Before their Polsih gig in Warsaw I had a chance to talk to Wedge’s Kiryk Drewiński, who’s fighting the good fight for rock’n’roll in the electornic music infested Berlin 🙂
Since I couldn’t find any interviews with you in Polish, we have to go through the basics – who are you guys, what led you to forming Wedge, and just like in a job interview – where do you see yourselves in 5 years?
We are WEDGE, a three-piece fuzz rock group from Berlin. We formed because, believe it or not, there are not too many good rock bands in Berlin to play proper old school acid rock. Where do we see ourselves in 5 years? Hm, let’s see… In 3 years from now we plan to have our tragic airplane crash in which exactly one half of the band will die. This will give our music some media attention (actually too much, as many will point out). One year later our sound will change dramatically and lead to the release of our controversial electro-pop masterpiece album and in year 5 from now we will be inducted in the infamous Rock’n’Roll Hall of Shame. …Just joking. We don’t plan too much upfront. We simply hope to play as many kickass shows as possible and release good albums in order to bring ourselves and
likeminded people a great time.
Coming from Berlin, easily one of the meccas of electronic music, how did you end up playing classical rock?
The question may contain the answer already. I guess we are part of the
resistance to all that crappy soulless machine noise in Berlin. We simply don’t like (the majority of) electronic music, so we thought we’d form a band that we would like to see/listen to ourselves. Berlin in general is very DIY.
Why is it so important to you to remain a trio? Is it because of the wedge shape?
Hehe, yeah also that. The divine triad, the Bermuda triangle, the 3-headed
dragon. If you have many people their individual talents can be somewhat watereddown and their full potential can’t be explored. We also like to see limitations as inspirations and use it for our music, especially live (as in the studio we multiply by the wonders of modern technology anyways). There is something about a 3 piece constellation that bonds stronger together as well, I think. Also, simply put: Less people = less trouble.
How do you write your music. Is it a collective process full of jams, or are you writing material on your own and then bring all that to the rehearsal room and work on them there?
The later. Mostly I write all the WEDGE material. I’m lucky that my bandmates trust me 100% with that. Their contribution to the songs is huge but happens after the basic framework is laid out already. I always found that trying to create a song out of a jam is like talking random nonsense for two weeks in order to write a book. For some it might work, not for us. It’s just not efficient enough. A good song has to to be like a good joke, with the punchline right on point. For us songwriting is a process of well thought out ideas, concepts, structure and control. By no means it is a random thing. Of course we like to jam and we jam a lot but thats to get our juices flowing and have some fun only. We also need the audience reaction for good jams so jaming live is most fun anyway.
You said that you can be inspired by anything, so can you recall something that inspired you to write a song, that you’d never expect to be inspiring?
Inspiration hides literally anywhere.
You might read it right now if you really dare.
It can be found within a single line
and it can happen anytime.
Inspiration lingers in only one word, if it’s true,
even in a questions of an interview.
Well, it can work something like this for example. You get the idea.
Congratulations on last year’s Killing Tongue, great record, but when you often talk to musicians the moment the album hits the shelves in shops they would like to change this or that. You had a year now to let the album sink in, is there anything that makes you mad, when you listen to it, and what you’d like to change?
You’re absolutely right, there are always some things that you would like to
change afterwards and to be honest I was never 100% happy with anything I’ve done in my entire life but that’s the haunting symptom of perfection; the motor of progress. It becomes a motivation to do things differently the next time around. So in the end it turns out to be a good thing. But yes, we try to force ourselves not to look back. Instead we look forward. That’s always the better direction. With albums there is this schizophrenic thing going on anyway: By the time of the release the album is old already to the band and our minds are exploring the next thing, new songs, the next record…
Your Facebook profile states that you’re constantly on the road. What’s the thing that you miss the most, if any, while being away from home, and what do you miss the most while sitting on your couch at home?
Back at home you do the stuff that enables you to go back on tour, which in turn enables you to stay in the game and do studio work at home. It’s a full circle and we love doing both of it but road life feels more like reaping, while home is more like sowing. It’s the audience that you miss the most; this energy you can get only from a dancing, screaming, enjoying crowd of good people. It’s like kerosine. I’m not sure if I miss too much while away from home. Sure, you miss your loved ones and living out of a suitcase can have its inconveniences but on the road your job is basically to generate as much fun as possible for others and yourself, so let’s say we can deal with that situation quite ok.
Kiryk has a familiar sounding surname. Am I wasting my time writing this in English, and we could easily speak in Polish?
Yes indeed, this is because I was born in Poznań. My family escaped to Berlin (West) when I was very small. I talk polish with my parents exclusively so I always use to joke that I still have the vocabulary of a 6-year-old and my Polish writing is even worse. Sadly I’m very rarely in Poland, so playing in my home country is a big thing for me personally. I’m very much looking forward to it.
Your current part of the tour starts in Poland, in Toruń to be more precise. Is that just because of the logistics, or is there more to the fact that your kicking it off here?
The fact that we kick off the tour in Poland is rather a coincidence but the fact that we are playing in Poland is absolutely not. From the beginning it was important to me to have Poland dates on the tour. We played the Red Smoke Festival a few years ago and the Smoke Over Warsaw Festival in 2018 as well as one gig in Kraków before. Apart from my personal connections to this country it was this experience that made us want to return. We simply like the Polish audience as they seem to be very passionate about music, which we really like!
You’ve played at Duna festival. Is it as awesome there, as it one can imagine?
(Laughing), yes it is!
Your videos are what I like to call “Look, the band is playing” kind of videos. Is that an artistic decision, or is it a result of a need to keep things on a low
I have to disagree. Most of our official videos are rather mini movies in the
tradition of 80s music clips rather than the common green screen band thing. Videos to songs like „’61 SG“ or „Lucid“ are telling little stories in a cinematic manner. We always try to involve the band, that’s true, but the band usually plays only the second lead role. In fact we only have one (official) video, which only shows the band playing in the studio: „Looks’n’Savvy“. Our upcoming video will also be a story based clip for the song „Nuthin’“. It will be out very soon, I think during or right after the current tour. Generally we try to mix things up as we know that people sometimes also just want to watch the band doing their thing instead of watching a short film.
The video to Lucid has some elements that you could find in a horror movie. Are you guys fans of this genre?
Yes, the video to „Lucid” depicts something like a fever dream. We love to shoot videos like this. It’s always a lot of „improvised professionally” and therefore great fun. We are huge admirers of good movies but not of a particular genre I would say. By the way. the same goes for music. We simply love what is well made.
You said that some bands sound completely different live, compared to how they sound on the album. Would you consider releasing a live album to give your fans the full spectrum of Wedge then, or are live albums a thing of the past in the youtube era?
We love live albums and chances are that we will release one sooner or later, yes! In the studio you have the benefit of overdubs which we like to take advantage of but live the same song can sound quite differently. We love those live limitations as it demands creativity from us. But I think a really good song will work regardless of the instrumentation or arrangement.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your Polish fans?
Yes, we would like to call your attention to „The Golden Grass“, a fabulous
group from New York, who are joining us on tour. We think both bands are a perfect match. If you’re into boogie and hard psych rock etc. you definitely shouldn’t miss the show. We are super excited and really hope to see all of YOU, celebrating rock’n’roll & springtime with us!
Thanks for the interview
Thanks for the support!