Rockap Interview

My friend Vangelis, we want to thank you for participating in our collection and for participating in the interview. A big thumbs up for your music. Let’s begin the interview.

As a first question I would like you to tell us about your musical past?

We want to know everything. Where you have participated, in competitions, other bands, your influences, your taste, the reason that you were involved with this music.

I want to welcome in my turn you and the readers of this wonderful e-zine! I’m very glad to be hosted on your website and I really wish you the best!

First I started at 7 to learn piano and music theory. After 5 years of study I stopped the piano lessons and started a wind instrument the Horn, while apart from rock and metal music, generally I was exploring new “fresh”, if you wish, tunes (I wasn’t a big fan of classical tracks), I started to learn jazz piano with a very good teacher Paul Ioannidis. Not to expatiate I used to play horn with the band of Heliopolis for ages until I finished high school while I was writing with the help of my harmonium just some simple pieces.

As a student in the university, from 2001 till now, actually started the composition as a band of 4 children with much zest and enthusiasm to play progressive metal was created. The band was named Equal Vector and was originally supposed to be an instrumental band but then Leonidas Chatzimichalis (vocals) came to our team and we made a demo in 2004 and an album named “Aspectations” in 2009.

We played in several concerts during this period with the peak the opening concert of Pain of Salvation in the mill in November 2004. In 2005 I also joined the Kinetic where we spent 6 wonderful years together until early 2011 playing in many wonderful concerts with that stand out in 2007 at Rockwave in Malakasa. We also made a new album named “Corrosion”. At the same time since 2009 and after I attended a couple of groups playing Greek/foreign rock in various music scenes. My main influences have not changed much in the last 10 years, of course I always love to discover new things and new ideas. As regards the style I am writing, my main influences are Kevin Moore, Symphony x, Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Savatage, Opeth and other such huge names! My sounds vary. I listen to almost all kinds of metal (my favorite band is Testament) and scattered from other genres (jazz, rock, classical, fusion). I grew up in metal music always listening and always will listen and I am not exaggerating because this music has given me a lot and will continue to give me as long as I live and that is why I want to contribute my bit to that music in order to honor it.

I know that now you have formed the Sedate Illusion. It is teamwork or it is something that you have personally undertook?

Basically, perhaps it’s something that you don’t know, and I did not mention before, is that Sedate Illusion exist since 2004 as an instrumental side-project band which was essentially founded by Thedoris Pegkousis (Vector Equal drums) and me. We made a promo CD with the same title but then for a long time we didn’t put too much effort on this project. For 3 years though I began writing ideas that were left from Equal Vector and at the same time I was practicing my vocals just in case I might achieve something. After the first song, and after positive reviews from my friends came out the second, the third and so on until I had made 11 pieces, and I thought to make a k album and distribute it right left and whatever happened.

You have already released a very nice album, talk us about this, which are its influences and are you are planning something new?

Thank you very much! The album “0545” I think that apart from the fact that it was created with a very good mood, reflects in general my psyche than any different period that I was writing a piece or a song or an instrumental. The general concern about the destruction of the planet resulting in digging the pit slowly, it is visible in verses of 2-3 tracks and at the same time some other pieces have as reference human nature and emotions. It’s very important to mention the huge contribution of Petros Politis (Equal Vector guitars) into 2 pieces of the album (k solo rhythm guitars) and his opinion of music in general and advice and also Kostas Alexakis (ex-Kinetic, Acid Death drums) for the brutal vocals on the first track of the album. Already by mid-2011 I began writing new ideas and I’m in an excellent way to conclude so far 7 pieces and I hope by mid-2012 to launch a full-fledged album.

What is your attitude towards music, meaning its distribution; Do you prefer personal distribution or through some company;

I can’t say whether it’s fair or unfair that the companies give almost nothing from the sales that can make the album of an artist, but I don’t like this scene 90% our own and 10% yours and if you are lucky you will take something from the merchandising. So I prefer to not leave to chance any of my music and try to use all the tools that i have to advertise it such as over the Internet or through some magazines and e-zines such as your own! The truth is that I am not very good at them and I dont have much time to get too much involved with the promotion so maybe it would be better if someone else would be involved with this … generally I’m confused with this topic hahaha. When the time comes we’ll see.

What are your musical influences?

As I mentioned before my influences are many and I prefer some artists like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Jason Becker, Kevin Moore, Michael Romeo, Alex Skolnick, Marty Friedman who have to give something different and at the same time are fascinating to me!

What you want to achieve with your music? To experiment with the music fusing many styles, to create something new?

I like experimenting combined with good harmony and good orchestration. I don’t want to write complicated things for Sedate Illusion. I think I fit in the most classical form of metal music and it comes out effortlessly. I have the option of course to write pieces with countless solo and elaborate themes, but it is not something by which I can expresses myself. Now in regards to the new, it is something that is a bit impossible nowadays.  Almost all, musical instruments or genres are combined among themselves since it is easy now to synthesize with the help of the computer. The last 5-10 years I believe there has been an explosion of too much people with fresh ideas who blend many kinds together. They may not have been played at all, but something different wouldn’t make as big an impression as before I think. Recently for example I heard bouzouki with heavy metal and Arabic if I’m not mistaken, terrible idea, but marrying this seemed normal …

You have already done live performances? If not, are you thinking about such a step?

I hadn’t made any live with Sedate Illusion. But I would like to! For now I focus on creating tracks for the new album and after it would be a very good move to start finding musicians and rehearsing these pieces. I think and I hope that if everything goes well to carry this out!

How do you see the Greek scene and do you distinguish any figures from this?

The Greek scene produces more serious music now and it is visible from the persistence, patience and good mood of Greek musicians to achieve. I will mention clearly some bands from the many that exist and deserve better, if you want, conditions from the music factors. These are Kinetic, Acid Death, Wastefall, X-Piral, Fallen Within The, Winter Crescent, Sorrowful Angels.

Production, for you, is an important piece? (I know you got a personal Recording Studio).

Very important. Production is a point of view, if you have no opinion on that then you don’t have and the sound that you want. Clearly in some cases the production has some some other standards if the artist wishes to mix with some particular way then so should be done I think. Primary role for me is clearly playing the feeling that you are taking from a musical instrument or a voice. This in some strange way is like a feeling to the listener …

Speak to us about the lyrics and content of the songs.

In the songs “Traumatic Skies”, “Withered Roses”, “Let’s we Fall”, “Empty Shades” I refer in the first plural person. I want in this way to include all of humanity, where they talk about our plight in nature resulting in destroying ourselves. For Earth we are not but a parasite that spreads until self-destruction to be healed afterwards. The remaining 4 in first singular person and deepen in human relationships and situations. For example the song “Undecided” indicates a person which is divided in his life having doubts about which way to follow, the good or the bad.

Which is your opinion on sharing music over the Internet and for the laws that demand the policing of the network both musical and informative? Do you believe that the policing of downloading will benefit or harm the music as an industry?

It’s sad that they are trying to ban free distribution of views/”opinions”. They do what they want and we sit as spectators in a theatre of the absurd, in a globalized world where this doesn’t benefit anyone, only the rich and greedy ones. In this way, they say, the market is “moving” otherwise we will not be able to survive and such nonsense. I think that if we wont our join forces culturally and spiritually so that we ascend as humans and fight for what we deserve, our whole lives we will be puppets. If we do not close this stupid box and not change our way of thinking we will not achieve anything. However, whatever that has to do with prohibition to me is funny and silly. There will always be a way to share expression/ideas/opinions etc and in some way the music industry will bloom again.

The Visual part of a disk how much important is it for you? Helps at the set of a work?

The visual art is a sample of your work, for what you are going to listen as a listener, and if you want him to feel. It is clearly a form of art and if it’s done smart then the listener will appreciate it. You can of course imprint a picture from the thousand that one can imagine while listening to the album but is also a pre-notice, a first taste that clearly helps the result!

How much time you spend on music? Either listening, or composing.

Twenty-four hours a day hahaha. Even in my sleep I am composing songs, didn’t come out randomly the album title “0545”. If I do not write pieces and I am home I will listen to music and will do something else at the same time.

And in closing, I would like to tell us your opinion about the album that got released, how it sounds now to you, if you wanted to change something and if it moves in similar paths as your second album.

I quite like the album “0545” and if I had to change anything I would say that the past is the past and there is no turning back. I will never feel the same feelings I had back then through some specific conditions of the past, so I move forward self-healing and learning from my mistakes and composing new material, which at the moment I can tell you that moves almost in the same pattern, giving a little more importance on guitars. In this helped me so much Petros Politis who recorded several tracks from the new album that will lance.

Thank you very much for your time and for your participation.

I should thank you for the great interview!