Spooky Radio

Miguel and the Living Dead interview

1) It seems that creating the band was quite a long and difficult process…Could you tell us a bit more about the story of Miguel and the Living Dead ?

Yeah, creating a band is a long process, especially when you want to play music that isn’t popular in your country and has almost no any market roots, audience etc.
It has started many years ago as my one-man project, some music ideas contained on our Demo 2004 come even from mid of 90’s. In 2001 I finally got a computer that made my music ideas come true. But it was just beginning. I wanted to have a complete band and especially good signer. So I think I had a piece of luck, that I managed to talk my friends from cold wave band Eva (R.I.P.) into playing in Miguel.
After first few rehearsals it was clear, that it’s gonna be a good line-up.

2) Horror comics, cheap horror movies seem to be an important inspiration for the lyrics as well as for the visual of the band. Does such a culture of zombie/ vampire books or films exist in your country ?

No, almost not. I mean you may find some of these classic movies or books in shops or book stores, but there’s no any existing “culture” that you may compare to this kind of phenomenon in U.S.A. for example.
As I know we are the only band in Poland trying to bring these b-movie stuff into a music scene. Even our psychobilly bands are far away from this kind of image and mood. And I still cannot understand why does it look like this…? Maybe people in Poland don’t have this specific sense of humour? I don’t know…

3) This question is linked to the previous one in some way. We, in the western part rather know Poland through cold wave, punk or goth metal bands; how did you get into contact with the deathrock/ batcave/ gothabilly culture ? What are the artists that inspired you ?

I always liked oldschool goth punk bands like Alien Sex Fiend, UK Decay, Bauhaus or Theatre Of Hate. I also liked Samhain, 45 Grave, Super Heroines, Christian Death and other deathrock bands even when I didn’t know the word ”deathrock” and regarded these bands just as a “punk” or “gothic”. It wasn’t easy to get in contact with this music, I knew just a several classic-ones, I still had to borrow some tapes from my friends, some of them had this luck, that were able to get some records from Germany or France. Some bands I got to know thanx to our radio and a few open-minded journalists (e.g. our todays manager – Tomek “Ghostmaniac” Zrabkowski).
But actually everything changed 8-9 years ago with coming era of internet web. Now it’s no problem to get even most obscure sounds and records. You just must to want them and know when to search, that’s all.
But the artist that inspired me were not only goth punk / batcave / deathrock ones. I was always a big fan of new wave like Echo & The Bunnymen, New Model Army or U2, punk’77, ska, psychedelia, madchester, garage, psychobilly, even art-rock and many other genres. But honestly I think, that band that influenced me the most and changed my perception of music when I was a young young teenager was The Jesus And Mary Chain, especially their early recordings. I still love them! It’s a shame that they split up.

4) How is the situation for you in your country ? Is it easy for Miguel and the Living Dead to play ? Is there an audience for your music ?

It depends on what kind of situation you are asking. If you mean our financial situation the answer is one – this completely sucks! Poland is still a poor country, people are not as well-off as their neighbours in e.g. Germany. Access to European Union didn’t change anything. Maybe several years later something will change, who knows… Believe me, we must to work very hard to get a money to buy an amps, instrument, play rehearsals, concerts, make it all happen.
Fortunatelly we managed to gather a good devoted audience in Poland during all these months. Thanx to all this people we know that there’s still a sense to play. Among our fans you can find goths, punx, psychos, metalheads, even some skinheads. They support us and we thank them a lot! Love you all!

5) You played in Dornbirn as one of the main bands, you told me you’d play in Paris…It looks like things are going on ok for you and only with a (good) self-produced demo. How did you get all the contacts ?

As I said before – everything changed with web. For the matter of getting the music, but also for the matter of spreading YOUR own music. We managed to meet some beautiful helpful people across whole world, that still help us and believe in Miguel & tLD, e.g. MaryO from The Last Days Of Jesus, that played our demo to guys from Strobelight Rec. But the most important person here is mentioned before our friend and manager – Tomek. I can’t imagine all these contacts, concerts, reviews and interviews (even with you, man) without his help. Respect, body!

6) In Dornbirn your pleasure to be on stage (and even in joining for the party after the show) was really obvious. Do you feel better on stage than in a studio ?

Stage, stage, stage!!! I mean I like time in studio, but there’s no any comparison to all this concert madness and fun. Actually stage and studio are two completely separated things. I love this process of composing and recording songs, but the moment of going on stage and play is amazing. Especially for so great audience like at J-Day Fest. or in Paris.

7) What were the reactions of the audience after your shows ? Is there a big difference with the polish audience ?

No, basicly not. Polish audience is very spontaneous and honestly I thought, that People in Paris or Dornbirn will be rather less vigorous. Thanx god I was wrong. It was almost the same kind of mosh in the audience as on our polish gigs.

8) Are there any cd plans for the near future ?

Yeah, at the end of may is planned official release of our debut album by Strobelight Records. We are very excited! The album will be entitled “Alarm!!!” and contain c.a. 10 songs.

9) Back to the visual…as it seems to be an important part of your art, have you ever considered the idea of making a video, or running a short film and why not write a music for a film ?

Yeah, that would be great, but at the moment I don’t know anyone in Poland that would make this kind of service for us. Maybe do you want? ?

10 ) Last but not least, who is Miguel ?

Watch carefully G.A.Romero’s “Dawn Of The Dead” and you will know. The origin of our name is totally stupid ?

11) The last word is yours…

Thanx a lot Twilight for an interview. Also thanx to all our fans in Switzerland and all the rest for your support. You are the only reason we keep on playin’.
Terror & Fun To Everyone!!! ?

Tanks a lot to Nerve 69 for his kindness and answers, to Tomek ‘Ghostmaniac’ for making all this possible and to the whole Miguel and the Living Dead team for the good moments in Dornbirn.

Twilight, may 2005