Polish grindcore madmen Third Degree recently released their new and second album Outstay through Selfmadegod Records, an effort with references to Napalm Death and Extreme Noise Terror, but still with a unique sound. I decided it would be appropriate to ask the band some questions and bassist Piotr "Fazi" Paltain was the one appointed to answer my carefully prepared questions.

Piotr "Fazi" Paltain interviewed by PSL

How has the response been to Outstay so far?
So far most of the reactions for Outstay have been positive, of course, not everyone likes it, and it would be rather strange if everybody did. We humbly accept every criticizing word. We don't get offended if somebody doesn't like what we play; it's a matter of taste isn't it? And as I said before the vast majority or reviews is quite positive.

What do you think is the biggest difference between your debut Oblicza Terroru and Outstay?
The material was recorded by two different line-ups [laughs]. But seriously, the debut was more crust-like than Outstay. Our new record is much more mature than Oblicza Terroru. It's been seven years between the recordings of the albums. Many things have changed in the band and what I said in the beginning may be funny, but it's true. Only two people remained in Third Degree from the line-up recording Oblicza Terroru. Szymon had little influence on the songs on Outstay as he hadn't been in the band for about a year and returned a month before the recording session began.

Your music is quite diverse. You don't just blast ahead all the time like so many other bands. Is it important for you to keep a fine balance between the fast and the slow in the music?
Well, we write our stuff spontaneously, everything happens during the rehearsals. We've never thought the way that if there's going to be a fast part in the song we also need to put a slow one in it. What we care most about is that the song is in your face, and it's quite obvious that sometimes a slow riff smashes a listener more than the fastest blasts.

Are there any bands in particular that have been a source of inspiration?
Napalm Death, Brutal Truth, Terrorizer, Disrupt, Neurosis, Godflesh, Jesu, Extreme Noise Terror and Slayer. These bands are the most important probably. Every member of the band listens to quite different kinds of music. We don't restrict ourselves to listening to the extreme tunes only. Every kind of music we listen to has an impact on us, but I can't say how big the influence is. We don't want to copy anybody, it so happens sometimes, unconsciously and I'm sure everyone playing music knows what I'm talking about

The lyrics are they mainly based on everyday things or is there a bit of fiction in there too?
Jungi isn't telling stories. His lyrics are the commentary of the surrounding reality. First of all, let's say that "Piggsy" is purely fiction, but it's inspired by the computer game. Jungi and Gonzo are computer games maniacs. That text is a good fun, but some people interpret it as the mockery of the "gore" kind of lyrics writing. Two of the compositions which are on Outstay are more poetic, and that's why we didn't translate them into English. We felt we wouldn't be able to fully express the content and emotions of that text in the English language. If you look at the whole outcome of Third Degree's creativity you should see there's no place for literal fiction in our texts, most our lyrics written both by me and Jungi, should be treated as comments of the surrounding reality.

The name Third Degree does it refer to burns or is there another meaning with the name?
No, "third degree" is an idiom and it defines a brutal witness interrogation by the police to make them confess and pledge guilty. We didn't have any burnings or scolding on mind.

You've recorded Outstay in Studio X by yourselves. Was this your first and only choice and what were you reasons for choosing that studio?
The studio we have in our city offers enough sufficient conditions to record a CD there. Why should we go to another city and spend much more money if we could do it in our home town. It was quite natural for us that we would record Outstay in Studio X. Marcin - the studio owner, offered us a very good price, so that everybody was happy with the situation. Our aim is to support each other and if our friend can earn some money thanks to us it's very good.

I think you have achieved quite a thick and punchy sound for a grindcore album. Was it important to get that smashing sound and do you think you achieved it?
Through seven years of activity Third Degree has worked out its characteristic sound. Furthermore Szymon was sound engineer on all our material. We knew what to expect and we fully reached our goal. Of course there's always something to improve here and there, but as a whole we're quite happy with the sound on the record.

You've worked together with Selfmadegod Records for quite some time now. What initially made you decide to work with that label?
We've known Karol for quite a few years. The first thing SelfMadeGod Records put their fingers on was the split with HWC and since then it has continually happened that if we recorded something Karol would suggest to release it and it has been going like this to this very day. SelfMadeGod Records is a company developing very rapidly and quite honestly none of previous Third Degree's material has had such big promotion as Outstay has. Since the beginning we've known that the co-operation with SelfMadeGod Records would be a good thing for Third Degree and we hope it will continue this way for long.

I'm aware that Poland is a stronghold with regard to death metal, but what about grindcore how does the scene look with regard to that?
As far as the grindcore bands in Poland are concerned it isn't that bad. There is Dead Infection, Squash Bowels, Antigama, Neuropathia, Rzeznia, Toxic Bonkers, Vomigod, Herman Rarebell, Parricide, Deformed, Trocki and probably many, many more that I don't know or perhaps their names have slipped my mind. As a matter of fact the bands I mentioned before are the band we have a relatively close contact with. The scene itself I don't really think exists. It's a frequent situation that bands playing grindcore are put together with metal or punk bands during the concerts and sometimes the audience doesn't really know what it's all about. Earlier when the divisions in the alternative scene were smaller it was nicer and more pleasant, but I'm not saying it's all shit now. Last year we played two tours in Poland and it was okay.

Do you have any live shows coming up in the near future?
Right now we're experiencing some sort of stagnation with regard to concerts. We have to wait and see what happens. We get some propositions occasionally. The most certain tour at this point may take place sometime in the spring and we'll try to go together with our friends Antigama.

Anything you wish to add to conclude this interview?
Thanks for the interview and the interest in the band. Greetings to everyone wishing us well and hopefully maybe we'll come to your country for some concerts some day.

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