Name: Trupa Trupa
Members: Grzegorz Kwiatkowski, Tomek Pawluczuk, Wojtek Juchniewicz, Rafal Wojczal
Occupations: Vocalist, poet (Grzegorz Kwiatkowski), drummer, designer (Tomek Pawluczuk), bassist, vocalist (Wojtek Juchniewicz), organist, keyboarder (Rafal Wojczal)
Interviewee: Grzegorz Kwiatkowski
Current Release: Trupa Trupa's B FLAT A is out via Glitterbeat.
Recommendations: Goldberg Variations composed by Johann Sebastian Bach and played by Glenn Gould. Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann.
If you enjoyed this interview with Trupa Trupa and would like to know more about the band, visit their official website. Stay connected with them on Instagram, Facebook, and twitter.
When did you start writing/producing music and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?
We started 10 years ago. But in my opinion the real start happened in 2015 when we recorded and released the Headache album. Until 2015 we didn't have a producer. And for us, Michał Kupicz, who is now our producer, is the fifth member of the band.
Our inspirations and sound have always been very diverse and strange. Trupa Trupa has got a democratic structure. Everyone is listening to different stuff and the range is really big: from The Beatles, Fugazi, Swans, Bonnie Prince Billy and Sonic Youth and Velvet Underground to Wagner, Mozart, Schubert and Glenn Gould. And we needed someone who would take our own musical inspirations and thoughts and would create one new strange democratic vision from them.
[Read our Bonnie "Prince" Billy interview]
And that turned out to be Michał Kupicz - who as far as I know is not even a big fan of rock and roll music. So there are four or actually five people who shouldn't form an alternative rock and roll band. But they did so nonetheless and they keep continuing on this strange path.
Some people experience intense emotion when listening to music, others see colors or shapes. What is your own listening experience like and how does it influence your approach to music?
In this interview of course I am speaking not for the whole band but for myself. I don't see colors and I don't see shapes. I just listen to the music and focus on the music. But music doesn't represent some objects for me. This is an inner complete world that doesn't need more representations.
How would you describe your development as an artist in terms of interests and challenges, searching for a personal voice, as well as breakthroughs?
I don't know if I believe in developments. We just keep going and keep doing what we find interesting for ourselves.
I don't know if this is for the better or for the worse. I hope that it is better - but I can't measure it in an objective way.
Tell me a bit about your sense of identity and how it influences both your preferences as a listener and your creativity as an artist, please.
I believe a bit in a situation in which an artist is like a sponge and his identity changes all the time. Of course not a whole identity.
For example my situation is connected to my family history and concentration camp horrors and it has always influenced my poetry and music.
What, would you say, are the key ideas behind your approach to music and art?
Simplicity, minimalism, poliphony, mistakes.
How would you describe your views on topics like originality and innovation versus perfection and timelessness in music? Are you interested in a “music of the future” or “continuing a tradition”?
I think that art is a space of total freedom and I am not a fan of big and strict artistic programmes and big ideologies. I am a fan of intuition and change.
Over the course of your development, what have been your most important instruments and tools - and what are the most promising strategies for working with them?
One of our band members, Rafał Wojczal, constructs his own instruments and it's a really fascinating process for him and they sound great - but most of us don't care a lot about instruments. We like them but it's not the most important thing for us.
If someone is passionate about something he can create some great sound even on not so great equipment.
Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please.
For many years I have been doing more or less the same things. Working, reading, walking, eating, writing, spending time with my family, with a band, with friends. I really like rituals and I love to do more or less the same things and because of that an art is a most important space of change, a real laboratory.
Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece, live performance or album that's particularly dear to you, please?
If I am fascinated by something I am going really deep. My creative process is a process of digging deeper and deeper. And as soon as I think I've got it I start searching for some new stuff.
Listening can be both a solitary and a communal activity. Likewise, creating music can be private or collaborative. Can you talk about your preferences in this regard and how these constellations influence creative results?
I love to work with people, I love the ideas of others, I love the feelings of others. I really believe in the synergy effect.
How do your work and your creativity relate to the world and what is the role of music in society?
I can't speak for others and I can't speak in an objective way. For me art is a kind of therapeutic process. I believe in art as a cure. I believe especially in dark art which lead to light and hope.
Art can be a way of dealing with the big topics in life: Life, loss, death, love, pain, and many more. In which way and on which occasions has music – both your own or that of others - contributed to your understanding of these questions?
In every way because for me art is a real therapy.
There seems to be increasing interest in a functional, “rational” and scientific approach to music. How do you see the connection between music and science and what can these two fields reveal about each other?
I think that this is one world so I don't make such divisions – between science and music. I think we should use all the instruments we would like to use. As I wrote earlier: art is for me a space of total freedom.
Creativity can reach many different corners of our lives. Do you feel as though writing a piece of music is inherently different from something like making a great cup of coffee? What do you express through music that you couldn't or wouldn't in more 'mundane' tasks?
I think that through art I can communicate in a way I can't do in normal life. In normal conversation and in normal circumstances. For me art is a platform for communication in a better spiritual way.
Music is vibration in the air, captured by our ear drums. From your perspective as a creator and listener, do you have an explanation how it able to transmit such diverse and potentially deep messages?
I totally don't know and maybe it's ok that I don't know.
I am not a big fan of super big rationality. In my opinion life is too short to be super obsessed with technical, mathematical aspects. And of course science is also in constant change.
For me the point is: to be a good person and to not hurt others. This is the point of humanity and in my opinion also of art.