Rock Hard 43Interview 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!

Sunlight Rock Hard 43

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!


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