Interview: CYCLOPEAN WALLS
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Music was always a part of my life. My grandfather played guitar and sang. My older brother, unintentionally, got me into the music I love. He was a 70s hippie and I would listen to the music he played at home and in the car. I can't see myself not writing and performing my music.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I read alot. History topics, mostly. It's a great source of influence, when I write lyrics. I also workout alot. Keeping in shape helps my mind and soul.
How long has your band been around?
My band, Terra 1nc0gnita, has been around for about 10 years. This new album, that's coming out though, has nothing to do with the band. "Ethical Dilemma", is the result of my collaboration with multi musician/producer, and long time friend Bob Katsionis.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I was born and raised in Astoria, New York. I grew up in a ghetto, with many cultures and different kinds of people from all over the world. I believe that subconsciously, anything I do musically, has alot to do with my old neighborhood.
I am currently based out of my homeland, Athens, Greece. I also get much influence from here.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Well, the project name, "Vass/Katsionis" says it all.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Wow,,,,, so many. I have to say opening for Firewind, in Romania @ the Satu Mare open air festival was a sure highlight. The show in Athens, with Grave Digger, was a thrill, also.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
My favorite venue to play, is any venue where fans come out to support the live music we play. It's very important that the live performers have a packed house.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Fates Warning, & Queensryche.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Don't do it for any other reason, than the pure satisfaction of creating music. What ever else comes, work hard to earn it. A band is a relationship. With its compromises, etc.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Don't waste time with halfass, bad musicians. Always work/write with those who share your passion.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
From this upcoming album, "Ethical Dilemma", I would have to say that "Mark the Moment" is my favorite. I'm very proud of my lyrics, and vocal performance in this song. That's also why we chose it to be the 1st official video clip from the album.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Oh man. I love them all. They are all a part of my soul. "OUTCOME", from Terra 1nc0gnita's debut album, is the song that most fans request.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I went to Bob with the idea of me releasing a solo album. He started writing music for me, and when I started to put lyrics & melodies to the music, we both decided to release it as a joint project, "Vass/Katsionis".
Inspiration comes from everything, everywhere, and anywhere.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I'm definitely a concept writer. I try to get as many messages across, as I can. From relationships, to politics, to religion, etc.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I'm really focused on what "Vass/Katsionis" has to offer, right now. It's fresh, new, and exciting. I'm hoping it goes well for this debut album, so that we can further our venture. It's worth it.