Polish one-man-band Agyerax is about as eclectic as you can get, jumping between electronica, rock and metal from song to song – or even within the same song.
The man behind it all, Paweł Kosmala, sent us through his latest single Long-Distance Dreams, which was released at the end of last month and definitely veers towards the rock/metal spectrum of his offering.
The track opens up sounding like a cross between Nirvana’s Come As You Are and Something In The Way, with a light, echoey repeating riff under light vocals. Then it suddenly explodes into big guitar chords under singalong vocals. The second chorus leads into a big section of cries of “For you” over booming guitars, then a laid-back guitar solo appears out of nowhere, but ends with a blitz of wild distorted guitars that feed into growled vocals then another singalong chorus.
The track clocks in at more than six-and-a-half-minutes, with a variety of intriguing changes of mood and style throughout. One of which sees it descend into dark growled vocals and eerie plodding synth sounds over chugging guitars before a final chorus. Check it out below:
To display the eclectic nature of Agyzerax, his 2018 album’s closing track Origin of Chaos jumps between synthy sounds and big piercing guitar solos, while from the same album Panta Rhei features big doomy synths before descending into all manner of while synthiness.
We had a chat with Paweł to find out more, give the interview a read below then go give his seriously eclectic brand of music a listen!
GR: Who are Agyzerax? And where are you from?
PK: “Agyzerax is the name of my one-person project, which started at the beginning of 2016 as a result of my early experiments with electronic music, as well as playing lead guitar with the now-defunct Pagan thrash metal band Strzyga. My real name is Paweł Kosmala, and I’m currently based in Warsaw, Poland. I come from the small town of Przeworsk in southeastern Poland (a shout out to anybody from Przeworsk reading this! I love you Mum.)
“As for the name itself, I wanted it to be unique, and I decided that the best way to make sure was to make it abstract and meaningless. In the end, the name Agyzerax came to my mind, and it stuck. I also remember reading about the band Chvrches, and how the ‘v’ in the name helped them to differentiate from anyone who would look for actual churches on the Internet. In the digital age, it was an important factor as well.”
GR: You just released Long-Distance Dreams. What should people be expecting from the song? What inspired you to write it?
PK: “I think the song is quite different from most of the stuff I’ve released in the past, although my stuff is rather diverse altogether. It started with the instrumental, which I wrote during a period of intense binge-listening to grunge. It’s been years since I’ve actually cared for Nirvana or Soundgarden, but then I thought to myself: ‘Might as well listen to Dirt.’ It really clicked. Alice In Chains is probably the biggest inspiration here.
If you want to hear what an experimental/rock artist has to show in the realm of 90’s-style grunge, that’s probably about the best I have to give, at least for now.
“The lyrics are a whole different story; most of the track was already composed but my mind was absolutely blank as far as the text was concerned. I was actually travelling home, looking out of the car window, with rain pouring and the sky almost pitch-black — I think you know that ‘Am I in a music video?’ feeling. Nostalgia, solitude, and the distance between me and a loved one came to a peak; in other words, I felt like shit. I poured my concerns onto paper within one evening. Missing someone special is truly heartbreaking, but it can also be very inspiring.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
PK: “I think there’s something for everyone – I try to experiment with different concepts. My first four albums are ‘funny melodies,’ as I like to call them; electronica-like vibes, I guess. I also have some dark ambient (Alpha Omega), noise (the EPs Clouds of Doom and Bleak: The End Of I), and plenty of psychedelic stuff. But I’d rather just encourage everybody to check it out by themselves; also, feel free to hit me up if you don’t know where to begin.
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
PK: “Weed. But on a more serious note, life in general – love and heartbreak, happiness and my struggle with depression, and also often little things you might miss if you only blink. My Aunt’s parrots basically wrote an entire riff with their singing once.
“Also, every psychedelic experience I’ve been through, whether a positive or a negative one, usually brings up new, inspiring thoughts. And also, weed.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
PK: “The moment I discovered Jake Chudnow’s music, I knew I wanted to try myself; never came near, but he was the defining point for my humble music career. Later, Boards of Canada, Muse, Anthrax, Voïvod, and – of course – Pink Floyd are among the acts which are the greatest influences.”
GR: We’ve never written about any Polish bands before! What’s the Polish rock and metal scene like? And how much support is there for new Polish bands?
PK: “The music scene in Poland is dominated by commercial acts – pop and disco-polo (don’t even bother trying to listen to it, it’s absolutely unbearable); there’s a handful of great rock bands to see and hear, though. Most of the bands we (Strzyga) had played with were extremely friendly and talented people. However, hard rock and metal seems to be on the decline in general.
“The couple of years with Strzyga showed us just about how rough it can be to be five teenagers who want to drink beer and give speed metal to the world in the 21st Century. It got better with time, but we hardly ever got paid enough to even cover the cost of fuel. Sometimes, we would play for three people; sometimes, for 300.
“It took a lot of work to become kind of known by the metal underground, but shortly after recording our first album, we’ve had to split up – you know, school in different parts of the country, a lack of time, and honestly also my state of mind took a toll. It was great while it lasted, though, and I would totally do it again.”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019?
PK: “I’m writing and recording new stuff all the time! Long-Distance Dreams was a kind of a big deal, and honestly a little exhausting, so now I’m going to take it easy and I definitely won’t be pushing myself – I tried that once (with the overly ambitious Past Love Love Past album) and just couldn’t bear to finish it. Maybe one day.
“As for now, I’ll just let loose ideas come and not force anything; however, I can tell you – and this is the first time I’m telling about this publicly – that me and Mateusz Jachym (bassist for Long-Distance Dreams) are working on a concept album. More details soon, so better stay tuned!”