Outloud Interview 09.2015 Bob Katsionis ROAR Festival Aggelochori

One of the most successful hard rock/metal bands in Greece, with acclaimed musicians, writes a new chapter in its career after the contract with Roar Records. Μetal Ιnvader got in touch with Bob Katsionis, who let us know all the latest news from the band and not only that.

What is the latest news from the members of Outloud? What was everyone up to in all this void time?

Basically, there was a bit of confusion, as our bassist, Sverd joined the army and when he was dismissed we had already hooked up with some other guy, Christos from Myst, so we’ll continue with that line-up till Rock of Angels Records festival, which is coming soon. Same with drummer Costas Mylonas, who was in the States and came back when we had already started to play with Thanos Pappas from Scar of the Sun. Shortly: We’ll see what happens after the festival. Myself, I have entered a band from Germany that will attract much interest in the years to come, Serious Black. There is a strong label and management behind them, I feel loved from the rest of the members and I am considered a permanent member. And, of course, we always are waiting for the green light by Gus. G., to strike with Firewind again.

Outloud is preparing to release a “best of “, with the cover in Pointer Sister’s song «I’m So Excited» being the only new song. We have seen many weird and unusual choices of cover songs by metalbands and yours is one of it. What led to this crazy choice?

To be honest I don’t find this to be weird at all. I find this to be suitable with our style. It’s an up tempo song, known by everyone and I liked it since I was a little kid. We tried this already on “Enola Gay”, as well as with “Maniac” with Firewind, so I’m up to it! Moreover, at first I started working on “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley, but I couldn’t get the groove, so “I’m So Excited” was just about right. You’ll see!

This release signifies the end of an era and the beginning of a new one for the band. Does this ending concern only the change of the label or will you be doing changes in the band as well (direction in music)?

Probably only the label, I believe. I’d like to speak with rest of the band members about the future and try and have a steady line-up in the next album. I must add that the only certain out of the five members is our new guitarist Jim Scordilis. A great talent, hard worker and a nice guy! A great addition coming from the “nursery” of Piraeus (laughs)!

This new era for Outloud begins with the band signing with a new label. What are your plans together with Roar?

We embark with a very risky and ambitious move: a “best of” album. We really believe in it, we found it very hard to choose the songs and I am of the opinion that the band can support such a release, even if, in theory, it is quite premature. Ok, Warlord did a “best of” with one and a half album (laughs)! What else can they do when all of them were HYMNS! Later on we will hit the studio and in mid 2016 we’ll release a new album. Half of it is already written, we have changed the producer and the songs are killer! We have extra-melodic and extra-fast songs in it, you name it! Still, it will include as well a surprise cover PROBABLY from a thrash metal band, but played in Outloud style. Later on, hand-in-hand with the label’s head, we’ll see how we can impart our own experience and connections trying to do what’s best for the band.

All of Rock of Angels Records’ bands will take part in Rock on the Beach Fest. Will we see something special from you, as the headliners?

First off, I must say that Rock on the Beach is a very nice move, carefully organized by mr. Akis Kosmidis and his partners. It will be a splendid night, amongst friends and we will make sure that the audience will have fun and this event will set in. We want people to back this enterprise. We, Outloud, will be playing live for the first time “I Am So Excited”, together with “Enola Gay” of course and all the tracks the fans are asking for. The same songs will be included in the “best-of”, which will be EXCLUSIVELY distributed that day globally! Now, if someone comes up with some weird idea… why not! I’m always in!

What is the best live band ever?

All the bands have good and bad periods, so I guess I will say AC/DC, while I have been surprised by Sacred Reich as well!

Which band would you be willing to open their live shows for the rest of your lives?

That’s easy, myself for Dream Theater, though this is a tricky thing, since all the bands I’ve seen before Dream Theater seemed like high school bands. So I guess I’ll go with Foreigner or Toto!

Which are the best and the most irritating moves on stage?

Haha, what a question! My favorite is double guitar/keyboard solo, with the fan blowing the hair back (laughs)!  The most irritating is pretending to leave the stage, only to come back and do an encore. I avoid that as much as I can!

What is your most or least favorite trend in metal?

I honestly am ok with all of them. I am a power-prog metaller, but I can have a blast with Pestilence and Avenged Sevenfold and Q5 and Rush and Ghost! I am probably a little upset that some “honest” genres like stoner and thrash get more hyped than they should, still those bands that are worth it always stand out.

What does Metal mean to you?

It means being on the road, on a tour bus, for your whole life and leaving nothing behind you. It means going 7 years in a row for vacation in Ios island (from where I am talking to you right now), because it’s the only place with three rock/metal bars and you simply cannot have fun somewhere else! Also, it means looking at your guitars on the wall makes you fill complete, knowing that others would have bought a good car with all that spent money, but you simply don’t care… And many more similar stuff!

The best riff ever written?

I’ll mention two of my favorite: “Tornado of Soulds” (Megadeth) and “The Fun Palace” (Annihilator)!

You are familiar with using non metal elements in your music. Which non metal artist would you work with?

I think we went over the line when we worked with Foivos on our last album in “One More Time” (you can check it out here http://open.spotify.com/track/2oZIgIxdLzwabTJYqlqUrk), but I currently would like to work with Michalis Rakintzis! Or my beloved Evrydiki!

Are you for or against downloading?

Basically…I am not decided yet! I am just glad I lived in a time when you could go downtown with friends, buy a vinyl, open it with reverence, smell it and then put it in the record player and get lost within its cover. What can you say…now we go along with technology, and that still has its benefits. I know I’m not making a strong point here, but I don’t want to spend that much time thinking about it, because I will miss the point, which is…music!

The closure is yours!

We are expecting all rock and metal fans showing up in Rock on the Beach Festival. These will be two most beautiful nights, beside the waves, with lots of music and fun from us all. And if we get in the mood, we may as well dive in Thermaikos because…there’s no place like Halkidiki!