Jakub Zytecki (Interview)
As a prolific solo artist and DispersE axeman-in-chief, Jakub Zytecki is a busy guy. I caught up with one of this generation’s most promising guitarists to chat about his creative process, spirituality, and some solid advice from Plini…
You’re currently in the middle of a very busy period, having released two solo EPs – and an album with DispersE – last year, with a new solo album in the works for 2018, along with even more DispersE work on top of everything else! Damn – I felt tired just saying all that. How’re you feeling?
Yeah man, it was definitely hard to get bored.
Well, the last DispersE record was actually finished in June 2016, so I had nearly half the year to catch a breath and look for some new ideas. 2017 was fully committed to my solo EPs, because I really wanted to have those as a little introduction to my possible musical futures.
Currently, I kinda feel like it would be good to spend a bit more time exploring the paths of new full length albums, both for me and DispersE. It might take a while, but I’m excited!
Both Feather Bed and Ladder Head were very experimental – how did you change your creative process while working on them?
I was working a bit less with the guitar, but more with sound designs, samples, etc. The guitar itself was more on top what was already there, instead being a musical foundation.
Which bands and artists are currently influencing and inspiring you?
To be honest, I had a little break from digging through new music after finishing Ladder Head, although I’m slowly coming back to it. I’m kind of in a Jon Hopkins phase now – really looking forward to his and The Neighbourhood’s new album. Really digging Portugal. The Man too!
“Making music itself is transcendental for me, some kind of therapy”
How are you approaching the writing and recording process for the releases you’ve got in the works right now?
First of all, me and my girlfriend were lucky enough to move into a house in the Cracow suburbs, so a change of environment is always a great thing, I love it so much.
I’m trying to get back to the guitar a bit more. I usually record a few riffs I might have been working on earlier, and then I try to remix them while adding other stuff. I’d love to take my guitar parts to another level, but man, it requires such an effort from me! I got really lazy after all this time spent making music mostly on my computer [laughs]!
If it comes to sound design and working with samples, I tend to tweak more on a Native Instruments Maschine MK3. It feels nice to create sounds on a separate unit, instead of doing everything on my PC.
Is there a spiritual aspect to what you do?
I guess so. Making music itself is some sort of transcendental thing for me, some kind of therapy.
I like to believe that there’s something within ourselves and out in the world that is very difficult to comprehend mentally. Somehow, music can give you the tools to get closer to that understanding.
What is your musical philosophy?
I really enjoy music that is both introverted and extraverted at the same time. Makes you want to explore yourself but also the world around you, gives you that spark to reach for new experiences.
I’m an emotional addict and I always liked this nostalgic aspect in music as well, something with that ‘sentiment of the past’ flavour.
What’s the best advice anyone’s ever given you about pursuing a career in music?
Plini told me that the trick is not to care too much.
I totally agree with that, because I like to believe that music is not really mine, even though I could’ve spent the last nine months on it. It’s more like picking it up from the air and channelling it into a few minutes of well-connected wave forms.
It’s just so damn hard not to care while you get so emotionally attached to it after all this time of writing and recording [laughs]!
Outside of DispersE and your solo work, what else do you get up to?
I might produce some friends’ music from time to time. The last one I did was with my good buddy Łukasz Adamczyk, a great bass player. He should have it out pretty soon.
Besides that, I’m really into videos. I’d love to explore that more in the future, and hopefully expand my skills.
If you could choose just one moment as an all-time highlight of your career so far, which would you choose and why?
Something that I cherish the most is having those moments when you’re falling love with making music again, when you feel super inspired and able to become fully lost within the process.
It doesn’t happen very often – but when it does, that’s a hell of a highlight!
What’s on your bucket list?
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For more about Ladder Head and Feather Bed, check out my review here.