Latest album: Titan (Season of Mist)

Greek metal stalwarts Septicflesh are currently on their maiden tour of Australia. A day before they flew out to our shores, Loud caught up with guitarist Christos Antoniou to discuss the new album, the re-release of their back catalogue and more.

There will be a new Septicflesh album released on June 20. That’s after the tour. Will you be playing any of those new songs while you’re here in Australia?
Unfortunately no, we will not be playing any songs from the new album, Titan. We will be playing songs from The Great Mass and Communion and some of the other albums. The tour for Titan will begin in the summer.

Can you tell us then a little bit about the concept of Titan. I believe the theme is tied to the myth of the Titans – is that correct?
Well yes, you could say that we have influences from Greek mythology, always. But the album is not a concept album. There are some connections between the songs. As you mentioned, ‘Titan’ and ‘Prometheus’, who was the bringer of fire. The are also other songs with strong connections, like ‘Dogma’, because we talk about domination of the masses. We have ‘Ground Zero’ which is about the aftermath of a nuclear explosion. When you’re talking about the title, as an artist you can just be inspired by the beauty of something. The Great Mass, for example, was inspired by a film called Amadeus, which is a biography about the life of Mozart. There is a scene in it where he says people are like a great mass of flesh. There are many elements involved in making a title. Of course, we are Greeks, we take inspiration from our mythology, but there are also influences from other stuff.

Greek mythology certainly is something that  could always give you something new to write about.
Because we are Greeks, there was always Greek elements to our lyrics and many song titles. Greek mythology has powerful messages and imagery. We also admire the Greek philosophers. Our lyrics play an important role that’s equal to the music. And of course there is the visual aspect as well.

Several of your early albums have been re-released recently. Did you have a say in that and are you happy about?
Oh yes, we are very happy that we have a back catalogue so people can have access to our music. Because we have had so many complaints that our albums weren’t available to a lot of the metal scene. I think that is due to Holy Records did not have the will to release them. I don’t know what they were waiting for all these years. We are very grateful to Season of Mist, our label in France,  that they have given us this opportunity. It’s good to have all our back catalogue active so that people can check out all our history and direction over all these years.

How difficult is it for a band like Septicflesh, coming from Greece, to get out into the wider world?
As you can understand, we have to work three times harder than other metal bands coming from Germany or the Scandinavian scene. Even though we are a Greek export and taking a big slab of our culture to other parts of the world, that doesn’t seem to matter to the Greek government. We are outcasts. As you can understand, we really only rely on our ourselves. And we will continue like that because the system is corrupt. I can’t see how that will change because we have so many other issues here in Greece right now.

Rotting Christ toured here earlier this year and they told us much the same thing. It must be a very difficult time for musicians in your country right now.
It is not a very artistic era in Greece right now. There are more important things to worry about. The system was so corrupt that they took all the money, and now we pay the price. Not only in the arts, we pay the price as a country. The politicians… the people who voted for them, they could see something wrong, and they still vote for them, and this makes me really angry. But now, we pay the price. We spent so much money that we couldn’t afford to pay it back and now we have to learn from this.

You must think yourself very lucky that you’re now able to bring your band to Australia and other countries outside of Europe.
Not just for metal, but anyone who wants to have an international career in Greece is treated as some kind of joke. We are coming to play to our fans in Australia, and Australia has a very large Greek population. To some people in Greece this does not seem like very much, but we can see our efforts. All our albums mean something to the fans, we tour now in Japan, in Australia, in Asia, everywhere. It means that we have done a fantastic job.

It must really validate all the hard work you’ve put in, especially after making the decision to reform the band and started playing together again.
Our efforts have been rewarded. The best thing for me is to tour around the world and discover each city and each country. This is a win for me. All our sacrifices have a price, and the price is now we can tour all over the world.
Septicflesh are touring with Fleshgod Apocalypse:
14/5 – HiFi, Brisbane QLD
15/5 – Fowlers Live, Adelaide SA
16/5 – HiFi, Melbourne VIC
17/5 – Manning Bar, Sydney NSW
18/5 – Amplifier Bar, Perth WA