Today I’m especially excited because we have a little chat with some heavy riffing, head banging, huge sounding musicians…all the way from Athens, Greece, we have “Absinthe Green”…
Q1) First thing I gotta ask…how did you come up with that awesome name…”Absinthe Green”?
In the past I used to play some RPG games with my friends and Absinthe Green started as a character I made up for a specific game as I was very much obsessed with discovering different brands of Absinthe. Then I joined a band that had different personas on stage and I picked the very character from the RPG that I created as I found it fitting and I could easily integrate it to the theme of the band.
Q2) Ok, now we got that out of the way, why don’t you introduce the band?
The band consists of:
Absinthe Green: Vocals and guitars
Mike Dervos: Lead Guitars
Villi Piris: Bass
Harry Mason: Drums
Q3) So, tell me a little about your musical background…when did each one of you first get into music?
Absinthe: I grew up with my father singing for me Black Sabbath songs as lullabies to get me to sleep and then waking me up screaming and mimicking Robert Plant on “Whole Lotta Love”. I was very lucky to live in such a musical household – my parents were always listening to great music of many diverse genres. I started playing music at an early age, including music education as a toddler, and had my very first public performance at the age of 4, in the music school that I was attending. Since then I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. My first instrument was piano, then classic guitar, electric, then bass, but I consider vocals my main instrument, in the way I am composing and thinking of music. Somehow, the lyrical melody is always the predominant one in my compositions, especially in the Absinthe Green project.
Mike: My father got me listening to classic rock with bands like Deep Purple, Santana, Led Zeppelin, Scorpions, etc. The musicians who influenced me to pick up the guitar were Gary Moore and Yngwie Malmsteen (Trilogy was among the first albums that I ever bought). Later on, my musical taste got shaped more by bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Judas Priest and Dream Theater, All these influences made me realize that I wanted to play the guitar for a living!
Villy: It all started when I first listened to ‘Dirty Deeds’ by AC/DC, ‘Tom Sawyer’ by Rush and ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again by the Who’ on the radio. Later on I was hooked on Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd and NWOBHM. Surprisingly these influences together with me starting to play the bass, led me starting to love other musical genres as well.
Harry: My favourite song as a kid was ‘The Final countdown’. After a couple of years I listened to Alice Cooper’s ‘Trash’ and I couldn’t stop hopping around. I still love that album.
In junior high my friends started getting into hard rock and metal. I already have listened to Maiden and Metallica but when I got the ‘Live after Death’ album I knew that this music was right for me.
In high school with some friends we formed a death metal band called ‘Summer dying Fast’. I was the vocalist back then but I kept asking the drummer to show me how to play stuff. I was always paying more attention to the drumming, no matter the genre or whatever song I was listening to. Later on my closest friends formed a band and they asked me to join and play the drums. I couldn’t play a single beat but the guys believed in me I guess, and that’s how I started doing what I love the most.
Q4) Why don’t you tell more about your latest single “Spineless Creatures”? How did you come up with this song? And why?
Long story short, sometimes I’m getting really fed up with humanity and the way this world operates. The song “Spineless Creatures” is a commentary on today’s society, and how people have become passive and conformed to any given status quo and political system of the time, lacking the ability to exercise any critical thinking. Empathy, common sense, and altruism have all gone out the window, and what will remain in the end? Complacent little zombies who will be rewarded for being with the gifts of consumerism, a cycle that doesn’t seem to ever end.
Q5) Your sound is absolutely brilliant and huge…how do you do that?
The result that you listen to on the songs consists of two basic elements, production-wise.
The songwriting which I take full credit for. I have worked really hard creating, composing and orchestrating each one of the songs both musically and lyrically. It is what I do for a living after all.
2. The sound production which was taken care of by Geegor, -our sound engineer- in the recording proces, and Hiili Hiilesmaa (Sentenced, HIM, 69 Eyes, Amorphis etc.) who did the mixing/mastering and was also in charge of the production alongside me.
Q6) Some of our readers are actually gearheads and musicians too, so why don’t you tell us about your gear a little bit?
Our gear constantly changes while on the road because we do not carry our own backline every time. Some of the gear that we mainly use consists of :
Sonor Drums and Turkish Cymbals
Solar and Dean guitars and EVH Amplifiers
Dingwall Abi basses, Aguilar bass amps
Senheiser wireless and Sontronics Microphones
Absinthe plays predominantly Ibanez electric guitars and Takamine acoustic guitars at this time.
Q7) Did you play any notable gigs?
I have had the luck and honor to have played numerous gigs and festivals in Europe and to have shared the stage with amazing artists that I appreciate and look up to, all these years.
With Absinthe Green formed as a full band only recently, and having had the epidemic situation in the midst of this formation, we haven’t had the chance to play any big festivals yet, something that will change very soon. So far the most notable gig we had was our very first show, which we were also headlining. I was amazed that people already knew the lyrics to our songs, and they were singing along and having a blast.
Q8) If you can choose 2 other bands to share the stage with in an event or a festival…who would you choose and why?
I could answer the question strategically and name different bands for different reasons, but just for the sake of emotion I would choose Black Sabbath and HIM.
Q9) I would love to hear what you planned for the future…
Given the current situation with the pandemic, I really hope that the world will soon return back to normalcy. I would love to play as many shows in as many different towns and countries as possible in order to get that special connection and energy rocking out with numerous audiences every night. I miss performing so much – we were all waiting for so long after all!
Besides touring, and if everything goes as planned, the next album should start to take shape in the next couple of years as well.
Q10) My last question is always a bit of a weird one…but if you were to give an elevator pitch, in 30 seconds on “why should we listen to Absinthe Green”? What would you say?
Because it’s real music with a soul that I feel many people can relate to.
Absinthe Green is a glimpse of my psyche and my fight between light and darkness, love and pain, life and death, The process through whispers to screaming, from mere survival to absolute thriving, all coming from a place of empathy, passion and honesty.
I absolutely dig your sound and your style, we all wish you the best in life…and a lot more.
Thank you and your amazing magazine. It’s been a pleasure!