“I was born on the dawn of a new society and I feel lucky that my eyes could see people standing up and being who they want to be…” This quote borrowed from Cinderella’s ‘One For Rock’n’Roll’ perfectly portrays my early days. I was born in Bydgoszcz, a city located in northern Poland – a country that hardly equalled the Western Europe or the US back in the 1990s, if we talk about big concerts or access to music-related releases. I was to grow up to the world of girl groups, hip-hop and techno, the world that witnessed MTV’s demise and sad decease of many icons of the popular music. And yet – in these early days of mine I was lucky enough to discover something else than most of my peers were able to, and get absolutely and irrevocably hooked on rock’n’roll.
My first exposure to rock music was when I was about five. It was when Queen released Freddie Mercury’s post-mortem masterpiece ‘Made In Heaven’. Recorded on a cheap cassette that was owned by my mother, this album opened up brand new doors for my five-year-old self as it introduced me to the sweetest sound ever, this of the electric guitar. I was no older than seven or eight years old when I discovered the likes of ABBA, Alphaville or A-Ha as well as the ‘80s Polish rock music: Oddzial Zamkniety, Lady Pank, Lombard. In the late 1990s I shifted to more contemporary things and went through my early teenybopper phase. But even though there were Britney Spears and Ricky Martin posters on my bedroom walls those days, I always felt there’s something missing in the modern-day pop music. What might have been fine for my Britney-obsessed peers, somehow was not fine enough for me.
Meanwhile, I also developed my lifelong love for writing – I kept a journal as well as wrote some lyrics, short stories and poems – and the vivid interest in popular music. I watched MTV Poland almost 24 hours a day and focused on the music-related sections in teenage magazines. While other ten-year-old girls looked up to the glossy photos of Britney or Christina Aguilera, I was devouring every interview with these pop stars and every article on them, dreaming one day I’m able to write one on my own.
Finally, towards the end of 2000, my destiny as a music freak was fulfilled when I discovered what was “fine enough”. It was when I got exposed to Bon Jovi’s ‘Dry County’ music video and although I couldn’t relate to its lyrical content because of my age and language limitations, it was a two-part guitar solo performed by Richie Sambora that changed my way of perceiving music and made me replace Britney Spears’ ‘Oops... I Did It Again’ CD with Bon Jovi’s ‘Crush’ released at the time. A year later I discovered Aerosmith only to come across bands and artists such as Def Leppard, Guns N’Roses, Alice Cooper, Whitesnake, Poison or Warrant while watching newly created Polish channel MTV Classic almost 24/7 in 2004-2005.
This was when music became the biggest and the most important part of my life, and it remained so throughout my whole adolescence. I spent most of my teenage years listening to music, watching the music videos and rockumentaries, reading the bands’ biographies and dressing up in denim and leather as my newfound love of Saxon suggested me to. Shifting from glam metal and AOR to Heavy Metal, NWOBHM, blues and Southern Rock, I was discovering hundreds of bands, songs and albums each year. It was 2008 when I attended my first concert at the tender age of seventeen – a Polish rock legend Oddzial Zamkniety playing in my hometown. The first foreign band I saw was the Welsh heavy metal pioneers Budgie (with a guest participation of ex-DIO and Giuffria guitarist Craig Goldy) a year later. This one, along with Winger (2009), Europe (2010), Saxon (2011) or Aerosmith (2013) are some of the most important memories of my entire life.
The date on my time machine being now 2009, it was February or March when I thought about putting together the two things I always loved: music and writing. With my childhood dreams of becoming a music journalist in mind, I wanted more than just some amateurish music-related articles in the school newspapers. Soon I started to contribute to the two Polish rock-oriented webzines: HardRock.Com.Pl and Hard Rock Service with my album and concert reviews, and in August 2009 I did the very first interview ever – my interviewee being no one else but one of my greatest heroes, Kane Roberts.
It was two years later when thanks to Bruce Mee I started to contribute to Fireworks/Rocktopia and, thanks to John Kindred, also to the US-based webzine Hardrock Haven. This meant getting to know the true meaning of the word ‘workaholic’ and becoming one ever since – to date, I do interviews, album reviews, music-related book reviews and concert coverage for both outlets. Outside Fireworks and music journalism, I have studied English since 2010. I major in Cultural Studies, my Bachelor’s thesis having been completed on Madonna’s representation of postmodern femininity and my Master Thesis to be completed on the question of identity in Southern Rock.
My other interests/hobbies include gender studies, popular culture, postmodernism, American Studies, psychology, interior design, photography and travelling. Still, it’s music – 80 s melodic hard rock, glam/sleaze metal, AOR, 70 s British Glam Rock, Heavy Metal (especially NWOBHM), Power Metal, classic blues, 80 s pop, 70 s disco – concerts and music journalism I truly live for. Having a chance to talk with some of my music heroes about their stunning endeavours and to spread the word about less-known artists and releases worth one’s attention is a true honour and the most rewarding challenge ever. Let’s hope the present day remains only a beginning of “the journey filled with wonder” that, in Biff Byford’s words, is “waiting just ahead”.