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Interview with Pathfinder


Arkadiusz E. Ruth is the talented bass player from the worlds best epic power metal band, the all amazing Pathfinder. He takes time from dueling dragons and saving damsels in distress to talk to us about their magical debut album, the awesome 'Beyond the Space, Beyond the Time' as well as growing up with heavy metal in a communist country, why they would love to tour the UK, and how is Grandma got him into Metallica!


Metalship : Can you tell us a bit about yourself, like what hobbies you have as well as playing your music?

“Well, Hello Matt! Playing the music is probably the favourite hobby for everyone in the band, but of course, everyone likes to do a lot of other things too! For example: Slavek (our keyboard player) is a cyclist and photographer, he takes his camera everywhere; Gunsen (one guitar player) is a graphic designer and Facebook ‘girls’ collector, Ha! Ha! Karol (the other guitarist) loves to travel, likes mountaineering and getting away from real life in “World Of Warcraft”; Kamil (our drummer) likes bikes and his hydraulics company; and Simon (our singer) – I really don’t know anything about his hobbies - maybe except drinking beer and vodka? Ha! Ha!”

“In my free time, I wander with my dog a lot, read books, watch movies or waste the time on RPG’s? As you see, everyone here is different. All of our other ‘extraordinary’ hobbies I will keep as a secret! Maybe I'll reveal them in the next interview, Ha! Ha!”


Metalship : That covered the who’s who bit really well?

“True… I’m the bass player and composer. My duties also include writing the lyrics…. Karol is guitarist and composer. Kamil plays drums. Slavek is keyboard player. Gunsen – second guitar and Simon – vocals. That’s it!”


Metalship : As a child what music did you grow up listening to?

“I think everyone in this band pretty much grew up in the music of the 80’s, with the music of our parents, like Europe, Bon Jovi, ABBA, Roxette, Mike Oldfield? But, then at school, we discovered Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Death, Slayer, Testament and the other Bay Area giants?”

“It was very difficult, here in Poland, to keep up date with all the news in the Metal World, because of Communism and “The Iron Curtain”. We exchanged tapes, recorded radio shows from Western Europe, stuff like that. Then I think, bands from Europe like Iron Maiden, Kreator, Blind Guardian, Scorpions, etc., started to break through a bit and it went from there. Of course, all the time in music school, we were constantly bombarded with classical music, Ha! Ha!!


Metalship : What was your first experience of Metal though?

“I’ll never forgot it; that feeling that was Metallica’s track “One”. I was then 7or 8 years old. Being ‘under the influence’ and being fascinated by “…And Justice For All”? I remember, my grandmother had bought me (on my birthday one year…) “Kill 'Em All”, “Ride The Lightning” and “Master of Puppets” on cassette and I listened to these 4 tapes over and over, almost destroying them??), but it was “And Justice For All” that did it! I knew I had to play that kind of music!!”

“After a few years the CD era arrived in Poland and that was a great experience! You could listen it over and over without noises - with clinical quality!”


Metalship : How did you and the other guys in Pathfinder meet up?

“I remember, I had composed a lot of songs when I first met Karol – in fact, a few of them are now on the debut album “Beyond The Space…” Karol was the first person to really get into what I was doing. We started composing together right away, but in the meantime I put an ad on the Internet, just saying we were looking for musicians, and the reaction was incredible. Simon came first. I recruited Slavek by phone, as I knew him from music school. Kamil’s my brother, so that was easy and our drummer Gunsen, we found through the Internet. If it wasn’t for the Internet, we would never have found each other, because here in Poland, it is very, very hard to find musicians who play anything else other than death / black metal or prog rock / metal!”


Metalship : Pathfinder is an epic power metal band I’d say. Did you ever really intend to go down the road of playing power metal or did it just happen?

“No, no, from what I’ve said above I guess you kind of knew what I was going to say, but from the beginning, I think we all knew, very well, how our music should sound? That was easy, and didn’t really take a great deal of philosophy: Pathfinder should sound like a mix of metal, movie soundtrack and classical music. This is what plays in our hearts when we compose and in our minds when we think about it. If you call it epic power metal – that’s great, the name sounds really nice!!”


Metalship : What would you say are the main lyrical themes present in your music?

“Generally it’s a fantasy theme I would say. I’m trying a little bit, to distract our listeners from the dirty things out there in our real world. You can just listen to the music and fly away inside it or you can go beyond your mind. The lyrics are only signs, which show the direction of the story / journey.”


Metalship : Where would you say that love for fantasy and the make believe has sprung from?

“I love fantasy books, fantasy movies and computer games. This helps me to relax and get away from the humdrum reality. I can imagine far and wide and my imagination is pretty wild; Pathfinder could be talking (in the lyrics) about religion, politics or other fucking dirty things, couldn’t we? Ha! Ha! But, it’s obvious!”
“No, I think the big influences on me have been authors of stuff like the “Forgotten Realms World” books like, R. A. Salvatore, Ed Greenwood or Kate Novak, and also the authors of other series like, Trudi Canavan, Naomi Novik or the immortal J. R. R. Tolkien of course? The same is true with good fantasy movies and games! Each one leaves an imprint on my mind!”


Metalship : What bands would you say inspire the sound of Pathfinder?

“I think I’m more inspired by composers like Hans Zimmer, Klaus Badelt or Jerry Goldsmith than actual bands, but if I have to mention one or two bands, for me, it could be, Lost Horizon, the old Rhapsody or In Flames?”

“For Karol, it could be, Dragonforce, Children Of Bodom or Sonata Arctica….? Everyone here has different inspiration, but they are pretty much in common with classical stuff and movie soundtrack music!”


Metalship : You have a really cool album cover concept. Who comes up with the ideas and designs the covers? This also carries over to the website too, but then I understand that this is something you were very strong on before you signed with Sonic Attack and something they’re very keen to see developed?

“That’s right… I got the idea of the album cover a long time before we started to record the actual music for it. When I’d finished all the lyrics, I contacted our cover art artist, Chris Cold and told him about my concept and vision. He basically asked for lyrics to a few songs, for inspiration. And, after a few days, we had 3 examples of the cover to “Beyond The Space, Beyond The Time” to chew over. I think we will cooperate with Chris on future Pathfinder albums; he’s a real talent!”

”As to the website, yes; from the very beginning we’ve always tried to give our fans and listeners the best product Pathfinder can be and as good a package as we can, as good as our budget will allow, etc. The website is one part of that. We try to make sure that everything is on the highest possible level. When we signed with the Japanese company Music Factory and, then with, Sonic Attack, everything had been up and running for almost one year, so it was really positive to see their reaction to it. I hope the contracts let us now go through with all our productions and developments as we’re constantly trying to improve!”


Metalship : “Beyond The Space, Beyond The Time” actually came out in 2010, but then was released on Sonic Attack records. Why did you decide to re-issue it?

“Well, it’s really only a case of finding partners worldwide. In 2010, the debut was released in Japan only, but then, in 2011, we decided to sign with Sonic Attack for European and worldwide distribution, so the album was then available everywhere!”


Metalship : Take us through the making process of “Beyond The Space, Beyond The Time”. Starting from when you began writing and when you finished mastering.

“Not much to tell really, because most of the music was already written. Karol and I are responsible for all the composition, and although, of course, there are many moments when we give free reign to the rest of the members, the album was virtually done between the two of us. That kind of co-operation in Pathfinder works very well!”


Metalship : Can the UK expecting a Pathfinder visit at any time, and if so when? I know you played with Powerquest recently?

Yes, and it was a great honour for us to play with Power Quest. Truly great shows. That came from our booking agency in Belgium.”

“Let’s see! Our management is working on a few tours, but at this moment I can’t give you any hard facts on that. Of course, we want to visit the UK as soon as possible!! We receive many e-mails and messages from our fans in the UK., and it’s home to much of the music we love….”


Metalship : Which is your favourite Pathfinder song to play live and why?

“Whisper Of Ancient Rocks” and “The Lord Of Wolves” which was the our video clip – both have my favourite tempo to play; 200!!”


Metalship : If you could play on a bill with 5 other bands alive or dead. Who would be on the bill?

“Ha! Ha! I think that would be: Gamma Ray, Edguy, Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica and Helloween?


Metalship : Ok guys, thanks for your time. Can you give our readers a brief summary of your new l album entitled ‘Beyond The Space, Beyond The Time’ to close?

“METAL!!”

Thanks to you Matt!! And hope to see you all in the UK with some Pathfinder shows before too long!”


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added by The Dark Lord, on June 26, 2011 for Metalship

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