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zondag 22 maart 2009
Eyefear: Every Morning Is A Victory

Interview with guitarist Kosta “Con” Papazoglou of Eyefear by Vera in February 2009

Late 2008 the Australian band Eyefear released their fourth studio album called ‘The Unseen’. This album is highly recommended for fans of heavy symphonic metal, but the harsh kind of that stuff that really blows you away. We sent some questions to the other side of the world and finally we received some answers from down under. Fortunately! Guitarist and main composer Kosta “Con” Papazoglou – he also played all the bass-lines in the studio – found the time to tell us more about Eyefear.

Eyefear was founded in 1994, but around 1998 the band decided to go for a slightly different musical approach. What did this implicate?
Considering we were fairly young when we started it took a bit of time for us to find our sound you could say. Also the addition of keyboards really opened up a lot more doors for us to explore different soundscapes.

With the epic feel of grandeur in the music, having a superb vocalist is very important. Well, Danny is impressive! Can he tell something about his musical roots and huge influences as vocalist?
His musical roots are definitely Merciful Fate and Savatage As for vocalists his main influences are Jon Oliva, Jorn, Midnight, Zac Stevens, Bruce Dickinson and Michael Kiske.

But of course every member is important. Who are the main songwriters when speaking about ‘The Unseen’?
Sammy and I pretty much shared the musical duties and Danny wrote all the lyrics.

A sentence that struck me (and comes back more than once) is: “Every morning is a victory”. Is there a kind of story or concept and can you tell a bit more about these lyrics?
Yeah, I like that line a lot myself. It has a great meaning for everyone. With the way the world is going with all its problems we should be grateful at times that we are still here. It’s a line that also represents the whole album. Lyrically it’s a very dark, emotional and spiritual album so that line says it all.

It must have been hard to say goodbye to founding member and bassist Rob Gorham. Why did he leave (and congratulations to you, Con, for handle the guitars and bass duties on ‘The Unseen’!)….
Thanks man, but the truth is we had no choice. We had no time to find another bass player so I had to play. I actually started playing bass before guitar!!! Anyway it was hard to say bye to Rob. He just lost motivation and had little time for the band so it was the right thing to do. Lucky enough though we have a new bass player by the name of Evan Harris and he is AMAZING!!!!

Can you tell something more about this in Australia quite well-known musician?
The guy is a freak. He has been around the Australian metal scene for a long time and is one of the most respected musicians. We never thought he would be interested in joining EYEFEAR so when we found out from our good friends in Black Majesty he was interested we didn’t think twice about asking.

The names of most of the band-members do not sound English, but quite Mediterranean. Do you have Italian (or other) roots?
Yes we have two Italians in Danny and Sammy. Zain is South African, Evan is the only Aussie and I am Greek.

I see you have your own YouTube channel. What can we find and enjoy over there? We started that when we began recording ‘The Unseen’ so you will find plenty of studio footage. We also have a live clip on there; taken from a show we did a couple of years ago here in Melbourne for the song ‘Dreams’. We will be putting up footage from a couple more shows in the next week. Footage which will include DC Cooper performing with us!!!!

Two important moments in your career must have been the deal with Intromental Management and the deal with Dockyard1. What do they mean for you and some details about these business achievements would be nice…
Intromental are fantastic. They have helped in so many ways. They take care of everything for us which leaves us only to take care of writing good music. They are like family to us and we have the upmost respect for them. Dockyard has also been really good to us. They have shown a lot of faith in our music and do great promotion to spread the name to the fans. We also have great communication which is very important. I must also add there is nothing better when you have total control of what you write.

The album was recorded at Sammy’s place in Australia. Is this the home studio of your keyboard player?
That’s correct. He is slowly building quite a name for himself and it won’t be long before he builds a proper studio. Both Andy La Rocque and Tommy Hansen have been impressed by his work.

Since ‘9 Elements Of Inner Visions’ you worked with famous European producers like Andy LaRocque and now Tommy Hansen. How was it to work with him and did you assist this mix and mastering? If so a few words about your trip to Denmark…
Working with both those guys was a great experience. I actually flew over to Sweden to mix ‘9 Elements’ with Andy. It was an experience I will never forget. Andy is the biggest influence on my guitar playing. I spent 8 days with him at his then Los Angered Studio’s and also got to meet so many people. I spent Easter with Andy and Mikkey Dee!!!! That was cool. It was all so surreal because I was hanging out with the guys that I used to look up to when I was 14 years old and had posters all over my walls of King Diamond.

Slower tracks like ‘Wasting Away’ and ‘A Clouded Mind’ are emotive without being cheesy, so hats off for that! What is the secret of a proper genuine ballad?
We never plan to write ballads. We just work on an idea and if it turns out into a ballad so be it. There is no specific plan or formula I can mention.

On the other hand I am fond of grooving blasts like brutal riffing in most of the songs. People will also find some elements of bands like Queensryche, Fates Warning and even Saviour Machine I would like to mention… How would you describe your music? Are there influences from more extreme metal in you too?
Definitely!!!! I would say I am more a fan of death metal than power metal. That’s where the heavy influence has come from on this album. I really wanted to bring that out this time and I am glad people are hearing the influence like I did. The band Death has been a huge influence on me. When Andy played on ‘Individual Thought Patterns’ it was like a dream come true. Other bands that are a big influence are Dark Tranquillity, Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Soilwork, Morbid Angel and many more.

Well and hum… ‘Darkness Till Dawn’ has a fetching Amon Amarth guitar oriented touch… don’t you think so?
Yeah, now that you mention it. The opening riff!!!!

I see you had the album launch last Saturday; what about this gig experience?
The show went really well. It’s always great to play in front of your home crowd. Great turn out also, so the vibe was electric. The Melbourne metal scene is by far the biggest in Australia and it always great to catch up with our local fans.

And a few words about your gig experiences in the past?
We have played may shows here in Australia. Sydney is like a second home to us. We have a fantastic fan base there, so we play as frequently as we can there. We have also played in Brisbane and Adelaide. Apart from our own shows we have also supported here in Australia, Blind Guardian, Evergrey and Nightwish. All three tours were an amazing experience. The only overseas show we have done was in the US at the Bay Area Rock Festival. We had the time of our lives sharing the stage with John Oliva’s Pain, Zero Hour, Mob Rules and Crimson Glory just to name a few. We had DC Cooper join us on stage to sing ‘Whispers Of The Soul’ with Danny. AWESOME !!

It will be not that easy for an Australian band to tour outside your own huge country I guess. What are the plans on upcoming gigs?
We have been offered some fantastic support slots the past few years but being so far away and all that is involved with touring makes it very difficult financially. There is a better chance of us playing at festivals when all we have to worry about is getting over there. There is a good chance that could happen this year. We are really eager to play in Europe!!!!

Who did the artwork and some more details about it?
The artwork was handled by Bjoern The Killustrator. He did an amazing job and created a simple but effective concept behind the title of the album. It was the first time we had worked with him and it won’t be the last. The previous two albums were done by Mattias from ProgArt and he was our first choice for this album too but he wasn’t available at the time.

Is anyone of you involved in other projects or bands?
Our bass player Evan is also the session bass player for Black Majesty.

Thanks a lot Kosta, for this interview!
Thank you for your time and support!!!! Hope to see you all some time this year.

Geplaatst door Vera op zondag 22 maart 2009 - 14:51:14
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