His band is taking the world by storm. But who would Grzegorz Kwiatkowski be if he weren’t a musician? Filip Lech asks the Trupa Trupa frontman 10 quick-fire questions.
Which artist has influenced you the most and why?
In the field of music – Glenn Gould. In the field of literature – Czesław Miłosz alongside Thomas Mann and Thomas Bernhard.
What can’t you imagine doing without in your creative work? What are your work rituals?
I think the cleaner the better, the more monotonous the better. That’s the only trick. I guess I’ve just been doing the same things the same way for over ten years. The monotony allows me to focus on tilling my field, which over time has changed into a pit due to this very meticulousness.
If you could start over, what else would you do professionally?
I have this one backup plan: setting up a company that takes care of graves and cleans cemeteries. It’s work in the fresh air, in beautiful surroundings, with a certain philosophical burden.
What piece of art – in any field – do you consider a masterpiece?
I’d like to vote twice: Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain and Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology.
Your favourite character from literature, film or TV?
Hans Castorp from The Magic Mountain. I think it’s because he managed to keep himself in a state of constant astonishment and immaturity. I would love to have these tools at my disposal for as long as I live as long as I didn’t end up hurting other people.
The perfect book for a trip?
The Magic Mountain.
Where would you take someone visiting Poland for the first time?
To the dendrological garden in Wirty, 70 kilometres from Gdańsk. It’s my favourite place.
What’s your favourite drink or dish?
Buckwheat, three fried eggs, tomatoes with garlic and oil. And two white Kit Kats for dessert.
Your first paycheck?
In my early high school years, I worked at the Cymes bakery. I was in charge of baking French pastries. I worked there so I could make enough to buy my first electric guitar.
The happiest moment in your career?
I really am not a fan of the word ‘career’. Generally, all of the worst things that have happened to me, the most critical, all turned out, paradoxically, to be the happiest moments and the most artistically fruitful. However, looking at it purely hedonistically and through an excursional lens, they were trips or literary residencies. So, if I have to choose, I would vote for my residency in Vienna and in Graz. In Graz, in particular, because I lived in a castle on a mountain in the very heart of the city.
In the musical category, it would have to be the open-air concert, thousands of metres up, we did on a mountain in Chamonix – with Mont Blanc behind me. And performing at the Desert Daze festival in the middle of a desert in California.