Voidnaut is a newcomer from Greece that comes in full force with their debut release “Nadir”. Grande Rock had a chat with the guitarist and songwriter Kostas Krikos about the band’s formation, the debut album and their next steps, among other things…
Voidnaut band pic
Hi Kostas and welcome to Grande Rock. You debut album “Nadir” is truly remarkable. You did a great job on every part, kudos!
K: Thank you very much for the good words on our debut album and for hosting us in your ezine!
Hence, do tell us when and how the band was formed.
K: The band was initially formed in 2013 by Steve Venardo and myself as a project as we started working on music that I had already been composing and recording since 2010 at Sound Symmetry studio of Bob Katsionis. Steve started writing the lyrics and brought in many ideas of his own. Eventually we decided to take things a step further and seek for musicians to form a full band.
Even though the band was officially formed back in 2015, it was almost after 4 years that you came up with your debut album. Why’s that and how come you didn’t release some stuff (single or EP etc.) earlier?
K: When the full band was created in 2015, we started working on the material all together as a team. That resulted in many changes of all the work Steve and I had already been doing for the past years. New ideas came in and that resulted in new songs. If you add up the time needed for pre- production, recording sessions, mixing, mastering and all the work done with our label 7Hard later on, you can understand why it took so long. We wanted the album to be our initial statement as a band and that is why we never released a single or an EP before the album release.
Was it crucial for you to have a steady line-up before starting working on the debut’s songs or some tracks had already been written beforehand?
K: Stability in a band is a crucial element. Our songs went through many difficult situations until they reached their final form. The same thing occurred with the lineup as well. It became stable almost 5 months before the end of the recordings. Our first bass player could not continue to follow the band, so we contacted Kostas Tasakos, who accepted to join the band, learned all the bass parts, recorded them again from the beginning and put in his own personal touch in the whole result.
Did you have in mind to follow that “American sound” from the beginning or it just came along the way after rehearsing?
K: We knew where we wanted to go from the start. The riffs were all towards the American sound. We just mixed it up a bit with details from our overall influences. We were all open to any ideas that could take us off our main course. Eventually it seems that it worked out very well.
How would you describe the band’s sound and which are your major influences?
K: Our sound is for sure far more American than European. Our major influences are bands like Disturbed, Pantera and the overall sound of American heavy. That of course does not rule out the fact that we all have our personal influences as musicians ,from all the other metal genres as well.
How did you come up with the album title “Nadir” and what does it declare?
K: The album title was decided at the end of the entire process. We started throwing ideas at each other until “Nadir” showed up. As a word it has several meanings. One of them is the lowest point, but it is mostly used in a negative manner when one wishes to describe the decline or decadence of something or someone. For us it is a beginning. A low starting point for the things we want to achieve.
Do give us a hint about each track…
K:Nadir”:Acoustic intro recorded at Sound Symmetry Studio initially as a middle section of some other song. Eventually it took its place as the intro of the album and as the song we start our live shows with.
“Back from the Grave”: It speaks of the transcendence, the passage from the physical form of man to the spiritual, but that is not done smoothly due to complications, and the body remains behind to walk without memories, without thought and will, acting as a container without content... No tomorrow.
“Hunted”: It speaks of the lack of communication with the outside world, the isolation and, in general, any form of side-effect that stems from the mental disorder, the deterioration of the clarity of the mind, and why not the mania of persecution.
“This Pain of Mine”: Dark and pessimistic. Lyrics inspired by the movie “What Dreams May Come” starring Robin Williams. It ended up to be our favourite song of the album. Speaks of loss and the corresponding pain that follows or comes from and similar situations such as verbal or physical violence, use of force, and sudden death of our loved ones.
“Control”: Composed in a couple of rehearsals in the studio. The main riff came to me as our drummer Kostas Alexakis and I were jamming, while waiting for the rest of the guys to show up. It just came to life from nowhere. We condemn the attempt to manipulate all people in any way and criticize this kind of attempt through this song.
“Porcelain Lady”: The song speaks of the values that are keeping us upright in our difficult moments and of course it is necessary to keep them from any form of depreciation at any cost. It is our heritage, our future and our continuity. Written by Steve for his daughter.
“Damage Done”: When bullying and all forms of aggression against our fellow humans have caught a place, they are no longer the same, all sorts of emotional ties and contact with everyday life are dissolved, and a Golgotha they are called to face is their new reality.
“Scarred for Life”: When the stigma is stronger than anything else, life becomes more meaningful than what every one of us had originally in his mind. All efforts end in the void precisely because of this prejudice and the closed minds of our society.
“Road to Nowhere”: Dead-end relationships are something we’ve all experienced. The question is whether we have come out of such situations and whether there can be continuity and smoothness after such experiences.
“Savage World”: Just as the title says, it is a violent world, an unfair world, where the weak and the poor are especially called upon to pay the price. Only with unity and solidarity can there be a tomorrow and this is actually and substantially better.
How did the deal with 7Hard Records occur? Did your drummer Alexakis play a role on that since his other band Acid Death is also signed to this label?
K: Alexakis had already spoken to us about 7Hard Records and mentioned that they were professional, reliable supportive and hard working as a label. We sent the album to them as soon as it was completed and they replied in a very short period of time that they wanted to have us on their team! All the rest is history.
The album was produced and mixed by Fotis Benardo (ex-SepticFlesh, SiXforNinE) at Devasoundz Studios and mastered by Steve Lado. How did you decide to work with Fotis and Steve and are you totally satisfied with the final outcome?
K: All four of us had already worked with Fotis before during our time in previous bands, so we knew that the outcome was sure to be more than great. Fotis is a producer that will reach you to your limits during the recording sessions in order for you to give all that you have to the song. It is always a pleasure to work with such professionals. With Steve Lado it was the first time that we worked together. He did a fantastic job during the mastering process! I would like to say here that there is almost no review from the many that have come in on our album, that doesn’t mention the great sound and production quality. Can’t thank both of them enough.
Do tell us about the two guest appearances on the track “Damage Done” by Fotis Benardo (ex-SepticFlesh, SiXforNinE) on vocals and by Bob Katsionis (Firewind, Outloud, etc.) on guitar solo.
K: Both Bob during the early years (2010-2013) and then Fotis during the recording of the album are two people that played a major part on the outcome of this album. In order for us to “honour” them for all they had done, we invited them to take part in the album this time as musicians! And why not both of them on the same song! Fotis singing the chorus and Bob on a guitar solo.
A music video for “Back from the Grave” is already out. Will there be any other music or lyric video out anytime soon and if yes for which track?
K: We have a lyric video almost ready for our next single "Control" that will be out by the end of March and we our making plans for our second music video that will come out before summer and is for the song “This Pain of Mine”.
Are there any plans for live shows during 2019?
K: We are discussing our participation in a number of shows and festivals for this year in order to promote our album. For now we have a show booked in the beginning of April in Athens. You will be hearing about it soon. Hope to see you all there!
What are your expectations from “Nadir” and what do you wish to achieve with Voidnaut over the next years?
K: First of all we want to continue to play and record our favourite music for as long as we can. If the outcome is something that people enjoy listening to, I think we could say that we are more than happy about it. We want our music to go as far as possible around the world.
Time for our “weird questions”!!! How did you come up with the name Voidnaut initially?
K: Alexakis is a space exploration and astronomy enthusiast. He is the band’s godfather! Take away the astro from the word astronaut and put the word void in its place and you have it! The one that travels in the void… simple as that.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words:
K: Rockstar: Axl Rose ,Gene Simmons…
Sci-fi: Terminator, Twelve Monkeys, Alien…
Eurovision: Nothing to say…
Music Realities: Easy come , easy go…
Which music kind can’t you bear to listen to at all?
K: All the new age pop music.
Which are the best 3 Metal albums according to you?
K: “Holy Diver” (Dio), “Rust in Peace” (Megadeth), and “Master of Puppets” (Metallica). If I had two more I would say “And Justice for All” (Metallica) and “Seasons in the Abyss” (Slayer).
Fill in the phrase… “Heavy Metal wouldn’t have evolved the way it did, if it hadn’t been for…”
K: Metallica…
Which is that band that you’d like to be part of (any time & era)?
K: Metallica or Disturbed.
Which is the record you wish you had written and why?
K: I will pick three if I may. “Master of Puppets” (Metallica), “Ten Thousand Fists” (Disturbed), “Nevermind” (Nirvana).The reason is simple. They were all milestones of their time and they all started up a new fire and influenced millions of musicians across the world.
Who is the sexiest female Rock Star of all time?
K: Sharon Den Andel from Within Temptation. Sexiest voice on the planet.
Which do you consider to be the best female & male vocalist in rock history?
K: Difficult to only pick one… I would say Sharon Den Andel (Within Temptation) and Dolores O’Riordan (Cranberries) for the female category and Ronnie James Dio, James Hetfield and Michael Kiske for the male category.
If you had the chance to travel in time… where would you choose to go? To the past or the future and why?
K: I would choose to go the future to find out how our second album would sound like!
Were you obliged to give just one album to extraterrestrials that would represent the whole human music, which album would it be and from which band/artist?
K: Tough question. I would probably give them a compilation of ethnic music from all around the world. One song from each country on the planet.
Imagine that your girlfriend/wife/life partner is selling your whole album-collection just to buy an expensive ring for herself. How would you react?
K: I am sure she would never do something like that.
Thank you very much for talking to Grande Rock, Kostas. Say anything you feel like saying before we close. Take care dude!
K: Thanks again for the hospitality Grande Rock! Wish you guys the best!