Myth of Rock is looking forward to attending the historic Breaking The Curse Festival at Temple Athens, in the 15th of May, 2022. Four Greek bands of the extreme metal scene, Acid Death, Piranha, Death Courier and Selefice, are going to perform live on stage. On behalf of the death metallers Death Courier, Billy Soulas talked with Dimitris Zacharopoulos and their chat was more than interesting! Keep on reading and don't forget - the local scene needs our support!


How do you feel that you are going to play live in the Breaking The Curse Festival?

This is definitely a return to our past as all the bands in this festival are coming way back from the beginning of the Greek metal scene …This is a reunion of a brotherhood!!!

Which are Death Courier’s music influences? Which are your music heroes?

Our main influences back in the beginning and always are Sodom, Possessed, early Kreator and Destruction, Razor and Morbid Angel.  My heroes are Tom Angelripper, Martin Ain from Celtic Frost,   David Vincent from Morbid Angel and Jeff Becerra from the almighty Possessed!!!!

I have always wondered why you chose the band name Death Courier! How did you pick that name?

We took our name from the demo tape ‘’The Courier” of the Danish band Samhain from the year 1985,  ….” primitive death metal first thought was evil courier and finally death courier”.

Who is responsible for the songwriting in Death Courier? What does inspire you to compose music and write lyrics?

I and George are making all music for Death Courier ….   Lyrics and music are coming from our personal nightmares and our way of understanding the twisted reality we all live in ….

Can you present to our readers your current line-up and Death Courier’s discography (full-length albums) until now?

Death courier is a three-piece band: Ilias Iliopoulos on the drums, George Petousis on the guitar and Billy Soulas on the bass and vocals. Our full length releases are “Demise” (1992), “Perimortem” (2013) and “Necrotic Verses” (2020).

Death Courier is one of the first big bands of the Greek extreme metal scene. How different were things back then in the beginning? Which are your feelings now that you are still active?

It was really difficult to create a band as all the things we know today as standards did not exist …no magazines, no internet, no instruments, no rehearsing places, no musicians, no concerts, really nothing….. everything started from nothing and this live festival is a reminder than these bands are first of all friends and the pillars of the Greek metal scene. Our only aim after all these years is to be part of this metal scene and play live.

Your latest album was “Necrotic Verses”. Are you satisfied with the album now, two years after its release?

The response worldwide was very satisfying, but since everything is blocked by the pandemic, we could not support the release as we planned ….. We are still waiting things to be back to normal again….

Greek extreme metal scene is famous all over the world. Why do you think this happens?

Hard work from many talented musicians and fresh ideas to mention some reasons of the worldwide respect and success of the Greek metal bands ….

Which are your plans for the future?

Make more live concerts and release more extreme music as we are working on that every day...

Send your message to the fans!

We would like to thank Myth of Rock Greece Webzine and you Dimitri for the support and to all friends out there join the couriers, support the Greek metal bands and music and stay united and core...

 

The 15th of May 2022, is going to be a historical date, since then the Breaking the Curse Festival is finally going to take place! Selefice, Piranha, Death Courier and Acid Earth will perform in Temple Athens and Myth of Rock is looking forward to this significant event. So, we talked with Piranha and John (guitars, vocals) about this upcoming festival, and other intriguing topics! Right below you can read what was exactly said!

Dimitris Zacharopoulos


How do you feel that you are going to play live in the Breaking The Curse Festival?

Hello Dimitris, we are counting down the days until the concert with great impatience because we have not done any gigs for two and a half years due to the pandemic, but also we are very happy that we will share the stage with our brothers in metal from the 90s. I believe that all the bands are looking forward to the time to go up to the Τemple stage. May 15th will be a historic night that everyone must experience!!!!!

 

How would you describe Piranha to a young listener, who doesn’t know the band and your music?

Well, we formed in 1987. We are one of the oldest metal bands in Greece and we play death/thrash metal. Our style is fast drums with heavy offensive riffs and hellish vocals and also some dark atmospheric and melodic brakes. We have released two demos and three records (LP and EP). We play together with many Greek bands such as Septic Flesh, Acid Death, Nightfall, Flames, Death Courier and also with major international names such as Destruction and Malevolent Creation.

Two years ago you released the “Arise from the Shadows” album. What do you think of that album now? Would you change something if you had the opportunity?

Our CD “Arise from the Shadows”, as we have mentioned several times, is our THANK YOU to everyone who supported us and continues to support us all these years, so we believe that it is our best release so far and we would not change anything.

Piranha was formed in 1987. What do you remember form the first days back in the late 80s/early 90s?

Having a metal band in the ‘90s was very different from today, because then there were few studios to rehearse with the band, there were also very few places and clubs to do concerts and of course, there was only one Greek record company that dealt with metal sound. Even the recordings were different then (the recordings were only analog, which you do not have the ability to copy/paste/erase that you have today in digital productions), so you spent many days in the studio. And the technology has changed, for example, in order to record guitars and bass then, you wanted heads and cabinets (amplifiers) that took up volume and space, therefore large studios, while now with amp modelers and multi effects everyone can write at home in his comfort. Also, promoting your music at that time was very difficult, because the band had to run from door to door and leave cassettes with its material, so that a radio producer or fanzine could hear it. Despite all these difficulties, we managed to release our first two albums “World’s Grave” and “Cancer” that made us well known in the Greek metal scene.

How different are things now in the Greek metal scene, compared with the early days? How much important is internet for the bands nowadays?

The Greek metal scene of the ‘90s was very limited, there were some bands that recorded records and gave concerts in small clubs to promote their music. But little by little, with the perseverance and hard work of Greek bands all these years, they managed to have a Greek metal scene today that competes on an equal footing with any other metal scene in the world. It is natural that the Greek scene with the passage of all these years has matured and has found its sound and also managed to have awesome bands in all metal styles. The internet changed everything in music and therefore changed the bands. The internet made it possible for musicians to communicate directly with the world just by pressing a few buttons on the computer/mobile phone. As a result, bands can advertise and promote their music worldwide much more easily and economically.

Which would be your advice to the young bands, who have just now started their career?

Our advice for new bands who want to enter the very demanding world of music is that they have to work hard on their songs and pay a lot of attention to their sound, because the competition is very high.

Your latest album was released by 7hard Records. How did it feel, co-operating with a German record label? Are you still in 7hard Records roster?

7hard was the first record company to respond, when we sent the promo of our new material and because we knew it from our friends Acid Death (which is the first Greek band they signed with) we decided to sign a five-year contract with them. The collaboration with them is about the same as with any other European record company, direct and aimed at promoting our CD (more abroad than in Greece). So far in the first two years we are on their roster there was difficulty in promoting our release due to the pandemic, but now that things are going better we hope to be able to have a good distribution in Greece. And to answer your question we are still in 7hard Records roster.

When should we expect the new Piranha full-length album? Have you already written new songs? Which are your new album plans?

It is early to say that we are preparing songs for our next release, because we have given all our attention to the promotion of "Arise from the Shadows", but to tell you the truth I have recorded some new riffs and I put them aside, so that we can use them when the time of our new creation has come.

Which was your worst and your best moment in Piranha’s history/career?

The worst moment of my career was in 1992, when I had to stop our concert at AN club due to an injury to my hand that I had suffered at the time and I did not pay attention to it. One of the best moments of my career was the concert we did at the SEF stadium that we played in front of more than 7.000 metalheads.

Send your message to the fans!

We would like to thank you Dimitri and Myth of Rock for giving us the opportunity to talk about our upcoming live. And we would also like to tell your readers/fans to take care of themselves during these difficult times and to stay healthy, so that we can all meet on May 15 at the Temple for total metal chaos!!!!!!!!! Stay safe, stay metal.

On the 15th of May, 2022, Breaking The Curse Festival is taking place at the venue of Temple Athens, in Athens, Greece. Four historical groups of the Greek extreme sound are going to give a live show, after two difficult years due to the global pandemic and the several restrictions. Acid Death, Death Courier, Piranha and Selefice will hit the stage and Myth of Rock contacted Petros Michopoulos (guitars) of Selefice to talk about this upcoming festival and many other differents topics concerning Selefice! Thank you Petros!

by Dimitris Zacharopoulos


Which are your feelings now that you are going to participate in the Breaking The Curse Festival?
We feel great now that we are returning to live concerts after two years, we feel great, because we will share the stage with real friends, who are members of these historical bands.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never listened to Selefice?
This question has always been difficult for us. We are a band, which combines in its own, special way elements from the whole spectrum of the extreme metal sound with influences from the wider rock sound. If we shall put a certain label, I think the dark/extreme metal label would be perfect for us.

Which are your musical influences? How do you utilize them to compose the songs of Selefice?

Our metal music influences start from the traditional band (Iron Maiden, old Scorpions, Black Sabbath etc.), they absolutely pass through Candlemass and the wider doom sound and reach the classic extreme forces of the decade of the 80s and the 90s (Metallica, Slayer, Kreator, Sepultura, Paradise Lost, and others). However, we always had influences from the prog rock scene (Pink Floyd, Camel), even from New Wave and post punk. There isn’t a certain way we use our influcences, they just lie within us and pass effortlessly to our music.   

Which is the current status of Selefice? Which was your last studio album?
Now that we are talking, we have gone back to the rehearsals after a long time, and we also have a new member on the bass, Kostas Latifis. It is a good opportunity now to thank our previous bassist, Manos Michailidis, for all the great things he offered to the band since 2017 and our reunion. Our latest studio installment was the “I Met a God” EP, which was released in May 2019, we are very pleased with the feedback it got from the fans.

Despite the passing of time, you are still alive and active. What does give you the strength to continue?

Our love for music, which is also our psychotherapy from all this unbearable pressure that we all experience every day, but also the friends of this band, who never forgot us, even if they had to wait 24 whole years to see us again.

What pieces of advice would you give to a new metal group, which was just formed?

To work hard, to have patience and not to hurry, to be persistent, not to be disappointed with the first problem, to be ready for a lot of obstacles and evils, to be careful with whom they co-perate, not to pay any attention to the negatives but also to the positive comments and above all, to have faith in what they do. We did not do many of the aforementioned things, when we were young and the result was that we split then ingloriously. If you want to build a good career in this era, you have to have everything I mentioned above.

What do you remember from the first years of Selefice? How were things then for heavy metal in Greece? How different are things today?

Things were completely different, I would say almost primitive compared to today. It was a time without even mobile phones, you almost couldn’t find any rehearsal studios and concert venues, radio and TV stations had set an embargo on metal, the instruments were very expensive, everything was difficult. But our passion for what we did and our persistence in putting up with a system that saw the metalheads almost as alien drug addicts and hooligans kept us alive. This effort then, however, brought the fruits that could be found later on the Greek scene. Today on the technical level, things are much easier, on the other hand the chaos of the internet and the endless information has made it very difficult for a new band to stand out, even when this new band comes out with a worthwhile job. I would say that both then and today things are difficult, but for different reasons. The point is to love what you are doing.  

Greek extreme metal. What makes it so special and so popular?
Extreme metal is perhaps the only international music genre that we meet its own school in Greece! And this is not only true for the black metal sound but also for death metal, doom metal etc. I think that this combination of Mediterranean emotion that represents us all, and is expressed with a melody integrated in the extreme sound, makes the difference. Also to this specialty has contributed the fact that for years both the big and the lesser known bands, do not hesitate to include elements of the Greek tradition in their sound as well as Greek lyrics. This gives a very special character that is appreciated worldwide.

What new is Selefice preparing for the future?
This season we are struggling to restart after all that happened with the pandemic, having, as I mentioned above, a new member on the bass. The goal now is to find rhythm again with constant rehearsals, and the big goal is the release of a new full length album. But we cannot speak at this time with a specific timetable.

Petros, send your message to the fans!
Thank you for your tremendous support even when we had been absent for so many years! It gave us great strength and motivation to return dynamically to the stage. And of course, we are waiting for you all at Temple!

 

The 15th of May 2022 and the Breaking the Curse Festival are closing near! All fans of Greek extreme metal are waiting for this live meeting at Temple Athens, where we will enjoy four historic bands of the Greek Scene: Selefice, Piranha, Death Courier and Acid Death. Myth of Rock met Savvas Betinis, the mainman and bassist/vocalist of Acid Death, and has a nice chat, about this upcoming Festival and many other things. Read what follows and prepare for the '90s guard meeting!

Dimitris Zacharopoulos


How do you feel that you are going to play live in the Breaking The Curse Festival?

Yes, it is amazing! We hit the stage two years ago for the last time due to the entire pandemic situation, things worked really bad for all the bands. Now we hope all this thing will finish in some way, so, time for action!

Acid Death is one of the most historic Greek extreme metal bands. What does make Acid Death unique? What keeps the band still going?

Of course our love to music! Creating music is a serious part of our life. Acid Death is our ship for this creation-trip. That's the way we still exist, we still make new things. Hopefully we will remain in the scene for many, many years!

Greek extreme metal is very popular worldwide. Why do you think Greek extreme metal bands are so successful?

Yes, today we can say that Greek metal bands are a part of the entire metal scene worldwide. The reason is very simple. Greek bands today are working hard, really hard for making good music, good shows etc. This is something that everyone sees. We are sure things will be even better the next years!

Acid Death began its career in the late 80s/early 90s. Was it more difficult to play heavy metal in Greece then? Why?

Yes, it was.... Heavy metal was an “unknown” thing for most of the Greek music audience.  Radio, television weren't friendly to this kind of music, the bands were of course few and things were working really hard for all cases. No live-shows, very few record labels... Fortunately, things are totally different today.

Your latest album was “Primal Energies” (2019). Are you satisfied with the way the fans received the album? How do you see this album now?

Yes, we are really satisfied, actually we believe this is the best album we have made so far. Unfortunately, the pandemic situation didn't help us to promote is on the way we would like to do, making enough shows in Greece and Europe, but hopefully we will do it next period.

How did the pandemic affect you as a personality and as a musician? Do you think we will get out from this situation better and wiser as human beings?

Everyone was affected from the entire thing... Art generally stopped, we as musicians had to be isolated... No rehearsals, no temper for creation... Things seem to be on a good way at the moment, everyone wishes the pandemic thing to stop faster than government says...  

When should we expect Acid Death’s new album? What should we expect from this new album?

There are many ideas on the table, but we have a lot of work to do. We want to make an even better album than “Primal Energies”, so we will work hard for any new material.

Acid Death music is an amalgam of thrash metal and death metal, with progressive elements. If you had the chance to describe Acid Death and its music with five adjectives, which would be these adjectives?

Yes, that's right! The music elements come from thrash, death, industrial, and even jazz or fusion. We describe the current third season that the band exists with the following words: (Still) progressive (but more) death metal!

Which do you think was the worst and which was the best moment in Acid Death’s history, until now? And why?

Of course, the worst moment was the band break in 2001... We lost so many things that follow the years after that moment... The best moment is of course today. We are here, we are strong and ready to create new things!

Send your message to the fans!

Thank you so much for this presentation! We are waiting for you all on May 15th at Temple Athens! Let's tear down that place!!!

 

The Defaced are back for good, with their fantastic new album, “Charlatans”! Myth of Rock, impressed by the new music of the Swedish band, tried to communicate with the band, and right below you can read the nice chat that Mattias “Swaney” Svensson (guitars) had with Myth of Rock editor Antonis Mantzavinos. The two of them discussed a lot of interesting things, as you can see by yourselves. Choose “Charlatans”, crank the volume up, push play and enjoy Mattias’ answers!


Hi Mattias, how are you doing? I hope everything is well for you and your family.

Hi Antonis, I am doing well, how is it going for you? I am in my home studio, everything is fine! We are actually going with my family to Crete in the summer, in Rethymno, so, it’s going to be really cool. We have been to Rethymno a couple of times before, and I think it’s a combination between the old town and the Mediterranean landscape, so, not only the tourist stuff, but we also want to explore what the locals like to do.

Really great to hear that you are going to Greece, how nice!
So, let’s focus on the band and the new album now: I really liked the new album ‘Charlatans’, I think it’s a great album, diverse, even within the same song itself, and I believe all of you have done a great job! So, how were things for you and the band during those 2 years of Covid? Did you try to write and record stuff during that period?

The songs were all written before Covid. I think we started recording the album October-November 2019, when Ruben put out the drums. Then of course when the pandemic struck, we recorded on an off basis, and t the beginning of all that, no one knew where this was going and heading. So, we finished the drums first and then the guitars in January 2020, and then we finished the bass, after a break due to Covid. When all this was done, Jen recorded the vocals in Stockholm, in a different studio, with the help in production from Björn Strid from Soilwork. We just let it have its own way, we took the time, but it wasn’t just Covid related. Since we did not have a specific deadline, we took our time, to reflect on the songs, on the riffs, etc. And see where we were heading. I believe it is so important to analyze and reflect on what you are doing, both the songwriting and the actual recordings, and that takes time of course.

Give us some information about the recording and producing the ‘Charlatans’ and also about working together with Björn Strid on the vocals.

Yes sure. Jens and Björn are childhood friends, they grew up together in Helsingborg, 5 kms from where I live now, a bit outside Helsingborg. Björn is a great singer, he is the guy that Jens wanted to produce the vocals of this album with. Also because of the fact that they are friends, it makes everything a lot easier for everyone, I guess. Jens had already all the vocal lines complete and Björn worked in a way to make the best out of Jens, to refine some points and get the best possible result. And as a producer, he can add a harmony here, there, or push Jens towards the right direction. So, overall Björn tried to get the best out of Jens in every possible way.

This album encompasses all the Defaced ‘DNA’ elements; however I believe it looks towards the future as well, with a more fresh eye. What is it that the band wanted to achieve with this album and how was that accomplished?

Well, when I started writing the songs, I had this idea of continuing the heritage from the previous works we have done, with the tonalities, the sound of the band and everything. But also, to aim a bit more in certain progressive directions, just to expand. We had those elements before, but I wanted to make them even more evident in the music, to evolve even further, but I did not want to change anything from the core DNA of the band. When I write songs for the Defaced, I don’t aim something in specific, of course the songs fit into the sound, and I know the idea of a song, whether it fits as a ‘defaced’ one or not. It's not that we tried to sound like something else, but everything was part of a natural progress.

What would be the main influences when writing this album?

Oh, I would say Rock history filtered through us! Or through me maybe! You know, all the bands I was listening to when I grew up, like Black Sabbath, Dio, Iron Maiden, all that great classic stuff. For me, when Mastodon put out ‘Crack the Skye’, it was a mind-blowing record for me, and since then Mastodon has been one of my absolute favorite bands. I rank them very highly. Approach-wise, they also take inspiration from all the classic Rock history, but their music is filtered through this ‘classic era’ process by themselves. So, there was not an aim for me/us other than ‘let the music flow, and if it’s good, let it out’. And that’s how I write music as well, of course taking a guitar and start with riffs, or the melody line at my home studio. 

I believe that Jens has done a fantastic job in the vocals (with the help from Björn’s touch also). How was it to work again with Jens, who had been inactive for almost 10 years?

It was great and is great of course! Our collaboration now is more solid and better than before, we had a lot of discussions what we wanted to do, and one thing that he said was that ‘if we are going to do this again, I need to have total freedom on the vocal lines’, and that I did of course with great pleasure. And I strongly believe that, when you play in a band, you always need to have faith and put trust on your fellow musicians in order altogether to achieve something. That’s why you play with them. And Jens is a very talented guy obviously. And, I am a guitarist, I don’t necessarily need to have ideas about the vocals, but, when I have the song written, I can tell Jens where I would like the song to aim for, and then discuss or ask him ‘do you agree?’. In some cases, I have some ideas about a few twists we can take and these we discuss them together. And I have a good feeling right now about writing new songs with him as well, the feeling is there!

What are the band’s plan from now on? I know we talked about the Defaced playing a gig in Helsingborg beginning of June or July, but are there any other gig plans or festivals coming up?

Yes, so, first, we don’t all live together or in a nearby distance. Klas and me live in Helsingborg, Jens lives in Strängnäs, close to Stockholm, Ruben is within 2 hours' drive from here, and we haven't announced it yet, but we will have a new bass player joining soon! We haven't actually rehearsed, but we know he is a great guy and a great player, so he will perfectly fit the group. So, the city festival in Helsingborg comes in the summer. And we have been in good contact with a booking agency in Germany, called DM Entertainment, and they are going to see if they can book several gigs for us, we have worked in the past with Kayser together. So, it might be single gigs or during weekends in Germany, or even during festivals. Germany is close for us, we can reach Hamburg in ~ 6 hrs., therefore it’s an easy trip.

I will never forget the night when Kayser played live in Athens. That has been one of the highlights for the gigs I have attended. What do you remember from that night in Greece, what are your recollections?

Yes, well, there are actually a lot of things that I can remember from that trip to Athens.. Because it was such a great trip! Very well organized, I mean, I remember everything! From Ruben’s problems with the house drum kit and how fast and effectively that was replaced so that he was able to make the gig on time.. All fixed with a simple phone call and that was it! Amazing! The gig was really great, sweaty as hell! Jokke’s amp was burnt up, but he had a replacement as well, so that worked fantastic! There were a lot of incidents on that trip! (lots of laughs...!) The roundup of the evening, on the roof top overlooking Acropolis, was a magic moment.. Such good moments.. I do carry those moments with me, always.. That’s why I asked for Raki and since I have been in Greece a couple of times ago, I have taken Raki with me in Sweden, such good stuff!

Is there a chance to see Kayser re-uniting and writing new songs?

Let’s say, if Spice would like to do it, I would go for it. Absolutely. I don’t know where he is at. Maybe he is just comfortable doing his stuff and not having another group now or collaborating from that perspective. We definitely did very good stuff together, we had great chemistry. So, it would be great again! I felt like that with him and really enjoyed our time with Kayser. So, I would definitely consider it. And I felt that we were not done, you know, with the fourth record and Jokke leaving the band, I was fine, I said ok, but felt that we were not done at that point. We also discussed this at Demsey’s graduation party that you were also present, me Spice and Ruben, so, let’s see.. Let’s keep fingers crossed that we can do something in the future!

Do you listen to music on your free time? Any new band or new stuff that you like listening to, outside of your own music time you spend?

I actually mainly listen to vinyl, and I am a huge vinyl fan, that’s the main source for my listening time at home, but I also buy new vinyl records from bands like Mastodon, Fates Warning, a band that I really like from years now, ‘Theories of Flight’ is a super album, I love it. I tend to listen a lot on vinyl.

What keeps you busy outside of music? Any favorite hobbies?

I play tennis and since I play tennis, I enjoy playing very much Padel! A couple of weeks ago, I strained my calf, so this was very unfortunate, and it means I need to take it easy now for some time... In a normal week, I play tennis three weeks and Padel one-two times per week. So, I keep myself busy with that.

Thank you for your time today, it was a pleasure and I hope to see you and the band playing live, now I will have more chances, moving closer to the South of Sweden!

If you are around, just give me a call and it would be really cool to meet up for Fika or for dinner, my pleasure! Thank you for the invitation, take care Antonis, great to speak with you! Cheers!