Interview with Stergio Kourou and Kosta Vreto of WARDRUM
We are in pleasant place to present you a full conversation with Stergio Kourou and Kosta Vreto from Wardrum. The talked about many interesting things. After you finish reading this the best you can do is go and check their new album "Desolation". Enjoy it!
.Hello Stergio and Kosta, I welcome you to Metalfields. How are you?
Stergios: Hi! Right now I’m great because I just got the “Desolation” CD in my hands but I’m also very happy for this first “Desolation Interview”, thank you deeply for giving us this chance to present Wardrum in Metalfields. Your review for our new work was already a good dose of positive energy to us and a nice reward for the work we did to make it real.
Kostas: Hello. It's nice to be here! I am truly excited since right now we have just released the new Wardrum album and life really couldn't feel any sweeter!
.Second album and a really great one for Wardrum in two years. What are your feelings?
Stergios: Thank very much! I think we managed to find our own way of working fast and effectively. Most of us were together for many years in other projects and bands, each member knows what it needs to keep the pace of the band in a reliable fast mode, we have our working map, we know where we want to go, our souls are full, our eyes are open, everything else is a matter of chemistry between the members and lots of hard work.
Kostas: As I said before, it's such an amazing feeling having all your efforts coming to a point where you can share your inner self and connect with everyone through music!
.”Desolation” is according to my ears one step and a level higherthan“Spadework”, especially in the powerful sound. When did you begin synthesizing this material and what were your thoughts?
Stergios: I could assume that the working of new material started right after the release of “Spadework”. But you know, composing is one among a hundred parts of the overall work that needs to be done to have a new release out in only one year. From my point of view, the real hard part of the job is the pre-production and production phases. That’s the real hell for me. Recordings are also considered as fun…
.How come and you didn’t do some live shows for the promotion of “Spadework” apart from your supporting performance in Crimson Glory?
Stergios: Yes, something is missing here. We didn’t manage to push our debut album with live shows. That’s a really bad thing! To me, the only way to prove you are a real band, is to hit the road and play live. Our gig with Crimson Glory was supposed to be the starting point of the Greek Spadework Tour but some things could not go as planned. I don’t want to get into more details around this, but I can say that it certainly won’t happen again! You know, there’s so much energy in the band that after the gig with Crimson Glory, we had to do something. If we can’t go on tour, then we should start the recordings of the next album. We already had enough songs to choose and start the preproduction and that’s what we did immediately.
.Are you planning right now to do any shows in Greece or even in Europe, so that people who don’t have any idea of the band see you on stage?
Stergios: Of course we do. We have an offer for a couple of gigs in the summer and also a tour that we’ll have to wait until September to be able to announce anything. Greece is surely the starting point and hopefully we might be able to do some traveling abroad. Stay tuned about more details soon…
.What happened and Piero Leporale left the band?
Stergios: This was really a hard time. Piero is a brother to us all, during our collaboration we got very close and his singing abilities where really great. But there where other problems regarding the bands flexibility in some vital issues that made us part our ways. We still communicate and kept our friendship and that means a lot to us.
.The new guy Yannis Papadopoulos is one of the best voices in Greece . How did he enter the band and is he going to be there any time for Wardrum? I am asking this because he is the singer in other two bands, Until Rain and Crosswind.
Stergios: Yannis is certainly one of the best voices in Greece ! We knew each other, we met in many occasions even jammed together in local stages but the connection for the Wardrum’s frontman position was done by our record label Steel Gallery. Yannis did a couple of Wardrum songs in a demo and we liked him a lot. We met, spoke about our needs, found our common ground and agreed to work together. One week later he was already recording the album. He’s really great and we are very happy to have him on board.
.Stergios in the songs of “Desolation” you have a characteristic way of playing, whether we have to do with technical songs or just heavy/power. How easy is for you to follow and keep this rhythm?
Stergios: I love drums and I surely like to experiment on the instrument. But first of all, I am a listener and I love to play what I feel the song really needs. Many times I come up with cool things that could fit to songs, sometimes they do work for the song, sometimes the simple stuff wins. But what I love and do most of the times is to try and be technical without sounding technical. I mean If you are not a drummer, you will pass it by because it does not sound strange.
.What kinds of songs do you like playing most, technical or simple?
Stergios: Both! I like to play beautiful songs that inspire me and make me feel good. I need a hook, whether it’s a nice melody or a technically challenging musical content. If I got them both in one song, it’s great. But theoretically, if I had to choose between melody or technicality, the winner is melody!
Kostas: Well, is not that I'm trying to push anything into one direction. Music is after all a way of communication and expression. So at first there's the music, the melody and than comes the technical part. Still that comes as a package with who you are, so to speak. I am not rushing anything into the songs. That's just the way it feels right!
.I understand that you have a specify way of playing and this is really good, because you are not heard like someone else nor it’s something we hear in every album. Are you going to play more technical in a next album, is there any possibility?
Stergios: Thank you very much! But you know, I probably don’t sound like someone else, due to the fact that I got too many influences in my playing. I probably sound like 15 or more other drummers together. About the next album, the only thing sure is that we will try to have good metal songs. That’s what we tried to do, that’s what we’ll keep on trying…
.Kostas are Wardrum the band through which you can play the music you really want?
Kostas: Of course we are. I mean, that was from the very beginning our perspective. To play the music we love, in the way we feel it through our guts… For certain we can imagine the music as a painter’s palette, full of colors of different kinds and shades, but on the other hand Wardrum can be seen as the rainbow, the final result of all those colors coming together.
.How much do you like King Diamond or Andy LaRocque? At least in two songs you bring the atmosphere of his playing especially in the solo of “No Retreat”.
Kostas:You know it's a funny thing. The first time that I ever thought of this, was when I read you review for the Desolation album… Sure I love the King and Andy as well, I grew up listening to "Them" and " Conspiracy", but I never thought of bringing that atmosphere to the songs or a particular part of a song. I guess it waited under my skin all these years, just to get out under the right circumstances! After all that's what influences are, right?
.How important is for a guitar player to keep his inspirations and in the same time creates songs under his personal seal?
Kostas: I know it can be tricky for a lot of people, but I always had a principal in this matter. Listening to a LOT of music and guitar players is a must, still you should always, and I can't point this merely enough, try and play and think in your own personal way. Pass the music through your filters and way of thinking…I mean, we are all taught at school the laws of grammar but we all talk in a different way.
.Are you thinking of recording a new solo album after “Skin On Strings”? I believe you are a guitarist full of great technique, but still you are young and you do better things as you all the time yours. Is there anything specified you want to evolve more than anything?
Kostas: First of all thank you for your kind words. There is coming a new album in September called "Pictures of a broken heart" again by Steel Gallery. As for the guitar part, there is always room for improvement and evolving. Guitar is a pretty young instrument still and of course music in itself is endless. I just consider myself lucky enough to be playing with musicians that love challenges and are always eager to find new ways of approaching music. Good luck and chemistry, what else can anyone ask for?
.Will we see any new video from the album, or you haven’t thought of it? By the way what’s your opinion for the video clips, do they help the bands, especially the upcoming?
Stergios: Videos help a lot, new or already famous bands. That’s certain. Shooting a video for a song is a must for every album. New bands like us need exposure, people do not know us and we need to spread the word. We believe in our music, this is what we do and we will support our work in any possible way.
.What made three guys set aside a band (Horizon’s End) and make a new one (Wardrum)? Is there anything in the previous band that couldn’t be archived and you felt that a new band would offer this to you?
Stergios: What we do with Wardrum has nothing to do with what we did with Horizon’s End. That’s a completely new thing, completely different. Also, with Horizon’s End, we never said that we give up. We never said it’s over, we won’t play again or whatever… To me, it’s a monster that sleeps and hopefully will weak up soon to fill our hearts with great music again. I hope they’ll prove me right!
Kostas: Horizon's End have been for quite some time in a pause, way before Wardrum were formed. So it wasn't really a choosing thing, one band or the other. One day Stergios came to me and said, I have some new songs, can I count you in? And the rest is history…
.Are you satisfied with the Greek metal scene? If not at all, what do you think should bands or labels or any other due to turn things into the best side?
Stergios: The scene is great! We all need to be more professionals. We should respect our own efforts before anybody else. If we don’t see it this way, then nobody will. We should work more and speak less. What we do is only what happens!
Kostas: We have some kicking ass bands here in Greece and that's a fact. All over the country bands are emerging in a faster and faster rate. Still there are some issues concerning all the links of the chain (bands, labels, venues and audience). There's still a tendency of past ideologies and working schedule. If you don't see your music seriously and professionally, no one will. If the labels are seeking only a fast profit, they won’t last. If the venues don't support bands (playing their own music and not covers), bands can't reach their fans and finally if the audience isn't supporting their home bands, after a while there won't be any bands and so on…
.Stergio and Kosta I wish you the best for you and the rest band, thank you very much for this pleasant interview, we will meet sometime. Do you want to share any message to the fans?
Stergios: The pleasure is all mine and I thank you deeply for this conversation. We are a restless band and hopefully we will get the opportunity to speak again face to face. I would like to take this opportunity and thank all the people who support us in any way, who buy our music and look forward to meet us on stage. Thank you all and stay tuned to www.wardrum.gr for all our latest news. Cheers!
Kostas: Thank you for your time. Was really nice talking to you! Keep true to yourself and stay METAL!!!
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