The latest project from Satellite's Wojtek Szadkowski is Strawberry Fields who have just released their impressive debut album Rivers Run Dry. With Strawberry Fields Wojtek introduces us to the beautiful voice of Robin, marking her debut as both a singer and lyricist. SoT's Dean Pedley had the opportunity to pose a few questions for Wojtek and Robin (a.k.a Marta) to find out more about their collaboration.
SoT: First of all can you tell us how you two first met and decided to work together?
Marta: I met Wojtek thanks to his Peter Pan album called "Days" or rather thanks to Radek Chwieralski who is the guitar player in Peter Pan and who one time introduced me to Wojtek. From the very beginning I could feel that there was something special about knowing Wojtek, something special about him, although at that time I had no clue we would play together in a band. Maybe I was just that I adored Wojtek's music and it was that mysterious atmosphere he created. So, when he asked me spontaneously one day if I'd like to sing in his band, I agreed right away.
Woj: I just looked for the right person to sing in my new project. I was looking for a male vocal, but I could hardly find any. We were sitting together with Radek and Marta and I told them about the new project. Then I just said that since I could not find any vocalist she would be the one. At that time I was not even sure If she was singing at all.
SoT: Why did you choose to call the project Strawberry Fields?
Woj: Great name. I love the Beatles. But there is no particular mysterious reason.
SoT: Robin, can you tell us about your previous experiences as a singer, when did you begin songwriting and who are your influences?
Robin: I used to sing in a rock band for a few years and attend some poetry singing. I couldn't decide which direction I should follow, as I loved rock music, the sound of guitars, keyboards, drums, i.e. live instruments, and the idea of playing together in the band, but also I loved melancholy. I simply couldn't put it together. It was Wojtek who combined all my passions for music in one and the result you can hear on Rivers Gone Dry.
As to my inspirations, I love gothic rock, i.e. Within Temptation, HIM, Evanescence and Celtic folk like Clannad, Enya, but not only. I also listen to Sheryl Crow, Avril Lavigne, Bryan Adams or to the film music, such as the Pirates of the Caribbean or the Lord of the Rings. I guess, I just love beautiful melodies, that's all.
SoT: And how did you enjoy the experience of working with Wojtek?
Robin: Certainly, I did. In fact, I was surprised that it was so pleasant, as I expected him to be the real despot ;) I just had that impression about him. To my surprise he appeared to be perfectly understanding, although demanding. But what I loved the most from working with Wojtek on the album was that he was letting me be myself when singing and writing lyrics. What is more, he expected that from me. He was also very inspiring. I preferred recording my vocals when he was in the studio. He knew perfectly well how to make me believe in myself and in that what I was doing.
SoT: Wojtek...this band is very different to Satellite...was this a deliberate choice to go in a different direction?
Woj:I compose many different songs. I listen to wide variety of music. At this point of my life I felt limited with Satellite. So this was a deliberate choice to record songs I already existing inside me. But after listening to Robin's voice I composed brand new songs just to fit her way of singing and to reveal her inner side. Those songs were deep inside me a long time before I created Satellite. Not particular songs but this kind of music. I have many drawers inside my head and I just feel this is the right time to start opening them.
SoT: Tell us about the rest of the guys who played on the album?
Woj: All of them are from Satellite line up. They understand me musically and I do not have to waste time explaining what they should play. They just feel it. I am talking about Sarhan – guitars and jarek – bass guitar. Sometimes I compose guitar parts myself , like main themes (Fool). Most of keyboards I played myself.
Krxzysiek played some additional keys, like solo in Rivers Gone Dry, and some background flavours in a few more songs.
SoT: Robin, where did you get your inspiration for some of the lyrics?
Robin: Some lyrics are based on my experience, some are about the thoughts that have been hunting me, to some I added a little bit of my imagination and some are about people I know. What I love about writing lyrics is that hiding behind the words and meanings. Making people think that you've opened up, while in fact you haven't opened up in that part of the song but in the other, or in the other song, where people do not expect. Nevertheless, you feel relieved.
SoT: Will there be any live shows?
Robin: I hope so. Those songs are real live killers. If you know anyone who can organize our gigs, just let me know
SoT: What else do you have planned, both individually and for Strawberry Fields?
Robin: I'm looking forward to playing concerts and making next albums. I'm looking forward to the unknown.
Woj: Satellite's Nostalgia new album is out now. I hope to release second Peter Pan's CD this year. And maybe one more project.
SoT: Wojtek can you tell us about the future plans of Satellite?
Woj:No gigs this year. Just more studio albums. All this is because we do not have any manager and I have no time to deal with management. Satellite could be great live act but someone should take care of it. A good "international" manager is very hard to find. Again if you know such person...
SoT: And finally was there anything else you wanted to add?
Robin: It would be great meeting you and play for you :)
Woj: Thank You for supporting us.
(Click here to read our review of Rivers Gone Dry)