Besides, an instrumental band established in Poland in 2011, is a young, but very impressive, group. They have managed to capture the hearts of the Polish audience as their votes secured Besides’ victory in 8th edition of Must Be the Music – a show for rising musical talents of all genres, gathering up to three million people in front of TVs. I had the pleasure to talk with guitarist Piotr Świąder-Kruszyński and ask him about this achievement and future plans.
WATCH: BESIDES – MAY I TAKE YOU HOME? (LIVE ON “MUST BE THE MUSIC”)
What, exactly, were your thoughts the moment you heard the final verdict?
At first we simply couldn’t believe that this kind of music was appreciated in a very commercial production, and also great joy and happiness that it actually was. For us, it means that there is a need for this kind of music and that people liked it. What else could you possibly wish?
But let’s go back to the beginning. How did you come up with the idea to compete in Must Be the Music and when was that?
We really care about our music and spreading the word. Apart from the creative process, we try to take care of many other aspects of being a band, such as self-promotion, management and many others. Observing the market, we noticed that mass media is a very important part of promoting—it helps reach great numbers of potential fans in a very short time. Must Be the Music is a one-of-a-kind TV talent show where music is actually appreciated, and the show itself is superb and without any sugar-coated clichés like in other productions. That’s the reason for our decision—let’s give ourselves a chance and try to give mass media a go. We hoped to get aired once or twice which would increase our popularity, but it turned out to be quite a surprise 🙂
You knew you would be competing with rising pop stars or talented bands from other, more popular, genres. What kind of reaction did you expect from the audience to your kind of music?
We anticipated an increased level of interest with our records (the kind of music we play has been around for several years, yet it remains rather niche), but what actually happened was orders of magnitude greater than our expectations. Just think about it, only after the first episode we ran out of CDs, and we still don’t have enough of them 🙂 We were completely unprepared for this kind of interest, amount of heart-warming and enthusiastic words, e-mails, posts, comments. That was a shock. 🙂
You had about two minutes to present each track but Linnet’s Flight or May I Take You Home are both over six minutes long. What kind of a challenge was it to compress a song like this or play just some parts of it, skipping long build ups or intros?
We tried our best to shorten the tracks while keeping their character (be it progress or counterpoint) and we think we managed to, as the listeners immediately grasped what this music is about. 🙂
A part of the prize you won is the opportunity to play at the New Year’s Eve party in front of thousands of people hosted by a nation-wide TV channel. What should we expect from you during this show?
I think there won’t be any massive surprises—we will play what we can best and that is instrumental music—in this case, however, the technical support will be fantastic.
I must say I had the pleasure of seeing you live, supporting Obscure Sphinx and Tides From Nebula in Warsaw and you didn’t seem too nervous about the people gathered there. However, this time you can expect around four million people in front of TVs watching you perform at the end of 2014. How does that feel?
You may not believe us, but we are so excited about this gig! This excitement is a bit contradictory, you know: New Year’s Eve show, greatest hits, people bopping and we jump out of the blue with our tunes. On the other hand, first of all, people voted for us, so they need something like this; and secondly, with good aesthetics support, this can be a really spectacular show.
All in all, 2014 was, and still is, a great year for you. But what about 2015? Will you set the bar even higher, or do you intend to take a well-earned rest?
What rest! Now is the time for hard work, to utilize this TV success, which naturally will pass quickly. So playing, playing, CD, playing and so on. Resting is out of question (even though we could use it a little).
So you’ve conquered Poland, will we see you do the same with Europe during Eurovision?
There will certainly come time to tour other countries. I think for us this period would best fit after our second CD—meaning no sooner than fall of 2015.
Eurovision? Why not? 🙂