I guess that I’ve learned about Rotting Christ during 1997 when they have released their ”A Dead Poet” record. I have to say that i still today i adore this particular piece of work much. But, never the less it always more than welcome to see Sakis and co. performing live anywhere from Slovenia to Hungary, and the band is indeed popular know, perhaps the most popular since their beginnings. So, I met one cold November night in Budapest with Sakis and had one nice talk and chat about Rotting Christ in general.
Tell us something more about the tour, how it’s going so far? Are you satisfied? You were both signing for Century Media about 25 years ago.
Yes, this is the first tour with them. Good company, good shows every night. We feel very good for this tour.
Tell us a little bit more about the tour, where were the best shows. What do you expect for tonight?
I can’t really say which one is the best, 80% of the shows were very good. For today, it’s already sold out, so I think that it’s going to be a hell of a show. We give our best every night, and Moonspell too.
Could you compare everything today with the time when you just signed to Century Media 20-25 years ago, from your point of view? Of course, you are more successful now.
A lot have changed from the 90s, but what remains is the passion and soul, which is really important for us. I have the same feelings for the guys, we are feeling very well. This is what stays the same. About the facilities, yes, today is better of course. Good souls, big festivals, we have food every day. Back in the days we struggled a lot, we didn’t have money at all. We were starving. Our first tours in the 90s, we didn’t have an income, we played for free all the time. And today, we can live for the music, which is very good.
Tell us something about your latest record The Heretics from your point of view.
Yes, this is the album number thirteen. An album that is, for me, more catchy. More melody and more concept. And some of our old fans were not really satisfied with it. Sometimes you just don’t need to be aggressive, play fast and to pretend that you are evil.
Yes, of course, when it comes to The Heretics, people were expecting something else, but you were satisfied completely?
Well, I’m never completely satisfied. I’m satisfied because I was also honest, and that is very important for me, to be honest with what we are doing. I don’t play like people want me to play. I express myself honestly. I think that the fans get it and that is the reason why the band is so, to say, hot at the moment.
When it comes to reaction of both media and fans on the new record, are you satisfied? I’m never completely satisfied. I’m that kind of person that always seeks the new direction in life. But it’s ok, you can not satisfy everyone. That’s life. You just be honest and stay true to your own spirit and you will create something that will touch somebody’s soul. Which is the most important thing for me.
And what would you like to express when writing the new music and composing? More or less all the time, but let’s focus on the new record.
The more I grow up, the more I realize that it’s not just the music, but also lyrics. For me, I would like to pass messages on how I feel, and I have this strong weapon called music. That’s all I want to do. Be true to your own spirit. Last album, The Heretics, I realize how heretic I have been as a person, the life I have lived. It’s not really welcome in society. I realize that I have a lot in common with many heretic people in history. I think that most of the metalheads are heretic with the lifestyle they live, and I’m very proud of mine.
Also, when it comes to the cover artwork, what did you try to express and who have done it? If I’m not wrong, this is a guy from Greece.
I wanted to draw something. I wanted to have this kind of cover this time and I have chosen the very good guy. A very good artist.
Did he work with some other bands before?
No, no. He’s a friend of mine. He lives in the same town.
And what did you try to express with him on this cover artwork?
Heretics. Simple as that. You can see the inquisition and the heretics.
Focusing on the new record, could you select a single track that could represent the album? That would be hard to choose because I consider every track as my children. But if you push me, I would say Fire, God and Fear, that we are also going to play tonight.
Also, focusing on the show tonight, tell us about the setlist. Did you include any songs from the older records?
Setlist is a pain for me, because I have to deal with almost two hundred songs. But the setlist for tonight is a little bit of everything. It’s not based on the latest album. Maybe just two or three songs, that’s all. I tried to satisfy as many people who support the band as possible.
And when it comes to the shows, I have seen you on both single shows and concerts, and festivals like MetalDays. Could you compare the both and which one do you prefer?
This kind of shows are more personal and easier to connect with the fans, nut on festivals not so much. But still, both are amazing for me. And I always do my best. It doesn’t matter if it’s ten people or ten thousand.
If I’m correct, there was a show in Athens where you were supposed to play with Megadeth. Could you tell us something more about it?
Well, I received from the promoter that I’m not allowed to play because I already played with one band, which was Rotting Christ. What can I say. It’s alright.
Any message for the Serbian fans?
Serbia is the only country we don’t play in. I don’t know why. Maybe you don’t have many metalheads, I don’t know. But still, you know, I want to be back really hard. As long as we are receiving offers we will be back to play for our Serbian brothers and do our best to make a good metal show because, this is our spirit and metal has no borders.
We have a band coming from Greece and a band coming from Portugal, and it’s very interesting because it’s not just Western European bands playing. For the first time, we have something different. How do you feel about this?
We break the rules. And we are very proud. The tour is based in South Europe with bands that are based in South Europe, that are doing very well, which is very important, and I’m very proud of it.
- Answers by Sakis
- Interview by Marko Miranovic
- Typed by Darko Panic Novembar, 22 Budapest)