If there ever was a classic Greek heavy metal band, NORTHWIND are pretenders to that throne. Now back with a new album a chat was in hand. Anders Ekdahl ©2020
You guys released in album in 1982, a follow up in 1987 and then you went on a hiatus. What happened, because you guys were the hottest thing in Greek heavy metal back then? >
-First of all thank you for your time and interest. After the recordings of our 2nd album “Mythology” we started playing as many gigs as possible to promote it. We had already signed with EMI and that was a huge deal for a hard rock/ heavy metal band from Greece back in the 80’s . It was our time so we took our chances and we went to London with an unexpected deal for recording sessions at Metropolis studios, but things finally didn’t worked out the way we wanted to and that’s why Northwind stayed on ice for so many years. But guess what? We are back and that’s what really matters to us right now.
33 years after your last album we get a new one. Was it hard to find the same kinda vibe you had back in the 1980s for this new album? Was it even required to find that same spirit for this new album?
-It came out naturally ,there’s no formula for these things .I took my guitar again in my hands and I realized that it was everything there after all those years.Then Thanasis , Theodoros and Dimos came in, (Panos came after the recordings) and trust me the feeling was better than ever. After our first gig we were pretty sure that we have something great here. Don’t forget once a rocker always a rocker.
What fascinates me is how you can still come up with new combinations of chords to make new songs and sounds that have not been heard before. What is it that fascinates you into coming up with new songs and albums?
-I’m glad to hear that because we all know there are so many different bands out there and so much music that it’s quite impossible to write or create something new and unique. Trust me it’s really hard so it makes me happy when people see it that way. What fascinates me? I think the joy of freedom that creation gives you fascinates me the most.
When you write songs about the topics you do what kind of reactions do you get? How important is it to have a message in your lyrics? What kind of topics do each song deal with? Is there a red thread to the songs?
-I’m not sure how people react . I guess everyone has a different reaction and that’s logical. I think that the interpretation of any lyrics is something personal and sometimes for some people there’s a whole different meaning behind the words. Talking about “HISTORY” album well I think there are no hidden messages or special meanings .We did exactly the same thing we did on “MYTHOLOGY” album . We are talking about historical events and personalities and what I expect from people is to get motivated to learn more about their past and through this process to become better people so I wouldn’t say that there is a red thread to the songs.
How did you go about choosing art work for this new album? What was important to have in it?
-We were looking for something that could actually stand for the title of the album and the whole history concept.We have this song talking about Diogenes “The Dog” one of the very first rockers in my opinion considering his way of life and during our research we saw this painting of him and that was it.It has the sense of a history book cover so it worked really great for the album and the concept.
Something that scares me a bit is this I hear from more and more bands that they aren’t that bothered with art work anymore because people today download rather than buy physical. To me the whole point is to have art work that matches the music. I don’t know how many times I’ve been disappointed by weak art work to an otherwise cool album. What’s your opinion on this subject?
-I do understand what you’re saying and it bothers me also many times. But luckily the very last years vinyl came back ,CD format is still out there and despite the fact that many people do prefer to download music, at the same time more and more people do realize the difference and they prefer to buy vinyls or CD’s to support the bands. It’s really important to have an art work that matches perfectly with the music and the concept of the album and this is also a main reason why some albums over the years became all-time classics. A great album cover can easily become a band’s trademark and that’s one of the reasons that makes album covers so important.
How do you come up with song titles? What do they have to have to fit the songs?
-In “HISORY” album it wasn’t that difficult because we are talking about historical events and personalities so it was more than easy to come up with the song titles.
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-It’s already different, the whole music industry is different. You have to go with the flow and to tell you the truth I never lost my faith to the humanity , not so easily. It’s just a big wheel that keeps on turning and music proved that no matter the world is changing there is always light at the end of the tunnel my friend. Optimism is the world I guess.
How much of a live band are you? How important is playing live?
-Live is life, there’s no other way to explain it. It’s your oxygen, your drug, the reason why you wanna stay alive.
What lies in the future?
-We hope to get out of this strange situation really soon so we can get back to work. We must re-schedule our release shows here in Greece and hopefully from 2021 we’ll be able to play in other countries as well. Meanwhile this is a great opportunity for us to see some new ideas for the next album and believe me it won’t take 33 more years.