Underground Fly - Being an artist, is a kind of exhibitionism
Not too long ago I reviewed the latest release of Polish fly rockers Underground Fly. Their sound is a very interesting one and I was very curious to find out more about the guys behind the music. Vocalist Maverick was kind enough to take the time to answer my questions. Read on to find out what Underground Fly is all about.
Hi there, how’s life?
‘Just great, thanks. Lately we are very busy with the band – but this is what we’ve been waiting for...’
Please introduce yourself and your band.
‘I’m Maverick and I’m a singer. The rest of the family are: Seemoon (guitar), Boss (bass) and Ratusz (drums). I said family cause we've known each other since childhood. Me and Boss grew up together, then we met Ratusz and Seemoon. Before we started to be a band we had been friends.’
How did you guys come up with this band name?
‘It is a strange and yet simple story without any subtext. We had a big problem with the band’s name. The first name of the band was Scarlet – but we weren’t happy with that. After a few weeks of fruitless searches Boss had a dream. He saw us on the stage and in front of the stage was crowd in the sunglasses which was chanting: “Fly, fly fly...”. After this dream we were pretty sure that we wanted to be “The Fly”, but it was too simple and we wanted to make something more abstract. Something which doesn’t exist in the real world. Have you ever seen the fly from the underground? I think you have not. The only one you know is the band from Poland...and that’s the point.’
I personally believe it’s hard to come up with a band but if you had to compare your musical style to any other band, which band(s) would it be?
‘Comparing...people love to do it – but we don’t mind about that. If someone needs it – that’s OK. To be honest, people have a big problem to compare our style to any other bands. We’ve been already compared to: Muse, Depeche Mode, Pink Floyd, U2, Billy Idol, Simple Minds, The Doors, Iron Maiden – this is a big range of different sounds and styles. When people write a review they mostly don’t know how to sum their text up. The best thing which was written in a Dutch magazine was: “This is not pop, this is not rock, this is Underground Fly”. That’s why we say that we play “Fly Rock” – and a lot of reviewers agree with that.
If you forced me to compare our band to any other – I would say... Muse...?’
‘As for the music – we are very spontaneous. We follow the instinct, we don’t have any barriers and we are not afraid to step on the musical fields which most of the rock musicans wouldn’t like to step on. We draw our inspiration from the depths of our souls. We collect every good and bad emotion and put them into the music. I think that being a musican, being an artist, is a kind of exhibitionism. All the time you hear an inner voice that tells you to expose yourself in front of people – even if they don’t want to see you. The only difference is that you don’t expose your body, but you expose your soul.
Regarding lyrics. I think this is the same mechanism as in the case of writing music. I stopped to teach and to tell others what to do. I stopped to say what is right and wrong. These are my experiences and my perception of reality, but without any summaries or generalizations. I write in a way that forces you to think and take a position. I am pleased with it as well as the presence of new forms of lyrics like dialogue or provocation.’
Tell us about writing and recording Awakenings, did it turn out the way you wanted?
‘I want to refer to what I said ealier. We are spontaneous. Before we started to work in the studio we were pretty sure how the songs should sound like – we worked on them during rehearsals. But once we started recordings – the songs started to live their own life, we even didn’t know when we started to experiment with the sound and arrangements. We stood outside and saw this album’s concept from the other perspective. Since then we did not have any assumptions and didn’t contemplate the directions and whether the “experiments” are within reason. For some, surely they are, while others do not pay attention.
What was the result...? I think that this album gained a different face, it's more diverse. Our first album Your Move - Your Choice is more garage and underground with a lot of raw sounds of guitars and drums. After that we showed another face of Underground Fly - I think this album is more “concert”, more spatial with a dose of experiments (duet with chamber choir).’
How did you come up with the title for the album?
‘The title is connected to the general spirit of the album’s lyrics. Often I feel like a hunted dog that doesn’t have any way to escape and starts to bite, although he doesn’t want to. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the spirit of this world and looking for ways out, something that is for me as an awakening from a nightmare. Love, music, positive relationships with people – these are my awakenings.’
What steps in your career are you most proud of?
‘We love what we do and we are focused on doing that as good as we can. We are extremely involved and dedicate all we can to the band - and that is something we are most proud of. We are happy that it gives us a lot of fun and satisfaction. Of course we are also very happy that our albums are physically distributed in Poland, that we started to cooperate with a great promoter – Jessica de Wal (It’s All Happening – Independent Promotion) and concert agency (Gasolina Concerts) in Holland – these are important things for a band. We still have a lot things to do – most important is to find a manager or management in Holland...do you know any?’
What goals would you still like to achieve?
‘As I mentioned before – we need a professional management. That’s the most important goal for us. We still wait for gigs on the big stages. Maybe “wait” is a wrong word - we work hard on it. We are prepared. We are able to give 1,5 hours show on the highest level. We make steps forward – it’s not easy for a foreign band – but the European and worldwide scene was always the main goal for our band. As you see, still a lot of things to do!’
Poland is rapidly growing when it comes to the music scene that reaches over the borders of your home country. What, do you think, causes this effect?
I think that it's still not a big number of bands which decide to step outside of Poland. I don’t know why...maybe because of the language. Still a lot of rock/indie bands sing in Polish which is a big “minus’ if you want to come into Europe. It’s also maybe related to Polish mentality. We still have a lot of complexes and complain a lot. We are not optimists. It slowly changes and Underground Fly is the best example.
But it doesn’t concern the metal scene. We have great metal scene and a lot of bands which already exist in Europe and all over the world. Vader, Behemoth these are some of the biggest names in the metal scene.
How’s the rock / metal scene in Poland anyways? Do you feel like you get a lot of support or is it mainly other countries you get support from? Please explain.
‘We have a very good metal scene. Metal fans are very faithful to the bands they love. Unfortunately this is not our natural audience. On the other side we have an “indie” scene which seems to be very exclusive. If they accept you and you are inside you have to be careful what you do. If you are too often on radio or TV you may be not “indie” anymore and you may lose your audience. We are somewhere in between. Some people say that we are too “pop” for the indie scene and that’s why sometimes we feel that we are not accepted by “indie” bands. For me it is ridiculous. I do not accept the creation of artificial barriers in music. Artists should express themselves, should be honest in what they do. As long as you live in harmony to your principles, as long as you’re faithful to yourself – then everything is OK, regardless of whether your work takes you on to the biggest stages or makes you stay in a garage.’
What’s the most precious thing you would give up for landing a great record deal and/or lots of publicity?
‘The most precious thing for us is to be faithful to our rules. We want to be honest with our public. We don’t want to give them something false, we don’t want to show the face which doesn’t belong to us. We would never give up anything which makes us feel bad with that – even for the greatest deal of the world. The audience is smart and knows when you are plastic. When you want to have a faithful audience which will stay with you in good and bad times - you have to be honest with them and don’t pretend to be someone who you are not.’
Please share your touring/future plans with us.
‘Right now we are promoting our new album in Poland. This is a live acoustic album. We have 20 gigs planned till the end of the year. We are going to promote this album in Holland starting in November. It will be connected with the tour in Holland which will take place from November 6th till November 15th. Our concert agency is still working on details, so please keep on checking our website for details.’
Anything left to say to our readers? Here’s your chance!