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’ve always loved listening to music, and I started to play the guitar when I was 13. My wish was to be in a band that plays their own material. However, all “my” bands split up before we recorded a decent demo because we couldn’t agree on a suitable vocalist. Luckily, with Alex Filippidis I finally found a partner who was willing to go instrumental. Being a member of our band Prynum was an amazing experience for me that I’m very grateful for, and I’m very proud of our album Obstacles. I wouldn’t be anywhere near the musician that I am today without these guys. During the recording and production process of Obstacles however, I developed new material that I felt needed to be part of another project.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Subglacial was the first song during my time as a member of Prynum that I intentionally wrote for myself because I wanted to take a different approach to my songwriting and see where the journey takes me. To my surprise, the song almost wrote itself, and I liked the result very much. So I started working on more material for a new project, which eventually became Lakes of Wada.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Music-wise: I love a lot of quite diverse bands/musicians and albums from all kinds of genres, and I guess the majority of my favourite songs and records are only very remotely if at all connected to the kind of music that I am creating or am able to create. I think that bands like Opeth, Ved Buens Ende, Pavement, Built to Spill and Mastodon had a very big influence on my concept of tasteful disharmony. But I also love the intense and intimate atmosphere bands such as Motorpsycho, Radiohead or Russian Circles can create. That’s something I’d like to be able to do one day.
Non-music-wise: science, naturalism, art (in the most general sense), family and all the people that mean something to me.
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?
I make instrumental music, but only because I’m not a vocalist, and never had the opportunity to work with a vocalist I like. Otherwise, I do not restrict myself to any genre – this is one of the principles of Lakes of Wada. If I like an idea, I will work on it, no matter what it is. Actually, I’d really love to be able to write a simple 3 minute pop song one day… with vocals, of course… we’ll see. If that doesn’t turn you off… well… I’m grateful for anybody who takes the time to listen to my music.
As to my sound: the guitar is my main instrument, and I’m a chords guy. I like big chords, preferably with some open strings and slightly unusual or unexpected chord progressions or finger picking patterns. Also, very often I end up with odd meter riffs that somehow sound straight to me, but when I start tabbing them I realise… “Wait a minute, that’s not 4/4…”. Ideally, the chord progressions or melodies are balanced between light and darkness… I don’t know how else to describe it. All in all, the sound must not be too polished, it has to maintain some degree of rawness and imperfection for me to like it.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
At least this desert island has electricity and the devices needed to decode the media…
Desert island albums:
That’s a really tough one, and there are dozens of other albums that I’m not doing justice right now, but since I have to name just 3, at the moment I’d choose the following:
The Beatles – Revolver
Dungen – Ta det lugnt
Motorpsycho and Ståle Storløkken – The Death Defying Unicorn
Desert island movies:
2001: A Space Odyssey
No Country for Old Men
Desert island books:
Daniel C. Dennett – Darwin’s Dangerous Idea
Daniel C. Dennett – From Bacteria to Bach and Back
Gary Larson – The Complete Far Side (any of the two hard-cover volumes)
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Live is undoubtedly fun, but I definitely prefer studio because as much as I enjoy playing songs, my main motivation has always been to create my own musical material. To me, the most exciting thing about making music is to put musical ideas together, to experiment with structures, arrangements, sounds, etc. and to finally end up with a complete song of my own (or the band I’m a member of), usually wondering how the whole damn thing even emerged from all the small steps and missteps during the process. Ideally, I like the finished song, but at least I’ve learned a lot of new things that will help me develop new material.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
It’s not quite a story about an event, but more about a concept that Alex introduced in Prynum: satanisation. Sometimes when we came up with an interesting chord progression, I slightly changed a few notes in some of the chords to make it less generic – in my view, at least. Usually, it also made things a bit darker, quite to Alex’ chagrin at times. So, he “congratulated” me for satanising it. With time however, there were occasions when I even got the order to satanize a riff or a chord progression. Of course, none of us have anything to do with satanism, but I like the idea of “satanising” a musical element because in a weird way it captures pretty well how many of my riffs are developed.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
Since Lakes of Wada has only released one song yet, I cannot answer this question.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Lakes of Wada is all about enjoying this creative journey without knowing where it will take me. That’s why there are no future plans, just the desire to release one new song every two months.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
I chose to ask former Prynum drummer, good friend and unbelievably awesome person Gaston Ragnar Rippinger to ask me a question. So here it is: “Music as catharsis. Does that apply to you? What other ways do you have to blow off steam?”
Making music is indeed a cathartic process for me. It’s my way of coping with the fact that the universe doesn’t care… with the advantage of getting the confirmation right along the way. No, seriously… However, an equally cathartic experience for me is the joy I feel when I listen to great music. There are many things in life I could somehow learn to live without, but the records that I love most come not long after the most basic needs like food and drink. Another important way for me to blow off steam, or rather restore my mental equilibrium, is doing a workout on my rowing machine or just going for a walk – without music.
Photo credits: Andreas Forch (1st one), Alexandros Filippidis (2nd one)
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
Connect with Lakes of Wada: