Biografie Riverside. The story of Riverside began in Piotr Kozieradzki's car while he was travelling with Piotr Grudziński. An idea was born in their heads to play neoprogressive music. This idea later materialized in the form of a new band – Riverside. At that time, Grudziński was playing the guitar in a metal outfit Unnamed, while Kozieradzki was playing drums in death metal bands Hate and Domain. To the surprise of Grudziński, "Clutching at straws", a song by a neoprogressive group Marillion, was being played through Mittloff's car speakers. It turned out that they were both interested in progressive music and would both like to have a try in this genre. A suggestion to meet at a rehearsal was put forward and it came off some months later, in late 2001.
Another person that took part in that rehearsal was Jacek Melnicki – a keyboard player that owned his own recording studio. That first jam session was allegedly not too inspiring but the second one changed everything. Melnicki brought in a new musician – bass player Mariusz Duda. From this point, the newly-founded project was a quartet what is even more important, during one of the rehearsals that followed Mariusz revealed his vocal talents. The other musicians liked his vocal improvisations used in then-still-instrumental early musical sketches and Mariusz became simultaneously a singer and a bass player.In 2002 Kozieradzki, Grudziński, Duda and Melnicki, already as Riverside, made their first serious steps. They performed live twice with their own material and in October they entered the studio to record a promotional demo. It was released in March and it gained a lot of attention in the music industry.
Demo, entitled Riverside, was the quartet's first sign of future success. The record contained 5 compositions – "The Same River", "Out Of Myself", "Reality Dream", "Loosing Heart" and "The Curtain Falls". The tracks served as an early example of the band's already big potential. They marked their wide musical territory clearly stating what might be expected from the band. They revealed their inspirations and at the same time declared their desire to look for innovation and develop the band's own style.
300 copies of the demo were gone almost immediately. The band sent them to radio stations and record labels but the bulk of it was given to their friends and the audience that came to their spring show in Kopalnia club in March 2003. Then the music spread thanks to cd-recording devices. The demand for their music grew bigger and so it was time to record the first full album.
The LP was recorded with the old line-up but in a new studio with Magda and Robert Srzednicki mixing all the tracks, including the ones from the demo CD. New compositions – "In Two Minds", "I Believe" and "OK" balanced the album and showed a more delicate and acoustic side of Riverside. The debut album, eventually entitled Out Of Myself, was released as a concept-album, as it was decided by Mariusz Duda who wrote all the lyrics.
The band, thinking mainly about its fanclub members (the fanclub named "Voices In My Head" was established in autumn 2004) released in March 2005 an EP "Voices In My Head". It was supposed to keep the interest in the band alive and make the long wait for the new album more bearable for the fans. At first it meant to be only a limited CD for fanclub members. Eventually, it was also available in music shops, which was a good move as the almost 40 minute release was full of interesting sounds. Apart from three live versions of the songs known from the debut album, "Voices In My Head" also contained five new compositions.
Riverside entered the Serakos studio in July and wrapped up their work by the end of August. The effects of their work were handed to Mr. And Mrs. Srzednicki who produced the album and Jacek Gawłowski who took care of the mastering. Worth mentioning is the fact that the cover for this album was created by Travis Smith who previously worked with bands like Anathema, Opeth or Katatonia. The recording and production of the album went without any problems so the new record, eventually titled "Second Life Syndrome", was released in early autumn 2005. First copies were delivered to fanclub members on October 31. The record was released by InsideOut at the same time all over the world.
The Piece Reflecting the Mental State of One of the Member of Our Band – an instrumental track that did not make it to the album. It's included on "Conceiving You" single. Fast, aggressive with an interesting guitar melodies. A staple of early shows when it was played as an encore. Like the title says, it was supposed to reflectthe mental state of one of the group's members.
Many doubts were dispelled on "Second Life Syndrome". Riverside proved that they aren't a one-record band – they managed to handle the pressure easily and recorded an album very different from their debut, yet equally good. On "Second Life Syndrome" the band is even braver and more self-confident in what they do.
Two releases were prepared to make the wait more bearable for the fans. The first of them was given to fanclub members in March and contained a DVD of the entire show played in Den Bosch on 20.04.2006. The second one was a single from the forthcoming third album. It contained two versions of "02 Panic Room", "Lucid Dream IV" and "Back To The River", previously played during live shows. The single reached the stores on June 15. At that time, Riverside was playing a small tour as a special guests of prog metal icons Dream Theater on their "Chaos In Motion" tour.
Seven times did Riverside open for Dream Theater. Sharing the stage with such a great band was both a reward for Riverside and a big challenge, as well as a chance for further development of the quartet. It's a huge chance for us to reach more people – said Mariusz – thanks to this tour, our dreams became a bit more real. Ten years ago, Dream Theater was a big band for us. Their albums "Images & Words" and "Awake" were like some sort of bibles of prog for us. Being with them on a tour now is a great thing and we will do our best to be great partners for them.. I believe we can do it. And although their first joint gig in Katowice wasn't really perfect, the next shows in Berlin, Esch and Bonn earned them many warm reviews.
In July the band played at some festivals in Germany and Turkey and in August, thanks to a radio journalist Piotr Kosiński, a large portion of the band's new music saw the light of day. In his programme called "Noc muzycznych Pejzaży", Kosiński presented three new compositions from the forthcoming album – "Parasomnia", "Embryonic" and "Through The Other Side". The band spent the whole September preparing for a big Polish promotional tour.
"Rapid Eye Movement" was released in Poland on September 24 by Mystic Production. InsideOut released the record in Europe and The States on Sptember 28 and October 9 respectively as a double CD.
Journalists and fans were curious why a double cd version was released and why was not it available in Poland. Mariusz explained the story behind this somehow strange publishing policy in one of the interviews: The plan was like this – in Poland we're releasing "02 Panic Room" as a single with some additional tracks, and outside Poland those tracks are included on a double CD version of the record. InsideOut is famous for releasing albums in various different versions, including limited editions with additional music. They wanted something more than just tracks from the single that, let's be honest, everyone can download from the internet. Initially we wanted to include some videos there, but we abandoned this idea. We had two unfinished tracks from the recording sessions. When we finished and recorded them, they turned out to be quite decent tunes. Those two last-minute tracks were "Behind The Eyelids" and "Rapid Eye Movement".
Only a couple of gigs were played at that time but the fans had no reason to complain about. In February and March, MTV and VH1 played the video clip for "Panic Room" and the single with that composition became golden on March 12. Five days later, another single, "Schozophrenic Prayer" was released. This single was a way of repaying the debt to the Polish audience who, up until that time, had some trouble obtaining the tracks from the second disc of InsideOut's international "REM" release ("Behind The Eyelids", "Rapid Eye Movement"). The single contained the title track in both its original version and a remix, two mentioned compositions from the second disc of "REM" and a new track – "Rainbow Box". As a bonus, the fans got a video for "Panic Room". Over 30 minutes of music, not counting the video.
There was no chance, however, for a Lunatic Soul tour as, at least at that point, it was strictly a studio project. But in November there was a new Riverside tour. As usual, the band first gave a couple of shows in Poland (playing, among others, a fantastic show at Radio Wrocław) and then headed for Western Europe. The highlight of this tour was a gig in Amsterdam's famous Paradiso Club. The show was broadcast live in the Internet. Those who attended these gigs could purchase the band's first, although limited, live release "Reality Dream". This double CD album contained almost the entire performance from Toya Studios gig played in May (with the exception of "Loose Heart", "Dance with the Shadow", "I Believe" and "Lucid Dream IV").
The November/December "Reality Dream" tour was the final farewell to the trilogy period. In summer, the band had already started working on a new concept and new compositions for their fourth album – "Anno Domini High Definition". In late January 2009, Duda, Kozieradzki, Grudziński and Łapaj hit the studio (this time it was Studio X in Olsztyn) to record this next Riverside album. At the same time, a special new internet site was launched, where the musicians informed their fans every couple of days about the recording process, uploaded some photos and lyric samples from the new album. While the band worked hard on the new album, fans could buy some more new limited releases. The band decided to pay their respect to the history of music and released their albums ("Out Of Myself" and "Reality Dream") on vinyls. These albums were released by Primal Vinyl Records in January.
Fans got used to the album's title "Anno Domini High Definition" as it was known as early as mid-2008 that it would be the name of Riverside's fourth full studio release. I was looking for a title that would be connected with modern times, a title that would be up to date and would contain some elements popular these days – said Mariusz in an interview for Interia – So the result is a mixture of High Definition technology and a disorder which, as it turns out, a big part of our bustling society suffers from. Apart from that, I wanted four words as it is our fourth album.
The album was supposed to be a loose concept made up of five compositions, each telling a story about people that try to catch up with the galloping and overactive modern world. Our album is not about TV sets, iPods or modern media but about the rush our civilisation suffers from – Mariusz explained in "Teraz Rock" – It's about the fact that we don't have time for anything and that those who are left behind are not the people who don't work on improving themselves – they just don't run twice as fast. Because nowadays, you have to run twice as fast if you won't to keep up with the whole world.
There were many positive reviews also from other countries. High notes were given by rock, artrock and metal reviewers from Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and even Russia, among others. It seemed that most of the listeners welcomed this new album with a great relief and satisfaction. Fans rushed in great numbers to their local music shops even before the release date and thanks to this, only three days after reaching the shelves, "Anno Domini High Definition" debuted at number six on the list of best-selling albums in Poland. This was, however, only a foretaste of a real success because only a week later, the album was at the very top of this list, defeating the new releases of Polish pop stars – Andrzej Piaseczny and the band Feel.
The new studio album will, as usual, be promoted by a two-leg tour. It will probably be the biggest tour in the history of the band so far. In late September, Riverside will kick off with a twenty-date tour across Poland and then will have around thirty gigs abroad.