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?
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
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,
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.
Is there anything nice you would like to tell your hard core Polish
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