Redrum

It may have taken them a while but the Redrum is finally back after a 6-year hiatus more or less. The guys love to play hard rock music and that’s more than evident if you listen to “Victims of Our Circumstances”. Grande Rock got in touch with the two guitarists of the band, Panos Baxevanis & Athan “Lyssa” Kazakis, and asked them everything concerning the new album and the band. Do read below for more…
Redrum band pic

Hi guys… Redrum is finally back with a brand new album. You hit right on the spot with this release!
 
P: It’s definitely a step forward from our first release. I hope that the fans will appreciate it and enjoy it the way we did writing and recording all the songs.
 
A: Hello Thanos, We finally made it, it took us some years but as you said: right on the spot!
 
 
Tell us, why did it take you 6 whole years for the follow up? What had the band been doing during that period?
 
P: We had a lot of backdrops. Everything with a possibility of going wrong, did go wrong! Because of tight time schedules especially Michael’s, when we had to postpone a gathering for recording or mixing or changing something, we had to reschedule it for months later. Any possible reason appeared through the whole procedure. Injuries, resolving personal issues even Mother Nature was against us, canceling a flight because of what happened in Iceland with the volcano. So I could say that the band was really between fire & ice through this period of 6 years. We did of course some gigs. (i.n.: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong huh?!… Murphy’s Law smiley)
 
 
When did the writing process begin and the idea for the second album started taking its shape?
 
P: In Summer of 2009 I worked on some ideas, the same did Athan. We went to Germany in January or February 2010 for a couple of weeks. Michael added melodies, made some changes to a couple of songs and we recorded all the basics: drums, acoustic & rhythm guitars. I think in 2012 when we recorded all the solos and Michael completed all the lyrics we had a clear picture of what we had.
 
 
What are the new elements of your new album in comparison to your debut?
 
P: The only new element is something that was already there and it’s called Michael. Better said more Michael! I mean on our debut we had everything done and Michael added just his voice on most of the songs. We had the melodies, the lyrics and everything was already done. Of course he changed some lyrics and sung the melody lines in his own amazing way and added all the backing vocals. We used his writing abilities in 3 songs I think, where he added melodies & lyrics from scratch (“Heart to Heart”, “Unusable” and one more) but that was it. On “Victims of our Circumstances” Athan & I delivered again the music for all the songs but all the melodies & lyrics came from Michael and of course he made some changes to the music to fit his melodies. Besides that he produced the album so he had some saying this time of how it should sound.
 
 
It seems that you have made a good team with Michael. Did you have in mind that this cooperation would go that far?
 
P: Yes & No. I mean when I first heard his voice on some recordings he already had done and before we offered him the place behind the microphone I knew that we didn’t had to look out for anything else. With such a high leveled singer beside you the way goes only up. But I had to learn more about him to be sure that this cooperation could last, I mean character wise. To be together with someone you have to fit with him and be on the same level of thinking and having the same approach to life and other basic stuff. You can’t make good music if your partners in crime don’t interact with you the same way you do. Of course you can hire someone and make it strictly business but you can hear it in the songs in the end. So after some time together I knew that this will probably last. Of course in between everybody can do other things besides music but I think we will continue to write, record and play together because through these years we became good friends. You can never be sure about anything but that’s what I think about this.
 
A: It seems that we’ll gonna go much further. Basically because we are friends and partners in… crime!
 
 
So, coming back to the album, which are the “Victims of Our Circumstances”?
 
P: We, all of us on earth are the victims. Even those who think they are on the other side, the side of the abusers. We are what we are because of the way we’ve grown up. Parents, school and TV shape us in a wrong way making us idealizing wrong things, selfishness & vanity rules. We could make a difference if we were all together in this but I’m sure this will never happen. When there’s nothing more on earth left to be destroyed we will have the opportunity to laugh and cry… all together as one. There won’t be many aroundI guess but I’m sure, they’ll reach out to others without… selfishness & vanity.
 
 
Give us a hint about the songs…
 
P: “One of Us”: Athan had the idea of having an intro like we had on “No Turning Back”. Marco, our keyboard player came up with the theme and Michael added vox and arranged it. If you wanna be one of us you have to scream!
 
“Scream”: One of our heavy songs, I love it… musically and lyrically. Talking about the good and bad being on the road playing music.
 
“You Can’t Buy No Hero”: It should be a more sophisticated approach of me in hard and heavy but Michael pointed it to a different direction, making it I think a… “hit song”. Nobody is perfect, find someone to love the way he is. The last phrase is about the lyrics…
 
“Dust in Your Eyes”: I like this song too much. Athan play’s some amazing acoustic in the beginning and the following riff is one of the best on the album. Michael, where do you get all this melodies? Talking about melancholy, a serious problem in our days.
 
“Empty Promises”: It’s a slow tune and it’s a heavy tune. Lyrics about empty shells that disappoint you in life.
 
“Pokerface”: A mid and up tempo hard rock tune. It’s about somebody who knows how to play the game of life in any situation… no matter what…
 
“Dirty White Boy”: Polished hard rock. The bridge is pure Redrum. It’s not our fight, the little devil we all have inside makes us doing nasty things… when you die you’ll have something to remember.
 
“Mother I’m Coming Home”: The ballad. We all come to the point, where we can’t take things anymore. When things come to the worst. One or another might have thought about suicide…. Well this one is about suicidal tendencies.
 
“Tear Down the Walls”: In this song we were transmitting in the same frequency with Michael. It was exactly what I had in mind writing this one. The heaviest Redrum song together with “Rise Up” from “No Turning Back”. Marco’s keyboards are really something. Talking about resistance against what makes us pawns in games other people play. Talking about Greece today.
 
“Have a Nice Day”: I think in this one Athan and Michael were transmitting in the same frequency. Let me live my life, the way I want… Nobody has to like my way. And surely nobody has to walk my way… Feel free to join and feel free to leave…
 
“Victims of Our Circumstances” (How did you come up with these tribal/ethnic features on this song?): Michael wanted me to play everything with a Strat and not so much distorted so that’s what came out. The tribal features were part of the second verse. When Michael finished the lyrics we thought it was a good idea to make a middle part out of it globalizing the message of the song a little bit more.
 
 
I must tell you that the cover of “You’re the Voice” was a nice surprise. You gave a harder edge to the song and I liked it a lot. How did you choose that song to make a cover for?
 
P: Michael proposed it.
 
A: We spontaneously accepted the suggestion to do this. I love this song since I first heard it back in the 80s. Panos and Michael did a hell of a job on this one!
 
 
The album was recorded at RMB studios and Michael did the production as well, right? How was the whole procedure? Are you happy with the final result? I do find it great by the way!
 
A: Basically Panos & I were involved in the first step of the production and Michael had the last word and finished it. We worked from 10 in the morning till 9 in the night “that’s the way Michael works” and we had to respect this, even though it was a little hard to wake up at 9 to be at 10 in the studio, You know I prefer the opposite… to work from 10 in the night till 9 in the morning but it was OK… I got used to it. I’m really very happy with the result and thanks for your kind words. (i.n.: I feel you dude, I prefer burning the midnight oil too!)
 
 
There’s also a video out for “Dust in Your Eyes”. Are there any thoughts of shooting another video and if yes, for which song? I think a video for “You Can’t Buy No Hero” or “Mother I’m Coming Home” would be great.
 
P: Yes, We are thinking the same. Probably “Hero” and later maybe “Mother”.
 
A: We are gonna do for sure two more clips. One will be filmed on tour, the other hopefully before, somewhere in the next 3 months.
 
 
Do you think it was a good choice to release the album through Michael’s RMB Records? Weren’t there any good offers by other labels or you just wanted to do things your way without anyone over your head?
 
P: It was the best choice. We had offers but not the offers we wanted.
 
A: We talked with 4 companies but in the end it was RMB so we could have more control in the presentation of our work.
 
redrum band pic

What are the band’s future plans? Any live appearances, Tours? Anything?
 
A: We are going to be the whole September on the road touring in Germany, England and Norway. October in Greece Thessaloniki and maybe Athens. In December we are gonna play in Cyprus, and if there are any more dates they’ll be announced through: redrum-rocks.com.
 
 
I’ve written: “…Redrum are here standing strong and shouting that there’s also a notable hard rock Greek scene and not only an extreme metal one…”. What’s your say?
 
A: Yes we are here but there also some other great bands besides Redrum in Greece playing hard rock, releasing albums and touring in Europe as well.
 
 
We can see that from the Greek rock/metal scene it’s the extreme genre that has taken the biggest piece of the pie. Why’s that? There are numerous hard rock & metal bands but they do miss that professionalism the extreme metal ones have adopted over the years. Do you agree?
 
A: I believe that there is enough professionalism in some bands and it’s more in the circumstances and the marketing that they didn’t surfaced yet.
 
 
What’s the Greek scene’s major problem that has kept several bands underground and it hasn’t gone as big as the Italian scene for example?
 
P: Money & persistence.
 
A: When you are waiting for the bus at the station eventually the bus will come and take you, but staying at home makes you miss your appointment. I mean it takes a lot of work to get somewhere, and not many are willing to do this.
 
 
How do you see all this “free download culture” of our time? Do fans/downloaders have the right to claim that if a band wants to make some bucks it must go on tour while it’s their “right” to download the albums for free? What must be done to get people to buy the actual product in the end?
 
P: It comes with the internet and you can’t avoid it. If you see the bright side, it means more people to get to know you easy and fast, if you see it from the other side it’s just losing money and for many musicians that’s a backdrop to continue making music, cause making music costs. I don’t know what must be done to get people to buy the actual product in the end. If there was something to do about it the record companies would have already done it. Maybe lowering the price of the CDs and offering them together with something that can’t be downloaded.
 
A: The download culture is like a screwdriver, you can screw a screw and with the same tool you can kill someone. So it depends from which side you are observing this. Personally I’m old school. I prefer to buy the original CD, take a look at the lyrics read the booklet and see some pics while hearing the music. It’s a whole ceremony for me and I love it. (i.n.: Yeap that’s the way it should be done… the one & only way!)
 
 
Time for our weird questions!! Why did you come up with the name Redrum?
 
P: When we first talked about working together with Athan back in 2003 he insisted on that name. Probably he had a dream about a band called Redrum playing in front of millions with him on the guitar. Actually it saved me from headaches searching for a name and made Athan a happy camper.
 
A: I came up with the name when I saw the movie “The Shining” with Jack Nicholson many years ago. I used the name in a cover band I had before we decided with Panos to work together. I insisted to keep the name to save Panos from the trouble finding a name. lol.
 
 
Which is the record you wish you had written and why??
 
P: Too many to mention them all.
 
A: All the records from Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, UFO, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Savatage, Pink Floyd, Dokken, Lynch Mob, sorry but I need a couple of pages to finish this so I stop here.
 
 
If music were banned by law (CDs, Vinyl, cassettes, Mp3s everything), which 3 albums would you risk to hide even if it would be a risky thing to do cuz the penalty would be jail?
 
A: 1. “Burn” by Deep Purple…
2. “Thunder & Lightning” by Thin LIzzy…
3. “Assault Attack” by Michael Schenker…

 
 
Which is that band that has influenced more bands & musicians since rock music begun…?
 
P: In our genre: Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin & Black Sabbath. If you see the bigger picture then… The Beatles & The Rolling Stones.
 
A: Chuck Berry.
 
 
What are your 3 beloved songs of all time regardless of any music genre?
 
A: 1. “Sail Away” by Deep Purple…
2. “Stargazer” by Rainbow…
3. “Forevermore” by Whitesnake…

 
 
Would you stop playing & listening to rock music if a girlfriend of yours asked you to?
 
A: I was asked to stop, I’m sure she misses me now....lol (i.n.: hehehe…)
 
 
You need to make a romantic atmosphere so as to seduce a lady. Which 3 songs would you choose to play in a row as soon as she comes in and why?
 
A: 1. “Is this Love” by Whitesnake…
2. “Rainbow Eyes” by Rainbow…
3. “Belladonna” by UFO…

 
P: I would start with “Do you think I’m Sexy” by Rod Steward. To see if we can get somwhere… continue with “Love Gun” by KISS to show my… intentions and finish it with “Somebody Save Me” by Cinderella when I realize her intentions... Or maybe not… I’m having some second thoughts here…
 
 
Why is rock (any kind) music better than sex… if it is… cheeky
 
A: Rock is not better than Sex, everything happens because of sex so even Rock music is a way for better sex. From Mozart till the last Rock band that was founded yesterday the reason is Sex. That’s of course my opinion.
 
 
You have the opportunity to have sex with the porn-star/movie celebrity of your choice. Who would it be & why?
 
P: The porn-star/movie celebrity of my choice is my girlfriend… for the moment.
 
A: Thank god my wife looks like a movie star....
 
 
Imagine that your girlfriend/life partner is selling your whole album-collection just to buy an expensive ring for herself. How would you react?
 
P: I’m not sure, really. But I would love to see Athan… “react” and film his… ”reaction”. (i.n.: hehehe…)
 
A: Well, I already did this. I sold her whole album collection to buy me an expensive guitar.... lol. (i.n.: hahaha swell…)
 
 
That’s all for now guys. Leave a message to our readers and to your band’s fans for the end… Take care!
 
A: Thanx and of course we want to thank all the fans for their  support. See you soon in the “Victims of Our Circumstances tour” over Europe. In the name of rock and roll, We salute You!

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