Interviews

DECAPITATED’S VOGG: THE METALSUCKS INTERVIEW

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To say that guitarist Wacław “Vogg” Kiełtyka has been through a lot would be the understatement of the decade. He co-founded Decapitated, one of the best death metal bands of the past decade, with his brother, drummer Witold “Vitek” Kiełtyka, and the band released four incredible albums in six years; then, in 2007, a tragic van accident befell the group while touring. Vitek didn’t survive, and then-vocalist Adrian “Covan” Kowanek was left in a coma. If Decapitated had ended at that point, well, no one would have been surprised.

But Vogg persevered, and last year, he re-formed the band with an all-new lineup. Which, odd though it may sounds, makes Decapitated’s current headlining stint on the MetalSucks co-sponsored Summer Slaughter Tour one of the most emotional death metal shows you’ll ever see. Because this isn’t just a new band using an old name; it’s a killer new band that absolutely adheres to the spirit and style of the brutal outfit we all know and love, and is absolutely worthy of the name “Decapitated.”

Axl and Vince caught up with Vogg at Summer Slaughter’s recent stop in New York City. After the jump, get Vogg’s thoughts on the new Decapitated, the tour, the band’s next album, and more.

How’s the tour going?

It’s going great. We’re excited about this tour. Almost every show is sold out. It seems to be a really good tour this year. This edition of Summer Slaughter is just awesome.  There are so many people and so many great bands on the tour. We’re having just a great time — no stress, just a fucking nice time.

This is your first time back in America since unveiling the new lineup of Decapitated… How has the response been?

It’s just great.  When I see the people at the show, they really enjoy it. I can see that they really enjoy that we’re playing again. I can see the enthusiasm coming from the audience.  We have a totally new lineup, but people still want to listen to and see the band. I’m trying to continue this band and keep the same way of playing and keep the same spirit of the music. I can say that people like the show.

I assume that the dynamic has changed with the new lineup?

We’ve known each other since February of this year.  I’ve known the bass player [Filip “Heinrich” Hałucha] a little longer.  I can tell that we have a great relationship. Between us is a good energy.  We really like to play together and travel together. We have a lot of fun together traveling and seeing all the countries and shit.  It’s a great lineup, and we have a really good time together.

Do you feel like this lineup’s approach to the old material is different from the old lineup?

Yeah, for sure.  It’s different. They’re different people, but they are great musicians.

It will never be the same band anymore. Decapitated, right now, is a new band. It’s just me from the original [lineup].  I feel all of the new musicians are great people and musicians.  They know how to do it.  Maybe we just need a little bit more time on tour together and playing more shows… [but] right now in this moment, it’s great.  We have great fun.  We have a lot of fun playing together and traveling.  Everything is alright.  It’s great.

You did some shows in Europe too as well…

Right.  We did one show in Poland.  It was the first show with the new lineup.  After that, we toured the U.K. for about six shows. We also did the European festivals. We toured together with Behemoth and Ex Deo in Europe and a couple of festivals — like single festivals in Belgium and Denmark. The Behemoth tour and all those metal fests was a great, great time and a great promotion for the band.  We’re having a lot of fun right now.

Have you started writing the new album at all?

I’m starting to write some riffs. I have some ideas. After this tour, I will start to write new material for real, for serious.  There are too many shows and we don’t have much time to write any new songs. I think in January we go to the studio and have four months of preproduction for the new material.  I have a lot of ideas right now, I just have to take all these ideas together and [turn them into] a new record.  It should be ready next year for sure.  The new record should be ready in 2011.

You’re a band that’s evolved its sound as time has gone on…

I know that this band will always change.  Every album we did was different than the one we did before.  We are always looking for something new or something else.  We don’t want to be a band that wants to play the same all the time. We don’t have to.  For real artists [laughs], it should be like you’re looking for something fresh all the time – to not be boring and not stay in the same place all the time.  I expect more changes for the new album and the recording.

That’s what we were going to ask you.

Yeah, yeah.  There will be more differences – no just fucking fast, blast double kick riffs.  There will be something more.  You’ll see.

Yeah, we’ll see.  Okay, that’s a good enough answer.  That answers my next question.

[laughs]

Are there any bands on this tour that you’re just seeing for the first time that you like?

Yes.  Most of the bands. Animals as Leaders… I saw All Shall Perish which, to me, looks like a really professional band right now.  They’re doing a really fucking good job on the stage.

Actually all the bands on this tour are really cool.  They’re really cool people.  I knew Decrepit Birth because I was traveling with them on the last Vader tour. I knew the Faceless, who have been my friends for years. We met on the first edition of Summer Slaughter. I know Cephalic Carnage — those guys rule.

Do you have a favorite new band?

Mmm, I don’t know.  No favorite.  Everybody has different styles and are different people, but everyone is doing a great job and we have a great time together.

And the audiences have been good?

Oh, yeah.  Sometimes I have a feeling that we play too late, and after all those bands playing here at Summer Slaughter — like ten or more bands — I think we play maybe a little bit too late, and people are a little bit tired after a whole day of metal and stuff.  But most of the people stay and enjoy the shows.

-AR & VN

Summer Slaughter continues until August 23. Get dates here.

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