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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today? Spyretta: Ever since I was little, my life always included music: from having piano lessons to singing in choirs, to just listening to it. Being in a band, though, is the most intense experience I’ve had, concerning music. It is a much-needed way of self-expression, and if I hadn’t gotten into it, I’d probably look for a different way to convey my feelings, most probably theatre. Chris: Music has been part of my life since I can remember myself. Listening to the radio and records from friends and family shaped my overall taste in different styles and genres. Not into music? I think I would be a really boring person. Music is a way of life, so not being into it, is not living. Sotiris: My first encounter with music was at the age of ten when I started learning classical guitar. 3 years later, when I was a teenager, my father bought me an electric guitar and this was the time that I realized music is a big part of my life. I instantly started writing my own songs, creating bands with my friends, and spending almost all of my free time playing the guitar. If I had not gotten into music maybe I would be a chef or a football player. Christina: Ever since I was a little girl we were listening to music with my parents. I started piano lessons at the age of 9 and violin two years later. Deep down I was convinced that I was going to be a musician. I have spent innumerable hours practicing and there are still more to come… If I had not gotten into music, I would be an animal rights lawyer.
What do you like to do when you’re not playing music and how does that influence your creativity? Spyretta: I am currently an architecture student, and through my studies, I’ve concluded that creation is universal: its principles, namely structure, rhythm, harmony, etc are the same no matter the art form. Chris: I love playing with my two daughters which takes up all my energy, but for creativity and inspiration, I like listening to music, watching drum lessons online, reading books, and playing tabletop RPG games. Sotiris: When I am not playing music, I listen to it, cook and watch football matches. Christina: I like playing more music and different genres of music! I also enjoy listening to music, watching films and spend time with friends
How long has your band been around? The band was formed three years ago, as a cover band. In the following years our line-up changed a bit, until, finally, our dream team was formed. Our first ever original track “Screaming in my Bed” was released back in 2019, and from then on we decided to compose our own music. The last year was a rather creative one, full of rehearsals and recordings, and as a result, we’ve just released our first album called “Digital Cage of a Cursed Generation”.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music? The band is based in Athens, Greece which is a very big city, with all the difficulties that one faces in this type of city. Inequality between the urban inhabitants, the fast pace of everyday life, the diversity of the population, and aggressive governance are the true sources of inspiration for us.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you. The band’s name began as an acronym, formed by the first letters of our member’s names at that time. Since then, inevitably, some members left and others came, but in the meanwhile, we decided to keep the name. Actually, the word “skag” is slang for recreational drugs, and such we consider our music, intense and highly addictive.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played. Well, the best show we played was about 1 and a half years ago, at a bar in the center of Athens. The vibe that we were getting from the crowd and the connection we had, was very unique and we couldn’t stop playing for them. As for the worst show, it was definitely the first gig we ever gave as we were a band only for 1-2 months at that time and we were all very nervous to perform.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already Currently, we haven’t played a lot of live shows, as the recording and the release of our debut album happened during the Covid-19 era. So, we have a lot of venues that we would love to play such as Gagarin and Fuzz in Athens along with all the big festivals and venues around the world.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket? Our top picks would be Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Guns and Roses, and Dream Theater.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band? First and most important: Practice! Learn your parts well, but also pay attention to what your bandmates play. Discuss every issue, share every thought and idea (musical or not). Be open to criticism but close your ears to anyone who says “you will never be as good as a pro musician/band”. Furthermore, be open to suggestions. A band is about team effort, so leave your selfishness and preconceptions outside the rehearsal room and get down to trying out everyone’s ideas.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be? Relax and enjoy the ride! Music sounds better when you’re having fun with it, so don’t obsess over doing everything perfectly. Also, don’t be afraid to try out new ideas and make mistakes, because every suggestion, fitting or not, keeps the wheel of creativity turning.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why? Spyretta: For me, it is Zak. I’ll never forget the day I recorded those vocals. Sotiris: I don’t want to pick one as all of them are small parts of myself translated into music. Christina: «Put your hands down» means the most to me. It really touches my feelings. Chris: "Zak" because of the story behind the song and because it's the first song I ever recorded in the studio.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most? Spyretta: “The Consequence of dream” really lifts me up, and the melody in the refrain is amazing. Sotiris: I would say my favorite is “The Weekend” because it has a nice groovy bass that I love to play. Christina: I really enjoy playing « The Consequence of dream» and I always end up headbanging! Chris: I love certain parts in every song. I'll leave it up to our listeners.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music? Sotiris is constantly composing new songs! So, whenever he does, he presents us the new songs and we exchange opinions. We all make additions and through rehearsals, we agree on the final form of the songs. We get inspired by different sources, mainly by social and political issues and injustice.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music? Art in general and especially music is a strong conveyer of messages and feelings alike. We want our music not to be empty of meaning- on the contrary through our music we strive to discuss various controversial topics. Take for example our album, “Digital Cage Of A Cursed Generation”, which is a metaphor for the contemporary Digital Era. As the music progresses through each track, we portray our take on a variety of social issues we deal with today, such as the environmental crisis, drug addiction, police brutality, and even loneliness, alienation, and depression. We really want to make a truthful connection with every listener, a sort of a non-typical “conversation”. If, after indulging in our music, any of our listeners’ point of view might slightly change in a positive manner, we’d consider our job done.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them? Of course, we do! Luckily, this does not happen very often! We are different people, so we might have different opinions on some occasions. We try to solve our disagreements through discussion and we do not let them affect our relationship.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up? The band has many plans for the future and only some of them are:
A release party for our album
A live video clip
A new photography session
Recording and releasing our second full album