CALYCES – hier spricht der Gitarrist

CALYCES Albumcover - Impulse to soar - Beitragsbild

CALYCES – hier spricht der Gitarrist

Wir haben euch neulich hier das Debüt der griechischen Formation CALYCES vorgestellt. Was lag also näher, einmal ein paar Fragen zum Release und zur Band zu stellen. Wir freuen uns, dass sich Gitarrist Giannis Golfis die Zeit genommen hat, uns Rede und Antwort zu stehen.

Hi there. My name is Amir (I’m a drummer myself). I am one of the founders of metal-heads.de, the music magazine for fans of the heavy side of music. I’m pleased to be able to ask you some questions today to get more background regarding your band and latest material. Our attitude is: Distortion is our passion! So anything goes, using an electric guitar. For sure, you guys you fit in that category with CALYCES…Hahaha! I thank you in advance for the chance to do this interview. My review will be up on our homepage on 24.11.2020 (it´s in German though).

So I wanted to give the people out there chance, to learn more about your band and music. Although I am in contact with music so much, it took until November 2020 to hear about the existance of your band. And when I listenend to the songs, I thought, it was about time to speak about the music and everything around the band!

CALYCES – hier spricht der Gitarrist

MH: here in our magazine we feature bands from all over the world. Today we focus on Greece. So we all need to get some insight about how easy or hard it is to play your kind of music in your home country!? My review informs about the music, but I wanna get a closer look. Can you please tell us, how you started the band and who’s idea it was.

GG: First of all, greetings from Athens, Greece and I hope you’re doing well. CALYCES started as a project of Manthos Stergiou (vocals/guitar) that he actually wrote nearly the whole album by himself as he wanted to do something new and fresh after his last band, TARDIVE DYSKINESIA. We knew each other from gigs and festivals, but we never played together, as he was searching and recruiting members so that project could become a band. We talked about it and eventually became members of the band, Alexis (drums), Stelios (bass) and me, Giannis (guitar).

The metal scene in Greece is not huge, but I guess it’s strong, because there are lots of bands, in ratio with the population of our country. And some of these bands actually put tremendous effort and work into the music, even though it’s not their full time jobs, or even pay the bills. So in conclusion, it’s not that easy to play this kind of music here, but it’s not impossible. You just have to keep on playing and eventually the local audience will get to know you.

MH: is this your first effort as musicians, or have you played in other bands before? Would any musician „from outside“ get a chance at all to be part of your band?

GG: Well I guess this ship is already packed, so at the moment I don’t think, that someone could join the band – hahaha. It’s not our first effort as musicians, we all played in different bands or projects and some of us still are. Manthos also plays in LUNATIC MEDLAR, Alexis in INSECT RADIO, Stelios in ROLLING FELLOWS and I play in REVENGE OF THE GIANT FACE.

Music from Greece: CALYCES

CALYCES Albumcover - Impulse to soar

MH: I don’t know, if you like to categorize or to be categorized. But could you please – to give our readers an idea of what you sound like – find a description of your style of music. I think I found progressive elements and stuff, that I’d put in the grunge section! Do you agree?

Is it really grunge we hear there?

GG: Yes, you can definitely hear elements of grunge in our music, but in kinda short title I’d say we play progressive metal-rock with elements of 70’s prog rock and early 00’s progressive metal. It’s kind all over the place, but that’s the beauty of it!

MH: How would you describe your main influences as a band? Who decides about what style is included in your compositions finally?

GG: Mainly Manthos was in that role, because the album was his baby, but everyone brings something to the table and we work on it. Our main influences are MASTODON, THE OCEAN, INTRONAUT, BARONESS, TORCHE, KING CRIMSON, RUSH, GOJIRA and MESHUGGAH.

MH: Music goes through changes all the time. Things are added, others return or are never gone. That makes it interesting to me. But also I like bands that have somewhat of a unique sound instead of people saying „They sound like…“. What is your opinion and do you think you have that „special sound“?

What makes up a successful band?

GG: Well, that’s what I call a successful band, the one that has found their unique sound and you can recognize them within the first 5 seconds. I think that’s the main goal here, to create something your own. I always give the same example in this kind of question, think of MESHUGGAH and PERIPHERY. MESHUGGAH has existed since 1987 (catch 33, pun intended) and PERIPHERY since 2005. MESHUGGAH didn’t really hit global recognition until 2008 with the LP „Obzen“. It’s not that their previous material wasn’t good enough, but 2008 was the right time, if you get what I mean.

PERIPHERY were globally recognized in 2009-2010 with their first LP. There are lots of great bands in the modern progressive metal and in the djent genre, but i think it’s ditto, everyone is trying to copy their sound and song structure, some with great success, some others not so well, but at the end of the day, if you’re a band that is categorized in the „they sound like“ basket, you got to do something differently if you want the spotlight.

MH: to me, metal music should be hard/heavy on the one side, but also have enough melody included. I can find this in your material! What do you think is important to include?

Is melody important? Whatever feels right…

GG: I think it’s a matter of taste. There’s no way of doing things right, you just gotta do what you feel it’s right. I mean I enjoy so much to listen to BARONESS as an example, that as the years go by the become softer and softer, but their material
is so good! On the other hand, I love to listen to bands like POWER TRIP, NAILS, ROTTEN SOUND. They are not so popular for their melodic structure on their songs, but they’re freaking power houses all of them with heavy hitting riffs. So as I said, I think it’s a matter of taste and you should trust your instinct. If something you listen to makes you feel good, then keep on listening.

CALYCES Promophoto Band 02

MH: I bet, the band doesn’t bring in enough money to pay the bills, right!? So what do you guys do as a dayjob to stay alive?
In combination with that, I’d be interested to know, what the longterm goals are, that you wanna achieve with your music/the band?

No big money yet…

GG: You placed your bet right mate, hahaha. No, unfortunately we can’t actually pay our bills from CALYCES, so we do have our regular day (or night) jobs. Manthos works as a graphic designer, Alexis is a drum teacher, Stelios is a carpenter and I’m a bartender. Since the whole planet is a shit hole right now, we don’t have really long term goals, we just want to play our music live in front of people, make another album and we’ll see, where we’re heading, but we’re ambitious and someday maybe we could tour around the EU to start.

MH: regarding playing live…what musicians would you love to share the stage with and/or what band would you like to tour with and why?

On tour with MASTODON and MESHUGGAH

GG: Oh man, this is such a personal question, because we have different tastes but i’ll try to speak for the four of us -hahaha! I think a proper tour with MESHUGGAH or MASTODON would be a dream coming true for all of us. 

MH: regarding playing live – festival, club gig or big venue? There are various kinds of gigs to play for a band to play. Small sweaty club gigs, big venues. Or even stadiums and then these 3-day-festivals in front of 50.000 to 120.000 people. What kind of performances do you prefer and why? 

Sweaty clubs or festivals gigs?

GG: I think that every possibility has it’s good and not so great things. Since nobody of us have yet experienced the feeling to play in front of 50k or 100k people, I think that would make us sweat a lot. But in the other hand in these fests you get to play up to 20 mins. And let’s be realistic, in a fest like these, most of the people wait for the main acts, or the established ones, so maybe they would go to get a couple of pints, while you’re playing and that sucks.

Big venues are great, you have a big stage, good PA system. And I think, playing a sold out show in a venue with capacity around 2000 people is the best you can get. But the club gigs or smaller venues are so much fun, because you’re really close to the crowd and I don’t know, it just makes me feel happy to be close.

A possible tour in Germany…CALYCES

MH: are there any plans for some touring maybe even in Germany or the Netherlands after this worldwide corona-crisis is over some day? I mean, all being save and the conditions regarding „the virus“ under control.

GG: Well, we haven’t planned a tour yet because of the pandemic. But Germany and Netherlands are a big yes when we manage to organize a tour!

MH: what were your plans for CALYCES, when you recorded the material of your debut album, regarding the future? Are these plans still alive in this worldwide pandemic? How long did it take you to get all the songs together? Did you have to leave some music away?

Corona changes all your plans!

GG: Our plans were to play some shows in Greece and eventually play some in the EU, to promote our debut album. But for now we’re jamming some new riffs. And getting ready to compose new songs, making some playthrough videos and we’re waiting for this pandemic to be over. It took us nearly 2 years for the whole process. That is to learn the songs, make the final structures, practice them again and again, record, mix-master and finally release them.

MH: I’ve nothing against instrumental songs at all. But to me, it’s quite a challenge to leave away the vocals and still compose a long song. I think „Uneven loops“ is ok, but in some parts it’s to long for me and it could maybe have been more focussed. What are – for you – the reasons to create an instrumental song, where do you see advantages and struggles?

Pros and cons regarding instrumental tracks

GG: I completely understand where you’re coming from. And I think there are advantages and struggles to make an instrumental song, yet to be an instrumental band. Basically I think that if you don’t have vocals in your band, you have to always treat the listener with something different in a short period of time. That could be a more technical riff, or a great drum roll, or a great soundscape that has lots of vibes, or some synths, or whatever you can imagine.

Your music doesn’t have the „distraction“ of a voice, so you have to focus more on your musical instrument. On the other hand I think, a great vocal line could save a basic riff and make it go over the top. For us the only reason we made „Uneven Loops“ instrumental, was the trust in our guts, we just felt that it could stand instrumentally.

MH: the final words is always to our interview partners. Here YOU get the chance to tell the people out there something,
that you think is important. Regarding music in general, the latest album or whatever. So, here we go… 

GG: BUY OUR SHIT! No, I’m just kidding of course! That’s the worst kind of promo, keep yourself and your loved ones safe in these weird times we’re living. Try to keep having a positive mood, by doing what you love the most, listen to new music, play some songs if you play an instrument. Spend more time with people you care about now, that everything has slowed down. And maybe if you have the time, give a spin on our debut album, „Impulse to soar“.

Checkt „Impulse to soar“ von CALYCES aus!

CALYCES Promophoto Band 01


MH: thanx for sharing your time and all the info. I wish you all the best with the album and the future efforts. Also I hope to see you perform live on stage at some point. I really miss concerts in general and especially I wanna see some of the great bands, I recently discovered on CD!!

GG: Thank you for your kind words, the questions and your wishes. We hope to meet you at some point in the future. Stay safe and keep doing great stuff with your magazine! Take care!

Hier findet ihr mehr Infos zur Band.

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Bildquellen

  • CALYCES Albumcover – Impulse to soar: Matt @ HOLD TIGHT PR
  • CALYCES Promophoto Band 02: Matt @ HOLD TIGHT PR
  • CALYCES Promophoto Band 01: Matt @ HOLD TIGHT PR
  • CALYCES Albumcover – Impulse to soar – Beitragsbild: Matt @ HOLD TIGHT PR

Doc Rock

Meine erste Metal-Platte liegt lange zurück: LIVE AFTER DEATH von IRON MAIDEN war´s. Ansonsten fühle ich mich in der Progressive Metal-Ecke wohl!

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