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Traq (Piotr Traczyk)

English | Polski

Artistic Career

a biased autobiography


As far as I know, I was born on the 10th of October, Anno Domini 1977, in Warsaw. I started playing the guitar around 1991, so I was about 14 then. My father has been playing the instrument and singing songs by Jacek Kaczmarski (a "bard",popular in Poland), so it was inevitable that his oldest son had, at some point, to learn the Am, E and Dm chords. About a year later I had to disappoint my teacher - when I managed to save some money and we were considering buying a telescope, I suddenly got a new idea and... bought an electric guitar. I started spending more and more time playing it. My first guitar idol was Brian May from Queen, then I heard Joe Satriani's The Extremist and saw on TV a guy named Steve Vai. Ouch!
August 22nd, 1995 is listed as the date of my first singing&playing session with my brother Wojtek, who was at that time a (quickly learning) novice bass player. We used to meet in my or his room and played Alice in Chains, singing all the vocal harmonies. At that time I didn't suspect that I was going to sing in public, or even worse, record my singing and have to listen to it myself. In the year 1996 (april 7th to be precise) I bought a used guitar, made in Poland by Marek Witkowski. It's still my main guitar today. Half a year later we had (the guitar and I) our first public appearance (fortunately I didn't think about singing yet). With some friends from my High School, we played a little show on a school party for the graduating students.

The & record

Wojtal, Mary i Traq During a skiing trip to Zwardoń in the same year (1997) I met Marysia Grunwald, also known as Mary. I also met other people, but with Mary I recorded a CD. With my brother Wojtal we gathered 14 songs - some stuff by him, some of my instrumentals and some songs that I wrote for the occasion (during recording for instance). One song didn't make it to the record because none of us could sing it properly...
I recorded the material at home, on my PC. The drums were sequenced, guitars and bass were recorded by Wojtal and myself, and the vocals were done by everyone, in different combinations. I invested in a CD burner (a very rare gadget back then) and in March of 2000 the first CD emerged. It was titled simply &, as a shorthand for Traq & Mary & Wojtal. Till the end of 2002 we mananged to distribute almost 100 copies among friens and friends' friends. I also made some songs available online.


 Vara during a showOur first complete band was formed in the Spring of 2000. Mary was the singer, I played guitar and sang, and Franio (Łukasz Krajnow) played the second guitar. Wojtal shifted to jazz and, after purchasing a double bass, went to music college. We were in desperate need of a rhythm section, having been offered to play in one of Warsaw's high schools. This way Edwin Jastrzębski on base and Przemek Zieliński on drums joined the band. We played a lot of covers - Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Metallica, and also a song called Dirty Tricks - the biggest hit from the & CD.
That was more or less the time when I started having ideas about making a CD with pop and disco hits in rock arrangements. We played three of these songs - Oops I did it again by Britner Spears, Livin la vida loca by Ricky Martin and Get Down by Backstreet Boys. We played our first show, still under the name of &. Shortly after that, we renamed the band to Vara, and under this name gave a 3-hour show in the Hoffmanowa high school in Warsaw (which is the school that I graduated from). You can see some pictures from that show on the band's web page.

Dance Hits vol. 666

 Recording sessions for the Dance Hits CDThe CD titled Traq & Friends - Dance Hits vol. 666 appeared a few weeks after said concerd. Remaining faithful to the original idea, it contained pop and dance song covers. The arrangements were made more or less heavy and I invited a bunch of guest singers and a guest guitarist to make it more colorful. The drums were sequenced, bass guitars also because I didn't have time to record them. All the vocals and guitars were recorded in my room. Like the previous one, this CD was distributed among friends for a small price. It became most popular, however, in the Internet, after I placed a bunch of songs for download on a polish free mp3 page.

Vara - the new lineup

 The new lineup of VaraIn the summer of 2001 we played a show with the band Vara on the annual "Day of the physicist" event in the physics departament of Warsaw University, from which I was just about to graduate. Other two bands playing were Roundup Country and Scandall Cafe. This meeting has later proven to be fruitful, when the rhythm section playing in both these groups joined our band - Piotr Konarski, known as Tonic and Rafał Turek (at the time not yet) called Mentos. On July 29th we played our first show in the new lineup, under a temporary name Traq Project. Motorcycle riders gathered in Nieborów had the opportunity to listen to our live performance of five songs from the Dance Hits CD.
Soon the name of the band was changed to Vara - for a change - and that's what this band is called now. We currently play about 10 songs from Dance Hits, we've written a couple more along the same lines, and also took few songs off the & CD. You can find more details about the band on out web page -

Scandall Cafe

Scandall Cafetranslation pending...

Deszczowe Psy

Deszczowe PsyThe band Deszczowe Psy (Rain Dogs) was formed in late 2001. The lineup featured the usual rhythm section (Tonic on drums and Mentos on base), a second guitarist Tomek Targoński and Szymon Wydra as the lead singer. Picking a name for the band was a particulairly painful experience, with ideas like "Mr. Muscle and the Moving Targets". We finally chose to name the band after the Rain Dogs album by Tom Waits, which actually sounds really stupid in Polish, and a large part of the band was ashamed of the name and refused to tell it to their friends.
The plans were very ambitious and we were on our way to becoming a big name worldwide. We wrote over ten songs, played a few shows, but before we managed to record the CD that would conquer the world, our singer took part, and actually won the third place in the Polish edition of the TV show Idol. Thanks to that he now gets recognized on the streets and we don't. He left the band shortly after that. What remains is some recordings, balancing between pop-rock melodies written by Szymon and heavier/progressive/whatever stuff from the rest of the band.


YokaShinYokashin is a band that Tonic played in in the 90's and had to records out, before the band broke up. We got in touch with the singer from Yokashin, Zbyszek Bieniak after Carlos left our band. Initialy, he was supposed to sing in our band and we were to record the third Yokashin record with him. We soon decided to merge the two projects, savig a few of us from playing too many bands. We now have the material for a new CD ready, and demoed, 6 songs have been recorded in a studio for an EP. We made a music video, shooting it all by ourselves with a mobile phone (the first ever music video filmed that way!), which helped us make our way to some TV shows. Another video is in the making and we're stuck trying to find funds for the release of our EP. For the most recent updates check the band's webpage -

That's it! Congratulations to everybody who got this far!


State for October 2006