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Interview with Psycrence


Last Updated on 02:36 PM by Nikos Nakos

– Welcome to Metal Invader. Say a few words about the band.

Psycrence is a melodic heavy metal band based in Athens. It was founded in August 2009 and it consists of Takis Nikolakakis (voice), Tom Kouris (bass guitar), Michael-Angelo Kouropoulos (Guitars), Kimon Zeiliotis (guitars) and Timoleon Valsamakis (drums). In December 2010, we’ve released a self-produced demo EP entitled “Distance”, which received excellent and very encouraging comments from the press. After the release of the demo, we participated in a series of concerts to promote it, including the Tunes In Progress festival.


– Who is responsible for the songwriting?

Well… regarding the process of composition, the main person responsible for that is me. There are several ideas and riffs contributed from the other guitarist (Angel), but I have the main decision for the final structure and arrangement of the tracks. You could say, that I filter all the ideas and give them a complete form.


– When did you start writing the songs for the album and how did come the collaboration with Jens Bogren?

We started to compose the songs in 2009, when the band was formed, we did a demo in 2010 with 4 tracks, that are all included in our first album. We wanted a sound as professional as possible, so we chose Jens Bogren for this. We are big fans of his work and although our budget did not allow us to let him work with the entirely production and mixing, we believe that even with handling the mastering, he put this something special in the final result, that played a very important role in our sound.


How did you decide to cooperate with Steel Gallery records for the release of the album?

Steel Gallery approached us and expressed their interest, early in 2010, when we send them the demo EP. Three years after, when we finished the recordings of the album, we contacted them again and based on all the recommendations we had at that time, we felt that Steel Gallery made most suitable proposal for us.

– Didn’t you have any offers from labels of the genre?

We sent our stuff in several companies and we had some offers, but none of them was financially suitable for us, concerning the situation and the condition prevailing in our band at that time. Most companies want from the band itself to invest a substantial amount, in order to “promote” them, after.

– What is the feedback concerning the album?

The response from the public and the press, reviews etc., is in vast majority of them very good and encouraging.

– What bands have influenced your sound and what personal elements have you added or would like to have your sound?

Obviously there are too many bands that we grew up with and have influenced, in greater or lesser extent, our sound. In my opinion, most prominent influence in our music are bands like Symphony X, Nevermore, Dream Theater, Soilwork, Scar Symmetry, Iron Maiden etc. The main element that we’ve tried to incorporate in our music is a combination of aggression with melody and atmosphere. We’ve also tried to craft music that is immediate and “catchy”, but at the same time not straightforward, predictable and trite. We want to grab the attention of the listener with our very first note, and after the end of the listening; we want something from our music to stick in his mind.


– Who writes the lyrics and what are they dealing with?

The members, mainly responsible for the lyrics are the bassist (Thomas) and myself. Generally, the themes deal mainly with social issues, such as alienation of people in modern society, the harmful effects of uncontrolled development of science, addiction, etc. There are also pieces that grapple with darker themes such as death, bereavement etc.


– The singer’s performance really shines on the album. Years have passed since we’ve heard a great voice, like that, in greek progressive metal. How did you establish a cooperation with him and who is the ‘great one’ (metal vocalist) that influenced his style?

First of all, thank you for your kind words. I was working with the singer, long before Psycrence’s creation. We had a project called Escalation and we’ve released a demo EP. So, when time came to form Psycrence and to write music, I was already familiar to his voice and his skills, a fact that helped us to compose the appropriate music with the melodic lines that would show off his voice. We are indeed very pleased from the result. Regarding his influences I would say two words: Bruce Dickinson.


– Tell us about your influences? Who do you have as an idol and what is your opinion for the greek guitarists’ level?

My first guitar heroes were Schaffer of Iced Earth and James Hetfield. In the process, I began to discover and appreciate guitarists with more advanced technique, such as John Petrucci, Jeff Loomis, Michael Romeo and Per Nilsson. These are the guitarists I use as an example of great musicians that combine impeccable technique with the ability to write effective and quality music. Regarding greek guitarists, the situation is very uprising and I constantly discover musicians with great talent.

– Greek PowerProg metal scene is somewhat stagnant, in the last years. There are bands that make a couple of releases and then disappear for a very long time or forever. Is there something wrong with the bands’ mentality and the way they work? What are the factors responsible for that and what is needed to happen, so that the scene recovers, since there is plenty of talent around? 

I wish I had the answers to this question, so that we can avoid any future mistakes, since we are also a new band in the genre and we are just making our first steps. Perhaps, one of the main reasons of this situation is the low popularity of the genre, nowadays. From our side, the only thing we can do is to work out as much as possible, for a remarkable result, so that people will appreciate our music, whether they consider it prog, power metal or anything else. Future will tell if we’ll be able to break this recent years’ bad ‘tradition’ and manage to establish ourselves.


– What are your plans for the promotion of the album? Do you have any offers for live shows?

We’ve received proposals for live shows, but due to some personal issues it is not possible to perform live. We hope this is something that will change in the near future, and, meanwhile, the only way we are promoting our work with, is entirely through the internet.

– Something to add for the end?

First of all, we want to thank Metal Invader for the great review and support. We would like to inform your readers that our album “A Frail Deception” is available for streaming on this link: http://psycrence.bandcamp.com/ .We’d love to hear your opinion and comments.



Giorgos Athanasiou
Giorgos Athanasiou
I love you, I love you more than Jesus!

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