Friday, February 20, 2015

Kevel Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Kevel with its current lineup counts less than a year of existence. As a concept though, it has started 3-4 years back from Kostas (guitar). Since then various phases have gone by until stabilization, which finally led to the release of the album “Hz of the Unheard” on December 2014.
Antonis (bass) used to play in a previous band with Kostas, whom he followed after its dismantle. Together they started the search for other members. A  search that lasted 3 years, since the requirements of the new concept did not allow for mistakes of the past.
Thanasis (drums) joined the band around the end of 2012, through a music ad / audition process. He fitted in immediately, so in the following months the trio built the foundation of the band’s sound.
In parallel, the band was looking for a vocalist, since a big part of the songs at that time, was written with vocals in mind. Numerous unsuccessful tryouts took place and various friends’ suggestions to move on without vocals, until we realized that the rehearsal material was claiming its place as instrumental.
Around the end of 2013, we were discussing the instrumental direction with Markos (guitar), friend and music engineer, in order to help find a suitable 2nd guitarist that would complete the instrumental scheme. Instead, Markos showed greater interest in joining the band himself. He was welcomed immediately and turned out to be the most catalytic factor for the band’s progress over the following period. Within 6 months, we finalized the music for the first album, we played our first live shows, we moved in our own rehearsal space and recorded the debut album.

2.Towards the end of the year you had released an album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
It’s really hard to cite specific metal sub-genres. Some reviewers have mentioned that this record is the only one of its kind in Greece. For sure there are elements of sludge, progressive, post metal and hints of black.
One of our main targets was to create music that would not be categorized in narrow musical borders. Music that would attract our attention in live gigs and that would not tire us as listeners. In addition, since there are no vocals, our way to “tell the story” is to reclaim the flow of music.

3.I have read that the band originally tried to have vocals, what was the decision behind going instrumental and also are the band members also open to working with vocals again in the future?
As mentioned earlier, we did try to have vocals and made several discussions and jams with different vocalists from the local scene, until we realized that this endless search was get us off track.
Of course we are open to working with vocals. We would be even willing to discuss for a second version of the album with guest vocals, if the right opportunity presents itself.

4.What are some of the themes and images the band brings out with their musical style?
The title of the album “Hz of the Unheard” was heavily influenced by an article that Thanasis had read, regarding an unknown whale species, which “sings” in a different frequency than any other whales. So actually this whale is wandering alone in the oceans and is unaware of the existence of other whales, since none responds to her call. Her story is really intriguing, so it is worth looking it up on the internet as “the loneliest whale in the world”.
All the themes and images of the album’s songs are portrayed distinctly on the physical artwork. We have released it as an 8-panel digipak, which displays the main elements of all 5 songs in a series: the sea crying a dumb howl (“Hz of the Unheard”), morphing into a flock of swans (“Pavlova”) which is then transformed into rotten branches (“Seeds of Famine”), which in turn form some kind of temple (“Siphon of Sin”). Finally, the lightning rod of the temple is struck by thunderbolt (“EoD - Edward on Death Row”).

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Kevel"?
We needed a name relatively neutral that won't give away the music style of the band. We were also very interested in palindromes (words or phrases which read the same backward or forward). "kevel" got really close in meeting both these specs, plus it's a word not anymore used in everyday life. So, by all these fitting in so nicely, the meaning of the word itself loses focus. It's more like a set of lines put together to carry a message, than just a spelled word with its meaning. This is also somewhat displayed in our logo.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
The band is really "young" in terms of live gigs, so we think our latest show is always better than the previous as we become more comfortable on stage. Regarding live performance, being an instrumental band we tend to let the music play the predominant role, although our drummer Thanasis, usually gets most of the attention by the way he is pounding the drums.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
We are currently preparing for a great gig on 8/3/2015 in Athens, Greece, along with other emerging local bands, which we think will be the best for us so far. We ‘re looking to do a lot more shows in 2015 and hopefully join in some festivals.

8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
The only reason we would be looking for a label at this point, is to gain access to bigger live events and of course to play along with bands we are already fans of. If it turns out that we can do this without label intervention it would be twice as cool. Anyway, we have just self-released our debut promo album (in December 2014) and up now a couple of  PR agents have contacted us to help promote the album, but apart from that we are a DIY band at the moment.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of sludge and post metal?
Up to now we’re getting great reviews and posts from media locally and abroad. What’s kind of strange is that we get more listens and comments from abroad, mainly US, Italy, Spain, Germany, UK. Still as already mentioned, we have just released our first work, so the following months will verify (or not) this highly positive feedback!

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We can only see what’s coming in our follow-up album, although still very early in the process. More blackened feel, more blast beats, while not losing out on originality, melody and groove.

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?
Starting from famous bands that all four of us love, we would mention Mastodon, ISIS, Gojira, The Ocean. Other than that, the personal musical preferences of each one vary from prog rock to black metal.
Great bands we have been listening to lately:
Kongh (Sole Creation)
SUMAC (The Deal)
Eremite (All things merge into one)
Mord’a’Stigmata (Ansia)
Slugdge (Gastronomicon)

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
Not much time is available for other interests than music, since we all have day jobs as well and need to put as much energy in our music as possible.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you for this opportunity to express our thoughts and for your support in our music!

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