The rift between Batushka guitarist Krzysztof Drabikowski and vocalist Bartłomiej Krysiuk continues to grow. In a new interview with Dark Art Conspiracy, Drabikowski gave an update on the whole situation, as well as further background on what happened between the two.
For the most part, nothing has really happened since the lawsuit was first filed in mid-2019 except a failed attempt at mediation. Said Drabikowski:
“Almost nothing happened still. Court tried to avoid reading all the evidence and sent us to do mediation first. So I had to listen to all his funny ideas to fix this situation, and I had to pretend to listen to him and take his words seriously. I didn’t want him to try to block my first Kiev show [November 9, 2019] with the new album. But after that show, I stopped the mediation to make things faster. So, we will finally have a first court hearing soon, after ‘just’ one year of waiting.”
The split was initially reported back in January 2019 with Drabikowski and Krysiuk each claiming Batushka as their own. First Drabikowski announced on a since-deleted Instagram post that Krysiuk was being let go:
“due to inappropriate behavior on his part” and “attempts to take my creation batushka away from me.” Then Krysiuk ended up taking over the Batushka socials, claiming that “Kris… was told earlier this month that he would not participate in Batushka activities as we move into 2019” and that Batushka would be “moving ahead with plans to release new music and begin a new touring cycle in 2019!”
In the last year, both Drabikowski and Krysiuk both released albums under the Batushka moniker, despite Krysiuk being told not to by the courts. Drabikowski’s album, Панихида, was released in May and was followed by a string of successful tour dates, including a sold-out show in Kiev in November.
Drabikowski said in the interview:
“The whole music was composed before Krysiuk left the band. I did half of that album even before started playing the Литоургия album live. I recorded drums, bass and all guitars in my studio Sphieratz. Exactly the same where I recorded Литоургия. I waited with finishing that album, I mean with recording voices. I knew already that I don’t want to cooperate with Krysiuk on the second album, he knew that too. I postponed it until tours with Литоурлия were finished.”
Krysiuk’s album, Hospodi, was released in July and though he planned to tour behind it, many of the dates were cancelled due to illness. Drabikowski refutes this point, saying that the real reason Krysiuk’s tour was cancelled was poor ticket sales.
“He cancelled it due to low ticket sales, large venues for one or two thousand people were booked and only around 40 tickets sold two or three weeks before. The same with an Australian tour and European shows. He is not very proud of it so he tries to keep it secret, and comes up with some weird “reasons”. The mediation didn’t block him at all. He can play still, but as we see, almost no one is interested.”
According to Drabikowski, the bad blood between him and Krysiuk began almost immediately following the release of the band’s debut album, Литоургия, in 2015 and subsequent touring. Said Drabikowski, who was working on his second album at the time:
“When he quit just after the last gigs with my first album, I continued recording the Панихида album. In the meantime, I figured out that he wanted to cheat me. I was pissed but it wasn’t a strong enough reason to stop me from doing my things anyway. I started working on lyrics and vocals, then I invited people who are close to me to record their voices.”
Outside of the lawsuit, Drabikowski plans to continue touring behind Панихида in 2020:
“I started touring, three shows are done, for now, soon there will be a February-March tour with Malevolent Creation, then some festivals. Probably I’ll also visit some countries that I have never visited before. I don’t have any pressure, I’m just playing wherever people invite me.”