MORTAL TORMENT is one of the hottest bands in the Greek extreme music scene, with live appearances that are synonyms of rowdiness and fun. A conversation with them could not be any different and Giannis (vocals) makes sure of that.
Hey there Giannis, it’s been a while since “The Quadrum Plague Split” came out. What kind of reviews and comments did it receive? Also, how did you get in touch with the other bands in order to release something together? Hello, hello. Indeed, it’s been quite a while –a year I think- and up to now we get a lot of disapproval about this abomination. “What the hell were you thinking?”, “does this qualify as music?” and stuff like that. But what the hell, we released it anyway. The bands came together in many ways. Demoniacal Genuflection (USA) are the same guys that play with Ocean Of Slumber, with whom I’m very friendly with, Cenotaph (Turkey) came along with the help of my friend Jens Trautmann and the Italians Hatred were contacted by Stergios while he was still in the band. It took a lot of patience and us being on the lookout but in the end we made it. Seriously now, this is just a split so the reviews would not be indicative anyway, but we heard a lot of good comments.
Now that you listen to the tracks on “The Quadrum Plague” is there anything you’d rather have done differently? Should we expect a similar release in the future? I don’t think so, I may have done some vocal parts differently but we’re talking about small details here. I still like the songs pretty much. Of course by next year I may change my mind but until then… We’re pretty satisfied with the sound since the result came out very massive. There will definitely be another split release. Third time’s the charm.
What are your immediate plans? Maybe it’s time for a new record? We’re during a recording session these days. Giorgos will be done with recording the drums by the end of the week –if everything goes according to plan- and Alexandros starts recording guitars today. We struggled a lot in regard to songwriting, deleting stuff, making a lot of changes and we really like the final outcome. Our next goal is to film a couple of video clips just for the fun of it. So yes, a new record is coming soon, souvlaki and metal.
There have been a lot of changes regarding the band’s lineup. How did that occur? Band members came along or left for different reasons, we don’t have to get into the details of this. Now, we are looking ahead, although the band is scattered all over Greece (three of us live in Athens, one in Kalamata and the other in Karditsa) but we manage to keep it together. Everything happens for a reason.
What’s your opinion on the Greek metal scene and especially regarding your genre? My answer will be neither diplomatic nor obsessive: the standard is fucking high. People that search can find incredible stuff out there. The extreme sound is in bloom, something I don’t think is gonna change since the standard is high judging from its’ foundations. I believe we can only expect good things. And tits. The live shows are getting more and better, the crowd is more and more active, better equipment and and… I think that’s the reason for the increasing support.
Which are the pros and cons of the Greek scene? There are good things about it and there is also a lot of shit. Of course not all of the bands are role models or great. I’m referring mostly to the people and not the music. As far as I know there are only a few cases and they’re only worth laughing about. Over the past few years the bands support one another, something that makes me happy, that’s the impression I choose to keep and leave behind anything that’s negative. To be a liiiiiiiiiiiiittle bitchy I would like to see a bit more action on live performance by some bands. That’s all.
What have you recently listened to and blew your mind? I’m really open-minded when it comes to music so it’s not only extreme bands. The new albums by Architects, Goatwhore, Decaying Purity, Hail Spirit Noir, Hour of Penance, Insomnium, the Eternal Obscenity and Abnormal Inhumane promos, the new DreamLongDead album will resurrect some zombies, Human Humus, the new Karma Violens album. I also think that the new Mastodon album is really good and maaaaaaaany others.
Name the influences for your band and for you personally. The influences that give me a push are a lot and definitely not only musical. I’m a huge movie and tv series fan so in order not to mix a lot of things in this answer I’ll stick to the music. Aborted, Dying Fetus, Inveracity, Cannibal Corpse, Prostitute Disfigurement, Severe Torture and other beasts in that area. The rest of the members are also open and they listen to stuff from black metal to grindcore and hard rock. The bands that we all have as a common denominator are Dying Fetus and Cytotoxin. And tits.
If you had to pick only one, which is your favorite album and which is your favorite musician? Ah. Any day you would ask me this you’d get a different answer. For now it’s “Deathrace King” by The Crown.
Your epilogue… Listen to music, eat souvlaki. Only love!