As mentioned already before, Polish THAW is a five-piece that is taking things very special: Melting noise, sludge, doom, electronics and whatever into basically black metal suggests, that black metal more or less is just a skin under which the band is operating. THAW is weird, excessive and disturbing – just to say: THAW is absolutely morbid! The right act for a festival named MORBVS MAXIMVS! Haldor Grunberg, the guy behind the walls of noise, just answered to a few questions we had.
MM: Polish scene for extreme music is latest since VADER, BEHEMOTH and co a matter of course for fans worldwide; but these avant-gardist tunes THAW are following are in a way something different. What’s the intention behind THAW? Is there any new Polish scene you are involved in rising to something bigger?
Haldor: I think more and more bands that aren’t strictly metal start to be recognizable outside of Poland – for example our stoner and doom scene with bands like BELZEBONG, SUNNATA, DOPELORD or WEEDPECKER. We are still connected with metal scene, but we are also a little bit outside because of our experimental/noise tendencies… And you need to remember about metal bands like MGŁA that are getting bigger and bigger.
MM: Yes, Bands like MGŁA just conquer the world. But still they are following more classical concepts, to describe it like this. Your musical journeys lead you already to couple of bigger places, for example an appearance on Norwegian INFERNO festival. How you are experiencing this growing attention?
Haldor: It’s super cool. I didn’t expect that much, when we’ve started the band. We’re really happy that we can visit all that places and festivals: from typical metal festivals like INFERNO to different events like PRIMAVERA. We couldn’t ask for more – but we hope we will get more…. Sometimes bands like us can’t get any attention ‘cause they are too weird for fans of specific genres. So we’re lucky to get attention from people who listen to different kinds of music.
MM: Well, it’s still a basic problem, doing things different then people expect to get it. But „Earth Ground“ has been a groundbreaking and fantastic album. Followed by „St. Phenome Alley“, that was just doomy, ambient, noisy and even electronical. Well, you are heading now to what?
Haldor: Well, the next record will be different then “Earth Ground”: Less typical rock arrangements, less drums, more noise and drone stuff – but I think it will still have a connection to classic black metal. It’s hard to talk about music but I think you’ll be able to feel great respect for the black metal genre. Even though the music will be much different then classic black metal albums. I think I’m talking mostly about emotional side.
MM: What can our guests expect, when they will see the THAW show on MORBVS MAXIMVS?
Haldor: We want everyone to create his/her personal space during our show. We don’t talk, we don’t want to tell anyone what to think. Just feel free to stop thinking. You can smoke joint before if you’d like to, that won’t harm anyone, but maybe it will even help… But we hope to be soundwise very intense.
MM: How important are black metal attitudes you were following at least on earlier works and on „Earth Ground“? Reflecting a live show means fog and hoods and, as you mentioned, no talking.
Haldor: We like fog and static lights, because I think you can drown in sound and the music has more powerful impact. But we may change this. It is possible to see THAW in future with different stage look. But show will follow music, never opposite.
MM: Besides THAW members are much into other bands and projects. What’s to recommend for enthusiasts into Polish avant-garde?
Haldor: Check the label – Instant Classic (https://instantlabel.wordpress.com). You will find a lot of avant-garde music there. Their rooster is quite incredible. From ambient to jazz to metal but almost always a bit different. No generic stuff. Two of us are also in a band called ARRM that will release their debut record there.