AFTER DUSK – Guitarist Paminos Giannakopoulos

November 10th, 2012
by EvilG

AFTER DUSK

Guitarist Paminos Giannakopoulos

Interview by Ryan Bartek

 


The images springing forth from Greece paint a picture of violent unrest, yet despite the media’s monopoly over the spread of information, this summer I found Athens to be an atmosphere of eerie calm. They had just elected an extreme left prime minister, and were awaiting a secondary election which ultimately elected someone extremely right wing.

The reason of the polar shift had less to do with politics and more to do with desperation – in Greece they can legally bet on their elections. And when the tally came in, it showed almost perfectly the point spread that bookies offered. This only highlights the economic desperation.

Still, for all the Greeks I met who had nightmare tales of what they are going for, Paminos was rather centered and joyful. He was relaxed and calm, and did not feel the country would slip into total chaos as the news reports make it appear. I would consume his optimism if it weren’t for every other street corner hosting a riot cop clad in kevlar gear with huge plexi-glass shields. Every few blocks you’d find them, standing there nonchalantly, breezily expecting an angry mob or tossed petrol bomb.

That almost the entire generation of young men I witnessed had camouflage pants & army/navy trinkets attached to their belts only amped up the vibe. It seemed everyone were stockading for collapse, waiting for Greece to be dumped out of the EU Zone and forced back to the Drachma, their native currency…

I of course showed up alone, as always, plummeting to the center of this country for 5 days on the streets. Considered by many to be the Third World of Europe, let it be known that there was more life to be found here then most the countries of Northern Europe put together. It is also perhaps one of the most blatantly metal places in The Old World, next to perhaps Helsinki, Berlin or Prague.

AFTER DUSK, the subject of the following article, are another example of a sincere Athens metal band ceaselessly toiling in the pit. Their latest record “The Devil Got His Soul” is a mix of classic power metal fused with some melodic death metal flourishes, and a general feel of rocking out in the classic IRON MAIDEN sense. This new offering has given the band a jolt in stature and in reach. I met with guitarist Paminos Giannakopoulos at the famed Exarhion Square to confront the problems and successes of the metal world in this ancient arena…

 


 

Bartek: To start, tell me about Athens, what you do — and thanks for the beer, by the way…

Giannakopoulos: It’s nothing, cheers… Athens – it has a lot of downsides. But I think in the end most of us like it, that’s why no one goes away if they can.

 

I’m hearing that because of austerity measures people are moving out against their own will…

I think there’s not so many as you suspect from what you are hearing. I think the one thing about the Greeks — you should know we sometimes exaggerate. If one problem is a two, then we make it a four. Surely there are many problems because many people are wanting general public services, stuff like that. Some places many lost their jobs, and, you know, the private sector took the opportunity from the cuts in the private sector and they made cuts in their companies even if they didn’t have to. In the last 3 years, its affected almost everybody.

 

Well, tell me a little about being a metal band here in Athens…

Being in a metal band in Athens – its kind of hard. We have many bands – they kick ass, they sound great, but there are many problems. First is a big problem that exists all around the world – over commercialization of music. All of a sudden someone from a record company says all artists or bands have to sound like this or that, and it’s like a 2000 negative imprint on art. I think art is about giving to others what you want to give, not what you can give when somebody points you in a direction… One problem is this – there is no music industry for metal in Greece. Absolutely not. If you want to play professional music in Greece, you have to possibly have Greek lyrics and with the music nothing too hard. I don’t think we have a single hard rock band in a major company. The hardest stuff [actually signed] is classic rock stuff with Greek lyrics.

 

Do ROTTING CHRIST get any press here, are they on like Greek Mtv?

Yeah, the big bands like SEPTIC FLESH, ROTTING CHRIST, they get exposure – not a little but, they… Sakis from ROTTING CHRIST is my friend. The last concert in Greece, they had the same audience that the big foreign bands do, so I think they have their attention. The thing is for a metal band in Greece… I feel like the fans want one band to have exposure & gain ground abroad — in USA, Europe, whatever, and they can accept it better. I thought before it was stupid but we didn’t have any examples, but for the last 10 years we’ve had these examples.

 

Talk about Greek bands – who do you respect? Who should get more exposure?

If you search for a band in a particular style you like you will find many. Myself, I can propose for stoner type of metal there’s BEYOND PERCEPTION. There are some great death metal bands, like DOMINATE. And we have in death & black metal a very nice level of bands.

 

 

Tell me about the lyrics, the message…

The music, it’s heavy metal — we don’t put any stereotypes on the songs. We just play what we like, it doesn’t need to verse/chorus/verse/solo; there are many riffs in one song. The lyrics are pretty diverse. Some are political, some are of the occult type, stuff like that. Some are about women, relationships, but no love songs, ha ha. It’s pretty diverse…

 

The economic crisis here, from what I understand they might try to make Greece leave the EU and go back to the Drachma currency…

I think its too complicated to make such a speculation because, if I understand it right, if Greece leaves the Eurozone there will be major consequences for the rest of Europe. I think we’re not going to leave in the end.

 

What are some interesting places in Greece outside Athens?

I’ve been to many islands, one at a time. I prefer exploring the whole island with a bike or something, visit all the beaches then go to the next. For places, the thing about Greece is that there is a lot of diversity. Crete is great, it’s a big island. Even if you spend 3 months there you cannot go everywhere. Generally islands are more expensive, even for the locals. Everything comes from Athens with a ship, so its more expensive.

 

Tell me about the new album, some of the songs…

The new album is the longest so far, it has 13 songs. The title is “The Devil Got His Soul.” We wanted to dedicate it to all the metalheads, especially the ones that got into it at a young age. It you had the first METALLICA album, that first IRON MAIDEN when you were 8 years old, you have memories like you would with your parents or friends — you have a different connection with the music or band itself… The opening song “The Hunter Becomes The Prey” was inspired by the USA actually, the thing that happened with the bankers a few years ago. They lost their money & many executives took the place of the Mexicans trying to get whatever job they could. We have other songs like doomsday disaster stuff with a meteor striking the earth. We have another which is a heavy metal blues song. So I think it sounds as diverse as the previous albums, surely its better produced. We didn’t have a big budget and it was a long record so it took many sessions but I think it sounds great. I think whoever liked the previous works is gonna like the new one better…

**For more info visit: www.afterduskmetal.com or http://www.reverbnation.com/afterdusk

 


**Ryan Bartek is a freelance journalist, road junkie & all around freak. His new book “FORTRESS EUROPE (The Big Shiny Prison Vol. II)”  is a 222 page odyssey which covers his journeys through the European Underground in 2011. FORTRESS EUROPE is a FREE PDF download at this location: http://ryanbartek.angelfire.com/blog/   <contact: ryanbartek@hotmail.com>

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