Enlarge Batushka in Kiev, Ukraine, November 9, 2019. Photo Credit: Vomit Dragon

Batushka Creator: ex-Bandmate “Ruined Batushka’s Name,” Court Hearing Coming Soon


Batushka founder Krzysztof Drabikowski has given a new interview to Dark Art Conspiracy in which he speaks candidly about the legal battle with his former bandmate, Bartłomiej Krysiuk, accusing him of “ruin[ing] Batushka’s name” and saying he has “cheated so many people.”

A bit of background in case you’ve forgotten or are simply confused by all the back and forth (I don’t blame you):

The Krysiuk-led version of the band, signed to Metal Blade and managed by 5B (Slipknot, Lamb of God, Amon Amarth) has been largely scorned by fans of Batushka’s explosive 2015 debut, Litourgiya, following a split that saw Krysiuk hijack the name and social networks from Drabikowski. Both versions of Batushka released new albums last year, with the album produced by Drabikowski, Панихида, winning the support of most of the band’s original fans. The Krysiuk version had tours lined up for Australia and North America for late 2019, both of which were canceled due to poor ticket sales. Krysiuk and Drabikowski remain embroiled in a lawsuit, the details of which you can catch up with here, although there haven’t been any updates in some time.

In the new chat with Dark Art Conspiracy, Drabikowski begins by giving a brief update on the legal proceedings, revealing that the first court hearing will take place “soon:”

“Almost nothing happened still. Court tried to avoid reading all the evidence and sent us to do mediation first. So I had to listen to all his funny ideas to fix this situation, and I had to pretend to listen to him and take his words seriously. I didn’t want him to try to block my first Kiev show [November 9, 2019] with the new album. But after that show, I stopped the mediation to make things faster. So, we will finally have a first court hearing soon, after ‘just’ one year of waiting.”

The interviewer then turned to Bart’s tour cancelations and his citation of the ongoing litigation as the reason for those. Krzysztof was not shy with his response:

“He cancelled it due to low ticket sales, large venues for one or two thousand people were booked and only around 40 tickets sold two or three weeks before. The same with an Australian tour and European shows. He is not very proud of it so he tries to keep it secret, and comes up with some weird ‘reasons.’ The mediation didn’t block him at all. He can play still, but as we see, almost no one is interested.

“Now he probably tries to improve his PR by pretending to be sick. Because the disease causes compassion in people. They feel sorry even for bad people just when they find out that they are suffering from something. He copies everyone, so it would fit right now that he is just trying to be like his colleague who was sick a few years ago. I would not be surprised if he soon claimed that the tumor was pressing some point in his brain and orders him to be bad.

“Unfortunately, the only disease I would bet on is that he has stomach ulcers from the stress caused by having cheated so many people. It’s a shame he dragged my naive colleagues into it all. He ruined Batushka’s name with all those actions.”

Bart isn’t suffering from any illness, of course; Krzysztof is conjecturing that he’ll try and blame his behavior on one, kind of an immature line of argument to take and run with in an interview, but whatever.

In another illuminating quote, Drabikowski details the timeline for recording his latest album as it relates to the split with Krysiuk:

“The whole music was composed before Krysiuk left the band. I did half of that album even before we started playing the Литоургия album live. I recorded drums, bass and all guitars in my studio Sphieratz. Exactly the same where I recorded Литоургия.

“I waited with finishing that album, I mean with recording vocals. I knew already that I don’t want to cooperate with Krysiuk on the second album, he knew that too. I postponed it until tours with Литоурлия were finished.

“When he quit just after the last gigs with my first album, I continued recording the Панихида album. In the meantime, I figured out that he wanted to cheat me. I was pissed but it wasn’t a strong enough reason to stop me from doing my things anyway. I started working on lyrics and vocals, then I invited people who are close to me to record their voices.”

Pardon me if I missed something in the past (could be), but I believe this is the first time we’ve been given a definitive timeline of precisely when the split occurred, directly after the band’s final tour together.

Elsewhere in the interview, Drabikowski talks about his lyrical approach, what the fan support means to him, and reveals he has a number of live shows in the works for 2020. Read the full chat here. We’ll keep you posted on further developments.

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