Sunday, December 14, 2014

Amken 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 ep?

Well pretty much, since we waited for an 8-month period before we release our debut, “Adrenaline Shot”, which took place on November 30th! After the recordings finished we filmed our first official videoclip for “Zombie Pets” that has really helped on spreading the word, and played many live shows, almost once a week, in Athens and other Greek cities. In the meantime, we became the first winners of Top Of The Rocks, a contest held by the biggest rock / metal internet radio in Greece, and made sure we were preparing a killer EP release, that was celebrated just a few days ago in an almost packed club on a night of heavy rain! We are really stoked about it! We are in Germany at the moment, preparing for our first big show abroad, opening for SIX FEET UNDER on December 18th in Ingolstadt and we can’t wait! In the meantime, we are composing and almost ready to announce some big news about the band itself. Stay tuned!

2.Recently you have released an ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

We tried to keep that old-school thrash feeling, but with means of today and I think we pretty much succeeded in it! There is even a review that describes how we managed to make it sound contemporary and fresh again through our individuality! “Adrenaline Shot” EP was recorded at Made In Hell Studio in Athens, with the awesome help of David Prudent, our adorable French engineer, who really helped us make the sound we had in our heads reality. Toxic vocals, loud twin guitar riffing, gnarly bass and steady-grandiose drum lines! Epic!

3.The band has been around since 2011 but has only put out one release so far, can you tell us a little bit more about the first 3 years?

We played some live shows with our first line up and composed a lot of material, but we sadly realized that we couldn't do what we dreamed of like that. So we were searching for different members and changing line-ups many times, other than the two guitarists, Vanias and myself, who formed the band. All that 'till we finally found the right people: Sokratis on drums and Kostas on the bass guitar, like one year ago. Almost right away we entered the studio for recordings and the rest is history. The truth is that we had a slow start, but we managed to make a solid debut, and be sure that you will be hearing from us a lot from now on.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

We don’t have any specific theme for our songs. If we find something that interests us we will talk about it in our music. On the “Adrenaline Shot” EP we have like, from playful lyrics about zombies to describing the global pandemic of “black death”, combining them well with each other I believe.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Amken'?

Pretty weird but none! We were just searching for a name that stood for us and AMKEN did it. Just not one more “classic” band name... Funny fact is that in some languages Amken means something like “happiness” or “wisdom”, friends of the band around the world have informed us about it in the process...!

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

We try to give our 110% in every show we play! It’s full of energy, mosh and sweat. We also try to bring on some stage interest during our set, by laying chains on the drums or putting our brand new banner as a background! Thrash vests, long dirty hair and all that good stuff...! Our best live shows so far would have to be the one in Patras during the Face the Heat Festival this summer, and “A Thrash Metal Holocaust” in Athens, all with amazing local bands. You can take a look through our “Summer Invasion Greece 2014” video on our YouTube channel for some tour / live experience!

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

We are opening for SIX FEET UNDER in Germany on December 18th, during their XMAS IN HELL Tour and we play another show back in Athens on 28th at historic An club. We are also getting down on some 2015 touring plans and we hope to be soon ready to announce more about it! One thing is for sure, we can’t wait to go on the road!

8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

“Adrenaline Shot” EP is an independent release, but there is definitely rising interest in the band from the industry and there is already some treat we are working on for the coming months.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of thrash metal?

Pretty awesome!!! We really believe in our music and we are glad to see that we get even better feedback from fans all over the world! People love the music, they check our pages, share our videos and artwork, even make their own AMKEN fan-art and buy our CDs always coming back saying how great it is, so we are really excited and thankful.

10.When can we expect a full length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Although the recording of our first full length is not in our immediate future plans, we hope for it to be ready and kickin' in late 2015! We see the band growing and maturing but heading into the same direction musically as the EP, which means...? Thrashy as fuck!

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

I will listen to everything, from old-school Kreator to the latest Pink Floyd album! Besides the obvious influences that we have, that are old-Metallica, Sepultura, Havok, Slayer -wouldn’t say eh? (laughs), I personally adore musicians such as Chuck Schuldiner from mighty Death! Of course we check all the new bands that are now “the next big thing”, such as Crisix, Lost Society, Dust Bolt etc.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

For now it is really difficult to say anything else, 'cause AMKEN absorbs pretty much all of my focus! I used to train for swimming championships, does that count?

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

I would like to thank you for this opportunity to come closer to the people through this interview. If we had the chance, we would like to tour extensively around the world just to meet with all you guys out there! Our debut CD “Adrenaline Shot” is out, and if you are interested, you can purchase it on both physical and digital form, just check our pages and you will instantly find out how! Thank you very much for your support, hopefully, to a club near you soon!

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