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In Words: Made Of Hate

- Mike Kostrzyński - July 2008 - Claudia Ehrhardt -
- Mike Kostrzyński - August 2010 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Made Of Hate
© Made Of Hate

Mike Kostrzyński - August 31st 2010 (by email)

About two years ago the debut Bullet In Your Head of Made Of Hate was the first step into the spotlight for the Polish band. Now Mike Kostrzyński and his mates are back with Pathogen - and a few things changed... Time to talk to Made Of Hate mainman Mike Kostrzyńnski!

It's been 2 years since Bullet In Your Head - and an opening show for Iron Maiden in Warsaw -, and there was a major change... Let's start with the fun part, how was it to open for Iron Maiden?

It was just awesome! I remember when we were waiting for the show just behind the stage and we were looking at the audience. There was 30,000 people in that stadium and I tell you, that was an entire army of people! Big sea of heads and hands! We were both excited and nervous! We were also so focused and prepared to hit the lights! Once the light went on, curtain went up we were sure that this is what we had been waiting for! I also remember when I walked on the stage for the first time and I raised my fist up in the air and thousands did the same along with screaming and shouting! We knew the night was ours! Even though we had some technical difficulties at the end we came home with huge victory and with the story that will never be forgotten. In just few words, that direct support for Iron Maiden was a dream and I'm sure that this is something we want to do on a regular basis!

Mike, when did you decide to concentrate on your guitar play and just do backing vocals instead of lead vocals?

It was actually few months after the Iron Maiden show. I had been thinking about my vocals and I got to the point when I realized that my vocals were limited and I couldn't do any better, no significant progress. That was no doubt the weakest link in our group and we decided to make a change on the new album. We also wanted to make a change in our style, to create something new. We've always wanted to sound heavy and make fine vocal lines. With me on the vocals that wasn't possible. Plus, and that's also very important, I wanted to focus on the guitar even harder. I knew that my guitar skills are something that every single listener underlined and I wanted to expose it in a different dimension and basically give something extra. Nevertheless, I still do some screaming and clean vocals on Pathogen. I know that fans are expecting some of my fills and they will get it for sure!

Have you been considering to bring in someone new? Or was there no doubt that Radek will take over?

Well, most of all we are all bunch of friends and we never thought about loosing anyone from the squad. The same about inviting other dude to the band. We know each other too much and there are certain connections between us. With a new guy that could be awkward or at least not easy, especially at the beginning. But it's just a theory. In realty, lately, before the change on vocals, Radek had been singing choruses and he had been backing me. He knew the drill. Plus, his voice is much, much deeper and stronger. There was no doubt about him whatsoever! He made a terrific progress in last few months, he became a real singer. He has wide variety of vocal skills – he can sing, growl and scream. When you add to all that my screams and cleans we have a wide possibilities. And that's what makes us happy. Plus, and I'd like to underline that once again, our music with his vocal became exceptional in style. We are on our own way. I remember first show with Radek on the vocals. People loved that, we loved that. We are sure about this step!

Radek played rhythm guitar, are you looking for a new rhythm guitarist? Or will he take care of both - rhythm guitar and lead vocals?

No, there won't be a rhythm guitar from now on. He was the second guitarist in the band and no one will take his place. I take all responsibility on the guitar lines. Having one guitar in the band is like many well known bands play: Ozzy, Dream Theater, Nightwish, Van Halen and so on. This is classic squad and now I can fully express myself on the guitar! It's a proved thing, shows are great when we play in this new setup.

How long took the recording of Pathogen? And did you work again with Zed?

In contrary to Bullet In Your Head session, this time we had the chance to work in comfort and without strict deadline. Once again we came to Zed Studio and all the recordings took place under his supervision. This time we had three separate sessions in both, old and new Zed Studio. Firstly, we recorded all drum lines in the old place. Since we, again, were pretty damn good prepared, it was real quick. After that we had some days off and we went to the new studio, which was in the nearby village. We had some sightseeing and hanging out. We bought a football and we played a lot! Then we started second session, which was dedicated for rhythm guitars and bass guitar. In the end I stayed alone in the studio and recorded all leads, fills and of course solos. With that, I finished the session number two. Then we made a break for like three or four weeks. We came back for third session and we recorded vocals for entire Pathogen. That would be all of the recordings. After that, we had this long period of mixing and mastering, the final effect is awesome, but that waiting sucked big time!

Your new album is called Pathogen. Why this title?

Well, pathogen is a source of diseases, illness and so on. It can be viral, bacterial, but also social and mental. Our Pathogen is an attempt to go inside the twisted mind of a serial murderer. This title says exactly all what we could say in one word about the main theme of this album.

Lyrically you deal with every-day-life experiences, but also talk about serial killers and their twisted minds. What's fascinating you about serial killers? And did you do some research about serial killers? Did someone specifically 'inspired' you for a song?

Serial killers are very interesting! I read a lot about them, read interviews with them, watched documentary movies and of course classics like Seven or Bone Collector. In fact, the literature is full of such subject. In general, their point of view is pretty amazing, sky is the limit for them. And I don't mean I admire them, of course not! Most of them were lunatics. But those with rituals and so called mythology around the crime are really interesting. Their twisted code and modus operandi sometimes are speechless. I can't imagine now better subject for lyrics! I'm huge fan of thrillers and probably that's why I used this subject area in writing lyrics for this album. Yet, there wasn't anyone particular that inspired me to write. I kinda like to create my own character and put him in many different angles. I was trying to think like one and put in on the paper. That's how those lyrics were created.

Have you considered to do a conceptual album about serial killers in general?

Well, in some ways Pathogen may be considered as a concept album, Yet, it's not a full study of the subject. Those are up to scholars and other people with complete background of education. All I did was to create my own expression on the matter!

Would you like to do a video for one of the songs? Which one would you choose?

In fact we are working on it at this very moment. We would probably make a video for Lock'n'Load, but you know, sometimes it changes so fast and so drastically... though as for this moment we are making the video for that song. I can't tell now when you can expect it, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be out in soon future, probably it's a matter of few weeks, maybe a month. Please be in a loop, these days news are coming every day!

Mike, you did a video about the gear you use. Who had the idea for this gear talk? Have fans been asking you about it?

I got a lot of questions about my sound, about my instruments and basically entire guitar rig. It's really hard to answer everyone separately, so we decided to make this rundown and show people full spectrum of my tools. We recorded it while we were recording the guitar preview for Pathogen. Once we did the preview, I was like: "Ok, put it on once again and I'll tell something about my rig". Everyone said it was great idea and that's how it all happened. Plus, I was happy to pay credits to Ernie Ball and Music Man for supporting me in my guitar journey!

Any news about a tour? In Poland? Outside your home country?

We are looking for a decent booking agent for Western Europe and maybe other places. Our big dream is to get to USA! Basically, we have a lot of fans over there and we get a lot of mails asking us to come. As for now, we are negotiating terms of a tour around Poland. Also, we have been invited to few abroad shows. Everything will be cleared and announced soon.

Btw, did you have had the chance to play a show with Radek on vocals yet? If so, how was the reaction? Did everything work out the way you want?

Yeah, I told you about it when you asked me about Radek's vocals, but I can repeat it: hell yeah! It was one of the best shows I've ever played. People accepted that change and went mad! Radek became wild on the stage and all worked just great! Plus, this show was memorable also due to the little accident we had. We used a friends car to get to the venue. Unfortunately... we broke the rear window. It was on Saturday afternoon and I could let the car be parked without real window! We looked everywhere for that window. Finally we found it but those mechanics at the repair garage billed us very hard. Maybe because of that we had this adrenaline during the show, because I tell you once again, it was awesome!

Are you currently working on your website to adjust it to Pathogen? Or is MySpace now the source for your fans?

MySpace is our primary web page. We made new layout and there are new features on the profile. Finally it looks how it should have a long time ago. In the meantime we are working on our website and it will be ready soon! Again, finally it will be something good for any type of news or features. We are also on YouTube and Twitter and Facebook! Now, there are several ways to contact us!

Two years ago Ryszard Nowak and his followers made it into the news... Is he still a 'thread' for bands in Poland? Or did the public is more open now and ignores him?

You know, people like him are rather mentally ill and should be closed. He is delusional and that should be treated. To be completely straight, people like him can't be taken serious. He had a thing with Behemoth, but he lost every single case. Every single case! His ideas and logic have been always wrong. That's what may happen when one is devoted to a particular type of stereotype and basically to the Christian church in Poland. Poland is weird country and many weird people live here. That guys is from fuck know where and he should stay there and never ever lean from there! But you know, now there are other weird things going on in Poland. Like for example big fest with the cross at the white house in Warsaw. Nuts!

Anything you want to add? Some news to share?

Well, as for now I'd like to thank you for the interview and interest in Made Of Hate! We appreciate that a lot! We would like to also invite you to listen to best album ever - Made Of Hate's Pathogen! Try it, buy it, love it! This is something you won't regret! All in all, stay heavy and see you at the shows!

It would be nice to see Made Of Hate hit the road to give more metal fans the chance to check them out. Meanwhile visit their MySpace and check out the songs.

Claudia Ehrhardt


Made Of Hate band photo
© AFM Records

Mike Kostrzyński - 7th July 2008 (by email)

Earlier this year Polish band Made Of Hate made the first step into the limelight internationall with their debut Bullet In Your Head. To learn a bit more about these guys I requested an interview and guitarist and singer Michal Kostrzyński was so nice to answer me questions - over the weekend

Tell us a bit about how did all started! And why you chose first Archeon and then Made Of Hate?

I think it all started when we were teenagers. We wanted to run a band, to play music and have a great time the same way as our idols - Metallica or Slayer. We found out it was what we wanted to do in our lives and that's how it all started. After that there were years of practicing, gathering the experience and all what learning includes. Archeon was a band of our first encounter to the reality of real heavy metal world in Poland. It was solid, but still virgin, yet gave us huge bag of experience. I would say that after growing up as well as a band and as a musician we were ready to take it to new level. That's why we discontinued Archeon and started fresh with Made Of Hate. Of course there were other reasons why the decision has been made, like entering of the new line-up, resetting the music values and whole composition work, etc. That was rather complex process, but clear in the ideological and mental way.

And why did you decide to rename the band?

Something new can't be labeled by an old and different brand.

What are your musical influences? Which bands impressed you?

Speaking personally I've always been influenced at most by the classical music and solo guitar music of the 20th century, including such names as Petrucci, Malmsteen or Friedman. Of course the list is very long and it would be rather boring for both of us to start typing every single man and band that has influenced me at least a bit. The thing is that you would find in it very diverse music styles and it may surprise you what actually can influence a metal player. As for certain bands I can recall of course Metallica, Slayer, but also polish band Kat, Judas Priest and Dream Theater. But again, there are lots more.

As far as I know you write almost all the songs and lyrics... So you present the finished songs to the band, how much influence can the others take on the music?

Not much to be honest. I write all stuff we play and sing, because that's how I roll and this won't change, I suppose. Of course the guys are free to bring in some ideas, but it doesn't equals that I would use it. It depends on how close it matches to my idea. If it's ok, I may use it, but it actually doesn't happen too often. I actually happened only twice in my entire music career. Anyway, I'm rock hard, if it comes to music.

What inspires you lyrically?

Basically life, but topics of the lyrics are also diverse. Some of them are about life, some others are invented stories from the top to the bottom, others are based on for example a video game. But all of them are very intense and expressional.

Are the songs on Bullet In Your Head collected over a longer period of time? Or are they written for the recording of the debut?

They were all written within less than a year and they were made for this album – Bullet In Your Head.

Where do you record the album? And why do you choose this studio resp producer?

We recorded our debut album at Zed Studio in Poland. We had heard a lot positive words about Zed and we decided to take the risk and go to the studio located in a small room at the attic. It appeared to be great deal. We are looking forward for the next record in Zed, because in my opinion, he is the only guy in Poland (as far as I know) who knows what to do with the knobs. I trust him.

The album is out for a few months now. Are you satisfied with the response to it? From critics and fans?

Of course we are satisfied with the response to Bullet In Your Head. First, it gave as a deal with international label. Second, the reviews are rather positive and highly graded. Also fans are leaving us nice comments, just take a look on our MySpace site. It's really great, so we are satisfied.

Have you already started writing new material?

Yes, I've already written three songs, three more are up to be finished. It's far too soon to talk about new material, but I want to say that it's going to be really solid and breaking bones stuff. No limits and full of crazy ideas. Of course you can count on loads of solos and heavy punches and kicks. If you like Bullet In Your Head album, you're gonna love the follow up!

Will you record at the same studio? With the same producer?

Yes, but the difference will be the location. Now it's going to be brand new Zed studio. Luckily it's going to be bigger and better as Zed himself claims. We are looking forward for working on my music again with him.

I guess, even if it's less expensive then in Western Europe, it's still expensive to record / produce in Poland... Is it difficult to find a good studio / producer?

Yes, it's also hard to find healthy sound engineer, decent studio and cover the cost of all the recording process. Of course you can enter to great studio, but you have to pay your ass off to cover the bill. Let's get it clear, heavy metal budget isn't that great like for example rock or pop ones. We have to balance all the possibilities.

What about playing live? Is it easy to get gigs in Poland? And could you already play outside your home country?

It's quite easy to play, if you have a lot of money, because you have to pay for everything. So, it's rather for hobbyists. There are very few bands that live from playing. To name a few it's going to be Behemoth and Vader. So in fact it's hard to get proper gigs on your tour plan. It's acrobatic, but still possible to accomplish. You just need some attention and opportunity to work this things out.

How is the metal scene in Warsaw? In Poland?

Pretty much it's all about extreme metal, like death or black metal. Other genres are far from the top. Luckily we have who to play for and that's what matters. I'm not into underground at all, basically because of the lack of time. Made Of Hate's matters take almost my entire time.

Somehow it seems that there still is the iron curtain, coz we don't hear much from bands from Eastern Europe... What do you think is the reason for it? And will this change soon with internet communities like MySpace?

Yeah, it seems there is some sort of iron curtain between East (including Poland) and West. I don't know the exact reason, but I can guess that preparation, equipment and language skills may be responsible for that. Plus Poland is a really tough place to start. It's basically like a maze with lots of traps. It needs huge effort to walk through it and not everybody can afford it.

Can you recommend some good unknown bands from your country?

Yes, Made Of Hate, hahaha! I'm not too much in the underground scene, because I have a lot of responsibilities with my own band and it takes me a lot of time to follow. I just don't have any opportunities to watch over new or even old bands these days.

Just a few weeks ago news hit the music media that Ryszard Nowak and his committee against sects put Moonspell and Marilyn Manson on a kind of black list. And that his organization will fight against satanism and fascism - and that these band have a bad influence. We got only little news. Have you heard about this too? And do you think it will really have an effect?

Yes, I've heard a lot about this dickhead and his A team. Let say, he is really unique and mentally disordered, but for catholic Polish society it's more then enough to listen to this guy. In real it has an effect with canceling shows, basically around his cave in Lódz. But seriously, it's exactly how it is in Poland. You just need to recall catholic values and you can do anything you want. That Nowak guy does it and people are afraid of being banned because of arguing with the faith stuff. On the other hand I saw his list and the entire book and it's really off the hook. It's basically childish and idiotic way of seeing things in real world.

There are rumors that Behemoth should also be on that list... It seems that there is another period where censorship and control is coming... A real threat?

Who knows, but even if Polish government agrees to Nowak ridiculous ideas, still there is an upper instance in EU, so we can ban him out. But to be honest I don't believe people will follow such a bunch of idiotism. If they do, it seems we are in the late 50's of 20th century. Anyway, I see it as an amusing thing. Just imagine one guy claiming the end of the world. Would you believe him?

Different topic... Are their any plans for a tour? Or some festivals?

At the moment we are preparing for supporting Iron Maiden on the stadium show in August. Than we will start to look around for opportunities to go abroad. In the meantime we have to focus a bit on the new material. For the confirmed tour dates, please take a look on our MySpace site.

If you could choose any band, which one you would like to play with?

I don't know, there are too many of them. But I guess I would like to play with Slayer or Lamb Of God or Dream Theater. No, this is too hard to pick only one band.

Last, but not least... What's on your schedule for the rest of the year?

As I said before, August is when Iron Maiden show will take place. I hope for some shows in fall, then we have to focus on new album. But theses days it changes in an hour so it's really hard to be sure about anything further in the future then a month.

So beside learning a bit more about Made Of Hate, we also learnt a bit about the metal scene in Poland - and beyond. Good luck for the show with Iron Maiden and hopefully they will soon play a full tour!

Claudia Ehrhardt


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