-We Queens of Steel have been annoying people for 15 years now. During these years a lot of albums have been released. What albums do you specially remember or are your favourites of these last 15 years?
R: Oh, thats a good question. There have been so many releases in the later years that I lost all overview. I guess I haven’t really paid too much attention either as I am a bit “too oldschool for my own good” at times, haha. Still wearing out the 70s and the 80s records and finding my “kicks” there. Either way, In no particular order I’d say Opeth, QOTSA, David Bowie, Celtic Frost, Ghost, PJ Harvey, Ulver, possibly Dead Can Dance and Lana Del Rey. These are all bands/artists that have delivered great music over the last 15 years IMO … Don’t know. This list could possibly change by tomorrow as I am very mood based when I choose my music but for now, i’ll stick with this.
-Even some new bands have been born. Which ones are your favourites?
R: Oh, I don’t really know any new bands… I think. Trying to remember. The first that comes to mind is Billie Eilish actually and also Jonathan Hultén ́s (Tribulation) solo record. Hexvessel and Orannsi Pazuzu are 2 other bands I respect and enjoy, although not exactly “new” new.
–And the split up you regret the most?
R: Don’t know, Black Sabbath perhaps? Don’t really know any other important split… But maybe “quit” would be a better word in their situation.
-All of us tend to attend gigs, festivals… During 15 years we’ve spent a lot of time in airports, trains and cars. What is the show or festival you recall with special affection?
R: Oh, it’s been so many festivals, and all of them have their own little unique story or twist so it’s hard to say. But Hellfest always comes to mind in the category “good festivals” . Wacken as well of course. We in VLTIMAS had a really nice show last year at the Alcatraz Metal Meeting in Belgium as well. Nice festival, very organized. I’ll tell you which one I am really looking forward to playing though, and that is Kilkim Zaibu in Lithuania. We are scheduled to play this summer and I can’t wait. I like festivals with personality and mystique, and if they are located in the woods as well, even better.
-They are a lot of years if you think about it. Which would be your most memorable moment(s)? A milestone or achievement, on a personal and/or musical level.
R: I think getting VLTIMAS up on its feet is one of the better moments in my musical life. I am also very happy with our debut record “Something Wicked Marches In” that came out via Season Of Mist march 2019. We are already working on the follow up as well, so exciting times for this band. Other than that, I have fond memories of the last (ever?) Aura Noir album “Aura Noire”, which I think was massively overlooked by the media, as well as having my Earth Electric Band here in Portugal. We are also soon ready to record our 2nd album and I am very enthusiastic about it. Very dark and more “Doom”-oriented and atmospheric than the more “rock” based debut “Vol.1. Solar”.
-Everything evolves (involutes sometimes) with time, so does the Metal «community». What do you believe has been the biggest change the Metal scene has experienced or is experiencing during this time? For the better or for the worse. Because if we stop and think about it, not even Spotify existed 15 years ago!
R: Well, there you said it. Spotify. The shift has gone in favor of digitalization over these years, a turn that I have learned to live with but somehow still oppose. With the digitalization and its “evolvement” the possibility of cheap technology and recording software opened up a whole new dimension for everyone with a taste for music as well. Everyone could literally just press a button and release their “laptop” music online, which in turn kinda made it a jungle. A characterless jungle. Funny, I feel that after 30 years in the music scene, I’ve heard most genres come and go in trend at least 3 times. There are exceptions of course, but sometimes I catch myself thinking “how many times have I heard this kinda riffing/patterns before?”.
-Looking to the future, what would be the best possible scenario for you if you think about the next 15 years?
R: Still active as a musician and in good health. I’ve made a good living for myself with my music, harvested all the good fruits from the seeds I have sown and I have relocated to a rather desolate island outside of Greece (or some other mediterranian paradise). There I compose, write, paint and cultivate my own plants and medicinal herbs.