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"We talked about rerecording and stuff, but these albums stand there for what they are and represent the energy, passion, diversity in periods, youth, whatever you want to call it of InnerWish at every step of our career. So we wouldn’t do that."

Interview with Thimios Krikos from InnerWish
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 30 October 2018, 5:01 PM

There is always time for everything. Although timing in the music business may be a crucial factor once making a move, but if a time slot is missed, it doesn't mean that an idea is lost forever. After being around since the late 90s, and going strong nowadays, the Greek Power Metal band InnerWish decided it was time to set another wave of their old legacy by reissuing their first three albums. Steinmetal took the chance to talk to Thimios Krikos, the band's guitarist and co-founder, regarding the new reissues, his appreciation and some old memories

Greetings Thimios, thank you for taking the time for this interview for Metal Temple Magazine. How have you been? Working on new material I assume?

Hey Lior! Thank you for the interest! I’m fine and I hope you are too! As you said, we are in the song writing process for our new album. We are very excited with what is going on and how the songs are shaping up. Everything seems to work perfectly and the ideas are coming flawlessly. There are some new songs that came out and we feel that we are very close to something good. We work with the same way we did in the last albums and the result seems very promising. But we won’t enter the studio before we feel that we are 100% sure that we have “something really good to say”. We take our time, and don’t rush things.

Recently it was announced that this upcoming November is a cause for celebration, a reissue of your first three albums in the InnerWish catalog, on CD and Vinyl. How do you feel about it? I am sure that it is a fine recollection of a past that made you what you are today.

Well, it was about time!!!!! For us, this was a nice trip back in the times when during the progress, “stories” came out. The procedure of all the necessary things that had to be done for the reissues was refreshing. Each and every one of these albums is a “picture” of our lives back then, showing who we were at that period of time. But also, it was a strange thing to see our progress through time, from one album to another.

What was the main reason behind reissuing these albums? Have you been pursuing this course of action for some time?

In these last years the band made a big progress in all levels and made several steps forward. We’ve seen our fan base becoming bigger and more devoted to InnerWish, but the most important thing is that we feel that we are stronger than ever and we are lucky enough to have a stable line up for a long period of time. From time to time there was a discussion about reissuing our first albums, because we felt it was something we had to do. Lots of fans where asking for these albums and I believe that it was kind of an obligation towards them.

Was a debate with your label, Ulterium Records, regarding reissuing the albums or did they see eye to eye with you about the matter?

The main think here is that we are lucky. We are lucky because we belong to a label that understands who we are and what are doing. They respect “InnerWish” as a band and as individual persons and they show us that in every part of our cooperation by any way they can. And the most important thing is that they respect us as artists and they don’t behave us like we are a “bag of potatoes” (haha) that they only have to sell!!! Of course, Ulterium is a label and has to have income and follow the “rules of trading”, but from the band’s and composer’s side of view, we feel the need to know that they like what we are doing and represent it with respect. I’ve been in this “business” for quite a long time and all these years I’ve heard lots and lots of stories. Believe me, what we have with Ulterium, is the most precious think to have in this “business”! But to get to your question. We had a show in Oslo and Emil (the label’s mainman) came to see us, so we also had the chance to talk about the reissues and plan everything, face to face. I think it took us about 5 minutes and few sips of coffee to arrange everything.  As simple as that!!!

What is your impression of the packaging of the releases?

All the releases will be in CD and Vinyl. The main idea was to give something extra to the fans. We made some changes when it comes to the artwork and the inlay and I think that the outcome is great. We also added some liner notes, trying to “tell” the story behind every album and describe each period. There was a lot going on and back then and many stuff couldn’t be written because we would need to create a small book hehe. For the artwork and inlay adjustments, we worked with our good friend George Zacharoglou once again, who is a great graphic designer and responsible for the art in “Silent faces” and “No turning back”. Above all, we can totally communicate with him, tell him what we need and simply he delivers because he knows his job perfectly. He made everything seem so easy even though we had to do at the same time 6 different formats and as you can understand there was too much to be done and pay attention to. Overall, I believe the fans will appreciate and like our and George’s work!

The packaging though isn’t the only thing we worked on for this re-releases, cause all of the albums are remastered also. We worked again with Peter In De Betou, who did the mastering in our latest album, “InnerWish” and he delivered once again, both on the CD and vinyl editions. The final result in more powerful and punchy and Peter did the best he could. We hope you also like it! From our side, we are very excited with how these albums turned out and can’t wait to get them in our hands.

Looking back to the periods of these three albums, which of those do you believe to be the primary impact on your musical career?  How did these albums, each to its own, make an impact on the band’s musical direction?

Well, from the way I understand it now, “Waiting for the dawn” was the beginning of this magic trip, “Silent faces” was the break through to the rest of the world and a big lesson for more professional conditions and ways to see things and “Inner Strength” is the most complete album of them three and probably the one that established our style of song writing. Of course there are so much more behind every album and there are many stories behind them, but for sure, each and every one of them stands for what it is and it will always be there for us to remind us who we were back then and where we come from.

Might be a bit of banal question but let’s roll with it. Listening now to these three albums, and with all the experienced you gathered till now, are there changes that you would have done if you could to the recorded material?

Can’t lie to you, so…. YES! Haha but that would be tricky. Because in any case, whatever changes you make, there are things you loose and things you gain. We talked about rerecording and stuff, but these albums stand there for what they are and represent the energy, passion, diversity in periods, youth, whatever you want to call it of InnerWish at every step of our career. So we wouldn’t do that. Because the main thing that we were going to miss, it would be the magic behind them. Of course the sound would have been better, a lot of stuff would have been better too, especially with the way we see our music now, but let's keep the past the way it is, shall we? J

What are your prime hit songs of that period of InnerWish?

Oh… it’s really difficult to choose. There are lots of songs that I like and we still enjoy playing live and listening to. But with the “gun in my head” and if I had to choose two songs from each album I think the list would look like this:
1. Waiting for the Dawn (“Waiting for the dawn” album)
2. Ready for Attack (“Waiting for the dawn” album)
3. Silent faces (“Silent faces” album)
4. Dancer of the storm (“Silent faces” album)
5. Feel the magic (“Inner strength” album)
6. Gates of fire (“Inner strength” album)
I already don’t feel good with this list.  I left so many songs out of it. Shit!

Any special experience that you can share with the readers regarding the making of these albums? Maybe particular events that shaped the band’s image through the albums?

I think that the most difficult period was at the end of 1998, if I remember well. It was then when me and Manolis where the only members left from the first period of the band. There was just the two of us and we had to start everything from the beginning. I can still remember that it was a hard and disappointing period with many failed attempts to find the right persons to get this band going. But we had great confidence to our dream and we never gave up. There was no possibility to stop doing this thing. We just had to find the right persons to share the dream with us. Then Antonis and Fotis joined the band and brought the steadiness and the passion we needed to go on. To be honest, everyone who came in this band gave the best he could and helped the band to grow.  But it would be unfair not to mention that Babis and Lefteris where the guys that helped the most. Their contribution is huge and for a long period of time. Especially Lefteris was the one that helped the band be more extrovert. With most of them we still are friends and feel them as part of our family.

Your debut “Waiting For The Dawn” celebrates 20 years this year, did you do any special shows to commemorate the occasion?

There was a thinking of doing a special show in Athens for the 20 years of WFTD, but unfortunately unpredictable factors didn’t let us organize it the way we wanted. So I think we missed the timing for it.

A little bit on the future of InnerWish. Is there a new album in the works? What can you tell us about it?

As I told you before, we are very close to finish the song writing process. Probably in the middle of next year we’ll enter the studio and hopefully at the end of the year we’ll have a new album out there for you. For sure, we are working a lot on it!

Thimios, I wish you all the best of luck with these reissues and of course for the next move of InnerWish. It was a pleasure mate, thank you for the interview.

Thanks a lot my friend. All the best to you and Metal Temple and thank you for your support!!!


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