One of the best aspects of internet era is the possibility to easily discover new bands from all around the world otherwise unreachable in the past. A Greek trusted music connoisseur from the social network advised me about a new one band project beautifully named Vagina Lips, I digged it and immediately fell in love with its fresh and straightforward melodic songs pervaded by the late 80’s shoegaze reverbed guitar, the post punk bass lines and the DIY garage punk attitude. Hailing from Thessaloniki, Dimitris Polioudis aka Zimmy Lips is a sort of cult figure, an underground music agitator around his place having played in a lot of bands as Hearts On Battery, Kid Galax, Valley Of Love And The Archangel Cobra. A tireless and prolific musician, he’s also involved in the psychedelic/garage three-piece Psychedelic Trips To Death that are going to release their upcoming album soon.
After two cassette E.P.’s, ‘The Vagina Lips’ and ‘Youth In Chaos’, a new nine-track full length LP titled ‘ATHANASIA’ has been recently released. It’s not an easy life for an alternative artist that plays unfashionable music in countries without a solid rock’n’roll tradition, but Dimitris/Zimmy has got the right attitude and vision to follow his own path, without watching his back and what people around him say, with just one aim, the only one he’s always dreamed of: To play his very own music.
They can take everything from us, but not the ‘right to dream and raving’ (Eduardo Galeano)
Let’s talk with our man about music aka life (at least that’s for many of us).
Talk to me about your early years as a musician and your first formative influences and preferences in music.
Well I used to run the music projects of Kid Galax,Valley Of Love And The Archangel Cobra, Hearts On Battery. My very first formative influences and preferences were Depeche Mode, R.E.M., Joy Division.
You are a prolific songwriter. How do you approach your creative and recording process? And which comes first: the lyrics or the music?
I play the guitar the whole time. I write songs all the time. It’s that simple to me. I have recorded songs in many ways. Live recordings, analogue recordings, home recordings… As years go by I enjoy the whole process of recording very much and I would record every day if it was possible. For me music comes first.. Lyrics are just there to highlight the music, the melody.
How is your relationship with technology? Would you consider adding some synth electronic elements to your sound in the future?
I think I have already done that in my last album ‘ATHANASIA’ and I’m thinking of using a lot more synth electronic elements in my next recordings.
In a country without a real alternative music scene (like many Southern European ones) it is an arduous endeavor to live from music. Will you keep on holding onto your natural environment or is there a possibility of becoming another London/Berlin-based musician?
Well, there is a huge possibility to move abroad.. I don’t know which city or country yet.
During difficult and dreary historical times, the arts usually find an unlikely and changeling impetus of creativity and rebirth …Is this happening in Greece at the moment? Are there any talented bands surfacing?
For the time being, in Greece there is an ”explosion” of bands and projects in many music genres, but unfortunately for me only a few bands are really good and have something really interesting and inspiring to say.
Your album was released just few days ago. First feelings?
Happiness, confusion, satisfaction, motivation.
Which were the real sources of musical inspiration and are you satisfied with the final result?
The real source was that I wanted to sound like no one else does right now in Greece and I think I have achieved that.
The title ‘ATHANASIA’ is the Greek name for ‘Immortality’. Would you sell your soul to the devil for it?
I think I would.
Which are the main trends of your lyrics? Do they come to mind as a flux of consciousness or do you revise them over a period of time? There are themes related to animal cruelty/veganism and life styles. Do you intend to communicate a message?
I don’t intend to communicate a message or something like that. I ‘m just talking about things that concern me. You know just talking about myself.
Which songs/bands are on your current playlist?
DIIV, For Against, Pink Turns Blue, Slowdive, Ride, Soft Moon, The Velvet Underground.
Are you interested in other forms of art like literature, cinema, painting etc. and eventually how does this influence your work?
I enjoy watching movies. I always try to get over my personal record that is 9 1/2 half movies in one day.. I wish I could paint but I’m probably the worst painter ever.
Favourite three records of all time?
Hard to tell.. I mean, REALLY, hard to tell
What are your plans for the forthcoming months?
To do as many live gigs it is possible in Greece and abroad, do some video clips and start collecting material for my next album.. I’m thinking of recording two new songs in the next month.one cover and one original song of mine and release them as singles in a digital way on bandcamp.
Thank you Zimmy for being our guest. Is there a message that you’d like to address to our readers?
Hold on to your dreams, love the animals, love one another and beat racism, sexism, homophobia and fascism..Beat fascism in every way you can.
Bye and thank you.
Photo credits: Effie Nikolaou (1st one), Athena Liaskou (2nd one)