lot of extreme metal of the eighties, but not only. I love the raw sound of bands from the first wave of Black Metal, the most important to me are Celtic Frost and Venom. I like also the second wave and I can tell that I’m big fan of Darkthrone. On the other hand, I have never tried to be similar to someone. I just play what I feel and the way I like.
7. What inspires you to write music and what do you want to express through it?
Balrog: Through “Czarna Magia” I’m expressing myself and I can tell that I’m very honest with that. I’m writing music mostly by intuition to express my feelings and imagination. Austin Osman Spare wrote about the method of automatic drawing, which he used as a painter. The goal is to turn off the conscious mind when you make an art. I’m using this method a lot, especially to write stuff. On the other hand, music has too complex structure to made all album without conscious thinking. Because of that I can describe my method of music writing as “play first think later”. Of course, it’s nothing new and a lot of musicians use this method naturally.
8. The lyrics are also written by you and for the first time you have written both in English and in Polish. I like both English and Polish language in your compositions but how do you choose in which one you want to write? Would you like to tell me more about your lyrics?
Balrog: I’m writing lyrics when I have an instrumental version. The first stage is to listen the instruments a lot. Philip Hine, British occultist and writer described very useful method which he called “liminal gnosis”. In this state you must close your eyes, and turn of your conscious mind, but without blocking spontaneous visions. For me It’s somewhere at the border of such called “reality” and the dreaming. When I do it during listening of instrumental version of my music, I see a lot of things, thanks to which I know what the song will be about. The next level is to describe what I saw with words. At this level conscious mind is more useful. The last song of the album titled “Subliminal Voices” has no human words, so there is no conscious thinking at all. Because of this I think that this track is the purest in such way.
9. Have you begun composing music or writing lyrics for your next release? Will it be a new full-length album? Would you like to give me more information about it?
Balrog: Yes, I’m working on the new full album. So far, I’ve recorded rhythmic guitars. Now I’m working on bass and drums. I want to make this album in even more intuitive way than before. I’m going to release this stuff in 2021, but I’m not sure if I can do it at the beginning of the year like before. If not, I’ll probably release the album in autumn.
10. Have you thought of playing live with Czarna Magia?
Balrog: I can’t say that I haven’t thought about it, but it’s very unlikely. “Czarna Magia” is one man project which makes live shows much harder to play. Furthermore, the most important to me is creating the material.
11. What kind of music do you like to listen to, in your spare time? Are you into other forms of art too as an artist or a fan?
Balrog: My favorite kind of music is of course Metal, especially Black and Doom, but I also like a lot of productions from other subgenres. Besides of that I like early metal and rock, especially the bands which were precursors and pioneers of the genre like Led Zeppelin, Motörhead or Black Sabbath. I like also classical music, in particular Richard Wagner and Edvard Grieg. As a fan I admire some painters. The works of Hans Rudolf Giger are most fascinating to me. Some of his works starts to move when you look at them long enough. It’s really worth a try. I have also large collection of books and comic books. In this collection I have a lot of pagan mythology, occult literature and also fantasy. Ancient sculpture is very fascinating for me too.
12. Thank you for the interview. Would you like to add anything for conclusion?
Balrog: Maybe it’s not exactly a conclusion, but I want to say few words about the cover art of “Voracious Demons of Megalomania”. For many people it looks weird and maybe even primitive, but for me it has special meaning. As You can see, It’s just me, me and me in my home studio with instruments which I’ve used to record this album. To make an album by yourself you have to spend a lot of time on it. Countless hours of playing and mixing in closed room. Such situation creates a special connection between the author and his music. In some way present days are amazing, because with the help of technology one man can be the whole metal band. During this production I felt as a band, because there had to be a dialogue between the different instruments. Three and half years before recording this album I hadn’t played any instrument (I had an experience only as a vocalist), and I was more than thirty years old. During these years I learned to play guitar, bass and drums and have never played less than 30 hours a week. In addition, I completed a three years music-production study at this time, just because I wanted to make music alone. I also created home recording studio, only for my own needs. A sane adult could not do this – obviously I needed a lot of mania as a drive. That’s why the cover art and the title are just as they are. Because they’re true.