Interview With ‘Martijn Krale’ Of ‘Frühstück’


Frühstück [pronouced ‘froosh-tuk’, which loosely translates to ‘breakfast’] is a melodic rock band from Poland, founded in 1997. Martijn Krale co-founder and vocalist of the band is originally from the Netherlands. For some Dutch people amongst us he is also known as the bass player of No Longer Music [& Steiger 14, the red boat behind the Central Station in Amsterdam] in the early nineties. The latest album of his new band Frühstück titled Quiet has been released earlier this year. Below an interview with Martijn:

TMR: Hey Martijn, this is´The Metal Resource’ Holland, how are things going there in Poland ?

Martijn: There’s many good things happening in Poland at the moment, so we shall not complain. Even tough complaining is something that we are very good at sometimes.. J

TMR: Will you Introduce yourself and the band please [name and instrument]

Martijn Krale – vocals, Wojtek „Los” (pronounce; Wash) Karel – bass, Marcin „Szczypior” Karel – guitars, Tomek „Scottie” Kuzbik – drums

TMR: Describe your family situation [for everyone personal]

Martijn: I am married since 22 years! Father of three very precious daughters. Los and Scottie are also married and have children. Szczypior is the young one in the Fruhstuck family.. Everything still ahead of him. J

TMR: Tell us the brief history of ‘Frühstück’.

Martijn: Do you want to real story, or a fiction story? Both versions are interesting actually.. J The facts are that Fruhstuck was born in 1997, when we all met in Wroclaw. Los and Scottie were already involved in some projects together, they also knew eachother from the church. Daniel Kulik, the first guitarplayer was a mutual friend. Martijn got to know them during some tours that he did to Poland with No Longer Music. (Martijn used to be the bassplayer with NLM from 87 to 95 in the last century.. J ) When Martijn moved to Poland, we all came together and forgot all we did previously and started something new together.

TMR: Are you guys full time musicians ? If not what kind of job or school do you do beside the band ?

Martijn: It’s difficult to be a full time musician. We have some friends that do it, but you have to be involved in many different projects and you must also be willing to play at “weddings and funerals”. Of course there are some exceptions, and there’s always a few bands that are “hot” for a few years, and they are able to live from it. We all have other jobs, beside the music. But the fact that we are not full time doesn’t mean that we are not professional about it. We try to do the best with what was given to us.

Los and Szczypior work for a ICT company in the transport field. Scottie is between jobs at the moment, he is studying to become a translator. Martijn came to Poland as a missionary, and is leading a church. Also he does some language training.

TMR: What is your musical background ? 

Martijn: Los is probably the most educated musician in our crew. He studied conducting at the music academy, before he surrendered and became a diesel bass machine. Szczypior grew up in schools with an emphasis on music. He was trained to play the violin, but the force of the electric guitar was a lot stronger.. Scottie has probably always been a drummer. He grew up holding the rhythm for his fathers’ blues band. In church, these guys started to play together. So they’re a bit like Witney Houston and all those others that started their career in church. J Martijns background goes back to organ lessons in the small dutch village where he grew up. Then he played bariton/tuba in an orchiestra, but finally learned to play the bassguitar.

TMR: Why the name ‘Frühstück’ ? Is there a story behind it ?

Martijn: Yes there is a story, but we made a vow to not tell it to anybody anymore. J The plain truth is that the word FRÜHSTÜCK just looks good.. And in music, that is what matters most..

TMR: Who writes the music/lyrics in ‘Frühstück’ ? .. how do you get in the mood for writing music? And which bands/situations have influences you for writing music and lyrics ?

Martijn: We co-work on all our material. Usually, the music is already done before the lyrics and melody are written. That’s the process where someone comes with an idea, and we start jamming around it at rehearsals. I sing some melodies and some spontaneous words, and slowly the thing takes form. This creative process is a lot of fun, but it’s also hard work sometimes. Especially when I don’t have any words yet. Finding the words is sometimes an exhausting process, because I usually sing from my heart, from my experiences.. And life isn’t always easy, so to try to express your thoughts or emotions about that is difficult when you are still looking for the words.. And if you don’t have words set yet, it’s also heard to sing a melody with passion. So there’s a few different pieces of the puzzle that need to fall into place.

There have been a few instances, where the melody and music was prepared by one of us, before we started jamming. For instance KID. Los wanted to express his love for his children. He wrote the music, made the melody line. All I did was propose some lyrics that expressed what Los had on his heart and mind. Since I am also a father, it wasn’t so hard to make it a personal song for me as well.

TMR: How do you describe the music of ‘Frühstück’ the best ?

Martijn: I don’t know.. What do you think? I guess there is some dirt in it, some rawness. But then, there is also order. There is control. There’s spontaneity, joy and there’s sorrow. There’s hard pumping machine moments, and there are moody melancholic intervals..

TMR: How does ‘Frühstück’ stands in life till events in the world, religion and politics and in which proportion stands that till your music and lyrics ?

Martijn: For sure we have individual opinions and attitudes toward the world around us. We probably wouldn’t vote on the same politician. We go to different churches and so on. But we have a lot in common in the way we look at the world around us I think the most important thing we have together is that we look at life as much as we can from the perspective of Jesus Christ. He came to love, to heal, to seek that which is lost. At the same time, he was very clear in his message; towards the religious people of his days. But also to people that thought that “here and now” is all that matters.. Jesus very clearly spoke about the end of time. What we want to do with our music is express something of Gods loving heart to people. Challenge them to love God and live for God with all their hearts, minds and strength. Especially because the world as we know it will not last forever. Political and economical Systems are falling apart because we are greedy and egoistic, but Gods kingdom of power and love will last forever.. A new heaven and earth are being prepared now, it’s time to get ready..

TMR: For a lot of bands the lyrics are just a accidental circumstance, but for some bands they use them to communicate ! ..can you tell us how that is for ‘Frühstück’ ?

Martijn: I think I said something about that in the last question. I think every band, every artist has a message. Even LALALALAAA bands have a message: “nothing really matters, let’s just party”. Our message is something that is written deep in our hearts..

TMR: Is there a highlight you will always remember, since the beginning of ‘Frühstück’ [1997] ?

Martijn: I remember when we won a competition for young bands. We had driven 7 hours to play a 15 minute set.. But we won and got to record our first demo.. Which gave us our first recording contract.. Song of Songs festival in Torun 1998.. Studio DR, our first CDs.
I also remember some concerts where the presence of “something” bigger than ourselves was being felt by a lot of people. We believe that God can work through music with His Spirit. Like when David played on the harp to comfort the depressed and upset King Saul.. And when that happens now, people are touched, healed and helped. It’s not our power, we’re simply a mirror, reflecting something of Gods glory..
Our tours to Latvia, Croatia, Austria and the States were highlights as well. We also enjoyed playing at Flevo in Holland in 2009.

TMR: And the worst thing were ? [if there is one]

Martijn: Ah!! Lots of them as well.. Let me see.. We have driven a lot of hours to many concerts were actually hardly anyone showed up.

TMR: What is your favorite album top 5 of all times ?

Martijn: It’s hard to make an all time list.. But for sure some U2 would be on it; they were important for me when I grew up as a teenager. Other CD’s that I carry around: Ben Harper, Bob Dylan, Daniel Lanois, Fruhstuck, Moby, MUSE, The New Regime, Peter Gabriel, Radiohead, Richard Bona, Rolling Stones, Seal, Simple Minds, Sinead o Connor, Smashing Pumpkins, Violent Burning.

TMR: What makes you laugh? 

Martijn: I love English humor: Fawlty Tower, some Monthy Pyton.. I love practical jokes. I love when something unexpected happens. I laugh when human arrogance and superficial ceremony get brushed aside by an old lady that doesn’t have to prove anything anymore.

TMR: How do you promote your band and shows ?

Martijn: posters, facebook, personal invitation. Word of mouth..

TMR: How do you prepare for a show? 

Martijn: Musically, we prepare. When it is a special event, we work on some visuals. We do that actually too little. I’d like us to do more.. But because of the realities of life and other things we have to do, we just don’t always have the time.. Unfortunately..

TMR: Describe your show, visual and musically ? And tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.

Martijn: Like I said, sometimes there are some visuals, but on the whole, our performances are back to the roots of plain rock n roll.. A few guys on the stage.

We’re off this week for a few shows in Poland. We’ll support our friends Ocean, another polish rocking band.

For next year, we’re planning a few concerts in London again, and we’ll play concerts all over Poland probably. We’d love to come to Holland again as well. Why you should be there? Because I think there is a chance that you’ll meet with honest, authentic rock and a heart that longs to express what’s on Gods heart.

TMR: Name some of your favorite bands to play with live [past and future] and tell us why ?

Martijn: We’ve played with some great bands..
No Longer Music – because they’re fun, radical and really know what they want to do.
Verra Cruz – because they play so loud, that their girlfriends back home in England could hear them while they were playing in Poland..
The Violet Burning – I liked their passion back in the ninetees.
Fire Fly – because of the spiritual presence of God during their concerts and the high level of emotional force.

TMR: What is the dumbest question you have ever been asked? 

Martijn: I guess we get tired of people asking about the name.

TMR: Do you have a life philosophy / favorite quote ? 

Martijn: „Never give up”.

TMR: Are you visiting many gigs and what do you listen to these days? 

Martijn: I’m too busy with other stuff to visit many other gigs. I listen to some mellow stuff these days; old stuff as well: Van Morrison, Jeff Buckley..

TMR: Tell us about the hardrock/metal scene in your area please?

Martijn: The hard rock / metal scene in Wroclaw is quite large. But I think the core of that scene you’ll find in the industrial parts of Poland; in Silesia (Katowica and surroundings) and also maybe more up north, in the Gdansk area, where you can feel the Viking spirit.

TMR: What is your favorite ‘Frühstück’ song ? 

Martijn: For me, there’s a lot.. Because every song has its story and also memory. On the last album, I really like Quiet, Louder than words, and Grow Up.

TMR: What’s your outlook on the record industry today?

Martijn: I don’t like it in general. There are exceptions; like our label in the US; Youngside. They are unfortunately going out of business now. Also, we owe a lot to Deo Recordings in Poland. But about major labels here in Poland, I only hear sad things. Greed and music don’t go well together in my opinion. Greed kills freedom in creativity.

I know some very cool bands here with a lot of potential, that just got paralyzed by strangling contracts.. But my perspective is very limited, because I’ve never been on the “good side” of the balance.

TMR: What can you tell us about your latest album ‘Quiet’ [such as the recording proces, the songs, record label, who did the artwork ?]

Martijn: I think the most important thing about QUIET is that it took seven years to make. We recorded the first tracks, then our drummer left for England. Then our guitarplayer left Poland for a while. And so the process was very slow and often frustrating. But we stuck with it and slowly added new tracks to the recordings. We learned a lot during these years, and we grew a lot in character and musically as well. So, looking back, I’m very happy that it took this long. Now, we are in a different season. We’re actually preparing to record our next CD this February.

The artwork was done by a friend of us. The asian angel on the cover is of a Korean friend of us that lives here in Poland. That as a fact is interesting as well. For years, foreigners were very rare in Poland. But in the last 5 years, I’ve seen a big change. Many nations are investing in Poland, students are coming. And society is becoming a lot more international. Coming from Holland, I love that and I also fear that; because I know how difficult it is to build up a society with different cultures.

We were heavily involved in the production process ourselves, but the majority of the glory has to be given to Jacek Milaszewski, who worked very hard at making this one of the best things he has made so far.

TMR: What are your plans for the near future ? 

Martijn: The new album (working title 2013) is in its preparation process. We’re working on 24 or so songs at the moment, so we have enough material to pick from. Like U2 always says: “The songs sound great and it’s going to be quite different than the earlier material.. “

TMR: What advice would you give to fellow bands?

Martijn: Follow your heart. Your music is most beautiful if YOU make it, keep it unique. Be honest. Don’t overdue production in the studio, don’t fix too much digitally, because life concerts: that is where it should happen.

Music is great, but remember it is a tool, a gift from the greatest Musician. The Maker of the universe, the creator of harmony.. The more you’re submitted to him personally and as a band; the better it will be. Honesty is more important than perfection.

TMR: Guys thanks for your time and the interview, we wish ‘Frühstück’ all the best … Is there anything you wanna say at last? [any final statement ?]

Martijn: Thank you for giving us your time! Hopefully we shall meet at some concert once? Greetings! Martijn

Band members:
Martijn Krale – vocals
Wojtek Karel – bass
Tomek Kuzbik – drums
Marcin Karel – guitars

‘Mine’ (2000)
‘Muza’ (2003)
‘Mud’ EP (2005)
‘Be Careful’ (2007)
‘Quiet’ (2012)

Weblinks: Website Facebook

Video Below: Frühstück – Follow.

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