Just a few days before their live performance along with Exarsis, Murder Angels and Astrarot at the Silver Dollar club, Thessaloniki, we spoke with Konstantinos Sotirelis of Serpent Lord over their band and the local scene in general…
Good evening, welcome to Metal Invader!
Good evening guys, thank you for the invitation!
Before we start, I would like you to introduce your band to our readers.
We are Serpent Lord and we play heavy metal. We were born on December 27, 2015. The initial idea was created by me and George “Savvage”, while right afterwards George Terzitanos picked up the guitarist’s position. On summer 2016, we recorded our first demo, two tracks under the title “Blood Offering” and “Sacrilegium”, while vocals were done a little later. The demo was released on May 13th, 2017 and the drummer was Billy from Beyond The Existence. On summer 2017, we recorded the guitars for our upcoming studio album and we got Vangelis Karafotis as a permanent drummer, while after our performance with Grand Magus on October, George Savvage had to leave the band. Now we have Marios as the lead vocals and Achilleas as the rhythm guitarists and since then we are complete.
On May you released your first demo, during your live performance with Omen, which got sold out immediately, something quite rare. What do you think is to blame for this?
Yes, it’s true and we are beyond excited about that. It’s definitely because the price was just 1 euro, since on that day, people had already paid a fair amount of money for the ticket. So we thought in order to be a little more heard by the people there, we should put a really low price. The demo was re-released afterwards, but the price then was 2 euros. Apart from the money, I think the main reason for this, and since we are getting orders from Italy, Peru and England, is because people can actually hear something good coming from us. We try to play pure, honest music and that’s what we want people to think about us. Apart from Savvage, who had already released a demo with his previous band, none of us had an experience back then. We’re trying to get as bigger as possible as a team.
Which bands have been your influence?
That’s a tough question since we are nothing but close minded people when it comes to music. George T. listens to both classical and modern music, while we are both into disco, pop and rock. Apart from the genres, we listen to true, pure music. Of course we do listen to a lot of metal. Death have been a great influence to us, whether you believe it or not. Rotting Christ too. We also enjoy Iced Earth, Candlemass, King Diamond/Mercyful Fate, Ghost and the beloved In Solitude, whom we dearly adore. George T. is really fond of Marty Friendman (something quite obvious when it comes to his playing) and I really love Steve DiGiorgio. Apart from those there are of course some classics we all love, such as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Metallica, Running Wild and so much more.
You have some words in Latin to your song, as well as some ancient phrygian! How did you come up with this?!
Yeah, we love getting a little complicated when it comes to our music, so complicated languages work just fine for us! Phrygian was a quite weird procedure. It was George T.’s idea, who he had studied a book entitled “The Language Of The Phrygians”. Those lyrics are basically curses carved in tombstones. The accent is a mix with modern greek.
“Blood Offering” or “Sacrilegium”?
Now that’s a tough one! We love both tracks, but we have a bigger tension to Sacrilegium; it’s faster, much more aggressive and mysterious. Blood Offering was a pain in the ass when it comes to the vocal recordings, since it’s quite weird and we were not that much pleased with the result. Basically, the newer version, which is included to our album makes the decision much more difficult!
Thessaloniki’s local scene has some decent bands. Which ones would you recommend to our readers?
Stygian Oath is a great case of band, you should check them out if you haven’t already. We also enjoy Temple, Tidal Dreams and Murder Angels, but they do not come from Thessaloniki.
Despite the fact that your subjects have a dark and mysterious atmosphere, you like to keep your live appearances simple and clean. Why is that?
That’s a good question. The thing is that we’re trying to do something now. You won’t see us wearing any weird masks but there are some ideas we have been working on on what to wear during our performances. On the other hand, we wouldn’t like to change this oldschool-tight jeans and airforce shoes-style. We love the ’80s. Batushka and Ghost have a great sense of style, but we tend to keep it casual, move a lot, headbang etc. We have some things in mind as I said, we are going to wear something or hold something, mysticistic objects on the stage,candles, something evil, something mysterious…I don’t know! We already have some banners already.
You’ve already appeared on the Eightball scene several times supporting huge bands such as Omen, Grand Magus and Innerwish. What experiences have you gained from these lives and which of them will you remember for a long time?
Each one of these shows was unique indeed. With InnerWish it was the first Serpent Lord performance, so there was a mixture of excitement and anxiety. It was something we were looking forward to and we wanted to be perfect. However, I think that our best moment, technically and musically was the Omen concert, where there were a lot of people in the front, something that prompted us to go further. In fact, we got a very positive feedback from Omen’s singer Kevin Goocher at the time, so we enjoyed it very much. Also, right after our appearance, someone came and asked us to sign his demo! We literally shuddered and didn’t know what to do! Of course, I will never forget our performance with Grand Magus because I really love them and felt honored to share the stage with them.
In Greece, how difficult is it to set us a professional-like band of young people, especially students? How difficult is it to arrange live performances, book rehearsal studios etc?
It is very difficult to do this professionally indeed. And by saying professionally, I’m not talking about money making in the first place, – it’s almost impossible whatsover- but to do it just right. It is very difficult for a band to survive nowadays. Thus, comes the factor of how much you are going to love what you’re doing and how much you want it. We love it, we want it incredibly much, and we have already sacrificed a lot of money in order to succeed; we have achieved so much, no matter how small or large. We will continue to do that because we lovemusic, we love to write our own music and performing in front of people sharing the same love with us.
What are you up to right now? What are we about to witness on Saturday?
We are rehearsing for our upcoming show with Exarsis, Murder Angels and Astrarot on the Silver Dollar club, on January 27th. We are also preparing to shoot our first video clips, we are due to complete the recordings of our debut album, we are making decisions over the artwork and generally planning our future as a band. Some live performances will take place in spring and then we will be ready to share our official announcements for our future.
The last words up to you!
We would like to thank you for the hospitality and especially you, Crystal for showing such a huge interest to our band. Also, we would love to thank all those who have helped us so far, George Infected, our producer, Vaggelas of the Eightball club, , and all those who have devoted even a small amount of their time to Serpent Lord and our music, either they liked it or not. Support the Greek scene, have a lot to do if we all work together, bands and organizers, magazines and audiences. See you on Saturday!