Interview with Stergios Kourou of
Wardrum are an energetic and unstoppable band that has the power to make their name be written in the walls of prof/power sound all over the world. More than pleasant Stergios Kourou, for one more time, spreads the passion of the band and his personal will for a vision that seems facing no obstacles. Enjoy!
Stergio, it’s been almost a year since the last time we discussed about your previous album’s release and here we are again to talk about your next great step, “Messenger”. I think that instead of loosing energy you’re gaining more and more, right?
First of all thank you very much for this interview. 3 albums in 3 years was not an easy deal for us but I believe it’s the most efficient and productive way to release some amount of the energy we’re keeping inside. We still feel our energy tank is full, almost overflowing. We want to plan the next step and act asap, we love music, recording new songs, playing live, we love Wardrum and we try to do our best every time.
I must tell you that after the release of “Desolation” many of us were telling that it was the best US prog/power album and this year we are thinking of the same thing again for the new album. It’s a responsibility common to that of the two releases of Horizon’s End. So, with Wardrum do you believe that you will do things, which you couldn’t do with Horizon’s End, reaching many more levels?
Well, I believe that both bands could reach the same level if they were able to work in the same way today. Both genres have some of the most dedicated fans and if a band works hard and does a good job, they will surely get what they deserve. Now it’s so clear to me that if you really got something to say and you just put yourself down to work, many good things will happen. In this job it’s not only who you are, it’s mainly what you do and of course the higher you aim, the higher you reach. Right now, Wardrum are able to feel inspired and plan their next step, work hard and move forward, set goals and achieve them.
”Spadework” has 10 songs, “Desolation” 12 and “Messenger” 14. Have you thought of having 14 songs in the album could be tiring for the listeners or were you certain that those 14 have a coherence keeping the interest of the listener?
Yes sure, 14 songs are more than enough for an album if you just think it as a number. On the other hand 62 mins of music is a length not that far above average for a prog/power metal album. But the only reason we did this is the music itself. If you just listen to the album, the material of each song, the sequence of the songs, you will see that each part gives something special to the album and plays a unique role at each specific point. The feedback shows that the listeners mainly share our aspect and we are glad about it.
By the way, do you use all the ideas you come up with in every album? Are there any left for another album?
We write a lot of songs and mainly use fresh ideas each time. It’s impossible to use all the song ideas we come up with each time and we have to leave some out. We usually never deal with these songs again. There are some exceptions though, “ Tide Lakes ” for example, was left out of “Spadework” but it’s included in “Desolation” and There are also a couple of nice and complete songs left out of the “Messenger” album with uncertain future. Let’s see…
Til now I have noticed only positive feedback from those who have listened to “Messenger”. Let’s get some feedback from the days of your English tour. How did people react to your new and old material and how was your abroad experience in general?
Everything was fantastic in the UK mini tour. The fans, the bands we played with, the venues… it really felt like home. Every one was taking part in what we were doing on stage. The other bands members were in front of the stage, headbanging and having good time and we did the same while they were playing their awesome material. We received huge amounts of positive energy and English people embraced our music in the best possible way. We would like to thank all the guys there for once more, the bands we played together (Neverworld, Neurospoiler and Toledo Steel), the venues and all the people there. There were some Greeks there as well and we had the chance to discuss about the local scene and how Greek musicians are involved in it. There are quite a lot Greek musicians there.
Now, you did the first step in England are you planning any other performance abroad? Obviously and not wrongfully many people would enjoy seeing you. Are there any plans for small tours with other bands just like in London ?
We love live shows, we love touring and we will surely play a lot more in Europe . This is the band’s priority right now and we believe that our booking agency will plan everything for us at the right time. We are planning a Greek tour as well and we are going to play as much as possible all around Greece . The “Desolation Greek Tour” was a great experience and we are looking forward to do this once again for the Messenger album.
Back in the album, Yiannis sounds more ripe than in “Desolation” where he had a, let’s say “harshy” performance. Was it programmed to be or he thought that this was best for him and the material?
The big difference for Yannis in these two albums was the fact that in Desolation he got into the band while we were already in the recording studio and he had to learn and record everything in two weeks, while in Messenger he got the chance to work with the songs without any time pressure at all, before entering the recording studio. But I think that he did what he should in both albums. He took the melodies, put his heart in them and let all of us enjoy the final result.
Who is the “Messenger” and is he here for good or not?
It’s been at least 3 year since the Messenger beats his wardrum. Now it’s only the time to reveal his nature and the message he brought a bit straighter. The messenger is me, you, us, at least a part of us. It’s the part that is not at all satisfied with what we achieved in our lives until now and tells us that we are quite far from where we dreamt to be when we were making our own plans. The message tells us that it’s never late to start the war and finally get what we feel our lives deserve. Because, as the title track screams, “when we live to die fighting for all the things we believe, wishes come true”.
Don’t tell me that the successor of “Messenger” will be out next year. Are you thinking with the other guys of spending more time for new ideas?
Songwriting is a procedure that never stops. There is no ending or starting point. It needs inspiration and that’s something that knocks your door anytime. We should always be available to pay attention and capture the feel. Right now we need to support the Messenger album and this requires lots of hard work for sure. We need to concentrate a lot there. New ideas will keep on coming and we’ll store them safely in order to work with them some time in the near future. The next album will surely come out when it’s ready. That’s all we know right now.
Something else that I’ve noticed and I wanted to ask you. Kostas Vaporidis has been on stage with the band since your first live performance (supporting Crimson Glory). We all know that Kostas Vreto is as talented guitar player and his stigma in your music is more than obvious. Wouldn’t it be more subservient for him to have Kostas Vap. in the recordings?
The team works perfect as a quartet in the studio and that’s the reason we keep it as it is. Kostas Vaporidis is our 5th member, a brother and we need him to join us on stage. He is doing a great job and I cannot thing of someone else around that could do such a great job.
Stergio, Steel Gallery is a label that supports not only fresh bands, but also albums that are difficult to find them by re-release them. Although, people today want to have everything in a small electronic machine, without try to work, make money and buy a CD or vinyl. You as a musician and as a listener, do you believe that this can change?
Steel Gallery is first of all, a metal music fan. That’s the main characteristic of this label and that’s the reason they release so many awesome albums. Now regarding mp3 players, I cannot say much. Everything changes and nothing remains the same, no matter what. I’m not sure if we can, or if we have to do something about it. All that is happening today will surely also change but I cannot tell for sure to which direction. I can only hope that whatever comes next will give a better chance to art in general. Right now, all I know is that we got so many things to say within our music and no matter what the storage device’s form is, we have to keep on going.
Until our next discussion, I wish you conquer the world with Wardrum, perform live your material as much as you can and why not one day the third anticipated Horizon’s End album see the light of the day. The end in the interview will always be yours…
Thank you very much Dr, we’ll do our best. It’s always a pleasure discussing with you and I hope we‘ll do it again some time soon… Wardrum will keep on working hard! Our website www.wardrum.gr is always up to date, to inform all of our friends about everything we do. You can visit our Facebook page as well: www.facebook.com/wardrum.gr Please stop by and say hi!!!
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