Suicidal Angels is a young band hailing from Greece which is taking the thrash metal world by assault. They are currently signed to Nuclear Blast and this is just another proof of their quality. Their latest album was entitled Sanctify the Darkness and you can believe me when I say that it will not leave anyone indifferent.
Their alchemy between classic thrash schools and a deliciously modern sound made them become one of the revelations of 2009 (4 staff members of www.metalicos.com included Sanctify the Darkness in their Top 20), and for sure, they will be from now on, one of the key points of European thrash metal.
The following interview is courtesy of Nick Melissourgos, vocalist and guitarist of the band.
Time to headbang in the name of thrash fellas!
1-METALICOS-Hello Nick, greetings from www.metalicos.com thanks for giving us the chance of making this interview. Hope everything is going OK. Well, can you please introduce yourself and the band to our readers in Latin America?
NICK/ Hello Mauricio and thank you for this opportunity. I'm one of the two guitarists and lead singer of Suicidal Angels. Our musical genre is old-school thrash metal with influences from the Bay Area thrash scene during the 80's, and all the death or thrash metal bands of this era.
2-METALICOS-We know some of the details about the beginning of Suicidal Angels back in 2001, but could you tell us how you first conceived the band, and what were your motivations?
NICK/ We started back in 2001, with me trying to form a band. No particular reason, I just wanted to play the music I liked. After a while I met Orfeas and that's actually when Suicidal Angels were born. We kept changing members until we could have a steady line-up because the band's schedule was hard even from back then. We didn't want to just play, we wanted to play the way it was supposed to sound. You can say we were very dedicated since the early days.
3-METALICOS-Suicidal Angels is one of the great additions to this thrash metal comeback that we are witnessing, what do you think is the reason for such a strong revival of the genre?
NICK/ Whatever’s your favorite style of music, new or old, one must admit that bands like Slayer, Judas Priest or Iron Maiden, have created history with their music, with classic albums that will remain even after they pass away. So today, we’ve reached a point where it’s very hard to sound diverse or original while playing modern metal, because everything has almost been played. Of course music never stops evolving, at some point there will be a breakthrough and something new will arise. But until then, people will turn to the classics for inspiration, because that is where everything started. All the hardcore riffs of today, are old thrash riffs but on different drumming. So if that’s where today’s music emerged from, this is where something else will be born as well.
4-METALICOS-You got signed to Nuclear Blast recently; how do you feel about that? And also, can you tell us the story of how you ended up with them?
NICK/ The record deal with Nuclear Blast was totally unexpected. We were planning on recording our second album and once it was done we would search for a label to publish it. But we never aimed that high, we thought we had no chance. We were thinking that this would be another underground release and that would be it. But when we got back home, we decided to take part in the Rock The Nation contest, the winner of which gets a deal with Nuclear Blast and Rock The Nation. Along with Steelwing from Sweden, we won the contest and the rest is history...
5-METALICOS-You have shared the stage with great bands like Massacre, Onslaught, Kreator, Kataklism, Belphegor and fellow Greeks Rotting Christ, just to name a few. Being a young band, what have you learned from such big acts?
NICK/ We've learnt that only with hard work, can one band reach a higher level. These bands that you just mentioned are the most respected, each one in their own field of music. All of them though, share a common thing. The struggle to take their music further; and that can only be achieved through professional and hard work.
6-METALICOS-Can you share with us any fun (or horrible!) stories from being on the road with those bands?
NICK/ I think you don't want to hear the horrible stories, haha! Well I remember, on the Kataklysm tour, Darkest Hour were playing right before Belphegor, so on the last show of Darkest Hour, we called upon the stage Lonestar and Mike and we jammed live a ZZ Top track, "Shard Dressed Man". It was great, an amazing experience.
7-METALICOS-It´s clear that with every new production, you have been garnering more and more attention and now many people around the world is aware about your work; what are your thoughts on being recognized so widely for the quality of your music?
NICK/ To be honest with you, every time someone tells us how much he loved our album, or how great he thinks the band is, we feel kinda awkward... It's hard for us to comprehend those feelings, because they are so true and new to us! But we are glad for people expressing their thoughts, good and bad, on our music. It makes work harder for the fans we gain and even harder for the ones that don't like us.
8-METALICOS-Let’s talk about your latest record “Sanctify the Darkness”; it’s a wonderful mix of influences from different schools of classic thrash, but also with a modern edge especially in terms of production, and a sound specific to the band is clearly developing. How did you come up with such a strong record? What was going through your minds when composing and recording it?
NICK/ It just happened that the material we were working on sounded this way. As I told you, we were planning on recording the album and then search for a label. We thought it was another underground release.
9-METALICOS-How is the people responding to your new material when played live?
NICK/ Great, great! The ones that know about us are ready to mosh in the oldschool way, stage dive or just bang the shit out of their heads! Those we listen to us for the first time are a bit hesitating for the first couple of songs, but they soon catch up with the rest. It's amazing; the reactions we are getting from the crowd are out of this world!
10-METALICOS-This is a mandatory question on all our interviews: What do you think about playing in Latin America one day? What have you heard about the audiences on this side of the world?
NICK/ Well it's the part of the world that gave birth to such bands like Sepultura and Violator! So hell yeah, we wanna play there! We've heard that it's one of the most violent and passionate audiences around the globe and we'd like to put that great reputation to the test!
11-METALICOS-What lies ahead for Suicidal Angels now? More touring, composing a new album, taking a break maybe?
NICK/ Right now, we're taking a break after 2 months of touring, after that, we resume our working. We have to put down the last details on the songs of the third record, just a few things. After that, keep rehearsing, then a possible tour on May, and after that all the grand summer festivals!
12-METALICOS-Alright Nick, thanks once again for your time, I’m sure your words will bring Suicidal Angels to the attention of many thrashers on our lands; I can only hope that we get to see you someday over here! Any last words for us?
NICK/ Once again, thank you for this opportunity and I hope to see you too as well. Given the chance, I would like to send my regrets to Haiti and everyone that was affected by this great natural disaster... Me and the band wish all the best...