Hello, Stavros! How are you? What’s the deal with you and Dirty Granny Tales? Or are we dealing with the same thing here?
Good evening! After three years of hard work, I can safely say that we managed to get our new show ready. It has been a difficult period of time for us, as we had to deal with a new environment, now that our new basis is in Berlin. Now, all things are set. After our premiere of “Telion’s Garden” in Romania, all I feel is redemption. When the feedback you get from the crowd is so intense, you think that all your efforts are paying off. Now, the dirty granny has started narrating a new story and feels good about it. As for the identification, I’ll speak for myself…If she’s in pain, then I am in pain too. It’s like the relationship between a parent and his child.
I had the pleasure of seeing one of your performances live, the “Jealous” one, in Altera Pars theatre in Athens in 2010, if I’m not mistaken, and I can safely say that it was one of the fewoccasions where different artistic expressions are combined so harmoniously together on stage. Music, dance, animation, theater, puppetry, shadow show, theatrical lightings… If I consider this to be just a concert I’m probably diminishing it to something lesser. We’re talking about a full play. Who managed the entire art direction and the conception? Is it an individual or a team work?
Yeah, I agree on the fact that Altera Pars fitted perfectly the needs of a performance like “Jealous”. I would prefer to analyze the process of buildingup our show rather than just characterizing it as a team or individual effort. I write the music, the story, do the animation projection, do the design of the characters and their costumes and direct the whole thing. Erifyli Dafermou used to handle the choreographic and kinetic processes up until the “Rejection” show. Dimitris Stamos was responsible for the constructional piece (dolls, masks, props). The lighting design was handled by our external partner, Sakis Birbilis. I have to say we owe many things to this man, whose touches add a very atmospheric feeling in our fairy tales. I must mention that if it weren’t for Sakis, we wouldn’t know what to do with the lights. Many times we’ve designed everything according to the circumstances, something that was noticed in every theater we’ve played so far. This is now handled by our bass player Thanos Mitropoulos (worm eaten vagus) along with Giorgos Petratos.
As far as our new show goes, the choreography is the brainchild of the dancers of the show, Ruby Wilson, Giulia Del Balzi, me and Thanos. Most constructions of the “Telion’s Garden” show were handled by Beatrice Baumann. We are very lucky to have her and it’s our honor to cooperate with such a talented artist. Crudelia Von Grimm’s mask gave a very eerie form to the main character of the show, as well. I’ll say the same thing I said previously about Sakis. We are lucky to have such talented people around who,beyond their job,teach us their secrets and tools of the trade. For “Telion’s Garden” Thanos, Dalai and me are responsible for a very large portion of the constructional part.
My answer to your question could be twice this text. I could mention the people who volunteer their assistance, as well. The least I can do is to thank them for everything once again.
Our performances are not of a commercial nature. They are dark, with key source of inspiration our primitive instincts. Most producers have learned to invest more in already testedrecipes, and what we cannot fall into a certain category. However, our productions are big, sacrificing too much time to build them. This makes us proud.
After the themed (and glorious) shows of Inversed World, Jealous, Didi’s Son, and Rejection, now it’s time for ”Telion’s Garden”. Talk to us about it and how it is connected to the previous stories.
Apart from the trilogy”Inversed World”, the stories are not connected to each other.
The main source of inspiration for ”Telion’s Garden” was the crisis and the immigration tendencies of the people.
The story unfolds during the time period when the human world has been set on fire. Extra-terrestrial creatures visit our planet offering a ticket for their perfect world to the desperate, fearful humans.
An escape trip to a paradise-like a garden surely lures anyone who sees the world around collapsing. In this garden, the people live peacefully and harmoniously. Everything works perfectly. But good and bad go hand in hand. One depends on the other.
This theme sounds familiar to the Greeks. We want to perform this show in Greece and we’re excited about it.
Comparing ”Telion’s Garden” to the previous performances, I would say it has a more theatrical character, which is something that applies to us, the musicians as well, and works in favor of our the music style. A detail that should be noted for those who keep up with us is that the costumes have changed too.
An important question. How did you manage to cover the void in the choreography since Erifylli Dafermou left? I think that she played an important role to the success of DGT.
Erifylli Dafermou is one of the founding members of this group. We had a wonderful cooperation! Apart from her talent in dancing, she is a very responsible person and you can rely on her; a quality that is difficult to find in a person. As long as our basis is Berlin for ”Didi’s Son” show, Anna Athanasiou has taken her place and so far she’s efficient.
For ”Telion’s Garden” as I said before, the choreography is a product of team work.
Even though we are not currently collaborating with Erifylli, we are still in touch and ask for her opinion. She knows that if she’s willing to move in the North, she’s always welcome.
Are there any thoughts for a CD or a DVD release?
Our next goal is to record our new album and to film the show for a DVD release. We hope to do that in Athens.
During the last years, you’ve moved in Berlin. Why did you choose to do that (I know you got a huge fanbase in Romania, for example)? What are the differences, the opportunities… how’s life in general out of the borders?
I’m not gonna say that the Greek people have no culture and are close – minded in new formats. The Greek crowd has its soul open for everything and absorbs the feelings just like a sponge. I’m mentioning that because I’ve heard from other “artists” that they’ve moved out of the country’s borders because the Greek crowd is narrow – minded. This makes me puke. Of course, comparing it to other countries crowd it’s significantly smaller, comparing it to the German crowd for instance. The target groups are smaller and you’re not given many possibilities to succeed. But mainstream things and easily influenced crowds are everywhere.
Our main motive to change our basis was Berlin’s geographical position, comparing it to Greece. It’s in the center of Europe and with a van you can tour all over Europe. Unfortunately, Greece is isolated.
Furthermore, since Berlin is Germany’s capital, it is the center of the Arts as well. You meet many people, which can lead to creative collaborations.
You cello player, Slime Skin is touring with The Ocean Collective and will visit Athens. Have you any thoughts on touring here again?
We haven’t booked any theaters yet, but we want to come somewhere around March for a series of performances in Athens and maybe a small tour around Greece.
From time to time you’ve joined Rotting Christ for guest vocals and performances. Do you keep in touch with the Greek Death / Black scene and do you think a live performance with Horrified would be possible?
To be precise, all in all, I have performed a single line, a whispering to be exact in a Rotting Christ’s record and along with Thanos we’ve played the drums in one of their performances in Gotic Trefen Festival in Leipzig. As a listener, I listen to many metal groups of the Greek scene and keep in touch with many people involved in it. I haven’t been close to the Greek scene since we moved to Berlin though. I’m surebrilliant records have been released.
There are times when I catch myself missing Horrified. It’s not a coincidence the fact that I use some of their old melodies in Dirty Granny Tales tracks. Even though it’s an acoustic set, the style and funny man’s theatrical irony is vividly distinct. As a matter of fact, my first thought about the new show’s title was “In the Garden of Unearthly Delight” which fits perfectly with the story.
Dirty Granny is very demanding, absorbing all my free time, so there’s no energy for Horrified. But, never say never.
Thank you very much for the talk and the answers. Good luck with you new effort. Close this interview anyway you want it!
I’m excited to have given this interview to Metal Invader, a magazine that brings up strong memories. Thank you, take care!