PLACE: E-mail

Hi guys, it's good to know you're finally back after a long time of silence.
All your fans know so well that Quidam's line-up has changed some months ago 'cause three members left the band. Can you explain why and how it happened? What are they doing now ?

The first big change was when we parted ways with Radek Sholl (one of the founders of Quidam.) Six months later, on February 15th, 2003, Emila Derkowska left the band, and a year later we split with Rafal Jermakow (drums) and Damian Sikorski (bass). The reasons for all these partings were strictly musical. Rafal and Damian got involved in a rock band MENSKI (later Radek Sholl also joined them,) and Emila moved to Warsaw and started singing in a gospel choir TGD.

Can you call it a friendly parting ?
Certainly, although painful, they were all friendly partings. Quidam and Menski rehearse in the same building so we meet very often. Emila came to our first concert in the new line-up. So I think that they all keep their fingers crossed for us.

Can you introduce to us the new members ?
Bartek Kossowicz - vocals, Maciej Wroblewski - drums, Mariusz Ziolkowski - bass.

Before talking about the forthcoming new album, let's talk about two wonderful pieces of music: your eponymous debut album and the latest (and third) "Time Beneath The Sky". In my opinion they're both great albums for different reasons: the first one is a classic romantic progressive album, maybe too derivative but with plenty of satisfactory melodies. The second one is more refined and richer in shadings and different sounds; again the songwriting is really impressive here.
If you want to know my opinion about those albums, I must agree with you. But as far as the first album is concerned, I shall add that the CD sounds not very satisfactory and its cover is awful… Well, we were young J. In spring next year, we are planning to reissue this album but with new mastering, and an additional CD with some "extras", and of course with a new cover J. As far as "Time Beneath The Sky" goes, although it is the most mature album in the old line-up, I think that it is stylistically unstable. I would divide it into two parts: the first - pop songs, and the second - more darkened progressive. On "surREvival" it is easy to hear that we are opting for the latter, thanks to which this is the most coherent and stable album in our career…

How about this clear evolution of your music from "Quidam" to "Time Beneath The Sky" ?
It wasn't planned. We approached each new album without any preconceived ideas, sort of "empty-headed", and then, during rehearsals the whole material was created. I would call it a "spontaneous evolution".

Do we have to expect a new evolution from "surREvival" ? How can you describe it ?
Even we do not know what should be expected, and we cannot predict anything. As far as our album is concerned, I think that in general there are more "guitar fragments" (whatever that means). There is a male vocal and English lyrics. As I said before, "surREvival" is more coherent than the previous albums. A musical monolith. Still, it's best to listen to it and draw your own conclusions…

How long you worked on the new album ?

For about half a year we were playing rehearsals, then it took two months to record the demo CD. After that, two weeks of rehearsals, corrections, modifications and 4 months of recording and mastering. It was a very fast pace in comparison to our previous experience.

What kind of contribution the new band members gave to the album ?
To some extent, the new songs were created from our collective improvisations, so every one of us had a big influence on our music. I think that the fact that new members joined us was a major factor which speeded up the process of composing.

During your live acts you used to play some covers, I mean Camel, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin (the "No Quarter" cover was really stunning!!). Do you think to go on this way in the future?
Actually, Yes, we are going to intertwine some "quotations" from classic rock with our songs, and if need be, we will play whole compositions. We like doing it a lot.

Personally I'm a huge fan of Camel and I must admit I heard about your music when a friend of mine told me a new Polish band called Quidam was out with a debut album in Camel style. I know you met Camel and Colin Bass many times in your career: there's a particular episode you love recalling ?
The cooperation with Colin was obviously a very inspiring experience. Every rehearsal, every recording and concert - it all taught us a lot as musicians. Besides, Colin is a very friendly person so behind the stage we had a great contact. Unfortunately, these days he's devoted totally to acoustic playing, so there is no place for us. But of course we wish him all the best.

Since this is the first time I talk with a Polish band and I deeply love almost everything coming from your country, what's your opinion about the Polish progressive music scene ?
It is starting to be more and more interesting. There are lots of new bands and more progressive CDs are released. Unfortunately, the matter of organizing concerts is still far from ideal but we hope that it will change…

Why did it grow so fast in the last fifteen years ? Which Polish band are you currently in touch mostly ?
Frankly, I have no idea, but one of the factors could be the socio-political and economical situation in our country after the collapse of communism. The access to albums and to better instruments became easier, the possibility to see many foreign bands live. At that moment, only those factors come to my mind but there could have been some other as well.

Finally, I'm Italian and you're Polish, so I'm bound to ask you a question about the agony and death of Pope. How Polish people lived that period ?
For many people John Paul II was a very important person, a great authority and a charismatic religious leader. His death came as a shock and many Polish people experienced it very painfully. If I had to describe that period in one sentence, I would say that was the time of sorrow, reflection and contemplation. Now I think that everything is coming back to normal, however, John Paul II will forever remain in everyone's heart.

Luca Alberici