The Fake is a psychedelic rock band founded in 2014-2015 in Wroclaw. The band consists of Turkish, Norwegian and Polish members, and plays its own original compositions. We came across singer/songwriter Nicolai by chance and we were really impressed by the music that we just had to interview them to find out how it all got started and what is the vision.
Hi guys. There are 3 of you. Can you introduce yourselves?
-I’m Nicolai Stensland Szewczyk, I come from a beautiful little place in Northern Norway called Sømna.
-I´m Wojtas. Born in Wroclaw. Raised in the middle part of beautiful Sudety Mountains.
-I’m Anil from Ankara. But my wish is that are no countries.
How and when was the band formed?
Nicolai – The band was originally formed somewhere around 2014-2015. It was kind of a jam project, we just met up and played some songs that I’d written, and I guess I’m somewhat of a prolific writer, to the irritation of my bandmates, so there was always something new. We played our first gig, at a New Years Eve party in Prague on 2016/2017. A very good friend of mine and excellent event manager/businessman, Krystof Diatka organized it, and he also organized a gig for us in Prague this year, and people reacted very positively to what we were doing.
Wojtas – I just found an ad on the net, lol.
I heard you guys may be looking for a fourth member, right?
Sure. Some guy (or girl) who plays keys, guitar, and sings. And he or she also has to be inspired. There was a very cool Argentinian we played with for a little while, but I guess there wasn’t enough time. So if anybody reading this is interested then let us know.
How would you best describe your sound?
Nicolai – Well, apart from a psychedelic rock/heavy rock/stoner rock, I think we’ve in some ways become more Surf-rocky (?) over the years? Then again a bit heavier. I like calling it «Desert sounding». Cause I often picture deserts when we play songs like «Bohemian Boosh», or «Fire In The Desert». With tunes like «Nekra», which sound a little different, I like to call it kaleidoscopic, cause I enjoy listening to it while watching a kaleidoscope, or things of a similar nature. But it’ll depends on the listener I suppose. Maybe we have that
«sheep running on a field» sound, or…
Anil – ….a series of vibrations that typically propagates as an audible wave of pressure, through a transmission medium such as a gas, liquid or solid!
Nicolai – Thanks Anil.That is the definitive, academic way of putting it.
Wojtas – Amateur-like musicianship and crappy vocals. Pretty landscapey music though.
I love what you guys are doing and you have your own sound. If you had to compare yourselves to another group though, which one would be the most similar?
Nicolai – Hahaha, I’m not really sure. It depends on the song. I used to be very inspired by Tame Impala, POND, Pink Floyd, and so on, and that lingers at least in my songwriting. But I listen to a lot of different things, recently I bought my surf-rock guitar, an Eastwood Sidejack, after hearing Elliott Smith’s «Kiwi maddog 20/20», which spawned songs like
«Fire In The Desert».
Wojtas – I don´t like such comparisons however I recently laughed at the idea of us being The Fake Beatles
You perform mostly your own tracks, right?
Nicolai – Yes. We almost exclusively do our own material. But since Anil came along, we’ve been experimenting with some cover songs too. But 95 % is original material.
Wojtas – Yup, our bandleader is writing something constantly. So we have a lot of material which is great for us.
How do you go about writing a song? Music first or words?
Nicolai – Depends on what strikes first. Sometimes there’s a phrase, sometimes there’s a riff, sometimes there are some chords. For instance, «I Will Break You» started as a phrase. Aleksy, one of the founding members of our band, came to me with an idea for a music video and so I wrote it to that music video. «The Fog» started with a riff, a mood, and then the phrase «Now watch the fog make things disappear» came while creating the chorus.
Wojtas – For me, the music is always first. In fact, I prefer instrumental music. But good words are always appreciated.
How many do you have right now?
Nicolai – Songs? Jeez… like… potentially 200 minutes worth of material actually. That is at least what I’ve cataloged with The Fake. And we’re also constantly coming up with new
stuff, either together, or individually.
Wojtas – As a rhythmic section we lost that count some time ago. Ask the guitarist ?
I’m an old-timer myself. I personally hear a bit of Bryan Ferry in your voice, Nikolai. Do you know him?
Nicolai – Hahaha, yeah Roxy’s use of flanger has been an inspiration in many a song. I think it’s a damn fine compliment though. I mean, I think he has a unique and quite strange voice, which is something I think is important. To be a bit strange.
How did the expats in the band end up in Poland?
Nicolai – I came here because I met a friend, the aforementioned founding member Aleksy Kubiak, in 2011, after he’d set fire to a kitchen in one of the dorms at the University College of Volda. We became friends, and once my bachelor was finished I came here for my master’s at the University of Wroclaw. And eh… I just haven’t been able to leave the place ever since. Like a lot of my friends. There’s a beautiful multicultural environment, loads of opportunities, a beautiful city, and well… Some of the best people
Anil – A friend told me some company was hiring in Wroclaw. I applied and was hired.
Who are your inspirations in the music business?
Nicolai – There are too many bands to mention… Whoever does their own thing.
Wojtas – I take my inspirations from a lot of genres, for example, Jazz, Rock, Fusion, Death Metal, Drum and Bass to mention a few.
Anil – Camel
You all have full-time jobs right now, right?
Nicolai – Yes. I run two companies back in Norway, a company called Stensland in Norway, as well as a label/entertainment company called The New Thing.
Wojtas – Yup. One has to survive.
Anil – I do unfortunately
Do you hope to make this a full-time gig someday?
Nicolai – It would be fun! The label is already created. But for now, I guess the main goal is to release a single and an album. Something a little more than just phone and GarageBand recordings.
Wojtas – If God gives.
Anil – Yeah. Why not.
Tell us about this concert you’ve got coming up…
Nicolai – We are playing a gig at one of Wroclaw’s more underground clubs, ALIVE, on Kolejowa 12 street. It’s on Thursday the 28th of June. For us, it’s still one of our first concerts as The Fake. So we hope people will want to join us and check out what we do. At this point, the best and pretty much only way to hear our music is to hear us live.
Wojtas – I´m looking forward to it. Played there before and it was always a nice experience.
Anil – It’s always nice to play live.
Well, it’s been cool meeting up with you guys. Good luck for the future. If you make it to the bigtime then remember me! To see The Fake live, visit underground club ALIVE on the 28th June
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