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Wastefall - Making Greece Look Good Since 2003

Discussion in 'Metal Interviews' started by BrandonS, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. BrandonS

    BrandonS Member

    Apr 5, 2003
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    [IMGLEFT][/IMGLEFT]By Brandon Strader

    Already with three albums under their belt, including this year's Self Exile, Wastefall is taking a journey to the top of the list. Not only has Wastefall given us a splendid album, but they have also solidified themselves as one of this year's best progressive metal bands. Self-Exile is stuffed with songwriting brilliance, not to mention the performances, and will definitely hold a triumphant spot in the album collections of prog-fans worldwide. I got a chance to speak with the humble Alex Katsiyiannis about many things regarding Wastefall and their new album, Self-Exile.

    Hello there! Can you introduce the Wastefall line-up?

    Hi there! Yes, I think I can do that. Well, Domenik Papaemmanouil is the lead singer and also plays the guitar. He composes 50% of the music and along with me is the co-founder of Wastefall. He works in impulse and he is the raw power that sometimes needs to be controlled! J A brother to me! Kostis Papalexopoulos sits behind the drum kit. He is by far the one with the best technical skills on his instrument. His talent is undeniable. Very unstable psychologically due to several issues but the greatest guy to be with. He is only 19! Nick Valentzis plays the bass and his is so cool and funny! But sometimes he gets over-stressed with stupid things! J Christos Kyrkilis plays the keyboards. He is very punctual and a guy that analyses everything and thinks too much before acting. He is so tranquil and quiet that we all think that one day he will wake up and hunt us down with a chainsaw! Finally, I play the guitar and do the backing vocals. I write the lyrics and the 50% of the music. Concerning me…I can’t talk about myself, it feels…stupid at least.

    What are the concepts behind the Self-Exile album?

    Back in 2005 we decided that we wanted to create a non-concept album. We wanted to free ourselves from a story or an idea that would keep us bounded to think of one thing. So, self-exile is an album that deals with many things. Of course the mood and the aesthetics are common and it is a perfect reflection of us at the time. Self-exile is an adventurous album and it is quite deep and emotional. It has many layers and the listener must listen to it several times before it reveals its real self and depth. Every song holds a different story and it is a collection of various emotions and situations. For example ‘’sleepwalk’’ and ‘’4’ to abandon’’ are love and…loss songs! ‘’The Muzzle affection’’ has to do with marriage and with the ‘’plastic’’ relations of the 21st century while ‘’Dance of Descent’’ talks about the ancient rituals of Eleysina in Ancient Greece. Nevertheless all the songs meet in common ground. That is the depth and inner character of the album. It is a song of self-awareness and realization. It is an inner journey of self discovery therefore a quest of understanding the world and the divine. It is an effort of uniting the ‘’below’’ with the ‘’above’’.

    How has the Wastefall sound evolved over the two years since the release of "SoulRain 21"? Are the interests of the band still similar to those displayed on the first two albums?

    First of all there were several line-up changes therefore it is natural that the chemistry and the total sound of the band would change. Kostis and Nick are great in the technical part and also closer friends so everything is better. We don’t use violin anymore as a basic instrument. Now, because of the new label, management and more fans we act more responsible and we are a professional band that works on a schedule. We feel more mature and we believe more in ourselves and we love music even more. The new songs occurring are worked in depth and we let the song guide us to its goal. Soulrain 21 is the album that made us known in Greece and made fuzz abroad, Self-Exile and the one coming will be the ones that will establish Wastefall in the metal scene, I hope! We are still interested in making complex and diverse music along with feeling the need to create the music of our hearts, but we also became more interested in society, politics, and ethics under the banner of Globalisation.

    Self-Exile is a massive mixture of different styles and influences, can you name some of those influences?

    We all enjoy metal music. We love bands like Pain of Salvation, Slipknot, System of a Down, Porcupine tree, Opeth and other bands. But we also enjoy bands from the pop or mainstream scene. Christos is listening to jazz all the time. Domenik and Kostis love classical music, I’m more in ethnic stuff, so there is a diversity that so far works fine!J The thing that we all have in common apart from metal music is the fact that traditional Greek music is running in our veins and in our collective memory, so this becomes quite obvious in our music.

    How was the introduction track on Self-Exile written and/or performed?

    Domenik had composed a track like that in our home studio and I really liked it so we decided to change it a little bit and the intro was born. It is based on Byzantine music, which is very difficult and unique. Byzantine music is the music used by the priests in the Orthodox churches in Greece from 1000 A.C till nowadays. Intro gives the stigma of the album.

    How does the songwriting process go? Is it a controlled force or do the ideas seem to flow naturally into song form?

    It is a combination of these two ways. Creating a song is fun! First of all Domenik or myself come up with the main idea and theme. We explain the rest of the guys what the song is about and then all together we give birth to the structure. When this is done, we try to find what every instrument is going to play and why in order not to insult or alternate the main feeling of the song. Then we rehearse it many times and the final product is ready. The song itself leads us wherever needed. We are just sand in the middle of inspiration and earth.

    What is the idea behind Self-Exile's artwork?

    We wanted something unique and something that would define in pictures the depth and esoteric essence of the album. And what better than the death of senses! The eyes are closed and the mouth covered. Silence is a philosophical enigma. Silence can get us anywhere. Imagination is enhanced when the senses sleep. Then we wanted to choose the main colour of the album and sand seemed perfect. George Eikosipentakis did a great job and totally understood our way of thinking.


    What is your favorite song from Self-Exile?

    That’s a hard one man! Probably, I would say Utopia Fragmented because it contains almost all the Wastefall elements! It is harsh, melodic with eastern elements and space attitude. It is a strange yet interesting mix I think! I also enjoy, Dance of Descent because of it’s Greek origin and Latin attitude.

    How did the recording of Self Exile go? Any particularly funny stories from the sessions?

    It was a quite stressful recording because we recorded the album only in 2 months, from December till January. A terrible thing happened when we finished recording the guitars. Since we recorded the bass and guitars in a home studio we have, we used a PC. Well, the hellish thing cracked! Thank God the hard drive was an external one and portable, so we moved to another studio and recorded the vocals and the keyboards. Kostis in the drums plays some really hard stuff so he was very stressed. When he was done he slept for two days in a row! Domenik recorded the vocals in 12 hours in a row! It is not amusing but it is rather strange! Anyway, Tommy Hansen is a great producer and above all a great guy! We were very stressed when we arrived at Jailhouse studio in Denmark but Tommy Hansen made it all seem right and normal. He is very kind and gifted. He understood the feeling we want to produce and so he did. He understood the ‘’live feeling’’ we want to have while listening to Wastefall. He worked on a strict schedule but still you had the impression that there was time enough to do anything you like concerning the album. It was an honour and we want to work again with Tommy Hansen in the future.


    Have the wars in the middle-east affected Wastefall at all, and what are your views on the wars?

    The wars in general man affect us and the New World Order affects us and the globalisation affect us. Wars in the Middle East have become a ‘‘candy’’ and a motive for charities and promise my ass! It is simple. People die and people will die so that some bastards will fill their pockets with cash because the oil is running out and they know it. Also the U.S knows that China and Russia are becoming stronger than ever and are trying to gain whatever they can by fuckin’ up the Middle-East because the Muslims are easily becoming fanatics and they use them as an alibi. We must resist as individuals and then united. My country is too weak to resist and plays their game, your country for example is strong enough but plays by the rules of the ones who have all the money and wealth, the Capital! This must change. Of course we are not brothers but we are people and we owe it to our intelligence and spirit! I sound like a communist but believe me I’m not! They live by dogmas also! Dogmas are the death of Freedom and Democracy! And our music and Heavy metal in general should stand for these terms.

    It would have been great to see you guys at ProgPower this year, but you couldn't get visas... A lot of good bands and musicians are not making it into the U.S. due to the whole visa thing.. What do you think of that situation?

    As I said before Antichrist rules the Earth and guess what! I know his name: BUREAUCRACY. It is a shame because it would have been a great show. We were anticipating for that one! The fans in the U.S were also really disappointed. It is unfair for bands and artists to be so difficult to get a visa to the States since the 11/09. Let’s hope next year.

    Are Wastefall planning any shows in the near future?

    It is too early now but in the near future there will be some events in Greece and let’s hope abroad.

    What instruments and equipment are you guys using?

    Domenik is using a Gibson SG, I use a Fender Stratocaster Lonestar U.S.A and Line 6 equipment. Christos is using a Roland XP 30 and Nick Valentzis has a Warwick but I can’t remember the exact name! Sorry. Kostis prefers the Tama Starclassic set.

    What are the advantages of being signed to Sensory Records, and what are you hoping for the future?

    Well, first of all we hooked up with Intromental management in Denmark on October 2005. The guys presented us right away the Sensory contract and we were flattered, since Sensory is a well respected label. Apart from that we respect Sensory because they don’t care about the quantity but they care about quality and art! It is a great experience for a Greek band to work with an American label, it is something rare and special! Soulrain 21 was indeed an album that opened many doors for us. I hope Self-Exile will do the same in a larger scale.

    Thanks for your time! One more question: Is there anything you would like to say to the fans and listeners?

    Thank you very much for the really interesting questions and I hope we meet one day in a Wastefall gig. I thank the fans and the listeners for their exposure to our music and enjoy the album!


    UM's Review of Wastefall's Self Exile
    Official Wastefall Website
    Official Sensory Records Website
  2. IOfTheStorm

    IOfTheStorm Gogol Bordello

    Mar 28, 2002
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    What a ridiculus interview title..
  3. BrandonS

    BrandonS Member

    Apr 5, 2003
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    Thanks, Kate! :)
  4. Lloyd/Coco

    Lloyd/Coco Guest

    yo, i hope someone can show me da fukin bands section i can't find anywhere.
  5. HerynGalueth

    HerynGalueth New Metal Member

    Aug 17, 2007
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    Stop by!! Check the albums "Soulrain21" and "Self Exile"...
    They are splendid!
    No doubt, they can absolutely be compared and contrasted with "top guns" of progressive metal, like Pain Of Salvation.
    They are not joking....actually they are not joking at all!
    They have their own style and identity!!!!
    Just go and check it by yourself man!!!!:headbang:
    (I know, its obvious that Im a greek elf too, but these guys really reserve glory!)

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