„Music is my way of life” – an interview with Piotr Rogucki from COMA

Once again, the students’ club Kreslarnia was bursting at the seams thanks to Coma – the band which was celebrating its fifteenth birthday with the fans in Koszalin. The concert apart from being a special occasion turned out to be no less spectacular than the “Favourite Number” tour. During the jubilee gig the band showered the audience with such gifts as live energy, the mesmerising multimedia, and the long-time-unheard songs. Interestingly, instead of performing a setlist, the band turned “a musical wheel of fortune” to select the streams of three songs at one time. Much was left to chance, even more to the magic of Coma’s irresistible rock. Here’s the interview with Piotr Rogucki, conducted a short moment before his stepping into the stage. 

How would you conclude Coma’s 15 years on stage?

PR: I guess it’s hard to sum up in a few short sentences 15 years of my life. In fact, I think there’s no need to summarise it at all. All we’ve tried to express, and all that can be derived from our art is present in our work. If people want to sum it up and draw some conclusions from what we’ve done and accomplished, they have to do it on their own.

Would you like to get to the broader audience or rather stick to your fan base which is smaller, but faithful?

PR: Frankly, I have never thought about it. It is our fans who decide whether they want to listen to our music or not. We hardy try to win their favour. To us, the most important is what we do. It’s not that we’re looking for new fans. It’s rather the other way round – they’re looking for us. That’s why it’s so precious and I hope it’ll keep going on like this.

Then who is the Coma’s audience?

PR: I don’t know. It’s not for us to decide who they are. It’s them to decide whether they want to listen to Coma. We have no impact on that matter. We make our music passionately being 100% sure of what we want to do, but it’s still fans who come to us or stop listening to Coma. After each realise, there’s a group of people who either join us or leave us.

Coma are devils onstage” – that’s a typical fans’ comment after your gigs. What makes your concerts that powerful, comparing them to the studio releases?

PR: Concerts are a somewhat matter, it’s a living energy, and contact with the audience. We respond directly to what people expect from us. We try to shape how they feel proportionally to the same degree they shape how we feel. The onstage dimension of Coma is very different to that in a studio.

Is there anything you’d like to wish Coma?

PR: First of all, I wish our band to persist and remain active in the constantly changing conditions of the Polish reality, which sometimes is hard for making rock music. However, we are doing pretty well and I hope it’ll stay this way so I trust we’ll continue to walk our path. That’s what’s most important to me.

Coma, photo Albert Pabijanek 

What gives you your solo project that can’t be achieved with Coma?

PR: Above all, it gives me different aesthetics, a different kind of expression. To me, my solo work is sort of an experimental field and testing grounds. I can risk and check there my new ideas. Besides, the guys play rather distinctive music, it’s very emotional and dynamic rock. In me, on the other hand, there is much curiosity in life which made me want to try some other forms.

With which of your albums released so far do you identify most? I mean lyrics, music, sound… Maybe such an album is still to come?

PR: There’s no option to make that distinction because each of the albums I’m working on in a particular period of time includes 100% of me. As a matter of fact, throughout all those years my sense of taste and I have evolved, so has the way I perceive the art and reality, that is why the albums are varied too. In each particular period of time, a corresponding album is a complete embodiment of my expectations and approaches towards music, so, for example, five years ago I absolutely subscribed to Hipertrofia, while right now I’m totally bound up with Czerwony Album.

Do your acting qualifications affect the way you make your music? Are they anyhow helpful or do they perhaps hamper you?

PR: I don’t distinguish between these two synchronous energies, because when I’m on stage, it is all one energy, which is shaped differently by either the band or the character I chose to act out as if I was playing on a theatre stage or in a film. I still own of the same body, mind and artistic energy, which is just being altered according to a need in particular time and space.

Do you have any fears before releasing a new album in terms of its acceptance? Do you follow the critics when your album changes hands when it is realised to your fans?

PR: Yes, I do for some time, especially because a new album release comes with marketing, which is usually a promo tour or press interviews. Whether I want it or not, verification of the material is impossible to avoid. If people like the material, it evokes positive emotions in me, but if they don’t like it, I start to wonder what went wrong. It’s obvious that a piece of art gains its full value when confronted with fans and their opinions, so their views are important, though not the most important.

What does making music mean to you? Is it a need to share your sensitivity? Or maybe satisfying your vanity? Or the way of life, perhaps?

PR: This is my way of life. It’s a place where I can find some audience which listens to my considerations and with whom I can travel. It’s a way of moving, particularly through imagination – by myself or with my audience; from to time to time, it becomes a way of creating some special festivity. And it’s also an attempt to make life more beautiful not only for me, but for other people as well.

Thank you for your time.

PR: My sincere thanks to you too.

Anna Jankowiak

Official site www.coma.art.pl

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