Having grown up with what is now described as traditional heavy metal I always have place in my metal heart for bands like PALADINE. Answers by Chris Stergianidis. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
A band sets the tone for the band. With the right name you don’t really need any sort of declaration of intent. Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
-Initially, we came up with the name “Midwinter Flame” for the band. But we decided to change this name because it was too long and it did not sound, let’s say, “clear” enough. The name “Paladine” was in front of our eyes. I mean that it is actually the title of a song taken from our debut album and it is also the first track ever recorded. It sounds nice and it is related with album’s concept as well. In the context of the album’s concept, Paladine is the God of virtue and justice. We are very pleased with this name.
Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have? Who are your house Gods and how have they coloured your music?
-All classic and epic heavy metal bands of the 80s and 90s are the founding stones of our sound. We do not play like a single particular band but I would prefer to say that our sound is a combination of all these bands that we have grown up with. We keep the feeling of those past years, but we are having a modern sound at the same time. Some of the bands that we honor most through our music are Heaven’s Gate, Savatage, Manowar and Judas Priest.
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-When we play slow, we are able to pay attention to details, which normally as a band we would not pay much attention to. These details have to do with arrangement of the songs, phrasing, proper structure and sound. It is similar to individual practice, but in this case the difference is that we practice all together. When working on music in a professional manner, you should consider a rule that says that you should practice slowly in order to let both yourself and your brain develop your playing. Sometimes, in art these two factors, i.e. your brain and yourself, become inconsistent for some reason.
Playing live is a totally different beast to studio work. How does your music work in a live environment?
-I will answer using sport as an analogy. In general, sport has a lot in common with art. There is a rule that says: “Train like the way you will play because the time will come when you will play like the way you have trained.” This rule applies to art as well. So, you try to reproduce similar conditions during practice in order to achieve the best possible result during a live show. There are things in art, just like in sport, which can’t be reproduced 100% during practice, for example, having tension before hitting the stage. But the more you are prepared, the better you will deal with it.
How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? Are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans?
-Having a label is very important. Yes, you can release your music on the Internet, but this is not enough. The label can give you some other different privileges such as, distribution of the album, contacts for interviews and live shows plus in general, helpful tips about the various aspects concerning the band. Professionals working in the music business certainly have better ideas and more knowledge than myself.
I get the feeling that fans that are true to a band, is a lost thing with the easy access to music these days. Do you feel that this is a bad thing or are there any positive aspects of it at all?
-I believe that easy access to music is not that bad, especially for new, up-and-coming bands. Easy access to music means that fans are exposed to much more music. A true fan will buy the CD, vinyl or even the cassette, support the band by attending a live show and by learning news about the band regardless of how easily accessible music is. It gives the band the chance to receive feedback from all around the globe and earn new fans. I think this is very positive for both the bands and the fans. I believe that we must not take steps backwards in life, but rather we should always consider the future. Easy access to music is the future.
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-Nice question indeed. Personally, I want the front cover of an album to identify somehow the ideas and the subject matters on which the album is based on. I don’t like the front cover to be something totally irrelevant to the climate of the album and its atmosphere. As far as the artistic style is concerned, I love paintings and non-digital covers. Paintings give a somewhat romantic and true feeling, especially in Epic Metal.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?
-I feel that Paladine is indeed a part of the Hellenic scene. Actually, all bands are a part of that scene. Some are a bigger part while others are a smaller part. We will try to do our best. Metal music in our country has made huge steps in recent years. High-quality productions are being done. There are very good musicians with a lot of musical knowledge and with great albums and songs. The level of Hellenic bands is as good as the level of big international bands. This comes as a result of the great work done by all of them despite the critical times our country is currently going through.
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?
-I don’t worry because I truly believe that only the CD format is dying. On the other hand, vinyl is having a resurgence. Actually, the digital sound on a physical copy is dying. I mean that there is no point in listening to digital music through a physical copy (CD) since it is actually the same as listening to digital music through an Internet platform (Spotify, Deezer). I don’t fear at all because the analog format is on the rise again and I really like the fact that fans and music lovers have to turned to this format.
What lies in the future?
-Paladine is going to do some live presentation shows of “Finding Solace” and early in 2018 we will start writing our new album for which we already have great ideas. Paladine will try to do their best to keep the flame burning and contribute to this massive scene called Heavy Metal music. We would like to thank battlehelm.com and all its readers for this interview. Greetings from Greece!