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Interview

Deutsche VersionInterview mit Emerald Sun (15.06.2011)

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HH: HeyHo from Germany's Heavyhardes to the Emerald Sun-team. As we got about 35 degrees outside it feels like a perfect day to listen to your new record Regeneration. What I'm referring to is that positive vibe the record creates almost throughout its entire length. Was it your purpose to make an album that puts a smile on the listeners' face or did that just happen?

Stelios: Hi guys and thanks for the kind words! Now that's what I call a compliment!!! Isn't that great if you can listen to a Metal album that puts a smile on your face? You know, we are mentioning all the problems that we all have to deal with in our lives..., but we try to give the listener some courage and the will to face them! We are sick and tired of all the blackness and negativity that surrounds us! You don't have to be evil if you want to play Metal!!! We prefer this way!

HH: "Theatre Of Pain", "Where Angels Fly" or "Planet Metal" are classic, what I would call Melodic Speed Metal-stuff. If you take a look around in the nowadays' scene, not too many younger bands have the will (and maybe the skills) to play that certain kind of Metal. Of course we got Gamma Ray, Stratovarius and the faster Avantasia-tracks, but on the whole I see a lack of newcomers. How come?

Stelios: I don't have a clue my friend. All I have to say is that Emerald Sun plays the music that comes straight from our hearts! We do not have a concept to sound like anything! We just play what gives us peace of mind and makes us feel good! And if there are people like you telling us that listening to Regeneration puts a smile on their face, the mission is completed! Hahaha!

HH: Is there a scene in Greece for that kind of Metal? Do you get the reputation you deserve having been around since 1998?

Stelios: Yes, of course there is! The Greek Metalheads are famous for being an amazing crowd and very loyal fans!
Further, I guess that I'm not the right person to know what we deserve. I leave this to people like you and of course the fans! But if you mean if we achieved our purpose, it is a "YES"!
There is almost not one bad criticism in the magazines and we are lucky to have such a response from the people at our shows! Thanks to everyone personally for the support! You put a smile in our faces!!! Hahaha.

HH: In Germany your name still is hidden a bit in the underground, although your music seems perfect for the German market, as we got that long Melodic Speed Metal-tradition. You have brought out three records so far. What has hindered you to conquer (only for example) Germany in the last years? Maybe line-up changes?

Stelios: We brought out two records so far! The first one was a demo if I'm allowed correcting you here. We know that this kind of music is very popular in Germany! Germany is THE Metal-state!!! We would love to play live here! I say "here" 'cause I was born in Germany and I still live here! These days we are negotiating gigs for the near future and we hope that everything will work for us! It is not easy in our days to get some good live gigs 'cause there are so many bands. But with the help of the fans I think that everything is possible! So get the album and listen to it!!! Hahaha.

HH: Back to the record: I would say "Speak Of The Devil" and the epic "Fantasmagoria" are the two tracks that step a bit out of line as they transport different emotions than the rest of the songs. Could you tell us the story behind the tunes?

Stelios: "Speak" is a track about arguing with somebody who tries to break you. Every one of us has been in some similar situation so it's a great song to identify with! Hahaha.
"Fantasmagoria" is something like a mini-opera!!! It has more than 12 minutes in length and four characters to impersonate! It is the story about the chosen one who fights hell to save the world. It's about a war between light and darkness! Remember what I said in the beginning?
I also have to mention the fantastic performance of Mariangela on female vocals. A very talented girl with a great future in the genre!!! And of course the voice of the "Hell Spawn" which is nobody else than Vagelis Maranis, our producer, friend and frontman of the legendary Sanvoisen!!! Thank you both for your support! It is a blessing to work with people like you!!

HH: Can you give us an inside look in the Emerald Sun composing process? And who is writing the lyrics? Lyrics before or after the music?

Stelios: All members of Emerald Sun are involved in this process! And what makes me really happy is the way it works! No selfishness! No fighting! No ego! The final arrangements and paintings have been done in the Maranis Studios in Backnang, Germany: under authority of our producer Vagelis! Just what's best for the whole bunch! I love that and I'm proud of us all!

HH: Why did you chose to do the "Holding Out For A Hero"-cover as in my opinion it's the only weaker song on the record?

Stelios: Do you really think it is? Well, I love the song and we chose it because it fits in the positive vibe wich we are representing! For sure with "hero" we do NOT mean a lover!!! Hahahahahaha. It is the "hero" we are all waiting for in the last years to get us out of the darkness and lead us to "Regeneration"!!! Take a look on the front cover of the album and you'll see him!!!

HH: Do all of you have everyday jobs? And so, how complicated is it to run a band like Emerald Sun on a professional level?

Stelios: Yes, we all have everyday jobs. And you are damn right that it is not easy to run a band on a professional level! But where is a will, there is a way! We decided to walk this way on this level 'cause this music is of much importance for us! We love, play and breathe Metal! I can assure you that, if we cannot keep up this professionalism, we would quit! Do something right, or don't do it at all!

HH: From a distant view it seems that today Greece is going through hard times and politics are a little helpless to lead the changes in the right directions. We of course only get some of the news, but it seems that it's not that easy to live in Greece at the time. Do you have an opinion where the financial and political problems come from? How does the Greek future look like and does the condition of your country influence your music?

Stelios: More or less every politician in the whole world is incompetent to lead a country in a direction which is best for the people, not for themselves! As for Greece it is the first country in Europe, coming up with financial problems. But I don't think that it will be the last! There are many (if not all) to follow! Mark my words! Where the problems come from??? From insatiable regimes! It doesn't matter how poor a country is, or how difficult life is in a country... did you ever see a politician suffering????
We're not spending much time on thinking if this could influence our music. We chose to do our best as a band and put our influence to the problem! To stand on the side of the people who are suffering and fighting day by day for the greed of some pigs who call themselves "leaders"! Fuck them! As the first track of Regeneration says: "WE WON'T FALL"!!!

HH: When I put on the record I heard some influences of traditional acts, but do you listen a lot to nowadays' Metal?

Stelios: No. Not really. Our influences and roots are lying back in the 80's! We love Old School Metal! Of course there are some great bands in this Nu Metal-scene, but we do not belong there!

HH: As the readers always like lists, could you please assemble a short one of your ten favourite Melodic Speed Metal records?

Stelios: I totally respect the question, but I don't like etiquettes on a music genre, so I'll give you a list of my favorite Metal records, ok? Hihi.
1. MANOWAR - Sign Of The Hammer
2. DIO - Holy Diver
3. HELLOWEEN - Keeper... Part I
4. METALLICA - Master Of Puppets
5. MÖTLEY CRÜE - Shout At The Devil
6. JUDAS PRIEST - Painkiller
7. IRON MAIDEN - Powerslave
8. QUEENSRYCHE - Operation Mindcrime
9. SANVOISEN - Soul Seasons
10. CRIMSON GLORY - Transcendence

HH: What are Emerald Sun's plans for the near future?

Stelios: As I said, there are some live-shows in sight and we are also writing songs for the next album!

HH: Can we hope to see you play live in Germany in the next couple of months or maybe on some festivals?

Stelios: Yes, you can! We are talking about September, but I'm not allowed to say more! It would be a pleasure to play in Germany again and see a smile on every Metalhead's face!!! Hahahahaaha.
We love Germany and its crowd!!!

HH: So much from me. It was a pleasure to write down some questions for you. The famous last words are reserved for you:

Stelios: The pleasure was mine! Thank you so much! Thanks to all your crazy readers and all Emerald Sun fans! We need your support! Just give the new album Regeneration a chance and listen to the tracks! The decision is yours!
Thanks again for everything!
Keep your heads banging!

Fuxx

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