Interview With Chaostar (by Ilias)
Chaostar isn’t a new band. They are one of the few Greek orchestras/bands with a strong following inside and outside their home country due to being on an outside label. But this following doesn’t exist without good reason. Chaostar are unique both musically and individually; Their latest elaboration, Anomima, at first didn’t click with me. But eventually I realised that there was indeed something interesting about how Septicflesh interweave orchestral majesty with metallic brutality. So I jumped at the chance to interview guitarist Chris Antoniou. Metal-Rules.com got the chance to contact Greek Chaostar’s mainman, Chris Antoniou, to speak of the new band’s offering, about the special guests (David Vincent, Fernando Ribeiro) and Septicflesh and many more…
Metal-Rules.com: Hello Chris how is you and where are you checking in from today?
Hello, I am fine thanks! Right now I am very busy doing the orchestrations for the new album of Septicflesh. We have entered the studio for the drums.
Metal-Rules.com: Could you introduce Chaostar to American fans? Could you tell us some words about your new elaboration?
Chaostar is the band where I introduce to the audience my deep love for classical and experimental music. To be honest Chaostar is the music for the listener who really wants to listen to something fresh and new that cannot be categorized or labeled. Eastern melodies meet with extreme sounds while simple rhythms give their place to seductive operatic vocals or even lamentations of traditional instruments. I studied composition of Classical music for about 7 years in England and Chaostar is the band where I can give an “excess” of more sophisticated and pretentious sounds. In the last album “Anomima” we give a real example of who liberty can invade music composition. In “Anomima” you will find various rhythmic styles, a vivid use of different instruments ranging from the eastern Yalil-Tambur to the up-to-date dubstep, everything under the veil of mesmerizing operatic sounds that can turn into frenzy screams and weeping’s of a mad woman. I am always very careful with the selection of the musicians who take part in my works, thus Chaostar boasts a variety of talented and dedicated people. The encrownement of all this effort behind Chaostar is the use of the Filmharmonic Orchestra of Prague that contributed with its specialists to our musical project. What I believe that our friends in America will love to chaostar is that on the latest album “Anomima” there is a concept behind. The idea on which the album is based has been the power of the “one against all” story. The one and -only person that walks alone the harsh path of its beliefs and ethics, against the prevailing ideas of its times. Frequent example that I use is the story of Galileo Galilei, the man who faced Inquisition standing for his beliefs. It is where the prevailing illusions of superstition religions, faced a courageous man that defended the scientific truth (that earth moves around its axis) jeopardizing his life.
Metal-Rules.com: Could you explain the reason that you named your new release under this strange name, because I am sure that there is an interesting story behind it.
Indeed there is a quite interesting story for “Anomima”. The closest interpretation to the Greek word “Anomima” is Sin. Sin is a word that rarely can be found in ancient Greek philosophy and start to become more and more apparent after the Roman Empire and the medieval times. Jordano Bruno was sentenced to death by fire by Inquisition, because he was a sinner towards religion, a “heretic”, a threat to establishment, by saying the clearest thing. That Universe consists of numerous other galaxies. To who did he sinned? I would say towards certainty of those times.
So sin has several different interpretations .Is it the sin that goes opposite to our morals, or is it the sin that goes opposite to the preconceived ideas society has nourished us with? Can we tell the difference between them? Can we choose? Can we choose to be sinners for humanity but ok with ourselves? Are we ready to pay the price? “Sorrow descending” talks about Antigone’s sorrow descend to her tomb of death were she will be enclosed .She disobeyed the King, but she obeyed her heart. Her sin takes her beyond the limits of human creation and crowned her as the Queen of love and courage. I wish we could have more sinners like that in this world, those rebels that no real protestation demands firstly for the price to be paid. Even in music, can you recall the reactions of a society watching speechless the “provocative” Diamanda Galas before 25 years? Her contribution is beyond compare to anything. So, in the root of every evolution there is always the piercing action that shakes and burns the established theories. In this album we bow with respect towards those personalities who dare to sin and those situations that seem to be revolutionary for their times.
The word “sin” is something that refers to the non-accepted or provocative action. Our concern as a band is to underline the defining power a “sin” may infuse this world.
In other words, the central pole around which the album is circulated is the personal strength and power one can have in order to fight for an idea or to protect his beliefs. We are excited by personalities of Antiquity, even from nowadays simple heroes that stand up to the established ideas and make the difference. A small idea that can grow inside us and becomes the wall to protect us against the arrows of the enemy. That has been the root of my inspiration.
Metal-Rules.com: Chris, how are the things in your main band, Septicflesh?
We are in the recording process. We have already started the drums recs. We will be in the studio for the next 2-3 months for the recordings, mix and mastering.
Metal-Rules.com: How did recording “Anomima” go?
The recordings went very well. It has been a really hard work to do, but the result recompense us. Too many different instruments, too many different vocal techniques, a lot of difficulties in arrangement, made “Anomima” a really hard work. However, we always felt that we could do better and better, thus we spent a lot of time correcting and re-recording things aiming the perfection.
Metal-Rules.com: Well, could you tell me what your opinion on the Greek metal scene is?
Is going better but need more efforts and I would say more originality. We need also more bands to establish their entity. It takes time, patience and a lot of work in order to “compete” with traditional scenes of metal like Scandinavian as ex.
Metal-Rules.com: Could you impart any technical details on “Anonima”?
It took us many months to record and finalize the album. My busy schedule also played role on that as I had tours with Septicflesh for the promotion of The Great Mass.
We record the majority of the material in Devasoundz studio our professional studio in Athens.I record also some parts again with the Filmharmonic Orchestra and Choir from Prague. Lambros Sfyris made the mix of the album. Lambros used to be our “producer” in our early days with Septicflesh. He mixed albums like “The Ophidian Wheel” and “The fallen Temple”. As we have many traditional instruments played by George Diamantopoulos we wanted a person that his familiar with the difficulties of these instruments. We didn’t want a metal producer for the album. I am really pleased with result. Was a tough work to mix “Anomima” but everything went really well.
Metal-Rules.com: What inspired you to choose “Anonima”? What is the concept or main theme of the album?
The answer is almost answered previously ,where I explained why I released the album under that strange name” Anomima”.Well the question remains ,what was the inspiration of choosing the theme of “sin”, “provocative actions”, the non-acceptable behavior” and the answer is because we ourselves feel closer to that concept. We consider ourselves as a group of musicians who strive for creating a genre of music that can be called as non-clearly -understandable. It is an honor to us when reading that some parts of our music are» inexplicably done, or irrationals». It is only then that we commit our personal disobey towards the sweeping power of the music industry. We are simple people .but that doesn’t mean that we cannot do remarkable choices in our lives.
Metal-Rules.com: The disc will feature David Vincent and Fernando Ribeiro? How did the idea originate?
I always want to introduce controversial elements to my works. Maybe someone can’t imagine David and Fernando participating in Chaostar, but this is the interesting part. Both managed to add their distinctive colors. First of all as far as David Vincent, I believe there wouldn’t be anything more precise and accurate than the use of his voice. He opens the song referring to “Medea” and actually he plays the role of the clairvoyant, who foresees the tragedy. His dark imposing voice is exactly what I always imagined in that part. Bear in mind that in Greek mythology and tragedies the clairvoyants were considered to be extremely respectable personalities. Their oracles defined endings or waging of wars .It gave me chills to sing after him on the song, an indescribable feeling for me. Indeed David Vincent’s voice has an imposing velvet tone that reminds us of a clairvoyant of other times. Words are not enough for a legend of its magnitude.
Fernando also exposed his talent for one more time in “Anomima”. In “Dilate the time” a song referring to the Einstein’s revolutionary theory about time dilation, that change drastically the idea that scientists used to have about galaxy and space ,Fernando used his voice so as to imitate the speed of light. The central idea of the song is that the speed of light can eventually turn light into mass…So the more we put forward our dreams the bigger they become. Can you see the connection between velocity and realization? It is a little bit imaginary but it can be done. So who else can give better the rhythm and the seduction on that song than Fernando Ribeiro?
Both David and Fernando did a wonderful work and we are honored to have them participated in “Anomima”.
Metal-Rules.com: Do you think there is a common area between Chaostar fans and Septicflesh? For some to like one band and then discover and grow onto the other?
Yes I truly believe that. People listening to Septicflesh will find many of Chaostar elements in Septicflesh’s albums .People who are fans of Septicflesh are able to see the great effort and the musical result that will remind them a lot the kind of music I write. I believe that even though there is a gap in the genre between Chaostar and Septicflesh, people who love symphonic metal will appreciate and embrace with joy the music of Chaostar which also reveals the mysterious and dark element, as Septicflesh always do.
Metal-Rules.com: Right, I have beholden that heavy metal changes through the decades. Heavy and Thrash metal dominated over in 80’s, Death, black and power metal in 90’s and metalcore and nu metal in the 00’s in general. 2010 was the beginning sign of the new decade. What do you see for the future?
Art has been saturated. I can’t see any evolution in any genre, is really difficult nowadays to create a music idiom. But you never know.
Metal-Rules.com: Once you said that Horace is your favourite Roman personality. Please give us some more words about that.
Horace declared what should and must be the root of every positive change on this planet and that is our personal and only will to define our futures and the ways we lead ourlives. We are not born, we are made. So Greek culture is not a privilege of Greeks who were born in Greece, but it is a gift given to all those around the world who wants to be nourished with the Greek philosophy. Do not misunderstand me ,I don’t mean that the change on this world has Greek roots, but I mean that any change has its roots in the way we grow up and in the amount of courage we have in order to define a better world. We talk about Democracy but that must not be a privilege of people born in the evolved Western world, It has to be a worldwide strive to be imposed all over for the sake of all people. We talk about Human rights. Not only people in certain countries must be privileged with that, but every people around the world must convince itself that through struggle and fight it can be an inherit ant of its own rights.
Metal-Rules.com: Thank you for this interview. If you would like to tell to yours fans a message, please do so! I wish you all the best!
Thanks for the interview and thanks to all our fans all these years for supporting us. Metal rules!