Interview with Christos – Guitarist
Interview by Jessica Plumb
Hey, thank you for your time today and I hope you’re all well and staying safe sound throughout Covid 19. Can you please state your name and position in the band before we proceed in our interview?
Hello, I am Christos from Athens, Greece. I am the main composer and guitarist of the atmospheric metal band Moaning Silence. Thank you so much for the invitation!
The band has been going from 2015. How did you guys all meet?
The current line up works together for almost a year now, although I know Harry since high school!! Our lead singer, Eleftheria, joined the band in early 2019. Antonis is a friend of mine for the last 5 years and has been a member of Moaning Silence since 2016.
All of you are talented musicians, have you been in any other bands previously?
Antonis is an active member of another Greek progressive metal band called Sevengill. Moaning Silence is the first band for everyone else!
When did you first start getting into music and know you wanted to join a band?
It all started back in 1990, when a friend of mine gave me a 90 minute cassette tape including the “Keepers” albums of Helloween on each side. That’s how I got into the metal world. Many years later, I grabbed my first guitar and started to make my own efforts in songwriting, until 2014 when I came up with the idea of Moaning Silence.
What other profession do you think you would’ve done instead of the band or do you have another profession to support yourselves?
Each member of the band has a “regular” job. Eleftheria and Antonis are lawyers, I am a radiologist and Harry is a mechanic engineer. As you realise, it’s a really hard work to keep Moaning Silence active!
You’ve recently released your second album, A Waltz Into Darkness. What is the concept behind the album?
After 2017′ “Fragrances from Yesterdays” EP, I started recording some music ideas keeping in mind the exact musical direction of our new album. Soon enough I came up with the perfect title for it, “A Waltz into Darkness”. Our own existence is like a waltz into darkness. A beautiful dance into the unknown. An expression of sadness with a glimpse of hope, that’s the common idea behind the majority of the tracks. It’s an atmospheric metal album based on the 90’s atmospheric feeling, with some fresh ideas and a very good production.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it?
I think that Moaning Silence is an atmospheric metal band with a few doom and gothic elements. It’s quite emotional music, where melancholy and nostalgia are present almost in every track.
Who does your artwork for your album cover? It’s stunning.
John Toussas (Graphic no Jutsu), a Greek artist and composer, is responsible for the cover artwork again after the 2017 “Fragrances from Yesterdays” EP. He has done an amazing job and has created something unique. It depicts exactly what we had in mind.
What is the procedure of producing a new album/EP?
First of all we are very happy to work with Bob Katsionis (Outloud, ex-Firewind) since 2014. I have done all the initial work at my home studio. The recordings take place in his studio and then he goes on with the production and the mixing progress.
Do you have any plans to gig/tour after the world’s said you may start to tour?
It’s in our plans to give some live shows in Greece in autumn. We all hope that this health crisis will be over soon.
Do you have a favourite track from the album?
I think “A Song for Winter” is one of my favourites. It has all the elements that characterize the music of Moaning Silence. It’s a heavy, low tempo track, where nostalgia is the main feeling emerged, while emotional catharsis comes in the end.
Where do you draw your influences from when it comes to producing new music/lyrics?
I have a passion with reading. When I come across with a topic that stimulates my imagination (it may be just one phrase or a simple word) I immediately write it down and then try to create a lyrical theme. I usually start with a good title! The composition of music is then the hardest part. Having an initial plan in my head, I try to find the right melodies.
Is there any difficulty balancing out being in a band with a ‘normal working life’?
As I mentioned before, all of the members of Moaning Silence have a job. It’s really difficult to unite 2 separate worlds.
What is the music scene like where you are based in Greece?
There is a huge number of bands creating nice music. Technology makes it much easier than in the past. The atmospheric metal scene, although not as big as some years ago, has some great bands. I am glad that both On Thorns I Lay & The Elysian Fields have returned with amazing albums after a long period of silence!
Do you think image is important when being in a band?
Maybe if you play black metal or glam metal, image is quite important. Our philosophy is far from this. We give our best to create some nice music, we do care about the lyrics and the cover artwork and stuff like this, but we try to keep a low profile.
Is there anywhere you would like to play and haven’t yet?
Unfortunately, due to a number of reasons, we weren’t able to give many shows all these years, so every place will be new for us and we’ll be glad to give a live show!
Is the music industry how you thought it would be when first starting the band?
To be honest with you, I really didn’t care. I just wanted to create some nice music that pleases me and find a way to express my feelings and my thoughts.
Do you think it’s important for a band to be signed to a label to be recognised in today’s society?
Surely it helps. You can try the “do it yourself” way and make good use of the potentials the internet gives you, but being under a label is an important factor. Moaning Silence after 2015 “A World Afraid of Light” and the 2017 “Fragrances from Yesterdays” EP, signed with Symmetric Records, a company owned by Bob Katsionis.
What are your views on bands who give away their music free on social media? Do you think this is a good beneficial marketing idea, or should fans be paying to purchase tracks?
Uploading your music free on social media is quite necessary for the vast majority of the bands, especially for the new ones. Many bands present their music only in digital files. That gives you free access to many homes. If the listener is attracted by your music, then yes, give him the chance to pay for it.
What is your writing/recording procedure like? Do you have a preferred way of doing things or favourite studio/location?
As I said before, a track starts usually with a good title. As for the composition, is made here at my home studio and then the recordings take place to the same studio (Sound Symmetry Studio) under the same circumstances under the supervision of Bob Katsionis.
What genres of music do you like to listen to personally? Any new bands that have caught your attention recently and would like to recommend yourself?
You may laugh but I am a great fan of power metal, I just love it. I also listen to atmospheric metal. The album that plays again and again these days is “The Isolation Splendour” by a Greek metal band called Immensity. It’s not new but it’s a damn good one!
What advice would you give someone wanting to start a band?
Starting a band is the easiest thing. Duration is the thing that matters the most. Hard work and patience.
What are the pro’s/cons of being in a band?
Playing the music that you love, isn’t that enough? For all of us who don’t make our living through the music industry, this should be enough. When music is your real job, then you have to take into consideration many more things.
What do you like to do outside of music? Any hobbies?
I love reading and riding my motorcycle, they both give me inspiration and mental relief.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
The official release date of our new album is the 5th of May. Due to the pandemic crisis, some of our plans have been postponed. We will try to promote the album through the web and try to give some live shows in autumn.
Thank you for your time, is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?
Thank you for the invitation. You can find any detail you want on our FB & Bandcamp page as well as on Symmetric Records official Bandcamp page. Stay physically and mentally strong. Thank you for the support!
Moaning Silence – I am the Sorrow (official lyric video):