Rotting away from Athens, Greece...
The macabre tales of GRAVEWARDS started back in 2015 when the choir of death has singing down by the death-ripper, and there was Nikos (Vocal / Guitar), Fotis (Bass) and Vasilis (Drum) hold tight their passion and aiming to delivered their own style of DEATH METAL towards the altar of madness! I got a chances to speak with Niko, and ask him about the creation of "Subconscious Lobotomy"! The macabre tales never tell us the lies...
MIKA ROTTEN - Hi Nikos ! Glad to have you in here, and I total welcome you into the ugly side of DISCARNAGE! First of all, let’s take a deep breath before we’re going rot into the grave. Any latest Death Metal demo/album that recently spin off on your player record today?
NIKOS - Hey mate, great to talk with you once more and thank you on behalf of the band for featuring GRAVEWARDS in the grotesque world of Discarnage…the cut n paste feeling of the virtual world…Well I always have records/tapes or cds waiting for me to find the time to listen to ..i see among others the memoriam releases and the re release on vinyl of the ‘’Engraved in black’’ by Acrostichon..
MIKA ROTTEN - It’s really good to know the existence of GRAVEWARDS, and it’s really honor for me to do this interview also. How the macabre tales of GRAVEWARDS started? Did you, Fotis and Vasilis came from other bands before? Here you chances to describe how Fotis and Vasilis look like in GRAVEWARDS…. It’s easy working with them in this deadly Death Metal trio formation?
NIKOS - We are friends for many many years…all involved into bands and stuff through the years…tape trading days and shit as well. Here has been always this perfect alchemy between us whenever we did a rehearsal together…so forming a band was just a matter of time actually…it took us more years than planned…but better late than never. We do not rush things up…we work together for the pleasure of it…to please our inmost need to create something from scratch taking the form that expresses us the most…We are an underground band respecting itself ..nothing more…we are not here to pay tribute to anyone..we just follow our path and that’s it…simple things.
MIKA ROTTEN - I’m really dig your “Subconscious Lobotomy” Demo! It’s like a new vision on my side when Death Metal was approach in technical, and some groove-thrashy ways. You know, I’m not a fans for some “modern” Tech-Death Metal generally but for “Subconscious Lobotomy” demo I was considered I’m totally fvcking twisted into your sound. It’s not complicated song writing, and I’m guess GRAVEWARDS are very strong in terms of song decompositions. You know, some people have their own opinion about certain music and let me hear from your side about GRAVEWARDS real music directions.
NIKOS - We love death metal and thrash metal as well…and we are in the middle of these two genres..there is nothing modern or groundbreaking into it…just personal views and ideas transformed into brutal music…we are not the fastest..we do not care to become an over technical band..we do what we do…always taking a step forward towards what evolution is to us and only…
MIKA ROTTEN - I’m also spotted your music was trapped in Death/Thrash coffins. “The choir of undead” can’t go outside the coffins and I think it’s a best answer for all Death Metal-underground maniac out there to check your demo. Any idea to crossing or maybe a little mixed with other genre that you loved to play beside Death Metal?
Well, obviously Old Thrash records..but bands such as Amebix , Doom , Discharge, Axegrinder, Prophecy of doom, Hellbastard for example always find their way to my turntable..but not influencing our music that much…there is this huge void between listening and performing..not always go hand in hand…
MIKA ROTTEN - I need my glasses when I hold your cover tape to read your lyrics, it’s make my eye will pop out from my head because reads yours lyrics through that small fonts on that sleeve. Ha! If there any problem about your release I need to complaint, it’s definitely goes to that! Ha! Speak about your lyrical themes, I guess GRAVEWARDS much dwell into horror, and death topic and how about the real things that happen around you? I thought it’s a minor influence for a band to dwell this kind of things.
NIKOS - Yes but always available upon request!!! hahaha… Anyway, well everything fictional or not always filtered from a personal point of view…Life provides unlimited source when it comes to the lyrical aspect that’ s for sure…But the Horror, Macabre atmosphere is always present in our lyrics..i prefer this little mystical touch into it..rather than saying fuck you a trillion times.
MIKA ROTTEN - Horror films and Death Metal music can’t be separated, and it’s also the best ingredient to make this music quite interesting. Maybe some of us think it’s totally expired or even bored. Generally, did you think we need something fresh and “Untouchable” theme/topic in Death Metal music? And are you one of horror films maniac?
I am a HUGE horror fan covering all of it’s aspects…not only films and stuff…To be honest is a great source..we just can’t deny it..overused I agree but it will still influence this kind of music no matter what…Death metal can’t cover all the possible topics in life…it must keep this hostile , taking no shit thing into it…otherwise it will become just the ‘’soundtrack’’ of everyones life… The mighty Chuck had a personal way to express his emotions…and this individual approach maybe is what the ‘’scene’’ needs the most.
MIKA ROTTEN - The final result from “Subconscious Lobotomy” Demo totally blew me up from the sound that you captured in Made In Hell Studio. It’s not a sound like a demo for me! It’s very advanced from the sound producing quality and I must say a big rotting credits to that studio to help GRAVEWARDS delivered their real music! How the process of recording goes in this studio and how long did you all take to finish it’s? And can you give us a “little tour” inside the studio what kind of this studio look like..
NIKOS - Yes we are pleased when it comes to the final result…in fact we are working on our album in the same studio…The quality of our recordings is very important to us…we respect our art and we want to immortalize it in the best possible way… A demo does not necessarily means a bad recording..as it used to in the old days… We recorded the demo sporadically starting October till November 2016. Well working together with David is a pleasure for us…he tolerates us and that’s great…he can easily understand our needs ..what more should we look for?
MIKA ROTTEN - Tell us more how GRAVEWARDS end up with NECRONOME PRODUCTION, and I can see from the inlay inside the tape, the “Subconscious Lobotomy” Demo are the first release by this label.
NIKOS - Simple things…a friend having a mailorder that loves our sound..we ended up taking 200 units in the end and during thins month the tape will be sold out.
MIKA ROTTEN - Nowadays, we can look many underground-bands released a digital stuff like rehearsal/promo/demo/Ep/Album/Single using a bandcamp and later on sent the full links to some webzine for a review or promotions, I’m not against this new way and I guess it’s the perfect places to spread fast your latest stuff and to tell the outside about the existence of your bands. And, it’s really nice for me to hold your “real” release. Thanks for that! Lets hear from your side about this issue, and did you think all the memories from receiving a letter, catalog, demo, trades are going to dead in the future?
NIKOS - I am into tape trading and underground ways of correspondence for way too many years..before this internet chained world become a reality…things changed but the core remained through the years…I strongly believe we should enjoy the music not trying to find the lost time capsule holding the great memories we all have from old days and stuff like that…life is changing..everything is changing in the end… But the most important thing we should respect is that metal without the physical format of it…is NOTHING.
MIKA ROTTEN - Did you still collect or buy any records that out from the underground scene? What about the real fanzine? We’re know that Athens are very modern city, it’s easy to find any record stores in your places? Any suggestions…
NIKOS - I love the printed zines and always did…damn it is so great to be able to read zines such as Forgotten Chapel, By this axe I rule, Temple of Adoration , Soulgrinder ,Cultmongers ,Reborn from Ashes , Crush the Cross , From Beyond , Tribal Convictions ,Akkeldama ,Witchcraft and so many others still going on… Indeed here in Athens finding metal to buy is the easiest thing in the world…nothing like how it used to be…shops . labels or whatever pop up all the time.
MIKA ROTTEN - Let’s get back to our main topic, I recently read many good review about “Subconscious Lobotomy” Demo, did your imagine you will received a lots of good response from the underground scenes? It’s a big step and challenge for your next release to handling it’s.
NIKOS - No we never thought about it…indeed the reactions and the interest is great. People wanting to have our release physically is a pleasure… We are working hard on our full album…it will be faster and in your face like a punch.
MIKA ROTTEN - In other parts, “Subconscious Lobotomy” Demo reminds me a lot to John Tardy from Obituary in terms of how you tortured your throat. Loved that monster-voice! Ha!
NIKOS - Ha!! Thank you…I love his sick vocal approach since day one..
MIKA ROTTEN - We’re going to end up this interview, some more question before we rot! Did you already record some advanced track for yours upcoming release?
NIKOS - The recording process begun already… we will take the necessary time to complete the songs..i always have songs ready to be used in future releases anyway…
MIKA ROTTEN - How about playing a live show?
NIKOS - For the time being we prefer timeless rehearsals.
MIKA ROTTEN - Final words and I give you some space to wrote anything we left in this “Casket entrapment” interview! Thank you Nikos and let’s wait for the new madness from GRAVEWARDS in the future!
NIKOS - Thank you again for the interest in GRAVEWARDS and it’s strange inhuman ways… Personally would like to express once more my gratitude to all the maniacs all over this planet that holding our demo tape meant a lot to them…it means the world to us as well!!! Our album will be fully recorded during the coming months..releases will follow in many formats…so our contact will be fueled!!!