INTERVIEW: Broken Betty

Heavy Rock from Poland 

Interview by Adam Walsh
Hello Pacior and thank you for your time.
The new album is called "Sorry Eye", what's motivation behind that title?
Album is titled after one of the songs.  It's not a common phrase, it's just a combination of words that somehow correspond to the lyrics in that tune - a piece about a despised guy, that everyone feels sorry for. We found it to be unusual enough for an album name.

You guys have a lot of different influences apparent in your music, what bands inspire you, old and new?
It's hard to pick just a few of them, really. Kyuss is an obvious choice, and all the stuff they did separately, after splitting up. Stoner/fuzz rock scene, bands like Fu Manchu, Dozer, Clutch and so on. Some late 80's/ early 90's alternative rock, like The Afghan Whigs, Helmet, Sonic Youth, Melvins, 16 Horsepower.  Older bands like Budgie (amazing riffs and my personal favourite 70's band), Hawkwind.

I don't hear much music coming out of Poland, what bands have you shared the stage with or should we know about, is there a big scene there?
Well, Poland is mostly associated with heavier stuff, great "big" metal bands like Behemoth, Vader, Decapitated, there's also a very strong post rock/metal scene, but when it comes to stoner, fuzz or rock music in general, we're still pretty much in the underground. But for two or three years now the scene is growing rapidly. We all try to keep in touch, and that's also pretty cool.  Some bands that are definetly worth mentioning: Blindead (more post rock and sludge oriented) Psychollywood, Octopussy (Dziablas's other band) Vagitarians, Satellite Beaver, Major Kong, Elvis Deluxe, Luna name a few, and we've shared the stage with most of them.

Most embarrassing/worst gig?
Once we've waited too long for our turn to play, and our bass player drank about  6 or 7 beers (in Poland they're twice stronger than in the States) - he was having trouble keeping himself straight, and at one point dropped his bass on the floor. But it was all good, clean fun, and I can't say we were embarrassed back then.

Best gig?
Recently, release party for The Sorry Eye - we've headlined the show, a lot of  people came and everyone had a blast. Basically, gigs close to our home town are mostly really great, we have our audience, that we can always count on, sometimes they sing the lyrics with us. It feels good.

The track "Pull in Like a Black Hole" off of the first EP is one of my favorite tunes. What was the inspiration behind that song/writing process, or the process you guys use for all of your song writing?
Thanks! When we wrote songs that ended up on the EP, we mostly worked on the riffs and vocals individually at home. Then we brushed it up in our rehearsal space, and arranged it together. When it comes to "Pull In...", I remember that Dziablas came up with the bass riff first, but we couldn't take it any further for a long time. One day I was just improvising stuff over that part, and accidently grabbed a slide. I recorded my part over the bass line, and it basically inspired Dziablas to write the chorus and verses for the song, in one evening.
We took a different approach with "The Sorry Eye", one night we just jammed a lot, and recorded everything, and then we took the best parts out of our jams and turned it into songs. 90% of the album was written together in our rehearsal space.

How long did it take to record "The Sorry Eye"?
Recording drums took about 2 days, guitars and bass about 5 days, same as  vocals.

"The Sorry Eye" has a real epic feel to it, and the production is top notch. Where was it recorded, and what kind of equipment do you guys use?
Thanks again! We recorded, mixed and mastered it at Sounds Great Promotion studio in Gdynia. Dziablas works there as a recording engineer, and he did all the tracking for the album. We used a "vintage" approach to recording - most of the drum sound comes from just two microphones, we also used some really old mics for recording guitar and bass. We used Gibson Les Paul guitar through 1978 Marshall JMP and Orange Rocker amps, Fender Precision Bass and Premier drumset. Most of the work was done by our friend and owner of the studio, Kikut, who mixed and mastered the album. He used modern pre-amps and consoles, but for mixing he "compressed" all of the separate tracks into just four, and that really made a huge impact on the sound of the album.

A lot of bands from around the world sometimes sing in their mother tongue, is there a reason u choose to sing in English over your native tongue?
 That's true - we obviously play for Polish audience, mostly, and sometimes we   face the accusations of being "false", by not singing in our mother tongue. I don't agree with that at all. There are several reasons why we sing in English. First of all, we feel that it fits our music best. We treat rock music as a heritage of English and American culture, and English language is a part of that heritage, just like the electric guitar.  Playing stoner rock with Polish lyrics would be just  weird to us.
  Dziablas is quite fluent in English, his foreign accent is not so distinctive, so we think it sounds natural and not forced. We've heard the opinions from native speakers, that he sounds like an American, so that's pretty cool. Hopefully, we can reach out to much bigger audience that way. Maybe someday we'll be in the same league as Dozer or Truckfighters - and I don't think they'd achieve what they did, if they had their lyrics in native Swedish.

If you had one wish what would it be?
To be filthy fucking rich...then we could rent a nightliner and tour Europe and the States, just for fun...

Where do you see yourself(s) in 5 years?
On a USA tour in a nightliner, hopefully. But more realistic, recording our fourth or fifth album, maybe with backup from a good label, and gigging - a lot.

Do you guys make enough to survive playing music, or do you have day jobs? If so, what are they?
Today, when music comes free with an Internet connection, it's really hard to do. Right now we do it only part-time, and we're happy when the band's profits can balance the expenses. We all have day jobs, Dziablas works as a recording engineer and graphic designer, Seba is a sales specialist, and I'm a civil engineer.

Favorite expression/swear words?
Polish is a really beautiful language when it comes to swearing, and a simple "kurwa"(whore) or "jebac"(fuck) can have a lot of different meanings, depending on the context. I don't think I could ever pick just a few of them

Previous bands, members have been in?
Mostly just loose, no-name projects - Broken Betty is our first more serious band.

If you could tour with any band in the world, which would it be?
Tough choice...I'd probably go for the Melvins or Helmet - we idolize them and yet they seem to be very cool and down to earth guys, so it might be fun.

This last position is reserved for you to say anything you'd like to. Rant, rave or vent.
Thanks a lot for the interview, and thanks for taking the time to check us out. We can promise some new material, sooner than you expect, so be sure to keep us on the radar!

Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer these questions; I love the new album. Good luck to you guys!!

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