The Band: Soul Collector
The Man: Michal Halamoda (lead guitar)
The Man: Michal Halamoda (lead guitar)
Interview by Vpower
Soul Collector is a band from Poland that practices a great Thrash Metal. Probably if they were from US they would be better known or touring already around the world with the big names. But things are as they are, however, as you will read in the interview, they have the songs ready for a second album that is supposed to make the debut album look as a kid’s game... Enough to make me tremble. Let’s go for it.
Hi Michal, thank you very much for this chance to talk with you. Soul Collector is a band from Poland, active since 2007. Can you tell us a little about the origin of the band and so on?
Hi everyone, my name is Michal Halamoda. I am the composer, lead guitarist and one of the two leaders of SC. Yes, our band was created in the half of 2007 by two cousins Zbigniew and Łukasz Bizoń - former Goddess of Sin formation. When it didn't work out with their first band, I mean GoS, they wanted to create a 100% true thrash metal band. That was the idea. Me and my brother - Rafał Halamoda who is the lead singer, the second leader and the brain of our band - we were invited just on the beginning. So it was four of us, unfortunately we did not have drummer so we had to practice and play with the drum machine. And as it came out later it was our curse for about next 3 years. But we're getting of the tracks. After the first year, both our creators left the band so I and my brother have remained alone on that sinking boat. But despite that we've decided that we won't give up so easily and here we are after those 8 years (laugh). During that time we had a lot of personal changes. So may say that we are great assholes and people don't want to work with us (laugh). But we say "Fuck you". If you don't want to work with us, you know where the exit is. But on the other hand for about 3 years we have the same guys on board and I hope it won't change in the nearest future.
Well, a true story of perseverance. Last year you released your first full-length album, "Thrashmageddon", an awesome work. Almost a year later how do you feel about it and what has been the reaction from the fans?
Yeah, almost year and a half has passed since our release. That was a great time for us. Especially that feeling when you hold you first official released LP in your hands and you know that you did it and no one else (laugh). Just like having your first child (laugh). The reaction was very positive both from our fans as well from the reviewers. Of course there where some opinions that this music is nothing new, that we duplicate old bands and other bullshit. Sorry fuckers but that was the idea. To be and play like the bands in the 80's. We didn't want anything new just to play stuff we love and listen every day. If you want some experiments, go to the fucking lab.
Hahaha, personality all the way, I lke it. How long did you work to get "Thrashmageddon" done and ready to pack?
Ummm.it took a little bit (laugh). A lot of people laughed that we won't release it ever cause the whole process connected with recording, mixes, mastering, finding label etc. took almost 2 years. But finally we did it.
And you did it very right, people often laugh at what others cannot achieve but they don’t look at their own asses... Well, let's enter a little into the details. Meanly, "Thrashmageddon" it's a Thrash album, bit I feel it's much more than that, what do you think?
It's hard to say for me cause as the creator of this music I probably see it completely different than you do. It's not that I don't like that stuff which is on "Thrashmageddon" but those tracks are really early days. They were made when I've played maybe 4 or 5 years on the guitar. The stuff I make now is much more mature (laugh). When you'll hear it, you'll know it (laugh). But getting back to "Thrashmageddon" in every song you can hear a lot of inspirations from bands like Testament, Exodus, Megadeth or our Polish Kat. And I don't want to say that it was something wrong but that was just our beginning and you can't be very original in that period.
Yeah original is original, but you sounded as a thunder. And for what you say I cannot wait to hear your new songs... Every guy makes a wonderful work, but I think the guitars are not from this world
Hehe so I'm very pleased that you like the guitars but of course I have to add that we could do better (laugh). Next time probably (laugh).
I’m starting to believe you can improve it hahaha. "Thrashmageddon" is like a novel, you travel throught it and you visit different landscapes during the day or under the moon shadows, passages a la King Diamond, melodies a la Annihilator... It seems your imagination has no limits...
So certainly you have to listen to our second album, unfortunately we did not record it yet (laugh). But on the other hand the stuff is complete and we're just waiting to get enough funds and then we'll ready to go into studio. But returning to our first LP, I can only say that I like the album but I don't listen to that stuff often. I know better bands (laugh).
Well, let’s hope it doesn’t take you so long time to record as the first album, it could be an agonic waiting... Horrorhouse is my favorite track. It's so dramatic... How do you compose the songs to get so many ingredients on them?
Yeah I must agree with you. It's also mine favorite. And I've always liked it but this track is so "rich" that we are not able to play it live to present this whole horror atmosphere etc. I am great fun of King Diamond and I don't hide that he was a great inspiration for me during writing and recording that track. On the other hand a lot of things that make this specific, creeps giving climate was invented in the recording studio and I think that is the magic when you're sitting in the studio and great ideas come into your head how to improve the song or give it a real kick.
What are the lyrics about?
We write about just everything. For example the mentioned Horrorhouse is about Joseph Fritzl and his little daughter who he loved so much that he had to keep her in a basement together with his.grandchildren? I don't know if that is the appropriate word (laugh). Anyway, Bless My Gun is about never ending war between the east and the west. We have lyrics about things like hell, Satan and all that funny metal stuff (laugh). And of course about how fucking great we are and how we are going to kick your god damned ass if you are the enemy of metal.or something like that (laugh). Yeah and I've forgotten about the Stoneface - it's just about a lady doing blow job.
Cool variety. What are your main influences?
As I mentioned before - the whole American Thrash metal scene from the 80's. Bands like Metallica (old), Exodus, Overkill, Megadeth, Testament but also classical heavy metal bands - Iron Maiden, Saxon, Deep Purple these bands have a really great impact on us. For example I am huge fan of Dream Theater and this is inspiration that you can find in some of our tracks.
Comparing this superb "Thrashmageddon" with your previous demo and Ep, what has been the evolution of the band?
Shit! Have you listened to that?! And you wanna know what has changed? (laugh). That stuff should be forbidden, burnt down and scattered somewhere where no one can find it. Just like they did with the Nazis (laugh). No, I'm just kidding despite that the stuff on the demo was really terrible. So simply if you wanna know the difference firstly listen to our demo material and they take "Thrashmageddon". What can I say - the same people but few years later (laugh).
I didn’t listen to the Ep, but thanks to your sincerity I will wait for your second album instead hahaha. Poland is a country with long tradition in Metal. You have big bands as Turbo, Vader, Behemoth... Do you feel as the band to take the legacy?
We would like to and that is our dream to live up to those legends. But only time will show us what's gonna happen and how far we'll get.
Right. I have been in Poland a few months ago, in Warsaw, concretely, and I didn't feel very much the Metal atmospehere... How is the Metal scene in Poland nowadays?
We live in a hard times. Nowadays, people having internet at home, youtube etc. won't come to the gigs cause they have it for free at home or they don't wanna pay for the gig. For some people don't want to pay 15 zl (which is 5 dollars) for the show of 3 bands which is quite funny. They will rather buy some cheap wine and go to the local park. Lot's of people constantly forget that we have to pay for the gasoline, food etc. to get to the club where we are supposed to play. But that doesn't matter to them. We don't wanna live from the playing. Of course if we could that would be great but this is not our goal. We just don't want to pay from our money to play for other people.
A shit of situation I would say, let’s hope it changes little by little. You are from Rybnik, where is that exactly? And have you ever felt the boost to move abroad in search of new opportunities?
Rybnik is a quite big city in Silesia region, near Katowice - hometown of our metal legend KAT. We used to play a lot in Czech Republic but we are still opened for propositions and we wanna go with our music to the west.
Yeah, Metal legends KAT, I forgot to mention before! Let's talk about present and future. Are you composing songs for a new album?
In a few months time you will have an opportunity to listen to our new stuff. We are releasing the so called "Split" with the Canadian Reanimator. The cd contains our new 3 tracks and intro. As it goes about our second LP. The stuff is written and we're on the level of practicing the material. I hope we will be able to release it in two years. Unfortunately, it all depends of our funds and that is sad. But I can tell you more. Despite that the tracks for the second album are ready to go, recently I've started to create songs for our third LP (laugh). So as you can see we're not sitting on our assess. (laugh)
I don’t dream about a third LP for the moment, I would feel satisfied with a second for now. What have been the most important gig in your career, although you are still very young?
Without a doubt, it was two gigs with Artillery. That was great experience and a great adventure for us. Despite that I will always remember our birthday party when we were celebrating our fifth anniversary of our band and whole club was singing "Happy Birthday". Yeah, these are magic moments when you know why you wanna do this.
Artillery, yesssssss!! And happy birthday is always a classic, especially if sung by friends. If you could choose, you would like to share stage with...?
Iron Maiden and Dream Theater. And lot's of other bands of course. But I can only speak for myself.
Thank you very much for your time and I hope I will have the chance to see you in the near future performing your great Thrash attack! If you wanna add something...
I wanna thank you for taking interest in our band, for all the work you do, that you are the same maniac as we are. It was a great pleasure talking with you. What can I say more.I want to thank our fans and people who support us everyday. So come to the shows, buy CDs, listen to Metal and drink beer. See you on gigs! Thank you very much!