The purpose of Metal Invader is neither to caress ears, nor to deal maniacally with well established bands to create (meaningless) impressions or tenuous and rotten social relationships just to get our name on surface. Our aim is, was and has always been to shed some light upon the diamonds of each scene and make them accessible to people who love music, people who define – extreme placement, but for many of ‘us’ that’s the way it rolls – their life with the axial base of honest metal music. Based on this, i came in contact with Sons of Iniquity, a band based in Athens and a band that’s a brilliant example of traditional I would say heavy metal that has much to offer, despite the fact that it’s still at the beginning. Sons of Iniquity welcomed my many questions, gave answers to various questions about the formation of the band, its demo release, their plans for the future etc. Are you ready?
Hello and welcome to Metal Invader! I’m very glad you agreed to do this interview, it is a good opportunity for the crowd to get to know you better. Firstly, how are you? You are well?
Good evening, thank you for your interest! Everything’s fine.
Give us some information on the formations of S.O. Iniquity, like a mini bio. Who are you, how did you form, what prompted you to create such a band, how did you all match each other etc?
Giannis: The story is as follows: In 2009 I (guitars) together with Peter (bass) were members of Execute, a death / thrash act from Heraklion, Crete. At that time we had already written ‘Hang ‘Em High’ that we liked very much as a piece but did not stick with the rest of the material so we put it on ice. After a couple of years when Execute disbanded, we decided with Petros to come back to hang and write tracks in a similar style. So it happened, we wrote another one (‘Till We Meet Again) and we were looking to find people for the vocals and the drums to release a demo. We didn’t have a hard time finding the right guy for the drums since Vangelis immediately accepted our proposal. For the vocals we hit some walls to tell you the truth because we were looking for someone to give the band a character. So in a Metal Muthas live (a band devoted to NWOBHM), I heard Michael singing 2 tracks, ‘Ambitions’ of Dragster and ‘Race With The Devil’ of Girlschool if I remember well. I instantly liked his voice and tight after the end of the gig, I asked him if he was interested in participating in what we had in the making. He did not speak, looked at me for a few seconds, nodded his mustache and I said “that’s it”. As you understand this is the line up of the band today along with the addition of Dimitris on second guitars.
Last October, you announced that you are changing your name from Iniquity to Sons Of Iniquity, because of a group of the same name threatened to go to court. Do you want to shed some light on this case?
Petros: With the release of the demo and its presentation on some websites, we received a message from a member of the Iniquity deathsters who informed us that they have been using this name for many years now and that they are prepared to pursue things via the legal way if we didn’t change it. The respectful thing to do was to let the band use its name. The truth is that when we decided about the name we checked in the metal archives and we saw this band but the site said that the band was split up and hadn’t released anything for 15 years so we thought there would be no problem.
About a year ago you released your first Demo and the truth is that it went very well. Shares, reviews and most importantly, many physical copies of your work were distributed. Did you expect so much support or were you overwhelmed? Are you satisfied with the feedback you’ve been receiving and how do you manage it?
Petros: We believed that we had good material and that it would find acceptance. We did not expect such a big response, however. A few months later we received a proposal from M. Karazeris to play at the warm up gig of the Up The Hammers fest. That was the point when we actually started to see things more “seriously” in the sense that we started to rehearse as a band, something that wasn’t the case before. We had a proposal for a live gig at Remedy Club somewhere in December 2016 and we didn’t accept it because we did not have enough material in our hands to fill a set of half an hour.
Where do you draw inspiration from concerning either the lyrical or the composing part? For example, your name refers to Savage Grace while a careful listening of your material shows a ’80s US inclination with a bit of NWOBHM mood.
Giannis: I totally agree. The love for the American 80’s scene and the N.W.O.B.H.M. is huge. Indicatively, some bands which we draw inspirational from are Savage Grace as you said but also Brocas Helm, Iron Cross, Helstar, Manilla Road and so on. The subjects of our lyrical themes include Greek and Scandinavian mythology . Also, horror movies have played a big part in this song making, and at this point I should mention that in the 2 live gig we have given so far, we used the soundtrack of Masque Of The Red Death as our intro with my favorite actor Vincent Price.
As far as I know, half of your demo was produced at a home studio half at Entasis Studios by Nikos Papakostas. Firstly, why did you choose to produce it that way? Was it a lack of money or was it a conscious choice for other reasons? On the other hand, N. Papakostas handled the mixing/ mastering process, so my question is, the final result is what you really expected and wanted, did Papakostas help you scraping your material, etc?
Giannis: Correctly. The guitars and the bass were written on a sound card at home, while drums and vocals at Entasis Studios. A little bit of 2 would say. At the time, we weren’t flooded with cash for a full studio recording, and on the other hand, because we were just releasing a demo, we did not care about production. The result naturally satisfies us and I believe this is due to the great time we had to write the strings because there was no one there to charge us with money. I really enjoyed it because I didn’t see the recordings as a “job.” I took the guitar and wrote whenever I felt like it. The drums were a routine clause for Vangelis and our vocals took about an hour. Nick knew exactly what to do with the mixing / mastering process and is ‘in things’ so we finished relatively quickly and satisfactorily, so we didn’t become a burden, hehe !!!
Since we are in the field, give me some information about the compositional part of SO Iniquity. Who writes music and lyrics? Is it an individual work or a collaborative one, ie enclosed in a room and shooting ideas until you all decide together on something you all like?
Giannis: The basic idea starts from the house with various riffs that I write mainly with Peter. When we decide about the main basis of the song we enter the studio and the drums with the vocal lines dress the piece. Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of locking ourselves inside a studio for hours to get something out of the jamming. I don’t really hide the fact that I wrote most of the riffs right before falling asleep, rather than those hours I dedicate to playing music. It sounds strange but it is true… many times, of course, the next day I don’t remember anything… but who gives a crap?
Last month I was able to catch you at the Mind Over Metal Festival at Trikala, and the truth is – I don’t want to caress ears, I have no benefit – that you made a great impression on me. Even though your sound moves on traditional trails, you have another culture on stage. Anyway, this festival showed that there is still a metal audience that, despite the summer heatwave, honored you. How important is this acceptance of the crowd for you and what is your view of the general crowd of Greece?
Giannis: Trikala is perhaps the number one provincial city in terms of underground metal and that’s not what I say, it is shown by the live performances every year, winter / summer. Our joy was particularly great when we were made the proposition to play there because we knew in advance that we were going to have the time of our lives. People want to see groups even when they are not 100% in their preferences, because, how many times a year, someone living in the province has the ability to attend a metal gig in their city? The fact that you’ll drink a beer and see a friend is enough. Unfortunately things are not like this everywhere. Most get bored, become gloomy, grumble about everything and present numerous psychological complexes. Maybe I sound a bit bitter right now, but right because I lived in the province for about 13 years I’ve seen things a little from inside. Fortunately, however, in every corner of Greece, from Crete to Evros, there are children who love this music and support any efforts.
I think your strongest music moment is set for the beginning of December with the Into Battle Festival in Athens. How do you feel about it? What to expect?
Petros: It is honorable to share the stage with all these bands and we thank Eat Metal for giving us this opportunity. We, for our part, will try to “warm up” the crowd anyway we can while playing our music.
Ιt’s not in me to look into the long future, everything in life is ephemeral, so I won’t ask you to do the same. What goals have Sons of Iniquity set for the 2017-2018 season? What are your plans for this year?
Petros: Our main goal is the release of our first full length album. We see things gradually, we don’t look long-term. Now all the weight has fallen there. We’ll see later for the next step.
Do you have new material in your hands? If so, what do you intend to do with them?
Petros: We have four new songs completed, plus some scattered ideas that still need some work to be completed. This material is going to be our first full-length release.
Do you have a proposal from a record label? If not, who would you like to work with and for what reasons?
Petros: We have been approached by labels that have expressed interest, but we are not concerned about this issue at this point. We want to finish our new album first and then we’ll start looking for a label.
Do you think it’s hard for a band to be released from underground chains and thrive on the surface of a scene? Since Greece has been producing bands that from time to time have become known both domestically and internationally, what do you think are the steps that someone has to follow in order to “succeed” and how difficult it is? What does it depend upon;
Petros: The underground is the anteroom and the guardian of the scene. Getting past it and approaching a wider audience I think has to do with the ambitions of a band, the crowd and the correct timing. Basically, the first role is played by the material you have. If the material is good it will be heard and will attract interest. You don’t need any special promotion, acquaintances or anything. Do what you like and what is to come, will come.
Thank you very much for your honesty and your time! Finish this interview as you wish!
We thank you for the interview! Keep it up!