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Progressive Rock Interviews

Lunatic Soul

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Mariusz Duda of Lunatic Soul from 2012

Can you catch the readers up on the history of your involvement in music?

I started with learning to play the piano when I was in fourth grade, then I got the first synthesizer. In high school I started to play in bands – on keyboards, on bass, on acoustic guitar, on drums. But I never knew what to choose. Then, in Riverside, I chose the easiest one (laughs). And in Lunatic Soul I could finally play on everything again.
MSJ: What does Lunatic Soul do for you, as an artist,  that Riverside does not?
In Lunatic Soul I can for instance sit behind the drums and play on it myself. I can also decide that there won’t be any electric guitars on the whole album. In Riverside I would feel remorse about that with regard to my guys (laughs). But seriously, in Lunatic Soul I don’t need to worry about the band’s image, I don’t have to take into account the fact that a group of musicians has to become a band. I can turn everything upside down all on my own.
MSJ: How would you compare the music of Lunatic Soul to the music of Riverside?
Riverside is a rock band. There’s a place for joy, sadness, whisper and scream in that music. There are a lot of colours. Lunatic Soul is darker, more obscure, more ascetic and achromatic, also more intimate music-wise, at least on the first three albums.
MSJ: Why did you choose to do the new album sans vocals?
To make it different than Lunatic Soul I and Lunatic Soul II, I didn’t want to do Lunatic Soul III. Impressions are not Lunatic Soul III. The diptych remains the diptych. Impressions are only an addition to it, supplement.
MSJ: If you weren't involved in music what do you think you'd be doing?
Films or scripts. Or I would draw comic books.
MSJ: How did the name Lunatic Soul originate?
I think the name of this project wonderfully reflects my soul and what’s in it. I am a bit of lunatic. The Lunatic is in my head. I also think that on future albums the music will be more adequate to the name. Also, Lunatic Soul has the same number of letters as Mariusz Duda.
MSJ: Who would you see as your musical influences?
There are too many of them. But I think that my beginnings are tightly connected to electronic music like Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, or Mike Oldfield. I think that if it hadn’t been for those artists, I wouldn’t be making music right now.
MSJ: What's ahead for you?
I’d like to create my opus magnum. Hopefully three of them or so.
MSJ: I know artists hate to have their music pigeonholed or labeled, but how would you describe your music?
Like I mentioned before – I always describe Riverside as joy, sadness, whisper and scream. Following that path I would describe Lunatic Soul as cool sounds of blackness and whiteness.
MSJ: Are there musicians with whom you would like to play with in the future?
Of course. I think they’re going to start appearing on my future albums (laughs). 
MSJ: Do you think that illegal downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians?
Both. Illegal downloading may be helpful if a given album is good and people like it. Then there’s a bigger chance for interest in it, for more publicity through the grapevine. The more people like the album, the more original records will sell, because luckily there a still those for whom the solely digital tracks are just not enough. But if the album is not very good, then illegal downloading, negative comments or the lack of them can do a lot of harm and become a hindrance.
MSJ: In a related question, how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them?
Luckily, our fans don’t earn their money by recording our shows or selling bootlegs, or at least I don’t know anything about it. If it happened, and if I got to know about that, I guess that would make my heart ache. But for now, unconcerned, I just trust our fans.
MSJ: If you were to put together your ultimate band (a band you'd like to hear or catch live), who would be in it and why?
I don’t like bands or projects like “the best of.” But I’d love to see early The Beatles show in the small s****y venue in Hamburg, for instance.
MSJ: If you were in charge of assembling a music festival and wanted it to be the ultimate one from your point of view who would be playing?
The first band of my own. Just for ultimate fun.
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
What I bought? Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Bon Iver – Bon Iver, new Kate Bush, and a few 40th Anniversary King Crimson remasters. Now I am listening to the new album of Carbon Based Lifeforms.
MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?
I’ve recently read Steve Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaacson. A wonderfully written thing. A lot of useful information about living in liquid modernity.
MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
I went to see the British group Lamb. I love them.
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
Haven’t had one yet, but I will. This year Riverside is playing at the Brutal Assault festival, you know, with all those brutal, dripping with blood, burning Norwegian churches and eating their own entrails bands. I’m thinking about playing Conceiving You there (laughs).
MSJ: If you could sit down to dinner with any three people, living or dead, for food and conversation, with whom would you be dining?
Recently? Steve Jobs, Woody Allen and Wislawa Szymborska (a Polish poet, Nobel Prize winner). No offense, Woody.
MSJ: What would be on the menu?
Fruits, pills and cigarettes
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 2 at
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