Released earlier this year, Cast is the debut album from Tobiasz Biliński under the moniker Perfect Son. The Polish solo-artist spent the previous eight years working as Coldair releasing three dark electro-pop albums. With some encouragement from Sub Pop’s Jonathon Poneman, Tobiasz decided to leave Coldair behind and start a new musical journey more reflective of his new positive outlook on life.

We caught up with Tobiasz on his spring tour to talk signing with Sub Pop, the decision to start a new project and playing gigs at home.


Hi Tobiasz, I read that you started out by putting on concerts in your own home in Sopot? What do you remember from those days?

That’s true. You know it’s funny because I actually forgot about that. I put on two shows in my parent's apartment when I was 16/17. It was before we even started playing clubs. We set up drums and a small PA; it was just to play for our friends. I think my neighbours still hate me. It was a fun and interesting experience.

How does it feel now to return to the Trojmiasto (Gdańsk, Sopot, Gdynia) to play a venue like Żak?

It actually feels good because I don’t come here as much as I used to. I’m here once a year maybe twice, for Christmas and Easter. A lot of old friends come to the show. Trojmiasto is a special place especially Sopot, which is a unique city with a special charm. So yeah I’m happy but I’m leaving tomorrow.

Am I right in thinking these are your first shows as Perfect Son?

This will be our third show as Perfect Son, we played our first show in Warsaw where most of us live, yesterday in Torun and now we are here.

How does it feel to play as Perfect Son?

First show was kind of nervous; I’m also kind of insane as I made the band rehearse so much. I think they hate me for it, but we are ready.

I have this impression that you’re a bit of a perfectionist.

I am, I am. I will not go on stage until everyone can play it while eating fries and stuff.

I also read that you decided to scrap half of what you recorded for Cast in Philadelphia.

I was under some pressure to finish the record to the deadline. It was my first serious record deal so I wanted to deliver it on time and so on. I finished on time but only half of it was good. I discussed it with Sub Pop and we decided to scrap half of it and I would write more songs. It’s good that I did because the songs weren’t good enough. It was pretty painful because they were already recorded and mixed.

Will they ever show up online or leak?

I don’t think so. I think I even deleted the masters.

You previously worked under the moniker Coldair what was the decision to change directions?

A lot of things changed in my personal life and this whole record is about growth as a person. Which is a very broad thing. I just matured a lot and changed so much. I didn’t plan the change in music it just came naturally. I think that’s the cool thing about music it just changes with you. You change as a person and you suddenly start making completely different music.

I was writing a new Coldair record and I was thinking that it should be dark because Coldair was kind of dark. I wrote all these dark songs but I didn’t feel that way anymore. Stuff just started to appear more sunny and optimistic. So I was like fuck it let’s go with it. It’s less depressing, that’s how I feel anyway. People still tell me that Perfect Son is not that happy. I also think the song writing is more orthodox; There’s more of the verse chorus verse stuff. I didn’t do as much experimenting. For this one, I wanted to do something very simple to just tell the story.

Was it an easy decision to start a new project and move away from the last 8 years of music?

Yeah it was super easy. I was thinking about it for a while. I was talking to Jonathon from Sub Pop and he even asked ‘What do you think about starting a new thing?’ I was like great let’s do it. You know if I had a million fans on social media I would think twice about it. Coldair was still a niche, indie underground project. It’s not that hard to reach people that already like Coldair.

You signing with Sub Pop has been a big deal here in Poland, why do you think Polish music has been largely flying under the radar internationally.

Aside from Skalpel, who signed with Ninja Tune there hasn’t been too many Polish artists who have signed with a big label abroad. Maybe some more have but I don’t know about it. Poland is kind of secluded we are close to Russia and I think people in America think we are a weird country that they don’t want to care about in a way. Maybe not about the country but don’t care about the music that comes from Poland.

Now, not one but two acts have signed to Sub Pop and that might encourage people to want to check out the music scene more here. At least that’s what I hope will happen. Maybe more labels will also look more at the scene here and stuff.

Perfect Son was actually a track on Coldair’s The Provider, what is your fascination with the idea of ‘perfect son’?

I kind of meant it as a little wink towards people that new that song and Coldair. Also this track is about weird family dynamics in a way, and how a few years back I was a little messed up and the exact opposite of a perfect son. Now that everything has changed so much, I got married, I have a kid on the way and I have a dog, I never liked dogs and know it feels like this fairy-tale thing is happening. Things are suddenly okay and I’m nicer to people, so obviously it’s not a serious name and I hope everyone can see that. I would also say it’s an inside joke in my family. I would probably have to speak to you for an hour to properly explain.

The latest single from Cast is ‘Promises’ and I was wondering what was the last promise you made to yourself?

The song is more about promises you can’t make. I don’t really make promises, I believe things are random and stuff happens. Life’s too complicated for promises.

What are your plans for 2019 after your spring tour?

Yeah we’re touring Poland and getting our live show together. Then I’m having a little break because I’m having a kid. Then we’re playing OFF Festival in Katowice. Then in September/October we’re planning a European tour.