Hi. Thank you for doing this interview with us at Secret of Steel.
Hello. This is Chris Stergianidis from Paladine and on behalf of the band I would like to thank Secret of Steel magazine for this interview. It is my pleasure to answer all your questions.
Could you tell us about your band Paladine?
Paladine is an epic heavy metal band formed in Athens, Greece during the summer of 2013. I am the one who started the band. Stamatis Katsafados (drums) and Thanos Kollintzogiannakis (rhythm guitars) joined after a while. Then, our search for a lead singer and a lead guitarist followed. This process led to the decision to choose Nick “The Metalizer” Protonotarios, who joined our ranks and we are very pleased with his very powerful voice, his amazing lead guitar skills and solos. Marilena Plitsi, a very good musician and piano teacher, joined Paladine as the band’s keyboard player and backing vocalist as well. Together we recorded old songs of mine and more recent ones in collaboration with the band’s producer, Thimios Krikos from InnerWish, who is also a very good friend of mine.
How long have you been working on this album?
This album is a long journey, which has lasted until the production stage and finally culminated in its recent release. The album actually started to become reality about 5-6 years ago. Yes, it is a long period of time but I think it was worth the wait. We have had some member changes in the line-up during the recordings and a lot of dead periods because of various personal needs. I wanted the entire album to be recorded from members of the band only and not from someone else such as a session musician or something like that.
Who came up with the album title and what does it mean to you?
The album title, the songs and even the band’s name were results of teamwork. “Finding Solace”, the album title, has a poetic meaning and the self-titled song describes a man’s ultimate sacrifice to save his beloved’s life. It is actually a ballad and it is somewhat intriguing and strange for a metal band to name the album title after a ballad song. But, it fits and has an epic touch.
Can you give us an overview of the album, what is the atmosphere like, that sort of things.
All songs, except “The Metalizer”, draw inspiration from the Dragonlance Saga, an epic–fantasy world by ADnD and Wizards of the Coast. In particular, I would like to give special thanks to Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, the creators of this world which I was studying as I was growing up. This world is about epic battles, powerful wizards, old and new gods, various kinds of sacrifices and romance. In general, Dragonlance is the heart of the “Finding Solace” album, but there are allegorical meanings within the album as well. Through Dragonlance epic stories and the world of Krynn, we describe facts and values that we all can relate to.
What was the most challenging part of bringing this album to life?
This album has a very romantic element but also a true feeling at the same time. I mean that for each band member, this album is actually their first musical recording. I think that was the most challenging part. Of course, all members in the band have a lot of experience, a lot of music knowledge and a lot of experience in performing live but it is their first work in terms of recording an album including myself.
Which are your two favorite songs from the album and why?
“Paladine” and “Master of Present and Past” are my two favorite songs from the album. Regarding the song “Paladine”, it is the first recorded song of the band. I love the guitar theme in the intro and the solos because it feels like travelling to various fantasy places. As far as “Master of Present and Past” is concerned, I like it because of two reasons. First, it has the most epic lyrical refrain I have ever listened to. Yes, I dare to say this. And secondly, it is about my most favorite character ever, Raistlin Majere, who has dearly touched both my heart and mind.
Can you describe your approach to songwriting? Who does what in the band?
A very nice question indeed. At first, the rhythm section, the main riffs and themes plus of course the bass are all written by myself. The lyrics and the vocal melodies are written by myself and Nick Protonotarios. All the lead guitars and solos are written by Nick Protonotarios. All keys and the keys arrangement are written by Marilena Plitsi. In fact, I really enjoy both the songwriting process and the recording sessions.
As a musician, how does it feel to listen to your own music? Do you do it often?
I feel magic running through my veins! Especially when remembering the whole process that I went through and which led to the final result. Also, it feels like living these stories and travelling to these places mentioned in these songs. It is really a fantastic feeling.
Any interesting stories from the recording session?
I don’t recall any particularly interesting stories. In general, I had a great time together with my bandmates and Thimios, our producer. Many long nights, drinking a lot of coffee and having many laughs and jokes. The atmosphere during the recording sessions was incredible and it felt like home. A very big thanks goes out to my “brother” Thimios Krikos and the other band members for doing their best in order to make this album a reality.
Do you have touring plans already in place to promote the album?
Yes, of course we do. We have arranged our very first live performance supporting the great Manilla Road on 1st May in Athens. After that, we will plan to do a tour in Greece and abroad to promote both the album and the band. We are very happy because the band is ready to hit every stage available. We give much emphasis to our live performances and I know that this is actually the band’s best skill.
Thanks for your time and the great album that is “Finding Solace”. The last words are yours
I would like to thank Secret of Steel magazine and all its readers for the opportunity to speak on behalf of Paladine. Also, I would like to thank all metal fans from around the globe for supporting heavy metal music, which is a way of life for us and for them, too. We are very happy that Paladine contributed to this massive scene called Heavy Metal with “Finding Solace”. Finally, I would like to give these fans a message: “Never stop listening to heavy metal and keep the flame burning…”