Doomocracy is another obscure band who hail from Greece, a country with a strong tradition in quality Doom Metal. They are still promoting their latest album “The end is written” which was released last year on Steel Gallery Records, which includes eight songs that show to us a band that will have no problem establishing themselves to a bigger audience over the coming years. I’m very honoured to talk with the vocalist Michael Stavrakakis who, is a huge fan of the underground metal scene
Interview done by: Beppe Diana (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hi Michael, and welcome to Secret of Steel pages, I begin by saying that in my opinion “The End is written” is a collection of composition that showing a strong personality, an interesting mixture of some parts of doom metal, dark elements and a traditional approach, but which for you is the true essence of the band, the heavy side or the melodic one?
Hello Beppe, I really like your approach to our album. We never tried to hide our influences, as we are all fans of Doom Metal music, but we did our best to leave our personal mark in the genre. The fact that you say our album shows a strong personality is really satisfactory for me. I think it’s very important to take your influences a step further and not try to copy. “The End Is Written” is indeed a Doom Metal album, although one can find other metal elements in it, such as Power, Thrash and Progressive metal. Our music has been described by some as “Lyrical Doom Metal”. So to answer your question, we try to sound really heavy, while maintaining a deep and passionate melodic side as well.
How do you feel after this new effort? Do you feel more satisfied about the quality of the product, or just because you finally have released your first album?
Well we really feel happy about the release of our album. We had a great time composing and recording it. The process of creating new music and lyrics can become really ecstatic and this was the case with “The End Is Written”. We are very satisfied with the final result, from production level to compositions and artwork. I think this album has everything that a great metal album should include.
I personally love “Sins” and “Faceless”, two songs that show many characteristics of your typical sound, in your opinion is there a particular track that is able to represent at the best the spirit of the band?
I would say that all 8 songs in the album are equal in greatness. “Sins” is actually one of my favorite songs in the album, I love the intro and the outburst that follows… “Faceless” is one of the heaviest and more lyrical songs, which is why we chose to promote it first. “Sadness and Hesitation” is a true Epic Doom Metal song that makes a perfect opener for our album! Doormacht will keep you headbanging from start to finish… “The Celephais Curse” will travel you to an epic and mystery adventure. The title song with its sentimental verse and amazing chorus is a real epic! “Hanging Puppet” features some great guitar riffing and a magnificent oriental solo part. The “Emissary of Vengeance” is a song with a faster pace that includes a chorus you will sing over and over and over again! We really don’t think there’s a song of lesser quality in “The End Is Written”.
Listening to the record, I note that you have recorded in analog, is this in order to capture the true essence of your music?
We did not record in analog, but because of our recording engineer and the mixing and mastering process, the result sounds very natural and very satisfactory. Nowadays more compressed productions are in fashion, but these productions destroy all kinds of dynamics and make the sound very boring and tiring to the ear. Both analog and digital recording have their advantages and disadvantages, but whichever you choose you can have a great result if you work with the right people.
I know that a lot of musicians are never totally satisfied with their work, so keeping that in mind, is there anything that you would to change if given the chance?
There will always be bits and pieces that you might want to change in an album. Something in the production, a riff or a melody that you’d want to sound different. We really tried to keep the album raw, not polishing every riff or melody. But like I said before, we are really satisfied with the final result of “The End Is Written”!
As the title of the album lets imagine, at the lyrical level, is focused around a kind of concept, it is right? How is hard to write an album where music and text must follow a certain logical?
To be honest there isn’t a certain lyrical concept in the album. There are some songs that talk about life and death, heaven and hell, while there are also songs that feature experiential lyrics. So there isn’t any specific story in the album, just maybe some common lyrical themes in one or two songs.
What are the objective’s difficulties you had to face to bring out your last release? Have you ever thought that the today’s Doomocracy could also aim higher?
Well you know we had to pay for recording, mixing, mastering and for the album artwork ourselves. So that was a bit difficult for us, because we tried to maintain a professional level throughout the whole process, so that cost us some money. We feel very fortunate with our choice of Record Label. Steel Gallery records, has been really close to the band, their promotion as well as their level of proficiency has helped Doomocracy in many ways! Our album has received great feedback from fans, the press and record labels and that is something that gives us motive to push harder and make Doomocracy a band that people will remember and instantly recognize. So we will do our best to take Doomocracy as high as we can while taking things one step a time and building solid ground to move on.
Doom metal is a genre that lives around some compositional schemes that are as old as the world, but nevertheless continues to gather fans, how do you explain?
Like you say Doom Metal is probably the first heavy metal genre. If you listen to the song “Black Sabbath” which many consider the first heavy metal song, you can easily say that it is pure Doom Metal! You know the emotion that flows from Doom Metal and the melancholy and slow pace is something that one falls in love with instantly. The fans of Doom Metal music are really devoted to the genre. This is why you see metal festivals crowded with metalheads, dedicated exclusively to this genre. Hammer Of Doom, Heavy Days in DoomTown, Dutch Doom Days and Malta Doom Metal festival are only few of these festivals.
What kind of reactions have you recieved from the release of your last album?
Like I said, our album has been highly acclaimed by the press and we’ve had great feedback from fans. This feels us with power to make even greater things for Doomocracy and reach even bigger audiences. We are in the process of promoting “The End Is Written” right now, but I can tell you that our next album is going to be equally strong and even better.
Coming from Crete how hard is it for a new up and coming band as yourselves to build a strong reputation in your area?
At first we thought that it would be really hard to become widely recognized coming from Crete. But if your music is good and you are willing to do what it takes to make it in, then you have a better chance of building a strong reputation as you say. Our fans in Crete have supported us since day 1! We’ve played live in Crete two times and both of them were amazing! Especially at our Release live, the fans were really supportive and we had a great time performing for them! It’s really great to see that bands have started to support one another… it wasn’t always like this and it is very encouraging to see things change for the better! We have many great bands in Crete that one should check out: Menace, Biotoxic Warfare, Everfailed, Winter Crescent, Chaos Eternal, Cosmic Plunge and many more!
What’s your situation concerning the live aspect of the band? I know that in the past you have had the chance to share the stage with some great bands of your genre, what you have learned from all these guys?…and what are your current plans and future perspectives for Doomocracy?
We had the privilege of playing at 2014’s Hammer Of Doom festival in Wurzburg Germany. It was a real honor playing in front of these fans and sharing the stage with “Saint Vitus”, Trouble, Orange Goblin, Epitaph and Leif Edling’s Avatarium! It was really an unforgettable experience. Doomocracy’s live plans include a performance at An Club in Athens Greece supporting “Solstice” on 25/01/15, at Thessaloniki on the 15/05/15 and at Athens again on the 16/05/15 supporting “While Heaven Wept”. More dates concerning live performances in Greece and abroad will be shortly announced.
Tell me about your personal opinions regarding the new doom scene nowadays? What do you think about stoner rock? Do you think that exist a thin line between stoner and doom?
I must confess I am not a big fan of the Stoner movement. I think that Doom Metal and Stoner might have similar origins, but are quite different genres. We are fans of the Doom Metal scene created by Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Memento Mori and Trouble. It’s great to see new Doom Metal bands emerging, like “Below”, “Sorrows Path” and “Procession”.
We respect Stoner bands, but I can’t really familiarize with the Stoner “movement”.
Todate, what has been the best and the worst moments with the band?
The best moment of Doomocracy besides the release of “The End Is Written”, would have to be our performance at Hammer of Doom festival. The worst moment was the drums recording process at an Athenian studio. We faced a very poor and amateur behavior from the studio engineers.
We have come to the end of the interview and I wish to thank you Michael and I will leave you with the final word.
I would like to thank you Beppe and Secret of Steel for this interesting interview and for your wonderful review of our album. I wish you all the best!
To our Italian fans: we thank you for your support! We hope to see you on tour soon!