БАТЮШКА - Krzysztof Drabikowski Obviously the European tour was cut short due to the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic and unfortunately you know more than most about that due to contracting the virus yourself, how did it affect you, everyone around you and are you lucky enough to be able to put that all behind you now?


Yes, I went to hospital with infected lungs because of Covid instead of performing the last 3 Polish shows. I came home on the 12th March, just after Berlin gig, so we were able to play 14 of the 17 planned ones. Anyway, I was happy because we did a lot, it could have been cut earlier and also because it was the day when my youngest son had his birthday so I had the opportunity to spend that day at home with him. Initially, he was supposed to come to me in Warsaw to spend his birthday there. I have never missed my children's birthday and I'm not going to. It's so important to me. I didn't know then that I was infected, so unfortunately my eldest son got infected from me too but it's good that all is over now. I still have a reduced lung capacity, I get tired faster, I feel like an old man, a grandfather. I try to make up for it through intense physical effort in the woods, where I built a log house without nails. I'm just pissed off at myself that I'm not able to do it as effectively as before. When I do nothing, I feel bad.



How does it feel to finally have your creation БАТЮШКА back on tour and playing the music that you created to your fans once again?


I missed that. I missed the rush at the rehearsal before the concert, solving unexpected problems, quick city sightseeing, talking with friends, rocking in the nightliner bed. You know, I had almost a one year break. I didn't know what to expect, but as I saw, it was worth it. There were a lot of people. I saw many familiar faces from my earlier shows. They knew where and when I was playing, even without social media.


It must be a great feeling for yourself that you are performing your music to sold out shows across Europe including here in London, when Krysiuk has had to cancel everything he has booked due to poor ticket sales?  

People hear the differences, what is fake, what isn't. He got a piece of what he deserved. 



The БАТЮШКА fan base seems very strong and it is also very loyal to you and your music. Has this motivated you even more to get your music out to the people?


Yes, it's so nice to see that some people hear my music in a similar way as me. I have a lot of support from them so it would not be fair to hide my new music, but first, it would be great to visit some of them while playing live. Has this motivated me? Probably yes but it also has a bad side. I was critical of myself but now I'm even more so. I don't want to show them shitty stuff, so we will see in the future.



The last time we spoke we were awaiting the release of your second album “Панихида” Panihida which you decided to release via your own label Sphieratz Productions. Are you happy with how everything has gone seeing as you have taken on so much by doing this and have done everything yourself, which is a true credit to you and it also makes every order even more special when it arrives to the buyer.


I wanted to be sure that everything would be done well because my fans deserve to be treated fairly. Last year was so hard but I see now that everything is going better and better. It was a challenge for me and I like challenges. I learned a lot. That coronavirus forced me to have some rest, recover my strength, so now I have a vacation. I needed that.



                                                                                                      
I know that Lech (original singer) has been back with you over the past year and in the build up to releasing “Панихида”, is he on tour with you and do you have any other former БАТЮШКА musicians involved in the new live line up?

Yes. I wouldn't call my current line up 'new' because I created it mostly with people I had played with earlier on "Litourgiya". Unfortunately, sometimes some of them can't do long tours because of their regular jobs but I also have a few friends from my other music projects who are ready to help.



You always seem to be creating new music of different genres all the time, do you have like a bible of unused БАТЮШКА songs for any potential future releases?

I have a lot of my music on my hard drive but it isn't finished enough to release it. I like to compose, if I have some ideas then I just sit there and record it. I'm not limiting myself to only one genre of music but my friends usually say that they hear “me” in my music. 



What are your plans for БАТЮШКА after this tour and the few summer festivals appearances (now cancelled) that you have?


I don't have plans if I have to be honest. I usually don't like to plan anything because my plans always go in a weird way, weird direction. If I make plans, I do it quietly without announcing anything and I do it with many backup plans for everything because I'm a pessimist usually and I like to be prepared for everything. I can't control the future unfortunately, so planning anything doesn't make sense. I don't like to make an ass of my mouth. As you see, even some of these festivals have to be postponed because of the pandemic. 



I just wanted to ask where everything currently lies with the legal battle against Krysiuk and do you finally have a court date set yet at long last?


There were just two meetings and I'm still waiting for another one. Who knows when it will end, maybe never. I got used to it and realised not to rely on the legal system because it won't protect you when you’re in need. What was destroyed can't be rebuilt by waiting and relying on someone who sits at the desk in the court. What would change if after 40 years of court meetings I would hear "Yes, Krzysztof, you were right, you deserve an apology". If you have to do something right, do it yourself. That's exactly what I'm doing right now. 



What restrictions do you currently have with what you can or can’t do regarding БАТЮШКА and I guess that you have the rights to Litourgiya and also for playing those songs live? 


I just can't sell merchandise with the word Batushka in Latin spelling, but it doesn't change anything because I had used Cyrillic letters earlier so I still do it.


Thank you for your time my friend and I wish you all the best for the year ahead with БАТЮШКА.


Thank you https://батюшка.pl/ https://www.facebook.com/truebatushka/

https://www.ebay.com/usr/sphieratzproduction


    

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