Interview: Michal Miegon – Kiev Office

As we resume our interview series, delving into the captivating Sounds of Tri-City, we focus today on Michal Miegon from Kiev Office. All bands featured in this series were posed with the same set of questions. Join us as we explore the common threads and unique nuances that emerge from the diverse musical perspectives of these talented artists. This interview promises not only insights into Kiev Office’s creative process but also a glimpse into the shared experiences shaping the Tri-City music scene.

How does being based in Tri-City influence your music and creative process? 

Looking through the history of music from Tri-CityGdynia, Sopot and Gdansk – I have been influenced a lot by bands such as Pancerne Rowery, Bielizna, Szelest Spadających Papierków. I’ve grown up among musicians from Apteka and Bielizna because Tri-City artistic society has been always crossing over Gdańsk, Sopot and Gdynia.  

Have you collaborated with other local musicians? If so, how have these collaborations influenced your music? 

Piotr Pawłowski (I played with him in band The Shipyard) told me one “how is it in Tri-City, that everybody is playing with everyone here in Tri-City, and in Krakow and Wrocław there is not as much cooperation as You have near Gdańsk Gulf). And it’s true. Kiev Office is always open for working with various local artists. Each gig is quite different with different lineup, from basic duo (Me and Krzysztof Wrońśki – Drummer) to psychedelic Kashubian squad with Maciej Bandur and Marcin Lewandowski (Black Mynah) to power squad with Mateusz Bartoszek (Żurawie) and other artists such as Pawel Przyborowski or Maja Domachowska. Each collaboration gives new depth to music and new inspirations. It is quite a phenomenon, these hearts full of musical souls. I never had any need to search for musicians to Kiev Office from other cities. 

Is there a specific sound of Tri-City? 

Space, freedom in form and genre, search for truth, open hearts 

What challenges do local bands in Tri-City face, and how have you overcome them? 

The biggest problem is to play or not to play. The question – does it matter in life? That happened during big-bit years in the sixties, during Tri-City Alternative Scene years in eighties, and it happens still. As a producer of various Tri-City various artist CD’s that present our region I watch 3 – 5 years cycle of a band. A lot of great bands split due to artistic or personal issues. Making music should be pleasure in my opinion, it can be a mission, but being overambitious can drag you down and ruin all the fun. No fun? No risk? No game : – ) The other question is what do You do if You are in the game. Showbusiness has different rules than DIY bands, and a lot of young bands don’t understand it. Choose your own path. Question yourself – how much does music mean in your life, and do You want to live your life only with/from music? 

How does the Tri-City audience respond to your music? Are there distinct characteristics of your local fan base? 

I don’t see different respond from Pomerania than from other parts of Poland or Europe, it all depends on whether audience catches your groove, flow and message. If not – you’re lost. You Can make your own rehearsal with audience. It is a Myth that German and Swedish audience is less emotional, or Italy people are crazy and are jumping on stage. It all depends on what You bring. The laziest audience was in Człuchów and Suwałki. The craziest audience was in Kalmar (Sweden), Aurigeno (Switzerland), Ustka, Smołdzino, Gorzów Wielkopolski and of course Gdynia and Gdansk. 

Are there specific venues in Tri-City that hold a special place in your heart? What makes them unique? 

The landscape of Tri-City club life changed a lot since year 2000. Lots of clubs, where I started playing music don’t exist. Infinium & Negatyw in Gdansk, Anawa/Rockz in Gdynia or The Cult in Sopot were the places where the music flowed. We always love to play in technically perfect places such as Podworko.Art/Scena Ucho, Konsulat Kultury, or B90/Drizzly Grizzly but there are a lot of band friendly places that retain the atmosphere of old musical pubs in modern and good technical style such as Desdemona or Blues Club in Gdynia, or Wydział Remontowy in Gdansk.

How would you describe the camaraderie and competition among local bands in Tri-City? 

There was a competition in first decade of XXI, and maybe a bit in a second, but it all boils down now to certain communities around bands, each band creates its own microcosmos, which sometimes bonds into others artist microcosmos. I think it is a good perspective, and I didn’t hear any stories of other bands making diss on each other nowadays. We made the first Tri-City indie rock diss on band called Kyst (they don’t exist anymore) on our album second “Anton Globba“. It was kind of silly, but it was the climate of 2010. These times won’t come back. Competition, camaraderie, friendship, it was all about music, making it better and releasing your first CD, play festivals and gigs. Is it now about streams and pitching songs as I suppose? I hope I’m wrong! 

Are there collaborative initiatives or events that strengthen the bonds within the music community? 

In Gdynia it is “Wolność Kosmos Improwizacja” scene, formed in Klub Desdemona by Fundacja 4 Sztuki, there are a lot of great gigs and Jams in the underground of Gdynia Market Halls “Halo Kultura” (I am curator and also Tomek Hoax from Coastline Northern Cuts), there are a lot of new festivals such as “Gdynia Music Weekend“, there are Blues Clubs improvised Żywe Środy. As far as Gdańsk – we meet together with Gdańsk musicians, play together, there were (and are) a lot of great actions from Nasiono Records and community around Wydział Remontowy Club. But I must admit I don’t often visit Gdańsk clubs recently, mostly because I am busy at animating Gdynia music scene. But we are just about 30 minutes’ drive from one town to another, so it is all mixing up. 

In your opinion, how has the overall music scene in Tri-City evolved over the years? Are there notable trends or shifts? 

There are certain shifts into genres popular in each moments. I started a band during indie rock and new rock revolution in 2007, and in this time, it was very hard to find somebody who liked indie rock, Tri-City was all about Grunge and Post-Grunge. First decade of XXI century was a time when legacy of Tri-City Alternative Scene from past decades somehow vanished. Later on, it resurfaced, giving us a lot of great bands. 

How do you hope your music will contribute to the musical legacy of Tri-City? 

We are already in DNA of Tri-City and its legacy, as well as everyone who is starting to play here. It’s all in the memory of listeners and in the hands and ears of historians, who will tell the tales of decades of XXI century. 

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