Daniel Szymanowicz interview (SARMAT band). "RS-28"
SARMAT is the Polish death-black metal band. Started it’s activity in 2018. The co-founders are two guitarists – Daniel Szymanowicz and Krzysztof Kopczeński. Later, in 2020, Łukasz Kobusiński (the vocalist), joined this team. The band is imbued with a military theme, so I want to talk about the war as well.
1. RS-28 Sarmat (Satan-2) is shrouded in some kind of militaristic romance, in
my opinion. Known to many. The first Satan (R-36M, Voevoda) is a memory of
the former military greatness of Ukraine. Then it was withdrawn from use. The
control system of the first Satan was even developed in my city. Sarmat is
equipped with hypersonic units. I guess your music should have a powerful
effect like Satan II. How correct am I in my assumptions? After all, there were
bands before you mixing death & black.
Greetings to all the readers of DO NOT HIDE. Let me introduce myself, I am Daniel “Hacel” Szymanowicz, the guitarist of SARMAT. In fact, the R-36M mentioned above was designed to carry nuclear warheads at intercontinental distances.. Supposedly there were six versions of this missile and the only difference was the number and power of carried warheads. However, SARAMAT works as a one version collectivity. As a band we are generally satisfied with the effect we have achieved on RS-28, both lyrically and musically. The sound is powerful, but clear. SARMAT, on its first album, plays really intense music - the key is making the music diverse, because while listening to this 34-minute album a listener should know which track he’s dealing with at the given moment. I think we succeeded in doing this/managed to do this – each track is easily recognizable. But, weather our music has such a forceful impact as SATAN II on our listeners we don’t know, let them decide, our “weapon of mass destruction” is available to the public.
2. Do the band members like to spend their leisure time studying military history or studying military technology? You sing about the destruction and suffering of war. Where does this interest come from? A logical continuation of children’s games of toy soldiers? I wonder what is a little deeper in the soul of the musicians, under the hood?
Every member of our band is, to some extent, knowledgeable in military department. After all, the world we see around us is as it is. I think that the band name, the album title, partly lyrics, the cover and the title lyric video are parts, the elements of military artistic concept we are associated with….. though, SARMAT is much more than this.
To clear some things up, I'll try to explain this based on the lyrics on the album — which were written by a friend of ours who writes under the pseudonym H! So here we have a brief history on individuals who in the past, but also now and probably in the future, have mastered or will master the minds of crowds to pursue their own morbid ambitions. It also says that evil can take on many faces - its evolution is a process of change over time. Sometimes faster, other times slower. Still, the end is usually unpredictable. Elsewhere it speaks of a journey to an eternity we do not know, but from time to time we seek such experiences, abandoning the material world around us. Does this only happen in a dream? The title track says that we live
in the grip of a destroyer in a place that is a ticking time bomb, and our time here is inexorably coming to an end. The seeds of uncertainty are the weapons of the masters of chaos who are constantly trying to enslave new individuals. But there is also a lyric that is a kind of praise of freedom and deals with the rejection of life's limitations. The final scenario for tomorrow, on the other hand, is to pay attention to the uncertainty of global security procedures and that tomorrow may come sooner than we expect.
In conclusion, the diversity of topics covered in the lyrics is certainly noteworthy, but this was the intention from the beginning of their writing. The lyrics were written mainly between 2018 and 2019, although some ideas have their genesis even between 2015 and 2017. Probably all of us in our childhood years at least played with soldiers, or other military equipment, but looking at the above it was certainly not them that were the catalyst for our actions, but the world that surrounds us, with "the benefits of its entire inventory".
3. Is humanity doomed to extinction with its thirst for destruction? Or do we have hope?
The end of the world we know must come at some point - in one form or another. Climate change, armaments, weather anomalies, disease, and the breakdown of human bonds, not least on a global scale, it all points precisely in this inevitable direction for humanity. Let us also remember that the inevitable tends to escalate. So the situation will probably get worse over time. There will soon be a generation that comes face to face with these problems. Today, however, the vast majority of humanity seems to be dismissing such visions. They say that hope dies last. We see a small ray of hope, some light at the end of the tunnel - I'll expand on this a bit in the question about the album cover below.
4. Although creativity is underestimated by many, it can have a significant impact on society. What do you bring with your music. You are unlikely to have gathered to just like that... for a hobby, play a couple of times a week in the basement or garage. It looks more and more serious.
Creativity together with feeling is the basis of our band activity, at least in our case it works like this. To this I would also add passion because thanks to it such and other sounds are created. When composing the material, it wasn't predetermined that this and that should come out this way because that's not the way for us either. These are compositions that have arisen from a need born in the heart, soul and mind of each of us and as long as that happens, there will be SARMAT. It is a natural process, unrestricted to any genre framework. Of course some outlines, concepts are always there when creating material, because such complete chaos can be
destructive, although not always after all (!). We don't meet every day (it's not possible) - each of us has our own duties, and besides we live in different places, but we try to organize rehearsals whenever possible. Today's technology also helps us to work as a band. We approach the band with full commitment. This is visible in each and every one of us, which is probably why SARMAT and all that is happening around is looking more and more serious. But let me emphasize something – the band is passion for us, not necessity. We don't have to do anything, but we can still do a lot.
5. Can you share your guess what the wars will be like in the future? The war is waged by robots, and they are controlled by conventional «schoolchildren» from their home... in between their favorite shooters? Or maybe wars will be reduced mainly to cyber attacks?
Whether we like it or not, the arms race is on and it's hard to even guess who will win. It is even possible that this futuristic war is going on today, here and now, behind the glass windows of laboratories. Simple artificial intelligence is reportedly already being used on battlefields today, and it looks like in time it could replace humans altogether. What's more, it seems that whoever will master artificial intelligence can become the ruler of this world. We do not know, of course, if this will happen and when, but it is a possible scenario. Scientists are also working on the use of laser weapons, drones of all kinds, or cyberspace. I recently saw a video of a soldier floating in the air using a special jet pack, something like the Mandolorians from the Star Wars universe. Those interested will certainly visualise it. Nuclear tsunami torpedoes another 'gem' — equipped with a nuclear warhead 133 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. More often we hear about tests of exoskeletons, whose task will be to support a soldier on the battlefield. Thanks to them a soldier will be able to carry heavier loads or move faster. All this is probably just a snippet of what can be read and seen, because the most interesting and
advanced projects remain secret. After all, no army wants the enemy to be first in the arms race.
6. Let’s talk about the cover. As for me, she’s quite sarcastic. It seems to me that the boys are smiling under gas masks. Say cheese, now a bird will fly out... well, or a second before the inevitable death after the RS-28. From one side, you don’t seem to show a bunch of dead bodies, you don’t show blood. so the cover can freely surf the internet. From the other side, this is a rather powerful technique — not to show the accomplished terrible action. The man himself will
think of everything and in more terrible colors. On the third side, you used children. It is very eloquent that there is no future. In general, what did you want to convey. How did you develop the idea to show the entire quintessence of the album?
The album cover, despite its seemingly simple form, carries a lot of symbolism, it should be interpreted more metaphorically. We live in the embrace of the destroyer in a place which is a ticking time bomb, our time here is inexorably coming to an end. Children as innocent victims of the action of the aforementioned destroyer, but also as the last ray of hope - this swamp may not be full yet, but who cares? What tomorrow will be and if there is one at all? Are these rhetorical questions? Or perhaps there is an answer to these questions. Of course there is more of this symbolism on the cover, for example the 'atomic mushroom', where you can see a human skull,
sending the destroyer to mankind, barbed wire as a kind of ban. We should mention here the 'masters of chaos'; from one of the lyrics. And on the other hand, the breaking of life's limitations, because such topics are also touched upon in the lyrics.
Summing up this thread the final countdown is in progress and probably the final judgement day will come one day.
The idea for the cover was born at the stage of composing all the music, when it was more or less known in what direction it goes, while the author is Lord K (known from such bands as Nekkrofukk, DeathEpoch, Deathvasstator, Sacrificulus, among others) with whom SARMAT may still cooperate in the future and in various forms.
7. Which of the musicians, artists... you are inspired. Whose work do you like? Who has influenced you the most?
The best inspiration is life and everything that happens around you. It is a mine of ideas. Certainly, the very results of specific actions can also be a good motivation. Sometimes one result fuels another and so on. Questions that remain unanswered stimulate thinking by taking you on certain mental trips. Sometimes an event can be an inspiration. Of course, I also listen, watch and read what artists in different fields of art create. The whole conglomerate of these factors certainly creates a base, which is later transformed into actions for SARMAT.
8. What are your plans for the future in the band’s arsenal? Thinking about your next album or planning to go somewhere to perform? The time of the covid will pass.
We've been promoting the RS-28 album pretty much continuously since its release. We are working on releasing the LP version of the album. At the same time we are rehearsing the material from RS-28 and also composing new songs. We are working on playing our music in concert conditions. We are trying to get a live line-up for SARMAT, because at the moment we don't have a permanent drummer and bass player, but we are working on it. If everything goes according to plan, it will be possible to see the first SARMAT concerts in September this year. As for a band from the underground, there is a lot going on, but thanks to this the name SARMAT is
becoming more and more visible and it is becoming more and more familiar to the listeners.
9. War has been and remains a part of our society. What can you recommend to people who are afraid of war and weapons? How to overcome your fear?
War is frightening, that is a fact. Wars were, are and will be, that's the way the world goes around. In the current situation, each of us has the right to fear it. It is difficult to find a solution here, a golden rule, because each of us is different. War, and in fact its aftermath, is countless misfortunes that also fall on innocent people. So of course I am afraid of war and what it brings with it. Whether we like it or not, evil, suffering and death are inscribed in our human destiny. Every sensible person is aware of this. Let us hope that the international community will take steps to prevent war. Perhaps some of them will show reason in their superpower ambitions.
10. Are you afraid of war?
War, and in fact its aftermath, is countless misfortunes that also fall on innocent people. So of course I am afraid of war and what it brings with it. Whether we like it or not, evil, suffering and death are inscribed in our human destiny. Every sensible person is aware of this. Let us hope that the international community will take steps to prevent war. Perhaps some of them will show reason in their superpower ambitions.
11. The last bullet… khhhm… the last words are yours :-).
First of all, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to present SARMAT on your pages. I'd also like to thank those who support us, the people who helped us prepare our debut album, those who bought it, those who write about it, and those who are undecided I invite to read it and contact us. I hope to see you at concerts in the future.