DESERT NEAR THE END (for Rock Hard Magazine #36)

Interview was prepared by GOREGRINDER (Rock Hard Magazine #36)RockHard 32016

Greetings guys. You’ve just released new album- „Theater of War“. What can you tell us about this piece?

Hello! Yes we finally managed to reach our third album! We've been waiting this for very long because although we are very pleased with all our works, we always had the belief that "Theater of War" was going to be our best effort. All our albums until now are parts of the same concept, so we were anxious to create the music for the conclusion of the story. We even had the title ready, we knew from the start that our third album was going to be named "Theater of War" so we are very pleased that it turned out exactly as we hoped. We liked the songs so much that we took a step forward and worked with Tue Madsen and Antfarm studio for the mix and master of the album and he made an amazing work! He made the album sound even better than we hoped!

Why did you choose this title? Do you think our world is a part of war theatre show? Should we expect something bad to happen when looking at what’s happening in Europe now?

As I said above we choose this title many years ago for our third album, because it represent the final part of the story and it's about conflicts and what hides beneath the surface. Even if it's about a real war or an inner war with ourselves (but still a real one!) with our dreams and beliefs or even a war between a creator and his creation! And of course I think that our world is a big war theater, a Theater that we all take part, some times as actors and other times as spectators, we are both needed in the play. What we never see is the backstage! As for Europe, something bad is already happening, let's hope it won't escalate into something even worst. Because in times like these the worst of men thrive and I have the feeling that those that shout louder about danger are the ones who craves it the most. Not that there are no dangers but these people needed in order to exist.

What’s the album about from lyric’s point of view? Who’s the author of the cover and what does it express?

The album lyrically is the conclusion of the story we began to unfold in our first album. In very few words it's the story of a quest, a quest of something so elusive as a sun that doesn't blind you with it's light, a personal or an inner sun if you like! And it's also about how all this can be an inspiration for other people, it's like the purpose of art, you create fighting or following your own demons and other people can relate even if they don't know you or what you are really talking about. That's the beauty behind art. In Theater of War we have a "chosen one" who decides not to lead or to enslave people with acts noone else can do, but to be a felloman and an inspiration to others. A mortal sun who shines but also guides. The cover is made by Panagiotis Vlamis and it's based on the lyrics of "at the shores" which is the last song of the album and describes how our hero's path ended at the sea after all the war in the background. The sea which is something constant and ever changing at the same time. In our concept stands for rebirth and hope.

As far as I know you don’t have permanent drummer. Who did record drums on the new record? How do you cope with this situation when it comes to live shows?

Yes, we still don't have a permanent member behind the drums. But we still hope! For our lives shows we have our friend George Tzitzifas from Among Ruins to help us. In the studio I programed the drums as I did in previous records too.

Were all members involved equally in composing process of „ Theater of War“?

No, I'm mainly responsible for the music and lyrics of Desert Near The end. So in this album too, I wrote the music and the lyrics for most of the songs. Alexandros wrote the lyrics for "point of no return" which is going to be our video for this album and Thanos wrote the music for "at the shores" which is the epilogue of the album and the story, and it's a beatiful song for which I had the lyrics but I couldn't find the right music. It's not some kind of dictatorship, its just the way we've always worked. I've been writing for "Desert near the end" my whole life and I know our DNA and what is fitting better than anyone else. And all this came very naturally by the plain fact that I write more than everyone else in the band.

This is going to be the second time your band has its place in our magazine. First time you emerged in RockHard Slovakia in issue 29, which was a year ago. Tell us what changed since – both in your personal and professional life.

In my personal life not much but from another point of view my life is, for good or bad, tied with "Desert near the end" so what changed is that I completed the journey that began in my mind more than 10 years ago when I first wrote songs that would end in these three albums. And for that I'm grateful!

Although you’ve released just three albums, you’ve been on the scene since late 90s. Why did you change your name from STORMBRINGER to THE EVENTIDE and later on to DESERT NEAR THE END?

Stormbringer was the name of the band when we were still in school! obviously it had to change for somerhing more personal. The eventide was a name that stayed with us for many years and I still like it, but it had to change too because there were other bands with the same name. This came at the same with the first songs of the concept so it was obvious... Desert near the end was our real name. So I'm with Alex in the same band since 1998. Sometimes the name changed for various reasons but the music stayed on the same path that lead us here.

What can you tell us about Greek scene in general? What’s the major difference between Greek metal scene and the rest of the world?desert

The Greek Metal scene is really at it's best! And I'm not refering to the big bands which are known internationaly but to the numerous underground bands. Bands like: Karma Violence, Need, Agnes Vein, Aenaon just to name a few are delivering magnificent world class albums. As for the differences between Greek scene and the rest of the world I don't know... I guess there isn't any, because great albums and great new bands are coming from everywhere. That's the problem nowdays, it's not difficult to find great bands it's difficult to keep track with everyone who deserve it!

Please, tell us briefly why the metal fans should buy your albums?

Difficult question, because every listener is unique and our albums they may form a picture as a whole, but each one is quit different. So I will answer about the last one in which I feel closer at the moment. It's an honest album of modern metal with it's roots in the power /thrash scene of mid 90's and it's eyes in every branch of today's metal. Everyone who likes fast, aggresive, story driven and melodic metal could give it a try and if he likes what he hears them he can support us by buying.

What are your immediate plans?

To comlete the first video clip of the album for the track "Point of no return" and then to hunt as many lives as possible.

DESERT NEAR THE END and personal life – can you tell us more about it?

In general it is difficult to combine a band with personal life, as everyone in a band and not still a teenager knows. For example Alexandros has two little kids so as you imagine it's not very easy to be there for rehearsals, recordings and lives but if you like what you do and you have enough will and determination everything is possible.

Where can we see you play? Anything near Czech Republic and Slovakia?

Unfortunately no! We don't have any immediate plans for lives outside Greece in the upcoming months, but every invitation or proposition is more than welcomed!

To wrap this up, tell us a little secret.

Ok... so... the next album is already finished, not recorded yet but finished! Don't tell anyone ok?

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