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Παρασκευή, 16 Μαΐου 2014

DOOMOCRACY Interview


 DOOMOCRACY from Heralklion city (island of Crete, Greece) have completed the recordings of their debut album which is soon to be released. Meanwhile they have revealed to the public one complete song and some samplers. The band delivers Doom Metal with heart and soul: Heavy, melodic, mournful and passionate, the way it should be. Unfortunately you would not hear this type of music played that often nowadays. So Doomocracy's material have became something like a daily fix for me. So the next step was to track the band down and learn as many information as I could... Read the interview bellow and introduce yourself to a really inspired and talented band. Doomocracy.

Hello and welcome to Forgotten Scroll. Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions.

Hey, thank you for the invitation, “The Forgotten Scroll” is one of the oldest Hellenic Fanzines and we are honored to give this interview.

So let's get things from the beginning. When and under what circumstances Doomocracy were formed? Who were the founding members and which was the initial line up? Is the line up the same until today?


Doomocracy was formed during the summer of 2011, actually it was July 2011. Minas Vasilakis on drums, Angelos Tzanis on guitar and Michael Stavrakakis on vocals, got together in the studio to jam on some tracks and all that was coming out of the studio was Doom Metal music. We always wanted to honor the Doom Metal scene and it seemed that the timing was right to do so! Having made that decision, we called good friends and musicians, Manolis Schizakis on Bass and Harry Dokos on guitar to complete the line up for the band that would later be called Doomocracy. This lineup recorded the album “The End is Written” and is still the current lineup of Doomocracy.

Was your initial goal to play this kind of Epic Doom Metal or your musical direction was chosen and / or built around jamming process?

We wanted to play Doom Metal in the terms of what Doom Metal used to be, before it was divided in 100 other sub/genres… and that’s exactly what we did. The music you will hear from Doomocracy, is surely Epic and sometimes Progressive, but all in all its Doom Metal music.

Musically which artists and bands can we mention as main influences of the band?

Like we said we are lifetime fans of Doom Metal and of bands like: Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Memento Mori, Trouble and Black Sabbath. Listening to these bands all of these years have of course influenced the way we play music. Still we try to sound as fresh as we can and take our influences a step further, to create original music that when someone listens to it will instantly recognize it as Doomocracy.

In your bio you state that you composed your first four songs between your three first months in existence as a band. Which was the first song you composed?  Will all this initial material included in your album after all?

When you love the music you play and you do not join a band that’s playing something different than what you like, ideas are floating and creativity reaches a very high level. That’s exactly what happened with Doomocracy. Everyone in the band was and is very active and excited with the music that we play, so the first tracks came out very naturally. Of course later on we worked more on the orchestration and fine tuning of these four songs, that are all included in Doomocracy’s debut album “The End is Written”. The first song we composed was “Hanging Puppet” and it is a killer song!
 
I am mentioning a debut because you have gone there at once. No demo or promo recordings or releases. What exactly driven you to that decision?

We wanted to have our music complete and with a proper production before we would share it with the public and before discussing with Record Labels. This way we let people know what Doomocracy is really about. The fact that we went straight to a debut album, doesn’t mean that we did not work hard on the songs. We pre-produced all of the songs to hear what they sound like and only when we were ready, we went into the studio to record our Debut album “The End is Written”.

...And if you allow me a comment, to focus on a specific target working hard to record a debut album, is a very different approaching compared to the usual ways of new bands that would record and release a couple or demos first, sometimes even share some rough live videos and create as many pages as they can in social networks just to share a bunch of songs or sometimes no songs at all. Promotion is not bad but sometimes the focus to the music is lost. Seems to me that Doomocracy worked the totally opposite way to what I am describing here (and of course my aim is not to judge anyone, I am just describing some stereotypes that I am taking notice of)...

A great producer Fredrik Nordström from Studio Fredman told us some years ago, that bands tend to rush things. Because of their thirst to play live, they don’t really have their own songs well rehearsed and ready before actually presenting them to the public. Thus, they end up messing their own songs and no one takes them seriously. A band should have an album recorded properly and then go on tour to promote it, not the other way around… Demos were useful, during the times when the Record Labels would actually pay you to record your album and book the studio for you. These times are long gone, apart from some extremely rare cases. We believe that you need to have something solid like a complete album, to make the most impact on the public’s impression. That way you can be recognized and remembered when you go on tour. Otherwise you’ll end up spending a lot of money to play in front of 30-40 people who don’t even know your songs. Been there, done that… not a great experience…

In how much time did you complete the composition of the material for the debut? Were there any songs that did not made it to the final tracklist? Would be risky if I ask how many songs will be included on the album?


“The End is Written” was composed somewhere between summer 2011 and 2012. The album consists of eight original mid tempo compositions that will blow your mind! There were two tracks that did not make it to the album mostly because there wasn’t enough space, but we might include them in a future album. Doomocracy was always a Vinyl lover and is aiming to release “The End is Written” in both CD and Vinyl.

Do you want to share with us some info about the recording process of your debut album?

Doomocracy’s debut album was recorded during the summer of 2013 at “Mad Hat Music” studio with Nikos Vogiatzakis as the sound engineer. Nikos is a good friend, a great musician and a great sound engineer. His help and advice was a great asset to the final result. The drums on the other hand, were recorded at a highly claimed and praised… studio in Athens Greece – we will not share the name of the studio, although maybe we should, in order to protect other bands from going there. We weren’t satisfied at all working with them. They showed an amateur behavior that did not justify their reputation and the cost of our recording. Thank God, we worked with Daniel Bergstrand, a great producer who was able to solve some technical/sound engineering problems, caused by the Athens studio.

Although that all the recording process was made on your hometown -Heraklion, Crete, Greece-. You decided to work with Daniel Bergstrand at "Dug Out Productions" in Uppsala, Sweden, for the album's mixing. Under what criteria have you selected him?

We don’t underestimate the work of Greek studios and even some home recordings which have had great productions, but we prefer to work with studios from abroad. They have bigger experience working with known metal bands and their musical training and advice is usually better. If you make a good research and discussion with studios from abroad, you will find out that the value for money concerning the production is usually better. Doomocracy, discussed with many European studios for the mixing of “The End is Written”. The best and most tempting proposal was made by Daniel Bergstrand. Daniel is an established metal producer that has worked with many great metal bands, such as Meshuggah, In Flames, Dimmu Borgir and Evergrey. The band and Daniel had very good communication and worked together in great spirit, to bring the best result possible for the mix.

Tailor Maid music production and Peter In De Betou was Doomocracy's 1st choice for the Mastering of "The End is Written". Again I would like to ask why you decided to work with him. Perhaps you were after some good Swedish heaviness on your sound after all (laugh) I am pointing this having in mind Peter's works with Memento Mori, Entombed, Morgana Lefay etc....

Some of us in the band have worked with Peter In De Betou in the past and we were very satisfied with his work. Like you said the very fact that Peter did the Mastering for albums like Morgana Lefay’s “Maleficium” and Memento Mori’s “La Danse Macabre” and “Songs for the Apocalypse Vol. IV”, says it all. Peter is a great guy and he is very professional with all his projects. His Mastering gave “The End is Written” a sound that justifies all the efforts the band made to achieve an Epic and Doom sound.

The question is typical but I am going to hit it. Are you happy with the album's final result and would you change anything if you could?


There will always be things that you’d want to change, concerning an album’s production. But even musically you might find yourself not satisfied with an idea or a riff or a melody. Sometimes bands wait for a rather long period of time, for the songs to “ripen”. This, usually, has the disadvantage that the songs don’t have that fresh and natural flow in the final recording and production. Having said that, we have to say that we are very happy with the final result of “The End is Written”, which sounds fresh, natural and heavy at the same time.

Recording, mixing and mastering completed. So now what would be the next step are you already in touch with record labels shopping the album? Are you thinking of a private release or what?

We are currently discussing with Record Labels, looking for the best possible record deal, for the release and promotion of our debut album. We’ve had some very good offers from some labels and we are hoping we will soon reach a deal. If we don’t, there’s always the option of a self release, although it’s not our first one.

We already had the chance to listen to the "Faceless" song of the album through the lyric video you released. Does this song re presents the whole vibe of the album?


 The song “Faceless” is one of the heaviest tracks in the album and this is why we chose to promote it first. Like we said, the album is Epic, Heavy and a bit Progressive at some points. There are songs with a more Epic mood and songs with a twist of Progress…  The album is cohesive in many ways and long story short, when you hear it; you will know it is Doomocracy.

You have revealed some samplers of two more songs. Can you give some more info about them?

Our recent last.fm profile http://www.last.fm/music/Doomocracy features a small sample of another song from “The End is Written” called “Hanging Puppet”. Like we said, this is the first composition of the band and as a song it is very heavy and slow in a Doomocracy kind of way. There is a third song we have revealed called “The Celephais Curse” which you can listen in our Reverb Nation profile or by visiting the “media” section on our webpage: http://www.doomocracy.com/ www.reverbnation.com/doomocracy

On the "Faceless" lyrics video we have noticed the cover artwork which is taken from Thomas Cole's painting "The Course of Empire: Destruction", from the Collection of the New York Historical Society. I guess this would be the final cover artwork or not?

The lyric video for the song “Faceless” was made by our bass player Manolis Schizakis and the background used is from Thomas Cole’s painting "The Course of Empire: Destruction”. We are not very sure at this stage, if we are going to use this painting for our album cover. Although it represents the title of our album in a very good way, it came to our notice that it has been used by other bands before.  We have acquired the rights from the New York Historical Society for using the painting and there is no legal issue, but we don’t want to have an album cover with a painting that’s been used as a cover before. So “The End is Written” will have a different cover, equal in greatness as Thomas Cole’s painting.

What are the main topics of your songs lyrically?

An exciting trip into a mythic sea, a rebel-savior, a wandering soul in hell, sadness stumbling towards hesitation, a demon that feasts of the sins of mankind, a person’s manipulation and the distress and depression it brings. These are all lyrical themes for some of our songs.

From where you get inspiration musically, lyrically and in general as artists?

Doomocracy’s music is mostly inspired by our own lives and by what surrounds us. Anything that allows us to think and act is an inspiring source for writing music. Imaginative stories are on the table as well. When all of us get together we share thoughts and notes and this becomes Doomocracy’s music. The lyrics of Doomocracy are fictional and wander around loneliness, agony, darkness, light and life and death.

"The End Is Written". Is it an allegorically expression or perhaps we should search for some religious roots on this title? Perhaps none of the above if I would judge from the -possible- cover painting which is called "The Course Of Empire: Destruction". In this case I am safely driven to the theory that humans are able to bring the perfect end to everything...


What you say is true. Humans are capable of both creation and destruction. Sadly, lately the tendency has been towards destruction and demoralization of everything. Somewhere, somehow, this world took a very bad turn towards its own disaster. It’s the will of the few that decides the fate of many. A Doomed Democracy we would say. A hungry monster that must always feed, no matter what the cost or the pain it brings. “The End is Written” refers to all these things, and their consequences on the lives of us all. Yet the album’s title, stands there as a reminder, so that our minds become awakened and aware of what is to come unless we take serious action.

In your own words how would you describe your music not with the stereotypic terms of the metal world...

Doomocracy’s music is a passionate love and devotion towards the sound created by none other than Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus and Memento Mori, and the genre we’ve learned to call Doom Metal. Still, as we said earlier, our goal is our music to be recognized as “Doomocracy” from the first hearing and we have the strong belief we achieved that result.

On the other hand I guess that "Doom Metal" is a correct stereotypic term. Would you add the "Epic" prefix to it (well I already did on an earlier question but your view is much more important)?

Doomocracy’s music has already been described by fans as Epic Doom Metal, which sounds very good to us, but there other aspects to our music, such as Heavy, Progressive and maybe even Power metal. As long as people call it, good doom metal music, it can have any other term added to it. In the end it’s not for the band to describe its music, but for the fans.

In my opinion nowadays there is a big misunderstanding of the term "Doom Metal", it is wrongly used to describe a variety of musical flavors that happen to be slow and heavy. Should a new Doom Metal band worry about this?

You know, it was Black Sabbath who set the standards for the Heavy Metal sound and Black Sabbath had many Doom Metal songs in their first albums… Take for example songs like “Electric Funeral”, “Black Sabbath”, “N.I.B.”, Children of the Grave and many more. So, in a sense you can say that Heavy Metal’s first sub/genre was Doom Metal. For us Doom Metal music is the music played by bands like early Black Sabbath Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Memento Mori, Cathedral and Trouble. Of course music evolves and there’s always new music and new genres created. Stoner Doom, Death Doom, Funeral Doom and so on… are simply sub/genres of Doom Metal. It’s not a matter of taste in music, we totally respect the effort all the bands put into music, it’s just a matter of restoring the genre of Doom Metal. So overall we are not worried about it. We are on the right path.


Soon you will hit the stage for your very first live show. Can you give us some information about this? When and where? Are you plan to have the album out by then?

We are very excited to finally hit the stage for the first time and we are glad this will be on a festival such as “Underworld Rises Festival Vol. II”. where a larger audience will have the chance to see us! The venue will be at Bethlehem Bastion in Heraklion Crete, our hometown and we could not think of a better place to start playing live, given the fact that the location is monumentally  epic, as the festival is been conducted within the Venetian fortification walls of the city! We will present all the songs from our debut album “The End is Written” plus some covers. We are not sure if our album will be released until then, but we sure hope so. To our fans we’d like to say that we are going to rock that stage! It’s going to be legendary!

I read that you are planning to include some covers on your setlist? Would this be some kind of a tribute to the bands that have inspired you? Any names or song titles?


We will probably include one or two covers in our setlist. Yeah, you can say, it will be a small tribute to bands that we like and it will surely be fun performing these covers live. We hope the audience will appreciate it. We can’t give you the names… sorry, it will spoil all the fun of waiting…

One more encyclopedic question before the end: Are the band members involved on any other bands or projects now? In the past? A special sub question for Minas. Can you give us some info about the great reflection's Revert. Are they gone for good or there is still hope for them to release something?

Well, surely all Doomocracy band members have had the experience of playing with other bands in the past. Some of us had even worked together on some projects. Minas is playing the drums as a full time job for some years now but his musical focus lies on  Doomocracy!
(Minas): Reflection’s Revert was in deed one of the best things that happened to me musically and had a great time playing together for some years. As you know we had released two demos and we where at the first steps of recording a full length album of 9 original compositions that was kinda’ work of lifetime for us back then.  Still this didn’t prosper due to unprofessional behavior of our bass player at that time and had as result to cancel the studio booking… Many years have gone since then and the band is deeply inactive. It really was our dream to fulfill the completion of the album but the circumstances have changed gravely although that dream lives in the very back of our heads… I guess nobody knows…one day perhaps… 

What the future would bring for Doomocracy?

Doomocracy have made clear in our private discussions from the very first moment, that we want to make sturdy, well thought and not hasty plans for the future.  Therefore, we decided to go for a full length album at once to make the most impact! We choose our moves very carefully in terms of promotion, communication and performing live.  Our forthcoming plans include signing with a record label and promoting our album “The End is Written”, performing live and make our music heard widely! A Vinyl release of our album is in the agenda as well! We’re always looking for opportunities to perform abroad and make impact for the Greek metal scene. We are all good friends with each other and we believe we have great musical chemistry when it comes to making music and that belief will carry Doomocracy through the years and through many more great things to come…

That was it. The final words belong to you. Thanks for the music, you are one of the greatest band I heard recently, totally on my taste.

We deeply want to thank Forgotten Scroll for the good and encouraging words and for having us! Many compliments on your work with the fanzine and for the mostly interesting interview! We sincerely had a great time answering your questions!  Best wishes with all you do and we hope to we see you in one of our gigs! Doomed by DOOMOCRACY!

Chris Papadakis

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