What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
I wouldn’t call it inspiration; I guess it was an inner need to approach through a more personal way sounds and artists that I absolutely adored. As long as I can remember myself, I have always listened to music through whatever medium I could find access to. And when that was not possible, I used to spend my time in record stores. At some point I got a job at a record store and it was like a life dream coming true. I didn’t listen to music only when I was sleeping (laughter). One day, a friend came at my place and forgot there a small casio. Since I was not a musician, the small Casio keyboard seemed to be the easiest way to start making my own tracks. As time went by, synthesizers began to fill my room. So, in the beginning, it wasn’t an inspiration call, it was my personal need to create similar stuff to all the things that I had been listening to. I didn’t want to be a musician; I just felt the need to express what was piled up in my head without losing the initial feeling.
I studied photography at the Technological Educational Institute of Athens and then I worked for 18 years at a central record store in Athens. I moved to Thessaloniki when this record store opened a new location here. In parallel, I have worked and I am still working as a DJ in various venues and occasionally I do radio shows. Somewhere between 2002 and 2003 I started with a friend HUMAN PUPPETS and in 2017 we created together with Stavroula Tsiara (lyrics/visuals) CONVEX MODEL.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
In the same year of the project’s creation, we released “Intersecting Planes” on tape (101 units). Soon, 3 more members joined the band: Eleni Tzouna (synths), George Papadopoulos (bass) and Kyriakos Tsakalidis (drums). In 2018, CM released “Life in a glass cube” on vinyl (300 units), which contains 4 tracks of the tape (remastered) and 4 new ones. Following a pure DIY aesthetic, all tracks were recorded/produced in a home studio with totally analogue equipment.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Undoubtedly kraut, prog, new wave and post punk. Some of my favourite artists/bands are: Brian Eno, Kraftwerk, John Foxx, Can, Amon Düül, The Residents, Captain Beefheart, Magazine, Bauhaus, Dark Day, Spherical Objects, Der künftige Musikant etc.
Apart from music, cinema and literature have influenced me deeply. In a way, Bergman, Tarkovsky, Welles, Jarry, Blanchot, Artaud, Mallarmé, Ball, have formed my way of thinking and of course everything I have done with HUMAN PUPPETS and CONVEX MODEL so far. In a sense, everything I have ever created is my way of saying thank you to all the people who helped me become familiar with all those great artists and their masterpieces.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
First of all, the feeling of creation is a way to win all the battles against yourself and to reconcile to some extent with your personal fears. This is certainly a very difficult process and concerns clearly a game of our inner balance. I have never asked myself, why someone “should” listen to the music of CONVEX MODEL, but I guess this concerns a relation of identification. If even only one person can identify with this sound, that is for me a unique relationship of pure communication. Furthermore, nothing differs and nothing is the same, as long as people can recognize that there is truth and soul in what you do. If I would describe the sound of CM, I would say that it is a mixture of psychedelic new wave and post punk elements with prog and kraut extensions.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
I think I wouldn’t take any of these with me to a desert island and that could be a spark for a quite long conversation (smile).
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
I certainly prefer live performances and this is the reason why CONVEX MODEL is currently a full band. In a period of 10 months we have had 6 concerts in different cities and we are preparing now our upcoming 7th live performance, which will take place on the 19th of January at Death Disco, Athens.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
There are always funny stories, especially when it comes to live performances. Most of them have to do with sound engineers. I remember their looks while seeing our equipment, somehow like facing aliens (laughter) and always asking what we are going to do with all these things, meaning of course the synthesizers.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
Undoubtedly “And it’s getting cold”. It is the first song I wrote as CONVEX MODEL and besides the music part, I identify completely with the story that the lyrics of Stavi describe.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
The future plans concern as many live performances as possible and of course the creation of new tracks for a new release.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Does DIY exist today as a way of living and a way of artistic expression?
DIY emerged though collectives and communes during the punk and proto new wave era a) paving the way to expression for every person that felt the need to do so and b) abolishing the label of being a “professional” artist and the exclusive use of established means of artistic expression (for example music instruments to create music, oil paints to create a painting etc). For me, DIY complied totally with the famous quote of Joseph Beuys “everyone is an artist” meaning that every person has the need and the ability to create and to be creative.
Nowadays, there are on the one hand so much more possibilities and media for self-publishing, self-releasing, self-management and self-organizing. On the other hand, when looking closely to DIY attempts of today, one can see that the media and the various tools seem to be more important than the human being itself and its creation. That’s why we often see the term of DIY appear in TV shows, in very expensive home studios and in “alternative” multi-purpose art spaces or sometimes we just see DIY becoming a synonym for a few mouse clicks or for the turning of some knobs. I believe that today, DIY expressions in its pure and authentic form are difficult to find in this ocean of shiny “diy” trends.
Photo credits: Savvas Katirtzidis
Curated by: Konstantinos Kourkounakis
Connect with Convex Model: