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Efthimis Karadimas: Nightfall represents what is not mainstream

Efthimis Karadimas: Nightfall represents what is not mainstream
BANDS : Nightfall

Greece is a mysterious and captivating country and its inhabitants are charismatic and complex. I had no doubt that my discussion with Efthimis Karadimas, Nightfall’s leader, would be an interesting one, but in the end it my expectations have largely been surpassed. I invite you to a serious and profound discussion, at sometimes even cryptic and initiatic, with a sombre conversational partner, which I discovered to be very dedicated to his art.





Metalfan: Hello and welcome into the pages of metalfan.ro. I am not going to start by asking you to provide us with a classic history of the band, but I would like you to describe each Nightfall full-length in 3 words.
Efthimis Karadimas: Thank you very much for the welcome. I think you are the master in describing music with words; therefore I am welcoming you to give a brief description for each release here your own good way.

Metalfan: You come from a country with a quite active metal scene. How do you explain the success and inspiration of bands (both active or disbanded) such as Nightfall, Rotting Christ, Septic Flesh, Elysian Fields, On Thorns I Lay and Inactive Messiah, for example?
Efthimis Karadimas: The unique cultural background of the country surely plays its role. Greece is standing between east and west combining elements from both sides with interesting results sometimes. I recall back in the early days how eager were we to create our own sound and to compose music the way we wanted it. Talking of the beginning I think that our debut Parade into Centuries in 1992 has marked the beginning of many things. Among them, the great love affair between French labels and Greek bands that goes on since then, giving the chance to many Greek bands proposing their artistic views to the world.

Metalfan: Is there any friendly competition between you and any of the bands mentioned above, and if yes in which way does it influence your evolution as a group?
Efthimis Karadimas: The three bands that started the so called Greek metal scene have been Nightfall, Rotting Christ, and Septic Flesh. We all have been friends and at those times we were exchanging views about technical and artistic matters in general. This triarchy has been the basis for anything came out from Greece lately and it is really nice seeing we still do some good work, each one in its field and its own way of course.

Metalfan: You started as a black/death metal band and, during the years, somehow turned your face to a more gothic/dark metal approach. Despite retaining the original exotic and somehow primitive feel, your music lost some of its initial aggressiveness. How would you explain that?
Efthimis Karadimas: Analyzing the ways a band evolves is a big issue really. If speed goes with aggression, then yes, we are not that ultra fast right now, but this doesn’t mean we are not heavy. Actually I do believe Astron Black & the Thirty Tyrants is a really heavy album!

Metalfan: Another question that I have always wanted to ask is how did you (together with Septic Flesh and On Thorns I Lay) manage to get signed by Holy Records, a very elitist label by that time? They seemed to have a “crush” for Greek bands. What do you remember from that period?
Efthimis Karadimas: Nightfall started Holy records, and Holy records started Nightfall. Soon after the debut release I convinced Sotiris and Spyros (Seth) of Septic to sign with the Frenchies and not with a Belgian label that they were about to do then (I think called Cyber). About On Thorns, few know that I am the god father of their name; I proposed Stephan and Christos to call the band On Thorns I Lay instead of Voluptuous that it was formally. I strongly believe the professionalism of Nightfall, the hard work, and of course the inspiration and the commitment to it was a big advertisement for the Greek scene, and that’s proved by the wave of new contracts offered by French labels here.

Metalfan: Starting with Lesbian Show, which marked a turning point in your career musicwise, you have also chosen to change the way the name of the band appeared on the cds and booklets. Why?
Efthimis Karadimas: No, that happened in Athenian Echoes actually. The band’s emblem evolves too, gaining in depth, in wisdom, and symbolisms. The wheel, the flames, and the star are among them.

Metalfan: You live in a country with a rich historical and cultural heritage. Does that inspire you both as a person and a musician?
Efthimis Karadimas: I am sure it does. Either somebody feels it or not the way he/she grows up and the views/sounds from the environment play a primary role to his/her life.

Metalfan: After your deal with Holy Records expired you were tied to a local record label, Black Lotus. From what I know, they went bankrupt a few years ago. Was there any moment in which you were tempted to disband Nightfall?
Efthimis Karadimas: I didn’t stop the band, but I only took the opportunity to take a break and reconsider some things about the reasons why this band exists. I started this band as a vehicle to travel in other worlds, more interesting than reality and the poison it feed us, however, things change and suddenly I realized that we had to make tours, promo things, and other businesslike affairs for our releases in a way that I never thought it is proper for art.

Metalfan: Now please take a moment and make a short presentation of your band mates. How did you get to know them and in what way did their presence in Nightfall influence your music?
Efthimis Karadimas: We have Jorg Uken from Germany in the drums that is known from his studio (Soundlodge) and his works there with bands like God Dethroned, Dew-Scented, etc., Evan Hensley from Nashville, Tennessee, USA in the guitars, and from the Mediterranean Greece Stathis Kassios in the epic, grandiose keys and my self. I was in touch with Stathis and when he heard I had some new songs he proposed me Evan to play the guitars, in case I was interested in recording them properly. The same way I got a message from Jorg through a common friend of ours. So, I decided to give it a chance since both guys came into the picture within about a week time and emailed them my stuff. Their respond was fast and furious. It was a great feeling indeed. We met and rehearsed soon after and it was obvious that chemistry is here with us. One step brought the other and we end up with a preproduction tape that sounded great. The multicultural background of the line up certainly played a big role in the final outcome. Also their character and their attitude is fine and that is something important too as most musicians I know these days dream of becoming rock stars and care only for their promotion and not for the team, the band and its songs.





Metalfan: Let us talk about your latest effort. Could you please explain in a few words the lyrical concept behind your album? What does Astron Black and the Thirty Tyrants really mean?
Efthimis Karadimas: The concept deals with the human journey guided by planets and stars in our effort to explore and conquer the unknown and to expand our civilization. That endless effort to expand, to move forward is a real tragedy we sing about. Lyrics also refer to some historical events to give a greater tone in the whole drama. The album’s cover represents that motion towards the new, the unexplored, via artificial means we use to travel to meet the heavens of our dreams. Planets and stars are not only the compass but also our point of reference and the markings of what we call “time”.

Metalfan: I had the chance of listening 2 tracks on your MySpace page, both Astron Black and Ambassador of Mass. Both of them bring on a very heroic, epic and warlike attitude. Are they somehow tied to the ancient Athenian wars?
Efthimis Karadimas: The words create images but need careful reading as they sail in a sea of allegories. The entire album is a story. A story with powerful but also slow moments, epic but also sad, aggressive and tranquil.

Metalfan: Still talking about the 2 previous tracks, listening to the entire album I noticed that the other tracks on Astron Black and the Thirty Tyrants, at least some of them, are quite different stylistically, with a more gothic approach and using clean vocals. Don’t you think that by choosing to reveal two of the more aggressive tracks to tease the fans you could somehow induce a “wrong” idea about the album as a whole?
Efthimis Karadimas: This is not a “death metal”, or “epic metal” or “black metal” album, but a Nightfall album! The story evolves, it is alive, and it runs through different episodes/tracks. If somebody wants to hear a specific part of a story to be repeated only it is not close to Nightfall art, that’s for sure. But because we do this for almost 19 years now, people know what to expect. After all we don’t do music to dance but to inspire of.

Metalfan: About the sound and the mix of the album, I noticed a tendency of making it quite brutal and rough. Is that only an impression, or was it made that way in order to preserve the epic, warlike and aggressive attitude of the music?
Efthimis Karadimas: Yes. Aggressiveness goes along with brutality usually.

Metalfan: Could you please make a short presentation of each track on Astron Black and the Thirty Tyrants?
Efthimis Karadimas: I have included a song to song commentary at the end of the discussion for everybody to understand the basis of the story behind the lyrics and titles.

Metalfan: Looking at the title tracks of some of your previous albums, I could not help noticing track names such as Christless, I am Jesus, etc. Do you consider yourself a religious person? What is your opinion towards concepts such as “god”, “good”, “evil”?
Efthimis Karadimas: Everything is created by human mind for serving specific purposes. I am not wasting time trying to take a decision whether there is a God or a Divine power but trying to understand and value the actual impact of such belief on humanity, collectively and individually.

Metalfan: What was the highlight of your career so far and what was the lowest point?
Efthimis Karadimas: I haven’t thought about it. Everyday is a new challenge and a new opportunity to learn something more.

Metalfan: Do you consider yourself accomplished both as a person and as a musician?
Efthimis Karadimas: I have a long way to go until I dare to put such word in my mouth as human being.

Metalfan: After all those years of making albums, do you happen to consider that your role in this trip called life could be expressing your sensibility through music and making people happy by listening to it?
Efthimis Karadimas: Nightfall is not an entertaining act to offer good, party times to people who want to headbang and have some beers only. We write and sing about tragedies. This is what we can do and this is the way to take poison reality feeds us out of our veins.

Metalfan: What does, in your opinion, Nightfall represent in the actual metal scene?
Efthimis Karadimas: Nightfall represents what is not mainstream.

Metalfan: Are you happy with the terms of your deal with Metal Blade?

Efthimis Karadimas: Yes.

Metalfan: Do you manage to make a living out of music?
Efthimis Karadimas: This is not our aim. How can a musician be free to perform his art craft when his artistic freedom relies on the need to make a living? It is good to make some good money and we made some in the past years but this is not our goal. After all, I run my own company, Jorg runs his own studio, and Evan and Stathis have to do with law.

Metalfan: Does the financial crisis that struck Greece affect Nightfall and if yes, in what way?
Efthimis Karadimas: Everything is connected, but the tragedy of the Greek society is known to most intellectuals here since its birth, many years ago.

Metalfan: What do you think about the illegal downloads and the free circulation of mp3 files on the internet?
Efthimis Karadimas: It certainly kills some old habits but it also gives birth to others. Like it or not, we all shall live and cope with it.

Metalfan: What is your opinion about Rotting Christ and Septic Flesh? Did you have the chance to listen their latest albums, Communion and Aealo?
Efthimis Karadimas: Yes, they are doing ok. It is cool the triarchy is still here!

Metalfan: Future plans? Do they include Romania?
Efthimis Karadimas: Even though we are not the kind of guys we like to tour, I think we will do at least one round around Europe. Maybe some fests too. Everything will start from 2011. There is no rush, nor stress however.

Metalfan: In the end, let me thank you for your kindness in making this interview happen. A message for the Romanian metalfans?
Efthimis Karadimas: Thank you and your readers very much! Until we see you in Romania we are sending Astron Black & the Thirty Tyrants there to tell you stories about Nightfall.







NIGHTFALL

ASTRON BLACK & THE THIRTY TYRANTS
TRACK BY TRACK COMMENTS BY EFTHIMIS KARADIMAS

~1. INTRO .1~
THE INTRO STARTS WITH THE PROPOSAL TO TURN YOUR EYES TO STARE TO THE SKY, FOR THE JOURNEY TO BEGIN.

~2. ASTRON BLACK .2~
THIS SONG MAKES A DIRECT REFERENCE TO ASTRON BLACK; AN ARTIFICIAL PERSONA REPRESENTING THE HUMAN BEING PARADING THROUGH THE CENTURIES, NAVIGATED BY THE STARS, SEEDING LIFE, AND LEAVING BEHIND MARVELLOUS CREATIONS IN OUR EFFORT TO EXPAND OUR RACE AND TO CONQUER THE UNKNOWN. ASTRON, THE SPIRT; BLACK, THE SOUL.

~3. ASTRONOMICA / SATURNIAN MOON .3~
EAGER AS WE ARE TO EXPAND AND TO CONQUER THE DARK AND EVERYTHING IN IT WE SAIL THE SPACE SEAS TO FIND NEW LANDS OF PROMISE, GIVING BATTLES THAT WE WIN WITH THE AID OF THE GODS AND TITANS; THIS SONG MAKES A REFERENCE TO TITAN PROMETHEUS WHO STOLE THE LIGHT FROM ZEUS AND OFFERED IT TO HUMANS. SATURN WAS A TITAN HIMSELF TOO AND BROTHER OF TITAN IAPETUS, FATHER OF PROMETHEUS, WHO ALSO GAVE HIS NAME TO THE FIRST (MOTHER)  LANGUAGE SPOKEN BY INDO-EUROPEANS THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO.

~4. ASTRA PLANETA / WE CHOSE THE SUN .4~
THIS SONG DERIVES FROM THE FIVE WANDERING STARS THE ANCIENTS OBSERVED IN THOSE TIMES SKIES; THEY WERE THE MERCURY, SATURN, VENUS (ALSO KNOWN AS EOSPHOROS), MARS, AND JUPITER. THE STARS ARE THE ABSOLUTE POINT OF REFERENCE FOR ANYTHING RELATED TO OUR LIVES IN GENERAL AND IN PARTICULAR SINCE BIRTH. EVEN TIME IS CREATED AND COUNT BASED ON PLANETS MOTION, INCLUDING EARTH’S. AND ON TOP OF ALL THERE IS SUN; THE ULTIMATE SOURCE OF POWER AND THE FATHER OF ALL GODS AND MORTALS.

~5. AMBASSADOR OF MASS .5~
THE GREEK-PERSIAN WARS OF THE 5TH CENTURY BC INSPIRED THE TITLE OF THIS SONG. IT IS AN ALLEGORY ABOUT COURAGE AND FAITH THAT TURNS AMOUNTS MINOR IN NUMBERS INTO COLOSSAL UNITIES. SO SMALL WE, HUMANS, ARE IN THE ENDLESS SPACE BUT OUR SOUL AND MIND LEAD OUR WAYS BEYOND.

~6. THE CRITERION .6~
ANIMALS MOVE ON INSTINCT. HUMANS ON THE OPPOSITE SET TARGETS THAT ACHIEVE BY FOLLOWING STRATEGIES, AND THROUGH THAT PROCESS COMES CREATION; CREATION OF CIVILIZATION, OF KNOWLEDGE, OF EXPERIENCES. BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO CREATE THE CONDITIONS FOR THE GENESIS OF AN EXPERIENCE. THE CRITERION TO CREATE COMES AS PRIORITY. THE NAME ALSO REFERS TO THE EXISTENCE OF A COMMITTEE IN THE AREA OF “SOULI” NAMED CRITERION ABOUT TWO CENTURIES AGO, WHOSE ROLE WAS TO TAKE DECISIONS AND MAKE JUDGEMENTS FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE COMMUNITY.

~7. ASEBEIA .7~
EVERYTHING COMES AT A COST AND THAT COST MUST ALWAYS BE PAID. HOWEVER, THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO DISLIKE CREATION AND PAIN SUCH PROCESS BEARS BUT AT THE SAME TIME THEY WANT TO TASTE THE PLEASURE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT. THAT PROFANITY IS A FOE TO EVOLUTION.

~8. I-I .8~
THAT SIGN MARKS THE EFFORT TO BECOME ONE WITH DIVINITY

~9. ARCHON BASILEUS .9~
THAT SONG SINGS ABOUT THE IDOL OF A KING MANY TRADITIONS AND CULTURES HAVE, THAT GLORIOUSLY LEADS HIS PEOPLE TO THE PLACES OF THEIR WILL. THAT IDOL HAS BEEN CREATED BY HUMANS TO PLAY THE ROLE OF THE ENLIGHTENING, UNQUESTIONABLE ONE THAT, AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT IS US, OURSELVES TO PLAY, AS THE LEADERS OF OUR DESTINY.

~10. PROXIMA CENTAURI / DEAD BODIES .10~
A SONG ABOUT THE MAGNIFICENT GREATNESS OF THE VAST UNIVERSE THAT FOLDS OUR EVERYTHING. PROXIMA CENTUARI IS A “RED DWARF” AND IT IS THE CLOSEST STAR TO THE SUN.

~11. THE THIRTY TYRANTS .11~
ANYTHING IN LIFE IN AMOUNTS EXCEEDING THE THRESHOLD OF THE BEHOLDER CAN TURN INTO A “TYRANNY”; FROM PAIN TO PLEASURE AND FROM TRAGEDY TO HAPPINESS EVERYTHING NEEDS A “METRON ARISTON”. EVEN LOGIC CAN BE PROVED A TYRANNY IN MANY CASES. HUMANS SUFFER FROM OUR PASSIONS BUT HOPEFULLY THE POWERS OF RECONSIDERATION REDIRECTING MOST OF US; THE THIRTY TYRANTS WAS A BODY OF 30 THAT RULED ATHENS AFTER ITS DEFEAT BY SPARTANS IN 404 BC BUT IT IS ALSO A PARALLELISM TO THE 30 PIECES OF SILVER JUDAS ISCARIOT RECEIVED TO BETRAY HIS MASTER.

~12. EPSILON LYRAE .12~
THIS IS A SONG ABOUT THE DUALITY THAT CHARACTERIZES HUMAN RACE AND LIFE AS WE KNOW IT. FROM THE TWO PARTS OF THE BRAIN TO THE TWO SEXES AND ALL THE WAY TO THE ETERNAL BATTLE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL, WHITE AND BLACK, THAT CORRELATION SEEMINGLY GENERATES DYNAMISM THAT FUELS OUR ENGINES IN THE PURSUIT FORWARD, UNITE UNDER SOLAR GODS IN OUR SALACIOUS EFFORT FOR KEEP OUR RACE LAST FOREVER. EPSILON LYRAE IS A COMBINATION OF STARS ALSO KNOWN AS “DOUBLE DOUBLE”, LOCATED IN THE CONSTELLATION OF” LYRA”, WHICH DERIVES FROM ORPHEUS MUSIC INSTRUMENT, THE GREATEST MUSICIAN OF THE ANCIENT TIMES WHO CHARMED EVEN HADES WITH HIS MUSIC IN HIS EFFORT TO LEAD HIS DEAD WIFE BACK TO THE KINGDOM OF LIFE.


Autor: Sake
Vezi galeriile trupelor: Nightfall

   September 04, 2010  | 1 Comments  | 6112 Views « BACK

Comment on: Efthimis Karadimas: Nightfall represents what is not mainstream

  • Un band cât se poate de bun şi dedicat.
    Mai ascult şi acuma cu plăcere "Athenian Echoes", un album f interesant, extrem şi inedit.
    Sunt curios să ascult şi acest ultim LP!!

    1. Posted by MetaL_Blast | 21 Septembrie 2010 11:43
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