TSA

TSA (short for Tajne Stowarzyszenie Abstynentów, or “secret society of abstainers”) is a Polish rock band regarded as precursors of heavy metal in Poland. The band was founded by guitarist Andrzej Nowak and bassist Tomasz “Whatfora” Zatwarnicki. While the band was founded in 1979, it has only been active during distinct periods since—1979 to 1989, 1990 to 1992, 1998 to 1999, and part of 2001. Its most recent lineup includes Marek Piekarczyk (vocals), Andrzej Nowak (guitar), Stefan Machel (guitar, backing vocals), Janusz Niekrasz (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Marek Kapłon (drums).

TSA was founded in Opole, Poland, in 1979. During its initial period of activity, the band worked briefly with many different musicians before settling into a steady lineup in the fall of 1980. Shortly after this, the band performed at the XI Autumn Music Festival (XI Muzycznej Jesieni) in Grodkow. Taking third place, the band was given the opportunity to record in the studio of Polish Radio Broadcasting in Opole. They recorded six songs, which were later played on the radio. In 1980 and 1981, the band played at a series of concerts before recording and releasing the 1981 debut singles “Mass Media” (no Polish title) and “Setback” (“Wpadka”). The singles together sold more than 250,000 copies. By the end of the year, TSA was regularly playing at sold-out concerts. They also released a second single, before briefly suspending activity.

In mid-1982 the band resumed, playing a variety of concerts and releasing singles, before beginning work on their first studio album, TSA, in November. The album was released in 1983. TSA’s popularity reached its peak in 1982 to 1984, with frequent concerts, chart-topping songs, and a gold record for the singles “Confessions of a Contester” (“Zwierzenia Kontestatora”) and “51.” However, a riot led the city of Kolobrzeg to ban performances by TSA, and a festival performance was interrupted by further violence. Nonetheless, the band continued playing. By the end of the decade, TSA had played concerts in the United States, Germany, France, and Russia, as well as Poland.

Later, the band took a break for a while, facing difficulties maintaining a stable lineup of musicians. They hen resumed with somewhat fewer performances than it had earlier. After a tour in the United States, the band separated in 1992. TSA resumed in 1998, quickly becoming popular once more despite conflicts between band members. The band played together for a year and began a series of recordings before separating again. Since then, TSA has released one album and several compilations and performed a reunion concert to benefit children affected by Sanfilippo syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.

 

The early hit “Mass Media”:

 

Lyrics for “Mass Media”:

Chciałbyś czasu dużo mieć
Robić w życiu nie chcesz nic
Volvo ci się marzy też
Reszta to na wodę pic!
Telewizor, kino, piwko… Jak przyjemnie!
To jest całą twą rozrywką
Twe ambicje poszły w las Wychowały cię mass media
Nie wysilał się twój mózg
W szkole była też tragedia
Choć ci nie szczędzono rózg! Chcesz się wyspać, najeść, napić
Chcesz panienki ciągle rwać
Kabzę szmalem tez chcesz nabić
Chcesz od życia tylko brać
Lecz nadejdzie taki czas
Że nie będzie już co brać
Wtedy nie zostanie nic
Tylko zacząć ostro pić! Wychowały cię mass media
Nie wysilał się twój mózg
W szkole była tez tragedia
Choć ci nie szczędzono rózg!

 

A later hit, “United Fiesta” (“Wielka Fiesta”):

 

Lyrics for “Wielka Fiesta”:

Maszerują ludzie, słychać równy krok.
Duma ich rozpiera, już otarli pot.
Pracowali ciężko przez okrągły rok.
Dzisiaj maja święto, wiec maszerować chcą!

Kto nie idzie z nami,
Ten przeciwko nam.
Kto nie idzie z nami,
Ten wróg!

Już odlatują ptaki,
Do lasów pośród pól,
Krwawo zachodzi słońce,
Lecz jutro będzie znów chłodny świt.

Uśmiechnięte twarze, w oczach szczęścia błysk
Odświętne ubrania założyli dziś
Nad nimi sztandary szarpane przez wiatr
Idą zwartym tłumem, niechaj zadrży świat!

Kto nie idzie z nami,
Ten przeciwko nam.
Kto nie idzie z nami,
Ten wróg!

Heeeeeeej!
Już odlatują ptaki,
Do lasów pośród pól,
Krwawo zachodzi słońce,
Lecz jutro będzie znów chłodny świt.

 

This entry was written by Helen Herring, a finalist for a Home and Abroad Scholarship through SRAS.

SRAS specializes in study, research, and travel abroad to Russia and Eurasia. SRAS also maintains this site and provides free info for students studying Russia and Eurasia. Explore our resources to find out more!