Interview with the Band Grieving (Poland)

By Mick Michaels

COSMICK VIEW: Hello! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it's greatly appreciated.

CV: Do you feel that it's still possible for an unknown band today to be plucked out of obscurity and make it to stardom? Can a dedicated core of fans sharing their music make that possible or has the internet and social media changed the game?
Grieving: For me personally – fuck stardom. Honestly, it's not required to make good music and in the end that's what all of this should be about. Yes, getting more recognition definitely helps the cause but I would never want it to be the goal itself. And to be absolutely honest, obscurity isn't the worst thing that can happen to a band. Some of my all-time favorite albums are what you would call “obscure” and in my eyes that actually adds to them more charm, a kind of uniqueness, like a secret that only I and a few others know about. As for the internet and social media changing the game – yes, I believe they did that, but the game was bound to change anyway. Music is not something static, it's constantly evolving and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

CV: Do you feel that given the accessibility and social awareness of modern times that a music underground still even exists today as it once did?
Grieving: It definitely exists, just in a different form than it used to. From my perspective it might have changed for the worse in some aspects but then again, there are new target audiences that see things differently. On the other hand, as a collector obsessed with physical releases, these are the best times I could live in – the availability of everything I ever wanted to own is just ridiculous. The sky is the limit and that's something that needs to be appreciated.

CV: What do you see as the biggest difference in music and how it is perceived from back say 35 years ago compared to music today? Has both the music and the artist evolved from your point of view?
Grieving: I mean, we can clearly see how things evolved from 35 years ago. Back in the day you had to be a skilled musician to record an album, a singer actually had to know how to sing well to record a song that would become a classic, etc. Nowadays it's much easier to mask our shortcomings with technology. Then again a lot of things are done easier – you don't need a big budget label behind your back to create an epic masterpiece. One might say that rock music in particular lost a certain sense of danger it once had but I'll say it's still there; you just need to look a bit harder. I guess that the evolution of music has its positive and negative effects but that's evolution for you – it's a process we can't really control.


CV: Do you believe bands and artists who have the biggest impact on fans and other artists are aware that they are or is there more of a tunnel vision sort of process for them keeping them somewhat in the dark? Can influential artists see past their own work to be aware of the ripples they make?
Grieving: I guess it depends on the artist really…. I'm sure some of them are aware of the impact they're making and they try to take this into consideration when creating their art and some probably don't give a shit about that, which in all honesty is also perfectly OK. I guess that as long as it doesn't end up with a messiah complex, any approach is fine.

CV: Does music need to be influential to be considered worth listening to in your opinion? Or can music simply be just an enjoyable auditory experience devoid of substance?
Grieving: I would opt for the latter. For me personally, music is a very individual experience and in the end it's solely up to me to determine if I find any value in certain music or not. A lot of albums that I consider to be very important for me are far from being genre-bending - they often repeat a formula that's been done before but perhaps on that particular record it's also done in a way that speaks to me on a different, more personal level.

CV: The world has been rocked by the COVID pandemic.  The economy has been sent into a tailspin in its wake, unfortunately.  Bands worldwide have been restricted from performing live, and for some it seems, restricted from earning a living.  How has the pandemic affected your band? Are you hopeful that as we move forward we will see many of the restrictions lifted?
Grieving: If I'm honest, in the case of Grieving, the pandemic actually “helped” us in the sense that it gave us the extra time to finally breathe some life into this project. Sure, the pandemic wasn't a walk in the park for us but I like to think we found a way to somehow make it work to our advantage. Right now we're slowly getting back to playing live shows in Poland, starting with smaller bands and venues which suit us just fine, since we fall exactly into that category. Not sure what the fall will bring but we're all trying to stay optimistic and hope that things will eventually get back to some version of “normal”.

CV: What do you feel artists and bands can do right now to stay relevant, especially in an environment, such as the present, where performing in front of a live audience is being restricted? What immediate options do you see available?
Grieving: I think the answer is simply focusing on the music. Use your time productively, take risks you otherwise wouldn't and just try to make the best of the given situation. Basic rules of life can very well apply to music too.

CV: As an artist, what have you learned from the events of 2020? Are those lessons learned different for you as a person than as an artist or are they one in the same in your opinion?
Grieving: I guess the big lesson is that you can never really be absolutely sure of anything. Planning is great and all but even the most air-tight schemes can drop in a matter of days, as we've all come to experience one way or the other. Last year taught us more than ever that it's always good to have a backup plan, if not several.

CV: What's next? What can fans expect to see coming from Grieving in 2021 and beyond?
Grieving: We've just released our debut album, “Songs for the Weary,” and we're really proud of that record. This is an exciting time for us and we can't wait to see what the future brings. We're currently forming a live line-up and by early 2022, we'd like to take our album on the road.

CV: Thank you again for spending some time talking and sharing with our readers. It was such a pleasure. I wish you all the best.
Grieving: Thanks for having us. If you're doom freaks like us, check out “Songs for the Weary” - we hope you'll enjoy listening to it as much as we did recording it.

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My name is Mick Michaels...I'm an artist, music fan, songwriter, producer, show host, dreamer and guitarist for the traditional Heavy Metal band Corners of Sanctuary. Writing has always been a creative outlet for me; what I couldn't say in speech, I was able to do with the written word.  Writing has given me a voice and a way for me to create on a multitude of platforms including music and song, articles, independent screenplays, books and now, artist interviews. The Cosmick View is an opportunity to raise the bar and showcase artists in a positive and inspirational light. For me, it's another out-of-this-world adventure.

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