Interview with vocalist Mark Wojtkiewicz
by Angela Villand
Over the last several years, a group of five musicians from PA (with two Indie CD’s under their belts) have caused some curiosity and commotion throughout the Northeastern US and now they’re spreading abroad. One city, one state, one hotel after another in support of the current TAPROOT tour, Absolution is continuing the journey. After heavily promoting themselves in support of their critically-acclaimed EP Theory Of Existence from one side of the USA to the other, they’ve gained an impressive following. Delivering an adrenaline pumping performance night after night is just one of many reasons for the band’s continued success. Now, with the arrival of their 3rd CD, The Other Side of Nothing, on the horizon, we were excited we could steal away some time with singer, songwriter, Mark Wojtkiewicz.
MAXINK: Your CD, THE OTHER SIDE OF NOTHING hits the shelves on May 3rd. Collectively, as a band, you guys are on the road, you’re pretty much going to be tour dogs until June, kicking it off for Taproot. How do you guys kick back between shows, after the adrenaline rush quiets down, or when you get to a new city? What do you do to keep it real within the group?
MARK: We talk with each other; share the experience as a family. Through all the ups and downs, we’ve become so much tighter as a group, offstage as well as onstage. We were driving through the Colorado Rockies on the way out, and a couple of us were sleeping, but we smacked ‘em on the head to wake them up. There are a lot of things out here that some of us have never seen. My first time in Vegas was this last year, and everyone else, they’d never been there. So driving in, we’d wake up everyone so we could see it coming in.
MAXINK: New technology emerges constantly and it’s benefiting bands, (Official “band” apps, Itunes “Ping,” etc) but at the same time there’s always those douche bags that will just download your album and not pay for it…there will always be people that demand great music but don’t want to pay the cost.
MARK: Music fans are a dying breed. I personally love the artwork, and I’ll thumb through a new CD’s art and soak in what the whole album is about, where the band is in that state. But there are always people who want it for free. I didn’t like that, especially since I’m in a band, trying to make it, and if I download other music, people are going to do it to me. We’re depending solely upon those sales to make it to a venue, and if everybody downloads it for free, we won’t make it. We go home.
MAXINK: It’s become imperative over recent years that artists stress the importance of their fans showing up when their fave bands come to town, stay up to date on tour dates, buy some merch, buy the CD’s,
MARK: Definitely, especially for a band like ours and we are 100% independent, unsigned. We don’t have label money; we don’t have an endless debit card. It’s all us. Literally, when I’m up on stage and I say “Check out our merch, pick it up, we need the gas money,” that’s not a lie. We’re not trying to make a profit, we’re not going to get rich, we just want to survive, and get our name out there.
MAXINK: When you come to town with Taproot, what we can expect from your live performance?
MARK: High energy. We don’t just go up there and play our songs, we really get into it. There’s really no stopping it. From the first four-count to the last bar of the last song, it is high energy.
MAXINK: Absolution fans that have been following your success are very excited about the arrival of your new CD, and there’s a lot of talk about how your new guitar player, Will, is going to make an impact this time around. He definitely has a signature sound.
MARK: He has actually chased this band for over two years. Before this, our other guitar player, Jay, banged out both the rhythm guitar and the lead, a phenomenal feat. But when we’d play live, it was still missing something. We aren’t the kind of that that likes to use a whole lot of samples and sequencing. We’re all old-school, and whatever we put on a record, we want to be able to perform it. Now, Will is the kind of guitar player who is ‘designed’ for a two-guitar band. A lot of times, he doesn’t even learn what Jay is playing; he just needs to know what key we’re in. He’s not put in a box, he’s doing his own thing, and it ties everything so much more together.
MAXINK: Being the “opener” for a band such as Taproot, how does it feel night after night to introduce yourselves over and again?
MARK: People don’t know who we are, we don’t have that edge, the distribution, and we haven’t been around on tour many times. When we go into a city, we have to tell people who we are, show them what we’re about. It’s so much fun.
Absolution is: Will Perna - Guitars , Brian McDonald - Bass , Tom Godin II - Drums / Vox , Jay Green - Guitars / Vox , Mark Wojtkiewicz - Vox
Come EARLY to the show Saturday, May 14th at the Janesville Backbar & be sure you do not miss ABSOLUTION’s set! Also, you can pick up a copy of the new CD, The Other Side of Nothing, as well as some kickass merch, while you’re there!
CD: The Other Side of Nothing Record Label: Unsigned, Indie