Metalzone.gr Webzine Interview (EN)
Hellena Mihailidou from Metalzone.gr interviewed the band. Read the entire interview translated in English!
Metalzone: It’s always a big pleasure for Metalzone to host Greek bands that present an album able to stand next to expensive foreign productions and even sound better than many of those.
Welcome to Metalzone once again, via Internet this time! Your debut album, “The Ivory Tower”, released last year, was amongst our best album choices for 2013. Tell us about the feedback you’ve been getting so far as well as selling figures.
Dee Theodorou: First of all and above all, thank you once again for having us and for the kind words, which are so important to us; they are solid proof of the good job we’ve done. Our album was released in physical form in Europe last May and the following August in Japan. Things have been going unexpectedly well so far, regarding feedback and sales, showing that fans actually accepted and even embraced our music. First thousand copies were sold out within two months, based on preorders only and the second edition has already been released. We are only referring to the album physical form, not the digital downloadings yet.
What about the feedback you have been receiving from the Japanese market and the fans over there?
George Papantonis: Our album was actually a successful release in Japan! We are thrilled in terms of the feedback we received. Had very good reviews in general and, according to given information, the album is very close to become sold out or already sold out again!
We recently watched your very first video, “Pale Moonlight” via Intenet. Tell us about that sort of experience. Should we expect another video?
Niki “Icon” Danos: It was an unforgettable and unique experience for the entire band. The weather was on our side that day, as you might have seen. We have chosen a very special territory in Piraeus… Got there, had our first morning coffee, set up the gear and then began shooting. It lasted about five hours. Everything went really well, under Domenik Papaemmanouil’s – our director – supervision and guidance; Domenik had conceived this video concept in the first place. Naturally we’ve had lots of fun, too, as there were people – family and friends – on location as well, helping with the video shooting. Yes, we are thinking about doing another video clip, in a different manner of course. It might feature actors playing to the album concept, it might be a live clip… A live clip is always a whole different issue, as we will have to do it during a live concert and we will only have one take there… Either way, you will be posted in due time.
Last year we had the pleasure to host a Metalzone radio show with you guys playing your songs acoustically. Should we expect a live performance soon? Any news?
George Konstantakelos: We are thinking about it… We have some proposals we are looking into… No announcements yet though. Our label, The Leaders Records, are on top of this 100%, trying to get the best deal in order for our first live gig, since the album release, to be the one we always wanted. On the other hand, we just can’t wait for that moment… to get on stage and play a fantastic gig! Last summer we’ve had an offer by a great American Metal band, to follow them, as opening act, throughout their European tour. Unfortunately, due to a number of reasons, we could not go. The band is always ready for live gigs; we live and breathe for live shows!
I do know that you are extremely active, rehearsing regularly and all. Any ideas for new material? Can you give us a hint?
George Papantonis: Of course we have! We’ve always had ideas and we will always have, every one of us! We have been working on new songs for a few months now, in our studio; getting close to complete the drum tracks recordings. Hopefully, our second “child” will be ready within 2014. Regarding what you are about to listen to, it will definitely be more fresh and maybe a bit more Prog, comparing it with our debut. No, it won’t be something the likes of Rush or Dream Theater… It will be a completely Heavy Metal album, with the Prog element present in many of the songs.
What does your experience tell you about music industry today? Have you had any bad encounters? Something you regretted, something you will take extra care of, concerning your next release?
Costas Koulis: We have said it before and surely say it again in the future… Music industry has “achieved” to become one of the worst forms of exploitation. Especially for the new bands, over the last few years. Fortunately, we’ve had the ability to make the best possible choice, signing up with a label that fully understands us. The people behind The Leaders want what is only best for us, nothing less. As for the bad encounters… They only had to do with certain people we trusted, people that later wanted to harm us. We simply left them behind. We do not wish to regret about the things we decide to do… These are our choices, we cherish them, we tend to learn from them. Speaking of our next release, we are extra careful of the deadlines, we want to be completely on schedule and present a quality “product”. We just want to achieve the best possible result… until our next release!
Would you like to share with us one of the funniest stories you remember, as a band?
George Konstantakelos: Funny story… I gotta tell you, I do remember a bunch of such stories over the years… We were playing at this live stage in Athens, “Revenge Of Rock”, and I was getting ready to play the “Gutter Ballet” intro… Set my keyboards with an amazing piano sound, had an ideal light show and atmosphere for that particular song… And then, one of our guitarists, hit my partition notes with his guitar! The notes fall off and hit a button on the keys and then the most ridiculous sound popping out! Everybody was laughing their you-know-what off!
Should you have the ability to create an ideal concert, to present your material, how would you organize it? What venue would you choose, which bands to play along, etc?
Costas Koulis: I’m positive that everybody in the band would say that our punch line would be to play the entire album live, also including some more songs plus a few covers… and more! Probably some visuals projected during the gig, plus a number of guests to sing with us, with lovely Mary Tirou being No 1 in that guest vocalists list. Mary has also sung in our album! As for the venue… We need a GOOD live stage, featuring the sound we crave, a warm establishment, to make our audience feel great since minute one. It would be “An evening with Illusory” exclusively, for all those into our music.
We have the pleasure to ask Dee, the voice of Illusory: are you doing any special exercises and practice certain “remedies” in order to maintain your voice in that shape? What advice would you give to someone wanting to deal with that?
Dee Theodorou: Well, there is a bunch of such exercises; I’ve managed to adapt some of the classic ones, which are really helpful, especially as warm-up methods before a gig. One of my own “tricks” is to do the classic lip roll, mumbling the first verse of the Iron Maiden “Revelations” song in a variety of tones. It really helps to get my voice warmed up, in order to achieve to transport from chest voice to head voice and vice versa. I learnt to sing on stage, via lots of live gigs and not in a conservatorium, the truth is though that I had to read and practice a lot, studying classic set up and techniques. What I usually do and recommend to every singer out there… I don’t mess with my voice during rehearsals and band practice. For instance, when I have ten rehearsals prior to a live gig, I tend to “mark” the songs over the nine ones, preparing myself for the gig. I pick one of the rehearsals, which is never the last one, to sing 100%, just to make my bandmates feel great! (laughs) I just love live gigs!
We do hope to have you with us soon again! Would you like to send out a message to the Metalzone.gr viewers?
Shine On The Ivories!!!
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