Chain D.L.K.: What’s the story behind the Compulsive Shopping Disorder project?
Compulsive Shopping Disorder: We’ve been involved in different aspects of the alternative culture for many years. We think it’s just like what you do with the magazine. It’s not just the music that’s of interest but also the profound feeling of enchantment that you get from following your instincts in this journey of discovery. While you want to portray your different views about many things that happen in this world you look for words and sounds that express those views. Some people create the music and others, such as yourself, run websites or are part of the audience of a concert. We believe that this is all part of the same kind of network. Our project couldn’t exist if there were no shows. It’s important to create a special atmosphere during concerts. We care about that and we work hard on the preparation of every show so that we can present a small improvised performance that can give something to the people in the audience and feed off of their reaction.
Chain D.L.K.: Compulsive Shopping Disorder is a modern society’s disease. Did you choose the name to critique these crazy times?
Compulsive Shopping Disorder: It’s very hard to criticize because we are all part of it. The important thing is to be aware of what is going on and to live in harmony with our inner selves. We shouldn’t fall for these sick desires. We wonder how many people will re-evaluate their views thanks to the present economic crisis.
Chain D.L.K.: Poland had a great political/societal change during the last decades.Is there any link with this change and Compulsive Shopping Disorder’s lyrics/themes?
Compulsive Shopping Disorder: We try to stay away from political themes. It’s very hard for somebody from Western Europe to understand life in Poland under a communist government. There were two different worlds, two realities. The differences were still noticeable some years ago, but they gradually disappeared over time. Poland is in the European Union now.
Chain D.L.K.: Your first album “In the Cube” is musically influenced by bands like Kirlian Camera and cold electronics in general. What came first: the cold music ambience or the “theme”?
Compulsive Shopping Disorder: It’s not that simple. The sounds came first for sure, because we spend a long time creating original sounds. It’s of great importance to us because the sounds, to a large extent, build up the atmosphere of our compositions. We work on sounds for as long as it takes until we can say “yes, that’s it”. We think that’s the essence of our similarity to Kirlian Camera. We do respect them and the fact that they use different type of sounds for each track. We work in a similar way as well and are aware of how hard it can be to achieve a coherent sound on an album. Our influences include bands like Kirlian Camera, Clock DVA, Skinny Puppy, Coil and some others, but the influence relates only to their approach to the music. We don’t copy their style. When we listen to their music we can feel the hard work and their life in it, and it’s sincere and true. As for the cold, that’s been in our souls since birth.
Chain D.L.K.: Michal Karcz’s graphics very well showcase the concept of the room as a cubicle. What is the vision of a life inside a “cube” according to Compulsive Shopping Disorder?
Compulsive Shopping Disorder: Everything that affects us creates the cube… everyday events or people around us. The cube is the big space of manipulation of the human being. We all create this space around us. It’s like all of us emit an energy which is returned to us intensified by the energy of the people around us. It’s up to us whether it is positive or negative energy. We found the photo in an internet photo gallery and we knew right away that it was the perfect art to complement our music and our vision.
Chain D.L.K.: “In Confidence” seems to talk about child abuse at home. “Fall” contains references to this theme as well (the line “in every hurt child, every rape and every burnt home”). What are your thoughts about this theme? Do you know any victim?
Compulsive Shopping Disorder: They are only samples. They describe the worst kind of crimes committed on the most defenseless and entrusting human beings. It can be a crime against the body, like in the phrases above, or against the soul, like the theme of heart failure in “Mind-Soul”. They both create these painful open wounds that stay with us for the rest of our lives. We all are capable of unwillingly causing pain, even if it isn’t always that serious.
Chain D.L.K.: Generally the tracks paint a world where greediness, abuse, suffering and ignorance are the main themes. In your opinion, is there any way out from all this?
Compulsive Shopping Disorder: Each person should find their way out of this in their soul. There are plenty of people who closed that door and live in their own safe little world. Others open their hearts and volunteer for the needy. Some people find their way through religion. There isn’t one right way. Maybe people could think that our lyrics are too depressing, but ours it’s not just lyrical fiction. They were all written while taking a deep look inside our soul. Don’t you think the world would be different if our minds remembered all events forever?
Chain D.L.K.: By looking at some photos on your website I gather that your concerts sometimes are more like performances. Can you tell us something more about this side of CSD?
Compulsive Shopping Disorder: Yes, the live performance is the complement to our music and lyrics. It adds the element that couldn’t be told by the sounds and the words in our compositions. We prepare the stage beforehand but everything that happens on the stage is improvised.
Chain D.L.K.: Your first two demos contained the same tracks of your official album. How much have the tracks changed?
Compulsive Shopping Disorder: Oh, it was a big change. You have to understand that when we started we didn’t really know much about synthesizers and no one around us was able to help us with that. We grew along with our sounds. We are still proud of the early recordings. Those times were like a magical return to our childhood, when we started to learn how to walk and later to talk and so on. You can listen to samples of the early recordings on our web site.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s next for Compulsive Shopping Disorder?
Compulsive Shopping Disorder: We are now working on new compositions and we’d like to record them this year. We hope to find a label interested in releasing it. We would like to play some concerts in Western Europe, but we know it’s very difficult for a band from Poland. Anyway we are very committed in our activities… it’s our cube! Thanx a lot and take care.
Visit Compulsive Shopping Disorder on the web at:
[interviewed by Maurizio Pustianaz] [proofreading by Marc Urselli]