There is nothing like a really great heavy metal album. Greece’s STRIKELIGHT brought a smile or two to my face with their heavy metal. Nikos Papakwstas, guitars answered my questions. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
What is it that is so great about heavy metal that you want to play it and not just listen to it?
-After some years listening to this music, I’ve come to realize that what I used to say (Heavy Metal is a way of life) it’s not enough. It is THE essence of life. The only way to express every single feeling in your heart by just listening to Heavy Metal. When you PLAY IT, it’s even better!
I’m a bit of a word nerd. I like a rally good band name. What was the thought behind choosing Strikelight as the band name?
-Even though I am not responsible for the name, it stands for the strike of “good” against “evil”. The strike of light against darkness.
Are there any benefits to being on smaller label? Has the days of bad distribution been eradicated?
-Personally, I like the idea of being on a small label. It fits with the term “underground” that I think is the most important thing for the survival of Heavy Metal. They have been eradicated, indeed. Here in Greece we can find LPs/CDs from various bands from all over the world.
Would you say that you draw more from the American tradition of heavy metal or the European? What is that sets the two apart?
-Definitely from the European Heavy Metal. I think that the European Heavy Metal has a… raw feeling. I find it difficult to express it in English. The American Heavy Metal is more… polished. And I do not mean the production values. The whole idea. And not only in the 80s. Even now. I love the Nwobhm era.
Heavy metal has never gone away but in the last 5-10 years we?ve seen more and more traditional metal bands burst onto the scene, especially from Sweden. What is your thought on this new generation of bands?
-I do like most of the bands. But some of them are just following the trend. And yes. It has become a trend. A trend in the underground. This and all the “satan/mercyful fate/occult” thing. And the fact that here in Greece we had this burst long before it happened in Sweden, makes me sad and I realize that the Hellenic underground scene was never popular. No one gave attention to the Greeks…
Do you see any danger in heavy metal dying a digital death? What are your thoughts on the whole download v/s physical debate?
-People will always find ways to copy music, listening to it and not pay! The internet, facebook etc helped a lot of bands to become popular. The thing that bothers me is that we have TONS of information. I really do not have the time to listen all the bands that draw my attention. I do listen songs on youtube, I download albums but I buy the albums that I like. I always had a turntable and some people can’t understand that you literally… touch music! You can appreciate way more a band or an album when you have paid for it. No I do not see a digital death. The underground will live forever.
I’m always amazed that a band can manage to deliver an album. What part of the process do you like the most; writing, recording or seeing the finished product?
-Some songs are composed by one person and that person brings the song most of the times in his final form. I do that too. But the thing I like most is when you are in a rehearsal room and play a tune… the bass follows… then the drums… some vocal lines… and ten minutes later you have a song! It is the best thing! It brings the band members even closer! It binds you. And being a producer myself (I run a recording/rehearsal studio in Athens) I like the whole process of creating an album.
When you are on smaller label how hard is it to finalize your dream sound? What is your ultimate sound experience?
-Money is always the issue. Usually you don’t have enough money to pay for a “polished” production. But I will say something that may sound unprofessional… I hate the new sound. The drums programming, the editing etc. I appreciate the bands that have the physical playing and show their true face. All of our works are like that. I like the sound of In Solitude’s second album.
In choosing the album art work what kind of criteria did you have?
-Not my inspiration to be honest. The idea is something like the priests, religion temples and stuff is a hypocrisy.
What is the ultimate dream for the future?
-Ultimate? Open for a Heavy Load concert. The ultimate is for “Heavy Load concert”… Hahahahahahaha!!! Thank you very much for the interview!