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Mirror's Tasos Danazoglou: "Unfortunately, people like to be led and being part of ‘something bigger’"

Interview with Tasos Danazoglou from Mirror
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 27 May 2022, 12:54 AM

In a darker era of life, there are dark emotions, which some of them burst. Anguish, disappointment, along with current state of affairs within one's ordinary life, are factors that cannot be ignored. Unleashing these negative emotions into the belly of the best, a Metal album, is the right way to do it. The Cypriot band, Mirror, which has been running for quite some time, is back with a new album, “The Day Bastard Leaders Die”. Steinmetal had the pleasure to have a chat with the band's bass player, Tasos "Tas" Danazoglou, about the album's proceeding, the old school nature and more…

Hi Tas, it is a pleasure to have you for this conversation with Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing sir?

Hi Lior. We are doing pretty well, since we are stepping back to normality.

Worldwide, in the past 2.5 years, we had quite a full plate of what went on. The pandemic amazed everyone, slowly taking the world by storm, and sooner than we thought, we knew what a lockdown was. With Mirror riding on the success of its sophomore, “Pyramid Of Terror”, what can you recall in regards the pandemic’s influence on Mirror as a band, and of course on yourself as a songwriter?

While in lockdown you have time, lots of time, so this would either work as a booster or it could get you down. We used a fragment of that time to create and record our third album while hanging around, when we were allowed, with the band.

Talking about “Pyramid Of Terror”, were you able to properly support the album right until the pandemic hit Europe?

We only had one live show outside Cyprus and that was in Athens at Into Battle Festival in December 2019 and that was it. We already were booked for Muskelrock, which at last is happening in June 2022 and we were preparing for a European tour, but it never happened.

Outlasting the pandemic, and doing the best you can in order to continue the earlier efforts of Mirror, you were able to complete your third album, “The Day Bastard Leaders Die”, and now signed to the Italian Cruz Del Sur Music. I have to say that it is quite a change from Bad Omen Records. What are your expectations from this signing with the Italians? How do you view Mirror’s path alongside this record label?

First of all, I must say that being in the family of Cruz del Sur, is something we never experienced before, in a good way. Enrico is great and we are really glad our paths crossed. We have high expectations and already I believe the album is doing great. We get a very positive feedback from all over the world which means Enrico knows what he is doing…

 “The Day Bastard Leaders Die” already hit the streets last month, what can you tell about the word from the street about it? What are the shared opinions of your closest fanbase?

I can answer this in one sentence we get to hear a lot ‘It’s been spinning since the day I got it’

When I first read the title of the record, “The Day Bastard Leaders Die”, I thought to myself that there is a bit of politics involved in a way. However, at a second thought, there are darker emotions led by anguish and dismay. Did the state of affairs in Cyprus inspired you in the process of writing the lyrical concept?

The state of affairs in Cyprus always inspires and affects us, however the darker emotions you pointed out are more of the inspiration we get, not only by the political leaders who run everything according to their agenda but also from the church and spiritual leaders that fill people’s brain with their toxic word and turn people to, I would say, church zombies. Borrowing that mysticism from all mentioned and turning it into music, frustration and expression, this is what you get.

In light of “The Day Bastard Leaders Die”, what do you fear from? In your view, is there an end to the discomfort and disappointment from leaders? Will there always be that one leader that takes advantage of his public?

Unfortunately, people like to be led and being part of ‘something bigger’. So there will always be that one leader, until people wake up and this is what we are wishing for.

How do you think that “The Day Bastard Leaders Die” enlightens the listener as far as morality goes?

I wouldn’t use the word ‘enlightens’, but if we are able to trigger the listener in productive thinking we would be more than happy to just contribute to that.

Looking at the artwork, and I can relate to your frustration, in particular due to the sheer brutality that this picture conveys. What can you tell in regards to the initial vision that led to this painting?

I believe our frustration is more or less straight forward in regards of the artwork. We discussed with Jondix, who already did a marvelous job on Pyramid of Terror, and boom, it came out really naturally.

Being an old school driven band has been the bread and butter of Mirror. What interested me is the fine synthesis of classic Metal of the early to mid 80s along with late 70s Hard Rock, in a British sense nonetheless. You stated that “The Day Bastard Leaders Die” is a heavier piece of music, therefore I ask, how were you able to emphasize both factors in your music once again on the record?

Classic Metal is what bonds the band. Yes, I do listen to Death Metal also, as Jimmy listens to Black Metal also and Nikolas listens to US Power and Constantinos listens to Thrash Metal and Danny to almost every kind of music (haha), but what we have in common is the Classic Metal which not only we listen to but we worship. So everything is coming out naturally with a twist here and there from the other genres the band members listen to.

You also mentioned a raw natured Heavy Metal breeding on “The Day Bastard Leaders Die”, would you say that this particular direction, within classic Metal, actually opened more doors for you musically while writing songs?

This is something that come out pretty naturally from all the band, so we don’t write songs with one direction prior in mind.

The darkened nature of “The Day Bastard Leaders Die” can be quite felt throughout the listening process of the album. How were you able to find that cohesion between the lyrics and music, in order to truly grasp the attention of the listener?

Lyrics and music should always walk hand in hand. You cannot have a cartoony music talking about devil and slaughter as you cannot have heavy music talking about flowers and sunlight. The frustration and the tough times we experienced through the lockdowns and the pandemic surely helped but man, when you listen to our music, I believe the lyrics are about what they should be.

It has been quite tough by many artists to complete their releases, unless they did it all by themselves. Since the pandemic was still an attraction, while you were working on the album, how did it trouble you as you tried to complete the process? How were you able to combat these hardships head on?

The songs were almost ready just before pandemic. The production was organized by Nikolas, who recorded the demo guitars, then they were sent to Danny to record drums who sent them back to Nikolas. Then since we were allowed to visit each other, Nikolas recorded the rhythm guitars along with Constantinos at Steel Fortress Studios and then it was time for me to record. As we finished with all this the vocals were recorded at Play on Ten Studio by Paris Lambrou and we returned to Nikolas at Steel Fortress to record the solos and the leads. It was actually a blessing being able to escape all this to create and record your music. After that, it was all sent to Costas Costopoulos who did a fantastic job on mixing and mastering.

You have been in several bands throughout your career, being also part in bigger acts than Mirror, therefore, you saw quite a lot. Nevertheless, I believe that every album is an experience on its own, and in a way, a learning curve. What did “The Day Bastard Leaders Die” teach you about your abilities as a songwriter, you approach towards writing a song and of course as a musician?

What I was taught during the whole process from writing to execution (recording) is that Heavy Metal is limitless. Yes, you may sound like someone else but this is how you grew up and it comes to a point that through all these years of listening this music you get your own sound.

I found “Sleepy Eyes of Death” to be a little unconventional in contrast to the majority of the songs, it shares musical directions that fly the flags of Metal and Rock in such a way that it being short, wouldn’t be an issue. How do you find this song?

It also flies the flag of our Greek roots. You can listen that in means of guitar-work you can find parts that sound like Hiotis (a Greek bouzouki player) and perhaps similar to William J. Tsamis of Warlord.

The epic, and emotive in its own way, self-titled, “The Day Bastard Leaders Die”, takes on dramatic turns, it stresses the subject in hand, awarding it with a musical flavor that is hard not to be attracted to. What can you tell about the course of writing this song? What makes it a special feature on the album, other than being the longest?

In fact, the song was written by me on the bass and then sent to Nikolas to record demo guitars. The speed changes weren’t supposed to even exist (perhaps only the first part). When it was then recorded with those changes we felt like it adds to the climax of the piece and again here we have some great guitar work by both Nikolas and Constantinos. The solos were recorded on the spot without any preparation as all the solos of the album. The way it turned out amazed even ourselves. The album wasn’t going to be named The Day Bastard Leaders Die but infernal Deceiver. After listening to the whole album we knew on spot that it should be renamed. And so we did.

With the ability to take on the scene once again, what are the plans of Mirror for the remainder of 2022?

June is going to be busy as we are performing in Nicosia to present the album after a long wait and then travelling finally to Muskelrock and then to Up the Hammers Festival. After that we don’t have any dates booked yet but we already have some offers to travel again outside the island of Cyprus. Maybe it’s time for that cancelled European tour to finally take place.

Tas, I wish to thank you for your time for this interview. It was good to have this talk about “The  Bastard Leaders Die”, may you continue to be old school and creative. All the best

Thank you Lior. All the best to you and hope to see you in our next shows sometime.


 



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Edited 07 July 2022
 

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