Musical Joy

Moonlight

Moonlight

Moonlight

Moonlight is a Symphonic Metal band with Rock and Roll elements that was founded in Poland in 1991. The band went through a few line up changes in their early days but by 1993 they produced their first demo with the line up of Maja Konarska and Kasia Michalewicz as the vocalists, Andrzej Kutys and Arek Wlazo on the guitars, Daniel Potasz on the keyboards, Szymon Goebel on the bass guitar, and Tomasz Kopczynski on the drums. The demo consisted of nine songs. Soon the independent publisher Rock ‘n’Roller in Szczecin put forth a production which was quickly accepted and enjoyed by the media. Moonlight then began to play at concerts. In 1995 Kasia Michalewicz left the band leaving Moonlight with only one lead vocalist. Tomek Wieczorek became the new drummer and Pawel Gotlas became the new bass guitarist. Not long before summer holidays of 1996 Arek Wlazlo left the group. Their new lineup recorded another demo to further promote their band. Throughout the summer of 1996 the band toured doing Summer Concerts to promote their band. In Autumn of 1996 the first album of Moonlight “Kalpa Taru” appeared in music shops. Not long after the premiere of the album the group had a concert tour with the legend of British progressive rock, Pendragon. The route included Poznan, Warsaw, Zabre and Krakow. Most of music recaps of 1996 mentioned the group, inter alia “Tylko Rock” (Only Rock) – one of the nominations to prizes granted by the magazine in the category “debut of a year”, Maja was honorable mentioned in the category ” female vocalists” granted by “Brum”, nomination for “the album of a year” in “Machina” . Before recording of the next album there was a change in the line-up. The drummer Tomek Wieczorek, who had some health problems making his playing impossible, was replaced by Maciek Kaźmierski known from playing in Firebirds. In spite of quite different musical experiences, he adjusted very well to artistic and stage vision of Moonlight. In 1997 exactly a year after “Kalpa Taru” mysterious “Meren Re” appeared. Unfortunately, the publisher – Metal Mind Productions, who has been supporting the group and helping a lot with promotion, suddenly somehow gave up its interest. And though some interviews and reviews appeared and songs were some times played on the radio, the one important thing was missing – concerts. Eventually, the contract with MMP was terminated. Trying to find a new publisher brought signing the contract with Morbid Noizz Productions.After new compositions were made, the group for the third time visited the Fonoplastykon studio in Wrocław to record “Inermis”. It was released in 1999. The new material had positive reviews even before the premiere and the patronage in the media was taken up by popular “Trójka”. There was recorded a professional video clip to “Flos”. Unfortunately, well forecasted partnership with Morbid Noizz broke down at the beginning of 1999. The album appeared in shops four months later than it should and while the radio and the press were showing previews of “Inermis”, the album was impossible to get. In spite of very good reviews and opinion of listeners, “Inermis” failed because of hardly any promotion – in practice Morbid Noizz Productions stopped existing. And when it seemed that hard times for the group are coming, the previous publisher – Metal Mind called. After long negotiations both sides came into agreement. In winter 2000, in Fonoplastykon of course, MOONLIGHT recorded “Floe”. It is an important album for MOONLIGHT. After a moment of “non-existence” the group came back with songs which listeners liked a lot. But first of all, the producer of “Floe” became Marcin Bors. He is a very important person in further history of the group. A fantastic musician and a talented producer later became an “informal” member of the group. He was in charge of the tone and was supporting the others with valuable advise. Also the concert condition of the group improved: in summer 2000 MOONLIGHT played a beautiful, simply theatrical and poetic, concert in Bolków at VII Castle Party, in autumn with groups such as Aion and Batalion d’Amour they had a concert tour in ten of the largest cities in Poland. A very nice moment for MOONLIGHT was 13 January 2001. This day they played in Warsaw in Studio M1 under the name of Agnieszka Osiecka for Program Trzeci Polskiego Radia (Third Program of the Polish Radio). The concert was transmitted in the whole country, recorded and later appeared as an album. Amongst 13 songs also appeared two songs from just prepared album which was very carefully worked upon. Recordings took all summer 2001 and in autumn “Yaishi” appeared. This session was not easy, there were contusions, a bit of nerves but the effect was really satisfying. Beside well known earlier sounds, this was the album that started the evolution in music played by MOONLIGHT. Thanks to Marcin Bors the group started defining their musical language from the beginning. On the album the new bass guitarist – Michał Podciechowski – replaced Paweł Gotłas, who gave up music because of family reasons. The change was hardly noticed and Michal quickly joined the group in composing new material. First time in the history of MOONLIGHT they recorded the English version and since then albums have been available abroad (though you have to search a little). The way of promoting was traditional concerts in the whole country. Also in 2001 they managed to reissue “Inermis”. As far as Morbid Noizz hadn’t existed, so, the album with the new cover and corrected tone was put forth by Metal Mind Productions. The group started working upon the new album in a discography. A year after the recording session of “Yaishi” the group went to Wrocław to Fonopastykon and the production of the sixth album began. Premiere: autumn 2002, title: “Candra”. It was the end of a certain period in MOONLIGHT’s history. Traditionally, there were some problems like switching off electricity. But the real problem was the situation inside the group. The evolution of music started before, on “Candra” it was more noticeable but not accepted by everybody. The next route took place in autumn 2002 and it was the first of the Dark Stars cycle, inter alia with Artrosis and Fading Colors and those were last concerts with Daniel Potasz (keyboards). He was expelled from the group. Already in February 2003 the group was in the studio again. It was not planned. In the same time Metal Mind Productions was preparing reissue of the first album recorded in 1993. Suddenly, it occurred that Daniel Potasz had rights to this material (he had bought those rights without the agreement and knowledge of the others) and he didn’t agree to put it forth. The solution was simple – the group went to Fonoplastykon and recorded those songs one more time. The album “MOONLIGHT” appeared in Spring 2003. The musicians’ own opinion about it is: “First time we recorded those songs in 1993. After 10 years you have an occasion to listen to new versions of them. This is how they sound played by MOONLIGHT in 2003. It is not our new album. Treat it as creative variations to old topics”. A huge contribute to this album had Marcin Bors and Gienia (Andrzej Markowski) – a great musician from Wrocław who had already had a guest appearance on the keyboards on previous albums. Gienia joined the group and in April MOONLIGHT was playing concerts in the new line-up and preparing to a very important day – 11 April 2003. Those who were at that time in Krzemionki in the television studio in Kraków had an occasion to watch how MOONLIGHT was recording their concert on DVD which was put forth by Metal Mind and titled “Awaken Memories Live”. In autumn this year at Dark Stars Festival MOONLIGHT played concerts in the whole country. At the same time they were working on the next album. They started recordings in winter 2004. “Audio 136” appeared before the summer holidays 2004. It was a common work of Marcin Bors, Gienia and Moonlight. The next step of musical evolution. It was still MOONLIGHT but sounding different, played different, using different ways of expression. The album is clipped by the composition of Krzysztof Komeda “Rosemary’s baby”. This was not the first cover recorded by MOONLIGHT, on previous albums we can hear inter alia Depeche Mode “Enjoy The Silence” and Bjork “Army Of Me”. And again there were some disharmonies. Gienia, a brilliant musician but playing in a lot of other projects and living in Wrocław, was not able to bring so many obligations together and he gave up playing with MOONLIGHT. New concerts were coming closer and it wasn’t a good time for looking for a new keyboard player. But they had luck. Next musician of MOONLIGHT became Kuba Maciejewski and the group played a concert with Anathema in Szczecin and on 28 June 2004 with the giants of rock – Deep Purple! New line-up, new music and in autumn concerts in the next edition of Dark Stars Festival and preparing to record a new album. Recording session starts 1 July 2005 and what then, we will see…“downWords” was not only the next record it was a beginning of something new, intriguing and hardly possible to be put in any frames – the new Moonlight. Mature and well thought-over arrangements, modern additions – all of this makes the new album special in their career, but also on the market. The band itself enthusiastically speak about the surprises you are about to get to know, listening to the record. This is a phenomenon, that you’ve never encountered before – full of different emotions, balancing on the edge of depression and chaos. Listen to it carefully. From the beginning to the end… As always, a big impact on the material was exerted by Marcin Bors, the producer from Fonoplastykon Studio. You will be also able to hear some exotic instruments on the album. For example – how does a “woolen mammoth” sound like? Check it by yourselves. The album has also got a graphic design utterly different from everything you could see on previous Moonlight’s releases, executed by ASP!S and Żana of i-Mages. downWords is a breakthrough material in Moonlight’s career, hence we’ve decided that the graphics also has to be unique. You will find many hidden meanings in the booklet”, they claim. The fans could also see Moonlight as a headliner of a weekend tour BombYourEars 2005, which took almost 1,5 month. And they are still playing concerts. After nine jointly years of playing with moonlight Maciek Każmierski is leaving a number of the band . He has many different music projects and he couldn’t pay so much attentions as moonlight needs. The material was recorded in August, again in Fonoplastykon studio with Marcin Bors as the sound engineer. This new album is marked by a small line-up change. After 9 years of cooperation, Maciek (drums) decided to part with Moonlight due to lack of time for the full time commitment. Luckily, the band soon found a replacement and the new session was done with a new drummer: Krzysztof “Bialy” Medrala (known from his work with Body Mind Relation). Andrzej Kutys said “The album is heavy and powerful but also lyrical, psychedelic and disco-like; it is full of noises as well as beautiful melodies… The songs interleave, thus creating a musical whole. Also, you are in for a big surprise as, for the first time in the band’s history, we have a guest on the album! Adam Sypula from Ctrl-Alt-Del joined Maja on vocals in one track. In our opinion, it is the best Moonlight album.” This same time when Moonlight played concerts during Second Life Syndrome II in the biggest cities in Poland as Riverside’s guest Marcin worked on last shape of the new album “Integrated In The System Of Guilt” which in stories on 30-10-06. The tour was success.

Present line-up of the group:
Maja Konarska – vocal
Andrzej Kutys – guitar
Michał Podciechowski – bass guitar
Bolek Wilczek – drums
Kuba Maciejewski – keyboards

Discograpy (That I Own)

  1. Candra (2002) – The seventh album by Moonlight. This album is a departure from their original metal sounds.It contains more of a rock ‘n’ roll element to the sound that is appealing. Maja’s vocals are beautiful and are reminiscent to Anneke’s of the Gathering on this album.
  2. Downwords (2005) – Yet another album by Moonlight. This album is a highly cohesive album. The focus was clearly upon composition and the strengthening of harmonic bridges between tracks.

In Conclusion
I was willing to give this band a chance once I heard their rendition of “I Will Love You To Death” a marvelous song that I first heard performed by Type O Negative. The two albums that I own are pretty good but not on my played most often list.

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