Drummer Michal Bugajski got together with Kayla from Songplistic to talk about his experiences recording for Irish Power Metal Band, Ravenlight, his involvement in an all-Ireland Metal Band, Aiséirí, and more:
Kayla: Hi Mike, thanks for taking the time to talk to me, just to start things off tell me about how you got into music?
Michal: No problem! Well I've been playing drums for the past 14 years. I got into playing from the second I heard the intro to Stargazer by Rainbow. I can't remember how old I was, but I remember I knew I wanted to play drums because of the amazing solo at the start and I've been playing ever since.
Kayla: Oh cool! We always like to hear what inspires people to get into music! And what about Ravenlight? You released an album a few months ago, can you tell us anything about that or what it was like?
Michal: Well we released our album titled Project Genesis during summer last year and we are really happy with how it came out. The pandemic made it quite interesting to get out, but it made me really commit to my recording and have more confidence in what I was doing. The lockdown set us some hard deadlines, as the last day that I was in the studio was the day before the first lockdown in Northern Ireland. So it meant that there were no second chances as we just didn't know how it was going to turn out, but it really made me go for it with the time that I had, and I was so pleased with how it went.
Kayla: That must have been a close call! Can you tell me a bit about Aiséirí?
Michal: Aiséirí is an all-Ireland collaborative metal project with over 100 musicians across the island. All proceeds from the project are going to Bernardo's children's charity, and the project has been running for about a month now. We are expecting stuff to come out by late summer but it has been great to be a part of.
Kayla: Wow, that's a massive project! Where did the idea of this come from or how did you come to take part in the project?
Michal: The idea for this stemmed from Roadrunner Records, who brought different groups of musicians together to create an album. This is of the same ilk but with more people -and a charitable cause behind it too! It has all been online, so I was able to find it that way but its pretty interesting to play with musicians that I have never met before.
Kayla: That sounds like a great project for a great cause! Can you tell us about anything else you are working on?
Michal: Well I'm working on a cover music project with some long time friends within the music scene called Cenote. Recently we did a cover of Happy Together by The Turtles, so it was fun changing things up for a bit of Classic Rock. Our cover is available on Youtube!
I'm also involved in the beginnings of a soul music project which is under wraps at the minute -but it's very exciting and quite different from the rock and power metal, so keep an eye out!
Kayla: You mentioned before that you have dabbled in recording and mixing your own music too, can you tell me a bit more about that?
Michal: Sure! I've been learning how to record and mix my own music for years, but I still feel like I have so much to learn. I used the internet and the expertise of some friends to learn the basics, but even now after 7 years of doing this I still feel like a lot of it is down to trail and error, as it isn't an easy task! One of the most important things I found out through my recordings is that playing and producing bounced off each other. I had to change my playing to try and get the most out of my producing rather than producing to the style of my playing as there is so much to learn in this area.
Kayla: That's great that you have given recording and mixing a go! It can be tricky to do that all yourself, that's why at Songplistic we use our knowledge and expertise to handle the mixing and teach people how to record at home in a way that's easy for anyone to understand - it really is a massive undertaking by yourself! If I could ask for your favourite music memory or music, what would it be?
Michal: I recorded and toured for a bit with Mons Olympus - an Irish space metal prog band. We played a gig in my home town haunt Charlies Bar, in Enniskillen and my friends all came out to support us in Mons Olympus T-shirts. It was such a good night and one of my favourite memories, there is just something about having people support you and enjoy what you're doing.
Kayla: What a feeling! I still have the T-shirt from that gig! Before I let you go could you please tell me a couple of your influences?
Michal: Yea sure so as far as drummers go I would have to say Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree and The Pineapple Thief, as well as Marco Minnemann from the Aristocrats, and of course the static constant Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater, The Winery Dogs and more. Some of them are really challenging to follow, but great inspiration.
Kayla: That's great, I'll have to check all of them out! Thanks a lot for taking the time to talk with me. I can't wait to see what you have coming up next!
Michal is the drummer for Ravenlight, Aiseiri, Cenote and is working on an upcoming soul project. He has recorded with Mons Olympus and done session work on everything from metal bands to brass bands and orchestras.
Facebook: Ravenlight | Facebook
Facebook: Aiséirí - All Ireland Metal Project |
If you would like to donate to Barnardo's Children's Charity please go to their website: Believe in children | Children's charity | Barnardo's (barnardos.org.uk)