Under the Gun Review is pleased to bring you this exclusive interview with a Russian outfit that majority of the states are likely unfamiliar with. Dzierzynski Bitz plays multi-instrumental new wave croon pop, and while we can’t determine much from the lyrical content, their music is very enjoyable otherwise.
The group’s founder took some time to speak with us about Dzierzynski Bitz, their music, and some minor cultural differences, so read through and get acquainted with a talented quintet from a land far away. Disclaimer: the translation may be a little rough around the edges.
So does the name basically translates to Dzerzhinsky Orchestra due to Dzerzhinsky being your last name and you forming the project?
Not completely. My name is W. Dzerzhinski because the band name is Dzierzynski Bitz. And similarly vice versa. Every Dzierzynski Bitz member has a own East-European pseudo name as well. But you can use the Ramones brothers as a reference. We’re definitely not the first one. Regarding the band name DZIERZYNSKI BITZ; it’s the variation of Bronski Beat placed to our game field. Bitz means pseudo Slavic version of Beat which is hit and musical beat at the same time. Dzierzynski is just the big name (First KGB Chied) which we’re distorting like he was Polish jazzman actually.
As for Dzerzhinski Orchestra it’s just the alternative name. Like Suomi and Finland. Or Holland and Netherlands. Our music is the mixture of Soviet croon pop with the new wave and the classic set (marimba, clavesin, strings and etc.).
How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it? Would you say that it’s orchestral in a sense?
I didn’t expect to have it orchestral initially. But our last record, Podmoskovje/Vziat’ Siloj, turned to this way by herself.
How do you feel that your music has fared with crossover appeal in America and other countries?
If the non-English-speaking listeners can listen to English music, why can’t English listeners listen to non-English music? I really would like to give some specific tune feel which can be simply found in Russian or Polish classic music to our music. But it’s hard to say if we’ll find success with that.
Do you aim to gain more attention in the United States with your music? I noticed that your Facebook page is in Russian which makes it rather difficult for us to explore your site and such. Even when I try to translate it, it doesn’t work so well. Do you see this as an obstacle or do you think that your music alone can gain the attention you want?
I really would like that. I think it’s the good assessment of the quality of music. Regarding Facebook, most of our fans are Russian or Ukraine speakers that’s why I post mostly on Russian. If we have the tour in US the announcements will be English I suppose.
I’ve interviewed a lot of bands lately that tend to sing/record in English although it is not their native language. You do record in your native language. Do you have any specific reason for this or is it just what comes naturally to you?
I tried to do English when we started. But I feel much more twisty with the Russian, I’m not doing the monosemantic lyrics (which is not
bad but just not mine) and that’s the reason why I’m choosing the Russian as my native. Some things are just not translatable. Which is equally good and not. But we are going to do soon one song in Polish and English as well. This is the demo of one our ancient tracks with English lyrics if you’d like.
Since I II III released, I see that you’ve released two other songs on your Bandcamp this year. Is this basically an EP release or will these two tracks be on a full-length album in the future? What else have you guys been working on?
We’re planning to start the new LP record this autumn. Our previous single, “Den’/Sex w ZSRR 2010.” wasn’t included on the album because of its different soundscape. So, using the last single for the album or not depends on how it will sit in the overall longplay context.
I hear a ton of different styles and themes in your music, so I’m curious, who/what are some of your most important influences that help shape your sound?
The main are the Polish and Soviets 30s and 60s, Swinging London, New Wave, etc.
As I do not know your language whatsoever, I’m unfortunately unaware of what you’re singing about when I’m listening to your music. Can you tell me what some of your lyrical themes are? Do you tend to stick with these ideas on your different releases?
I think my lyrics are playful. They’re not about any concrete things. But it’s not abstract on the other hand. Here are some examples:
“Take It By Force” (Vziat’ Siloj)
please understand the high of love
the roles between us two
how sometimes I just lose control
and grow my pain in you
to touch you girl is so inviting
inside my veins it’s growing hotter
my only one desire
is to hold you
to own you
don’t make me take it by force
“Till I Got Enough” (Povezlo)
I want to be the most tanned person
The man who has that perfect shiny skin
Someday the sea will take me far from here
Far beyond (the) horizon of my being
Dance me to the piers
Fill me with the breeze
I tend to do it twice
Till i got enough
“Sex in USSR” (Sex w ZSRR)
Moving like an insect
Keep patience, we just started
Tonight I’ll introduce you
To our respected brother
Cover yourself with towel
You have to be relaxed
We’re cutting off raw edges
Hey, what about sex In U.S.S.R
You just finished a sold out mini-tour in March of this year, right? How was that experience?
Really great. I’m sure now that we have a strong audience not only among the friends. Some good press feedback and invitation to the summer festivals are the result as well.
Do you have any plans to tour more this year?
Yes, we’re going to do the Ukraine tour and then visit some festivals this summer.
Have you ever made it to America or have plans to in the future?
Nope, not yet. Our most west point on the map is the Krakow at the moment.
If you guys were to quit making music tomorrow, what would you regret that you never accomplished as a band?
I really wish to do the two longlpays more at the first with the sound that it’s in my head. Also, visiting some European festivals would be really nice. I heard very often that we sound different live and more wide that on the record.
Written and conducted by: Brian Lion – Follow him on Twitter