2019.09.20 – SETHEIST – Maksymina Kuzianik (Interview)


SETHEIST’S road to glory is clearly accelerating nowadays. The band just finished a marathon of European festivals and also boasted a new release – the EP „Tre Colori”. I talked about it, among others, with, as always phenomenal, singer Maksymina Kuzianik.

The lyrical concept of your latest EP oscillates around the atmosphere of giallo – the Italian genre of literature and film created in the 1960s, containing elements of horror and thriller with a hint of mystery. Why did you decide to cast your newest material in such climates?

A few years ago Kiełek [Setheist’s guitarist – note.pp] showed me ”Suspiria” by Dario Argento and this is how my fascination with this trend began. Who wouldn’t go crazy at the sight of black leather gloves stroking flawless female skin? 😉 The idea of using giallo as the leitmotif was not mine, but as a songwriter I had to deal with this topic and approach it in a slightly different way than the rest of the band – when I sing I need to find myself in the text, feel emotions that it carries, etc. I didn’t know if I could empathize with the role of a madman capable of committing a crime, because unfortunately I did not kill anyone, but after the first few sketches of texts I knew that this was it.

All your work as a songwriter is steeped in ominousness and anxiety. Would you be able to write an optimistic text, but still meeting the criteria of your style and matching the style of Setheist?

In my opinion, everything depends on the individual point of view – for me, my lyrics are optimistic, but you must first get to know my perspective, my story and my feelings to understand why I think about them in this way. They may be disturbing for you, but someone else will find inconceivable sadness and regret. Setheist’s music style is like inflicting pain with a smile, like sadistic pleasure.


photo. Ton Dekkers (independentphoto.nl)

”Tre Colori” is promoted with a clip for the song ”Argento (Saber-Tooth Tiger)”. Great feature inserts are one thing, but special attention is drawn to your great creation and facial expressions perfectly matching the style of the giallo cinema. Have you ever thought to try your hand at acting?

Wow, thanks so much for those words! Especially that my acting skills are so spectacular that I wouldn’t get engaged even in a porn movie 😀 Of course, as a little girl, I wanted to be an actress, as well as a mermaid, but after playing fuckin’ Mary the Jesus’ Holy Mother on school nativity play I gave up. 😉 In my opinion, we should return to the topic of emotions – singing Argento, I must become a saber-toothed tiger to be able to express its feelings properly. Maybe that’s why this clip is as good as it is. 🙂 Of course, a lot of credit goes to Tomek Jorman, who is responsible for photos and editing and who did a fantastic job!

It’s been two years since the premiere of your full-size debut, ”They”. After this time, are you still satisfied with this album as it’s creator? In retrospect, have you noticed something that could be changed in that material?

I am happy with it because in that period we gave the best we could to record the best album we can record at the moment. This is the case with everything we do. There are a lot of things that I would like to change on this album, but I’m two years more experienced today, so if we were recording this material today, we would have something completely different. That is why, apart from drawing conclusions and lessons for the future, I do not think too much about it, because discussing does not make much sense – the album has already been recorded. But all your children are loved the same, right? Even if they take drugs and don’t go home at night.

My, and probably not only my, favorite song from your repertoire is that album’s opening song ”Vanishing People”. Will you agree that this is your signature song? Where did you get the inspiration for the lyrics and who exactly are these ”They”?

Hmm, it’s hard to tell me if it’s our signature track or not. Crowds of 100,000 people sing our songs at concerts. 😀 The lyrics fits into the concept of the album, which says about the New World Order, how we are manipulated and what happens to people who resist the reality imposed on us. And who are they? A hidden group of people who control the fate of the world from the backseat. But for you it can be someone else completely, because, as I mentioned earlier, your perspective may be completely different. And when someone listens to my lyrics, I would like them to find themselves and not me.

Recently, you have been playing more and more concerts outside of Poland, recently at the British Bloodstock festival. You once told me that in Western Europe the concert market is not that different from our domestic one. So what does it look like in reality there? What are these small differences?

First of all, it depends on people, not places – it is the promoters who decide whether the band feels cool or not. I think more people go to concerts in the West, and I mean also local concerts of less known groups. I don’t know why, because there are certainly a lot of reasons. However, for us as a band it is more profitable to play for 100 euros than for 100 zlotys so this is that small difference. 😉

In addition to being a talented singer and songwriter, you are also a successful tattoo artist. What were the beginnings of your adventure with tattooing?

It would be my emergency plan for life if I succeeded in plans for acting and being a mermaid. We have already discussed acting, while mermaiding, well, I’m ashamed to admit, but I can’t swim. Water seems terrifying sometimes, don’t you think? Tattooing turned out to be the most reasonable solution. 😀

Pretty recently you made friends with Tony Dolan from Venom Inc. and Atomkraft. How did you meet? Did he really want to create a Rock & Rose Fest logo? After all, it is not a fancy pattern, just a plain inscription in Gothic font.

It all depends on how you approach the things you tattoo. Sometimes simple designs have great emotional significance for the person who wears them – I have several such babies tattooed on my own body. Tony has been tattooing festival logos and names of places he played in for some time, but I don’t know if I can tell you a secret! If you want to know more about it, you have to ask him. 😉 We met through Marek, the promoter of Rock’n’Rose, because yes, Tony really wanted to tattoo the pattern of this festival. Since then, we have been in constant contact, because we get along great. He’s a great guy!

What are Setheist’s upcoming concert plans? When we will have the opportunity to see you again in Poland?

We are currently working on concerts abroad, but for now we can not say anything more. Feel free to follow us on social media to keep up to date with concert news and more!

Interview conducted by: Patryk Pawelec


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