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    by Kevin Wilson

    Varsovia (formerly the Poor Richards) is an increasingly popular rock & roll act based out of Lexington. They are getting a lot of buzz these days and for good reason.




    LDC: What were your influences growing up?


    Cedric Warner Sparkman: The melodies of The Beatles, the phrasing of Frank Sinatra and the near-operatic timbre of Roy Orbison were huge influences on me.  Being involved in the theatre from a young age as well, David Bowie's creativity on record and on stage has had enormous appeal for me. 

    LDC: You guys sound international. So, to what extent does your Kentucky heritage inform your art?


    Jason Matuskiewicz: I would hope that big, star filled skies and hills densely covered in trees and small winding creeks informs our music as much as existential alienation and surrealism. 


    LDC:What brought you all together and what is the band’s shared vision?


    Sparkman: Slater and I have played music together growing up, Laurence and I shared a love of English pop music.  We met Andrew through a fri/files/storyimages/and a band was formed.  Jason has recently joined us, taking over Bass duties while Laurence moved to second guitar in order to give the band a fuller sound live.  As for our vision, I think it is simply to make great pop records in the old fashioned sense: music that is simultaneously accessible, melodic and artful.

    LDC: Is there a story behind the name switch?


    Sparkman: None of us were ever really fond of the name - we drew it out of a hat.  We just sort of settled on it.  The last straw as far as changing the name came when a certain website grouped our songs with another band named The Poor Richards.   I stumbled upon the name Varsovia (a long unused Latin name for the city of Warsaw) and found it phonetically pleasing.  It can't mean anything, because it's the name of place, a dead name of a place, in fact.


    LDC: When do you plan to return to the studio? Word on the street is that you guys might actually record in German?


    Andrew Knight: We are heading back into studio with Duane Lundy (Shangri-La Studio) here in Lexington in early March. We'll probable record an A and B side single … albums require a lot of time and money. Warner is fluent in German after extensive travel in Germany during his youth. In some ways, the German lyrics were a default placeholder for future English lyrics, and in other instances it presents an edgy and unconventional component to our sound. If German contributes and best communicates the sound we search for, then German it is.

    LDC: How would you describe your music to someone who has never encountered you guys? What do you hope people take away from a careful listen?


    Slater Ferguson: I would describe it as rock and roll. Bright guitars, driving bass, and great vocals. I hope the music makes people happy to listen to, something that they can really relate to. Hopefully they would notice that we really craft these songs musically, and pay a lot of attention to musicianship and accessibility.

    LDC: Lastly, what can folks expect from your Louisville performance this week?


    Knight: A solid show from five extremely attractive and intelligent young lads.


    Varsovia and Indie Favorite Stacy Rock play the Rudyard Kipling Friday March 7th. Details TBA.

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