Dexter Ward’s ‘Rendezvous with Destiny’ was one of the few albums that stood out last year from the traditional Heavy Metal sound despite its simplicity. But let’s see what Manolis Karazeris, the band’s guitarist had to say after first we apologize for delaying.
Hello, Manolis. Five years after your great debut “Neon Lights”, you return with another studio album. Why was there such a big gap between the two albums?
Hello and thank you for your everlasting interest in Dexter Ward. As you may already know, our singer Marko resides permanently in Italy and as a result the songwriting process is not the easiest one because of the distance. The process completed by transferring files via internet and this adds problems concerning keeping up to deadlines. On top of all of this, we all have families with children and this is a hobby that happens in our almost non-existent free time. So there’s the answer to your question.
This time the cover was a bit childish, don’t you think?
I’ve heard many people thinking that it’s great, when other not so much. I personally adore it and I’m proud of it. I hope in the next album to achieve something better that everyone likes.
In my opinion, “Rendezvouz” is more towards power metal forms when classic heavy metal fits better on you. What’s the story behind this change?
There wasn’t any pre-designed course for the outcome of our songs. We started working on new ideas without having any specific direction. I think that the record provides a variety of soundscapes for all tastes between epic metal and hard rock.
Who is the central song-writer? What procedure do you usually follow for making/recording an album?
Marko is the central songwriter-lyricist for the band. He sends us demos of the new songs and we work on them on our rehearsal space, changing or adding some new stuff.
Is there material on “Rendezvouz” that was meant, for example, for “Neon Lights” and just happens to find its way now to a studio record?
Marko and I carry many songs from the days of Battleroar. Some of those come out of the closet depending on the situation. The new record and “Neon Lights” as well are a mix of new and old songs with “These Metal Wings” being the most fresh. In the new record you will also find “Knights of Jerusalem”, a song coming from our other guitarist, Akis Pastras, that was the cherry on top.
I imagine that you already sit on some new material for feature releases…
As I already mentioned there’s a plethora of old songs that we’re still considering and new ones that we write at this time. We’ll filter all those and hopefully we’ll have a new record sooner this time!
You also try to make a live sound with more catchy/epic melodies. Is it easy to make that kind of songs? (I don’t mean hits, but more “live setlist”-type songs)
As a matter of songwriting, it’s a rule that we’ve set for the band. We want what you hear on the album to be exactly presentable live without overloading the songs. That’s something that goes on without much sweat on songwriting terms.
If you’d like, you can talk about each song’s lyrics separately.
I think Marko is more suitable to talk about them since he’s the songwriter.
Why there’s a song about Robocop or why it took so many years for someone to write one?
Because we really love the movie and the whole culture of the 80’s either concerning music or other forms of art. It’s really unbelievable that a movie that made its one history on cinema didn’t influence other musicians.
How much bad or good has done your occupation in booking shows for the band?
Only good thing I believe, because in Greece we perform at events that I personally organize. In that way I make sure that we’ll deal with professional conditions concerning equipment and also line-up. As far as the shows abroad go, my experience helps us to avoid bad places. On a personal level it’s a bit tiring for me because as an organizer I can’t enjoy the gig as much as I would want.
You can close this interview as you please and no I don’t want you to tell me about booking Cirith Ungol. I want you to tell me something about Dexter Ward.
I’d like to thank you for your interest in Dexter Ward and wish you good luck with whatever you’re doing on your life. Big thanks to all the friends that buy our releases and merchandise and give us strength to keep on going. See you on the road!