Penny Dreadful is one of those bands that their work speaks for themselves. Having recently released the remarkable ‘Pilgrimage’, and ahead of their October 12th live ‘Pilgrimage’ presentation at ILION Plus, and their support play with legendary The Fuzztones, they were kind enough to answer Last Day Deaf’s questions…
Penny Dreadful! Cool name.. Inspired by the series? Who are Penny Dreadful anyway?
No, Penny Dreadful were formed in 2010, long before the series started. Our name derives from a type of British fiction publication in the 19th century that usually featured lurid serial stories appearing in parts over a number of weeks, each part costing a penny. Working class boys who could not afford a penny a week often formed clubs that would share the cost, passing the flimsy booklets from reader to reader.
Penny Dreadful is a Greek rock ’n’ roll band, featuring Iannis Kalifatidis (guitar, lead vocals), Nikos Panagiotou (drums), Dionysis Teliopoulos (guitar, backing vocals) and Nikos Koronaios (bass).
Tell us a few things about your latest effort ‘Pilgrimage’… In what way does it differ from your debut album?
‘Pilgrimage’ was released in 2017, both on CD and LP with gatefold sleeve, available in black and in transparent red vinyl. The first edition of the vinyl album is limited to 300 copies, only.
It is an album dealing with the long and laborious journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person’s beliefs and faith. The sad thing is that once the devotee gets there, he finds out that his whole effort was in vain, for there is no deity housing in the site, and there is no miracle to be performed or witnessed.
Musically speaking, the compositions gave us enough space to explore new horizons and not get stuck in familiar musical patterns. Surely, there is still a strong touch of americana and alt-country, but our goal was to go way beyond that.
Are you satisfied with the album’s acceptance so far?
The album is still quite young to tell. Yet is has received critical acclaim, had numerous airplays and it has been well-received within the alternative R’n’R community.
Among the many guest musicians for ‘Pilgrimage’, I noticed the name of great Flora Ioannidi! How did this really successful co-op on ‘Haven Of Grace’ happen?
Flora is a good friend of ours. We met each other at our live shows with the band Thee Holy Strangers. It is her wonderful and passionate voice that we thought it’d fit perfectly to that song. But she also sings on another song on the album, namely ‘River Of Sin’.
Americana, Alt.country, post punk, psychobilly, alternative rock. How on earth can you combine and mix all these elements in your music?
Well, the result is to be heard on our albums. Truth is that most bands hate their music to be labeled. Yet, it is sometimes a necessity. There is a vast variety of influences that help us create our style. We are an open-minded band and we love to make music beyond boundaries, always on the search for new inspirations.
And what about Lenin’s Modem? Is it your label? Why don’t you try a bigger one? Independence?
Yes, Lenin’s Modem is the band’s own label. So far we had a few proposals by labels, but none of them was satisfactory. So, we prefer to stay independent and keep control over our music. However, we are not negative if some label comes up with a serious proposal.
Which 3 artists/bands would you suggest for our readers from the Athenian scene and why?
Well, that’s quite difficult to tell, for there are numerous original and fascinating bands, not only in Athens but all over Greece, as well. In order to answer your question, I’d need to concentrate only on some of the bands we have shared the stage with, such as Thee Holy Strangers, Empty Frame and The Dark Rags. We simply love the guys and their music.
What should we expect from your 12th October gig at ILION Plus? How did the co-op with the well respected (mag)/ webzine Merlin’s Music Box come to life?
Merlin’s Music Box has been always supportive to the Greek r’n’r scene, embracing and upholding the true spirit of the underground. People can come to the live album presentation, enjoy the show and buy our records and t-shirts to help us continue what we do.
What’s next for Penny Dreadful?
Together with a few other Athenian bands we’ve set up the 3rd Prairie & Rust Fest. It will take place at The ZOO, from October 19 to October 22. On October 28 we’ll share the stage with The Fuzztones, so this is quite exciting for us! More live shows will follow all over Greece, before we start working on new material for our third album.
Any special words you would like to share with Last Day Deaf’s readers?
Hi and hope you’ve enjoyed this interview. Support your local scene and help it stay alive and grow!
Photo credits: Georgia Panakia