(The interview originally appeared in the fanzine HORIS KANONA [“Without A Rule”; the name is taken from an En Plo lyric]. Weblink: http://www.geocities.com/punks_gr/adieksodointerframes.htm . Translated from greek by automaton 3. A “[ ]” signifies a translator’s addition to the original text.)
“Ta Kelia Tis Odou Mesogeion [The Cells at Mesogeion St.]” [a track about being jailed in the police HQ at Mesogeion St. & awaiting trial] sounds autobiographical. What impressions has that whole incident left you with?
I wouldn’t like to dwell on the story per se – it’s not important anymore, anyway – but on the track’s timeless truthfulness. “Ta Kelia Tis Odou Mesogeion” are, on one hand, based on a rough personal story, in reality, though, it was an excuse to stigmatize a situation which was, after all, common among the people of “the scene” [the term “the scene” is used throughout the interview to collectively denote the people active in the anarchist/anarchopunk movement of the time] at the time it was penned, & I believe that this same situation will always be [common among people fighting] against any status quo (the flavor, shape, & color of the status quo are unimportant). The impression I’m left with is that, despite the democratic front that society wants to put up, [society] simply is a democracy of yessirs, & the dissidents will always have to face the same, possible beautified (& that’s even worse), fascist reaction when they claim their right to differ.
To family. You’re not referring to the establishment in particularly flattering words [to say the least…]. You now have [your own] family. Have your views changed significantly since that time?
Having given birth to a child with the person you love, & having chosen to live with them is a far distance off the meaning we usually attribute to the establishment. Seeing a person grow up free is magic, & being part of the process of life is a very big challenge. I’m still against family in its usual meaning, that is, against family that’s formed not by choice, but as [a means to fulfill] a social need or to put the lid on the parents’ insecurities.
The only record you ever released (“38mm”), on 1986, is one of the most rare records of the scene. How many copies were pressed? Was action taken towards rereleasing it?
The record was pressed in approx. 800 copies, many of which went abroad (mostly to Finland, where the band strangely had fans). As far as I know, there is action taken towards rereleasing all of Enigma Records’ important releases.
Your lineup never changed dramatically. When was the last time you got in touch with, or, to put it differently, what are your relations like today with the others that played in the band?
First off, the times that the lineup changed were not that few. The first lineup was: Dimitris Spyropoulos – guitar, Sotiris Theoharis – vox, lyrics, Stathis Papandreou – drums, Mimis Alimprantis – bass. Maria Vasilaki (14 years old at the time) replaced Mimis Alimprantis (who became a sailor & fell out of touch from then on). Then Papandreou left & Yannis Venardis took his place. When Maria Vasilaki left (she’s currently playing with Despise & we haven’t been in touch for years) her position was filled by Nikos Zoumperis. The place of Zoumperis (with whom I haven’t been in touch for years, either) was taken by Nikos Charalampopoulos, in the band’s last & longest lasting lineup. When the band split, I found myself in Stahtes, Dimitris Spyropoulos formed Deus Ex Machina [punk band, the 1991 debut of which brings to mind such bands as Kafka Prosess and So Much Hate. They released their third full-length in 2003 – with Y. Venardis on drums – which contains more stoner-oriented tracks,] which Nikos Charalampopoulos also joined later, & Yannis Venardis left for America & later joined Lefki Symfonia [singular & mesmerizing new wavy band with greek lyrics]. With Yannis Venardis & Dimitris Spyropoulos, we get in touch from time to time. I think, though, that, despite the difficulties in keeping in touch, [which are] due to each one’s routine, we’re joined by moments that can hardly be erased from our memory.
An inevitable question concerns your relations with Genia Tou Chaous [Chaos Generation].
Genia Tou Chaous are doubtlessly one of the most important bands of that time. Despite the rumors about an antagonism between [them &] us that were doing the rounds, the truth is entirely different, & in fact the kids of Genia Tou Chaous were of great help to us when we started out. I would say, in fact, that we are “sister” bands, given that we were playing nearly all shows jointly, & that we put out the first essentially punk release (the split tape produced by Art Nouveau [titled “Genia Tou Chaous & Adiexodo wish you bon appetit,” released in 1984]). I also want to point out that, in contrast to other bands of “the scene,” Adiexodo & Genia Tou Chaous were among the few bands of “the scene” the members of which were actively, & if you like “activistically,” involved in most of that time’s incidents (squats, reaction to ” Epichirisi Areti [Operation Virtue; an infamous clean-up operation orchestrated in 1986 by the then “socialist” government to repress punk hangouts & terrorize punks in Athens],” marches against Jean-Marie Le Pen etc.), & also that none of these bands ever missed a concert organized to pledge solidarity or express dissent, & this shows, at least, an ideological parallelism [between them].
When, exactly, did you split up, & which would you consider as the most important reason(s) for it?
The band split up in late 1986. The last live show was at the Kallithea Municipal Theater, a truly incidental show. The excuse for splitting up was Yannis Venardis’ departure, who would be leaving for America. The real reason, though, was that after the band’s adventurous, three-year-long trajectory (1983-1986) & the release of the record, we felt (Dimitris Spyropoulos & I, who also comprised the band’s core) that we had nothing else of importance to say through this format, & that, if we kept on, we’d be meaninglessly repeating the same thing. Today I realize that it was a sincere, honest, & correct decision.
Your note in the split tape with Genia Tou Chaous is utterly pessimistic, verging on nihilism. How distant does, eventually, the “gallows” – that seemed a solution at the time – seem to you nowdays?
The gallows is still there waiting. As long as I can express myself through creation, quest, & evolution, & for as long as the teenager is still alive in me, the gallows will be waiting (& it will be waiting for much longer, bastards). I’m stubbornly denying to mature, & the gallows will always be reminding me that maturity is the prologue to decay & spiritual death. I’m not afraid of a gallows of any sort, as a matter of fact, as a solution to keeping my dreams real.
The press, to hear me say it at least, hardly bothered about you, despite your popularity among a then-hatching “alternative” crowd. What are the reasons for that? (Maybe you stayed away from the usual kissass practices?)
The press? What press? If you’re referring to the miscellaneous lackeys of the time, they, for one, had all kinds of “alternative” bigmouths, “high dudes,” & those spoiled by the miscellaneous “buddies” (producers, friends in editorial positions in the mag, etc.) to fuss over. Adiexodo never approached anyone, because they were saying what they had to say from onstage and through the vinyl. It’s also important to mention that Enigma Records never kissed anyone’s ass, either, & therefore nobody in the music press had anything to gain from its bands. Adiexodo were not, after all, particularly esteemed in the scene of the “cultured,” who were looking for ways to fulfill their own vanity of “discovery” through reviews and interviews. To them, Adiexodo were a “common folk” band, which didn’t fit their “elitist” and “refined” taste. At the end of it, we’re lucky they never put us in their tabloids.
What are your views on Deus Ex Machina, & especially given the participation of the ex-Adiexodo guitarist (mainly) & the bass player?
Deus Ex Machina are one of the best bands of the “alternative,” english-versed scene in Greece, according to my opinion. Despite the participation of the ex-Adiexodo members, they have their own, personal sound, & that shows the musical evolution of these persons, as well as the permanent residency of inspiration [in them]. Any objections that I might have concern the language, but this is a purely subjective issue. I’d rather that they used greek verse, but this is something that I also wish for every other greek band.
Moving on to you, your participation in Spyridoula [the legendary band of Pavlos Sidiropoulos, which kept performing even after his death; definitely not punk sound-wise] surprised [many people], obviously because of stylistic differences (to put it that way). What do you have to say on that, & also on a new band that’s being put together?
My participation in Spyridoula (as a singer & lyricist) was a very interesting collaboration & an interesting challenge. The kids & I alike tried to approach two different eras of greek rock & find common expressive ways, breaching a convention that was imposing taboos & borders where, in my opinion, there should never be any. Music is a universal medium of communication, & rock’s force, especially, is based on doubting & overthrowing whatever boundaries might exist. I consider that the “experiment” worked out well, in this manner at least, but the collaboration couldn’t be long-term, because Spyridoula is the oldest still-active rock band in Greece & has a certain trajectory that it must follow. As for the new band Oi Agioi [The Saints] that’s now being formed, its core is comprised of me & Dionysis Stefanopoulos (Stained Veil [new/dark-wave band with one LP (1986) on the short-lived Smash Records], Yell-O-Yell [legendary new/dark-wave band with two LPs & a 7″ on the first greek indie label, Creep Records, & one more LP (their last (1986)) on Smash Records], Spyridoula) & it will be soon on stage.
Getting back to the record, “38mm” is its most ravenous track [the track screams for revenge for the execution in cold blood of 15 year old Michalis Kaltezas by the riot pig Melistas on 11/17/85]. What are your feelings today towards that story with Kaltezas?
The exact same revulsion & disgust that I felt that night. There are things that get imprinted & stay inside us forever, undiminished.
From what you can recall, did all of you, as band members, listen to the same things more or less? Has what you listen to changed considerably in the process of time?
Not the same, but we all had similar influences & open ears, & that had a particularly positive influence on the band, because that’s how our personal & characteristic sound was created. My influences became broader with new ones added with the passage of time, given that I never treated music in a racist way & that music is always evolving. Despite that, I think that some of my influences were never gotten over (Sex Pistols, Joy Division et al). Anyhow, I consider Smashing Pumpkins to be exceptional among the new bands.
Personally, the enmity between anarchists & communists seems paradoxical & maybe even ludicrous to me. That is, if we assume that, despite the partial ideological differences, the enemy is common. What’s your position on this issue?
The enemy is common on one hand, but, on the other, I’m afraid that it frequently is our own self. Unfortunately, it seems that what’s more important to some people is to belong somewhere, than where they eventually belong. Personally, I believe in no titles of any sort & in no hue (I mean political), there’s no need to encage our thinking & our dreams in a “barn,” & most importantly, nobody has a need for labels & “certificates of activism.” At any rate, before we fight the “common enemy”, we will first have to fight the tiny fascist lurking inside us.
Back then, a punk was certainly more prone to finger-pointing than today. How did you feel about that? Maybe as the lyrics in “Apomonosi [Isolation]” describe?
I was feeling comfortable enough with my appearance because it was my choice, I consciously wanted to maintain my right to differ & to provoke. What the lyrics describe doesn’t have as much to do with appearance, as with the differentiation from the socially & politically acceptable ideas. Marginalization & isolation don’t happen because of appearance (& this becomes evident today that all dressing codes are acceptable as fashion), but what really stings is disobedience to the system’s mandates, & mostly doubt.
Besides Athens, do you recall live shows of yours in other places? Generally speaking, what are your most intense recollections from all the shows you played?
Adiexodo played in every town they got invited to, keeping in mind, naturally, that punk bands were not welcome at any show of that time. Thus, I remember that we played in Patra, Agrinio, Megara, & other cities. Unfortunately, we never played in Thessaloniki – where there were many fans of the band – when we had the chance, because of an unfortunate event (our drummer, Yannis, broke his leg in a fight with some skins). The best show was definitely that in the Technological Institute of Patra, where we played with Stress & Anti, & the most important show that in the University of Athens against “Epichirisi Areti” (over 7,000 persons) [the University was squatted at the time,] where nearly all of the Athenian punk bands participated. Personally, though, I’ll never forget our last show in Kallithea.
Inverting the order usually followed in an interview, could you, after all these questions, give a short description of how you met for the first time & of who had the idea for the name you adopted?
Dimitris Spyropoulos & I met accidentally at Dragon fly (a legendary hang out of that time) towards the end of 1983, & we were both looking for people to form a band. The guys from Genia Tou Chaous, who were acquaintances of both of us (before Genia Tou Chaous, Aris Lampridis, who later became Genia Tou Chaous’s drummer , & Costas Hatzopoulos, who later became Genia Tou Chaous’s guitarist, and I had tried to form a band) introduced us to Stathis Papandreou, & we met Mimis Alimprantis on the way. The first rehearsal, in fact, took place in Thodoris Iliakopoulos’ [Genia Tou Chaous’ lyricist & vocalist] place, where Genia Tou Chaous was rehearsing at the time, & the first live appearance took place in Agia Paraskevi, at the Anemoni movie theater, together with Genia Tou Chaous. The name is my idea, but it was immediately adopted by everyone, because it expressed us all.
As far as I know, “Ypocoultoura (Subculture)” is your favorite track. At the long end, was the hate & contempt for all sorts of “specialists” & “intellectuals” of this faceless system an important driving force behind the band? How do you feel today with all that TV bullshit, ranging from political analyses to reality shows?
I never had any trouble with something being “intellectual” or someone being a “specialist,” yet I always was & still am repelled by all sorts of “fakes,” who are trying to convince us that we are “common mortals” in comparison to them, & that we are complete morons, while they’ve seen it all & know it all. Specialization & the intellectual are not ways to exhibit our “know-it-all” mentality, nor a way to make “ignorant people” pay for our complexes. It’s exactly for those “know-it-all”, the “I think deep”, & the “I’m doing art” types that the track was written, which is indeed my favorite. As for the TV, I think that we’re not really as idiotic as its level seems to be, it’s just a junta of a new sort, where the spectator has no right to choose & tolerates this whole “thing.” Talking of which, where did they see “reality” in all these shows? It’s an oxymoron, at any rate, that the state channels be much more interesting today than the supposedly free private ones which are busting balls about the freedom of mass media.
Allow me a personal question: in your life’s third decade, how “young” do you feel & what do you most desire for the future?
Biologically speaking, it’s certain that time acts on us no matter how much we dislike it, the spirit, though, doesn’t grow old if we’re not inert. I feel that I never left puberty (haha, laugh out loud), it’s simply that my life experience grew a lot, & as a result I reevaluated many of my opinions on one hand, but I also felt even more certain on many choices of mine on the other. I sincerely don’t know how young I am, it’s difficult, after all, for one to observe this on themselves as years go by, but I’m striving to keep up with evolution, & I want to believe that I’ll stay “immature” forever. “Maturity” is, after all, very close to decay, as I told you earlier.
As an epilogue, what would the lines for Adiexodo be in your life’s diary?
Dear diary (haha): My best years, the biggest thrills, the truths, the innocence, they all stayed there, at the last show in Kallithea. >From that point on, all will simply be an enlargement & maybe a repetition for me. The first love can never be forgotten. Everything simply stayed there.
You joined Adiexodo at a time when the band had already left a certain trail behind. Were you stressed out at all as the “newbie”? Did you feel equal to the others?
My only anxiety then was that I wasn’t a bass player, & I didn’t know how to play the bass at all. Dimitris invited me over, as we were also childhood friends. Sotiris & Yannis liked the idea, & they helped me in their own way to learn & stay in the band. As to [feeling] equal, sure, since there’s no leader in a punk band, & based on that principle we continued as Deus Ex Machina later on.
In Deus Ex Machina you were the voice, while in Adiexodo you were playing the bass. How did you fare as a bass player?
In the beginning, awfully. Yannis, an awesome drummer since then already, had demands that I, irrelevant as I was, couldn’t meet. With time though, I did better. At the best point, we broke up. I learned what a rhythm section is [through working] with him.
Can you recall anything from the (last) show of Adiexodo in Kallithea?
I just can’t remember whether the last show was that of Kallithea. Sotiris remembers better. I think that it was in Rodeo club with Panx Romana & X-Mandarina Duck. That of Kallithea, nevertheless, was the most characteristic of the era. Tremendous energy, from both the band & the audience. Imagine that the organizers cut off the power on us twice, because they thought that the people who were dancing were actually fighting. Incidents, stage [diving], havoc. I think that shows like those of that time never happened again. Pure adolescent energy.
In the long run, why the break up?
The band broke up because it’d said what it had to say. It was, I think, the most honest thing that could happen, that is, to end as purely & honestly as it started. Back then, it was harder to go on playing. Neither technical support, nor places existed, but there was an abundance of the desire to have a good time, which is the most basic. It’s fortunate that Enigma Records was around to put some records out & thus all these things were documented.
Tell us a few things about joining Deus Ex Machina.
After Adiexodo, Dimitris went to the army [the military service in the greek army is mandatory for men to this day]. During all that time, Dimitris & I were discussing forming a new band once he was out again. We started out in ’88 with Dimitris on guitar, Yorgos Trevlos (drums), & me (bass-voice). We were still looking for a vocalist, though. Right after, I left for the army & the lineup with Costas Diavolitsis on vocals & Dimitris Manthos on bass appeared. When I was out again, I played with Deus Ex Machina in some shows as second guitar, & when Costas left, I joined as the vocalist. Everything happened so quickly that in a couple of months we got in [the studio] & recorded the “Execute/Iraq ‘N’ Roll” single.
How did the grunge-metal strokes in Deus Ex Machina’s whole style come about in “Worlds Apart” [the band’s second LP]?
I don’t think that it had “grunge-metal strokes,” as you say. Metal elements, yes. That’s how it came out with the addition of Yorgos Michailidis as the second guitar. After all, when one makes music, one doesn’t express music but only soul. That’s how it came out of us, & [that’s how] it was put on record. Simply & we like it.
On the other hand, why is the difference in the sound of “35 Summers” so noticeable?
“35 Summers” is an old track that we’d been playing since the band first met. & its sound is special. It couldn’t come out under a different production. & that, also, came out as it should.
At some point, after the single “No Silence On My Face,” you & Deus Ex Machina split.
The circle was completed, & I had to go so that both Deus Ex Machina & I could move on. It was a strange situation that had to come to an end. & thus, we stayed friends as we’ve always been.
How do Deus Ex Machina seem to you live?
In a word, power. Doubtlessly one of the best bands on stage, as they still are. One can only understand if one shows up at some of their live shows.
As far as I know, you’ve formed a new band.
Right now I’m playing in a band called Tilt, together with Yorgos Makris (ex-Anasa Stahti (Ashen Breath)) on the drums, Yannis Lenis (ex-Odyssey) – guitar, & Andreas – bass.
What did you think of the new Deus Ex Machina EP?
The new Deus Ex Machina [record] resembles “Motorpsycho” [the band’s debut] quite a bit. Both of them are very good, if not even optimal. In my opinion, if “Motorpsycho” had the production level of “Different,” it wouldn’t have stayed within this side of the greek borders.
No matter how hard this might seem, could you compare Adiexodo to Deus Ex Machina?
A comparison’s impossible. They were two separate cases, if you also take into account the role that age plays in each occasion. Different times, after all. Nevertheless, I feel lucky that I participated in these two bands.
It’s being said that an important reason that led to Adiexodo breaking up was your departure to America for studies. Did you think it through before you left, or you didn’t experience the slightest drawback?
Although I’d decided to leave for the US since the fall of ’85, I don’t think that this decision of mine played a crucial role in the band’s break up – in my opinion, the most important reason was the feeling of the members, & maybe mainly of Dimitris & Sotiris, that a cycle had been completed. The general punk phase had started dwindling, as I assume they felt it. All that, without them cutting loose from [certain] persons & situations. But my impression was simply that they had started getting interested in describing more personal[ized] trajectories amidst what was happening. On top of that, they had to join the army a little while after I left, & that, I suppose, would influence things one way or another. As to how I was viewing the whole situation, although Adiexodo marked an unforgettable & one of the most colorful periods of my life, I’d always had the sensation that it was a situation through which I’d do the best I could, & when I’d have felt that the time had come, I’d follow my own path. That’s how I am in my life in general. I’ve observed, though, that when I follow a situation to the very end, things go smoothly most of the times. I simply believe that it’s a matter of some cycles coinciding, as they come full circle, with the important, though, condition that the best possible outcome is constantly sought after at any given time.
Seeing as you participated in both Adiexodo & Genia Tou Chaous, could you point out whether there were any major differences between the two bands (assuming that the similarities are given)?
I’m trying, as much as possible, that my judgement on situations & people be based on how I feel & experience these persons through my personal, human relation to them. All that, as opposed to certain properties or characteristics attributed to these persons through specific demonstrations of action. For example, how one plays a certain kind of music etc.. Consequently, in my book, the differences between Adiexodo & Genia Tou Chaous are focused on their inevitable singularity as persons & on how they view the world in general. Adiexodo started out from a raw, I’d say, period of emancipated passion, with the well-known lyrics of a sociopolitical attitude. Later on, & mostly after I, too, joined the band, a slightly more experimental approach become apparent. This is more evident on such tracks as “Enallaktiki Lysi (Alternative Solution),” “Apathia (Apathy),” & later on on “38mm.” Despite that, Adiexodo always maintained the unpolished & very characteristic sound of Dimitris, while the vocals of Sotiris started alternating, in accordance with the gradual differentiation in the tracks’ texture. As for me, while I put on a heavier beat & increased the intensity of the banging, I kept things a bit tighter, & contributed to the “rounding off” of the more unpolished sound of the first period. On the bass line, we had alterations from the punk yet very smart style of Maria, to the technically more wild & bestial one of Dinos [Zouberis, later of the band Echo Tattoo & currently a DJ], & finally to the operational one of Tsouloufis [i.e., of Nikos Charalampopoulos]. All that, though, pierced through & through with one of my most beloved & most singular features of Adiexodo: a loose & fun-like disposition (well-meant in the utmost degree), that would nearly never get stuck in a rather miserable ideologized perception of everything that was then quite common. Above it all, it was a group of people who were feeling that they had something to say, gathering, making loads of noise, & basically having a good time with one another. There was a therapeutical lightness in the air. Maybe Adiexodo’s biggest virtue was that it never took itself more seriously than it should. Playing with Genia Tou Chaous, I came in contact with a more structured, I’d say, sound & perception. The kids in Genia Tou Chaous were reading books, were broadly interested in the arts, & all that becomes more evident in the second period of the band, if I could call it that. Genia Tou Chaous also went through a more primitive & raw period. During that mostly Jimmakos was on the vocals, while in some tracks that Thodoris [Iliakopoulos] was singing, Aris Lampridis was on the drums. In the beginning of ’85, I took Aris’ place. In general, those tracks that Thodoris was singing were also showing the way that the band would follow later on. A less “traditional” punk sound, strange sounds & melodies, different rhythms, one could discern a refinement verging on the new wave. We see, then, that where Adiexodo & Genia Tou Chaous differed was on their sentimentality & on how that was expressed. In Adiexodo, one would see an apparently dark disposition which, though, could be annihilated through explosions. Genia Tou Chaous were also starting with darkness. They were observing & describing it, though. Genia Tou Chaous were posing questions, while Adiexodo were stating an opinion among the lines of no matter what happens, no matter how shitty everything may become, we’ll be here to “play ball.” I won’t refer to “ideological” differences of the type that this one was a meat-eater, while the other one wasn’t, or that this one plays slow while the other one fast. I’ve always considered such mentalities naive & passed on them. Approaching the same people, one perceives the role that each one of them, separately, wants to play in the world, either isolated or as a team. It is, I believe, to both bands’ honor that each one of them did its best in its own way. They played, they raved, they yelled, they never tricked anyone, & when every one of them considered that they had to move on, but in a different way already, they did so.
What memories has that period of bloom for greek punk left you with, in general? Do you get nostalgic over it every once in a while?
I already mentioned that the period during which I was into the scene (fall ’84-summer ’86) might very well be the most colorful of my life. Let it be mentioned here that I’ve never been a punk. I just liked the people & the scene & I got into it. The majority remembers me as the guy with the [long] hair that played with Adiexodo & then with Genia Tou Chaous. As a person, I never get nostalgic over anything. But I’ll never forget the time when we were playing with Adiexodo in Megara. We’d gone there together with about 60 people. Genia Tou Chaous & Apognosi [Desperation] (their second show) were also playing there. Chaos ruled in the movie theater. Everyone was thrashing about like crazy. We were the first band to play, they were throwing cans at us for the fun of it, they used some fire extinguishers, & someone with a chopper bike – probably a friend of the kids – drives into the movie theater & starts revving up. Everything had drowned into a cloud of foam, dust, & smog. All that while we were playing; in the midst of chaos & havoc, we see a weak ray of purple light coming from above & all the while growing wider, growing wider as if the sky was opening up. We were mystified for a few seconds; the scene was apocalyptic, until the sky opened up completely. In reality, the movie theater had a sliding roof, & the manager cranked it open to save us from asphyxiation. It was, though, a scene that will remain unforgettable to me & to the rest of the kids in Adiexodo. We were probably also the only ones who could see it from our place onstage.
Some claim that that explosive period imploded unspectacularly, referring to a “strange” massive drug trafficking within the scene, dirt cheap drugs that one could find easily. What’s your position on this issue?
I wouldn’t say that that period imploded without a spark. I don’t even believe that it ended. Simply, through its well-defined form in the winter of ’84-’85, up to the first incidents in the School of Chemistry (for those who remember), it reached a climax. After that, I believe, it started transforming. I don’t think that drugs, if any, were responsible for that. Some fell into them to a self-destructive degree, but it’s certainly not honest for one to blame things on external factors and shove aside one’s personal responsibility to one’s self. It’s about choices & everyone suffers their consequences. As to the drugs per se, even from the point of view of marketing (for any merchandise – because it is a merchandise) a well-defined group of people naturally provides a bigger ease in the distribution of any merchandise than isolated persons. I think that the “distribution HQs,” if any, had an understanding of what it was they were doing. Nevertheless, I’d consider talk about an organized plot of distribution to achieve some fictional targets of fission & deterioration an exaggeration. I think that, more than anything else, it was the financial aspect that was in their minds.
You, after some years, went on & still go on [in fact, at this point he’s the drummer of Deus Ex Machina; he appears in their latest album, “Signs”] with Lefki Symfonia [White Symphony]. How does the coexistence with the rest of the guys in the band feel up to this point, & what are the plans for the future?
With the guys of Lefki Symfonia, Thodoris [Dimitriou] & Diogenis [Hadjistefanidis], we’ve been friends since those times. We would often play the same concerts. At a time, in fact, we’d held a practice in Lefki Symfonia’s studio. Thus, it was quite natural that, once I was back from America & since the guys (Lefki Symfonia) were looking for a drummer, they asked me to play with them, which I accepted to do. With the rest of the guys from Adiexodo, our relationship hasn’t changed since then. Our relationship lasts beyond music, & I think that this is how it’s also going to be in the future. In parallel, at this time I’m starting out in a new band, called Zimiaa [who just released their first record, after having recorded a demo], realizing a very old dream of mine. We play what I call electric-psychedelic-junk music. In fact, Dinos Zoumperis (second bass player in Adiexodo) was also playing with us for a while. The same goes for the guys from Genia Tou Chaous, with the sole exception of Akis Amprazis, whom I haven’t seen since ’86; I hope he has a good time in LA, where Thodoris Iliakopoulos recently told me he resides [in fact, at this point he’s back in greece & working as a professional bass player]. In fact, I recently played a show in Agrinio with Louis & Yannis from Stress. The band’s name for that show was Distress. It was very successful, as an incident that jumped out of the past, with about a hundred people moshing for an hour as if they were possessed.
Through this reference, I reach the final question: in the long run, what does the term punk signify for you in this era?
The term punk is, for me at this time already, a vivid & explosive fragment of the past. Punk today would bear a bigger relation to a picturesque situation of folkloric content, rather than to the scream of agony of some people for life. As a term, it has lost its momentum. If one wants to revisit its real meaning, they’ll have to focus on where punk existed as an integrated phase, an autonomous way of expression. That’s why nowdays I don’t talk about punk, simply because there’s no punk movement anymore. It would sadden me to refer to punk simply, in the same way that I refer to any other musical genre, as if I were saying, e.g., jazz-rock. It holds a special place inside me, & I wouldn’t want to debase it like this. Fortunately, though, life goes on. The beautiful thing about life is that it’s identified with motion. Motion brings about changes of manners, transformations of ideas, new impressions. All that under the condition that one always wants to live, to try relentlessly for the best possible [outcome], because one has nothing to lose, nothing better to do. Names & terms change, the essence though doesn’t: never give up!
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