EMQ’s with SKAGS
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Athens, Greece based Alternative Electronic Psychedelic Rock band, SKAGS. Huge thanks to them 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?
In 2017, founding members vocalist Spyretta Driva, Kostas Sokos (guitar), and Sotiris Angelidis (bass/vocals) came together with others to form a cover band, taking the first letter from each other’s name to form the acronym, and band name – SKAGS. Keyboardist Christina Papandreou and drummer Christos Alexandris would later join the band, as SKAGS found a solid line-up. Even though 2020 was a turbulent year for many, SKAGS used it to their benefit as they created what would become their debut album – “Digital Cage Of A Cursed Generation”. Released in November 2020, the record fuses together several styles and influences, giving way to a unique sound for SKAGS. With its theatrical grandeur, euphoric synth lines and guitar-led soundscapes, “Digital Cage Of A Cursed Generation” is a compelling collection as the Athens five-piece tell thought-provoking stories.
How did you come up with your band name?
The band’s name began as an acronym, formed by the first letters of our member’s names at that time. Since then, inevitably, some members left and other came, but in the meanwhile we decided to keep the name. Actually, the word “skag” is slang for recreational drugs, and such we consider our music, intense and highly addictive.
What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?
We are located in Athens, Greece. The music scene here is mostly focused on mainstream pop, folk and hip-hop hits. In terms of metal there a few great bands from Athens such as Rotting Christ, which in fact are from the same neighbourhood as us. Moreover, there is also a popular heavy rock scene building up lately. There are quite a few Greek bands like Planet of Zeus, 1000 Mods, Puta Volcano, Villagers of Ioannina City (VIC) etc. who have established a strong fan base with dedicated followers even outside Greece.
What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Our latest release is our debut album “Digital Cage Of A Cursed Generation”, released on the 5th of November 2020.
‘The Man Sitting Right Next Door’ (Official Video)
‘The Weekend’ (Official Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
We all share the love of music, however each one of us has his/her own personal taste. As a result, our music is influenced by diverse music genres, composers, and bands. It is worth mentioning though, Pink Floyd , Radiohead , Guns N Roses and Dream Theater which are the band’s most favourite artists and the ones that we grew up listening to.
What first got you into music?
Spyretta: Ever since I was little, my life always included music: from having piano lessons, to singing in choirs, to just listening to it. Being in a band, though, is the most intense experience I’ve had, concerning music. It is a much-needed way of self-expression.
Chris: Music has been part of my life since I can remember myself. Listening to the radio and records from friends and family shaped my overall taste in different styles and genres.
Sotiris: My first encounter with music was at the age of ten when I started learning classical guitar. 3 years later, when I was a teenager, my father bought me an electric guitar and this was the time that I realized music is a big part of my life. I instantly started writing my own songs, creating bands with my friends and spending almost all of my free time playing the guitar.
Christina: Ever since I was a little girl we were listening to music with my parents. I started piano lessons at the age of 9 and violin two years later. Deep down I was convinced that I was going to be a musician. I have spent innumerable hours practicing and there are still more to come…
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Our top picks would be Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Guns and Roses and Dream Theater.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Glastonbury, because it is one of the top5 greatest festivals worldwide and we also believe that we fit musically.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
After the end of a concert, a fan followed our singer to the toilet and opened the door, in order to ask for her cell phone number. Not exactly a gift , but he had the balls (hahaha).
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
We have a lot more things to present to you and we thank you so much for your support so far.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Ohhh, so difficult a question…Can we bring them all ??
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Being a musician is a blessing. Especially being in a band, where you are somehow connected with other people, is a unique form of expression. It is a gift. What we hate is that you always need to invest money in order to improve your sound and it is very difficult to make a living out of it.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
We would give more opportunities to independent artists.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Chris: Deep Purple – “Machine Head”
Sotiris: Pink Floyd –-“The Division Bell”
Spyretta: Radiohead-“OK Computer”
Christina: Guns ‘N Roses – “Appetite For Destruction”
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. CD’s are the best in terms of audio quality. But in terms of the experience of listening to music, Vinyl is by far the best. Putting the needle in the disk is incomparable, it is a ritual.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Well, the best show we played was about 1 and a half years ago, at a bar in the centre of Athens. The vibe that we were getting from the crowd and the connection we had, was very unique and we couldn’t stop playing for them.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Spyretta: If I hadn’t gotten into it, I’d probably look for a different way to convey my feelings, most probably theatre.
Chris: Not into music? I think I would be a really boring person. Music is a way of life, so not being into it, is not living.
Sotiris: If I had not gotten into music maybe I would be a chef or a football player.
Christina: If I had not gotten into music, I would be an animal rights lawyer.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
David Gilmour, John Petrucci, Thom Yorke, Axl Rose and Richie Blackmore. And we would cook moussaka for them (hahaha).
What’s next for the band?
The band has many plans for the future and only some of them are:
-A release party for our album
-A live videoclip
-A new photography session
-Recording and releasing our second full album
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
We use Facebook and Instagram for promoting our work. Our music is included in all the major digital platforms worldwide and also in our Bandcamp page one can buy a physical release of our album.
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
They are biscuit-sized cakes 😊.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
We really thank you for this interview and we really hope to see you someday in a festival or gig.
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