Interview with Lebowski | ‘Cinematic’ Album Review
Sep 8th 2011 Rami Rouhana Band/Album Reviews Interviews

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Lebowski are four hardworking guys who’re working together to make more of that good Progressive Rock coming out of Poland. The efforts of such creative musicians are always appreciated.

  • Band Members

Marcin Grzegorczyk (Guitar/Samplers)

Krzysztof Pakuła (drums)

Marek Żak (Bass)

Marcin Luczaj (Key/Synth)

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This album is a great inspiration for many musicians and I feel it will take some time, but eventually will reach international fame to the scale it deserves. The tracks have many layers each guiding you through the story. The title just gives you the end of the string and you go by your path through the music.

The album is a great journey in ambient music with emerging genres and some ethnic music. A new experiment in the field of music, described by the band as soundtracks of a non-existing movie, each track tells its own story.

The musicians in Lebowski are experienced people, with good playing skill and good musical knowledge. Some of the tracks seem jam-based while others seem to follow a programmed path. I really loved the guitar sound keeping in mind that it is a totally self produced work with limited budget.

My preferred tracks would be “Trip to Doha” because I could more or less relate to the ethnic feel in it, although Lebanon is different but we are Arabs after all. Another well enjoyed track is “Human Error” with a lot of Rock and Jazz layers of guitar, piano and wind instruments; it is really a rich form of music, well executed without unnecessary parts and more than needed fillings. I would recommend this album to any fan or Art Rock or old/new Progressive Rock.

This album reminded me of another album related to movie soundtracks, our beloved Lebanese artist “Toufic Farroukh” have released an amazing album based on various soundtrack he have composed for several movies. The artist rearranged some tracks, have written more material to them, added drums and pano and made it a great album for Jazz music listeners to enjoy; the album is called “Cinema Beyrouth”.

  • Interview with Marcin Luczaj (Key/Synth player)
  • Why Lebowski? Is it related to the movie “the big Lebowski”?

Inventing a name for a band is probably the one of the most difficult and tricky parts. The name should consist the main idea of your project, be well recognized and easy to remember. We thought that the “Lebowski” has it all, you can refer it to the movie “The Big Lebowski”, is well recognized in Poland (since it has the Polish undertone) and in any other country, it’s also a one-word name and thus is easy to remember. Such synergy should benefit in the future.

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  • How did you guys meet?

The foundation of Lebowski was an effect of evolution. Marcin Grzegorczyk was playing together with Krzysztof Pakuła (drums) and Marek Żak (bass) in a metal formation called “No Way Out”. After the NWO disbanded, the trio was looking for new musicians. Eventualy I joined up and we started the typical cooperation, making songs with vocalists. But after some time we discovered brand new possibilities in our new configuration. Everything was flipped by 180 degrees since then, and that was the main cause for “Cinematic” to emerge.

  • Was there a general plan for the album? Did it include some improvisation?

At first there was a quite easy plan, we basically tried to put all of our songs together, mix it quickly and release. Lebowski used to have a vocalist and simple song construction, verse->chorus->verse->chorus->solo->chorus. But as we started to listen to our songs more carefully we were not pleased. The vocals have been replaced with samples and vocalisations, simple song structure evolved into more complex and self-explanatory composition. The one and another themes were emerging naturally. Our friends used to say that our new approach is very “Cinematic”, I think that this was the main catalyst for this project to develop into the tribute for “the big figures of the polish and world cinema”. Our every rehearsal is started with improvisation which is the root of our compositions.

  • Did you face problems during recording? When was the album complete?

It took us full 5 years to complete the album, mostly because it was a pure “Do It Yourself” project from the very beginning. We had to learn everything about sound engineering and music production from a scratch. The more we have learned, the more possibilities emerged, add an subjective sentiment to the mixing process and you’ll have a recipe for an endless operation. The main problem was a technological barrier, we had to pull out what we could from the “Cinematic” using limited resources. The album was completed in late 2009 and released on 10th October 2010.

  • We have noticed that progressive rock is very much supported and appreciated in Europe and it is very much branched. How do you describe your music? In which field of progressive do you put it?

The progressive rock listener base is not the biggest but prolly the most passionate, you can always count on them J I don’t know about the other countries but there are lots of prog bands around, playing a wide variety of styles, it’s not that hard to find something interesting. It’s not easy to describe and classify your own music, let’s leave that field to the listeners J While composing we don’t even have any genres on our minds, we are simply playing the music that brings us the most joy.

  • Did you receive any feedback from filmmakers? Will any track be featured in a movie?

Not yet. The film environment is very hermetic and not easy to reach, but we’re still trying to grab their attention. There are a few independent movie clips featuring music from the “Cinematic”.

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  • Are you planning a tour?

There was a tour this summer, but another Polish tour will organized during fall this year. The most challenging for us will be the Ino-Rock Festival 2011 where we will support Pain of Salvation and Brendan Perry known from the Dead Can Dance project.

  • Are you working on another album? Will it have a cinematic approach?

We already have hours of the new material ready to be recorded and released, it won’t have the “Cinematic” approach though. We’ll be still focused on the “Cinematic” till the end of this year. The next steps are planned to be taken in 2012, we will keep you informed.

  • Any last words to rising progressive bands and to Middle Eastern music fans in general?

First of all, thank you for coming all the way through this interview, we really appreciate it J The most important in music are: friendship, respect and having fun from what you’re doing. The rest will come eventually. We’re music fans by ourselves and we think that the music takes a really important part in our lives, we love when it’s authentic and charged with emotions. Once it takes a direct impact on you, it’s the real music.

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