Battlehelm (DE) Interview

By Anders Ekdahl©2016

I have nothing against short band names. They can be very effective. But then they can also be very confusing. Like POEM. How metal is that name really? Anders Ekdahl 

Could you please introduce yourself to those of us in the dark?
-Hi! We are POEM, from Athens and we exist since 2006. More specifically, we are George, Laurence, Stratos and Stavros! Our genre can be categorized as Progressive, Alternative Metal with some Grunge Metal elements.

I often wonder how people discover that they can do what they do. How did you discover that you can sing and play instruments?
-From a very young age, we realized that music is the art for us! So, we started learning music! Growing up, we created our first teenage bands, and now here we are!

When did it become a revelation that you can do this and maybe get paid for having fun?
-Well, isn’t it a natural consequence, when someone puts all his effort and soul on one thing, to consider that maybe sometime they will be able to pay their bills by doing what they love? For us, “this thing” is music! Music industry isn’t a very easy industry to work in, especially during these hard days for everyone in Europe and for us more specifically, in Greece. It might sound ironical but, you have to spend a lot of money before someone trusts you and pays you money for what you’re doing.

When you spend an amount of your life on a band does it ever feel like you have wasted time, that you have fought one too many windmills?
-That feeling could always emerge, but that might be true for every decision taken or road chosen in your life… regarding your job, your house, even your life partner etc. The most important thing is to try to find ways to be flexible despite the difficulties or some bad choices of the past.

No matter how small or big you were as a band you will leave a legacy behind you. How do you want people to treat this legacy?
-With respect we might say! Consider for a minute how different the music world would be if people didn’t respect the legacy of huge bands, like Beatles, or Pink Floyd! For us, it would be a great honor to know that people refer to our work as something they admire and enjoy!

Is digital taking away the mystery of waiting for a new album now that you can upload as soon as you have written a song?
-For some people! We think that everyone uses the internet to hear music nowadays, but not all of them are content receiving the material digitally! For example, we receive many messages every day from people who say that they heard the songs, but they still want to buy the cd for their personal collection, or because this is what they prefer!

How important is image in separating you from all the million different styles of metal there is out there?
-Image is important, but for us the most important thing is to strive for professionalism, good stage performance, showing respect to the audience and interacting with them during the show. To achieve all the aforementioned, someone certainly has to modify elements of his character. However,transforming yourself completely for the sake of creating an image – a sign of our times – isn’t always good, you shouldn’t strive to change yourself, but to evolve and constantly improve.

Do you deal in different topics lyrically or do you keep to one, just using different variations?
-We don’t have a specific lyrics pattern. Writing lyrics – as well as creating music– are matters of inspiration! So, we’re influenced by our everyday lives, by something that we heard and made us laugh, or cry etc.

Do you consider yourself a live artist or do you like to spend most of the time secluded in a studio?
-We like doing both actually! When we close ourselves into the rehearsal room we create music through the procedure of jamming which is a very liberating process, because each one of us has different musical backgrounds, so everyone brings in a piece of himself. Of course, sharing our music with our audience is equally important, so performing on a stage makes us feel that we accomplice our goal and that our work is like a circle that is completing itself.

How much of a touring band are you guys? What memories do you take with you?
-We just finished our first European tour – along with Amorphis, Textures and Omnium Gatherum! Every day was a new experience! A different city, different country, other people to socialize or to work with! We are for sure very very lucky to have been on tour with 2 fantastic bands such as Amorphis and Textures that are not only great musicians, but most importantly great guys!

What does the future hold?
-We just delivered 38 gigs around Europe and now that we’re back in Greece we plan to have a big release party for our second cd, “Skein Syndrome”, which is available on Amazon, iTunes and Spotify, for anyone who wants to find it! You won’t be disappointed! As for our future performances around Europe, we are in contact with out manager Lars Larsen (Intromental Management & Booking) and our label ViciSolum Productions, and pretty soon we will have exciting things to announce! You can find us on Facebook, twitter, google+, etc. and for more info please visit our site at www.poemband.com.

Stay tuned!

Source: http://battlehelm.com/interviews/poem/