Mahakala is a Greek heavy metal band which formed in 2005, by Jim Kotsis (bass, vocals), John Tsiakopoulos (guitars), Chris Vlachos (guitars), and Hector D. (drums). After two EPs and a full-length album (‘Devil’s Music’, SMC/Secret Port, 2013), they released early March their second full-length ‘The Second Fall’. Mahakala is going to present their new album live at KYTTARO Live Club in Athens, on March 31st.

The new album ‘The Second Fall’ is ready, after 4 years since your debut album. From a first hearing I feel that you have invested more this time. Tell us a few things about it and if you feel optimism about the future.

We invested more time and energy on it but we were on a tighter budget this time! We’re victims of the austerity measures too, you see! Hahaha! The truth is that we had a specific concept to work on, and this guided us through the entire process. It took a little while longer than expected but it sounds exactly the way we wanted it to, no compromising. I don’t feel any optimism at all about anything. The world is going to hell these days. Thank God, we have music.

You follow the idea of the concept album. ‘The Second Fall’ is about Lucifer’s fall from heaven. Do you exclusively follow the traditional dogmatic story of Christianity or do you also borrow side-stories of different interpretations?

Wrong! Lucifer’s fall from heaven is ‘The First Fall’ as described in John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”. ‘The Second Fall’ is Lucifer’s dethronement from Hell. Rebel demons enslave him and claim his throne. He then escapes and seeks revenge. Do your homework, and then come back! Hahaha!

What usually comes first, the lyrical theme which then is “dressed” with music, or the composition?

It all depends. Sometimes I hear the entire song in my head and then try to make it happen. Some other times I drink a lot and jam with my guitar, and some other we compose the entire song, building it piece by piece in an audio sequencer. Usually lyrics come last, but the main idea is there from the very beginning.

Your interest on mythology and religion derives mainly from the western civilization or do you also read stuff from other cultures, which can possibly be part of a future album? If I am not wrong the band’s name “Mahakala” is found in Buddhism.

You’re right. Mahakala stands for “The Great Black” though, so it applies on everything we do despite its Buddhist background. The western religious culture has always been drawing my attention, that’s true, but I haven’t decided if this will keep up in the third record too. I like doing different things from time to time, so I guess that our lyrical theme may change in the future. The sure thing is that we’ll always be inspired by religious mythology, regardless of the origin. There’s good and evil there. What’s not to be inspired from?

Tell us about the cover artwork, which is very powerful. Who is responsible for the idea, and is indeed Lucifer the bad guy of the story?

The cover artwork was designed by Dimitris Protopapas, an amazing and crazy artist we found online. I saw the specific painting on his Facebook page some time ago and I was like “This is it. I just feel it”. In our story, Lucifer is occasionally either the band or the good guy but this doesn’t really matter. All He wants is to be free. Anyone that tries to take his freedom away, will pay, sooner or later.

Which are your musical influences, and which band would be a “dream to come true” to play with in a live show?

We’d love to share the stage with Black Sabbath. That’s for sure, but it won’t happen. We are inspired by all that’s rock and metal in late 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. From Ten Years After and The Who, to Megadeth and Entombed.

So far you have performed for the Greek audience. Are there plans for live shows abroad?

We have played in Cyprus a couple of times, but I’m not pretty sure if this can be considered as “abroad”. They even speak the same language with us over there. Hahaha! We’d simply love to get our music out of our country’s borders and we’ll work really hard on achieving this goal in the near future.

On March 31st you present ‘The Second Fall’ at KYTTARO in Athens. What should the audience expect to experience?

Our new line-up, our new album and a bunch of ugly guys, playing metal from the bottom of their hearts.

Thank you for your time! Feel free to add anything you wish!

Stay away from trouble! Don’t drink and drive! See you out there!

Mary Kalaitzidou