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SWAN CHRISTY (IRAKLIS/ SPIROS)

HI! HOW ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? Hello to you too. We are in Piraeus Athens. It is a rainy day and we are here on our day off to reply to some interviews, while listening to the new album by Tipper drinking coffee. By we I mean Iraklis and Spiros. THE NEW ALBUM HAS BEEN OUT FOR QUITE SOME TIME NOW. ARE YOU STILL SATISFIED WITH THE RESULT? HOW HAVE REACTIONS BEEN IN GENERAL? To some extent yes. Mainly we get our feedback from the CD reviews that are quite good, both in the foreign and Greek press. We found it quite interesting that we received so much feedback from the metal scene now that our album is far from metal. About the sales of the CD we know nothing yet. It has to be at least six months before we will learn something about it. IT’S NOT EASY TO FIND OUT, WHAT “JULIAN” REALLY IS ABOUT. CAN YOU GIVE A GLIMPSE AT THE CONCEPT BEHIND THE ALBUM? Julian is about nothing and everything.There is no concept behind „Julian“ in the classic sense. If you talk about what we had in our minds then we would tell you that it really isn’t clear to us either. We just create music that we would like to listen to and be proud of. OBVIOUSLY THE ALBUM SOUNDS VERY DIFFERENT THAN ANYTHING YOU’VE DONE BEFORE. IS THIS A BRAND NEW START FOR THE BAND OR DOES THE STYLE OF THE ALBUMS MERELY REFLECT YOUR CURRENT MUSICAL INTERESTS? WHERE DOES THIS CONSTANT NEED TO EVOLVE COME FROM? The change to the music style of Swan Christy came through the passage of time. Iraklis wanted to change the style and the sound of the band, probably because his musical interests changed during the past two years.Through his collaboration with Dimitris and Me (Spiros), who come from a totaly different musical background but still understand one another very well, he had the opportunity to create something new. Also i should not forget to note his statement, that he is bored of guitars. YOUR LABEL SEEMS TO THINK “JULIAN” IS DIFFICULT. ACTUALLY, I FOUND IT QUITE ACCESSIBLE, WITH LOTS OF GREAT SOUNDS AND MELODIES. WHAT’S YOUR OPINION: ART OR POP? The label „Difficult“ was put on four of our albums by our label. We cannot really understand why they view our material as difficult. There are only good albums and bad albums as far as we are concerned. Our opinion would be Arty Pop.Or if you don’t like that then stick to Art. EVEN THOUGH THERE’S A PLETHORA OF IDEAS, THE ALBUM IS ACTUALLY RELATIVELY SHORT. WERE YOU AFRAID TO BORE THE LISTENER OR WAS THE STORY TOLD AFTER 40 MINUTES? We were afraid not to bore ourselves while producing or recording. But the truth is that we only left out of „Julian“ one or two songs that we thought did not work. We just included what we thought was worth listening to. THE LONG SYNTHESIZER-SIGHS (-SOUNDS) IN “GREAT DAY, GREAT DAY” REMIND ME OF VANGELIS. IS THIS AN INSULT TO YOU OR AN INSPIRATION? Hell yes. In Greece, Vangelis is like a musician that works for the goverment. And we really don’t like anything he has ever composed.So he is not by any means an inspiration to us. Don’t you dare insult us again (laughs) YOU USE ELECTRONICS IN A VERY OPEN WAY, YET WHEN IT COMES TO CHOSE BETWEEN ELECTRONICS AND SONGS, THE LATTER ALWAYS COMES FIRST. ARE YOU, DESPITE BEING A “MODERN” BAND, CONSERVATIVE WHEN IT COMES TO SONG-WRITING? We never thought about it in the way you describe it. Let’s say that we try to use the best of both worlds to create something fresh and intriguing. Dimitris and me work on the electronics, Iraklis works on the melody. Together we combine everything and we try to do that as seamlesly as possible. APART FROM THE GREAT SONGS, THE FLOW OF THE ALBUM SEEMS TO BE ESSENTIAL. HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON THE ORDER OF THE TRACKS ON THE ALBUM? THEY REALLY BLEND INTO EACHT OTHER PERFECTLY! Thanks for the „Great songs“. When we finished mixing the tracks at the studio we thought of the flow. There is nothing magical about our final selection. It was the most logic way to lay one track after another. Any other combination wouldn’t be as good. And it was also quite easy to come up with. It took 10 minutes i think. YOU REALLY HAVE TWO TALENTED VOCALISTS ON BOARD, SO ARE THERE FREQUENT FIGHTS OVER WHO GETS TO SING WHICH SONG? HOW ARE DUTIES DISTRIBUTED LIVE? We really don’t have that kind of relationship in our band.These are Metal Band problems. In Swan Christy nowadays, everyone contributes his part of the work, no questions asked. There are no vendettas. We are very good friends and we don’t have to fight or argue about such stuff. In the end why have one vocalist when you can have two. THERE ARE SOME BEAUTIFUL PIANO-PASSAGES ON “JULIAN”. SLOWLY, BUT SURELY THIS INSTRUMENT IS REGAINING POPULARITY IN POP AND ROCK. DO YOU THINK THIS IS A GOOD DEVELOPMENT? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT BANDS SUCH AS COLDPLAY, WHO COMBINE ROCK AND PIANO-POP? Swan Christy uses the piano from their first demo (1996).There is truth in what you say. The piano surely is regaining popularity both in Rock and Pop. But that is happening, we believe, because of cycles that appear in music. When people return to some older ideas because thy run out of new ones. It is a phase. But the piano is a great instrument. Almost an orchestra by itself. It can be powerful as easy it can be sentimental or melancholic. About Coldplay we can say that they are a nice band. Though their first album was better than their last one in our humble opinion. In the same time bands like Coldplay or Muse etc… are ruined by Radiohead that have tried years ago what these try to do today. WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH BLACK LOTUS RECORDS LIKE? YOU RELEASED THE FIRST ALBUM ON THAT LABEL, IF I’M WELL INFORMED, SO THERE MUST BE A FEELING OF MUTUAL TRUST AND RESPECT. Is this confidential. If no we don’t answer. I guess it isn’t so we would have to keep these thoughts for ourselves. We believe that it was very brave from their side to release „Julian“ on their label. YOU PRODUCED THE ALBUM YOURSELVES AND ALSO DID THE COVER ARTWORK. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU TO KEEP AS MUCH OF SWAN CHRISTY IN YOUR OWN HANDS? We want to have total control over our work. That is because we believe that only we understand our work totally. We are sure about what we want to express, how it should sound, what it should look like and how it should end. We can do all these things ourselves so we will not run in any problems with outside collaborators. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE GREEK MUSIC SCENE? THERE ALWAYS SEEM TO BE SOME GOOD BANDS AROUND… Our opinion: Either there are no good bands or we don’t know them. If there were though, we would have heard something about them. We don’t consider ourselves as part of any Greek music scene. OBVIOUSLY, THE ALBUM BRINGS UP THE QUESTION, WHETHER YOU ARE MOVIE-FANS. AND IF SO, WHICH ONES YOU LIKE PARTICULARLY. We ARE movie fans. We also work in Video Clubs. But we like so many movies that it would take forever if we started talking about them. We like the works of David Fincher, Spike Jonze, M Night Shyamalan, Paul Tomas Anderson, Stanley Kubrick, Brian Singer, Terry Gillam, Steven Soderberg and the list goes on and on and on………… ANY IDEAS, WHAT THE NEXT ALBUM WILL LOOK LIKE? Oh yeah it will look like a standard CD. The CD will be round the case square and it will include a nice booklet not correctly printed because of the incompetence of greek printing factories (laughs). What you probably want is how it will sound like.But we don’t know that yet. Sorry. WHY DO PEOPLE IN GREECE USE THE WORD “MALAKA” SO OFTEN? It is like the English word „Bloody“ or „Cunt“ or the American „Motherfucker“ or the German „Seizer“ (???, Anm. der Red.) or the Italian „Strongo“ or the french „merde“ or the arabic „…“. Every country has its own „Malaka“ word. Got it malaka? (Please don’t be offended) (Laughs) Thank you!

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