NIGHTFALL - Efthimis Karadimas

\r\nAfter a two year pause since the release of Lyssa, we contacted Efthimis\r\nKaradimas, founding member and mainman of the infamous Greek band\r\nNightfall in order to find out everything concerning the great Greek\r\nband whose fame has crossed the borders of its mother land. Below\r\nyou’ll find a friendly chat with Efthimis since the content isn’t that\r\nof a typical interview. Everyone who liked the band will find the\r\nfollowing discussion interesting while my personal assumption is that\r\neven though the band took a long pause it’s never too late for\r\ncreativity to show its face. Time will show...
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\r\nFirst of all, I would like you to\r\ntell me which is the current situation concerning the band because it is a long\r\ntime since the last time that we heard something from you.\r\n

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\r\nThe situation is\r\n"pending" as don’t believe have the guts to say it is over. I don’t know what\r\ntomorrow may bring, but for the time being I don’t have any intention to do\r\nsomething with Nightfall.\r\n

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\r\nAnd which is the reason for that?\r\n

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\r\nThere’s a plethora of reasons,\r\nstarting from line up to current status\r\nof music industry nowadays. \r\n

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\r\nAfter the release of Lyssa\r\nsomething strange happened. The guitarist George Bokos left the band and now he\r\nis the new guitarist of Rotting Christ. The drummer George Kollias left the\r\nband and now he is the drummer of Nile and finally, Bod Katsionis, is now a\r\nmember of Firewind. So, from one day to another you left all alone in a band\r\nthat it is completely yours for sure, but whithout band members. Did you felt\r\nabandoned or even betrayed about this?\r\n

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\r\nThat’s the line up short of problem\r\nI mentioned before. You see, when you grow up you set higher standards which\r\nmust be shared by the whole band. Nightfall after Diva Futura era had been full\r\nof young good musicians yet not into the Nightfall spirit that much. So,\r\ndespite initial efforts from all of us to bridge those differences and go a\r\nstep ahead we failed to do so. No complaints. I am very happy and proud of\r\nthose guys activities right now. They wanted to tour no matter what and no\r\nmatter whom with. Guess they succeeded in that. But Nightfall is a much bigger\r\nthing than a tour here or there and certainly not a routine band following the\r\nstereotype "studio-album-interviews-tour" and here we go again.\r\n

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\r\nThe thing that\r\nyou just mentioned is really good for a band... Anyway, all those years Nightfall was your first activity? To be honest,\r\nthere were times which I thought that Nightfall is a professional band, and\r\nother times that it is just a band to express your inner thoughts and feelings.\r\nWhat do you think?\r\n

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\r\nOr it can be both, which actually\r\nwas. Let’s be honest, even though I’ve always treated the band the professional\r\nway I never aimed at profits or a big income exclusively. That’s why Nightfall never\r\nfollowed patterns nor tried to establish their name in a specific market.\r\nFortunately, many fans thought that a band with such attitude is worthy to\r\nlisten to and to read to as well in interviews, and this is how the name of\r\nNightfall became reputable. As used to say, Nightfall is a spiritual sancturay\r\nand not an entertaiment act that you can go to see with your girlfriend and\r\nhaving some fan among headbanging and beers.\r\n

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\r\nThis is\r\nsomething obvious in the band, and the last example that I remember is the text\r\nthat it’s written by you in the booklet of Lyssa. I would like you to give us\r\nsome information about what can someone read in it. It seems to me like a text\r\nwritten by someone who might have thoughts for his existance, or the existance\r\nof humanity in general and he tries to express his feeling by writting them on\r\na piece of paper...\r\n

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\r\nOh,\r\nnow that’s another issue you are bringing forward mate. My philosophy is to\r\n"taste life’s juices" as used to say many years ago "so when my\r\ntime to go comes I will feel complete from my journey on this planet", and\r\nas you can understand when those icons, those feelings and eventually those new\r\nquestions being generated from that philosophical search all end up in\r\nNightfall albums. Now, how a young dude of 18 or 22 or 25 years old can cope\r\nwith such concepts is another question. And the answer I give is "very\r\ndifficult"! Maybe that’s why most of the bands keep it simple when it\r\ncomes to interviews and stuff. They say "this is the best album so\r\nfar" and "we are going to tour here and there" etc and that’s\r\nit. No need to bomb fans mind with heavy questions about life, death, existence, ethics etc. But with me and Nightfall is different. Coming back\r\nto the core of your question, I am afraid I cannot comment anything as what had\r\nto say has been written and sang in the album already.
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\r\nThis is\r\ncompletely acceptable because personally, I’ve read all the stuff concernig\r\nLyssa and I have come to an end, so I guesst that it is easy for everyone to do\r\nthe same if he is really interested in Nightfall. Tell me something else now "I\r\ndon’t believe in Jesus Christ when all my life I have to fight". Is it\r\ngenerally speaking or is there a specific "fight" behind those lyrics?\r\n

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\r\nEverybody’s free to believe in\r\nanything! Standing on that basis strictly I express some worries of mine, always through poetic\r\nspectrum. Words are symbolic. That album was composed in difficult times for\r\nme. I was at a stage where needed to re-question everything in my life. And I\r\nam the type of guy that when something is not going as planned I first blame/ask myself and then\r\nthe others. So, "Jesus" can play the role of one’s self in these\r\nlyrics as well.\r\n

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\r\nLet’s go to an older chapter for\r\nNightfall now. Holy Records. If I am not wrong, they were both good and band\r\ntimes at that label. Which is the thing that you remember most from that era?\r\nFinally, was it good for Nightfall to co-operate with this label or not?\r\n

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\r\nOur debut was the first release of\r\nthat label, and that’s something unique indeed. We were the first Greek band\r\nhaving such a contract with a label abroad and I believe we did a good job\r\njudging from the massive interest French labels show to the Greek scene\r\nimmediately after our first release. We had good cooperation for a number of\r\nyears. However, there came a point when their attitude changed and wanted to\r\ninterfere in the production process in a way that I found anacceptable.\r\n

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\r\nThe thing that\r\nyou just mentioned, that because of Parade Into Centuries the labels from\r\nabroad show interest to the Greek scene, is very important. It’s a fact that\r\nSeptic Flesh also had a contract with Holy Records and Rotting Christ\r\nco-operate with the French label Osmose Productions. Do you think that\r\nNightfall was the band that "guided" the Greek Metal scene? Is it unfair for\r\nNightfall that the fans believe Rotting Christ were the first band that signed\r\na contract with a foreign label?\r\n

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\r\nThis is a bullshit story for some\r\npeople to spend time in silly conversations and stupid arguments. Have never\r\nheard of any Germans fighting over which band is the most known from Germany,\r\nor Swedish, or Americans, etc. This sick competition that’s based purely on "who has\r\nthe longest dick" logic must stop. We were a bunch of musicians, friends, that\r\nbuilt the Greek scene. Just look at it as a team work. At least this is what I\r\ndo.\r\n

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\r\nThat’s true, and I think it was about time to make the\r\nthings clear. You know how the Greek people and Greek scene is, and because of\r\nthe fact that there were just 3 bands, everybody talked about them. Anyway, is\r\nthere a "best" era for Nightall?\r\n

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\r\nCan’t point out a specific period. I tell you again\r\nthat I was a fan of this music and started a band out of nothing. Each single\r\nmoment has been marvelous to me. We made history and we made it all together,\r\nthe musicians, the label, the fans, the media, the "enemies",\r\neverybody. No complains.\r\n

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\r\nNobody can say that Nightfall did not wrote history.\r\nBut you can’t characterize The Lesbian Show era as "the golder era" of the\r\nband?\r\n

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\r\nYou may say so from one point of\r\nview. It’s all a matter of perception, isn’t it? Some people say that if we were in a bigger label,\r\nthat album could have been a smashing hit, but I dont see it that way. We were\r\ngiven the opportunity by our label back\r\nthen to fly to a very good studio in Lapland\r\nand we produced something great for the time. Of course the concept was kinda\r\n"deep" for the typical metal fan, but you can’t have it all in this\r\nlife!\r\n

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\r\nDo you think\r\nthat Greeks were supportive all those years? I remember some years ago, at the\r\nlive show with Paradiise Lost you were not satisfied and I can not forget the\r\nphraze "At least, do you kwow who we are?" \r\n

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\r\n Hahaha!! It was a sort of joke. Greeks have been very\r\nsupportive all those years. \r\n

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\r\nWhat do you\r\nremember from your live show at Wacken?\r\n

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\r\nNice time, Wacken was a really good experience. The\r\nsound was awesome and we gathered a big crowd in front of us, which was\r\ncoplimentary indeed! A great fest!\r\n

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\r\nI’ve heard that\r\nyou have wrote some songs for a project called Mary Magdalene. Would you like\r\nto give us some information about it? \r\n

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\r\nAnybody can check it out at Mary Magdalene\r\nThere are\r\nfour tracks you can listen to and there are another eight waiting in line.\r\nDon’t have any intention to release anything oficially for the time being. The\r\nstuff is dark and carries the Nightfall atmosphere but it has nothing to do\r\nwith metal. Don’t ask me to clasify it. I can not!\r\n

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\r\nAs a fan of\r\nNightfall, I would like to have one last release from the band. I don’t mean a\r\nfull length album. I mean that it would be great if you could releae a DVD or\r\nsomething with optical and audio material\r\nas well. \r\n

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\r\nThere was such a discussion with Holy records\r\nsome years ago. It was a double cd best of thing. I prepared most of the stuff\r\nand the track list but the guys dropped off at the last minute. I understand\r\nthem. They have the rights of the entire back catalogue and would be silly to\r\n"kill" it with a Best of release.\r\n

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\r\nSo, in a few\r\nwords, all this stuff will never see the light of day!\r\n

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\r\nI guess so.. Sad but true.\r\nMetallica put it into a track as well! Hahahaha! \r\n

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\r\nWhat are your\r\nparticularly proud of concerning NF?\r\n

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\r\nThe\r\nfact that created something from scratch is a big issue to me. That was a\r\nvehicle that not only helped me survive mentally in this crazy world as a young\r\ndude, but also tought me a lot of things in respect of sociology, psychology,\r\ncommunication and understanding of other people. See, what people see in band\r\nis a bunch of\r\nmusicians playing music. Yet, this is the 1/10th of the world musician lives\r\nin.\r\n

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\r\nIf you were\r\ngiven the power to go back in time, what would you change?\r\n

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\r\nMy face. After 35 years on this\r\nplanet I’ve realised the fact that beautiful people have more advantages in\r\nlife. Hahahahaha\r\n

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\r\nSo, you wouldn’t\r\nchange anything concerning the band, right?\r\n

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\r\nI\r\nstarted as a fan, and what’s best for a fan than becoming an artist himself. I\r\nstarted as a fan in a country with poor music culture in the extreme sound. Having that in\r\nmind, becoming a pro band with records and gigs abroad is not\r\n"something", it is everything! No, I dont think I would changed\r\nanything at all.
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\r\nNow that Nightfall\r\ndoes not exist any more, which are your future plans?\r\n

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\r\nI\r\npay more attention to my business and of course I keep on playing music. As for\r\nNightfall, none can be sure if they are dead or sleeping... Let me ask you a\r\nquestion. How do you see the future in music industry concerning the\r\ntechnological developments of our times? \r\n

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\r\nDifficult\r\nquestion! In my view, the things are very difficult and the main reason is the\r\nunlimited downloading. It’s a fact that anyone can download an album many days\r\nbefore the "release day" and this is something "fatal" for\r\nthe musicians. So, you have to be a really big band in order to survive\r\nnowdays.\r\n

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\r\nUnless\r\nyou are not a profit oriented band in terms of sales. Because what a band\r\nreally wants is it’s music to be heard by many people.\r\n

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\r\nI accept that\r\nthere are many bands which they don’t care about the money, but the most of the\r\nbands (and especially those that exists many years now) want to earn money. And\r\nthat’s not bad. It’s something logical. Without money, you can’t live. Anyway,\r\nif you don’t care about money, then it’s very easy to make your music heard by\r\nmany people. There are many ways to promote your music nowdays, but don’t\r\nexpect your music to be heard as the old good days. We have many different\r\nalbums everyday, many artists, many songs and we don’t kow what to choose...\r\n

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\r\nA\r\nband usually makes most of its profit from live acts and merchandise, not pure\r\nsales. However, as you say,\r\nthere are too many albums outathere that people do not know what to listen to and what not. As a result the\r\n"value" of the tracks falls and I wonder what mechanism will prevail\r\nin order for such trend to change. While ago it was the label guys who decided\r\nwhat album shall be released and what shall end to the recycle bin. Now it is\r\nthe people, the marketing, or something else yet to be discovered? That’s the\r\npurpose of my initial question to you. Rather philosophical, but with a\r\npractical scope.\r\n

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\r\nWithout\r\nthe marketing and promotion it’s hard for a fan to find a band from Norway or\r\nfrom US for example. I still believe that the record labels are the first who\r\ntakes the desicion for an album. In the future maybe the things will change.\r\nTake a look at myspace. There are milion of bands there so it is very easy for\r\nthe listeners to decide about an artist. The record labels decide first but\r\nwithout fans, it is useless. What do you believe?\r\n

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\r\nThe\r\nquestions remains, and I don’t have the answer. Pending to see. You can feel\r\nsomething changes but we can not define it precisely right now. As for the\r\nexample about a band from abroad you reffered here above, I can assure you that\r\nthe underground network was so helpful that anybody trully interested in\r\nsomething could find it.\r\n

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\r\nYes,\r\nit was helpful but when the bands were not so many. I was an underground fan some\r\nyears ago and I send letters to the bands asking how can I order their demos /\r\nalbums etc. Now, it’s pretty hard to do that and to be honest, I am not\r\ninterested anymore to find another underground band which is similar to another\r\netc. The underground bands some years ago were unique Now they are ordinary...\r\n

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\r\nDon’t\r\nput it on a\r\npersonal basis. Think of someone younger who is starting now or something.\r\n

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\r\nI think that the\r\nyounger guy has internet so he has myspace as well. There he can find many\r\nbands and I don’t think that he will send a letter to them or something... In my\r\nview, the underground feeling does not exist any more. I don’t know what you\r\nthink but I am dissapointed..\r\n

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\r\nMany\r\nyears ago the good thing for a starting band was to find good instruments, then\r\na proper way to record its stuff , a cool photo to give an icon, an image to\r\nthe world, then we found that glossy paper and offset for packaging and flyers\r\nwas "cool" and at last came the pc stuff to create super covers and pictures.\r\nThat could surely took\r\nages to develop depending on many things, but all that time along with the effort\r\noverall usually gave an identity to each band, which lasts even after its\r\n"death". Now what? Has the\r\n"fast food" era being introduced in music as well?\r\n

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\r\nI believe the\r\nfast food era is everywhere now and the music is for sure a "victim"\r\nof this era. And you know what? It’s impossible for someone to survive when his\r\nonly food is based on the fast food. Don’t you think that it’s exactly the same\r\nthing? How can music survive into this "fast food nation"?\r\n

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\r\nIt is a real challenge trying to find a unique\r\n"Greek Salad" in a world of junk food. So, I guess good music will be\r\nfound by those who search for it.\r\n

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\r\nExactly!\r\n

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\r\nVassilis Mazaris \r\n

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\r\n\r\nOfficial Nightfall’s Myspace Page: www.myspace.com/nightfallgr
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\r\n\r\nWatch out the latest video of the band "Swollen", taken from the album "Lyssa: Rural Gods And Astonishing Punishments":
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