Monday, July 21, 2014

Planet Of Zeus Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

One day after the release of the album we embarked on our greek tour, playing 16 shows in all greek major cities. We got the chance to play most of the album's songs live and the immediate feedback we received really helped us realize that we are on the right track. We also had the honor of playing at 4 european festivals. Heavy by the Sea in Athens, Glockenschlag Festival in Hamburg, Exit in Novisad and Rock im Ring in Bolzano.

2.Recently you have released a new album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction of the new recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

All these years of playing together made us stronger as a musical team and gave us the confidence to record the album live in the studio. That was a big change for us. We established a more raw and groovy sound, that resembled the energy between us in our live shows. We didn't want to make the album vintage sounding, although our most beloved recordings come from the past. We had the songs ready and really believed in them, because we thought that we were getting closer and closer to establishing our own sound. A seamless blend between blues,hard rock and metal, genres which share some common values.Sincerity, groove and riffs.

3.The band has been around since 2000 but waited 8 years to release the first album and since then it has been 3 years in between releases can you tell us a little bit more about the gaps?

We could label the first 8 years, as our formation period. In 2000 we were 16 years old and played our first gigs, but as you know the distance from conceiving the idea of a band to actually having one , that has something to offer, is quite long. After the release of our first album, "Eleven the hard way", we started touring around Greece, with one purpose. To become a great live band, that makes people dance and have a good time. Just like the bands we admired. We rehearsed in a daily basis, trying to improve both our songwriting and playing skills as a team and not as individuals and slowly gathered the experiences, that would later become songs and make some people actually relate to them. When "Macho Libre" was released we had just become quite a big name in Greece and this fact led to our first European tour, which was a life-changing moment for us. It made us realize, that we're actually far more united and determined as a team outside of our comfort zone. We slowly started playing some European festivals, like Stoned from the Underground and Exit, shared the stage with many of our musical heroes, from Ozzy to Clutch and all this things led to booking our third and most lengthy European tour ever, which starts on the 28th of August and consists of 36 shows in 42 days.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new release?
"Vigilante" is probably our lyrically most diverse album. It starts with "The great Dandolos", which is a song about a famous Greek gambler, "Nick the Greek", who was said to have gone from rags to riches about 73 times. He had no respect for money, donated enormous sums in charity and his life was all about the game. There are songs like "Second Coming", "Tornado", "Vigliante", " Disappointment Blues" and "The Beast Within", which address sociopolitical matters in a quite aggressive manner. There are plain feel-good songs like "Burn this city down" and "Sky High Heels". And last but not least, there is one love song called "No tomorrow".

5.I know that the band name is related to Greek Mythology, what was the decision behind using it as a band name?
The name was actually conceived in a period, when we were listening to Jimi Hendrix's Experience and several other stoner-psychedelic bands. So, when we heard of Planet of Zeus(Jupiter) in our of astronomy classes, we immediately felt we had gotten ourselves a name.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
One of our most memorable shows was our first sold-out gig in Athens, at the historic "Aν club", a show that made us feel obliged to all these people who believed in us and gave us a mission of "keepin' it real" for them. One year later, in Athens again, at "Gagarin205" 1200 people attended our show and made us feel like local heroes. And last but not least all the shows we played around Europe, sharing the stage with bands that we love and admire, like Clutch, Hermano, Brant Bjork, Monster Magnet, Ozzy, Machinehead etc.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
answered in question 3.

8.The new album was released on Ihaveadrum  Records, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
Ihaveadrum records is an independent record label we founded in April 2014 after not getting the offers we wanted from several record labels. Ihaveadrum records from now on, will be a sanctuary for bands, that we love and have problems finding a record label.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer music by fans of stoner rock and metal?
Since we've tested our new album both on the road and through the stereo , we feel really blessed , that the people who listen to it, dig the direction we are taking and understand the reasons we felt the urge to do it. Nowadays, our audience has shifted more to rockers and metallers than stoner fans, because we also have moved to more straight-forward song structures and don't have enough nice psychedelic jams for them.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I can't specifically say, but I think we are getting closer to writing our best songs. We want to incorporate all the things, that made the songs we love from the past special. Freedom, ignorance of danger, not giving a fuck...But not in a vintage sounding way.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Jimi Hendrix Experience and the Band of Gypsys, Allman Brothers band, Muddy Waters,Wishbone Ash, AC/DC, Rage against the machine, Mastodon, Metallica, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Clutch. We enjoy listening an array of musical styles. From the history of Blues, to afrobeat, to Dj Premier's whole discography, to Jaga Jazzist.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
We are creatures of the night and so we enjoy everything that involves a bar playing nice tunes, beer and nice company. As we 're growing older we are getting fonder and fonder of tasting delicious food. We also watch tons of documentaries.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

In a period of time, when  90% of mainstream music produced, seems to be aimed at children under 12, support the bands you love and treat you with respect.See you on the road...

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