I had the opportunity to meet and talk to the musicians of the band KNDNSTR some time ago during their concert in Wrocław, in a pub located under the railway embankment. During the break, we went together for lunch to the Indian restaurant next door. While eating oriental meal, listening to the music coming to our ears mixed with the street noise, drowned out by the roar of a train passing literally over our heads, we had an interesting conversation about the music. This conversation later became the base of this interview. After the band released a new EP, I decided to contact them again and send them some questions by e-mail. Uwe and Marcin from KNDNSTR answered the questions.
How was KNDNSTR created? How did the collaboration between two musicians living in two other countries come about?
U: Before we started KNDNSTR, we were musicians in different bands. We played together a few times, for example in Leipzig, Berlin and Wroclaw. Then Marcin stopped playing in his band and we tried to prepare a few pieces as a duo. The first numbers were cover versions for a cover festival in Leipzig. It was so much fun that we immediately started rehearsing our own songs.
How would you describe the music you play?
U: For me it is exactly the mixture of the two personalities. I like pop songs to dance to and great melodies and Marcin always surprises me with his guitars.
M: I was always a fan of industrial, punk and metal music with the heavy guitar in it, so it is quite natural that I always need to add something dark and dirty to Uwe’s ideas to make them more rough and less pop. Sometimes it goes another way, because Uwe is shaping my strange chaotic abstract metal ideas to structure of the proper song. That’s how we created our style.
Where did the name KNDNSTR come from?
U: Kondensator is one of the few words that are exactly the same in Polish and German. We chose the spelling because it is easier to find us in search engines on the Internet.
What are the lyrics about?
U: I like lyrics that are a bit abstract and I like quotes. Sometimes the lyrics are collages. And I like irony. And nonsense. But I also like it gloomy. This is the mixture.
Before the pandemic, you played a lot of concerts. KNDNSTR's music is incredibly energetic, which can be seen in the many people who jump and dance in front of the stage. Does the fact that you live in other places (Leipizig and Wrocław) in any way make it difficult for you to play together?
U: Before the pandemic, it wasn't that difficult. I need time in the home studio for the details of the electronics. It was enough if we met in the rehearsal room every few months. Now of course it's different. We still try to continue a bit online. But for me the concerts were really great. I miss that very much.
M: Making music online, especially in duo as we are, is possible but not giving so much pleasure as to meet each other in the rehearsal room. At the beginning i only worked on Uwe’s ideas, then we made some of the tracks together at the time we meet, but in the time of isolation i have also chance to work harder with my own ideas, as i did with some of my guitar session alone that became the base for two new songs.
KNDNSTR is not your first band. Before KNDNSTR, you played in other bands, sometimes on completely different instruments. Could you please tell me more about it?
U: I still play in a band in Leipzig. It's called Bungalow4 and has no computer sounds, just guitar, bass, drums. And we sing in German. I like that too. And it's different enough that I like both bands just as much.
M: Before KNDNSTR I played couple of years on drums in prog-rock band from Wrocław called Neurokompania (former known as Wondodomu). We played many concerts and had really good time. One of our concerts in club Alive (Wrocław) started our music and friendship with Uwe. Playing drums was just a music adventure for me, because guitar was always a main instrument for me on which I played also some grunge music with my friends in high school times.
The song "Chuck", which tells the story of Chuck Norris, at one point was on the hit list of the radio station. Can you tell me more about it?
U: The lyrics are of course gaga. There are Chuck Norris jokes - they go from birth to death - of course not the death of Chuck Norris, who is immortal after all. When we finished the first songs, we liked this one the best. So we sent the piece to a couple of student radios. A few played it and it was in RadioSfera's listener charts. That was cool for us.
What inspires you to create music?
U: I listen to a lot of music, of course. And I like to talk about music, often with musician friends. The story of KNDNSTR also started for me when I talked a lot with Marcin about music. We still do that. As best it is possible in this times.
M: Isolation and Uwe.
KNDNSTR albums are available only in digital version for download or listening on the Internet. Are you planning any releases on other physical media, such as CD or casette?
U: We have Cds that you can buy on concerts.
What are your plans for the future?
U: Right now we're working on a few new songs. These are a little darker. When we have at least four there will sure come out a new EP. But I wouldn't dare to say when it will be ready. And I hope that we can play live again soon.
Thank you for the conversation.