The name On Thorns I Lay contains a long musical history, starting from the early 90’s until today they have gifted us with beautiful musical moments especially for the fans of death/doom metal, but also for the extreme sound lovers. In my opinion this is a band that gives meaning to Greek scene and highlights the genre it represents at highest level. Recently, they released their latest album ‘Threnos’ and we had the opportunity to talk to them about several interesting topics. Enjoy.

Recently you released your new album ‘Threnos‘. Please share a few things with us about your new creation. Are you happy with the final result? How do you feel about it and what is the response on the new album?

We are very happy with this release indeed. We signed a contract with German label Lifeforce Records and we released our 8th album in February 2020. It’s the most mature album of our career and a very good album to continue with our come back with the ‘Aegean Sorrow‘ 2018 album.

Thematically and lyrically, what topics do you deal with?

Regarding the lyrical part Stefanos would be more appropriate to speak as he is responsible for the lyrics. Generally speaking ‘Threnos‘ is a concept album. All songs speak about the journey of the soul in this life, the difficulties and  the crossroads we all have been in front of. You can also see connections with our ancient drama and tragedy.

If I’m not mistaken, female vocals don’t exist as in ‘Aegean Sorrow‘. Could you explain why?

I wanted to give to our 2 comeback albums a heavy and dark atmosphere so the female vocs in the singing way I felt they were not suitable.

There is an impression that, compared to your previous work, musically you have chosen a more extreme trajectory. Do you agree? If yes, was it intentional?

Comparing with the ‘Aegean Sorrow‘ album we used some more aggressive parts. But you can hear such parts not only in our debut album but also in the ‘Orama‘ 1998 album. We like to have interesting albums and always to add something new. It is so boring when bands just repeat themselves from album to album.

In order for a song to be written or for music to be created in general, there must be the right conditions; when do you feel creative as a musician?

Music was a big part of my life since my childhood years. From the age of 13 when I composed ‘Born to suffer‘, my 1st ever song, I never stopped writing music except from a long period of time somewhere from 2006 until 2014. So, I could say that I am blessed as inspiration never stops.

Do you think that bands should try more to experiment in order to have the best possible result? When do you believe there must be boundaries?

There are no rules on this. As long as you are true with yourself and your fans a good song is always a good song. Speaking about popularity, sales etc is something different. In a few words it would be of course wise if you experiment as long as you keep your musical identity and music sound. It’s very important to keep sounding unique and of course it is the reason for our hiatus in 2005.

There has been a pause of several years, and many are wondering why it took so long for a band with such a long history to come back?

What do you think is the best time a band can have and which one is not as good?

If someone would like to hear for the first time On thorns I Lay which album would you suggest to start with and why?

I think I would introduced someone to the band with ‘Threnos‘, ‘Aegean Sorrow‘, ‘Orama‘, ‘Crystal Tears‘ and ‘Future Narcotic‘ in other words with my favorites albums. 

What is your opinion about today’s Greek metal scene?

The leading bands Septic Flesh and Rotting Christ are still growing our names abroad and this gave the chance to others also to tour abroad. You can hear good albums professionally produced so you can say that the local scene is way too far from the 90s situation. Although for the moment speaking about the extreme sound the third big name does not exist. 

What are your future plans?

I am composing the next album and we  use this Corona period of not able to do nothing musically to focus more on the live appearance thing. More news  on this later this year….

Thank you very much for your time. Last words are yours

Thank you so much for the interview and this is a message to all our fans and not. We as a band chose many years ago another way of living, so music for us is just only a passion. But there are so many bands that live from this. If we all want our scene to stay alive we must support our favorite bands by buying their merch etc even by paying to attend their live streaming shows. Otherwise, in a few years there will be no more good albums but shity quality homemade craps…. Stay doom!

Michael Natsis