Interview with War Dance

Published:

Last Updated on 03:19 PM by Giorgos Tsekas

With their debut album Wrath For The Ages they added another stone to the great edifice of Greek Epic metal. One day after the band’s appearance on the Mind Over Metal Festival, somewhere in Trikala, the band’s mastermind Tassos Pananoudakis answers the questions of Metal Invader about the past, present and future of Wardance.

Give me the history of the band in a few words.

The band started in 2010 in Athens. We released a demo of four tracks in 2011 which initially came up at My Space. There was interest from the world as well as by organizers and we did some concerts with our most important support at Manilla Road and Warlord. We released our first album in January and we are now in a stage presentation of Wrath For The Ages doing some live shows. Slowly we are preparing material for the second.

What are the main influences behind the music of Wardance?

Music stands on classic metal bands and generally the so-called epic sound. Manowar, Warlord, Sarissa and from there onwards there are also non-metal influences such as the music of Vangelis. All this naturally filtered by our own musical light. We try to create music with personality, not just copy other stuff in our songs.

How do you see the band five years after its establishment? Do you think you managed to achieve your original objectives?

The initial goal was solely being able to play the music we like. We are not professionals, we go step by step. We didn’t have a basic plan. Beyond that we saw that there was chemistry between us so we moved forward. We worked very hard on the songs; we did not want to present something mediocre.

The song Recall can also be found in the demo Hell Dinner (2002) of the band Javelin in which you were a member. Tell me a few words about this effort and the reason why this cooperation was unsuccessful.

Javelin was the first band I formed as a youngster back in 1999. The situation with the bands in Greece is not at all professional, especially since it was difficult to find people who would really get into the vision of the band. Wardance to be precise is what I started then with Javelin. What I could not find then regarding the partners / bandmates i found it much later. Many compositions now presented by Wardance were written back then. The song recall you mentioned before is the first song that I wrote as a musician. Because i didn’t have a stable line up i did not want to write songs with drum machine, etc. I wanted to find people to be able to support the material live. So that happened after fifteen years.

The lineup is pretty much stable from 2010. It seems though that the position of the second guitarist cannot be consolidated easily. Teo Chatzigrigoriou is the third change in this position.

I hope that Teo will sit in recording and generating material position. The other two guys were not in fact ever active members of the band and for their own reasons everyone decided not to continue with Wardance. Their departures occurred in a friendly atmosphere. Teo fits the style of the band and having similar epic metal taste in music as an auditor so it’s up to him if he decides to devote himself to the band or not.

I want you to tell me if you had any other suggestions for the release of the album before your collaboration with Greg and how in the end you have reached agreement with Eat Metal?

As soon as the recordings were finished we sent promo material everywhere, abroad and in Greece. There were some suggestions, not many but Greg made the most advantageous for the band.

Do the other guys bring any ideas according the composition or how something should be played specifically? I say this because it seems that you deal with everything, the songs as the main composer, the production etc., as the mastermind of the band and having this certain vision of it .Is the final outcome a product of teamwork or not?

Tassos: the guys will answer this question

Jim: It is democratic band; everyone does as he pleases (laughs). The fact that we have most of the material already written is sometimes easier for the other players. We all have influenced the material in some way. He could not avoid it.

Ioannis: It would be very indicative if you heard the compositions before Jim and i entered the band so you could compare them with the new ones. I could not play the bass the way Tassos had written it. You know different hands, different influences and so on. We mixed them all together and this is the final result.

Tassos: Of course I hope everyone will bring their own ideas in the future.

How easy or difficult things are in Greece for an Epic metal band? Are you satisfied with how things roll in the Greek metal reality; If not would you consider the possibility of moving abroad?

Certainly it is not easy but leaving is a difficult decision that needs to be discussed thoroughly. Some of us have personal ties, jobs etc. Certainly it would help if we could do it but do not see it happening.

Did you Leave the creation of the cover entirely in the hands of Ioannis or guided him with some ideas of your own? Why not choose a more compatible display of your work as in the demo cover?

I knew Ioannis from his work in the past and gave him the freedom to do what he wants. As a band we are satisfied with the result and i believe that it gives that extra ‘something’ in the overall creation. Beyond that i guess it’s a matter of taste.

You said that you have written new material. How many songs have you written for the new album? I’m asking this because if we exclude the four songs that existed in the demo, Wrath For The Ages contains only three new compositions. So i guess we should expect the second album soon?

We have new material. We have three complete songs and enough ideas to make an album. About the four songs of the demo however I felt that they had to be part of Wrath For The Ages not only because they fit with the other songs but because the demo came out in very few copies and it would be a shame not to be heard as part of a complete work.

What happened with the release of Wrath Of The Ages on vinyl? it was announced but we haven’t seen anything yet. Will it come out eventually?

We have agreed to release the album on vinyl which indeed was going to be released in March at the Up The Hammers festival. For some reason Greg was not able to get it done. We expect it to be released in the coming months.

Are there any proposals for concerts abroad?

We’re in touch with some people in Greece who have the connections and we wait. It’s not the easiest thing; it is certain of course that you need to buy your way in. but you also need someone to recommend you to the organizer and him in turn to trust you. We are making some moves and we wait.

That was it, the closing is yours.

Metal Invader has supported us from the beginning and we thank you for that. We want to thank George and Savvas who have done the review of the album and we wish the best for the future.

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