Reckoning Hour Webzine Interview
I met ILLUSORY at their own studios in Athens. They were rehearsing at the time, however… There was no other way but to interrupt!
Further to your debut album and having already listened to it, I wanted to meet you in person in order to find out more about you guys. I remember you as “The Ivory Tower” and now you have become ILLUSORY… What happened? How come you’ve changed your name?
Dee: The story is more or less known by now… There is this German band, with the same name, and we would be facing both legal and commercial problems in case we moved ahead with that name; not a pleasant thing to do. You see, we started in 1992 as “Ivory Tower”! We have had strong bonds with this specific name, the older members mostly. Although we came up with that name a few years before the Germans, we did not make any move to trade mark it… it’s something we regret, even today. ILLUSORY was one of the hundreds of names following our brainstorming and we really like the sound of it and the fact it is so close to “Ivory Tower” as a concept. “Ivory Tower” also means “Utopia”, a very similar word to ILLUSORY.
“The Ivory Tower” is a concept album, featuring the story of Steven Towers. How come you came up with that idea?
Costas: The Steven libretto… It’s a story like the ones you like to read about… The village kid makes it to the big city. Then he tries to make the difference… He succeeds and becomes a mighty asset for the community, he becomes rich and then manipulates everybody under him. His staff, his partners, his friends… his very wife. When my band-mates started creating the songs, the idea just popped up! The concept was at hand and everything was downhill from there on… I’m sure you’ve read something like this before, however, in this case we are also dealing with a person so much involved with his lies that he actually considers them as the only truth! Steven Towers is the kind of man we don’t (?) want to be. I should also point out here that the end of the album is not the end of our story. We will be featuring Steven’s character in our next album, too. But then again… this is another story. We will be talking about this soon… Before the end of this year.
Okay, now I’m curious! Your next album is also going to be a concept one? Is that why you are in the studio?
Jon: No, of course not! The fact that our debut is a concept album does not mean we will be permanently making such albums. It’s just that Steven’s story is not over yet… We will have one song about it in our next album. We are thinking about having one song relating to our “Utopian Story” in every album… We’ll see how that goes. At this point we are recording tracks for our sophomore! We wrapped up drum recordings a week ago and continuing with guitars. Our sound, our style are being renewed, featuring many additional elements, as we have all those influences. We are also rehearsing due to upcoming live obligations!
Are you going to play live soon? What’s the plan?
George K: We have something ahead of us, in terms of playing in Greece… We are also waiting for an opening act slot… We’ll keep you posted.
What is the feedback so far?
Niki: In general, the fans like our music. Music editors have been positive to us up till now! Plus, radio DJ’s and TV hosts get good feedback about us as well. Fans are frequently asking about our live shows schedule, in order to form a complete view about us. Positive feedback is totally satisfactory, giving us the necessary push to try and become even better!
How can one become better? What does it take to make it?
Jon: Το become better… It takes some simple things to do for some people… It takes more complicated stuff for others. Naturally it’s a good thing to accept negative comments and study hard in order to correct flaws. Being humble helps, too… To be able to see how you move, more carefully that is… Those having the cooperation spirit inside, these people can help and be helped, therefore they can become better. The most important thing for me is the soul of man… When you dedicate your soul to it, to the things you’re working on, then you’ll become better in time, that’s for sure!
You’ve made your very first video clip for “Pale Moonlight”. What was it like? Satisfied with the result?
George P: We are deeply satisfied with the result. It was a tremendous and unique experience for all of us. We tried following every instruction our director, Domenik Papaemmanuil, has given us and I believe the final outcome mirrors that. Shooting took less time than we thought and that is mostly because of our tendency to completely follow our director’s orders. We would also like to once again thank Domenik and the crew for helping out, making this video become reality. Actually, we are in the process of shooting our second official video; we have spoken with a new director and we have a new cooperation in stock, one which will be widely discussed…
Would you blame me for asking more about this cooperation? How come you decided to make a second video?
Costas: You may ask all the questions you want, concerning our upcoming cooperation! All will be revealed in due time, which means you’ll have to wait a bit to know more. The main issue about this video is the way to coordinate it. A new director has approached us… He told us he really likes what we do and that he has come up with some interesting ideas. We talked about it, then brainstorming led to this cooperation-surprise… You will be notified about everything, there is nothing secret here. Second video is equally necessary with our first one. We have already presented ourselves and our music, we drew some attention, however, we could not possibly stop there. We need to constantly try; we have just begun releasing albums. Second video will promote our debut, leading to the days we will announce our sophomore album release.
What about the “new guy”? How is Jon Moodrix doing?
George P: He is doing great! He has already given some good samples and he sees things the way we do. You will see it, too, in the process.
Dee: Truth is I was a bit worried… You see, our previous guitarist was in the band for more than ten years. Every part he did for the songs was entirely of his own technique. We were looking for guitarist with his own style, a guitarist able to play our songs the way they should be played. Jon is a charismatic guitarist, a true chameleon… He’s close to Dimitris Kourmousis style-wise, yet he’s got some very attractive aspects in his playing. So far he’s got more than 80% of the album set and he’s being groomed for his first live appearance with us and the upcoming recording sessions. He’s really into our band and that is most touching!
George K: Jon is an amazing guitarist; he’s got some great ideas to share with us and, above all, he’s a good person. At first I thought it would be different due to the fact that he’s quite younger than us. Luckily, I was wrong. I’d dare saying he’s totally covered the parts of our previous guitarist, Dimitris Kourmousis. Yet we must thank Dimitris a lot, as he’s been really helpful by giving Jon the proper assistance in order to get the songs right.
Niki: He’s really into it, he’s very cooperative and he’s taken all issues like we do. I feel great that our band has found a new member equally in love with music! I just doubt whether he’s equally crazy with us or not!
Costas: Jon… As I said a few days ago in another interview… Jon came aboard and gave us the right “kick” in order to focus even more to our band. His technique is exceptional, he’s a great composer, he’s got tons of ideas and he really likes what we do. I’m glad we managed to find such a great player and songwriter so soon.
Dee: Thank you so much for your hospitality and the fine review you gave us for our album! We wish you all the best and look forward to meeting you again soon. Shine On The Ivories!
Click on the image below to read the interview in Greek!