Tell us a little bit about the band and how long you have been together for some of our readers that may not know about the band?
We are Dephosphorus, a cosmic/sci-fi themed concept band hailing from Athens-Greece. We have been formed in 2008 when myself and our guitarist/songwriter Thanos Mantas have decided to start a new endeavor together after our previous band Straightate has come to a dead end.
“Sublimation” is our 4th full-length album and we also have under our belts a mini-LP, some compilation participations and collaborative releases with Great Falls (USA), Wake (Canada), and Haapoja (Finland). Our music style is composite so we’d rather have you discover it on your own, instead of just talking about it!
What is new with the band?. New Album out? New Videos?
We have two new releases out, the aforementioned “Sublimation” LP/CD, as well as “Astralaudioviolence (Live at Temple)”, a live tape in cassette and digital formats documenting the 2018 LP release gig for our previous album, “Impossible Orbits”.
In order to support “Sublimation”, we have recorded 5 songs off it live in the studio for CVLT Nation’s “Sonic Unrest vol.3” which can be watched here.
With all this madness going on with the virus…What do you think the music scene will be like in the future…and how are you prepared to make your music heard if there will not be any concerts or festivals for the year of 2020?
It is certainly a severe blow to the music scene as a whole and the end of an era. I just hope that this is not the new normal and that gigs and tours will resume next year.
Concerning our band, this changes nothing as per our modus operandi as we are primarily a studio band – our guitarist lives is another country from the rest of the band so we rarely play live.
What got you into music and what is your earliest memory of when you told yourself… “THIS IS WHAT I WANT”?
Athens-Greece, June 1987. I was 12 years old and the country was hosting Eurobasket, formally known as “FIBA European Championship”. The national team took the tournament by storm, beating in the final the favored team of U.S.S.R. with a score of 103-101. The whole country was in a frenzy. Everybody that lived the moment can remember it lively, as well as its sound track: Europe’s 1986 hit single “The Final Countdown” playing in a loop. That was it, I was hooked. A family friend (a teenager a couple years older than me) lent me the cassette version of the album and my English teacher dubbed it for me. Voilà, this is how I became a music fan!
The earliest memory of me wanting to become a vocalist was seeing Mike Muir live with Suicidal Tendencies in Paris-France in the early/mid-90’s. He had a very athletic and engaging presence on-stage, however I definitely knew that I couldn’t sing like him. Around the same period I started attending underground hardcore shows and I was impressed by the commanding frontmanship of the vocalists of bands like Kickback, Merauder, Congress, Madball, whose rough singing style I knew I could somehow reproduce with my vocal chords.
Who was your first concert and what is your best memory?
I can’t remember the details of my first gig as it was a local death/thrash fest held in an amphitheater of my university…
The first gig that I do remember is Iron Maiden at the Élysée Montmartre (R.I.P.) in Paris-France on the 10th April 1993, during the Real Live Tour – which was the last tour with Bruce Dickinson at that point.
Concerning my best memory, every Suicidal Tendencies gig back in the mid-90’s with the golden line-up of Mike Muir, Mike Clark, Robert Trujillo and Rocky George, was a big celebration of everything that is fun and inspiring in music. I think that the highlight has been in October 1994 at Le Zénith in Paris-France with the incredible double bill of S.T. and Infectious Grooves, the latter having just had released the fantastic “Groove Family Cyco” album. Everybody had big smiles on their faces that night. My brother Christos still has the limited t-shirt printed for the show!
If you didn’t become a musician, what would you be doing right now?
We don’t live off our music, therefore my life would be similar, albeit less interesting and less fulfilling…
On a scale of 1 to 2593, How good is your newest single compared to your last single? (my attempt at humor, but please still answer)
I will pass on that one as we don’t really release singles (except the occasional split-7”EP) – we’re more an album-focused type of band. ☺
What do you feel is the best song you have released to date and why?.
The answer to this question is subject to change every time we release a new album. ☺ Currently it’s “Προς Το Απόκοσμο Φως Του Πυρήνα (Towards The Unreal Light Of The Core” off “Sublimation”. I love the black metal intro then how the vocals kick in, all the bad ass death metal riffing, doom decelerations, and frenetic tempo changes. Most of all though, there’s a middle part with lead guitars which properly gives me the chills every time I listen or rehearse the song….
Do you think you can get any better as a musician/singer? And if so, How would you achieve that?
There’s always room for improvement! I’m currently brainstorming in order to come up with more challenging and intense vocal lines. Furthermore, one of my main goals as a vocalist is to sound as expressive as possible, so I’m always trying to figure out new ways to achieve that.
If you could give your fans one random fact about you that you think they should (or should “not” know) about you what would that be?
Ever since I was a brat, I have always had two teeth less than most people: two incisors instead of four. I’ve been told by dentists that it’s a byproduct of human evolution, as some anatomical features which are no longer needed get dropped over time (we need less teeth than our ancestors as our nutrition has changed).
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
We have a cosmic/sci-fi concept going on, therefore that would be the equivalent of a pen-sized black hole, absorbing the light instead of reflecting it so no color at all!
Who are you inspired by Musically or in life in general?
Shortly after getting into extreme music I’ve been intrigued by screamed/howled vocals. Even though I haven’t instantly been a fan, with time I’ve been challenged by how vocalists in this register succeeded to sound expressive, aggressive and even nerve wrecking and unsettling at times.
Very high on my inspiration list are two underground vocalists/lyricists who somehow achieve to sound like they mean what they scream about and are also in command of their band’s aesthetics, I’m referring to MkM from Antaeus and Stephen from Kickback.
I’ve also been able to relate a lot to Jon Chang from Discordance Axis (also Gridlink, Hayaino Daisuki, No One Knows What The Dead Think) for not only screaming and
writing lyrics in a very expressive, emotional and introspective way, but also for bringing otaku aesthetics into the game… Plus he’s an Iain M. Banks fan as myself!
Earlier than Jon, another screaming vocalist that I could relate to and has influenced me a lot is Tomas Lindberg. I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with him on a few occasions for interviews that have been published in Metal Hammer Greece, and had a weeping fanboy moment once when he complimented me for the guest vocals I did for local band Konkave when they have supported The Great Deceiver in Athens in the early 00’s. He’s a great guy and I do appreciate his mixed metal and punk/hardcore background.
I must also credit the vocalists of several more or less well-known bands from all over the spectrum of extreme metal, hardcore and sludge: Death, Mayhem (Attila Csihar’s vocals on “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” still sound so alien and blood chilling almost 30 years later!), Dark Throne, Iron Monkey, Canvas, Koreisch, Zao, Eyehategod, Congress, Arkangel, All Out War, Nasum, Converge, etc.
In life, I’m inspired by individuals who challenge the status quo and/or push further the limits of human condition, perception, art and civilization. The list can vary wildly from cosmologists and sci-fi authors like Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, Isaac Asimov and Iain Banks (aka one of our main lyrical influences), extreme athletes (Alex fucking Honnold!), and activists on different fronts: anti-monotheism, human/animal rights, cannabis (Strain Hunters FTW!), etc.
What’s an average day like one tour? and what about these days?
We don’t tour! ☺
Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans?
We are an underground band, so we are humbled that our music is appreciated and celebrated by fellow music lovers all over the world. We interact with them on the same level, as music fans to other music fans. Many of them are also musicians, so we have a lot to share!
Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety before, during, or after a show?
I was a bit nervous before our previous album’s “Impossible Orbits” LP release gig in 2018, as it was our 2nd gig overall and the first headlining show I played in a decade. Eventually everything went great and we’ve released a live tape from that night.
If you could collaborate musically or artistically in any way who would it be and why?
I would love us to collaborate with Ridley Scott and Alejandro Jodorowski for a sci-fi movie of which we would write the soundtrack and contribute to the scenario!