At a certain age you started playing together with other people, what kind of bands did you play in?
I started out playing in several bands as a keyboard player, and then my first band where I sang came out when I was thirteen years old. It was something like a school cover band. I tried to evolve, encourage the guys to write our own stuff and level up, but the chemistry wasn't too powerful. So I left, and I was more of a session musician to bands that needed singers. Or at least that 's what I went for at first, until I checked out what the rest of the band wanted and what was the overall goal. I changed many bands, that is why now I have created Enemy Of Reality, cause I never found what I was looking for, and even if it felt like it, later on things changed.
What bands/artists did you guys grew up with that one way or the other had a undeniable influence on your musical development?
When I got into the rock and metal music, I started out listening to Marilyn Manson, SepticFlesh and many other similar bands. Philip grew up with Slipknot, Ozzy and the likes. Thanos was into all the classics (Iron Maiden and such), Rage, Symphony X and such, to darker stuff like Cradle Of Filth. Pretty much the same as Steelianos, adding some more prog-stuff (Dream Theater etc.) These are just some of our early influences and things we love, later on we listened to many different stuff and changed directions, sometimes darker or harder, sometimes softer, depending on the age and our feelings at the time. Music is directly connected to one's psychology, so it is only logical for something like this to happen.
You are a musician, so it is obvious a lot of well-known artists inspired you to start to pick up an instrument yourself. Which other musicians do you admire?
Personally, starting the piano was a result of my interaction to someone not well known. My own sister. She is older than me, so I listened to her studying pieces that we heard in many versions by classical pianists. Beethoven was one of my most favourites. In a similar way, Steelianos was inspired by his older cousin, who introduced him to the world of guitar and heavy metal, listening to Metallica at first, alongside with other genres, such as classical and Greek folk music. Thanos got into the music and many instruments influenced by Iron Maiden if 'm not mistaken. Philip was mostly influenced by Joey Jordison. Others too, but he loved his nerve in their live shows so this pushed him to evolve behind the drumkit.
Who is still on your wish-list to play music with and why?
I could mention many names, all of us could, really. Generally we share a common view on the subject. We do not want to play with someone just because he 's well known. It 's important of course, but it 's not the world to us. It mostly matters to play music with bands that we love and grew up listening to, meet them as people and observe their live work, mostly backstage, so that we can learn stuff from them. Everybody mentioned previously as influences are definitely in the list, they are legends to us.
Enemy Of Reality just released its second album. Your first album got very good reviews. What happened from that moment on until the recording sessions of you second album?
We promoted 'Rejected Gods' with many live shows abroad, until we felt we have a next album to release to the public. So we started the pre-production, almost certain on the concept of the next album, and started building chapters. Each of us got in the mood of each chapter and created a similar feeling through his musical parts played, sang or composed. Later on the whole thing came to life after some time in the studio.
The second album is also receiving a lot of good reviews, it is obvious you are not a local Greek band anymore. So you might be at a difficult point when things are working out, but might conflict with daily jobs. How are you handling the current situation?
Steelianos and myself are both teachers, he is a guitar coach and I 'm a vocal coach. When we need to travel for the band, we do not keep anyone back in the material and progress, there are just days that we work literally from the moment we wake until we go to bed so that all of our students keep up with their progress as scheduled. Thanos and Philip work in jobs where they can get days off work when they need it. It is not the easiest thing as many times you need to catch an early flight to be back in the evening and work, for instance. But that 's part of the magic of being an active live musician, being in different places within a matter of hours.
Knowing there are a lot of bands and that relatively just a few stand out, how are you going to be a distinctive band?
The truth is that nobody reinvents the wheel. Some bands sound different because some of their elements are more or less intense, or have a specific characteristic either in compositions or in the overall fusion of different elements. In this way, EoR walk in an interesting path musically, one might say. The guitars are pure metal, the symphonic and cinematic components are clear and the lyricism or 'majestic' elements if you will, as the intense outbursts are components that stick to the people who have heard our stuff. Also, as a band we 've chosen to use concepts based in Greek mythology, at least for now, and this is another thing that stands out as a part of our identity.
What are the things that inspire you to write your music? And what message are you trying to deliver? And how do you stay fresh when it comes to songwriting?
Inspiration comes from everything really, mostly from within, but the truth is that particularly in 'Arakhne' we all became part of the story and it inspired us. We entered deeply into the storytelling. That 's how concept albums work. To me that is how they should work, at least. You have to tell the story musically to the listener and play with the 'colours' to awaken the desired feelings. As for the staying fresh part, the more we compose, the better it gets!
You are besides singer also a vocal coach, if one would like to be coached by what kind of singers do you coach and what to can one expect from you as a teacher and coach? Can anyone ask you/hire you as a coach?
There are no limits to that. I teach all kinds of vocals (apart from growls, not exactly my field hehe) When you 're a coach you have to practice and study and update your knowledge to enter different kinds of singing. Everything evolves around us. I may have studied opera and sing operatic and clean vocals in EoR, but when you teach you have to expand in order to match the students' needs. I always aim to 'open up' and build up the student's voice, teach them how to place their voice properly, lead them according to their voice in the style they can and want to sing, help them evolve as musicians, help them perform second-third voices and much more. Of course any one can ask me to coach them, I love my job so I 'm easy to approach.
You are an extraordinary skilled singer, there are a lot of singers that are good but not that extraordinary. What would your advice be for nowadays singers?
Thank you very much for your kind words! Honestly it 's very moving to hear these words because you get the feeling that partially your work is being rewarded! As an advice I 'd say: Play with bands that allow you to bring out your talents and the best versions of yourselves. Find your own personal identity and be sure about yourselves, and of course study hard!
What are the current future plans for the band?
Mainly to promote our album as much as we can and play as many live shows as possible!
Alright, this wraps it up for now. Thanks a lot for answering my questions. If there is something you like to add to this interview, please feel free to do so…
Happy new year to all of you, with good health and happiness, and don't forget that to express in a healthy way through music you need to evolve personally from within first.