Baetyl spread their wings with their full-length debut album ‘Meteorite’ recorded in 2009 (released late 2011). On the occasion of their latest ‘Jangala EP’, the desert/stoner band from Athens shared a few thoughts with Last Day Deaf. There you go…
Describe your 2 albums with three words for each.
‘Meteorite’: Cramped, diverse, experimental
‘Jangala EP’: Spontaneous, instinctive, solid
The title of your latest release, Jangala, sounds nearly as strange as Baetyl. What does it mean and what is this thing with you and weird names?
Weird names are defined solely by the way they sound and look differently to different people. However their meanings are not random.
The word jangala originates from the Sanskrit language, meaning uncultivated, dry land. For us it refers to a messed up world we all live in and have to deal with…
What has changed for Baetyl over the years?
We think nowadays Baetyl goes for a simpler and more direct approach in writing and playing music. A reason for that is that we nowadays have to meet in a rehearsal studio for a brief period of time, instead of hanging out for many hours at Stamatis place, as we did during the first years of this musical adventure.
What has remained the same?
Nothing, except from our line -up. “Everything flows” as Heraclitus put it but, apart from that, there is always something that keeps us getting together in a room throwing notes and beats to one another.
Despite your music style, I feel that punk aesthetics have always been a part of Baetyl. Is this a thing present in you new EP?
Indeed. You can say that. We think this album is so frank and so spontaneous as we said below. We felt an urge to open up so we played as a punk teenage band. ‘Jangala EP’ is an emotional melting pot.
Has Greece become a more fertile ground for the desert/stoner rock genre?
There has been a desert/stoner movement going on in the Greek underground scene since the 90’s, it was never absent from the small stages and venues. But it’s true that, during the last 5-6 years, an unprecedented explosion of music is taking place.
Are you disappointed from the Greek music scene or do you feel there is something good going on?
The pop(ular) music scene will always be what it is, you can’t do much about that. Fortunately there are people that are thirsty for something different and you can always find music you like. There are many rock, jazz , electronic or folk Greek artists there putting out genuinely good stuff.
Which is the main source of your inspiration?
“What you need is always there, in the ground in the air” (lyric from our song ‘Lethargy’).
If you were to participate in your dream gig can you name the headliners?
Alex: Queens Of The Stone Age & Clutch
Petros: I would say Amebix if they were still active…Another option is Colour Haze, a band with a really good taste in music.
What would you describe as the fuel that keeps the Baetyl engine running?
Apart from being bandmates we are also friends in life so we feel the comfort and freedom to express our musical thoughts to one another. That being said, there is a need to play music in each one of us and Baetyl is the engine that drives us there.
Name a record that you were very fond of at your twenties but wouldn’t play it now.
Stamatis: I’d have to say Dream Theater’s ‘Images And Words’. in my twenties I would play ‘Metropolis – Part I (The Miracle And The Sleeper)’ in its entirety by heart. That’s how I learned to play the drums after all!! But, now, I wouldn’t really bother to, although I still like and respect them.
Marios: Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’
Alex: R.E.M.’s ‘Monster’ was an album that marked my twenties and got me into rock and alternative music. I still love it, but I’m more keen on discovering new music rather going back.
Petros: I can’t think of any right now.
Have you ever considered an acoustic project?
Of course, despite our heavy sound, we try to keep a melodic element in our songs and we are intrigued by how they would sound on an acoustic project.
Any plans/gigs for the future?
Yes, we are planning some gigs in the near future, stay tuned!
A few words for your fans out there…
Get Drunk. (See Charles Baudelaire).
Photo credits: Rania Chatzimichali