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Andreas Kourtidis (Wolfcry)

Interview with Andreas Kourtidis from Wolfcry
by Grigoris Chronis at 23 August 2010, 2:08 AM

Albums like WOLFCRY’s newest “Glorious” CD is what’s probably missing from the Heavy/Power Metal school of today: inspirational, honest, well-worked but not over-polished and – most of all – both powerful and melodic with a personal identity. A simple but yet a complex principle… Founding member and longtime drummer Andreas Kourtidis has a lot to say in regards to the band’s ideals and we’re here to listen. Catch your breath!

Hi Andreas, and welcome back to the Metal map. It’s been a long time, really…
Hello to you too Greg, it’s nice to be back, although it is really been too long!

First of all, I wanted to ask you about the latest album, “Glorious”, who is in my opinion the best album of all your four releases in your career so far. The CD is quite new, but you’ve been playing the songlist in the studio while rehearsing/recording for a while now and I was wondering how do you look at the album at this point?
Thanks for your nice words. We are 100% satisfied with the final result. Of course every time that you look back in a work you have done you will always find a few things that you may want to change and I think that it is normal. I believe that at the time that you find everything so right that you wouldn’t change anything then is the time to stop creating. Progress comes only through changes.
The album was recorded and mixed by Fotis Benardo (SEPTIC FLESH, ex-NIGHTRAGE) and mastered by Tommy Hansen (HELLOWEEN, PRETTY MAIDS, STORMWARRIOR etc) so it is obviously that we worked with professionals who knew exactly what we wanted and needed so the result is by far more than just “OK” for us.

I fount that there are lots of aspects to this “Glorious”. There certainly are heavy guitars and bass and drums here, but also a lots of melodies that add a peculiar – some times ‘evil’, other times ‘oriental’ - mood to the songs, bringing a beautiful contradiction to the raw and loud rhythm section. Was it a different kind of challenge this time for the songwriting?
Honestly it is just how it came up, we haven’t planned all these aspects but they really worked out great. I think that now we have a more personal sound (of course you can easy see our influences in our songs) but it didn’t happen because of a different way of songwriting. I think what created these differences are the two new members of the band (Nikos Hortis on bass an Elias Koskoris on Guitars) who have a little different approach in the songwriting than the former ones. Or maybe it happened because we were listening to that kind of sounds by this time. After all this is the magic of creation, never to know were the beginning will lead you in the end!

I believe you have a great record out, but how will people react to it you think? Are you handling the promotion or you’re leaving it all to your new label? Yeap, a new record deal; can you tell us a few things ‘bout it?
The reactions until now are really great, so we can expect only the best. It is a strong and honest work so I really can’t see why the fans shouldn’t welcome our album. Of course there will always be those who will not like our work but this is something that happens to all the bands from the smallest to the biggest ones.
The promotion is done all by us at the moment, because our label has lost the deal with its local distributor so everything now is depending to our activities, for our country. Worldwide the label helps in this way but I am one of those guys who prefer to count to themselves when it has to do with their work, so we try to do the best from our way and accept every help that is provided. As for the record deal the truth is that we had a few problems but as they say in our country “when the end is good, everything is good”.

Most of you have been together for enough records now and personally for me it really feels like the band is more solid than ever. What does it take to make a band with the desired consistency, bearing in mind the different profiles, personalities, day routines etc? A common aim, maybe?
I think that the most important thing when you have a team work is the relations between the members. If the ‘chemistry’ is not OK I will sure affect to the result of their work. We are just a few friends who all gather together once or two every week and share the same passion for music. We enjoy and love what we are doing so even when we face difficulties we manage to overcome them. A common aim is always basic and you can see it this way: some friends gather and play basketball or paintball for example; we are getting together and play the music that we love. This is something that sure can make the band solid: when you do what you do because you really want it and not because you just have to.

So, a word on two in each of the new members would be welcome.
The first one is Elias Koskoris on the guitars, a personal friend for many years and a nice musician with great experience on the scene for almost than 25 years. The other one is Nikos Hortis on bass who is also a friend of mine and a very good musician. This is the critical point in the lineup changes, to keep a right balance between the former and the new ones but also to have the needed balance between musicianship and character. I consider my self really lucky to have these two guys in the band because they know what is required and how to offer it. We are having really great time together!

I also have to notice that the keyboard player who participated in the recordings of “Glorious” is no more a member of the band. All the former members that left the band are still good friends with us and we haven’t kept any hard feelings between us. After all their departures were done through socialized conversations and discussions (with maybe one exception but this is a completely different story…)

“Glorious”: can you tell us more about the significance of the album title? No same-titled track is included, though. Did the title occur afterwards?
Well, the title of the album is self-sarcastic! When I was a child and formed the band I had the dream to create something really great and become glorious with it. Obviously this hasn’t happened (at least not yet…) so I said to myself if this can’t happen I’ll do it myself. So now it is done and Wolfcry are finally Glorious, haha! It’s also a very solid and strong name for a Metal album. As for a same-titled track, it is not included but it is the last word that is heard in the album from the chorus in the last song “I, The Sinner” so if anyone reads the lyrics of this track he can see what our ideological approach is, in the meaning of the word “Glorious”.

With the album still so fresh out, what is the plan right now? How are you going to get the message of “Glorious” out to all metalheads out there? Apart from Greece, I think you should grab the chance touring Europe a little bit, time permitting of course!
Yes, this is the idea! To play live both in Greece and in other countries, but you know this is not as easy to do as it is said. Unfortunately we are talking about the Greek reality which includes many problems for the live shows. We are making contacts and we will see what we will finally achieve. Truth is that we are active and willing to play wherever we may be asked.

Andreas, the “God Of Deception” number was chosen to be the album’s first video for some specific reason? It probably is the more user-friendly song in “Glorious” but if I had the chance I’d vote for the splendid melodies in “Consequence Of Ignorance”, to be honest, haha!
We had discussed a lot about which track should be our video clip. To be honest it was a little hard to decide because in a new work you love all the tracks the same but we though that “God Of Deception” was more close to the average sound of the album, a fast aggressive song that can win the impressions from the beginning. Maybe we’ll use “Consequence Of Ignorance” for our second video if we decide to make one… After all everything is a matter of taste and it good to see that everyone has a different choice which means that there are more than one tracks good in our work, haha!

Five years is quite a gap between two releases. Without any need to dig deeper on the reasons for such a verity, did you feel surprised when rehearsing for the new album? I mean, was there any “Oh God, we’re still here alive and kickin’!” feeling?
We have never stopped rehearsing and working all these years, there were other problems that caused all this delay and it was really a relief when we finally realized that all this work is going to take a shape. Yes, we thought that “yes it is true, we are finally reaching our goal and going to record the album!”. It is a feeling that you can’t describe when you enter the studio in order to record a new work and this is the reason why we say that the next album will not take that much to be released again, regardless all the problems we may face again!

You believe if you had searched for a label from abroad in the first place – from your early days - you’d be in a different status today?
Yes, this is sure, but also this is the sad reality! It is much easier to open doors when you are supported from a foreign label. Unfortunately we come from a country that is not well respected abroad for its Metal music scene, at least it was not back then when we began our journey. The truth is that in our beginning we had searched for a foreign label and we had managed to sign with the German label Iron Glory for our first album but unfortunately the label closed down before our release. Anyway, the fact is that if the label is a responsible one it is always better to be foreign but don’t think that everything is coming up roses in all of them. If the label is not a quite ‘big’ one the problems that you may face are very often the same or even worse than the ones you may face here. It is a cruel, cruel world the world of music industry and we have to be a part of it with its entire positive or negative activities.

When, really does a musician say “stop”? Which are the key factors that will drive you to disband? Repetitiveness? Scope betrayal? External factors?
I believe that for everyone can be a different situation so I can talk only for myself. The only thing that could make me stop getting involved with music is health, nothing else. As long as I can carry on I will always try to create music. At least this is what I am thinking now but I truly can’t find any other reason why to stop something that I love so much. Of course in the future it is very possible to do it in a more rare timing depending on my obligations which I don’t know right now, but I will sure keep on doing it. I can’t imagine my life without music or creativity in music. It is really in my veins! Some may say “I’ve done enough” or “I’ve done everything” but really I cannot see these borders in any kind of art. Maybe I am too romantic but this is how I am…

 “Glorious” seems to have a wonderful aura for fans of traditional Heavy/Power Metal. It may sound quite ‘retro’ to the youth of today, whose needs seem to be more ‘aggressive’. Should you care, on the other hand? Is the audience for classic Power/Heavy Metal music limited as years go by?
As long as there are new styles in music there will always be new kind of fans and of course the flow will follow the trends. Personally I understand it 100% because I find myself checking all these new styles although in my age I could probably be settled down to a specific music sound. On the other hand I can’t leave behind the style that I grew up with, so I think that the answer is that the fans will always be there and it depends on them if they will decide to open their minds to newer or older sounds depending on their age.

The aim for us when we make music is not to be heard from as many more fans as possible. If we were looking for something like that probably we would play a different music style. As long as I know that there a few people around the world (it doesn’t matter if they are 10 or 10.000) who enjoy good time by listening to our music, which offers them positive feelings, I will be 1000% pleased with the results of our works. As for the audience of Power/Heavy Metal music, it gets limited as years go by but every now and then there will always be this one little surprise from a band that will gather more fans in it. History just makes circles…

Andreas, thanx a lot for giving us an insight on WOLFCRY. We really hope we won’t have to wait for another five years to listen to some new music from you!!
I would also like to thank you for your support so many years to the local Metal scene (including of course and our band) and wish you all the best for the future. For our next album all I can say is that you can be sure that, more than anyone else, we are the first ones who want to release it in a logical period of time. Stay tuned for more news from us very soon! The Metal Fire Will Always Burn!


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Edited 01 February 2023

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