Everything Heavy Metal: Interview: Terry from Scar of the Sun

Interview: Terry from Scar of the Sun

Band: Scar of the Sun
Genre: Metal
Label: Scarlet Records
Location: Athens & Salonica, Greece / London, U.K.
Members: Terry - Vocals, Keys & Programming
Alexi - Guitar
Greg - Guitar
Panagiotis - Bass
Thanos - Drums


Interview Though Email with: Terry

What is Atmospheric Metal?
     "Well, I think the term speaks for itself. Atmospheric Metal is this kind of metal that incorporates ethereal and dramatic elements, it's very emotional and very melodic and usually it's more modern and more commercial than other kinds of metal. Due to it's character it's easier to be approached and appreciated by more people, both in and out of Metal which I find extremely good, because Metal shouldn't be a kind of music for a limited 'portion' of audience. You can say, it gives Metal a good name, [Laughs]
     It includes Gothic and female fronted metal bands also, and it has a big range, from Evanescence to Amorphis, from Lacuna Coil to Type O Negative, form Theatre Of Tragedy to Paradise Lost and from Anathema to Cradle Of Filth (well, they're mainly a black metal band, but very very atmospheric). You can even say that Danzig is atmospheric metal, or even Rammstein and Sonic Syndicate. For some reason it is kinda considered 'cheesy' in the US, but in essence it's not less cheesy than Lamp Of God and Slipknot if you look at it closely.
     Regarding us, atmospheric is just one of our sides, as we are more modern and with some smarter parts, as well as electro. On our new record we will be less atmospheric than our debut and even more modern for sure."


What is the Metal scene like in Greece?
     "We have a quite large metal scene in Greece comparing our size as a country. We have a scene that is flourishing the truth is. Stoner/Sludge metal bands that are playing in a high level, extreme/technical death metal bands, gothic/female fronted bands and a new generation of thrash metal bands that are doing great and they are in a really pro level, but without any similar help from labels as relative bands receive from countries of Central-Northen Europe or the US. We have much less modern metal bands and we are coming to cover this gap, with a more mainstream approach. So far we are financing everything on our own, even if we have a deal with a quite big label (Scarlet Record). They have helped us very much so far the truth is in regards of the promotion of our band, in contrast of what many other labels are doing for their bands today.
     The problem though is that there is a huge prejudice for Greek bands, maybe even due to the economic situation over here. This is where they fail though, cause apart from the fact that metal was always considered revolutionary and there was no space for such conservative and dated prejudices, it is a fact that there are so many metal bands from other countries like the USA, Germany, Sweden or the UK that although they are no better than some bands in Greece, they find it easy to get a deal. Greek band should be 5 times better and spend 10 times more money in order to get a chance. And I can ensure you that the quality of many Greek bands is much better than a lot of crap bands that release albums every month through a well respected label.
     There is a rumor that Greek bands are not reliable, but the truth is that every Greek band that was actually offered a chance to make it, they were all extremely reliable and hard working. Bands like Firewind, Rotting Christ, Septic Flesh, Suicidal Angels and Nightfall work very hard. There are not more than these bands that were given a chance to do something by a big level (yet). Labels should be less prejudiced for sure, Greece has a vast culture & music history and this is obvious in many Greek releases today. This gives personality, originality, style and good taste, so all that is needed are equal chances and treatment from the labels. Being prejudiced is not very wise also... "


On you debut album "A series of Unfortunate Cuncurrencies" How was it working with Bod Katsionis (Firewind)?
     "Working with Bob was extremely easy and great at the same time. The reason is that Bob is a huge musician with a very sharp musical perception, that makes co-operation really easy. You don't need to say much, Bob gets it straight away! We didn't ask him to do something specific, we just presented him a few ideas that he really liked (even due to the fact that they were the most prog ideas of the album), so we all decided to work together on the self titled track. He added a few parts that fitted with the rest and we ended up creating a quite complex, but very interesting song. Basically he was completely free to add whatever he wanted. We trust him so much, because due to his great musicianship he can adapt to the needs of any song and due to his great taste he adds awesome parts. He also played the keys and a piano outro in another track and he also did whatever he thought it was the best, we didn't interfere with guidelines...
     Other than that, it was also easy because he is one of my best friends and we have established a high level of communication. Seriously, it couldn't be easier to work with Bob, it was though a pleasure and an honor for the band."


How was the band's experience at Rockwave Festival 2009?
     "[Laughs], it was a strange experience! First of all, we managed to jump on the bill even before our album was released, we had no label and this was just the 5th live performance of the band!!! This is the biggest summer festival in Greece, it has a story of 16 years and it always has a bill with the biggest bands around. From Sabbath to Priest, from Maiden to Slipknot, it's got anything that's hot. It's not just a metal festival, it's got some days of alternative rock bands and some days of metal. The year we played, there were 2 days of alternative rock and 2 days of Metal, and we played on the first Metal day. The total bill was really great, on the alternative rock days there were bands like The Killers, Moby and Placebo and on the metal days the bill included WASP, Slipknot, Mastodon, Arch Enemy, Down, Kylesa, Monster Magnet, Motley Crue, Saxon, Voivod, Torche and some more, so the experience was mind-blowing, even more considering how early on our career we managed to be on such a bill. But on our day, due to a heavy rainfall some of the bands didn't manage to perform. It was crazy really, there was too much water, much more than you can see in a central European festival, which in a way is normal, because in countries like Greece, the summer rainfall is like an tropic storm. It was really impossible to continue. We managed to complete our set, as well as a couple more bands, but the rest of the day was cancelled. The next day went smooth though, so overall it was a quite strange experience, but definitely positive."


How has the band improved since you first started?
     "Well, I have to say that we have improved in many fields and aspects. First of all, the current line up is the best we ever had, we play together for 3 years now and the bond between us is really strong. This is obvious on stage for example, you see the first tour worked out really well and it was a huge lesson for all of us. If you don't tour, you don't actually see how it works on stage! Another important field is obviously the song writing. This is the most important and most crucial in my opinion! The majority of our first album was composed by me, which was necessary due to the fact that the line up was not completed, but it was not what i wanted. The idea of a band to me is about the team work. I really enjoy to see all the members to contribute on the song writing. This is what a band is, otherwise it's more like a solo project and I don't wanna do that. The current line up is really talented on that field and after many many discussions, hours of interaction and exchanging of ideas we have managed to achieve good chemistry, which is obvious at least to me, on the new songs composed so far. I see that as a very important improvement. On the other hand, after all these years we play together, we have improved as players/performers for sure! Each and every one, on his own field. Plus we have stabilized our style, we know where we wanna go and how to do it, so this is a stylistic improvement as well, if you want. But that doesn't mean that we believe that we have reached the level we want to. Playing in a band is about constant improvement."


How are you getting ready for your tour with Pain, Moonspell, Swallow The Sun and Lake of Tears in November?
     "Well, during the summer we didn't really rehearsed too much, we were all busy, and we needed some time apart after our tour on March/April, but now we have started rehearsing our set for the tour. The experience from our last tour showed us a few things about how to prepare and this has to do more with stage communication. The set we are playing it is the same for the last 5 years, all the songs come from our debut album, so we don't really need much playing rehearsal. It is more about getting in the routine. We're not gonna play new songs yet, we don't think it's necessary because we are still touring for our debut album. So after 5-6 rehearsals we will be back on track regarding our set. We will try to work more on the stage presence which we believe that there is more room for improvement, but the truth is that we will be many adjustments during the tour. The job is getting done on stage really, no matter what you do in the rehearsal room. The truth is out there, [Laughs]"


The band is working on the new album, how is that going?
     "This is the next most important thing for us right now (well, after the tour of course). We are still composing, we have 6 tracks completely ready and 2 more more on a very advanced stage, so that makes almost 8 tracks so far. We hope to finish composing just before the tour starts, so that makes a couple of more songs, for which we have ideas, and maybe we will do a cover as well. If we'll do the cover, it will be something non metal that will undergo a severe experimentation and change, even in the way it is orchestrated. Overall, we have kept some elements from the past, but there is a significant change I would say. I think we are going more mainstream and less atmospheric, but without losing the will to orchestrate our songs in a more interesting way. It is going more towards my idea of 'thinking man's mainstream metal', and the approach is certainly even more modern. This is where we wanted to take our music for this album. We will start recording around Christmas in my studio (this is what I do for a living) and regarding the mixing we will most probably work again with Rhys Fulber in Los Angeles. He is the most suitable person to handle our music, even more now, but there is nothing sure yet. We have talked about it with him and we'll see what we'll do. If we go with Rhys, mastering will be done by Greg Reely again most probably, as they work together many years now and they really do miracles in my opinion!"


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