Empty is a Greek alternative rock band that has been around for nearly ten years now, mixing rock, folk, progressive & indie elements in their music. This Friday, October 21st, are about to perform live at MODU,- first time for this season -, and we can confirm that there will be a lot of surprises for this gig. So, this is a good coincidence to have a brief talk with the band. Let’s do it…
Let’s begin then with the necessary introduction of the band. Tell us a few words about Empty Frame then….
Empty Frame is a group of friends that decided, about ten years ago, to get together in a studio and make some good music and today, two albums, two soundtracks and about a hundred concerts later, continues to do the same.
10 years as a band. Could you describe the experience of being part of this band all these years? One good and one bad incident that has occurred to you and you’d like to share…
These years have probably been the best of our lives. We are not only friends but a big family and we are expecting even better days. Now there have been really good stories from this decade for sure and of course lots of bad things that have happened.
One of the best things, apart from playing and getting to know great artists, like Woven Hand and Sivert Høyem, was when we were playing in a festival on the top of a mountain. It was really great, while playing, to hear one of the most respected figures of Greek underground music, Dimitris Poulikakos, screaming “You guys rule” with his classic style. That’s it, no fake photos, no handshakes only a really cool scream from a legendary figure…
There are of course some really bad incidents but ok we prefer to keep them for us and make sure that nothing like that will happen again. We have a lot of experience now and now what and who to avoid.
Why did you choose the name ‘Empty Frame’? Do you expect the listeners to fill in the ‘Frame’ while listening to your music?
Through the years our name has been given this meaning. We provide the frame with our music and the listeners provide the contents of the frame, their reactions and sentiments towards what they’ve just heard. We wish we could say we had thought of that from the beginning when we first came up with the name, but the reality was much closer to “OH NO! We have a live show this week and still don’t have a name! Let’s just pick the first thing that comes to our minds and doesn’t sound terrible!”
How would you describe your sound and which are your main music-wise influences?
The first thing we talked about when we got together as a band was that we don’t want any musical label for our style and this is what we have done these past ten years. We have lots of rock, folk, progressive, post, indie element in our music. Even psychedelic, stoner and classical elements. We can name really lots of bands that we enjoy listening and have influenced us such as The Beatles, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Queens Of The Stone Age, Mark Lanegan but, still, we can’t say that we weren’t influenced from all the classic rock bands or blues musicians. We listen to a lot of different things. But now we are proud to say that we have our own unique musical style
Checking your facebook wall, I found a recent, very interesting animation video for your song ‘Vindication Of Love’ by Myrsini Koutli. How did this come about?
We are fortunate to have some very devoted and very creative fans. Myrsini was one of them. She asked for our permission to use our track on her animation film and we were glad to give it. We’re now even more glad to see it turn into this beautiful video where the music fits so well with the picture that it’s as if we were the ones that wrote the music to fit the animation.
Correct me if I’m wrong. Your latest recording was your second album ‘The Blackbird Flies’ (Bminor Recs) in 2014. Are you preparing your 3rd one at the moment? Is it too early to talk about which label is going to release your new album?
NO. There is no label to release our album. We do it on our own and this is how we’ve done things for the past five years with great help from some of our friends. Even Bminor Recs is just a company that two of our friends own and wanted to help. Out third album is on the way and hopefully we will be able to release before the end of 2017. But until then, we have some surprises for our friends and fans. We even have a really nice surprise coming up this week.
How’s living and creating in Greece, a place that has been going a severe economic, and not only, crisis the last 7-8 years?
For a musician in Greece, especially in our style of music things were always difficult even before crisis. Now of course everything is much worse but music always remains the way to escape from all these situations. Only mentally of course. We dare say that this crisis has given to a lot of people the opportunity to return to music (or any art). You know “grab the mic and kick some ass”. It’s not easy of course. We all have jobs and try to find spare time for our music. This is our way of speaking our minds and communicate with other people.
I remember having met Babis Vasiliadis, a few years ago, while contributing writings for a Greek culture webzine. Is Babis still or any of you involved in any way part of the local ‘music journalism’ community?
We are in some way involved. Chris is a journalist in a newspaper/website and planning. Mostly on political and international news but he is about to create a webpage about music, especially for the Greek underground scene. Panos has a webradio show playing great tunes and Antonis does a webradio show toο. So yes and no!
On 21st October you are going to perform live at MODU after a long time. What should the audience expect from this live appearance?
It’s going to be a classic Empty Frame show. With lots of good music and great atmosphere. We haven’t played for a long time and we want it to be really special. We have lots of new songs to perform for the first time and, of course, some of our old tunes.
Closing this interview, what’s next for Empty Frame?
LOT’S OF LOVE! LOT’S OF MUSIC.
Photo credits: Nikos Katsaros