2014 Decapitated Interview with Vogg
As one of the pioneers of the Polish death metal scene, Decapitated has become revered in extreme music circles. Most impressive is the fact that the band was founded in 1996 by brothers Waclaw “Vogg” Kieltyka (guitars), and Witold “Vitek” Kieltyka (drums) when they were only 12 and 16 respectively. At the time, Vogg had already been in the band Septic, and actively performing with Lux Occulta: The latter, an avant-garde metal band that he still writes and records with.
When Decapitated released its debut album, Winds of Creation in 2000, Vitek was still only 16-years-old, but he immediately turned heads with his precision skills behind the kit. Likewise, Vogg began making a name for himself as a gifted songwriter and guitarist. The group’s early albums stood as bench marks for early technical death metal fans and fellow bands, in particular, the sophomore album, Nihility which serves as Decapitated’s seminal album.
The quartet, which also featured bassist Marcin “Martin” Rygiel, would record a third album, The Negation, with founding vocalist Wojciech “Sauron” Wasowicz. For the band’s fourth album, Organic Hallucinosis, released in 2006, Adrian “Covan” Kawanek would take over vocal duties. Covan had been vocalist in Vogg’s prior band, Septic at one point. Organic Hallucinosis showcased a band in transition away from technical death metal to a more groove-oriented style. Vogg’s songwriting prowess was maturing. The album would prove to be the final record for Decapitated to feature three of its members.
On October 28, 2007 while the band was on tour in Gomel on the Russian/Belarus border, their van struck another vehicle. Vitek and Covan would be hospitalized, with Vogg’s younger brother succumbing to his injuries a few days later. Covan would be returned to Poland where he struggled through a long and arduous recovery. He would resign his position in the Decapitated while the band was on hiatus. Martin would do the same. The future of the band became unclear, as Vogg was left to grieve his loss.
After a two-year absence, Vogg began looking to the future. He connected with frontman Rafal “Rasta” Piotrowski and together they began the process of putting together 2011’s magnificent return, Carnival is Forever which attained its highest mark on the U.S. Heatseekers chart at #11. The album launched four music videos for “404”, “Pest”, “Homo Sum”, and the title cut.
Fine tuning the Decapitated line-up saw the addition of bassist Pawel Pasek and, most recently, drummer Michal Lysejko. With a fortified line-up the band returned to Hertz Studios, where the band recorded it’s most notable albums. With Vogg writing some of his most impressive material to date, the quartet recorded Blood Mantra, which showcases a style similar to that of Organic Hallucinosis, yet still an evolution from that album.
This fall, while on tour in the United States with GWAR, Vogg and the band were involved in another van accident, almost seven years to the day of the 2007 tragedy. This time enroute to New Orleans. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt and the tour continued on, but the event brought back powerful memories for Vogg. In a recent interview from the road, Metalholic caught up with the founder and guitarist to talk about Blood Mantra and the recent tour accident. The video interview can be viewed below as well as the first single from the new album, “Instinct”.
All photos © 2014 Katarzyna Cepek Photography.
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