Interview with Greek new ZERO godBy Promofabrik • Mar 31st, 2010 • Category: Interviste
MANY THANKS TO ALESSIO OF PROMOFABRIK ITALIA / DECADANCE RECORDS !!
New Zero God is a new name for most of our readers, could you introduce yourself?
Mike: New Zero God is a four piece act formed in 2006 in Athens, Greece. Our intention was to simply have fun by playing songs of our former bands, as well as creating a few new ones.
During this process, we changed our focus to writing and performing mainly new songs since the band became embraced by a big number of Greek fans.
Today, the line up of New Zero God is the following: Mike Pougounas – vocals, Dimitris “Sidheog” Steves – drums, E-raptor – Guitar and B-abyss – bass, b-vocals.
How did you get the idea for your band name “New Zero God” and what does it mean?
Mike: Sidheog had been toying with this for years now… It’s great in print, it sounds nice and it may contain as many diverse meanings as you can come up with – profound or not!
You just have to tune in and sort it out your way!
You called your new album “Fun is a Four Letter Word”. What’s the meaning of this title?
Mike: Love, hate, fear and a few other meaningful words have just four letters. They are all a part of life (which also has four letters).
Even when it’s time for you to shout out the word “FUCK”…it’s a part of life.
And life should be fun…
Can you tell us something about the background of the New Zero God band members?
Mike: I was a member of the gothic rock band The Flowers Of Romance, a band that worked with Wayne Hussey as producer, released a number of albums and singles and supported The Sisters of Mercy and New Model Army. After The Flowers Of Romance split, I formed the band Nexus.
Sidheog had a couple of releases with the Greek dark wave band, The Drops, and when he left them he joined Nexus on the drums for four albums.
E-raptor and B-abyss were members of the band Past Perfect (who are still active), and had a number of releases also.
Your band comes from Greece. Can you tell us something more about the current alternative scene in your country?
Mike: Greece was always in a “grey area”.
Prior to the internet era, there was little interest from local record labels to export the local scene. There were no means to do so. Only a handful of bands made it.
Today there are lots of bands but little chance to export their music.
Thankfully enough, some Greek heavy rock bands have an international following, such as Rotting Christ and Septic Flesh.
Lately, the Greek scene has a new generation of very interesting bands that are worth checking, such as Background Noise Suppression, Elysion, and Drama Queen, to name but a few…
I will include New Zero God on that list…
Your label, “Puzzlemusik Records”, is a newcomer label on the “scene”. Can you help us to know them better?
Mike: Puzzlemusik was founded sometime in the mid 2000’s by Christos Alexopoulos, who is an alternative musician. To date, Puzzlemusik has 14 releases ranging from post-rock to jazz music and from prog-rock to post-punk.
Although the label has a short catalogue of releases, a few of them have found a place in the 20 best Greek albums of the decade 2000-2009. (Ours is released in 2010…)
All bands find inspiration from literature, art, and other musical concepts they admire. Please tell us about your influences in music and in other arts.
Mike: I guess New Zero God is influenced by bands such as The Clash, The Damned, The Cult, The Chameleons, The Sound, and other English bands of the 80’s post-punk era.
We found ourselves listening once again to our old vinyl records and discovered that we were having a good time playing this style. All four of us worked with computers while in our former bands and it kinda took us away from the human aspect.
So, New Zero God is back to basics. Bass, drums, guitar and a singer…
How do you get inspired to write lyrics?
Mike: Everyday life offers a great number of issues from which to gain inspiration. Politics, loss of communication, religion, exploitation, feelings, domestic violence, world hunger…
This world was not made by angels and we are not singing about the bright side of it…
What are your opinions on the underground music scene in general? Do you think we live in interesting times or do you think there’s much stagnation?
Mike: While mainstream music is at its worse, I think the underground scene is at its finest. There are many good bands out there, as always, but with a lot more means to reach more ears…
Of course, the mainstream media are only focused on 50-100 big names and therefore the listener has to search a little more to find what he likes.
Today’s accessibility of less commercial music via Internet downloads and better distribution has led to a generation of people who have an easier access to a great range of possibilities. Do you reckon these alternatives give people a chance to find out new musical genres, like the one New Zero God plays? What are your views on piracy? Do you feel affected by it?
Mike: Thanks to the internet, the average person receives a load of information – most of it is junk – and one has to do a good amount of research to find the mind-blowing parts.
Nowadays, a band has more chances to be heard on the other side of the planet than before.
And that is good…
No matter what a listener likes, there is some musician out there that can offer it to you…
Regarding piracy…I think it affects mostly the mainstream musicians and not the underground.
So, we don’t feel affected by it.
Not in a negative way…
What is your attitude towards commerce in music as art?
Mike: I don’t know about other people, but between New Zero God and the expensive limos, luxurious houses and million dollar suits, there is a huge gap… If our music would give us the money to make another record that would be great…
This is as far as it goes for us…
We don’t intend to become millionaires.
It’s only rock ’n’ roll to us…
What do you think about networks that promote the bands? In which way they can contribute to their success?
Mike: Promotion is what is needed for musicians to come out on top from the load of information that one receives through the media every day…
If there are 1000 band names you can read in a day, the ones that you will remember are the ones whose names are repeated…
So, I reckon the contribution of people helping the musician to stand out of the crowd is of high importance…
It is the most important thing to do after writing and releasing an album.
It is announced at your website that you will play some gigs to present your new album. What are your feelings when you are up on stage? How much importance do you give to your live shows?
Any chance to see you in Germany or Northern Europe?
Mike: One might think of a gig “as part of the promotion”, but for a musician it has a whole different meaning. Being on stage is completely different from recording or rehearsing.
The stage exposes the band in front of the audience in a way like nothing else does.
And the reaction of the audience to the song is a payback to the musician in a way that money would never pay…
We have been asked by the Australian band, This Gentle Flow, to support them during their gigs in Holland and Scotland. Before that we have a few gigs lined up in various Greek cities…
For sure, any offer to play in Germany or Northern Europe would be very welcomed…
Are there already plans for a next album?
Mike: It is too early for doing that.
“Fun is a Four Letter Word” came out on February 17 in Greece, with similar release dates for the rest of the world.
All in good time for the rest…
A final message to our readers, perhaps?
Mike: Enjoy your lives.
It might not be the way you want it but it’s just a ride.
It doesn’t last much and there are a lot of people out there to misguide you.
So try to find the funny parts in it.
Respect yours and other peoples’ lives.
Cause after all…life is a four letter word…
Thank you very much for this interview.
Our best wishes to you and your beloved ones.
Interview: Alessio Bandiera / PromoFabrik Italia (http://www.promofabrik.com)