1) Hello Efthimis. In our last interview you told me that you would launch the new album “Essays in Rhyme on Passion and Ethics” in 2009 and this didn’t happened until August 2010. Why have you delayed it?
Hello Razvan thanks for the support. Actually the band is not part of this whole situation with the delays and we want to make this clear. We sent the music to the label a year ago, but due to promotion reasons, some inconsistencies and omissions between our management, Alkemist Fanatix and the label, Casket Music, the album is not officially out yet and the date of its release is the 22nd of November. Hope that everything will go right this time. The good thing is that the band received retail cds five months ago and we can sell it through our official web page www.etherealblue.org
2) Please speak a little about this new album. I’ve seen that you worked with Anestis Goudas for your cover artwork. Is he a fan J? How did you get along with him? I understand that he is quite stubborn on his ideas.
We knew Anestis from a metal webzine he used to own and write some years back. He happens to originate from the city that we first started the band Ioannina-Greece, but we did not know, that he was a graphic designer and actually a good one. This guy works with great Greek and foreign bands like Rotting Christ, Nightfall, members of Dimmu Borgir and many more, so we decided that he was the one we had to work with on the visual part of the album. Indeed, he is quite stubborn on his ideas and with our own guidance I think that we managed to have a very satisfactory visual result. We want to thank him for fully embedding our mentality as a band.
3) When I dropped a picture of you guys on a friend’s desk and asked him what music he thinks you play, he answered … something with Spanish influences, probably something romantic.
I see his point. Actually, his conclusion comes from the band’s photo-shooting, which is closely tied to the album’s title and its lyrical concept. The album is titled “ESSAYS IN RHYME ON PASSION AND ETHICS” and the lyrics are influenced by the ethology of the Greek literature, so we had to look like poets or writers of the 30s. We believe that it was a great idea which goes beyond the wall of metal music and its sometimes narrow-minded views. We have received a lot of criticism on that, but we all are people who can support their views and options. We liked it and we did it.
4) How would you describe your music (except experimental death/black) on this new album?
Our music contains actually everything. Post metal attitudes, long period compositions, Greek rhythmology, black metal passages, death metal aesthetics. It is kind of extreme progressive music. I do not know how to characterize it really, we had the same problem when we were discussing on how to promote the album with the management. If you want my opinion on that, the only thing that matters, when talking about music in general, is being good music no matter which is the music style it represents. The rest is for the music industry and the eventual sales.
5) How was it received by the public? Big sales?
Not big sales actually, since as I told you before, the album is not officially out yet. Two many downloads show that the album attracted the audience’s attention. We receive great feed-back everyday and we want to thank all of you, who keep e-mailing us with a kind word on our spiritual work. This whole situation gives us the strength to go on. Our music is difficult for the typical metal fan but: “worthy hurts and is difficult”. To all of the people out there who will listen the album I would like to force them to give the record 4 or 5 spins before they decide whether it is a diamond or for the rubbish. I am sure that by listening to it more and more, surprises will come up….
6) I’ve seen on your myspace page that you’ve received excellent reviews and high scores from the media. It’s a pity that you’re not invited to play around Europe. Your music would go nicely with our Romanian bands Negură Bunget & DordeDuh.
Actually the press till now has rated the album with 8.5/10 (average)! As far as your remark on our live activity is concerned, I want to be honest with you. We have proposals to play around Europe, but we are not the type of band which earns its living from music. Obviously we can’t leave our everyday jobs and start touring. We are not in our 20s anymore and we have many things at stake in our lives. Everyone becomes very realistic when the bills arrive, we will try to play in some summer festivals in 2011, let’s hope we will make it.
7) I understand that you have big problems with p2p networks and torrent websites where your album is at free download. In my opinion this means that you are a band of interest.
Thanks for your comment. I have no problem with the download, I actually believe that with this financial crisis around, downloading is the only way for music in order to reach greater audiences. The cd prices are expensive and the record labels are seeking new ways to secure their existence. On the other hand, there are matters like intellectual property and musician fees that matter but I think that I will need 30 pages to analyze that part…
8) Do you have plans for a promotion tour in Greece for the album? What are your plans for the near future?
Yes we are going to perform our music live to the major Greek cities for the people that support us. We will play in Athens, Salonica, Ioannina, Larissa and Patra with our good friends Dustynation, a killer progressive band which released its first album some months ago and local bands from these areas. As I told you, we are seeking for some summer festivals and we will play wherever it is possible to go, without living our routine for a long time. During summer we will enter the studio in order to start the creation of our third album based on ideas which come up every day.
9) Here’s the “stupid” question of the interview: Where will you guys celebrate X-mass and New Year’s Eve?
Ha! Me and Panos, our guitarist, will visit Milan and Florence in Italy to nurture our artistic concerns! The rest of them will stay in Athens and Patra…. What a pity for them 😉
10) Thanks for this rather short interview and I hope I will see you someday perform live.
We hope to come and play for our Romanian friends soon. Thanks for the support all these years Razvan, we hope to meet you in the flesh someday. Our best wishes to your readers.