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Interview - Kostas Tzortzis (Battleroar)

Interview with Kostas Tzortzis from Battleroar
by Kostas Kiriakis at 25 July 2014, 12:15 AM

Over the hills and into the battlefield, ride the Greek horde of BATTLEROAR. Hailing from Attica, the Epic Power Metal battalion has been unleashing their Metal wits for quite some time. Celebrating their latest “Blood Of Legends”, Kostas Kiriakis talked with the band’s guitarist, Kostas Tzortzis about the new release, music and more…

Hi Kostas, how are you? Good to have you for the interview on Metal Temple.

Hello there. It's a pleasure to make an interview with METAL TEMPLE.

From what I’ve read online, the response to “Blood of Legends” has been pretty supportive thus far. While the album as a whole is strong, is there any one moment or song on the album that you are particularly proud of?

Well, it's really hard to say which parts are better, stronger or whatever cause the album has been made as a whole project and not piece by piece, so, I face it as one thing and not divided. But, yes, there are moments in the album that seem to have been made great, like 'Valkyries above us'.

I have also read that BATTLEROAR puts on an impressive live show. How much do you enjoy playing live? Do you find playing in the studio to be much different?

Live shows seem to be one of the best experiences while being in a band, so we enjoyed as much as we can, no matter how difficult sometimes is. Playing in the studio is a different story. There, you focus more on the music itself and the cooperation among the musicians.

What was it like to perform in a different country for the first time? How is playing live different now, if at all, from when the band first started?

First time we played abroad, was on 2003, following Jag Panzer on their mini tour then, in Europe. The feeling was great! When you meet people that live thousands kilometers away and that you never met before and they congratulate you and greet you like you are old friends, then that's a great reward for all the sacrifices you do as a musician.

If you had to choose, which BATTLEROAR song would you say best represents what you guys aim to accomplish musically?

That's a hard one… all and none…well, songs like Finis Mundi, Valkyries above us, Dyvim Tvar and Poisoned Well show more or less, our direction into music.

I understand that the band underwent some lineup changes shortly after releasing the last record, “To Death and Beyond.” How was recording different this time around, compared to your prior effort with the previous lineup?

Well, recording was pretty different this time. On the previous albums we were working a bit more altogether. On this one, I was let's say in charge of almost everything, since my bandmates trusted me with my vision for this album. Also, I have to say that the producer Thimios Krikos  from Innerwish played a so important role on the creation of the album, that I don't know if the album would have happened without his contribution.

How would you describe the local metal scene where you guys are from? I know a supportive scene is important to a band’s early success.

Definitely, there are great bands around and this helps so, the lights of the worldwide press would fall on our scene. The scene itself now, is really promising, consisted by many talented musicians, but economic crisis and sometimes, typical wrong behavior and attitude can easily keep all this music into dark.

What is your favorite kind of non-metal music to listen to?

Whatever sounds good in my ears. Music is one thing, not many… So, where to start from… the great classic composers to atmospheric lounge music and folk music from different areas, as also movie soundtracks to blues and modern ethnic stuff.

Is there any one song/album/band in particular that made you decide that you wanted to play guitar?

Not sure, cause I was pretty young at the time ;)… but I could say that the song 'Hello from the Gutter' from Overkill clicked something in me when I saw it on the tv…and then, 'One' from Metallica…and it goes on and on.

What bands or musicians do you feel have influenced your style of playing, as a guitarist, the most? What song(s) do you enjoy playing most on-stage?

I could say that Mark Shelton from Manilla Road is one of my biggest influences and then Rolf Kasparek from Running Wild and of course Quorthon from Bathory … but as the years go by, you realize that you get a little bit of something from all great guitarists you watch here and there and that's what makes the personal playing of a guitarist.  Well, I mostly like to play songs that the audience participates some and generally, when you see people liking what you do up there on stage, then all songs are fun to play.

BATTLEROAR, as a band, has been around for over a decade. What advice would you give to musicians in younger bands trying to get started?

A band can give you many great moments, fun and prospective. But definitely, it will give you difficult moments too. You have to face them and go on, no matter how bad can be. As Mark Shelton says, adapt, improvise and overcome. Just enjoy it, make music, share it with people and let the journey begins.

Do you have any particularly fond memories from live shows, or any one show in particular, that you have played in the past?

So many things throughout the years. Different places and faces. Memories of more than 14 years, now. Well, I'd like just to say that the whole atmosphere around live shows is one of the best moments in my life.

Does the band have any performances scheduled to promote “Blood of Legends” in the near future?

Proposals keep coming for shows, but we have already confirmed for the near future one show in Crete for the Chania open air fest on the 9th of August, then September is Germany for the last Swordbrothers festival and possibly another show over there and then, on the 11th of October, we have a headline show in Athens at Kyttaro club. There will be more announcements for live shows all over Europe, so stay tuned.

Kostas, I wish to thank you for this interview, all the best to you and the guys and good luck with the new release. Any last words for the readers?

I would like to thank you for your interest and to thank all people out there who kept on supporting us throughout the good and the bad years and who never lost their faith in us and our music. Keep crusading! Epic Metal to the end!



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