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.
Well, I’ve started playing classical guitar since a relatively young age. Growing up I’ve played to various bands, from black metal to indie rock. In 2012, after a couple of years with no band, I wanted to create music once more, but in a more personal level. So, I started composing a few songs, I’ve released an EP through Soundcloud, and Once Upon A Winter was born as a solo post-rock project.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
.existence is the second full album of Once Upon A Winter. It came a year after the debut album, and it was completely unplanned. After the release of the first album, I wanted to take some time off, because I was exhausted from recording, mixing, and mastering. Life doesn’t work like that though. I was living in an intense period, and the new songs came out of nowhere, as a mean to narrate that new storyline. So, .existence came to life. It was released on February digitally on my Bandcamp page, and in November was the physical release on vinyl and CD, in collaboration with Snow Wave Records from Finland.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Music-wise, I’m influenced from everything that I listen to. From atmospheric black metal, progressive rock, to more classical stuff, and of course post rock, which is the core of Once Upon A Winter. Non-music-wise, I firmly believe that everything could become music. A nice walk, a random story on a random quiet café, a nice quote from a book and/or a movie. You can draw inspiration from everything that moves you.
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’m not gonna say that I re-invented the wheel in any genre, cause I haven’t. There are elements from post rock, to blackgaze, and progressive rock. I believe that the main strength of both Once Upon A Winter albums, is the fixation with melodic lines. I don’t like just building up to a crescendo just for the sake of it. I want in every part of a song to incorporate a melody that you can sing along to. A melody that could draw your attention. Eventually, it all comes down to that, from my perspective. If you strip down a song, lose the heavy guitars, the strings etc., and leave just the melody, would it make sense? Would it still be as emotional? After all, I make music just to capture memories and emotions.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Ooohh.. I love that… If you ask me tomorrow, I’m gonna have a different list, but for today:
1. Godspeed you black emperor! – F#A#∞
2. Alcest – Kodama
3. Pavlov’s Dog – Pampered Menial
2. The silence of the lambs
3. Lion King
1. The curious incident of the Dog in the night time – Mark Haddon
2. Uncle Petros and Goldbach’s Conjecture – Apostolos Doxiadis
3. The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy – Douglas Adams
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
I really enjoy the process of composing and recording… time really flies when the inspiration hits you. I was never able to describe the full emotional state behind recording something new, something you really like, while everything just flows without pressure at all. So, in a way I do enjoy being on studio, feeling creative. Besides, up until recently I haven’t performed live with Once Upon A Winter, since it began as a solo project.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Well, the story behind our live performance with God Is An Astronaut is quite funny. As I’ve mentioned Once Upon A Winter is a solo project, but I’ve always wanted to perform the songs live with a band. So, I had already reached out to Fotis (the bassist from the live line up) and from him I met Apostolis (the second guitarist on the live line up), but we hadn’t rehearsed or anything like that. Fast forward to this September, when I receive a call, asking me if I wanted to open for GIAA. Without thinking about it, I’ve said yes, so later that day I talked to the guys and I was like “Yeah.. I know.. we’ve never played together.. but it’s GIAA.. so.. we are playing with them”. Eventually, everything went great and it was a beautiful moment for all of us.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
If I had to single just one track out, that would be .existence. I really feel that song is filled with passion and intensity. It was the first song written for the 2nd album, and it became the title track for the whole album. In a way, it marked the changed of Once Upon A Winter sound to heavier paths, incorporating more metal elements. Even though it is difficult for me to listen to my old tracks, I do enjoy listening to it from time to time.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Oh, we’ve got a lot of things coming. Moreover, there are plans for a small Greek tour, with two other bands (no nooooo.. I can’t.. it’s a surprise). Hopefully, we’ll figure everything out and make it happen. It would be amazing. Finally, I’ve finished writing the third album. There are a couple of things left to record but there’s no pressure regarding the release. It will be released within 2019 for sure, but I really don’t know anything more specific.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
3 more deserted island albums (sorry I just couldn’t restrain myself)
4. Anathema – The Silent Enigma
5. Opeth – Still life
6. Explosions in the sky – The earth is not a cold dead place
Photo credits: Georgia Ladopoulou (Rock Overdose)
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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