ALPHASTATE – Interview
Hi, and welcome to Metal Maniack! Please tell us about your band and members history.
Manos Xanthakis: AlphaState started by Pete Breaker as a one man project in 2014. He recorded a 4 song demo and started searching for musicians. A couple of months later he contacted me. Pete mentioned that he knew me from way back when I was singing for Celestial Ode but I can’t say I remembered him at all haha!
I started doing home recording demos and after about a month we’re in the studio recording the final versions. At the end of the recordings around July 2014 we realized the material is quite promising and that it’d be shame to stop at the creation of a demo. We decided to do this as a full time band. We started compositing and found our bassist Dimitris Tsounakas (ex-Domenica). We also recruited Nikos Moiras (Art of Simplicity, ex-Celestial Ode, ex-Emono Grizo and many others) as a session drummer and completed the recordings for “Out of the Black”. In August 2015 we found our drummer Foivos Andriopoulos (3Fold Pain, ex-Suicidal Angels, Sad Dolls) and this is the line up we’ve kept since.
What do you think is your band main influences? How and at what age you got into metal?
Pete Breaker: I started listening metal music at the age of 9 approximately.That was the time that I was starting to play electric guitar.I started to listen some tapes with Metallica songs and I would jam along.
Until today Metallica is my favorite band but other bands like Pantera,Ozzy Osbourne,Black Label Society,Firewind,Primal Fear,Steelheart,Testament,Death,Savatage,Disturbed (I could go on haha) are in my heart.
Generally I listen from Heavy to Technical death metal so I am very open-minded I would say.So if I like something from these genres I will fit it in my way to AlphaState sound and style.
Manos Xanthakis: I got into metal when I was 14 the usual way. Friends introduced to me to some bands like Scorpions, Black Sabbath and Motorhead but I wasn’t interested to be honest. It was “Fast as the shark” from Accept that did the trick, I’m an Accept die hard fan ever since. After that came bands like Metallica, UDO, Helloween, Gamma Ray, Beyond Twilight, Ayreon, Judas Priest, Manowar, Iron Maiden, Angra, Lethal, Pantera just to mention a few. All singers from the bands are mentioned have influenced me along with others from Opera like Enrico Caruso, Giacomo Lauri Volpi, Di Stefano, Franco Corelli, Jerom Hines.
How about your band style. How you describe it for those who never listened to your band music?
Pete Breaker: Our band style combines heavy powerful guitar riffs, clean powerful vocals with modern sound and sometimes 80’s aesthetic.Our songs are guitar oriented for sure but in the next album we will try to evolve.
We want to combine these elements and create something more characteristic and personal than “Out Of The Black”.If you really like big loud heavy metal you will love AlphaState!
Explain your band name and how you get it and tell us a little bit about your songs lyrics and messages.
Manos Xanthakis: When I started writing lyrics and vocal lines for the first 4 songs I felled a sense of freedom and balance something that was missing from my life at the time. Alpha state is a state of consciousness where the mind is in full awareness while the body is fully relaxed something that happens when daylight breaks. The person who experiences this state can easily drift from dreaming to awake and back again. I suggested the name to Pete and he tweaked to AlphaState.
Lyrics deal with a lot of stuff that both of us had to deal or put up with along with our worldview. So some songs like “World’s control” and “The system” describe how we see the world, others like “Road to hell” and “Out of the black” deal with getting back on your feet and refuse to be boxed in and some like “Don’t look back”, “Great divide”, “Only chance” are deeply personal. There are no fictional stories here to tell, each word deals with emotions and thoughts that were experienced first hand. Must say that it was a cleansing experience.
Tell us about your band live shows. Do you play often? How are your shows?
Pete Breaker: We believe that live shows are the bread and butter of a band.If you want to exist as a band and not a studio project you have to play very often and anywhere you can!Our shows have been great so far!We have met so many people despite we are a very fresh band!We played a lot of shows in Athens and this week we will play for the first time in Thessaloniki!For 2017 we want to play in European cities for start!We want people to enjoy our music and have a nice time with us.
What you can tell us about your country metal scene in general, and heavy metal scene in particular?
Pete Breaker: Look the heavy metal scene in general have so many great bands and musicians that fight to keep the whole genre alive and well.But in the Greek metal scene things are a different story.Here we have very good musicians and bands but most of the people here don’t listen to metal music unlike in other countries.We are few against many haha.
Manos Xanthakis: Oh man the Greek scene is thriving. There are so many bands covering every single genre of metal. Black/death/grind/progressive/power/heavy/hard rock/stoner/djent. If anyone is interested there are so many choices. Greek bands have really stepped up their game. Besides big bands like Septic Flesh, Rotting Christ, Firewind there are newer ones like False Coda, Until Rain, Wardrum, Immensity and some older ones that are still going strong like Innerwish, Verdict Denied, Fortress Under Siege, Power Crue, Marauder, Sorrowful Winds and I just mentioning some names that pop to mind now. There dozens of new bands popping out every month, There are also many releases especially since the mid ‘00s and thankfully a lot of places where someone can play live. BUT………
In contradiction to the wealth and diversity of bands, availability and number of different clubs, the audience retains certain negative attitude against local bands. It’s almost funny saying this but a local metal band still faces prejudice for being amateurish and sub-par while a similar band from anywhere else in the world would be glorified. Media are to blamed up to a point since they’re responsible for cultivating this specific attitude since the late ‘80s. By deliberately refusing to cover gigs and albums the majority of the public was left unaware of great music created locally. And when a certain exposition was provided it was accompanied by ridicule for things (like pronunciation, mixing)that other bands were praised for. And these are accusations for printed press only, cause the rest of the media like tv and radio simply ignored the whole genre. Unfortunately this has passed down to the webradios, webtv and webzines which comes as a surprise since the internet was supposed to be the platform that would erase all that and should provide equal opportunities.
Describe your band releases so far. What reactions had media and audience about your music until now?
Pete Breaker: We have one release so far called “Out Of The Black”.At the moment we are in the studio and we are recording our second masterpiece with Bob Katsionis in the producer’s chair.Look the first reactions were very good and the fans were shocked but in the end of day they liked it very much.We like very much the fact that the people cannot categorise us in a genre like heavy metal or power metal etc.We wanted to accomplish that to say the truth because we wanted to create something new as possible.I believe that we achieved it.
Please describe your band in few words for future fans or record labels that are interested in signing with your band.
Pete Breaker:In our words it would be very powerful,big,loud,heavy as hell and METAL! Nothing nothing less just pure METAL!
How can your fans or record labels contact your band?
Manos Xanthakis: Anyone can contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by our pages at Facebook (facebook.com/alphastatemetal) and Reverbnation (reverbnation.com/alphastateofficial). Physical copies can be purchased directly from the band or from any digital store like iTunes, Google Play, Spotify etc.
Thank you for this “rapid fire” interview! If you have something to add now is the time. Stay Metal!!!
Pete Breaker: Keep rocking people!METAL \m/\m/\m/