Interview with Akantha done by Patrick Posted on 5-25-18
Interview with Athanasios vocalist, guitarist for Akantha done by Patrick
1. Hails Athanasios please introduce yourself to the readers?
Hello, Patrick and to all the readers. I am the founder, composer, guitarist, vocalist and actually the bassist also of Akantha. I live in Karditsa, a small town in central Greece, and I am part of the local scene for almost 20 years in various bands. It’s a small town but we have some quality bands here…I urge you to check that...
2. When did you first discover black metal and who were some of the first bands you discovered? Who are some of your current favorite bands?
I discovered black metal in depth somewhere around mid 1999 to early 2000 and from then onwards is a never ending journey. The first bands, I think, were Mayhem, Immortal, Rotting Christ, Ancient and Marduk. As for the current favorite bands (and the all time favorite bands): Carpathian Forest, Judas Iscariot and Mayhem but only the De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas album. But, of course, I love a lot of bands in a wide range (from Beherit to Limbonic Art and everything in between).
3. Athanasios you first started the band in 2002 what gave you the idea to start this band? And how did you choose Akantha as the name of the band and does it have a special meaning?
Black metal is an art and the art is meant to be shared. In that sense, there wasn’t a specific idea behind the decision to start the band apart that there is music that flows into me that it needs to be channeled. As for the name, is inspired by the Greek Mythology. Akantha was a nymph that scratched Apollo’s face and he transformed her into the acanthus plant (Akantha in Greek language means thorn). It has a specific meaning to me but I don’t want to reveal it at this moment. Anyway, I think the readers can make a few metaphors from this tale. Let’s say it is open to interpretations…
4. Athanasios you reformed the band in 2017 when did you get the idea to reform the band? And who would you say are the bands biggest influences?
The band was on ice all this years, not disbanded. That happened unintentionally actually. The idea to record an album was always on my plans but various situations, circumstances and obligations prevented me from that. Finally, at the end of December of 2017 I realized how many years have passed and from that very moment I started working the album on my mind. About the influences, if I had to name some bands that would be Judas Iscariot, Darkthrone, Horna and others with similar sound. It’s that raw, early – mid 90’s black metal sound that I like. Apart from that, there are some classical composers that have a huge impact on me, in the way I compose riffs, melodies and music in general.
5. Apocalyptic Psalms is the debut release how long did it take you to write the music for the debut release?
All the music for the album was composed in two consecutive afternoons in early January of 2018. I had a very clear idea on my mind since December about the direction of the album and also some ideas for riffs and melodies and everything came out very naturally and easily. Until the mid January where I started recording the guitars I made small tweaks and improvements here and there and that’s it.
6. Where do you draw inspiration for the lyrics for the band and what are some topics you wrote about on the debut?
The inspiration for the lyrics came from the endless, deep and very rich field of ancient Greek philosophy. The topics are mainly around the metaphysical side of philosophy, such as: immortality of the soul, other or parallel dimensions, cosmogony – ontology and stuff like that.
7. I believe the Apocalyptic Psalms is a digital release are you planning on releasing it in a physical format soon?
You are correct, it is a free digital release. The plan was to be only a free digital release of the album so everyone that appreciates this music would have the chance to enjoy it. The thing is that there is a demand for a physical release, so it may happen.
8. Would you like to find a label to work with one day or do you prefer to self release your music?
I am positive to that idea. If a label has a proposal that suits us and both sides are happy then yeah…why not?
9. Athanasios have you started working on new music for the next release? If yes how long does it usually take to finish one song?
When “Apocalyptic Psalms” was released I had already composed all the music for the next album. It will be released until the end of the year. To finish one song it may take one hour, one day, one week…it depends really.
10. What does black metal mean to you?
As I said, black metal is an art and every art is supposed to make you feel something. For me black metal is pure emotion, and as emotion, it can’t be described with words…
11. Akantha comes out of the Greek black metal scene what is your opinion of the black metal scene in Greece over the years?
Greece has traditionally a very strong black metal scene. Let’s not forget that we were, along with Norwegians (or Scandinavians in general), Italians and some other Europeans, the protagonists of the 2nd wave of black metal. Today there is a plethora of old and new bands with a superb quality and this thing it keeps growing and growing.
12. Who are your all-time favorite black metal bands coming out of Greece? And are there any new Greek metal bands you could recommend to the readers?
I don’t have an all time favorite band to be honest, I like a lot of bands, from the classic old bands to some newer ones. It will be unfair to mention names… now with the internet it’s easy for everyone to search by himself.
13, Besides bands are there any honest, reliable Greek labels and distro's you could recommend to the readers?
Sorry, I have no clue about that.
14. Thank you Athanasios for taking the time to fill this interview out do you have any final words for the readers?
Thank you, Patrick and your zine for the interview, keep up the good work. Thanks to everyone who takes time to read the interview, I hope you like our debut album and be prepared for the next one.
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