WOJCIECH BATOR: Something Unusual

Wojciech Bator

A songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Wroclaw in Poland, Wojciech Bator is en route of becoming the next sensation among the guitarists extraordinaire. His debut solo release is the single “The Nightingale,” a project that is just a scratch on the surface of what this youngster is capable of creating in the future. Following his presence on the recent Progotronics compilation, we caught up with Bator to answer our questionnaire.

Define the mission of your project.

The mission is to share the music that fuels my life with the most people I can reach. This music plays deep within and I can’t really stop it. Some time ago it became obvious that I should start releasing things so I started with The Nightingale. I believe that it is valuable for the listeners and the music can bring them joy as it does for me. I also believe that if there’s just an inch of talent in someone, it flourishes when shared with the others.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your recent single “The Nightingale.”

Many of my relatives got sick during a covid pandemic, a few of them died. I think this was the main trigger to kick off the song. I was already thinking of starting a solo career for some time but there were always more important projects on the horizon and I also felt unprepared for doing it all by myself. The current situation motivated me to finally start. In Poland, we have a very naysayer approach. Just a quick introduction to our news – deaths everywhere, someone got killed, disasters, cataclysms. I got fed up and decided that I’ll shed some light to the people and do a positive song about the bird that heralds the day. A sign of change for better.

Something unusual in our Polish reality :) And it worked pretty damn well!

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

The main idea should always go first. I think about it, visualize, catch the new melodies and play with them. In this case, I realized that this is gonna be something. I connected to my Axe FX III and started recording parts to the DAW to not miss the little touches. First impressions are really important and sometimes things that You’ll judge as mistakes taste the best. So I crafted the flow, rearranged a couple of times and realized that I have a structure ready. It sounded positive, themes were repeating nicely and I liked it. I’ve connected the dots and it was initially done.

Is the dynamic flow of the piece carefully architected?

Architected, yeah, but not without joy. The main themes came to me in a single afternoon. I believe I’ve had them all very quickly, it was the bridges that were needed to finish the song. Fortunately, I’ve got good vibes and finished composing the piece after a couple of cups of tea. Production was the hard part here :)  Generally speaking, I love composing stuff, doesn’t matter if I play on guitar, keyboards or just hum to myself. It’s a fantastic feeling to bring the piece together from puzzles and for sure my favorite part in the whole piece creation process.

Describe the approach to recording the single.

I recorded the single at home. A draft on guitars first, then I started programming the drums. Fortunately, my friend drummer Paweł Kardis was interested in the piece and offered help with drums. His friend Axel Ostrowski recorded him and mixed the drums. So we’ve worked remotely. In the meantime, I registered keyboards, polished the guitar parts, composed the bass synths and tweaked the tone over and over. I’ve done mixing and mastering myself, besides drums – Axel already provided me with good material and I’ve only tweaked them here and there. A good tip for someone who wants to record his own music is to define which instrument takes a lead in which moment and how it should sound. My intention was to create warm sounding, positive guitars on top, so the piece flows gently. All in all, I’m happy with the result, but I realized that there’s a huge amount of knowledge to digest when it comes to recording, mixing and mastering.

Wojciech Bator

How long “The Nightingale” was in the making?

It started in late November and it took two months. The composition was initially done on the guitar and that was the quick part. The mixing, mastering, tweaking, leveling and tone adjusting took a lot of hours but I don’t regret a second, neither a single take that I had to delete. This was a great learning time, I’ve realized a lot of things and even though it looks like a lot of work (it is, indeed), it was worth it. The experience I’ve gained is priceless and the next piece I’ll do will be much easier. I always aim high so expect interesting things ;)

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the song?

Plini, I think. During the song creation, I ordered the new guitar. I thought I’ll name it Singularity, paint the galaxy on the body and make it headless, fanfret, seven string monster, very Strandberg-esque (I didn’t know the company back then). The luthier said something like: “So you want to be like Plini?” just to see my blank face, because I didn’t hear of him either (sic!). “Never heard of him? You must check him out”. So I’ve done this and was struck by the sheer elegance of Plini’s playing and the full, warm tone. Even though I’ve already had the piece composed, I truly believe that listening to Selenium Forest or Handmade Cities influenced me a lot during the work. Thanks Plini!

What is your view on technology in music?

Technology in music is a double edged sword for me. On the one hand, it takes out the obstacles that would tire the musician and speeds up things, so essentially one can focus on the creative part. On the other hand, it allows for easy crap creation. All in all, how we use the technology is what matters. If you feel that you are musically gifted and you really have something to offer, then go for it. Technology will help you. If you do not have any musical sense or feeling and just try to do it, “because it’s cool”, then stop it, there are a lot of cool things out there and everyone will find the right place after a little search :) Technology helps, but we should use it reasonably. Music should start within you and the gear, software and plugins should only help you make it out live, not create it.

Wojciech Bator

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

I would be glad if my music moves people deeper than just listening to the first few notes and then just either be like “meh” or “I like it”. We listen to music because it raises emotions, but it does this only when people connect to it. So, the goal is to make it addictive and attractive, to invoke emotions or just take people on to a journey. I believe that’s a dream not only for me, but also for most of the musicians.

What are your plans for the future?

I’ll release more music this year as a solo artist, but I’m also a member of Artyfiction and KD & Mr R bands, with whom I’ll release music this year too. When it comes to my solo project, I focus on the next song which will be splitted into two parts and it will really be an epic! We will travel to more exotic places in the universe, I believe it’s worth waiting. There’s one more single scheduled later this year. Even though there’s not much opportunity of playing live, I’ll try to get the team for further shows. One thing I know – I’ll continue to deliver the music, so be ready for it!

Wojciech Bator’s debut single ‘The Nightingale’ is out now; get it from Bandcamp here. Follow him on Facebook.

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