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Mariusz Szypura (SILVER ROCKET)

One man and his project... Great music, great album... From Poland!

Tell us something about Silver Rocket?

Silver Rocket is the name of my personal project launched in 2001, which has grown from a one-man initiative into a band with a line-up reaching at times up to 15 members. ;) So far I have released 3 albums: Electronics for Dogs, Unhappy Songs and Tesla - a concept album devoted to the life of Nikola Tesla.

A brief history of how the band started?

In 2001, following the suspension of Happy Pills, my previous band, I decided to do something entirely on my own, as I was getting a bit tired of working as part of a band ;)
I began by recording a few songs in my small home studio and after a while I realized I had so many promising tracks that I decided to release them. Around that time I had met my friends from iSound and that is how Electronic for Dogs appeared on the market. Soon after that the Astronaut's Diary EP was released.
Meanwhile I had moved to Warsaw and thanks to having all my friends at hand I recorded the album entitled Unhappy Songs, featuring guest appearances by a host of outstanding personalities on the Polish music scene. And then Tesla came about...

Where did the name come from?

The name of the project is taken from a song by Sonic Youth - Silver Rocket. I know Silver Rocket's music has little relevance to the experimental sounds of Sonic Youth, but there was a time in my life when I was greatly inspired by them and their influence on my music cannot be underestimated. That is why I decided to pay homage to their work in the name of my project.

We really love your sound. Describe it in a few words?

It is very difficult to describe the sound of a band in words, I have come up with a term "psychedelic retro pop", whatever that means ;)
But I do think that we are exploring the sound bordering on pop and underground, the influence of psychedelic music can also be clearly heard, while retro elements suit the style of the band.

What are your influences from the start?

At first I was really fascinated with emotronics, Icelandic bands, anything to do with the Morr Music label, but with time I found this style rather limiting and began transgressing its boundaries by introducing more and more live instruments and old analog sounds to finally reach our current sound.

Your album "Tesla" has been recently released. Why did you dedicate whole album to Nikola Tesla? We're rather curious about this since Tesla was born in Croatia, ex Yugoslavia.

Tesla appeared in my life suddenly, I kept hearing his name here and there, but I was not entirely sure what that meant. One day I decided to read up about him and find out more about who he had been and about his work. That's how it started. I myself studied at a technical university and have got a scientific mind, so I was not entirely unfamiliar with his inventions. In the end I found Tesla's life story so engrossing that I made a decision to devote the whole album to him. ;) I also wanted to show everyone how much Tesla had contributed to our lives and prove that without him our civilization would not have been as developed as it is today...
What's more, I really liked the sort of "Slavic melancholy" permeating his life and his character; I believe Poles and people from the Balkans have a similar mentality... and that was also a factor attracting me to this story.
[ Band photo is derativated art based on Gerhard Sisters photography "Musicians" and J. Laurent photography"Madrid. Dame avec mantille" ]

Band photo is derativated art based on Gerhard Sisters photography "Musicians" and J. Laurent photography"Madrid. Dame avec mantille"

Did the road ever took you to Croatia or Smiljan where Tesla was born?

No, I have never been to Smiljan, but two years ago I did visit Croatia with my friends and I have very fond memories of that stay... Beautiful landscapes and views, fantastic weather, the sea, delicious food. And really really nice people.

Can we expect a concert here?

Frankly, we have no plans to tour Southern Europe at the moment, but this autumn we might play some gigs in Germany and the Czech Republic, so who knows, perhaps we will go as far as Croatia.

Can you please write your favourite albums and movies of 2008?

I think the album I liked most in 2008 was Portishead Third, I know that's heavy stuff, but I really feel there was nothing better, no Kings of Leon or TV on the Radio can compete with that... as for the movies, I would say No Country for Old Men, There will be Blood and Control ...

Can you name some other great Polish bands?

There are plenty of good Polish bands - who I'd risk saying are much better than the overwhelming majority of foreign bands, e.g. Scianka, Lenny Valentino, Locostar, Mitch & Mitch, Polpo Motel, Andy. These are mainly underground bands, as the Polish pop scene is really rubbish...

Tell me something I would never guess about you?

Years ago my little sister surprised me when she announced she was going to major in Serbian and Croatian studies at university. ;))) She graduated with honours. She's fluent in your language, knows a lot about your history, literature and... the bands. That was probably the first time I had contact with your culture...

terapija // 22/01/2009


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