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J.V., Yog (Planet Of Zeus)

Interview with J.V., Yog from Planet Of Zeus
by Yiannis Dafopoulos at 21 May 2008, 5:09 AM

The Greek heavy rockers PLANET OF ZEUS managed to amaze me with their groovy attack in Eleven The Hard Way, and proved to be a great live act when they shared the stage with HERMANO some months ago. Of course I wouldn't miss the chance to have a small chat with the band's bassist (J.V.) and guitarist (Yog) and learn about how the band managed to sign with a foreign label and amaze us with its debut album.

Hello there! Congratulations on your debut album! Tell us a few things about the band first…

Formed back in the year 2000, PLANET OF ZEUS made their way from the 70’s psychedelic Rock to nowadays Heavy Stoner Rock. Through these years we have recorded one demo-CD (Loop 430), we’ve participated in In the Junkyard Vol. 1 & 2 with one track in each compilation. This April our debut album Eleven The Hard Way is being released by the UK indie label Casket Music/Copro Records. Trying to have a live sound similar to the CD we’ve became a quartet by adding Serapheim G. behind the drums while at the same time Yog took the guitar. Babis still plays the guitar and sings and J.V. is the bass.

Who thought of the name PLANET OF ZEUS and why? What does it represent for you?

The name PLANET OF ZEUS was Babis’ idea, with which he came up during an astronomy course back in high school. It sounded nice then and psychedelic and it remained through the years just because we find it nice to say and listen.

Some months ago you shared the stage with John Garcia’s HERMANO and if I am not mistaken it was your first show with a well known band. How was this experience for you?

It was definitely quite an experience. Not only considering the size of HERMANO (and Garcia himself especially), but also because it was the first time for us to play in front of a wider audience and present our music, having the sound quality we want for the first time in Athens.

Even though you are from Greece, you have decided to play a music that is not so close to the Greek culture. What did draw you to the Southern side of Metal?

We think it’s the music we’ve been listening to all these years, which subconsciously has led us there. We never took under consideration that this country’s music culture is very far from ours.

Let’s talk about the album now. Why Eleven The Hard Way? What does this title mean?

The album’s title is inspired by a porn film with the title Seven The Hard Way (the content is easy to imagine). Later though, we came up with an altered meaning of this.

We have spent a lot of time, mind and money for the recordings of this album (as most of Greece’s underground bands do) and from this point of view it was made The Hard Way.

What is the feedback you’ve got until now? Have the fans and the press reacted as you expected?

Despite the fact that the CD went out only a few days ago we receive some more than indulging comments for it by both the fans and the press and this reaction meets our expectations and even exceeds them sometimes.

The album was release by the UK based label Copro/Casket Music. How did you manage to sign a contract with them?

By sending a full length album (with artwork done etc), we had prepared an attractive (as we think) package for several foreign labels. This was done just to gain their attention and lead it to their CD player. We obviously, thought that the tracks and the production would meet some those labels’ standards and fortunately… we’ve been proven right. Casket Music responded positively to us and the rest is history.

Many Greek bands avoid signing with a Greek label mostly due to the Greek mentality many people have here. Do you think that you have made a big step signing with a foreign label?

It’s not a big step in terms of the label’s size/status, but just by checking Casket Music’s promotion to their bands we think you’ll also find out that serious business is going on there. As far as the Greek labels’ mentality it’s true that some of them are GREEK (in every aspect) and those who are not, are unfortunately either forced to stay low-profiled, or even they choose to be so.  

Which bands have influenced your sound?

Considering the difference between our influences, there are not specific bands from which we are influenced. Perhaps it’s best to refer to the bands we sound similar to, such as DOWN, CLUTCH etc. However, it is far more than obvious that we all have listened to lots of BLACK SABBATH, MOTORHEAD and all this Heavy Rock stuff.

Who writes the lyrics and what do they have to do with?

We’ve all contributed to the lyrics of the album more or less, although Babis wrote the biggest part of them. The lyrics stem from personal experiences, or imagination or even (Woke Up Dead) from history.

What are your plans for now? Are you gonna give any shows to promote your album?

We have already played some shows around Greece to promote the album (Thessaloniki, Larisa, Lamia) and we have more to come. More specifically:

10 May Korinthos, 16 May @ Rodeo, Athens, 24 Rethymno. Apart from these shows we intend to book some gigs in the UK although we don’t know when it will be and of course at sometime when we’re ready, we’ll go back to the studio for a second album.

If you had the chance to have a guest appearance in your album by any musicians you wanted, who would you choose and why?

The fact is that there is already a guest appearance in our album by Jimmy (LORD 13, MADLEAF) and it happened because we thought that this song suited him well.

Apart from that, any other guest appearance that could happen would be based on the same thought.

That’s all I wanted to ask mates. Would you like to send a message to Metal Temple’s readers?

 Listen to PLANET OF ZEUS at a gig, @ myspace.com/planetofzeusgr or from the album and support the rising Greek Heavy Rock scene.



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