Interview with InnerWish (George Eikosipentakis/ Vocals,Thimios Krikos/ Guitars, Manolis Tsigkos/ Guitars, Antonis Mazarakis/ Bass, Fragiskos Samoilis/ Drums, George Geogiou/ Keyboards) by Petra M. Jansen
Hi guys, nice to meet you here at the FMO Full Metal Osthessen Festival 2017 and thanks a lot for spending your time with me. Great pleasure!
And we are InnerWish, we have no names (laughs).
InnerWish is a Christian melodic power metal band from Greece and no stranger in the metal scene. First of all congratulation to your amazing music, I pretty enjoyed each of your albums. So, hello to all of you, how are things going in Greece at the moment?
Hahaha, we can talk about politics and everything… ok, we are characterized as a Christian metal band because maybe we´ve some things in the lyrics or some positive messages so one can understand them as Christian songs but we don´t want to be characterized in a special category. We just play music and everyone can explain or interpret the lyrics as he wants. We write about things which are very much related to life, to emotions, to our families, almost daily things or such human things. We are not specialized in Christian lyrics, it´s not our purpose. But we drink some Christian beers hahaha…. God bless! Anyway we are Greeks, we are born in Greece and we are grown up with religion. We are not using our music to promote Christian messages. On the first album of InnerWish we had a song which is called” Lord Of Truth” or “Waiting For The Dawn”… maybe this characterized us as a Christian band. When we split up after the first recording… our first singer became a monk for about 8 years and we had a cover with a cross on it´s front. We are not against Christians, we are Christians, of course… but our music has several real messages.
You had a line up changing and one of your band members is also playing in DIVINER, is it right?
Yeah, in DIVINER also, right. We were very good friends with the singer of DIVINER. We did some songwriting and productions together but then it was almost impossible to do that, we needed more time. The best thing I could do was to leave the band – I discussed that with the guys – so they had to find any other member who was 100% with the band. They found a new guitarist but Franky is still the drummer of DIVINER.
Tell us a bit about the band InnerWish from the beginning in 1995 in Greece. What´s your musical background and which bands influenced your music?
The classic way bands, we are all listeners to the classic hard rock bands and the classical metal of the 80´s. The basics of our music is the classical metal like the 70´s/ 80´s hard rock and JUDAS PRIEST, SAXON, ACCEPT and others. During a new production we were listening to some melodic metal from the 80/90´s and I still remember that we are still big fans of WARLORD… we were listening to that stuff the whole day long. Most of it is on the basics of the 70/80´s.
You chose the name InnerWish, does this have any special meaning and is there a story behind that?
Yeah, there´s a special meaning, I remember. It was our first bass player who had the idea with the name and with the idea that INNER WISH means something that you really want to do … something like a burning desire. It has to do with ourselves, with our passion of music, our passion of life and things we really want to do. For us it´s a beautiful name choice.
Do you involve topics like Jesus Christ, Religion or such things into your lyrics or is it just to pass on a deeper sense to the people? What´s you purpose?
All of our lyrics talk about reality or at least the reality from the way we see it. About self-control, self-believe, trust, the deeper sense of life. In the album we´ve songs about suicide… but that´s not the solution actually. Our label has many Christian bands, so some people want to relate us, too. But all topics are about life and reality, no fictional stories, no dragons or stuff like that. Hahaha… dragons exist! BLIND GUARDIAN has dragons…so they exist (laughs)! Yeah, they really exist! We want to talk about problems we face. Some of them might be dark but in every song there´s the bright side also. It´s rainy but after the rain there´s the sun – that´s the main point.
What are the main attitudes or character traits a person necessarily should have in your opinion?
The characteristic. Honesty. To be yourself. You don´t have to be someone else in order for people to like you. Just be yourself.
How many albums did the band release yet?
We released 5 albums.
Yes. We´ve to be honest, we were not satisfied with the last label. We changed the label, you´re right. Now they understand what we are doing and they respect our personalities and that´s the most important thing for us because we are big guys, you know? First of all we need to feel that the label doesn´t treat our music as a product. Of course it has to do with all the marketing things and promotion when it gets out of our hands but we need to feel that the label believes in what we are doing and likes what we are doing. That gives us the push to go on. From the beginning they believed into the band. We are 100% satisfied with this label because all the guys are doing the best for us. For the last two albums we have made the productions and the recording in Greece and have made the mix in Sweden and the mastering also. The artwork of the album was created by Felipe Machado Franco (Blind Guardian, Rhapsody Of Fire, Xandria) and the design was done by Jan Yrlund (Korpiklaani, Apocalyptica, Manowar). But the sound in Sweden is top for us!
Your new self-titled album “InnerWish” is out now. Did you expect that success? Tell us a bit about this album please.
From the beginning we gave our best and did the songs exactly like they have to be for us. From the pre-production we knew that we had some very strong songs. We had a great feedback from the people, from magazines, from webzines… now we know something important happened with this album for us and for the people, because there are so many guys that really enjoyed listening to the album. During the mixing process we had some delay. We had some problems with the communication with Fredrik via internet…. he couldn´t receive our emails due to some technical problems. We wanted to tell him some changes in the sound we wanted to do when we heard the first mixes of the album and one night he sent an email to us and said “Hey man, it´s a perfect album.” When Fredrik… says it´s a good one, then 99% it is a good album. He told us “Man, you have a great album in your hands.” No, we didn´t expect that success. Fredrik makes the mix and mastering for bands from the whole world… like In Flames, Dimmu Borgir, Firewind… nearly everybody. So it is a very important thing for us. The new album is produced by Thimios Krikos and Fotis Bernado, recorded at Deva Soundz Studios by Fotis Bernado and LoNe Studios by Thimios Krikos (Greece). Mixed by Studio Fredman, Fredrik Nordstrom and Henrik Udd (Sweden), mastered by Peter In de Betou at Tailor Made Studios, Stockholm (Sweden). The only fear we had was that we didn´t release an album since 6 years so we were not sure if we are still alive for some people… maybe some believed we are dead. Ok, ok… 5 years and 11 months (laughs).
What´s your favorite song on the new album? Is there any song which you prefer and really enjoy playing live… more than others?
“Rain of a thousand years”, “Tame the seven seas”, “Serenity”… the whole album, they are all equal, all songs are favorites. Let´s say…. 1. album: 9 songs, 2. album: 10 songs, 3. album: 11 songs, 4.album: 12 songs, 5. album: 13 songs… 6. album: 5 songs… hahahaha (laughs).
Live: “Tame of the seven seas”
You guys are playing here at the FMO Full Metal Osthessen Festival tonight and what are the next stations?
Tomorrow we play in Arnheim/ Netherlands. Then we have another show in Switzerland in March and afterwards we play two shows in Greece. We expect to have more shows and some great festivals soon.
Which would be your favorite festivals to play?
WACKEN would be our favorite festival to play…no…everything of course (laughs) and GRASPOP… all the big festivals! WACKEN is the most historical metal festival in Europe, the capital of heavy metal. If you think of the promotional things, HELLFEST and Sweden Rock would be great! We think, HELLFEST in number one.
What are your goals? What do you really want to achieve?
We are a company of friends. So we want to play music together to get some beers and to have some fun. We have 6 children…and want to be together and spend time with our children and our wives. Every new achievement is good for us. But we all have great jobs and we do the things as good as we can. To hear that people love our music and respect us is sometimes more worth than money. We are still here, we are ok and we feel blessed. If you are moving into a more professional level, things become more difficult. For us it´s more about quality instead of quantity. We feel blessed that we have done a lot of things for us – the band is still here and the people like it and if they like our music it´s more than enough. Maybe we become bigger but we won´t write music just to sell.
If you go on tour which band would you like to support?
Ah, BLIND GUARDIAN. Ahhhh, they support us … hahaha, just a joke (laughs). METALLICA, IRON MAIDEN. We do our best to become more famous.
Well, last question… is it an advantage, or even more essential, to have had a classical music education if you want to become a professional musician and play in a successful band?
I am a drummer, I´m not a musician so ask the other ones… hahahaha (Franky). It´s not necessary to have a classical education in order to write music but at least when you are educated you know how to describe and write a song, how to make the harmonies and so one… whatever you know about the composition that is always increasing the inspiration. If you don´t know the chorus or something else you can´t go further but I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. Sometimes you have an excellent educated guitarist who is not able to write a simple song and sometimes too much educated people finally play music for musicians, you understand? It depends on the talent and feeling if you want to write good music.
Thanks a lot, guys for taking your time, appreciate it! All the best, God bless!
Thank you so much also, Petra. Was fun!
© Petra M. Jansen
Link Homepage INNER WISH: http://www.innerwish.gr/
Link Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/artist/3n2dDAtQ8u71AlBfs44ZC9?play=true&utm_source=open.spotify.com&utm_medium=open
Link INNER WISH Facebook: https://de-de.facebook.com/innerwishofficial/
Link Reverbnation: https://www.reverbnation.com/innerwish
Link Encyclopaedia Metallum: http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/InnerWish/14916
Link Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/de/artist/1927429-Inner-Wish
Link YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv72Cf_a0iP6vHNrEogD-Gw