In this interview for the Demon Reports magazine, one of out Journalist Vladimir Cincovic was talking with Bassist Konstantinos Sotirelis from Greek heavy metal titans Serpent Lord about his thoughts on the Corona virus/Covid 19 situation, about the Greek metal scene, his thoughts about global metal scene, how much does the occultism influences their music, more exclusive details, below:
1. Tell me about the band, when it was formed, about the influences and what are the main things that are crucial in creating good music?
”Hey, thank you for having us here! We were formed in 2016, we were just three friends who wanted to create their own music, based on bands like Iced Earth, In Solitude, Death, Candlemass, Mercyful Fate, Ghost, Megadeth, Atheist, Behemoth, Rotting Christ, Judas Priest etc. We started writing our own songs since the beginning and that’s why we were able to release our first demo almost immediately and our debut album in 2018. To tell you the truth, we don’t have any idea which are the main things that are crucial in creating good music. It’s so subjective what’s good, what’s not, everyone has his own way of writing music and we have so little experience on this, so we don’t think that we have a specific answer. For sure, you have to love what you are doing, practice a lot and stay open-minded.”
2. How do you feel about the quarantine situation, the whole Corona/ Covid 19 virus situation, did it affected you and the band in many ways, since the gigs are not allowed? Do you thing that this situation will affected in the bad way the major festivals and venues, as well as the bands?
”All of our planned shows obviously got canceled. On the other hand, we are finally fully focused on our second album. This situation affected every touring band, really. Lots of money got lost and this isn’t just the problem. Every band sells merch on tours and now, without touring, we don’t know what’s gonna happen. Also, festivals, promoters, studios, venues, audio-light engineers, etc., all got affected as well. The damage is already done and we hope that this situation will be over soon.”
3. Your released your first debut record called “Towards the Damned”, tell me about the concept of it, about the lyrics, as well the creating process of it, how much did it took, to record this album?
”Well, we released our debut album on September 14th and we are very satisfied with the final result and the response. To start up with the creating process, it almost took 6 or 7 months to have everything composed. It was our first try for a full lenght album, we did many mistakes, we had a line-up change during the process, but finally everything was perfect. We recorded the album with George Infected (Mass Infection) as producer and we are really proud and pleased about his effort. He did an amazing job, he helped us a lot and taught us a lot of things. The recordings started in August 2017, were we recorded the guitars and drums. Unfortunately, the bass recordings had to be done 3 months later, due to the tendinitis of our bassist.
Finally, the vocals were recorded on January 2018, since we had a line up change and we were searching for a singer. As for our concept, we believe and we are trying to present an evil, atmospheric music, with lyrics that will make the listener think, search deep into his aporcypha parts of his heart, in order to start thinking about death, love, war, good and bad, God and Satan, religion and faith. We write about these things, we write about our concerns and things that bother us, in a way that you need to be very focus and read our lyrics carefully, to understand. We write about our concerns through stories from Bible, Old and New Testament, mythology, occultism in general, and we are trying to tell a story through these scripts.”
4. How do you feel about the Greek metal scene, which bands are the most representative in your opinion and which bands would your recommend for someone to listen to from the Greek metal scene, which ones stand out the most?
”I’m not sure if we have this thing called “scene” any more, even if we we have some great bands in every genre. From heavy metal to the extreme section. We all try to make our music, make people banging their heads on the live shows and gain that feeling of self-completion.
Some great examples of these bands are “Rotting Christ” and “Firewind”. They are the most popular bands and some folks actually learn new Greek bands because the might listen to those bands. On the other hand we have other great bands like “Nightrage”, “Mass Infection” “Kin Beneath Chorus”, “Chronosphere”, “Shadowmass”, “Isolert”, “Sorgelig”, and “Inhuman Rage”. So for anyone who wants to listen to some Greek metal we recommend these bands. Of course there are more, but we think that you might wanna “discover” them by yourself.”
5. After your debut record, you released EP with the two songs, one is the cover of the Death’s song “Serenity”, are you going to record a full-length release in the nearest future?
”Indeed our single ”Horned God” was our latest release and we are very pleased with the outcome of it. Of course we have plans and material that we are working on at this time. But to get to the release section of our new music there are some steps that must be done before. The only thing we can say is that we are working hard and making great progress. We have lots of ideas and we are on a period that we have great inspiration. Quarantine helped us a lot to stay focus and review our material, so we are really looking forward to sharing it with you. You will know everything when the time is right. Apocrypha is near.”
6. What is the most important thing for creating a good record, is there a pattern that needs to be followed or is it something else?
”We don’t believe that there is an actual pattern in creating a good record. The whole purpose of writing music is to express your inner side to the outside world and of course there is no specific way to do that. On the other hand you have to find automatic patterns, in order to get faster and to know your next step. You set some rules, but you don’t hesitate to break them. This will lead you to many different paths and methods, from which you choose to follow on each journey of writing a song, then you can decide which outcome is better. Finally, the most important thing is to choose what is right for you both on how you write a song and if you like the outcome and if it presents what you feel.”
7. Your name for the band is quite interesting, why Serpent Lord, what does Serpent Lord presents?
”Well, the Serpent is the Devil, actually. It’s inspired by the Bible and we want to show that evil is everywhere, even in good things. Everyone has an evil side. So, the serpent is the personification of the evil, the bad, the lies.”
8. Tell me also how much does the occultism influences your music, how much does it gave you the ideas to create the stories in the songs?
”Well, first of all we have to make clear what occultism is. There are two sides of occultism. The first one refers to pseudo-sciences like astrology and alchemy and to the practice of natural magic, while modern uses include anthroposophy, Theosophy and Spiritualism. The second one refers to the Paganism, Christian Heresies and generally to more personalized conceptions of the metaphysical, usually survived by means of secret knowledge. Though the two seem alike, they are not identical. Given this definition, even though we have some songs referring to alchemy (“The Lesser Key”), we adopt the second definition of the occultism.
We write about paganism, about Apocrypha Gospels and scripts and the emergence of underlying patterns in official Gospels or in general in Bible. So, the majority of our songs are deeply influenced by occultism. But even the songs that are influenced by occultism, may talk not only about death and rituals, but also about war, love, solitude and subjects like the ones mentioned.”
9. What are your thoughts on today’s metal music and the bands as well, what are the ups and downs of today metal music in your opinion?
”We got to be honest with ourselves, right? It really feels like the so called ‘’Metal Community’’ screams for some kind of rejuvenation. Yeah, the ups are that today, touring and recording are very affordable, so does the promotion of a band, too. But, social media and the affordability of releasing new music, videos, etc, has done a lot of damage to “metal community”. Everyone is releasing new music, everyone promotes it but no one becomes a real part of the music industry. We are not perfect. We all got to try harder, for the greater good of Heavy Metal. Just like the mighty Testament said; ‘Practice What You Preach’.”
10. Do you have a special message for the fans, for the end of this interview?
”First of all, thank you for the interview. Stay tuned, stay unholy, stay Serpent. Apocrypha is near. The end is near. So does the beginning.
Get ready to be baptized to the eerie sound of the Serpent.
Are you ready to be Damned?”
Check out the music video for the ”The Lesser Key”, here: