SEPTIC FLESH - Seth

Ophidian Wheel, ESOPTRON, Revolution DNA, Sumerian Daemons... are only some of the diamonds Septic Flesh have offered us. After 4 years of absence the band reunites and will release it’s new album in just a few moths from now. SETH gives us all the details on the upcoming album of the mighty Septic Flesh, his opinion on the Greek Metal scene, the reunion of the band and their upcoming tour but also the personal projects as he has evolved into one of the most important artwork designers of the field. I can only say one word to conclude this prologue. Respect! \r\n

\r\nLet’s begin on your reunion. How did you decide to reunite Septic Flesh? \r\n

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\r\nAfter Sumerian Daemons we discussed extensively on the fact that we had a good album out and that we didn’t want to fall into the obligation of having an album out each year. We came to a point when we felt we needed the rest. From the beginning, Septic Flesh was a band which released albums, but we all had our personal projects which have to do with the music business, except Sotiris who has chosen his own way. So after our break we decided it was time to get back together. We all had new songs but these 4 years we worked on them extensively, we went to Sweden and we recorded. \r\n

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\r\nWhat do you have to say to those who say this reunion, or the parting of the band was a trick in order to raise the band’s popularity? There has been a creeping aspect going around about it. \r\n

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\r\nIn Greece ? \r\n

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\r\nIn Greece but elsewhere too every time a band reunites people are sceptic about it. \r\n

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\r\nI don’t think our reunion is like other band’s reunions. It’s not like Destruction for example who were absent for 10 years before reuniting. I don’t feel we reunited in order to increase our popularity. And we wouldn’t care about something like that, we’re an underground band.
\r\nThis is ambiguous…
\r\nWhen I say underground I mean that in a good way. I don’t think that our reunion will attract more fans, and nor do I think that our parting would mean tha same. Even though especially in the US when we parted, we gained more fame because it was the time when Sumerian Daemons was out and it had a good impact. But I think that it’s irrelevant to our partion, on the contrary, I believe we have to work really hard for our come back because people who listen to Heavy Metal is constantly renewed. At the moment Heavy Metal is in growth all over the world. You know, I’ve heard something unbelievable lately, Iron Maiden will play Sweden this summer and they sold out within one day! 60.000 tickets…. This shows metal is on a growing mode and it’s only natural as it is the absolute music. \r\n

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\r\nWhat exactly happen in terms of Devilworx? \r\n

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\r\nhis is on hold at the moment. We are not parting, we are just on hold and we will come back to it later as this year is for Septic Flesh. We have already booked some tours and have Septic Flesh on the spotlight. Devilworx sure needs a lot of work while we had some expectations which weren’t met and so we have to wait. \r\n

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\r\nTell us a few things about your upcoming album? \r\n

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\r\nIt’s not long since we returned from Sweden. We were there for one month with Fredrik Nordstrom and recorded 10 tracks. The album title will be "Communion", it will be released on March 15th on Season of Mist. This album will be in the vein of what Septic Flesh are all, a combination, of Esoptron and Sumerian Daemons and I believe that Hristos has worked more extensively than on the previous album, and the result is a good mixture of classical instrumentation with blast beats and classic melodies. My brother was in Czechoslovakia before we went to Sweden and orchestrated all songs and recorded them with the philharmonic orchestra of Prague. \r\n

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\r\nSo there will be symphonic parts within the new album of Septic Flesh. \r\n

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\r\nYes there are many symphonic parts in which we have imposed our own personal mark. It’s not a typical orchestral part every band uses as a background. In our new material it has a protagonist part. \r\n

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\r\nTruth is there’s always a feeling like this in Septic Flesh, especially in the last album. \r\n

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\r\nYes but in our new album symphonic parts are even more powerful. It has to do with my brother’s classic education, without him we wouldn’t be able to do something similar. Other bands in metal give their tracks to conductors. We did it by ourselves. I don’t want to say the common say all bands say it’s our best album so far but I believe Communion is a very good album. Nothing more. \r\n

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\r\nSince Revolution DNA your band prefers using Studio Fredman for your recordings. Is there a particular reason for that?
\r\nNordstrom as you know is a the trademark of Heavy Metal after 90s. He is the one man who got out In Flames, At The Gates, Arch Enemy, Soilwork, Dark Tranquillity and generally all the Swedish scene. Imagine that at the moment there are bands coming in from the US in order to record there. You might ask what’s the relation between Septic Flesh and the Swedish Sound…None, neither musically, nor sound wise, but Nordstrom has a style we like in guitars and drums while at the same time he underlines the melodies. That’s something not all producers do in order to bring out something else. \r\n

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\r\n\r\nThe sound in Revolution DNA was incredible. Especially for it’s time. \r\n

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\r\nYes it was real good but this time with Communion has a really strong sound, because we recorded in new tricky style. \r\n

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\r\nTell us a few things about your upcoming tour… \r\n

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\r\nIt’s already booked. It will include 45 dates, beginning mid March, at the date of the new album’s release. We will play the whole Europe – from Portugal to Finland among with Vader and Devian, two bands for which I’ve made artworks on their latest albums and I feel it’s going to be a very good tour. \r\n

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\r\nVader are accustomed to the Hellenic element, as we’ve often seen them tour with Rotting Christ. \r\n

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\r\nYes we have an alliance with the Polish. And we will also play Hellfest this summer. \r\n

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\r\nAny DVDs from all these appearances ? \r\n

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\r\nNo not for now, it’s too soon yet. Now all our attention is drawn to the new release. We were offered a deal especially for the festival in Poland in order to release a DVD but these are label issues since Season Of Mist doesn’t agree and I can’t say something officially. \r\n

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\r\nSeason Of Mist seems to have a thing about Greek bands. Since Rotting Christ, Naer Mataron, Order Of The Ebon Hand etc now Septic Flesh. Is there competition between you or do all hreek bands work together as a team for the best?
\r\nI believe there is no competition anymore... Competition within good terms is always good as it brings evolution within the field. When you compete, you get better, as long as you don’t get to sick about it. In Greece, comparing to Sweden where I have lived for a while, competition is more intense. To tell you the truth I play music since 1989 and unfortunately in Greece there are no room for further recognition. With Devilworx they almost ate us alive! \r\n

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\r\n I remember that, especially with Slipknot… \r\n

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\r\nYes it was a huge disappointment for 3 or 4 bands in Greece and they tried to destroy them. I have suffered criticism about my artworks too. I’ve seen on the internet topics with the Paradise Lost artwork and then go on and give out all your bitterness. I am disappointed about that. Thank God, they recognize us abroad. While Greece is on of the most popular country for us since it is our homeland. But there are some in Greece who can’t accept the fact some Greek bands stand out. Septic Flesh will do their best to get the Hellenic flag out and we’re no different than the Swedish, the Germans, or the Norse. We need co operation not undertakers! It’s important because at the moment we are a minority. Rock in Greece has one crowd, and this is obvious from Rockwave festival with Black Sabbath, Metallica etc but I believe we need an alliance. I don’t know how however… And it’s not only about Septic Flesh. I see small bands who struggle. They make demos, they do lives, and people doesn’t support them. There’s no support from anywhere at all. I went to see a few bands in Sweden and it was packed!\r\n

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\r\nYou’re right but the worse thing is that there are some who draw conclusions before they even listen to the record…\r\n

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\r\nExactly… And I am sure that there will be people who will say about Septic Flesh “What are these guys reuniting for?” Truth is there will always be opinions like that. We will not stop because unfortunately there is no new material coming out from Greece at the moment except for a few exceptions such as Tardive Diskinesia, WEB, Suicidal Angels, who truly deserve a chance. There are bands but I believe these days you have to work very hard and if a Swedish or Norse guy works on 8 we have to work on 20 in order to keep up. It’s very important. \r\n

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\r\nWhat happened with Hammerheart ? \r\n

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\r\nOur contact with Hammerheart ended because its owner had serious problems concerning the Chuck issue, I mean Control Denied and Death. I think it’s closed now but to tell you the truth I don’t really know a lot on the issue. \r\n

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\r\nBut you have no complaints …
\r\nNone... \r\n

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\r\nWhat do you expect after the reunion of Septic Flesh? \r\n

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\r\nWe will support our new work. I believe we did a very interesting new work and I believe this is the reason why we weren’t present for so long. There’s passion inside us. All these years when we weren’t active, the suppressed energy was poured into the new album Communion and it’s 100% Septic Flesh. \r\n

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\r\nWhat would you suggest to a Greek band which begins its work now having had all these years of experience in order to do something good? \r\n

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\r\nThings are difficult. But what do you mean something good? \r\n

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\r\n\r\nLike Rotting Christ, Septic Flesh or Nightfall did, admirable releases and success… \r\n

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\r\nThings for the new breed are tougher than ever. There are the mp3s and the internet. Our work has been flattened. You can see it everywhere. \r\n

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\r\nOthers say that this is a good thing because sales don’t matter but their music is accessible everywhere. \r\n

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\r\nThat was my point. Nowadays sales don’t matter but that’s a chain. Record labels refuse to sign. They stick to the big bands and they sign only if they see something extra special which will be really commercial they’re willing to sign. So Greek bands have to work very hard in many fields. Their sound, their image, almost everything. It also needs very good public relations. It’s a little or at least very hard, to do, cause we also have our military duties to serve. However we started back in 1989 and are still going is a thing worth the difficulties. \r\n

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\r\nThere were fewer bands back then so your works were more “visible”.
\r\nExactly. It was hard back then but it’s even harder now. \r\n

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\r\nWhich was the best era of Septic Flesh in your opinion?
\r\nIn Ophidian Wheel I think but I believe that our time is coming now! Ha,ha! We have already planned a booked tour so it’s going to be a good year. \r\n

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\r\n\r\nWhat exactly happened in Revolution DNA?
\r\nLook, in DNA we were drawn a little from our usual crowd because we left out the extreme side of us. But this must be obvious to the listeners as a band is free to express itself. It’s not necessary to play blast beats in all albums if you play blast beats. \r\n

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\r\nTell me a few things about your artworks. You have quite a reputation about your artworks Which do you feel is the most important? \r\n

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\r\nFor me there’s only one band…. I did the artwork for one of my favorite bands, Paradise Lost. There have been two things in my life which made me proud; one was when I got into Art University, and when I did the artwork for Paradise Lost. When I heard they chose me, cause as you can figure competition was great, in Paradise Lost, I was shocked! It was a great honour for me to optimise this huge band for me. One of the best bands there is. \r\n

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\r\nYou send in your artwork, someone saw it and chose you?
\r\nYes they saw it through their manager they liked it. Imagine one of my competitors was the designer of Ramstein. It wasn’t easy, I had to work 14 hours a day… \r\n

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\r\nBut In Requiem it wasn’t like that. It was sure you would do the work right?
\r\nYes. The band saw I worked very hard on their previous album and wanted me to do the next album too. I have now become the 6th member of the band. They trust me greatly, we have become friends, especially with Greg Mackintosh, and in result we have this co operation. \r\n

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\r\nAnything new coming up? \r\n

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\r\nI did the new Soilwork, Exodus, Devian, Belphegor, Vader, Decapitated, and Dream Evil... These are the newest works. \r\n

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\r\n\r\nNow that you mentioned Decapitated, it’s a little tragic for the death of their drummer... \r\n

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\r\nYes it is tragic. It was the same bus Rotting Christ were using in Russia… To tell you the truth we also were offered to go to Russia but now we are thinking twice because of the bad weather. \r\n

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\r\n I wish you all the best on the new album and the band and we hope to see you live soon in Athens. \r\n

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\r\nThank you too Vasilis. It’s going to be a while until we do Athens since we are leaving the Athenian show for last, cause it needs to be prepared properly, as it will have special performances and stage scenic. \r\n

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\r\nWe’ll wait and see\r\n

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\r\nWe’ll talk again soon!
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\r\n\r\nVasilis Mazaris
\r\nTranslation : Elena Mihailidou
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\r\nWatch out the video "The Eldest Cosmonaut" taken from the album "A Fallen Temple": \r\n

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