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21 Sep 2016

Soundtruck

At Def Factory Studios Soundtruck work hard on their second album. Guitars, bass, drums and vocals give shape to the "truck's" second root, which according to the band members is going to look the same with the first one, but it will be different. Rockpages.gr camera followed the band in the booth, tuned guitars, played solos, changed amps, burnt lamps and sung its lungs off always after the close look of producer George Florakis'. Interview: Yiannis Dolas Camera/Sound: RοckpagesTV.

Rockpages.gr: The first song that you shared publicly was "Six Round Weapon". Tell us a bit about it...

Vasilis Panagopoulos: The song that’s already released is “Six Round Weapon” which we recorded at Def Factory Studios with George Florakis taking over the production…

Nikos Melas: It’s the first song that was completed and we wanted to present to the audience and introduce the new members that joined the band, as well as our sound and how it’s shaping from now on…

Vasilis Panagopoulos: This song was actually the first one we composed and its style was different. It wasn’t close to the first album’s standards. The guitars were tuned lower… we had a different approach. We wanted to get closer to current music trend. A bit more aggressive guitars and drums… the way we recorded was our usual. We got in separately one by one… there was also the pre-production tracks that was our guide. Also, for the specific track I have to say that it was mixed and mastered by George (Florakis), while our first album as well as our next one will be mastered abroad.

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Rockpages.gr: The band has a new lineup. How did the new members react to the recording process of the new album?

Nikos Melas: Right, well noobs are always noobs… No, I am just kidding! They reacted great. We were looking for the right people for a long time, not just musically, but mostly on a character and personality level… generally, how we’d gell as characters all together. When you have a living substance, and a band is one, with five people… it’s not easy for five personalities to be together, especially when they are very strong sometimes…

Giorgos Kalaitzoglou: Panagopoulos just send me a message on Facebook asking me to attend an audition for the band. He sent me three, or four songs, listened to them, went down one afternoon, played with them, rehearsed and it felt like we’ve been playing together for fifteen years…

Vasilis Panagopoulos: The first one who came in first and recorded was Giorgos on drums… I think it took him around five to six hours to complete the recording  and I can say that his touch was very stronger, exactly what the band wanted. What we’ve been thinking about from the beginning. That’s how we wanted it to sound. More aggressive. Of course, being more aggressive is a double-edged sword as it can’t be easily controlled, but we did it as much as it needed… we were planning to make it sound like that from the very beginning.

Nikos Melas: They are great guys and we have a good chemistry. We are very happy with them and they are too. It works pretty good, they brought ideas to the band, their attitude, their technique is great and they respond to our expectations… both to our previous ones, as well as the new ones from now on.

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Giorgos Kalaitzoglou: Even if one member changes in a band the chemistry changes as well. Every guy that gets in a band brings a different perspective, a new logic. Surely, Soundtruck’s second album might not be so much… Soundtruck! It’s certainly Southern, but there are some new elements that weren’t there in the first album. That’s what I can say for sure. The people who listens to the band will judge the result…

Vasilis Panagopoulos: We focus on having always the best possible songs… we focus in composing more. We want our songs to be good. In the end a band’s product is its songs, that’s what you “sell”. The image and all that stuff come second. Where we focused on the first album as well as the second, when we listen now to the pre-production, was the songs that don’t sound the same with one another. They have a certain direction and approach, but in total they are different. And there are a lot of genres in there. You’ve got heavy rock, psychedelic rock, blues, atmospheric stuff… it’s a weird mix, but overall… yeah! It’s South Hard Rock… that’s how I’d call it.

Rockpages.gr: After the release of your first album the "southern rock" follows you guys, how do you feel about this, would you say that matches with the band?

Nikos Melas: The “southern rock” tag matches with the band, both as its attitude as well as music style. But, historically “southern rock” was the ‘70s bands. That’s when this thing begun and grew up, in the South in the States and those bands where the flag-bearers. Those are our influences and our music walks on their path. But, obviously we have our own experiences and influences…

Vasilis Panagopoulos: We want to enhance our music as much as we can with stuff that we like and we’ve heard from bands that we dig and we try to adopt if they match with our style. I don’t think we’ll ever stop to play south… because, it expresses ourselves. Now, if someone says that it’s a little south, and little rock, or metal that’s fine. That has to do with the production and the way you write a song… the composing part…

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Rockpages.gr: What's Soundtruck's role in the contemporary Greek scene?

Vasilis Panagopoulos: There are several established band in Greece and they work systematically. And I think that this shows.

Nikos Melas: We are a fairly new band in Greece… we’ve already released an album and now we are trying for our second one… through our shows and concerts we’d like the audience to gradually to get to know us…

Vasilis Panagopoulos: …what we strive for is to achieve a uniqueness in our sound. Meaning, if someone listens to a song should go “yes, that’s Soundtruck”. Either because it’s Nikos’ vocals and his voice is characteristic, or someone might listen to Giorgos’ drums, or the guitars… anything really. That’s the essence for me. Now, Soundtruck’s role is to make people have a good time. What we try to do is good shows… and when I say good shows I don’t talk about performing, but for the people that attend and pay for the tickets to have a good time. Drink a beer and say they had a great time watching us…

Nikos Melas: It’s very important for us in Greece, abroad and everywhere for people to get to know us and broaden our audience and if they’d like our music follow us wherever they can.

George Kalaitzoglou: We want to make good music… I wish we could do this until we are 60 years old… I wish we go as high as we can, who doesn’t want this? I am not talking about rockstar status, or being famous… but, having a good time… playing good music, playing good shows and becoming one with the audience. Because we like all that a lot.

Vasilis Panagopoulos: I can say that we are… good servants of rock’n’roll… that! Nothing more… and I think that this is good because we are having a great time through this, we are not in it for the money, or to become rockstars. None of that. We all go to work. We have day jobs. Still we are professionals with what we do. We try to cope with all the hardships that come our way and do whatever we can to get better and better.

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