INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
PHOTO by DAN NEWMAN
Comprising of two Poles, a Portuguese, a Frenchman and an Englishman, London tech metalcore five-piece Decrypted are a truly multi-cultural outfit, using their diverse background to create a sound that they describe as “an explosive and emotive flurry of technical riffs, stout breakdowns and melodic, yet aggressive, vocal lines.”
With this, as well as their highly charged live shows, the band have gained a following that is rapidly growing and will surely increase when their new single, ‘Equinox Of Eternal Embers’ is released next month.
The rising quintet went into more detail about all of this and other things when they chatted with me recently.
How did the band form initially?
The band started as a project, originally called Slies, dreamt up in Poland by Martin with a vocalist friend.
A few years after moving to London (and a handful of scrapped music projects later), he decided to take action and started looking through musician classified-type ads to find his own line-up. That’s essentially how we all came to meet – through online ads (Bandmix, Gumtree, etc).
In the early days (2013), it was basically just Martin and Ed (former drummer), jamming in Ed’s small East London flat. When you move away from where you were raised, you essentially lose all of your social connections. And with no school friends, family friends or even friends of friends, it was definitely quite the challenge to find musicians that fit the profile; creatively but, specially, character-wise too. Perhaps that struggle in itself is part of what makes our bond so strong.
How did Decrypted come about as your name?
We live in an age where most of what we see and hear is behind a digital screen. Feelings are, now more than ever, masked – encrypted behind computer code. Another day, another social media post, another misleading news article…
While we should embrace technology, sometimes it’s important to take a step back, hence the need to Decrypt, go back to our roots and stay true to ourselves. We think our sound reflects that, combining modern sounds with the origins of metalcore.
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
MARTIN LUCZYNSKI (guitar): With ‘Equinox of Eternal Embers’ specifically, it started with the intro, which Ric came up with at a practice one day. I took that home and thought about what sort of rhythm could go with it, tried some riffs and tempos. When I established that, I started thinking about the main structure of the song and what mood it should take the listener into. When that was done, I brought it back to rehearsal. Over time, it changed and evolved a little, but it’s actually one of the few songs which didn’t change much since day one.
Generally speaking, most of the songs start in my head and then it’s just trial and error. If I like it after a few days, it means it’s not too bad and has potential. If anyone else brings an idea to what I have in mind, I try to incorporate that idea and blend it into the song.
What serves as inspiration lyrically?
STEVE KERR (vocals): I’d say life’s struggles. I think it’s important to write from your heart, to be sincere and honest about your troubles and triumphs. The EP, for example, explores my flaws in an attempt to recognise my growth. To be self-aware of what makes me a positive human, but also negative.
All the songs have helped me face personal problems, finding strength in remembering that it’s “okay, to not be okay.” It’s a reminder to stay humble in defeat and victory, and to recognise amongst all humans that pain and suffering is relative; that there is an inherent comfort in accepting who you are, for better or for worse.
The band has a new single out next month, and an EP coming out some time after that. How has the recording process been up to now?
STEVE: We’re very fortunate in having many talented musicians in the band, so before I joined the band, there was already a large body of work to pick from. Once I was comfortable with the songs’ structures, we jumped in at the deep end and started gigging to see what worked and what didn’t. We then came back to practice and play around. I would try new verses and choruses at each show to begin with, until it felt “right”.
Once we were confident with a 20/30/40 min set, we looked at what songs would best express us as Decrypted in the 20 mins set, but have a balance of styles and themes.
From there, we chose five songs for the EP. We recorded all the instruments in house at Martin’s home studio. The guys have been extremely committed spending weekends and evenings recording, scrapping, and then recording again. All the vocals have been recorded at Flood Gate Studios, later mixed and mastered by Martin.
When are you aiming to release the EP by?
Spring next year.
What can be expected of both the single and EP?
The single itself (Equinox of Eternal Embers) is melancholic and catchy. It’s raw, fierce and sincere. We wanted to arrive with a bang, but also set the tone for what to expect from us. It’s the first track on the EP, so felt like the most natural and organic path to introduce ourselves.
With the EP, which is going to be called ‘The Solitude of Self Awareness’, we as a collective have laid out our vulnerability to bare, but guard its integrity with passion, honesty and reason. The themes are dark, compelling and real, we aim to leave the listener feeling empowered by releasing our burdens and charging at them in full force.
How is the experience of playing live for the band?
We love playing live. It makes all of this worthwhile. We love meeting new people, sharing the experience and the joys live music/the community has to offer. Playing regular shows keeps us grounded, lets us see what works and what doesn’t, but ultimately it lets us stand tall, uninterrupted and release all the stresses modern day life throws at you. Lots of people scream into pillows to counter stress, we get to stand on stage and scream into the abyss together.
What is your long-term aim?
Realistically, we know being in a band full-time isn’t really an option as if offers no financial stability, especially when we have families to support and cats to feed, haha.
Don’t get us wrong, we would all love to do this for a living and see the world. It would be phenomenal.
Long-term, we’re aiming to hit the festival circuits, continue to gig as much as possible and throw in a few short tours (both nationally and internationally). All alongside writing new material and hitting the studio.
DECRYPTED’S NEW SINGLE, ‘EQUINOX OF ETERNAL EMBERS’, WILL BE RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 29. FURTHER INFO ON THIS AND LINKS TO THE BAND’S SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES CAN BE FOUND HERE