Interview with Mateusz & Mikolaj, Mind Gate (April 21, 2005)

Hi, first of all I just want to congratulate you on your new album. To new fans could you please fill us in on the history behind it all?
Mikolaj: Hi. The history is quite simple - once upon a time, when we were still young, we were sitting together in a biology class in our primary school. Fascinated with Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin tunes we came up with idea of forming a band - it was something: "Why won't you play guitar, I'll play drums ...". In the beginning we had no musical education whatsoever. Just bought some instruments and started rehearsing. First we played some covers and webrought in Maciek as our second guitarist. Shortly after we were joined by Jan on bass.

Mateusz: Everything changed during the summer of 2000 when we went to see Dream Theater live. Soon after that Maciek switched to keyboards and we started to think about our material - which was a lot more progressive than the covers, we were used to do ...

How has your new album been received by the media?
Mateusz: We haven't noticed much activity connected with "Spiral" yet, but we hope that it will change soon.

Mikolaj: Here in Poland this kind of music isn't very popular, actually it's listened to only by very few people. The sole consolation is that in last years progressive metal is constantly gaining new audience, especially in the West.

I know artists are not happy to categorize their music, but how would you describe your music to an outsider?
Mateusz: In our case it's probably even harder to define our genre. We listen to lots of different types of music and in our compositions we see influences from most extremely distant styles.  

Mikolaj: There's a mutual agreement that we play "very broadly understood progmetal", but in reality it's blend of almost everything.  

Where does your inspiration come from, both musically and lyrically?
Mateusz: I can speak about instrumental side as it's my field. Generally when I compose I try not to be influenced by anything, but I realize that final product may resemble a lot of stuff that has already been played. On the contrary to what my band mates suggest, when I hear what I've came up with sounds like something characteristic. I try to develop it to make it sound even more familiar and closer to what it resembles. In my opinion such actions should be read as some kind of mini-tribute to the "big ones", who actually gave us inspiration to start playing. Those accidentally familiar patterns include style of Dream Theater, Tool, Black Sabbath, Symphony X, Therion, Beyond Twilight, Attention Deficit, Arjen Luccasen, Andromeda and Orphaned Land . Probably much, much more - depends on who makes the judgment.

Mikolaj: And now something about the lyrics. Inspirations for lyrical side of our music flow from many different directions. Firstly it's philosophy and psychology, secondly I can mention films, music, maybe theatre and general life experiences and reflections. In fact everything can be inspiring.

What topics do you deal with in your lyrics and why?
Mikolaj: As I said, I'm mainly interested in philosophy, especially existential (by that I mean J.P. Sartre, Albert Camus and Franz Kafka) and because of that I usually take up a topic of finity and the role of knowledge in our life. Beside this I also write about our current position in space-time, the problem of loneliness and destructive influences of surroundings.

Who has produced and mixed the album, and are you pleased with the end result?
Mateusz: Mix was done by whole band and our sound engineer, Jarek Toifl. Opinions on final result are divided. We didn't expect this album to sound the way it does. During rehearsals it was much more like concrete progmetal, but after mixing it gained some delay and "flow". It became much darker and moody than we thought it would. After listening to it for some time we can say that this innovation into the concept came out to be a rather positive one.

Who has done the artwork? And how important do you feel it is to have a great cover?
Mateusz: Well, cover and artwork was done by Piotr "Pjepshysh" Parzysz and it reflects emotions contained on this album. We were really glad that Piotrek was able to establish such connection with our music.

Mikolaj: For us every part of the final product is important as it builds the whole concept. Music, lyrics, artwork are combined into one and together it should loudly speak to listener.

Do you have any touring plans?
Mikolaj: Now we're focusing on composing brand new material and because of that we aren't planning any concerts. Maybe at sometime in the future, but not now - at that time we're concentrating on our studies, we can't really go on any large tour.

How do you feel about the co-operation with your label, and are you satisfied?
Mateusz: We are really happy, that someone appreciated our music enough to entrust their time and money in us. We hope it will be a positive co-operation, which will enable us to release further albums.

The internet is a very important source for many music fans - how do you use the internet and how important is it for you and other bands?
Mateusz: Internet is a great source of communication, it's the way for us to know what's happening in the world of music, because the stuff, which we listen to isn't very available in more physical manner.

Mikolaj: Over the last few years, the music market has produced a lot very interesting and innovative music, but it also brought out some crap, and that's a fact. The internet allow us all to check some bands, listen to their music and decide if it's our musical field. In my point of view this is the right purpose of internet: let people preview the music and ensure people, that what they are going to buy isn't crap.

How do you see the progressive rock/progressive metal scene at the moment?
Mateusz: It depends where. In our previous answers we commonly use formulation "field of music". If we treat music like a field then it flows very, very turbulently. Massive divergences and 18O-degrees curls are very common - it all goes to a total mingle and it's really hard to keep up. The only way is to try to make your contribution by following that manner - mixing everything "every how". Above statement is true if we look at progressive scene very broadly. As for sociological interpretation I'll let Mikołaj speak.

Mikolaj: In different countries there are different scenes. For instance in Poland you can't make your living from playing progressive music and maybe it's the reason that progmetal isn't so popular as in USA or Sweden. Usually in countries where there are money for promoting and people, who have money for tickets, this kind of music is much more popular. You should also remember, that in some countries progmetal has been developing for years now and in the Eastern Europe or in South America this genre is quite young and still in progress, trying to reach world level.

To finish things off - could you pls. make an all-time Top 5 or sort of the 5 most important albums in your opinion?

  • Dream Theater - Scenes From Of A Memory

  • Rage Against The Machine - The Battle of Los Angeles

  • Therion - Secret Of The Runes

  • Black Sabbath - Master of Reality

  • Liquid Tension Experiment - I


  • Dream Theater - Scenes From Of A Memory

  • Pain of Salvation - One Hour By The Concrete Lake

  • Dredg - El Cielo

  • Prodigy - The Fat Of The Land

  • Tool - Lateralus

Mateusz: Thanks for interview and please feel free to visit: to find more information about Mind Gate.

Mind Gate - Spiral

Album out on Lucretia Records.

Click on the album cover to see more info on Mind Gate.