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Dreamlord's Babis Paleogeorgos: "The planet is dying and we are interested in reality TV and how many inches our TV screens get. Consume and everything will be fine, you know? It’s ridiculous…"

Interview with Babis Paleogeorgos from Dreamlord
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 27 November 2019, 8:23 PM

Time, what is time? It is the timing that matters, even if decades pass by. Unfortunate events are a part of any band out there, whether it is personalities, obligations, you name it. It is there, and will always be an obstacle. Nonetheless, finding that leeway to get back to business, that is the trick. Greece's Thrash Metal band, Dreamlord, have been around for a little more than two decades, yet only recently they were able to find the angle. Steinmetal had a talk with Babis Paleogeorgos about the debut album after so many years, " Disciples Of War”, signing to a local label, being part of the modern Metal scene, philosophies and more… 

Hello Babis, I am glad to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing mate?

Hi! Thank you for having me! Everything is great!

Well, I believe that the first possible question that I can relay to you might be somewhat obvious. With your band, Dreamlord, out there in the Greek Metal scene, which is quite big, yet it is possible for bands to present themselves right, since the 90s, what took you so long to come up with a debut album? Was it never the right time musicianship level wise? Was it hard to maintain a steady lineup or is it something deeper?

For us, it was a combination of things. First and foremost, it was line-up changes. People came and went for many years, as they would have different priorities, time to invest and different musical visions. Also, life itself got in the way, with military obligations, which are mandatory here in Greece, work, people having to work abroad for certain periods of time, not to mention that, essentially, the band was in hiatus from 2007 to 2012 so it really, is a combination of different unfortunate circumstances, that prevented us from coming out earlier.

Finally, after twenty-five years, Dreamlord is releasing its debut album, “Disciples Of War”, via the local label, No Remorse Records. Honestly, it was a good choice, no doubt. However, did you have other offers while you presented the album to other labels? Did it you find it natural to sign with a label from your country as a first step?

There were some other offers on the table, for sure. But No Remorse Records, apart from being a well-respected label in the scene, really showed to grasp the meaning of the music and understand the vision of the band, so it really was a no-brainer to team up with like-minded people.

What is your impression of the promotional process of “Disciples Of War”? In comparison to the old days, have you gotten into all the digital promotion process? Would you say that it is easier to unleash one’s music to the public in comparison to the past? Is there something missing in this whole campaign?

Absolutely! It is so much easier for an artist to reach larger global audiences, compared to 20 years ago. In the ‘90s, when we started, you would record, put everything in an envelope, (bio, cassette, photos), mail it and hope for the best. The directness of the internet and social media, is an amazing tool for promoting a more DIY approach to marketing one’s music and we absolutely love it.

“Disciples Of War” as a concept is beyond being bleak, it felt to me like a sort of a cry out for the ignorant, which has been simply covering their eyes and ears in order to remain in their own fake reality. What is your personal connection to the philosophies described within “Disciples Of War”? Is there any connection to the social status of the Greek society as well other than on a global scale?

You are absolutely right. The overall theme of the album is certainly inspired from the tragic last decade Greece experienced, but certainly echoes the global situation. I mean, Greece went through a catastrophic decade, where the everyday hard-working folk went through devastating financial depression, whereas the elites responsible for the mess, not only did they not pay, but went on to improve their status. Not only Greece, though. There are people all over the world who work hard, and can barely survive. Wars are fought for financial gain, people are killed everywhere, so that the arms industry can sell more weapons, people are displaced by corporations all over the globe. The planet is dying and we are interested in reality TV and how many inches our TV screens get. Consume and everything will be fine, you know?  It’s ridiculous…

The album’s artwork, pretty much completes what I have been thinking and it also fits to the thunder of the music. What was the vision behind the artwork? Does it portray your disappointment of things that sadly will never change?

We wanted the artwork to complete the lyrical themes of the album. And I think that Digital Grief Studio, the masterminds behind it, really hit the nail on the head with this one. We had lengthy discussions about the theme of each song and we incorporated, I think, most of the elements into it. I wouldn’t say it really mirrors disappointment, at least what we wanted to offer, was a glimpse into the future if we do not change our ways. We are in the 11th Hour, so to speak, and unless we change, all we have to anticipate is destruction, death, extinction. And all the material possessions, we so crave will go up in flames, just like the money on the cover.

While the vast majority of Thrash Metal bands tend towards layers of extreme within their classic Thrash Metal approach, Dreamlord actually treats the sub-genre as it was in the late 80s. There is a reason why bands sort of “spice up” their material with modern features, therefore I ask, do you believe that the displayed old school music on “Disciples Of War” holds relevance for the nowadays Metal scene?

This is a very good question that really has one answer. We play the music we like to listen to. A good friend of mine told me the other day, that sometimes you do not have to re-invent the wheel, just give it a good kick to keep rolling, and I think that this is what we are doing here. That being said, I am not a “purist”, each band expresses itself in the artistic manner that it chooses, and that is absolutely fine in my book.

Old school as it may be, “Disciples Of War” shares a fine mixture of past glorious influences, whether Metallica, Kreator, Sacred Reich and Slayer. However, there is always room for going forward, even beyond the influencing patrons. How would you say that Dreamlord’s musical vision and direction has been developed throughout the years and particular on “Disciples Of War”?

Really, this is the music we love, and we enjoy playing. Of course, as we not start timidly bouncing ideas for the second album, more influences pop up, maybe the style will be a little bit different, next time around, you can never know. But that is the beauty of the journey. “Disciples Of War” is the evolution of our music over the years, from more straightforward riffing to more layering of the sounds, harmonies, transitions. So we always like to push that, as much as we can.

With that asked, what makes “Disciples Of War” to stand out within other releases of the same kind? What makes it special?

It’s music from the heart. It is music that resonates with us, and we hope it does with other people too. The more, the better!

How would you describe the songwriting process on “Disciples Of War”? Is this process taking place while the whole band is present or is there rather a single songwriter that makes the initial decisions about how things are going to sound and be?

It really was a combination of the 2. Some songs started with a simple jam in the studio, others with someone bringing a basic structure and the whole band building on it and some, one member bringing the whole song pretty much ready to the studio and fine-tweaking it in the process. We always try though to have everyone involved. In the end of the day, this is a band, and 4 brains are better than just one.

What is your personal approach towards writing a song? In particular, for the new album, how did you find the rightful connection between the music and the lyrical concept?

Personally, I write the music first and then the lyrics. Usually, it starts with a cool riff that might pop up, while I’m practicing guitar and immediately I will record it on my PC. There is a whole catalogue of riffs that I have, which eventually I will try to sort into a song. Usually, this is the moment I come up with the vocal melody, too. The lyrics usually pop up if I watch something on the news, or something happens that triggers an emotion inside me, it usually is very spontaneous, though.

The song “Infratricide” is quite troubling, it shares a sort of an inner conflict, like going all gung-ho, while losing an own humanity, against those who committed heinous acts upon society, with a close reminder of the American example with its war on Terror. What is your criticism about the war on Terror? Do you think that it evolved, becoming a fog where the innocents are treated as accomplices and must be terminated?

Absolutely. The original inspiration for this song was the War on Terror. And particular, it touches the issue, from the perspective of a simple soldier, who enrolled in the military as a reaction the horrible terrorist attacks against innocent civilians. People who start with a noble sense of patriotism to defend their way of life, but somewhere along the way realize that they are just pawns of corporate and political greed. They end up committing horrible acts themselves, and when they return home are usually scarred mentally and discarded by the rest of society. It’s the reason many veterans, upon return, become the biggest anti-war activists. The sad part is that innocent civilians are caught in the middle of all the political games. And it is not only the U.S.. Any country in the same position, sadly, would do the same.

A little nut for you. Which of the album’s tracks is your first choice, also due to the fact that it had the foremost impact on you and made you think? Please elaborate on your pick

It’s like asking a parent which of their children they like the most. I love ‘em all. That being said, I believe that, lyrically, "Uncompromised” has to be the one. Because it talks about the filthy role mainstream media play in the whole situation. It really is a propaganda we must deny, at some point.

What can you tell about a live performance of Dreamlord? What makes it explosive, an event to remember for the fans and attendees?

We go out, give it a 100%, try to get everyone into it and bouncing around, and keep it real and to the point. We treat our shows as a party where everyone’s invited!

Recently you opened for Annihilator, as part of their Tour For The Demented, in Athens. What can you tell about the experience? Did you have a chance to meet Jeff Waters and talked a bit?

It was an amazing experience to share a stage with them, and really, for me personally, to get a glimpse of how an established band operates. The attention to detail they showed was extraordinary. In the sound check, the stage setup, the lights. Absolutely amazing and a great honor to see it at work from real close. Unfortunately, even though we sort of said hello with Jeff, there was no time to really sit down and talk, but he genuinely seems like a cool guy!

Where do you see Dreamlord headed in the coming years? I believe that now are you fueled up to make some more noise with “Disciples Of War” out in the market?

The next year will be playing live and promoting “Disciples Of War”, for sure. The plan is to be able to play a few festivals in the summer, also. But we already have plenty of ideas for new music, so I expect to be in the studio soon for the follow-up.

Any plans for 2020? Will you be touring in Europe or perhaps blink towards the US?

We are open for every possibility! Keep an eye out, you never know!

Babis, I wish to thank you for this interview, I am glad that through your album, you were able to take me back to the classic years of the genre. All the best!

Thank you very much for having us, it was a great pleasure! I would like to wish you and your audience a very METAL 2020! All the best!



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