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Part I: Life before music

Rock Serwis: You are one of the world's top female bass players. What made you to pick up the bass guitar for the first time?
Val: Well, I had originally learned to play the piano as a child, but, when I got into my teens, I developed an attraction to the heavy thumping beats of the bass. Once I met Henry, he wanted to switch over to the guitar, as he was originially a bass player as well, so, I just practiced my ass off so I could keep up with him.

You were raised in a religious family. You even attended two Catholic schools for 12 years. Do you think your childhood had any impact on your adult life?
Look at what a freak I am. What do you think?! :-)

I know that The Cars are one of your favorite bands. Can you name your past and current favorites?
I grew up when MTV had just begun, so I was exposed to everything from Devo to Judas Priest and I'm thankful for that! MTV today in the US sucks! I hear very little new bands that I really get excited over; I get more excited listening to the old metal bands; Priest, AC/DC, White Zombie, Motorhead, etc.

Part II: A life in Pist.On

Was Pist.On your first band?
It was my first serious band! I played in a few others that I consider "practice" now looking back.

Pist.On was described by many music journalists as a cross between Metallica and Paradise Lost. True or false?
I never even heard or heard of Paradise Lost until we signed with their manager. I think the Metallica thing was a result of Josh Silver making Henry sing like Hetfield on that first record. They were never considered an influence though!

You are good friends with Type O Negative. Your first record Number One was produced by Josh Silver You can be also heard singing on one of their records - October Rust. How do you recall working with them?Are you still in touch?
We don't really keep in touch at all anymore. We've all basically gone our separate ways in life. I sang on "In Praise of Bacchus" because I was there during the recording and I worked cheap!

Does Peter Steele scare you?
I would think that I scare Peter much more than he could ever scare me. I'm sure he'd agree.

Shortly after finishing your debut album guitarist Paul Poulos and drummer Danny Jam Kavadlo left the band. Later your second drummer -Jeff McManus was told he had only six months to live plus you had numerous other problems not easy to solve. Bad luck, curse or a fatal fate?
All three!

Ok What's the story with dropping the dot in your name for Atlantic label in the US?
Atlantic Records refused to release anything that "referred to bodily fluids". We were against it from the beginning but no one ever cares what the band thinks when that much money is the issue!

After releasing your second album $ell.Out your band went on hiatus. Henry have satisfied himself that Pist.On wasn't active for almost year and a half. He said, "My current [back in 2001-Rita] situation made me attempt to disappear from the human race for the past three months". - Can you tell what happened?
Allegedly he went into a deep depression, but looking back I think he just needed a little attention and knowledge that some people still cared.

In statement published in January 2001 on your official web site you wrote, "We realized that we are happier being miserable together than being miserable apart and beside that we all tried to join other bands. But nobody wanted us so we are all doomed to stay together forever." But six months later you annouced your departure from the band. Why?
Because I was tired of trying to hold things together. Looking back I realize that it was just a selfish effort I made to keep the band going when no one else really wanted to do the work anymore. It was probably a mistake, but, if it did nothing else, it made me realize that I definitely had had enough. I regret things turned out the way they did to this day, but, it was a question of whether or not I wanted to keep my sanity. I chose to keep my sanity.

Part III: Life after the band

Ex bands should be remembered fondly:What was the best thing that has happend to you while being in Pist.On?
Without a doubt the two things I am proud of; the friends that I made whom I still keep in touch with and the places I got to see and things I got to do that very few people are lucky enough to. Meeting some big rock stars wasn't too bad either. :-)

"Val will be missed as she was my friend and my business partner for many years, but the show must go on." These are the words of Henry. Is there a band without Val.Ium?
That's a question for Henry to answer!

In an interview for Delirium mag, you said, "I'm pure evil ... don't come near me." Are you still that angry ?
No,my anger ran out when I left PistOn I think. My bitterness remains, though.

You used to write for British edition of Metal Hammer. Do you plan the return of "Vanity Case"?
I doubt Metal Hammer would care to hear from me at this point!

What are your plans for the near future?
I am going to school to get a degree in textile design.

Part IV

Is there anything nice you would like to tell your hard core Polish fans:? :)
Sure. I'd like to say that I appreciate every moment that I was fortunate enough to live my life as a musician. There is nothing like it in the world and I encourage anyone who wants to do it to work hard and not give up, as long as the fire burns within you. I also say thank you to YOU for even being interested in listening to me!


By Rita Dabrowicz

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