Interview with vocalist RD Liapakis
Interview conducted by MetalMike
Date online: March 18, 2012
MetalMike: Mystic Prophecy's seventh album, Ravenlord, was released at the end of 2011. How has the reception been?
RD Liapakis: Hello MetalMike, and thank you for giving me the chance to speak about Ravenlord!!! The reviews about the album so far have been amazing. The majority of them are perfect or near-perfect. Reviews are still coming from all over the world, speaking very highly of the album and people are very excited. We get so many enthusiastic comments from our fans, a fact which gives us strength, and we will try to give some more to our audience, with our concerts.
MetalMike: What are your favorite songs from Ravenlord? Which ones do you think will work best in the live setting?
RD Liapakis: Songs like "Die Now," "Endless Fire," "Eyes Of The Devil," "Wings Of Destiny" and the title track, "Ravenlord." We think they're going to be great in concerts. This material is so versatile. We have fast and mid-tempo songs, and some really dark ones to play in the concerts, we can't wait to go on tour and play them live. It's very difficult for us to distinguish any favorites, these are our babies.
MetalMike: There have been a lot of lineup changes over the years. With only a change in drummers from Fireangel to Ravenlord, do you feel like you have a lineup that will stay together for the foreseeable future? Did having the same musicians from one album to the next make the recording of Ravenlord easier?
RD Liapakis: Yes, things definitely have a great flow when we're working together, either composing or recording and it's nice to have this sense of being united. It's always been very important for us to stay united in the band. A band never depends on only one person, you have to work as a team or else it's gonna be difficult to keep it together so, we hope we stay like that for a long time. We have a great chemistry together, not to mention the tons of fun we have when we are on tour.
MetalMike: How do Mystic Prophecy songs come together? Does everyone contribute or are there only one or two main writers?
RD Liapakis: For this album the songs were written by three people; me, Markus and Connie. Six songs were written by me and Markus, and the other five by me and Connie. Markus is in the band for the last eight years and knows exactly what is needed for a song to sound like Mystic Prophecy. I personally think that he is one of the top-five rhythm guitarists in the world. Connie is with us for the last 3 years, but he is unbelievably talented. He plays guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and he has a really good voice. He was interested from the very beginning to compose with us. I believe that the new album has versatility and freshness, because more than two people worked on making it. A new, good musician always adds something fresh in the band.
MetalMike: Who influenced you to start playing Heavy Metal and to play the style of music that you do? Why did you choose to cover Ozzy Osbourne's "Miracle Man"?
RD Liapakis: We all have influences from the old Bay Area Thrash era, bands like Exodus, Testament, as well as lots of 70's and 80's Classic Rock like Deep Purple, Led Zep, and Judas Priest. I personally listen to all kinds of music, so my influences aren't based on Metal music only. One day Markus told me that he did "Miracle Man" in another tempo. I listened to it and liked it a lot, because he gave the song more aggression and rhythm. I believe it's rather boring to make a song cover and not change anything. Of course, the original always sounds so great, but you just have to do something different in it, to make it interesting in your own way.
MetalMike: What does Mystic Prophecy do to stand out among the crowd of Heavy Metal bands?
RD Liapakis: I think it's our love and passion for making great music, music that we really like and feel good about. That's why Ravenlord, as well as all our previous albums, are so well received by our fans. The fact is that we consider ourselves as evolving musicians and, in order to maintain interest and keep our fans intrigued by our musical vision, we have to surpass our level every time we make an album, but also, everyone can see that Mystic Prophecy has a very strong identity as a band. So, it is essential to always give a clear and strong message with every new album. This time we managed to give the massive sound we know we can and combine it with new, fresh ideas.
MetalMike: Mystic Prophecy's lyrics are darker than most Power Metal bands. Do you consider Mystic Prophecy to be a Power Metal band or something different?
RD Liapakis: Yes, our lyrics are quite dark and this is only natural, considering our influence from what is going on in the world. It's always so hard to categorize the music of a band, we all have so many and different influences, so many things shaping our music, that it would be unfair to say it's just Power Metal or any other specific musical genre. We would like to keep it in the choice of our listeners to decide. After all, it's them who keep us going all these years. Without them this band wouldn't be alive.
MetalMike: What can a band like Mystic Prophecy do to break through in the North American market or is it a lost cause? Where are the strongholds for Mystic Prophecy's music?
RD Liapakis: It's always been difficult (or more expensive) for European bands to cross the ocean, either with a release, or for concerts. It's also very important that your music appeals to US audiences. In Mystic Prophecy, we strongly believe we have what it takes to make it, we have a strong album, which has already been received very well by people in the US and we have a great chance with our very first shows in the country later on this year.
MetalMike: What can someone who has never seen a Mystic Prophecy show expect to see and hear?
RD Liapakis: Playing concerts is this band's heartbeat. We cannot wait to go out there and play. Our shows are gonna be fast, aggressive, full of energy and passion, just be there to witness it. Living on the road, playing live in front of our die-hard fans; this is a dream of a lifetime. We really can't wait to go out there again.
MetalMike: Where are you favorite places to play and where haven't you been that you'd like to visit?
RD Liapakis: We have a strong following in the Central European region, in countries like Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Holland. There are a lot of people waiting for our upcoming shows. Now we have ProgPower USA for the first time in the band's life. This is something we're so anxiously waiting to experience. We also have so many enthusiastic comments by fans all over the world, there are still so many nice places to go and play.
MetalMike: What are your current tour plans?
RD Liapakis: We have the Wolfsnächte European Tour in March-April 2012 plus some European festivals in early June and ProgPower USA later on this year. Stay in touch with the band's official website (www.mysticprophecy.net) to learn about any additional live activities.
MetalMike: What do the guys in the band like to do when not writing/recording/playing live?
RD Liapakis: Well, let me see; beer drinking, partying 24/7, having sex, hahahaha. We are really so much into what we do in Mystic Prophecy, we love making good music and, most of all, we love playing this music loud and aggressive in front of our fans. Apart from that we're very down-to-earth people, devoted to our families.
MetalMike: Anything else about Mystic Prophecy or Ravenlord you'd like us to know?
RD Liapakis: I believe that everybody who knows Mystic Prophecy and has watched the band's career will know that we always show our best in every new album, actually better every time. For us, quality in songwriting and sound is absolutely crucial, and there's not a chance that we let our fans down with any musical experiments. The new Mystic Prophecy album has got balls, power, melodies, fast and mid-tempo songs, anything a metal fan needs to be happy.
MetalMike: Thanks for taking some time to answer these questions. Congratulations on Ravenlord!
RD Liapakis: Thank you one more time, hope to see you on tour!!!
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