One of the eldest Greek bands of extreme sound, the technical/progressive death metallers Acid Death – active since 1989- appeared in the brand new 3-day festival “Extreme Assault” at MODU venue in Athens. Last Day Deaf found the opportunity to ask them a few questions.
Seventeen years, with a ten-year “break” in between… How would you describe the life of the band all these years? Have you reached a desired point so far?
Yes, it was 1989 when Acid Death started and things were totally different that season… We could say that the early days were so difficult that only one word could describe the entire thing: Pain! No internet, no social media or even cell-phones. The communication was really hard and the information was something that everyone had to try hard to gain access to. Till 2001 we managed to have 2 full-length albums, one split album and an EP, many live appearances but the entire team was really tired by 2001. Facing also many inner problems we decided to stop the band in just one night. Ten years later things worked really better for us. We feel that many of our targets are reached the same time that we have a lot of things to say as a band!
How did the ten-year “break” affect you, both in positive and/or negative way? Personally I detect a more solid sound since 2011, like the band “matured” if you allowed me to say.
It was so strange when we discovered that those 10 years added new fame to us in a way like “…hey, guys, listen to this band that doesn’t exist anymore and plays some really good stuff!” We found all our recordings on YouTube and many other communities with really positive comments and a feeling like “why they don’t get back to continue this work?” It was a such a surprise for us! Of course since 2011, the band’s sound became more solid, we succeeded in making our music more solid without changing our style.
You reformed in a year when things started to get more difficult in many aspects, especially in Greece. How did that influence you as artists? Is there an impact in your music as well?
The truth is that when we started the band again in 2011 things were really bad. Discography was and still is bleeding; the financial crisis was already strong… Not a good time to start a band! But the dream was stronger than all these. We managed to get a record deal, to record 2 more albums till now and to make a new beginning. Of course, this thing was a big influence to us, as to everyone else in Greece, but when you cross the difficulties a new plan is always raised above everything!
One can say that one generation has grown up with you. Through these years and especially now, have you seen younger ages approach you, come to live shows, etc.?
Of course! It is a big surprise to us every time we see those new and younger fans that are added and attend the shows. There are many cases that old fans are coming along with their kids on a way like “Ok guys, here is my son and we came together to see you live!” We feel so proud about those cases! It is the A thing, let’s say, to make you continue to create music, make shows etc. To see people happy with what you are doing.
The metal scene has undoubtedly evolved and what we see more often is an experimentation of mixing sounds and genres. Is this a progress away from what once was called “pure” (“pure black metal”, “pure death metal”, etc.) giving space to the musicians’ creativity, or is it a recycling of already played ideas? How do you deal with it – if you agree with this perspective- as artists, but also as fans of other bands?
We always have in mind that time changes. This means you have to follow the new standards especially in the way that you present your music. Some years ago the standards were less hard but now, having in mind that there are so many active bands out there recording and touring, the average “OK” is really on a high level. There is always “space” for musicians, and at least the musicians can arrange the “space” that they have, there are still the “Pure Death Metal” words but in a more modern way. The most difficult thing in this game is to keep your own style and bring it in the new season. We tried to do it and in some way we made it.
Having quite enough experience -including abroad-, are there significant differences comparing to the local scene? Is there any progress regarding not only the artists, but the audience and professionals who work in the scene as well?
There is a really big progress regarding all the elements of the Greek metal scene. At first the bands and artists changed the way of acting in the scene. Everyone can notice a more professional feeling and at least a more positive way in the bands’ work. On the other hand, the audience: A few years ago we were talking about a non-friendly way that the Greek audience was treating the local bands, especially the newer ones. Today everyone can see that more fans are interested in discovering new bands, more fans are interested in going and catching the bands at a live show… It was a dream that everyone wished to come true some years ago. Of course there are many things that have to be done, but we are on a really good point at the moment, after so many years of hard work.
The new festival “Extreme Assault” which took place in the venue MODU in Athens, was completely dedicated to the extreme (metal) sound. Tell us a few words about this initiative and the experience of your participation.
Yes, it is completely dedicated to all extreme metal genres, there were death metal bands, thrash metal bands. black metal, etc. It is a new festival that starts from “0” point and hopefully it will remain for many years; Vol. 1 took place at a new live venue in Athens, called MODU.
Are there other future plans for live shows this year?
Yes! We have already booked a European tour for December with a really big name, and within the next days it will officially be announced.
It’s been a year since your last release ‘Hall Of Mirrors’ (7Hard, 2015). When should we expect something new from you?
We have already started processing new songs. Hopefully we will be ready to enter the studio till summer 2017.
Besides Acid Death, are there any other projects ‘running’?
Yes! Dennis Kostopoulos has an Ambient project, called North Sellas, John Anagnostou plays the guitar also in the thrash metal band Released Anger and Kostas Alexakis is also drumming for the new act Voidnaut. All these are important parts of our lives, we always try to be into the music we live.
Thank you for your time! Feel free to close this interview as you will!
Thank you so much for this presentation and interview! Find everything about the band at the following addresses:
Photo credits: Chris Kissadjekian