If you ever asked me to describe what the today’s Absolute Metal Idol looks like to me, I would definitely answer with just two words: NICK BANGER. Well, I found that guy and asked him to …”show me the way” to the top. Enjoy!
Hey NICK BANGER! I couldn’t wait for this interview, so I am really glad about it! Welcome to METAL INVADER!
It is my pleasure to be here!
2017 was a very successful year for you, as you reached a peak of creativity. After a solo album (NICK BANGER, PSYCHO-B RECORDS 2017) and a new release of METALMORFOSIS (DIVINATION, 2017), do you feel satisfied with the result?
I feel very satisfied with both releases for different reasons. Indeed, 2017 was a year full of creativity and production. My first solo album was an idea that had come up a long time ago. I was at a stage of life where I had a lot of inspiration and ideas. These ideas musically but mainly lyrically were not suited to the METALMORFOSIS mentality, as the lyrics were about real persons and real situations. So, I gathered and recorded all that stuff and finally released it under the title “Nick Banger”. Noticeable about the NICK BANGER release was the fact that not only the fans of METALMORFOSIS supported it but also a new audience that consisted of young people who were not into Hard Rock and Heavy Metal by that time. You can’t imagine how glad I feel when I see youngsters who used to listen to all that folk/hip-hop/etc trash that the TV promotes to finally enter the Hard sound, actually a new musical genre for them, for the first time by listening to the NICK BANGER’s cd. I am pleased to hear from them that it gives them a motivation to listen or even play and create that kind of music in the future. It is such a strong feeling and a precious experience when a kid tells you that it started listening to Metal because of your music!!! Anyway, as far as DIVINATION is concerned the new tracks are very Heavy, Powerful and Fast. They are exactly what our fans were waiting for and can satisfy even the most demanding Headbanger. Fresh, brand new material that shows what METALMORFOSIS sound like today, with a sound somehow much darker than that of the previous album. The “DIVINATION” song is lyrically furious and as far as Speed is concerned it can be characterized as Thrash. When we uploaded it on our Official Website everyone was pleasantly surprised. “R.F.U”. is also the fastest track that we have ever recorded and “IN THE BLOOD” seems to have become one of the favorite songs of our Fans. It is a song with deeper meaning, which combines all of the musical features of METALMORFOSIS. DIVINATION was a great success as it was distributed in Europe and Asia. We received a lot of fervent messages from our fans who supported our comeback. Moreover, Peru supported us so much that a special Limited Edition Cassette with different Artwork was Released there last June! To make a long story short, I am double satisfied!
At a time when many metal artists seem to be deficient in originality and creativity, what gives you the inspiration that makes you so prolific?
Actually, I get inspired by anything that happens around me or by my own feelings. I transform these situations or emotions into lyrics and music. I think this is reflected in my recordings. Let’s mention two recent examples. In my personal album the mood is chill out, carefree and erotic. The music is much more melodic, the compositions are various, somewhere between the boundaries of HARD ROCK and HEAVY METAL, and all the lyrics refer to real persons and events. That fact made the whole process much easier and fun. With METALMORFOSIS, however, things are different. Musical and lyrical frames are rigorous. Apart from metal, magic, extraterrestrials and other strange things that I have written in the past with ambiguous or not, messages, in new songs I speak directly about important matters that the human race is going to face in the future or even about our insurmountable legacy from Ancient Greece.
Apart from the above mentioned successes, you have achieved something difficult for many artists out there: to find your own personal sound. I realized it when I first listened to GUERRERA, as without knowing that it was your Project, I finally recognized it because of the sound of your guitar. How did you do that?
Over the years and after several recordings I believe that I have managed to acquire what we say “Identity in Music”, personal sound in my compositions but also my own perception of sound. In GUERRERA’s recordings other than a composer I was also the producer. In fact, in order to create “TO HELL AND BACK AGAIN” we used the equipment and part of the material that was meant for the second album of METALMORFOSIS. So you can get an idea of how it would sound. After I finish the recording process, I put my personal “stamp” in order to get the result that you finally listen on the album.
With GUERRERA you recorded two very strong releases! Tell us about the cooperation with the fiery Argentine ROMI GUERRERA.
I had contact with the singer for many years. I had seen videos of her band then and I was really excited by their concerts. Her voice and stage performance was so awesome that a well-known Spanish metal band proposed a cooperation with her. However, time went by without a result for them so I proposed a cooperation with me as a composer and producer of a release. “GUERRERA OF METAL” EP was such a great success, that it numbered among the best metal releases of the year. The demand for that in Argentina was so high that it was released there in cassette format. This is the reason why METALMORFOSIS included it in their Setlist during their tour in Argentina. Moreover, the GUERRERA OF METAL song today is considered to be classic. The next project was “To hell and back again”, which was a great success too! I believe these two projects of GUERRERA are a kind of connecting link between “THROUGH SPACE … AND TIME” and “DIVINATION”. For those of the fans who do not know these releases it is a good opportunity to check them out.
Your band METALMORFOSIS is the First Greek Metal band that had live performances in Argentina, and even after this tour they released 2 Official Live Albums. How did a tour at such a distant destination occur? Is there any interesting experience from this tour that you would like to share with us?
The Tour in Argentina is a fact that made history as the First Tour by a Greek Metal Band. The Live Albums are also two innovations of METALMORFOSIS. “THROUGH SPACE…AND TIME” was very successful in South America. People in Brazil, in Chile and in Argentina highly supported it. The HAUNTED HOUSE Video Clip was already promoted there so some well-known Managers and Promoters in Brazil proposed that we have a few live shows there, something that never happened. However, a better offer for a Headline tour in Argentina made us accept and finally live a very special and unique experience. Some of the top moments was when we met and jammed with some Legends of Argentine Metal and also an invitation that the University of Santa Fe sent me in order to be present at an event. Highlight of that event was when during my speech I was given a small text written in Ancient Greek and read it loudly for the audience there. It was something that touched me deeply and made me feel very honored. Unique moments that probably happen only once in life…
Argentina has a great Metal Tradition as many bands started there even in the early 80s. Are there a lot of hardcore fans of yours there? Have you noticed any differences between them and your European fans?
There have been some awesome metal albums there in the 80’s where they are still very influential and of high importance for the Argentines. Yes, we have hardcore fans there. We realized and experienced that at the first two live gigs that actually were “Secret Gigs” warm up show before the tour. We have our audience there and we are very happy to have met all these persons. Passionate fans who were excited every night in every city. Warm and friendly people who are really interested about our music and support METALMORFOSIS. I would say also that our European fans are awesome too and we have personally met some very cool guys but what can I say…People and Metal situations in Argentina are REALLY HOT!
“DIVINATION”, “THROUGH SPACE…AND TIME”, NICK BANGER Solo Album. All of them were SOLD OUT in Japan. You realize that people from all over the world love you, how fucking awesome can it be for an artist?
There have been developed some strong bonds with Japan since the Release of METALMORFOSIS first EP. It seems that our audience there is getting bigger and bigger after every release. The satisfaction that I feel as an artist when I realize that my music and creations are recognized almost worldwide can not be described. It is an artist’s greatest desire.
In which countries are METALMORFOSIS popular and why?
That’s a difficult question. I can say for sure that our releases reached every corner of the globe and we were informed about that through the Internet or photos or e-mails that our fans sent. As for the countries where METALMORFOSIS are popular I will answer based on time. In Greece before and after our first EP there was no other band that played or looked like us. We had many successful live shows then. In Germany during the “MASK OF GOLD” (EP) and “THROUGH SPACE…AND TIME”(LP) era we read awesome reviews about the EP, according to which we were described as “THE NEXT BIG THING” or as a band from Greece that sounds so…US METAL. Highlight when somebody wrote that we were on tour in South America in 2010! Moreover, when “THROUGH SPACE…AND TIME” was released I visited Germany for second time in order to give some interviews. The very first day two guys who met me on the street recognized me and asked for autographs, etc. The next night we went to a Bar and the same thing happened with some other guys. We ended up playing table football together while drinking beers and listening to Judas Priest all night long. That was the time when I realized that our releases are successful there and recognition is getting bigger and bigger not only due to our music but also due to our attitude. In 2014 we had the tour in Argentina, a historical moment for both sides, where I strongly believe that METALMORFOSIS are the most popular. They welcomed us with warmth, we gave many interviews and I even recorded a spot for the radio. The local TV showed our whole performance at the big Festival of Rosario and after that the live album under the title “LIVE METAL FROM SPACE” was released there. So many stories there…You also asked me why we are popoular in all these countries. I strongly believe that the reason is that whatever I do with METALMORFOSIS and music generally is what I really like and feel. It is original, it comes from my heart. And that makes the difference.
I like a lot the Official Video of HAUNTED HOUSE. Professional work and a very good script, an ideal way to give prominence to an already nice track. A viewer probably imagines that the process of making the Video is very enjoyable. Is it really so or not that easy to make it? Do you think a video clip is important in order for an artist to promote his releases or it just helps an artist to build a more professional artistic profile?
The making of the HAUNTED HOUSE video was a very interesting and enjoyable process, although we spent a lot of time to do it. The collaboration with the team was effective and creative and this can be seen in the final result. The Video was promoted quite a bit and we even noticed that it influenced bands from Greece and from other countries too, some of which even tried to copy it. If the picture accompanying your songs helps you express something more it is helpful to use it. In our case, this particular Video seems to have helped a lot.
All these years of your artistic career you have tried the DIY as well as collaborations with labels for the releases of your discography. Tell us some good or bad reasons in order for a band to prefer the first or the second choice.
Thats’s a complicated matter as every artist or band have their own ideas and requirements. It is recommended that the terms of the agreements are well examined by both sides in case of a collaboration. I can only speak about my case and mention a few examples. “MASK OF GOLD” and “THROUGH SPACE…AND TIME” were promoted and distributed by the german NUCLEAR BLAST. These releases were presented in many countries of the world and that fact helped us gain recognition even in places that we could never imagine. Of course, in order to make this happen both label and band have to work really hard. On the other hand, the first METALMORFOSIS EP was a DIY case. However, more than 180 copies were sold in the 2-3 first days of its release. It proved to be more efficient than the effort of some little known labels. In any case, either you choose a label or the DIY option, as a musician you have to work hard in order to achieve your goals.
The 80s seem to have been a big influence in your music and style. In your opinion, which are the features that give the unique identity in 80s music? Maybe the equipment and technology of that time, the influences of the musicians or something else?
All the above that you mentioned in relation to the era and the perception of music are the features that give the unique identity in 80s music. It was very different back then. I grew up in the 80s listening to powerful, melodic Heavy Metal and Hard Rock songs with nice choruses and characteristic guitar riffs from bands that they also had a special image. Many of these features also existed in other types of music, so the 80s is the decade of big hits and big bands. This obviously became a part of me, so it is obvious in my music and my style.
Before closing the interview, I would like to ask you about your future plans in discography.
I’ve been working on new and older material for the past few months which will be in the next album of METALMORFOSIS. I can only tell you that there will be some surprises in there and some requests of our fans will happen this time, too! Moreover, there is a dozen songs waiting to enter the NICK BANGER II album…
The closure is yours.
Thank you very much for your invitation! In case that anyone of you is interested to check out my official recordings you can visit the following official websites: