We got a mail from a band from Greece, wanted us to have a look at their new video, “Struggle for deliverence”. And I watched the video and listened to the the album on Spotify and thought that, I like it, and the guys deserves the chance to be heard. So I e-mailed back and asked them for an interview, and here it is.
Интервью подготовил Peps (CRANNK)
1) So who am I “talking” to?
Hello, my name is Makis and I am the guitar player of Sunlight.
2) Could you introduce the band and the members for us?
Sunlight is a Hard Rock/Heavy/Power Metal band from Athens, Greece that was founded at the end of 2009. In their early times, Sunlight introduced themselves as a purely hard rock band. After some short period of successive line-up changes, the band shifted to a more heavy metal style, often incorporating elements of typical power metal. At present, the line-up consists of Dimitris Giannakopoulos (vocals), Makis Kaponis (guitars and backing vocals), Panos Anastopoulos (keyboards), Dimitris Kapoukakis (drums) and Panos Mourtzinos (bass guitar and backing vocals).
3) As I said in my response to your e-mail, in these dark times in Europe, you have a really “happy” name to your band… How come you choose the name “Sunlight”? It’s not very metal…?
The first members were citizens of Ilioupoli (which in Greek means “the city of sun”), so the name “Sunlight” was proposed by Nikolas (ex-bass player) to remind the origins of the band. Hm, I think that a band makes its name and not vice-versa.
4) I’ve been listening a bit to your album “My own truth”. Is this your debut-album? And if so, can you tell me a cover cdbit about the recording of the album?
We have also released, 4 years ago, one EP that is called “Rockin’ All Around” and it includes 3 song from “My Own Truth which is our debut full length album. The recordings of the album have been completed since summer of 2014, but it was released on May of 2015, because we were searching for the best offer from record labels. Between 2011 and 2015 we had also some changes in the line-up, but it was the right choice for our needs.
5) What are your influences? Listening to the album “My own truth” I sense a bit of Europe, a slice of Helloween and maybe a bit of Iced Earth… Am I wrong? What is your truth?
I think you’re right. We have many influences from different bands. We like Hard Rock bands such as Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Europe, H.E.A.T, Bon Jovi etc. and many Heavy Metal/Power bands such as Iron Maiden, Queensryche, Judas Priest, Helloween, Stratovarius, Avantasia and many more. So, we try to combine, if it’s possible, these styles in our music to create nice melodies, with heavy riffs. This is our truth.
6) A metal-band from Greece! That’s really cool! I really don’t have a clue about the metal-scene in Greece. Could you please tell me a bit about it?
In Greece we have many great metal bands. Some of them make a really great success worldwide (Firewind, Rotting Christ, Innerwish etc.). I believe there are many problems for greek bands to promote their music abroad and make their own name successful due to financial conditions.
7) Since I don’t know the metal-scene in Greece, is it difficult being a metal-band? Or do gigs come easy?
The problem is that Metal music is not in greek culture, so you will not see or listen to metal bands on greek TV and Radio stations, except of a few media. Fortunately, there are some fans who support the metal-scene and they arrange metal festivals. There also some venues that you can book gigs with other bands and play for local people, but when a band from another country plays, you will see many more fans in gigs.
8) You’ve released the album “My own truth” recently, how do you promote the album?
After a successful collaboration with the well-known Greek producer Dion Christodoulatos, the debut album was waiting to be released. Eventually, the band signed a contract with the biggest Ukrainian independent metal music label, Metal Scrap Records, and the release-date was set for the 30th of April 2015 in Ukraine and the beginning of May worldwide. So, our label promote the album with its the worldwide distribution. You can find many reviews of our album in a lot of magazines and webzines such as Metal Hammer, Rock Hard etc.. Everybody can order the album with a message in our official facebook page or in a lot of web stores (Metal Scrap,Amazon, Itunes etc.). Moreover, we organized numerous live performances and a tour. It’s really nice that in a very short period “My Own Truth” was completely sold out in some of the countries that was distributed.
9) Do you have an audience outside Greece?
Yes, as I said, numerous live performances were organized for the promotion of “My Own Truth” and a tour, including concerts in Greece and Ukraine. Now, our plan is also a European tour in the next months.
10) When you’re not playing in the band, what do you do to earn money? Do you have “real” jobs? Please tell me what you do!
In my opinion, being a musician should be concidered as a “real” job, as we have many expenses and we work really hard for rehearsals, writing songs and arranging tours. Here we can find one more problem in Greece and in most of the countries. Many people have the belief that they are making you a favor by letting you play in their clubs, ignoring the fact that the fans are there for you and your music,so the payment is not satisfying at all.Under these circumstances,as you understand, it is necessary for us to have another job in order to make our living. Some of us have studied in Universities and work as Chemical Mechanic, Web developer and Ship Mechanic. Other members work as music teachers in Music schools.
11) You released an album in 2015. What’s your plans for the year of 2016?
Of course, we continue to give our best in the live performances to promote our songs. Moreover, we have already started to compose new songs for our second full length album and we try to arrange a European tour at the end of the year. We will announce more about this in the next days.
12) And as a final question… or rather… I will give you the chance to really promote yourself! Give me a sales-pitch, why should we listen to Sunlight?
First of all we like this kind of music and we do everything with passion. So, if someone is a fan of strong rhythm section, melodic guitars, leading keyboards, wide-range vocals, catchy melodies and memorable choruses I believe it would worth listening to our music.
Sonnige Zeiten für alle Freunde von melodischem Heavy Metal bescheren „Sunglight“. Die Band aus Griechenland hat ein sehr abwechslungsreiches Dabütalbum namens „My own truth” vorgelegt und dazu jede Menge zu berichten.
Interview was prepared by Karsten Henze (Der SzeneChecker)
1) SzeneChecker (SC): This year you have released your first album “My own truth”. How can you describe the feeling first time holding the final product in hands?
Sunlight (SL): Of course our feelings are incredible! It’s a bit strange and amazing at the same time. We are proud about this, because we have been working hard since we were very young. The whole product is better than we had imagined. For example it includes pit-art cd! This is the first time we ever see something like that and it’s our own album!
2) SC: Looking at the booklet of your album “My own truth” one can see that the lyrics of the songs have been written by different bandmembers. How can we imagine the creation of a Song by Sunlight?
SL: Usually, first of all we write the music and after that, the lyrics. One bandmember comes with the music of the song or one riff and he sings the melody. Then, someone writes some lyrics according to this melody. It’s pretty nice that different bandmembers can write music and lyrics and moreover former members such as N.Argyridis (bass) or S.Kaponis (Makis’ brother). We are glad about this!
3) SC: How did you find the bandname „Sunlight“?
SL: All the bandmembers from the first line-up we lived in a region called “Ilioupoli”, that means Sun City. So, we decided the name “Sunlight”
4) SC: The inspirations and themes of the songs seem to be very varied. Feelings such as emptiness, loneliness in songs like “Lonely Man’s Song” as well as powerful and energetic songs such as „Rockin’ all Around“ appear on the album. How would you describe the central theme of the album „My own truth“?
SL: We think that this is the result when different bandmemers write lyrics. Variety of ideas, experiences ,circumstances etc.. We couldn’t tell that there is a main theme in the album, but maybe the most usual feelings are the thoughts, the love and the strength to carry on.
5) SC: The great artwork of the album has been created by Cosmas Hilos. What was the reason for you to choose this artist?
SL: About 2 years ago, our singer participated in another project with a band called “OKEANIA” . It was a single with 2 songs in which Cosmas had done an excellent job on the cover of the project. Dimitris(our singer), had Cosmas in his mind, and when the time came for the creation of our cover, proposed to work with him because we were short of time and we were in a need of a good and a quick choice. We think it was the best choice as we are very happy with our cooperation.
6) SC: Please tell us how the artwork has been created. Did you contribute some ideas or was it all the work of the artist?
SL: The main idea of the cover was generally ours! We had a thought to let Cosmas, work on it by himself, but we wanted something more personal. We wanted to have enough evidence of the lyrics of the homonymous song of the album and some elements from the other songs. The song my own truth refers to a troubled man, who is looking to find solution (night and day)from morning to night !! So we have night and day mixed on a cover, and the form of the man who goes on rails (song Eastern Train). Furthermore,you can see that the roadside is damaged (song Earthquake) ….. The idea of the artist was the clock. A clock is showin that time is one more obstacle, to the man’s problems. Cosmas was managed to connect all these elements successfully completed.
7) SC: Your sound is a mixture of different Rock and Metal genres. How would you describe it?
SL: We play Melodic Hard rock/Heavy metal with Power Metal elements. Apart from the titles given to the genres of music, our sound is the original “sunlight” sound. Once you hear it you can ascertain that.
8) SC: Some of your songs have very catchy melodies and could gain airplay in radio. Is this already the case in Greece?
SL: Seeing the pulse of the crowd as we give shows rockin’ all over Greece, is the most powerful thing!! Following that, many people who are working on the radio ,are asking for a hard copy of our work!! So they spread Sunlight’s music, through the airwaves which is something that of course gives us joy. We thank all of them and we really appreciate it.
9) SC: Before the release of this first album you have released an EP. But it then took some time for the creation of the first album. What was the reason that it took some years?
SL: Yeah, sometimes the things don’t come easy. Our EP released on December of 2011. Two months after that, Dimitris started his military service (it’s compulsory in Greece). So, he was there for 9 months. Moreover, at the end of the same year(2012) our former bass player N.Argyridis went to live in England so, we were searching for a new member at this position. Now, with Panos (Bass) and the return of Dimitris we started a new year with old songs and new ideas. At the end of 2013 our compositions were ready and we started to record our new album. We finished it after one year (end of 2014) and we searched for the right label to release the album and… we found it! So, we signed a contract with Metal Scrap records.
10) SC: You have played several shows in Greece so far. Have you also played abroad or have you planned it?
SL: Unfortunately we haven’t played live shows abroad yet. We believe in the near future we will organise something good. Yes, this is our next plan.
11) SC: Is there a tour or festival show planned this summer? Maybe also in Germany?
SL: For now we have booked some live shows for the promotion of “My Own Truth”, but only in Greece. We would like to take the step to play abroad and of course in Germany. This will happen when someone propose us for a live show (bar or festival). Our band is ready for something like that and it’s our next big plan
12) SC: Finally your last words to your fans and our readers if you like.
SL: First of all we would like to thank you all for your support and your kind words. This is very important for us to continue and be better. Love music, support the bands that you like and try to learn how to play a music instrument. The feeling when you are only holding an instrument in your hands is incomparable. Thanks again Der, hope to see you all soon.
13) Thanks for the Interview!
– Tell us about the origin of the band.
– Reasons to create the band, inspiration and influences.
– Style description and musical attitude.
– Tell us about the origin of the name’s band.
Sunlight started in 2009 as a purely hard rock project, acting mostly in Athens, Greece. However, after some short period of successive line-up changes, the band shifted to a more Melodic Heavy Metal style, often incorporating elements of typical power metal. At present, the line-up consists of Dimitris Giannakopoulos (vocals), Makis Kaponis (guitars and backing vocals), Panos Anastopoulos (keyboards), Dimitris Kapoukakis (drums) and Panos Mourtzinos (bass guitar and backing vocals). With all the original bandmates being residents of Ilioupoli (which in Greek means “the city of sun”), the name “Sunlight” was proposed by our former bass player (Nikolas Argyridis) to remind the origins of the band.
-For those who are starting rocking
Which band and / or classic rock band’s song recommend and why?
This is a difficult question since there are so many great bands to be inspired by and songs to listen to! Undoubtedly, classic rock & metal history was written by groups like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath. Their compositions were not only full of energy and passion but also rich in stimulating ideas so as to practice an instrument on your own. Such an example is Deep Purple’s “Burn”, considering that it incorporates difficult drum beats, demanding guitar & keyboard solos and high pitch vocals.
-For those who are starting rocking and begin to be known as a band
What song of yours you recommend and why?
This is really a matter of taste! For example, for a more Heavy/Power Metal-oriented audience we think that “Back to Life” and “Struggle for deliverance” are good choices. In the case of 80’s Hard Rock fans, “Follow Your Heart” is more appropriate. On the other hand, Deep Purple maniacs would love the “Eastern Train” or if you love power ballads, “My Own Truth” should be in your list! In our first album you will find at least one song that matches your Hard Rock or Heavy Metal taste! All you have to do is just to give a listen to “My Own Truth”!
-Which one was or has been the most important moment in your career?
We would probably choose our participation in the “Total Metal Domination tour” last year in Ukraine. It was an amazing experience! A dream that came true! We visited different cities and met new people that showed us their love. We shared our music with them and made new friends and fans.
-Tell us about your achievements, future goals and what are you doing right now?
So far, the band have released one full-length album (“My Own Truth”), one EP (“Rockin’ All Around”) and two official music videos (for the songs “My Own Truth” and “Struggle for Deliverance”). Moreover, the band’s activity has been rich over the last years, including live performances in well-known rock clubs of Greece & Ukraine and open-air annual festivals. Currently we are preparing for our European tour in 6 different countries in November (Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France and Belgium). At the same time we are working hard so as to release our second full length album in 2017.
-As wrestling media, do you know wrestling, right?, What do you want to comment or add about this topic?
Yes, we know wrestling even if it’s not so popular in Greece. Only some years ago we used to watch WWE. Of course you can combine Rock & Wrestling, because many wrestlers have their own rock and metal “entrance songs”. For example Triple H’s song was written by Motorhead.
-Greetings and message for rock fans and visitors of Rock and Wrestling website
We have heard so many things about the enthusiastic Chilean fans! You are amazing! We hope to play in Chile someday! Thanks for the support! Keep rocking \m/
Interview prepared by PIKES MIKELLSON (for ROCK HARD #43)
Hi SUNLIGHT. What’s new in sunny Greece? Are you drinking wine and eating olives with cheese now? Are you done with buying Christmas presents?
Actually Greece is more rainy than sunny these days due to a strong wave of bad weather called “Eurydice”. It may sound strange but yes, winter comes also to Greece! This is the period that most Greeks collect the grapes from their olive trees and their homemade wines are ready for the winter. Regarding our Christmas mood, we have just been informed that we will be on tour during the Christmas period, so this is the best present for us and hope for our fans, too!
If I’m correct, you haven’t released a new album since 2015. How come?
As you know, the music industry has changed radically over the last years due to the use of the Internet. People don’t buy CDs as they used to and that’s why the industry goes through a crisis. Of course, the Internet has offered easy access to music but the profits in digital business is still not enough to recoup losses. This has affected even the big-names whose releases are less often than before. The situation is even worse for bands like us, which struggle to build their audience. It is practically impossible to be consistent with one release every 2 or 3 years and at the same time organize gigs regularly to promote your material. Not to mention that we cannot make living out of music at the moment and so, our time for songwriting and prodution of new songs is limited.
The major bands of Greek metal scene are ROTTING CHRIST and SEPTICFLESH. They’ve been on the scene for decades and they don’t make heavy metal music but is it hard for another band to make it throught in such competition?
In our mind music is unity, not a competition. Although SUNLIGHT is quite new and fresh in the metal scene, we have built our own loyal audience that is constantly increasing. The interesting thing is that our fan-club includes people that are huge fans of ROTTING CHRIST and/or SEPTICFLESH. But this is exactly how music works! It brings different tastes together. So, we don’t compete, we respect and encourage good music of any genre. We work hard to make good music and we are sure that it will be appreciated.
I must admit I’m not familiar with you or Greek heavy metal scene. Could you tell us more about both?
As we use to introduce ourselves, SUNLIGHT is a melodic heavy metal band. And let’s focus on this “melodic“ thing before the common “heavy metal“ characterization. Our music employs highly melodic guitar riffs combined with keyboards and high-pitched melodic vocals. There is nothing more to say, just listen to some of our songs (e.g., “Back to life“) from our debut album, entitled “My Own Truth“, to get a taste of it! The Greek heavy metal scene is not so melodic but it is full of talented and experienced musicians and bands such as Spitfire, Innerwish and Wardrum, to name just a few. Spitfire and Innerwish have been on the scene for many years establishing the heavy metal history of Greece.
Please expand on the composing process of your debut album. How would you describe your music and what do your lyrics deal with?
First of all, in SUNLIGHT there are no masterminds in the composing process. In our debut album all the members have contributed to the composing or songwriting process in general. Of course, the whole thing starts when one of us brings a new melody that will be the theme of a new song. Then, we spend hours in the studio all together working on the arrangement. This is a very important stage because a bad arrangement will never turn this “new melody“ into a “new song“. For our new album, however, we have decided to take it a little bit further. So, when we are done with the arrangement we start the “pre-production“ process, which we do on our own, to produce a primary version of the new song. Regarding the writing of lyrics, the effort is made by the whole SUNLIGHT family which expands beyond the band members. We are thankful to some good friends who have contributed to fulfil this part. “My Own Truth“ is not a concept album and neither our next album will be. The lyrics we use are mostly inspired from good and bad moments of our everyday lives and they tell a story using metaphors and symbolisms.
When can we expect a new album? Have you already completed any songs?
We are working very hard on our new album and we plan to release it in 2018. Most of the songs are ready and in the next months we will start the recording and mixing. For this album we have colored our very own melodic heavy metal sound with power metal elements. If you like high-pitch vocals, heavy guitars, modern keyboard sounds and solid rhythm parts you have to listen to our new material!
How did it happen that you ended up with Ukraine label Total Metal Records?
When the production of the album was finished, we examined many options seeking the best choice of record label. We had some contacts and many labels proposed for the distribution of “My Own Truth“. However, Total Metal Records made a very tempting offer not only for the distribution of the album, but also for its promotion in general. Besides, we had been informed that many hands had a good collaboration with the head of the label Anatoliy Kondyuk. So, thanks to him we started touring beyond Greece, in Ukraine and Serbia for our first time ever! We are very pleased with our choice not just because of the good partnerhip with Total Metal Records but mainly because of the good friendship that we have established with Anatoliy.
Looking at you I’d say your image is far away from an image of heavy metal bands. You remind me metal core bands. Why is it so?
We never liked the idea of adopting a certain dresscode. We are ordinary people wearing casual clothes. We avoid extremes like face paintings or masks, costumes or anything similar. We don’t need them in order to perform. We are just ourselves!
When did you start with metal music and why did you choose metal? What bands have influenced you over the years?
We listen to rock and metal music from the age of 13. From the very beginning it was clear that this kind of music was different from anything we had listened before. This power and epicness coming from the music and lyrics of metal is unique. Of course there is also the technical part of metal music, which over the years has evolved into a true challenge for a musician! That’s why we are mostly influenced by skilful bands either classic, such as Stratovarius, Helloween, Whitesnake, Iron Maiden etc., or modern, such as Avantasia, Dynazty and more…
I guess you won’t make living out of music. Do you have civil jobs? What do you do in your free time?
Well, the answer is both yes and no! For example, Dimitris (vocals) is a vocal teacher, Makis (guitar and backing vocals) and Dimitris (drums) have civil jobs but they work also as guitar and drums instructors, respectively. Panos (keyboards) and Panos (bass and backing vocals) are engineers. Of course, in our free time we put our energy together to make our music, the music of SUNLIGHT!
As you don’t have a new album out I guess there won‘t be any upcoming tour soon, but I’m sure you already played some shows. What can we expect from your live shows? Do you have a special routine before a show?
Even if “My Own Truth” was released 2 years ago, we think is still fresh. We give our best to promote our music worldwide until the release of the new album when we will start a new touring period. We performed in Athens last month and in December we will play at Serbia Metal Meeting in Niš (23 Dec) and then in Novi Sad (24 Dec), Belgrade (25 Dec), Plovdiv (BG) (26 Dec) and Thessaloniki (GR) (27 Dec). If it happens to be around, come to our live show and we guarantee that by the end of it you will be singing with us! As for a routine before a show, nothing special! Our routine starts after the show when we eat and drink!
What food do you recommend to try in Greece? And what local alcohol drink should we try? Do the Greeks drink beer?
That’s a difficult question! We have so many tasteful things to try!! First of all, the famous Greek souvlaki. It is tasty, cheap and you can find it everywhere. Ah, don’t forget also to try mousaka and Greek falafels! For drinking, of course we have nice beers and wines but if you want something stronger you have to try the traditional drinks, such as ouzo and raki.
Have you ever experienced something uniqe during the show?
We have many experiences and many great moments to remember. We love meeting our fans and friends and that’s why we will always remember all those people who came after the show backstage in Kirovograd, Ukraine for photos and autographs. There were men, women, boys, girls, families, people of all ages! Such experiences give us the strenght and passion to continue. Thank you all!
Please tell us about the history of your band and its members
Sunlight is a Heavy/Power Metal band from Athens, Greece that was founded at the end of 2009. In their early times Sunlight introduced themselves as a purely hard rock band. After some short period of successive line-up changes, the band shifted to a more heavy metal style, often incorporating elements of typical power metal. At present, the line-up consists of Dimitris Giannakopoulos (vocals), Makis Kaponis (guitars and backing vocals), Panos Anastopoulos (keyboards), Dimitris Kapoukakis (drums) and Panos Mourtzinos (bass guitar and backing vocals). We have released “Rockin’ All Around” – (EP 2011), “My Own Truth” – (Album 2015) and now we record our new album. The band’s activity has been rich over the last years, including live performances in well-known rock clubs of Greece, open-air annual festivals and three European tours.
What’s the origin of the band’s name?
All the bandmembers from the first line-up we lived in a region called “Ilioupoli”, that means Sun City. So, we decided the name “Sunlight”
Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
We live in Athens, Greece, a place full of great metal bands. It’s difficult for greek bands to promote their music abroad and make a name for themselves due to financial conditions. A few of them are really successful worldwide (Firewind, Rotting Christ, Septic Flesh, Innerwish etc.), though. We also recommend Mistful, Deified, Rusty Bonez, Silked & Stained, great bands and good friends.
How would you describe your style?
We play Melodic Heavy metal! We have many influences from different bands. We like Hard Rock bands such as Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Europe, Bon Jovi etc. and many Heavy Metal/Power bands such as Iron Maiden, Queensryche, Judas Priest, Helloween, Stratovarius, Avantasia and many more. So, we try to combine, if it’s possible, these styles in our music to create nice melodies, with heavy riffs.
What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?
As we said earlier, we have already released one EP (“Rockin’ All Around”) and one full length album (“My Own Truth”). First of all we would like our fans to know that it is a great pleasure for us to play and compose our music, we want to make them able to feel that! Also, it is very important for us that everyone who listen to our music keeps something and do not hear just a simple riff which will be forgotten in any minute. To avoid this we try to use melody in our songs and we like melodic choruses.
Do you have any music in the works?
We have finished our new compositions and we are in the studio to record our new album. We will announce more details in the next months.
How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?
It’s a great feeling! Last December we visited Serbia and Bulgaria. We felt like home. You know, we have played live in many european countries (Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Ukraine, Belgium etc.) and we like the way people approach us and they want us to visit hometown again. We increased our fanbase but the most important for us is we made new friends. We are concentrating on our recordings for now.
What plans do you have for the future as a band?
We would like to release our new album in 2019 and tour as many countries as possible in order to promote our work and of course to meet our fans and friends.
Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
You can find it in many webstores or directly from our website.
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