Gwynbleidd Use Immigration, Memories of Homeland as Basis for ‘Nostalgia’
Maciej Kupiszewski, who immigrated to the U.S. when he was 13, still has fond memories of his former home in Poland — a hotbed for death and black metal. Like the rest of his bandmates in Gwynbleidd, the guitarist didn’t have much of a choice about moving to Brooklyn with his parents, and the cultural and geographical shift has certainly affected the person he is today. It also shaped the band’s first full-length studio offering, ‘Nostalgia.’
The record, which drops Oct. 27, was built around the concept of leaving one’s homeland. The disc revolved around the concept of nostalgia and memories from childhood, places you’ve left behind in your life, and was largely “inspired by the fact that we moved and that we were in a new place. I wouldn’t say it necessarily speaks to the experience itself,” Kupiszewski elaborates. “It inspired the concept, and the concept of nostalgia in general.”
According to the guitarist, “the music conveys a yearning toward primeval and pristine wilderness landscapes. We took this theme of nostalgia and developed a whole story around it — a paradoxical tale of yearning, deceit and treason.” The band’s sound is most often compared to Opeth, as it incorporates elements of folk and death metal into progressive, brutal black metal.
“The sound of the band evolved naturally,” says Kupiszewski. “I think they were there from the beginning. Everything written for the record came through naturally. We never set out to write a certain type of record. We’re doing that now, trying to figure out what we want the second record to sound like. But the first time around, it was whatever came naturally and whatever sounded okay; and whatever didn’t sound like anything else out there. It took a while for our sound to evolve, but it did. And it wasn’t forced in any way.”
Named after a character in Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski’s ‘The Witcher’ book series, Gwynbleidd (pronounced gwin-blade) didn’t want to start out with a name that held real weight with anyone. “We didn’t do ourselves any favors picking that name. We wanted to go with something original and that would sound exotic, but have no meaning to anyone in the beginning.”
While the name may sound, well … not metal, consider this. The band’s drummer, Adam Romanowski, works during the day at a funeral home. “He deals with dead people all the time, and we always poke fun at him that he has a metal job,” the guitarist explains. “Every now and then, he’ll tell us he has to go to a funeral, and I forget that’s his job, and I’ll ask him who died.”