Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Interview with Lethal Saint

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Andreas Kasapis who is the vocalist for classic style metal band Lethal Saint.


MM-Please introduce the members of your band.

AK-Hi there Mark, first I would like to thank you for the interview, it helps spreading the name of the band even further. Lately we went through a line-up change so now the members are: Andreas Pougioukkas (vocals), Christis Isseyegh (drums), Christoforos Gavriel (guitars) the new member, a really talented kid and me Andreas Kasapis (guitars). Now as far as the bass goes we are using guest players until we finally find someone to fill the gap!

MM-Tell us some about the history of Lethal Saint.

AK-Well, it all started back in 2006 in Cyprus by Christos Papadopoulos (guitars), Christis and me. We wrote our first songs and shortly after that, in early 2007, Andreas Pougioukkas joined and completed Lethal Saint’s fleet.  Finding a bassist though proved (and still does) to be a fairly difficult task. By the end of the summer of 2007 we managed to release our first demo (self-released-produced) limited to 150 copies and it did really well as it was sold out from the first gig following the release. Then we continued with concerts to ensure the name of the band in the local scene, until we had our first ten tracks ready to be recorded. We won a contest in Cyprus as the band of the year 2008 and the prize was to record a full-length album at a local studio, which we did. Recordings began in January 2009, but eventually we realized that the studio engineer didn’t have a lot of experience with the studio work, so we found ourselves trying to understand all the equipment being used so that we could release a good record. It took us up to a year to finish it due to this circumstance and misunderstandings with the producer and the result unfortunately was not exactly what we expected. This record was then released by a local label named Pitch Black Records in February 2010 and the album title was “Lethal Saint”. He did a really good job on promoting the band outside nailing some interviews on the radio in New York, magazines in EU and US and we also got fairly good reviews too. Next, we did a couple of gigs promoting the album, only to enter the studio again in January 2011 to record a three track single with totally new songs where half of the recordings were done in Cyprus and the other half in London where I was studying. The famous French artist Chris Moyen was responsible for doing the artwork of the single and we are extremely honored about this, the record was fully self-released on the 24th of May 2011 and it was limited to 300 copies with title “Saint Strikes Back”. These first three records are sold out now. At the same time while recording the single we got an offer from the producer/promoter Bart Gabriel, who works with great names in the scene (Crystal Viper, Lonewolf, etc), to record a Metalucifer song of our choice for a tribute album that he was in charge of, so we selected Heavy Metal Drill. The record was then released in Keep It True festival in Germany on April 20011, limited to 666 copies.  Moving on, March 2012 after closing a deal with the French label Emanes Metal Records (which is also our current label), we released the single on a 7inch vinyl in corporation with another two labels, the French Under Sieged and the German Dying Victims Productions. The vinyl contains a selection of two songs (Remixed, Remastered) from the single and it’s limited to 500 copies - so grab one soon!

MM-How has your band progressed since forming?

AK-I think we progressed a lot since forming especially regarding our skill with the instruments. We strive to become as professionals in the music scene. Also we have improved our composing abilities and we try to be extremely united as a band so that everyone that comes to our show will be satisfied and we feel good with ourselves. Unfortunately we never had the chance to do a proper recording but will certainly not repeat our previous mistakes with the new album.

MM-Are you currently working on writing any new music?

AK-Yes, at the moment I’m working on new material doing some rough recordings and demos not for promotional use, just for some personal purposes so we will have a better idea how the songs will come out and be prepared before entering the studio. The new stuff is based on a combination of US metal such as Helstar, Liege Lord, Vicious Rumors etc, with a blend of German metal in the style of Accept, Heaven’s Gate, Primal Fear and many more. Overall it’s going to be a mixture of heavy metal and thrash something that we haven’t tried before but I’m confident our fans will love the result.

MM-ho are your musical influences?

AK-Oh, this is a tough one! I will start with my favourite one which is Accept then I would say Heaven’s Gate, U.D.O., Gamma Ray, Primal Fear, Mind Odyssey, Gravestone, Riot, Crimson Glory, Helstar, Vicious Rumors, Hittman, Titan Force, Liege Lord, Fifth Angel, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Helloween, Tokyo Blade any NWOBHM, German Heavy Metal and US Power Metal. I am also influenced by blues, rock and a bit of classical music as well. 

MM-Obviously you like 80’s metal quite a bit. What do you think made the music from that decade so special?

AK-The special thing about the 80’s was that there were fewer bands around, so it wasn’t that difficult to create something unique in order to stand out. Also quality in the music was important. Bands were well rehearsed making the live shows better and more intense plus in the studio they didn’t have the advantages that we do now, so they had to practice a lot and master their instruments before entering the recording room, because there, they only had few takes to nail the whole song, copy and paste wasn’t an option back then. That’s why now most of these bands have evolved to contain such great players and produce unbelievable albums.

MM-What is the music scene like in your area? How could it be better than it currently is?

AK-Well, the scene in Cyprus is growing fast which, in my opinion, is not ideal because the metal crowd is limited and they can’t support every gig. There is also an economic crisis going on and you can’t spend your money to all the shows constantly taking place. So the organizers must take that in to account and stop bringing bands that do not even have a demo just because they liked a song and were easy to get in contact with. In order to be successful you have to be professional!!

MM-Are there any other great bands in your area that we should know about?

AK-Yes, here are some bands from Cyprus that I think are great and their names deserve to be known:
Arrayan Path, Hardraw, Vomitile, Necrosadist and Blynd.

MM-What do think about the metal scene in general in 2012? Is it better than it was ten years ago, worse or about the same?

AK-The metal scene in 2012 I think is getting better than it was ten years ago because more great bands are coming out, there is more passion for metal and there’s lots of creativity going on. I think the most important reason that kept the flame alive was undoubtedly the underground movement. If it wasn’t for that, metal wouldn’t survive a day in the 00’s.

MM-Have you been touring much this year? If so then where have you played with?

AK-Not that much because half of us study here in London and the rest work in Cyprus, so it’s hard to keep up with a hardcore tour, but we did some shows in Greece supporting Helstar in Athens and Thessaloniki and taking part on the Up the Hammers fest that takes place in Athens every March. Other than that we did some shows in Cyprus and we were about to support Grave Digger but the gig cancelled for some strange reason that I still don’t know. Next we took part in a summer local festival called “Power of the Night” supporting once again Cloven Hoof and for the first time Praying Mantis. That’s it up until now hopefully something new will come up in the near future.

MM-What bands would you love to share a stage with?

AK-The ultimate would be Accept, then Vicious Rumors, Hittman, Titan Force, U.D.O and most of my influences basically.  

MM-What are some of your favourite albums of 2012 so far?

AK-I would say: Primal Fear-Unbreakable, Herman Frank-Right in the Guts, Accept-Stalingrad, Malice-New Breed of Godz, Skeletor-Agents of Power, Obsession- Order of Chaos, Marauder-Elegy of Blood and many more!!

MM-I submit every band I interview to this so pick the band you prefer from each of the following pairs and tell why you picked them.
Armored Saint or Manowar
Kreator or Sodom
Raven or Accept
Iron Maiden or Motorhead

AK-For the first pair I would choose Armored Saint because it was one of the bands that I was listening back when I was in high school and still do, I love their music and as my mates say “Only ARMORED SAINT and nothing more”!
Next comes the German artillery! Well Sodom prevails with just a slight bit of difference over Kreator because they have those small groovy parts which are important to include in thrash.
Hmm, hard to decide but since Accept is my favourite band I would go for that! I also love Raven and with such a pair it would be a restless and wild live at the inferno!!!
Finally, I love both but I will go for Maiden because I have gained more influence from them rather than Motorhead.

MM-Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your band or your music?

AK-I would like to let readers know that they can find any information they might be interested in about the band at the following links:
Official Website:  http://www.lethalsaint.com/
If anyone is interested in buying Lethal Saint merchandise they can contact us at the following email:
                Email: lethalsaintheavymetal@gmail.com
Thanks a lot Mark for the interview I wish you and the readers all the best!
Andreas Kasapis


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