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.
Antonis: We met as members of another band that we both played with and when it reached an end, we decided to collaborate for a song called “Sad Eyes”. This project grew to be Strawberry Pills. I always thought that Valisia is one of the most talented frontwomen I’ve ever seen and to be able to make music with her is amazing. We never actually broke up, so we just see it, not as an incarnation, but simply as our next move, it just took more time than it usually does, but we both thought that it was the right time to come back.
Valisia: Now, even more than before making music with Antonis is so effortless and fun and we are both eager to explore and evolve our music and ourselves.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Antonis: It’s a single called “Verbal Suicide”, a song that we wrote almost 6 years ago and was one of the highlights of our shows even though we hadn’t recorded it. When we decided to get back in the studio it was clear that we would record this one. It combines perfectly our old sound with the new path we want to take.
Valisia: “Verbal Suicide” is somehow a trademark of our vision.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Valisia: It may sound cliché but music wise I have to say Siouxsie Sioux, there is no one who sings like her. Furthermore, David Sylvian for his deep, rich, mesmerising voice and iconic looks as well as Ronny even though she only left us with a handful of songs. Non-music-wise, I get lots of inspiration from fashion. Designers such as Claude Montana, Yves Saint Laurent, Thierry Mugler and photographers such as Guy Bourdin, Deborah Turbeville, Tim Walker have contributed a lot to my musical identity.
Antonis: Well, that’s a tough one. Music-wise I would say that The Soft moon have had a big influence in my guitar playing, Depeche Mode in my song-writing but I also love The Beatles, The Who, Elliott Smith and many more. Non-music-wise, I would say that “The Wings of Desire” by Wim Wenders is the perfect movie for our soundtrack. But anything can be an inspiration for 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?
Antonis: It’s Dark, Electronic, Romantic with a small touch of Cold-Wave. I can’t tell how we differ from other artists, I can’t be objective, but I can tell you that all we want to do is try and push the boundaries of the dark genre. We don’t want to sound like a band that remakes the sound of the ‘80’s, even though we respect everyone does so.
Valisia: In other words what we attempt to do is to reintroduce the dark sound that we love and pay respect to with a touch of nowness both musically and visually.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Valisia: Albums: Japan – Tin Drum, Ultravox – Rage in Eden, Dark Day – Window.
Movies: Dario Argento – Suspiria, Luchino Visconti – Death in Venice, Sidney Lumet – Network.
Books: Matthew Gregory Lewis- The Monk, Mikhail Bulgakov – The Master and Margarita, Joris-Karl Hyusmans – Là-Bas.
Antonis: Albums: The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Depeche Mode – Some Great Reward and T.Rex – Electric Warrior.
Movies: “The Wings of Desire”, “Withnail and I”, “The Warriors” and
Books: Albert Camus – The Stranger, Skagboys – Irvine Welsh and anything by Andrea Camillieri.
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Valisia: With no second thought, performing live.
Antonis: I love making music in the studio but I prefer performing live. I love the direct connection and interaction with the people that enjoy our music, I love expressing myself onstage.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Antonis: Well, me getting minor electric shocks by microphones (happens a lot lately) and Valisia falling onstage once while performing.
Valisia: While we were shooting our video for “Verbal Suicide”, as we appear for just a bit, we were following around the crew with an mp3 player and a speaker playing the song but no one paid attention to us, so we felt really worthless and silly.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
Antonis + Valisia: We would point out “Verbal Suicide”, our latest single which, as we told you before, mixes our old sound with the new one.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Antonis + Valisia: We are playing two shows in March. One in Athens (Death Disco, 22/3) and a second one in Thessaloniki (Ypsilon, 24/3) with our friend from Berlin, Oberst Panizza. After that, we are heading back to the studio to record our debut album and take small breaks to do more shows.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Antonis: A message to the world:
Please recycle and be kind to other human beings and animals.
Valisia: Are you dog people or cat people?
Dog people all the way.
Photo credits: Aris Athanatos
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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