EMQ’s with PECULIAR THREE
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Livadia, Greece based Hard ‘n’ Heavy Rock/Prog band, “peculiar three”. Huge thanks to lyricist, vocalist & bassist, Valantis Dafkos, for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Hi Rick and thanks for having us!
I am Valantis Dafkos, lyricist, vocalist and bass player for the “peculiar three”. We are a studio project trio and we play hard ’n’ heavy rock with prog and metal elements since 2013, when we decided that playing in a cover band was just not enough for us and formed a “vessel” in which we could be ourselves musically and lyrically, as well as enjoy creating something from scratch! So, I together with Panos Karkanas (guitars & keys) and Paris Gatsios (drums) formed the band! As “peculiar three” we released our first EP “P3culiar” in 2014, followed by its remastered edition in 2019. Our debut full-length “Leap of Faith” was released in 2020.
In addition, you may also hear the π3 members play in “Redeye Caravan”, “The Magic Bus” and “Beyond This Earth”, too!
How did you come up with your band name?
We all love literature and a few years back, we accidentally found out that we had read the same Arthur Conan Doyle book at around the same (young) age! The book was “A Study In Scarlet” and we decided that we should use it somehow in our band. So, we “borrowed” one of the main character’s beloved phrases as part of our band’s name! Furthermore “peculiar” as a word has a strange ring to it, also meaning “strange/special”, just like the ideas we like to put on our music and lyrics! And since there’s three of us… “peculiar three”!
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
The band is based in Livadia, a small city near Athens (Greece) with all the pros and cons you can imagine of such a place! It has a few beautiful spots, nice people and good food! Close to Livadia one can also find ancient monuments, like the well-known Delphi – the ancient religious sanctuary dedicated to the Greek god Apollo, home to the Oracle of Delphi and the priestess Pythia. Despite its low population numbers, Livadia’s music scene is alive and strong, way better than anyone could probably anticipate! New bands pop up frequently and many of them consist of young people, thirsty to rock!
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
A few months back we released our first full-length album and a few days back we released the first lyric video of the album! ‘Caliban’s End’ is an almost classical / orchestral oriented song, something we tried for the first time and we’re really glad we did! Lyrically it’s about Caliban, a peculiar W. Shakespeare character from the play “The Tempest” and my interpretation on his tragic storyline’s end. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy it as much as we did!
‘Caliban’s End’ (Official Lyric Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
We were all “raised” musically during the 90’s, the rock and metal influences of that period are subconsciously present in our music, although our personal preferences seem to differ between us! There’s a lot of good old prog rock for sure, but all the classics of the metal world are there, too. In “Leap of Faith” you can detect these influences in our music and lyrics, but they’re all distilled through our personal prism and character!
What first got you into music?
I was passionate about music from a very young age. I remember myself in the early nineties, through the…“tough” years before the internet, trying to discover more and more by any means necessary (recording radio shows on cassettes – man, what a bummer it was when the producer talked during a song! Watching any music video I could find on tv or searching for music related magazines!), while really paying attention to every detail. At around the age of 10, my parents bought me a keyboard (a “safe” instrument if you live in an apartment!) and that was the time my personal musical journey began. As years passed, I also tried classical and electric guitar, drums, darbuka, bouzouki, baglama and ultimately the bass, while singing all the way through. Then came the bands, the live shows and the recordings, dealing with them every time like it’s the first time! Music was and always will be a huge part of my life…
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Occasioned by “Caliban’s End” it would be truly fantastic if we could collaborate with a band like “Rage” and do something special together, along with their “Lingua Mortis Orchestra”!
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
There’s no question about it: “70000 Tons of Metal” it is! A Heavy Metal festival, on a cruise ship, for 5 days and a Caribbean shore day…all right, what could possibly top that?
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Nothing weird so far, haha! There was this girl once that saw my “Legend of Zelda” related t-shirt and right after the show she brought me a handcrafted Zelda logo, which was really nice actually!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
“Support your local scene”! It may sound a little tedious, but is, in fact, what matters most for the underground scene and thus we hope more and more people would appreciate many of the upcoming bands!
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
There are so many that had so much more to give and left so soon…I think it would be John Lennon.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Music is, above all, a passion to me and as such I serve it with pure love! If I had to choose only one, I’d have to say the gigs! Although creating something by yourself, composing, recording and in the end holding your own record in your hands is an amazing thing, the true experience and communication happens only during a live gig! Especially these times with the quarantine still on, I really miss playing in front of a crowd regardless if it’s a small pub or a big festival stage. Of course, there are some aspects that I wouldn’t…miss if they were to disappear, such as the after-show instrument, amp etc packing – God what a pain in the ass the after-show packing and packaging is, haha!
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Although it’s just a midsummer night’s dream, I would somehow create equal media exposure possibilities for every band, giving them the opportunity to grandstand in their own ways!
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
This must be the first time someone asks that question properly, with the key words being “one of”!!! Since it’s also ONE OF my all-time favourite books, Blind Guardian’s “Nightfall In Middle-Earth” is ONE OF my all-time favourite albums!
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Depending on the occasion, they can all be the best! I would surely prefer the mp3 format when I’m driving, since I enjoy music variety as much as I enjoy long road trips, therefore it’s only fitting. When listening to music at home, I usually want to “touch” the music, so I’d prefer the vinyl (especially if the artwork is really detailed) or the CD (especially when my kids are playing too close to my record player), so I can enjoy reading the lyrics as well. Nope, no sound arguments here, sorry “sound purists”, it all just comes down to your actual medium and speakers’ quality, haha!
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
I always like to say that the best one is the one to come next! That being said, I had the time of my life when I played in my city sharing the stage with my “personal heroes”, the band I used to hear since I was a little child!
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
In fact, I am a teacher, an elementary school principal! My whole family (parents and sister) are teachers, too! It was something I somehow knew from a very young age that would be the perfect job for me, and I have no doubts so far…
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Let me tell you about the best dinner parties I’m regularly having these past few days: My little son invites me in his bedroom for an all-you-can-eat Playmobil stuff buffet along with Ironman, Peppa & George pig, and baby Shark…cool gang, I should probably invite them over to my room sometime soon and have a blast with my Lego, hahaha! (Best Answer Yet – Rick)
What’s next for the band?
There’s a video clip and a second lyric video on the way, so…stay tuned! As for the future, we’ll surely start composing and writing again when we feel like we have something new and interesting to say!
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
You’re welcome to find, hear and purchase both our albums digitally on Bandcamp (www.peculiarthree.bandcamp.com/) and also on most digital distribution platforms, such as Youtube (www.youtube.com/channel/UCX8fw1uaRazcX_8DyOdkTbg), Discogs, Spotify, Soundcloud, Amazon Music, iTunes, Deezer etc.
Of course, as romantics ourselves, we could not but release “Leap of Faith” in physical format too, as a sweet digipak CD, limited to three hundred copies, so send us a message on our Facebook’s like page (www.facebook.com/peculiarthree) for details!
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
I wanted to say biscuit so much, but Wikipedia disagrees with me: “Jaffa Cakes are biscuit-sized cakes introduced by McVitie and Price in the UK in 1927 and named after Jaffa oranges.” And it’s a court decision – even if it’s just for tax purposes – so I guess we should comply…what a bummer, haha!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
We’re the ones who should be thanking you for your time and hospitality! We wish for you and your readers to remain adventurous while discovering new music and bands! Take care, stay healthy and…support your local scene!
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.