These questions were answered by Tomasz ‘Orion’ Wróblewski of blackened death metal powerhouse Vesania.
Firstly, how did the band get started?
Three of the band members (me, Daray and Heinrich) have known each other since we were kids, 6 or 7 years old. We were brought up together in the same town, we shared interests and had lots of ideas back then. When we were teenagers and we had a strong interest in metal music, we started playing in various bands and spending most of our free time rehearsing. I ended up joining the band Daray and Heinrich were in, as a guitarist. Quite soon after that my vision and the vision of the bands then leader started to seem quite far apart from each other. Finally he left the band and we changed the name, starting a new chapter in our lives that lasts to this day. And that’s how Vesania came into being, back in 1997.
What’s the story behind your band name?
We needed something that would describe our bands lunatic music, that’s how we wanted it. As I was learning a lot of Latin back then, I chose the Latin word for ‘insanity’. Looking back now, I’m not a big fan of band names ending in ‘nia’, but it is what it is. At least in the meaning it’s exactly what we needed.
And how would you describe your sound?
Once we started we were very close to a genre called symphonic black metal. During the first record we were strongly influenced Emperor’s ‘Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk’ and whilst we were growing older, our music started to evolve. Today we’re still rooted in this genre, but I think we’ve gone pretty far from the sound we had in the beginning. The ‘Deus Ex Machina’ album sounds way more ‘rocky’, it was not meant to be a typical metal production. We didn’t want kick drums straight to the face, drum samples edited to the very edge and super high gained guitars. We wanted to give some life to this music… make it more organic, breathing, more human. I think we finally managed to make it happen with this last record.
Who or what would you say your biggest influences have been?
When we were a young band, we were strongly influenced by the Norwegian black metal scene. All bands from the 90s made a big impression and truly had a strong impact on us. As I said before, Emperor was the most influential on us. A lot of time has past since then and I can’t really name any bands that have topped them. Each of Vesania’s members is somehow involved in the music business and each of us listen to a lot of music daily. Some of it is crap, some is average and some is very impressive. The time we live in means we’re being attacked with everything from everywhere and it’s not easy to find a path through all the impulses. Anyway I think we’re influenced by every single thing that makes us act and think.
What has been your biggest challenge to overcome?
There’s challenges every day. I can’t really distinguish between them and pick out the more important ones. Everything we do is a step on our way and the point we’re at today is a result of them all, of all the decisions and trying. I’m really glad to be where I am now and I’m happy with all I have. I feel that I earned it, it cost me a lifetime and at the same time everything that made it possible for me.
Over the years, what has been your favourite show to play?
I have played way more than a thousand shows in my life. They are all special and important in some way. From the recent ones… I remember the last Vesania show in Warsaw very well. It was very special for me. It’s the city I live in, lots of friends and family came along, everything that makes it extra important. We have a very specific stage set up with Vesania, it’s more like a theatrical scene than a metal show. It’s an open project and when the stage/conditions are good enough, we make other people take part in it. What was special about this show in particular was that everyone involved was super enthusiastic and were coming up with new ideas all the time. It was a real brainstorm a few hours before the show. We ended up having all ten people on stage that evening, all playing their roles. It was an amazing experience to see all of them so involved and so excited about their parts.
Any crazy tour stories you’d be willing to share with us?
What happens backstage stays backstage. I’m sorry, but I’m really not a fan of sharing stupid stories and giving away my private life is just not my thing. We want people to see our performance and don’t really want them to see what happens in our bedroom or bathroom.
Your project Black River had a sound that was quite different to any of your other musical ventures, how was it received by fans?
It wasn’t my project, I was only asked to join it. I have always been a fan of hard rock music and it was fun to be in such a band. The band was greatly received, especially here in Poland and we became quite well recognized. We were playing shows and getting paid for them, which wasn’t very typical for me back then. However we were forced to finish Black River, due to our vocalist health condition. Too bad, it seemed like quite a promising future.
You can check out Vesania here: