Interview with Angelos (Bass)
Interview conducted by Barbara Williams (Crowley)
Date online: July 13, 2003
Hailz and how are you doing?
Grrrreetings! All's well. Well, maybe....
There aren't that many Greek bands that I'm familiar with. How is the metal scene in your area?
Depends. Speaking of bands, there are some that work seriously and will emerge with great material mainly in the Extreme forms of Metal. Those would namely be Evade, Obscene, Into The Gore, Kvazar and Terrordrome. There are a few in other types of Metal that do cool work, too, like Crystal Tears, Everdome and Horizon's End. At least those are the ones I know of. Speaking for the people, things are grim. There's lots of stupidity I can not understand or probably my mind doesn't want to accept some facts. For example, most people in local scenes don't support their own bands because they pretty much have a band of their own ( not working seriously actually) so they keep a stupid and hilarious, I might say, attitude against the bands of "OTHERS"..oooh! So stupid! Instead of taking care of their own business and make their asses work harder to get their bands somewhere, they spend time and energy into digging a hole for others. The bands that stand out and will stand out from the scene now and in the future are those that look after their own matters. At least that's what we do.
Cool website you have there. Can't wait to see the live video of you, Nuclear Assault and Cannibal Corpse and, of course, to get my grubby little hands of new downloadable stuff. Thanks. How soon will you have your new website ready? Looks like it'll be cool.
Well, it will be an overhaul actually. We'll start working on it within the next week. As soon as the main graphics and menus are set up, we'll edit the videos and upload them–as soon as possible. We'll also upload 2 full tracks of the new material as soon as we record it and 20 to 30 secs of previews from all the tracks on the new album.
Your release Human Consumes Human got quite a bit of attention, landed you a four release deal with Arctic Music Group, and received great reviews. To what do you contribute this success?
Hmm. I guess it was pretty much the whole thing. We are a self- preserving working band. We do the productions ourselves, artwork, video clips and generally don't leave anything unattended.
The production on Human Consumes Human is ripping and so are the tracks, so I think a label couldn't ask for much more from a band. We took things a step further with the release of the Knowledge...Their Enemy EP. And a first time announcement: we left Arctic. We didn't want to make any more albums for and with them, so we asked them to let us go. We had a great deal of trouble with the label, lots of lack of support and promotion, despite of all our hard work to promote both the band and the label. Our efforts were not well respected, so we decided we'd better be off on our own and get a chance to get to a better label.
Homo Iratus has made two demos. Are these still available?
Not anymore, unfortunately.
Please tell us about Knowledge...their Enemy. Could you give a little insight to its lyrical content?
Our lyrics mainly deal with the respect of each individual's uniqueness and the fact that there’s a mechanism put in motion to erase it. Knowledge... their Enemy holds 4 tracks: 2 from Human Consumes Human as a taster of what the band was. The lyrics on those tracks, "Project New world" and "Tomahawk Cruise Messiah" are pretty much straightforward with a hint of sarcasm. There's the Sepultura cover off Roots Bloody Roots à la Homo Iratus. We speeded up the whole thing and changed the rhythm guitars to more death-corish signatures. The new track "Protection Through Surveillance" is the prelude to the lyrical content of the next full length. It speaks of how constant surveillance affects the human mind into behaving false and suppressing spontaneous reactions in order to avoid being held suspect for irrational, dangerous or whatever behavior. It deals with the current state of democracy (which has nothing to do with the way the Ancient Greek worked), and the fact that free will also will be suppressed, for everybody will be afraid to express their will since they all will be watched and fear they will be "tagged" for their views and opinion.
Homo Iratus is features on the Core Til Death compilation Cd. What gave you the idea to do this and how has it been working for you? Would you recommend that younger, newer bands get on compilation CDs?
A friend told us about it and we made the proper contacts to get ourselves on it. Compilation Cd's work well for everybody and they are definitely recommended to all new bands, 100%! They give a chance for your material to be distributed to places you would otherwise not have the ability to do so.
How soon can we see the new Homo Iratus CD to come out?
About Fall-Winter 2003.
You have a some endorsements as well. Had they been difficult to get or do you just consider yourself lucky?
Endorsements seem to be far away for new bands. We were lucky enough to contact the proper people that saw potential in what we do. I, for instance (bass), got an Endorsement from ESH basses in Germany. Zoltan Narray ( CEO ) was a really ok guy and made me an absolutely great deal on their basses. Alex (guitar) just got hooked up with a Luthier Friend that runs his own business, Kazakis Custom Handmade Guitars, and gets to have his own freakin' model! And as a whole, we are now going to get sponsored by accessory shops for strings, drumsticks, skins etc. Endorsements are a real life saver 'cause all bands have a constant money "leak" from certain things like strings, drumsticks, etc ( especially when the drummer blasts a lot .) So support takes the financial strain off a bit and eases everything. There is luck to it, of course, and it's a matter of timing: contacting the proper people at the proper time but having concrete material to support your requests.
How do you write your music and how do you get the inspiration for writing your lyrics?
We basically get to the studio to rehearse and let the music come out by itself. We don't like to push a song to get it done. If it doesn't flow on its own, it gets dumped. If it comes on its own, we then work on fine tuning the details. The lyrics are another thing. Inspiration comes from everything around us. If it pisses us off, annoys us, or has touched us, we write about it. We like to convey messages through them, though. We don't just present what went on in our heads. We ask questions many times in our lyrics to make you consider some answers about things that might have slipped your mind or were right there in front of you and you just could not or did not want to see. Who designs your CD artwork and who has the final word on what actually goes on the album cover? How important would you say is the CD art? We do the whole work actually. We can't think of anyone who could express our views and thoughts on the artwork besides us. We get the final word–always. CD art is a second half of the lyrics and a second half of the music, in our opinion, so we have a second whole to the whole music. It has to fill in for both music and lyrics.
The music scene really changed between the 70's, 80's and 90's. What would you say has been your strongest influence?
Let's see...Brutal Truth, Carcass, Napalm Death, Death, Entombed, Konkhra, Obituary, Grave, Testament, Morbid Angel, Meshuggah. I think those would be the strongest...
Which bands are on your list of favorites? If I were to look through your CD collection, what would I find?
The ones mentioned before plus Nile, Dilinger Escape Plan, Devin Townsend's band, Strapping young Lad, Burnt By The sun, Pantera, Suicidal Tendencies, Forbidden. It's a big list, you know.
You have mostly played around Greece. Any plans to go on a European tour? If so, where and when and with whom?
Things were grim for us until recently and prevented us from playing abroad. The label added to those problems and was another reason we wanted to go. Things are looking up and we'll be able to announce some dates really soon.
When you play live, do you try to stay close to the studio version or do you like to change things up?
That's a good one. See, we compose our music with live in mind, so usually it's pretty much like the studio version, and I say "usually" because of the adrenaline rush when we are playing we have the tendency to speed things up...a lot. We are a live band anyway.
Which songs do you like most playing Live?
Those would be all, but with a flavor to the most moshy!
Have you gotten any gifts from fans? Which would you say would be the coolest or weirdest?
There was a guy at a show once that wanted to hand me over his girlfriend as a gift for one night!!!! Just kidding. I can't think of a time someone gave anybody a gift–to me at least. I don't know if any of the others got anything and just didn't mention it....bastards!!!
Who is your audience?
People that want to mosh and have a good fucking time.
When did you start playing and how old were you when you became interested in metal?
All of us got hooked around the age of 13 to 14, give one or two. As for metal, it has to be the same.
What interests you? Any good books, movies or anything else you would like to mention?
I read a few books occasionally, like working graphics on my computer and to spend time creatively, and you will usually find me (and the rest) at the studio practicing. We rehearse almost every day. I didn't like the last wave of movies. It was all crap! The only considerable and brave, I should say, movie documentary was "Bowling for Columbine" Everybody should see it! It shook me and although I am not directly connected to its content, it left me in awe with the facts it presented.
How do you see yourself as a role model to many young people who listen to and who get into your music?
I have never considered myself as a role model probably due to the fact that I had none and I have never been following [anyone] consciously. I think that those who get to our music at least get a positive "role model" effect from our lyrics.
Where do you see yourself and Homo Iratus in a year or two?
In prison!!!! I'm not kidding. In order to keep the band alive, we all had to give up our lives, reject job offers and sacrifice a lot of things. It's difficult here in our country, unfortunately. We had to do it in order to be able to keep the band in motion and active, so we survive with bare minimums. I can tell you of what I hope for me and Homo Iratus for the years to come: A deal with a label we can cooperate 100% and [which whom we can] take advantage of all the procedural things we can cover to speed things up, and [one to] respect us for what we have to offer and [gives us] lots of fucking tours and live shows. It's what keeps us alive.
Any last words to fans?
Thumbs up to all those who have supported us all this time. We thank you and hope to bump a head inside a pit abroad! Stay fucking brutal all day!
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