Polish black metal band Batushka made some small but powerful waves in 2015 with their debut record Litourgiya, and then some much bigger ones upon the album's re-release and band's signing to Metal Blade in 2017. The band consisted of vocalist Bartłomiej “Bart” Krysiuk, guitarist “Kris” Krzysztof “Derph” Drabikowski and drummer Jacek “Jatzo” Łazarow, though that is no longer the case.
Drabikowski took to Instagram to announce that he'd be splitting up with Krysiuk "due to inappropriate behavior on his part" and after "attempts to take my creation batushka away from me."
An important announcement has to be made today. I have decided to part ways with batushka’s singer варфоломей (bartłomiej krysiuk) due to inappropriate behavior on his part. There were attempts to take my creation batushka away from me, with the result that he will not continue to be a member of that music project and the upcoming album ‘панихида’ will not feature his voice. As songs may emerge that are not written by me but labelled as ‘batushka‘, i hereby announce that my instagram profile instagram.com/batushkaofficial, youtube channel youtube.com/c/батюшка and mail email@example.com are now the only means of contacting me. Please share this information on social media channels.
Thank you all for support and understanding
Krzysztof “христофоръ” Drabikowski
The version of the band's Instagram with that statement has since been taken down and replaced with a new version controlled by Krysiuk. Which means that this isn't even close to being over. A few days after that statement, Krysiuk took to Batushka's Facebook to announce that he had fired Drabikowski and that "Batushka is moving ahead with plans to release new music and begin a new touring cycle in 2019!"
We would like to address the statement published on the (then) Batushka Instagram last Sunday:
Kris, our former guitarist, was told earlier this month that he would not participate in Batushka activities as we move into 2019. Kris was disappointed but understanding. We tried on multiple occasions to regain access to the Instagram page which was solely controlled by Kris. We had hoped that Kris would follow through with his promises to hand back control of Batushka’s Instagram but clearly that was not the case. This prompted a claim to have any pages operated by Kris, shut down based on intellectual property and trademark ownership.
Rest assured, everything will be reinstated soon!
Batushka is moving ahead with plans to release new music and begin a new touring cycle in 2019!
MORE NEWS COMING SOON!
It gets better though! Drabikowski took to Batushka's YouTube now (which may be removed by the time this gets posted) to make the following statement regarding the status of the band. Drabikowski claims he is the author of the band's name, lyrics, music and image. He adds that he had written and recorded a new record that Krysiuk pressed him to immediately release. When he didn't, Krysiuk turned around and recorded a different second album without Drabikowski that would be released under the Batushka name.
Drabikowski adds "I have taken legal action and have been advised by my lawyer to not say anything further. All the new pictures you see on the website and Facebook page are of Krysiuk and random people like his son pretending to be Batushka."
My name is Krzysztof “Derph” Drabikowski. Most of You know me by the moniker Христофоръ, the leader and creator of the musical project Batushka. I am recording this video because I have lost control over Batushka’s website, Facebook page, webstore and as of Tuesday, even the Instagram account. This is the only way I can tell You what is happening and how my former vocalist is trying to take the band away from me. I created Batushka in the spring of 2015. I am the author of the music, lyrics, the name, the painting that you know from the album cover and the overall monk image idea. I have made the musical arrangements, wrote the melodies and recorded most of the instruments on the Litourgiya album in my private home studio. Before the finishing touches I invited Bartłomiej Krysiuk to do the vocals according to my guidelines, and Marcin Bielemiuk to re-record my drums parts on acoustic percussion. Batushka was meant to be an anonymous musical project, and from the beginning the idea was to keep the line-up unknown to the public so that the listeners could focus their attention on the musical experience itself.
The album, released by Krysiuk’s underground label, became a hit. The demand for live shows from all over the world was enormous. So, I decided to, with the help of my friends, bring Batushka's music on to the live stage. During the past two years I have written and recorded the material for the second Batushka album, and Krysiuk pressed me to release it as soon as possible. As I wasn't satisfied with the results yet, I postponed the release of the follower of Litourgiya which followed with Krysiuk declaring he is leaving the band. On the Friday of the 21st of December I learned that Krysiuk hired musicians to produce an album that he planned to release as the new Batushka record, behind my back! He also registered Batushka as his personal trademark. Before I managed to do anything, he cut off my access to all Batushka's media platforms, and tries to enforce some kind of censorship on all media interested in the band situation. In response I have taken legal action and have been advised by my lawyer to not say anything further. All the new pictures you see on the website and Facebook page are of Krysiuk and random people like his son pretending to be Batushka. Every upcoming festival claiming to have Batushka in their line-up has made a deal with Krysiuk and not me. I would like to kindly ask You to copy and share this message wherever You can. Let the truth be heard.
As of now the only true Batushka will be that without Krysiuk behind the mic.
Thank You for watching and thank You for Your support.
As of right now, the Krysiuk version of Batushka is scheduled to perform in 2019.