“It’s the freedom to play what you like without being compromised or obligated to be pleasant to everybody. It’s the hope and strength you get when people…” This is part of the definition of indie pop of Greek darlings Next Time Passions, who will be the last to play on Make Me Happy‘s ‘A Sparkle From The Past’ Release party at Death Disco, on this Friday, November 10th. Thank you for accepting this invitation, and this one surely is an ace read!

P.S.: Perhaps, I am the most exhausted publisher on Planet Earth at this moment, but I am delighted enough having hosted and undertaken these important interviews, for “sparkling”, life-changing bands…

Hello Next Time Passions & welcome to Last Day Deaf! Feel free to introduce the band to our international audience. How, when (and why) did it all start?

Well, for the most of us, it started a few years before forming Next Time Passions. When we desperately waited for every new Sarah Records or Creation Records release and gather at home to play guitar and sing all our beloved songs. We were all passionate about music, having a wide range of influences coming from all over the pop culture from 60’s to 80s’. At that time, we haven’t been thinking to form a band, but then there was the spark: An invitation from the notorious “In Those Days” Greek fanzine to play with some other bands in a forthcoming party. Cutting a long story short, that was the birth of Next Time Passions, back on May 14th, 1991.

Cannot resist in asking this one. Why did it take it so long to record your debut album Things Left On Stripes Of Time (2011), about 20 years after your formation? In other words, why did we have to wait so long?

All Greek indie pop bands in the early 90’s were part of a pure underground movement. The local record labels weren’t interested in releasing that kind of music and the radio stations had been playing mostly big hits and well-known bands. At that time, technology wasn’t so advanced and cheap as today, and the only chance for an underground band to record and release its work was to finance it by itself and make a lot of “D.I.Y.” job. Considering those restrictions, it’s not bad that since 1994 that we broke up, we’ve managed to record and release two singles and give a few songs to collections. After our re-union in 2009, we started to record our first album, which is also a DIY production.

Which do you think are the main differences between the 90’s indie scene and the today’s one? Do you believe that indie still exists?

Big differences came from the revolutionary spreading of the broadband internet and the social media. Today’s bands have so much cheap technology and so many platforms and ways to distribute their music, which in the early 90’s was somehow a sci-fi dream. Sometimes this plethora of tools is so frustrating that barriers between socializing and playing are barely distinguished … Nowadays, all bands are independent from the old-fashioned record labels and even though they are all depending on the digital distributors and platforms, they are free to create and release the music they like. In addition, music enthusiasts and fans are able to find and listen to artists and bands from all over the world and then share the music they like with numberless other people. In a way of saying, indie is more independent now than in the 90’s and comes closer to its theoretical purpose which is to offer an expression space for the non mainstream artists.

Last year you released the excellent Another Wish single via Melotron Recordings. Which was the main influence for this one? 

Well, this EP hasn’t got a strong influence, or at least one that we intended to give. It might sound arrogant, but after all those years the main influence of NTP is NTP. Each member’s personal influences are present of course like different ingredients and spices inside a meal but there is not a main genre or pattern we follow now. We love to create music and beautiful songs and somehow the ideas find their way without having a particular style in mind.

Which 5 albums pushed you to form NTP, and which other 5 recent ones help you move forward and inspire you?

Our top 5 album influences that made us think seriously to form a band, later known as Next Time Passions:

Nick Drake’s ‘Five Leaves Left’, Biff Bang Pow!’s ‘Songs For The Sad Eyed Girl, Love’s Forever Changes, Various (Sarah 587): ‘Shadow Factory’, Sunnyboys Days Are Gone’.

How was the experience in July’s Up Festival in Amorgos island? Did you enjoy it?

This festival was a true adventure that had it all: A Greek Island, a beach bar by the sea, perfectly organized. Sound was great and apart from our performance we enjoyed some of the most popular Greek artists. We fully enjoyed it, and we’re looking forward to getting invited for next year’s lineup.

On December 10th you will appear on the A Sparkle From The Past Release party at Death Disco along with Pillow, The Jaywalkers & Starblind. To be honest I still cannot believe this is happening. 90’s again? What should we expect from you that beautiful day, or if you prefer night?

We’re really looking forward for this event because we’re going to share the stage with some of our mate bands back in those days. Apart from the release of the album which is a major event by itself, we’re dealing with the first live appearance for Pillow and Starblind since a very long time. The Jaywalkers are awesome too. What a night to expect!

Should we expect your second full-length sometime in the near future then?

We don’t make any promises but we’re here to stay. We have some new songs which we eventually going to record, so you will get some more of NTP. Is it going to be an LP or EP? This is something that even ourselves don’t know.

Describe in a few words what does indie pop mean for you?

It’s the freedom to play what you like without being compromised or obligated to be pleasant to everybody. It’s the hope and strength you get when people from all over the world tell you that they love your songs. It’s that the purpose of music is to be honest and transfer true feelings to the audience without ‘‘rock-style’’ theatrical moves. It’s a point of view for music art.

Last words belong to Next Time Passions….

Firstly, we’d like to thank you for the time and effort to make this interview. In a world that people has lost the commitment that used to have to music, it is good to know that there are true enthusiasts keeping the fire burning. As a general statement, Next Time Passions is what the name says: Every time we play, we try to be more passionate than the previous one.

Photo credits: Bill Pos

Christos Doukakis