Sadhus (The Smoking Community) is a band from Athens, GR “infamous” for their extremely loud and highly energetic shows. They’re not strangers to the scene, but the main reason we asked for this interview was their high level of activity in release-terms for the last year, a reason which led to a beautiful conversation. Scroll-down for more. (photo by Marianna Rous/edit by Black Space)
Hello gents and welcome to Metal Invader. You exited 2018 strongly with 2 back-to-back releases, a 4-way split with lovely local bands and you expanded your arc with a new full-length. What went so well for you in 2018?
Hello back at you and thank you. It was definitely a productive year counting releases. It was though a result of all the hard work and preparation of previous periods of time that concluded in that success. Our new album is an endeavor that started immediately after finishing our first record back in 2014 when the first ideas and song structures started to come out that ended along with their finishing touches in March of 2018, the time we started its recordings. On the other hand “Inner Stuggle”,the song with which we’re participating in the split, is a song that was recorded during the recordings of “Abduction”, which was a part of the split with Agnes Vein two year earlier. The thing that went well this year was, in the end, the timing was good and we had material ready along with the opportunity to produce it and distribute it.
Share with us a few stuff concerning those 2 releases that is not easy for anyone to know just by a click at your social media, please.
The recording for “Inner Struggle” with which we’re taking part in the split happened at the recordings of “Abduction”, but without planning it at the time. Also “I.P.S.”, the ending track of “Big Fish”, was the first song that we wrote right after finishing our first album while “Hyper Roller”, which is the opening track, was written last as far as songwriting and completion goes.
You have already presented live your new record “Big Fish” with abundant success before the Athenian audience. We’ve noticed many people attending the Greek scene’s shows again. Which do you think are the reasons for it?
We had an amazing time at our release party at Temple (venue) and we’d like to thank all the people that came out and participated in our celebrations. It always gets you “high” when people are getting it. As you also said with your question, people seem to support the Greek scene’s efforts more and more. That is owed of course to all those very good releases made, to venues capable of taking up the bands’ and audience’s demands, to the constant digital and whatnot promotion through labels or groups, to the low ticket fees and unique turn to Sabbath-like rock music from the Greek rock fans which is really a big thing now.
Is there any link to the record and Tim Burton’s same-titled movie in concept, since it’s a deeply soul-searching movie that could maybe be compared to the equally effective on the same page heavy music?
I’d say that in every case animals were our guides. In the first self-titled album of ours, animals were humanlike and there were the parallels drawn to the society we aimed to present. This time fish is clearly separated from humans who pose as a shadow around them, interfering with their natural habitat. We have built a self-centered universe in which we place ourselves as a “big fish”, ignoring the existence and flow of a natural force of millions of years behind, way bigger and multifaceted than us. Thus questioning ourselves who is the big fish in the end and if a search like that is of any point to any possible evolution, is the thing that we’d like to raise some questions to the listener. The movie you mentioned has influenced quite a lot since it presents a deep enough point concerning the universe each being participating in our existence creates, but maybe it played a lesser conscious role in deciding the title of the album.
Will you visit other cities/towns? Where will you move towards in 2019, in general?
We expect to be really active this year. Definitely in Greek soil, but also really close to get away and visit Europe. We’re still in the process of organizing ourselves and have not any particular dates and places booked, but we’ll do at least 2-3 tours in 2019.
You’ve shared the stage with many, local and international, powerful acts. Which stand out for you most?
Speaking of Greek acts we’d say 1000mods and Nightstalker while international would have to be Eyehategod and Weedeater.
Is “the Smoking Community” a culture that you also practice in your daily lives or just an aesthetic that adds more to your music?
The term was at first born as a way to explain the meaning of the word Sadhus who is a group people that use smoking as a way of medidation and awakening. We’d say that we don’t get so excited about a society smothered in cigarette smoke in case someone doesn’t get the term, but we’re definitely enthousiastic about a society of people free of taboo, prejudice and dogmatism.
Tell us a few things about the “Meatbox Sessions”.
It is an idea that came to us when we started the band and jammed all the time with people from the scene and not. It turned into flesh when we managed to get a place big enough to organize music sessions. For us it’s a party between friends that get sef-organized to have fun through music and the live experience. Our goal is to hail rock n roll during them through smoke and bonding.
You may be not a directly political band, but the times you’ve participated in concerts made by politically charged venues or benefit concerts for political causes are not few. Is music and politics separated or politically can’t be withdrawn from any state by any means in your opinion?
The fact that we are citizens of this city and members of its society makes our presence and only political in a sense. However we believe that some words have lost their essence and can be disorienting to people. As a band we’re supportive of every initiative in favor of humanitarian or environmental factors that is not run by spiteful intentions, not for profit or projecting views and dogmas and for sure our favorite ones are when they come from groups that really love music and appreciate what it offers to society and humans.
Thank you very much for your time. The epilogue is yours.
Thank you as well for your interesting questions. Let’s have a happy musical year.