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Interview: PROJECT RENEGADE
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Answered by: Ody (drums)
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I think it’s a collection of a lot of experiences. I remember seeing bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot etc. on Headbangers Ball on Mtv and I thought they were so cool. I remember telling myself that I wanted to do that. Also, my school had a summer school program where it essentially turned into an art school. It had painting classes, a marching band, acting classes, music groups plus photography and film clubs. After receiving all this artistic stimuli plus seeing all those bands being super wicked on stage I asked for guitar lessons but I was utter crap at that instrument, so after a couple of months I told my parents that I never liked guitar and wanted to play drums instead. I did chores, I was handing out flyers after school…did everything to gather the money to buy my first drum set and when I got it that was it for me, I was hooked for life…Later on as a young adult I learned how to play piano and – ironically – guitar in order to write my own songs but I’ll always be a drummer first!
To be honest with you I cannot imagine my life without music, I am a special education teacher and I also teach linguistics, I like working with children but I don’t think I am as good as a teacher as I am a musician…So, probably it’d be a teacher. But in all honesty my life would be very empty without music!
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love skating, it takes my mind off of things and it’s something I do ever since I was 9 off and on. I love reading comic books, I think it’s my main source of inspiration outside real life events for writing music. Reading about all those incredible – sometimes supernatural – men and women (or extraterrestrial beings) fuels me with a lot of musical ideas. Comic books are a great source of opening up a dialogue for very deep stuff that needs to be addressed in today’s day and age. Lastly, I go hiking a lot, I find a lot of inspiration for music by just being alone in the mountains. I found out that I get centered if I am in touch with nature or alone in the open so I am trying to go for a long walk at least 2 times a week to get my head straight and be honest with my music.
How long has your band been around?
We’ve been around since 2014 but our first release came out in 2017. Marianna and me though have known each other since we were teenagers so in that regard…. Our whole lives I guess hahahahaha!
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are proudly based out of Athens Greece. Our city is a huge part of who we are because it’s a very rough city regarding art and especially music. There is not really a scene here, not a lot of people are supportive and they tend to devalue art in general here. All the bands support each other’s work but we need to start from the basics, like actually going to shows and sharing our love for music in order to create a new wave of heavy greek music. And of course we need to support more new bands and new sounds. In every other country there is a chance to make something out of its music scene, here we try to make make our own chance and we are going in blind, bands and crowd. It’s ten times harder to make something here in Greece hence why we are so proud (and why every Greek band should be proud) to be from here where everything is so backwards. Because we are surviving artistic hell to do what we do.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
I wrote it on a piece of paper and it sounded good! I just put two words together that summarize who we are: “project” because it started as a 2-people project, plus “renegade” because it relates to how we live our lives. We don’t conform to any sort of social trend and we do not subscribe to any team and group of people. We are loners, we try not to be but in our blood, we’ll always be who we are and who we are is Project Renegade, people who carve out their own path because they tried to be a part of the music industry, they tried to be a part of the social norms but in the end by having a critical analysis we saw that what is our true calling is expressing who we are as people and not as citizens, mothers, students, politicians or whatever label people think they should carry… I think in the end “Project Renegade” for us means that we are free.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
That would be the one with Evanescence in Ukraine cause it was our biggest show so far in front of the biggest crowd we’ve played yet. Apart from that, Evanescence is one of our favorite bands and it was a huge honor sharing the stage with them and meeting them backstage. That night was unforgettable!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I liked playing at Piraeus Academy in Athens because it’s a full circle moment, you go to show there when you are younger thinking of being in that stage and now you are. I would like to play Madison square garden because that’s the definition of “Making it” hahahaha, then again small club shows can be a lot of fun so I don’t know… How about I am a Live show slut and I want to play every venue with all the bands!?
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
It’s so hard, because I really love every band that I am being introduced to, I believe every band has something to give to the musical world which makes me want to play with them and give people a hell of a show… I guess I’ll have to go with my “Every band in every venue” answer hahaha! But right now if I had to choose one I’d say Architects would be no.1. I’ve been listening to them for quite a while right now and my personal opinion is that they have the best record out right now. They’ve shown great artistic sensibilities and I think they are modern day champions of music so it would be an honor to play with those people!
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?
It just so happened that I did that a month ago to one of my students and it would be the same advice I’d give my younger self. “People will probably want you to become a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, a psychologist or something along those lines. Don’t listen to them! If you want to become a musician in a band do it! Start early, start now and don’t ever stop. Even after the hardest of times don’t you even think about stopping, keep building it until it becomes what you want it to become and then guess what? Keep trying on making it bigger and better, eventually we all get to that stage if we are working for it. But start early, start now… Oh, and fuck ‘em all!”
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
“Don’t eat that Indian food before the show in Malta”
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Personally, “Respirator” will forever hold a special place in my heart because I wrote it to honor a person who was had a pivotal role in my upbringing. He was a very tough and raw human being with the heart of an aristocrat. He taught me everything I know about this life and watching him slowly leaving this life had a great impact on me. I don’t know if I am a religious man but I really hope there is a God and a heaven because this man deserves to rest.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
For me it’s our opener Liber8, it’s very groovy and it gives me space to do my thing as a drummer and hype people up. If that song goes well, I am confident the rest of the show is going to go well!
I think “The New Joker” gets the most requests either from a crowd or from internet radio stations as far as I can remember!
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I usually come up with the “metal” side of the song e.g. guitars, bass and drums and then together with Marianna we do the programming of the song. After we come up with all the loops, orchestrals and synthesizers then it’s all Marianna for the vocal and lyrical part of the song.
We tend to find inspiration from real life, from stories and experiences that ourselves or someone else has gone through, we even find inspiration in the social trajectory that we are on as humans… Generally, we want to express and represent the people of this world that are striving to make a better living for themselves and make a better world for all of us. It can be you and it can be me and anyone in between, we all have a voice and we deserve to be heard. Anyone and anything can be an inspiration for us. It’s the reason why I think we are never the same band after every record.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
We make music to help change the world for the better, we want our music to be used by people as a weapon to achieve whatever they have to achieve in order to have a better life for themselves but also help create a better world for everyone around them. The ideals of community, peace, acceptance and social evolution are subjects that interest us a lot. Then again we also have a lot of personal songs that are more esoteric and introspective where we try to figure out own shit, so I’d say we are all over the map but the vast majority of our songs are usually a call to re-evaluate and rebuild our society based on all the ideals I mentioned above. “Unity through Diversity” is our rally cry so I think that says a lot right there.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
This might sound weird, but if we reached a point where a disagreement seems unsolvable we actually have a slap contest where we slap each other as hard as we can and whoever gives up first they lose…Just kidding though! Of course we have disagreements, but we get past them because in the end we do what’s best for the band and that is a common goal for every member.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
There are some stuff that hopefully will be announced soon but right now we are wrapping things up with our new album and we are working on the whole packaging and presentation of it. If COVID-19 eases up on humanity we’ll probably be in a city near you soon. That’s all I’ll say right now! Thank you so much for the Interview!
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/prenband Bandcamp Page: https://projectrenegade.bandcamp.com Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX5zHAKWh35oPsbHANEbI3w Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/projectrenegadeofficial/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Proj_Renegade Spotify: http://bit.ly/Spotify_PRenegade ReverbNation: https://www.reverbnation.com/projectrenegade Project Renegade - Respirator (Tv War Live Session) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NAtJoA8W2g Respirator (Quarantine Video) [Acoustic] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z8l1KH2_VI The new Joker – Official music video https://youtu.be/DeId1Ykn7Wo Sylar @ Stereo Plaza, Kyiv (UA), 21.09.2019 https://youtu.be/RZuybC5p7zg Liber8 Official Music Video Link: https://youtu.be/ffz69wrq_q0 Pressure Official Music Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb_A8Wx6oH8&t One of the Crowd Music Video Link: https://youtu.be/72MFFbSyU9E