Petros, first of all, congratulations for the excellent “Rituals of Death”. First of all, I would like you to tell us what led you to the break-up of Final Words of Sorrow and the creation of the Sullen as a consequence.
Thank you very much for the kind words! I formed Final Words of Sorrow when I was a teenager, back in 2011 and it was a band that always had inside problems. Constant changes of the members, vague artistic direction, ineffective promotion of the material, etc. Of course for most of the above I could not shift the blame to anyone other than myself. But beyond that, Final Words of Sorrow represents a part of my life that I wanted to break free from. Specifically, I wanted to escape from the romanticization of negativity in which I was trapped, body and soul. So we had a chat with the guys who were in the band back then, that we should start anew. At first everyone seemed positive about the new beginning, but in practice it did not seem so, so I decided to go on alone. And that’s where The Sullen begins.
The first tracks of The Sullen, “For Strange Times Ahead” and “Trials of the Spirit” were released as singles last year. Tell us a few words about the “story” behind, those tracks if you may.
Along with the dissolution of Final Words of Sorrow, in November 2018, I had placed a personal bet that I could write music for an album in a week. Well, due to overtimes and unpredictable shifts at work, it took more than a week, but it happened. “For Strange Times Ahead” is the second track on this hypothetical album. On the other hand, “Trials of the Spirit” was one of the many tracks I had written for Final Words of Sorrow as new material. The EP tracks also come from this material.
Let’s get to “Rituals of Death”. Which part of the EP do you think represents you the most and which one is more special for you?
Definitely the self titled one. I think it is the most appropriate ending on the theme of the EP, but also as a piec I just like it a little more than the others, haha.
Tell us a bit about the “Crimson” video, which has some horror movie elements, if you will. Tell us a few things about the idea behind it!
“Crimson” as a piece deals with self-sacrifice. He who gives his life to save others. The video takes place in a cemetery, where the soul trapped in it sees abandoned, forgotten graves. Despite any sacrifice. It is essentially a “continuation” of the meaning of the piece.
What exactly happens with EP artwork? Everyone can give their own explanation for what they see!
The artwork consists of 3 elements: the head of the lamb, three stones and the tomb. Each one represents one of the tracks of the EP. Specifically, the head of the lamb symbolizes “Crimson”. The tomb stands for “Earthen Sky”, while the stones for “Rituals of Death”. So this is the original symbolism. One can draw various meanings, to which I would not like to put any restrictions. I also have my own interpretation, but I do not think that as a creator I have the monopoly of de-symbolization and I would not want to impose it on anyone.
How difficult is it for someone to maintain an one-man project entirely on their own? I think you have done everything by yourself so far, right? Recording, mixing, graphic designs, right?
In 2020, it’s not difficult at all. Technology has given us so many tools and so much accessibility that I really think that if one really wants to create a complete music project, they can easily learn whatever it takes to get it done. I would say that, in a way, it is very liberating to write music and take all the responsibilities alone. Not to be misunderstood: in no way do I say that it is better or worse than creating something as a group. When a collaboration succeeds, the result has a unique sweetness. It’s just something different. Of course, when you undertake everything, you have to invest the appropriate time on it too.
Tell us some releases that you make out from the 2020’s Hellenic scene!
Yoth Iria – “Under His Sway”, Abyssus – “Relics of the Past”, Drama Noir – “A Necromancy Lore”, Impenetrable Darkness – “Cosmic Termination” while I also can’t wait to listen to “Magnus Venator” of Katavasia!
You have also served on W.E.B as a bass player. What did you gain from all this experience?
Through W.E.B. I experienced and got to know many things that I wouldn’t have had the chance in any other way. I had to fight hard to get in and stay (as long as I stayed), especially considering that when I joined the band as the “Benjamin”, the second youngest member was 10 years older than me. That being the case, I had to grow up fast. I was lucky enough to join a tour abroad, to record in a professional studio and play a lot of live gigs, experiences that I did not have until then. At one point or another, however, the chemistry within the band became overwhelmingly negative for me and did not seem to be something that would change any time soon. I preferred, instead of creating tension and blaming others, to just leave without further drama.
What does the future hold for The Sullen?
First of all, the completion of the debut album. Recording, mixing, artwork and everything. Then we will come up with a release plan, hoping for late 2021. Then, depending on where the new year will find me, I would like to find the right people to give “flesh and bone” to the band for live performances, when things return to normal.
Where would you like to go through The Sullen?
The stage is enough for me.