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Ravaya (Need)

Interview with Ravaya from Need
by Yiannis Dafopoulos at 01 March 2007, 8:52 PM

NEED is one of the Greek Metal bands that managed to impress me with their passion and power. They have managed to create a unique sound and that's something that I totally respect in a band. It has been a while since I reviewed their debut album The Wisdom Machine (2006) and I thought it was about time for an interview. All the questions were answered by Ravaya (guitar). If you still haven't checked these guys out, now it's time to do it!

Hi there! Thanx for taking the time for this interview! First of all, congratulations on your new CD, which in my opinion kills!

Thanx John, it’s always nice to hear a good opinion about our work.

Could you give us a short bio of the band since you are a relatively new band and many people out there don’t know who and what you are?

Well NEED started in 2003 as a heavy prog-band with only myself remaining from that line-up. We issued our first demo Avoidinme in 2004 and after that, all the members left and the band was put on ice. I thought about quitting but then I hooked up with Jon (singer) in 2005 and we reformed the band issuing Promo 2006 (2006) with a new line-up and a new sound. That went well and during that time we recorded our full-length, got a contract, played in gigs and here we are.

All of you are coming from different musical backgrounds that range from Hard Rock to Grindcore. How hard was it to combine all your influences and create a unique sound?

Well, I can’t really tell you. I had written some songs, we started jamming on them with an open-mind (I hope) and we got where we came. There was never the luxury of time to sit and think over what we were doing. We just did it. Maybe that’s why it came out that way.

Which bands do you think have influenced your music?

Many good heavy metal bands and many non-metal bands and artists. But you have to understand that the bands that we like don’t supply the schematics on which our songs are based. We just try to write songs that we like. That’s pretty much the whole deal. Now if I answer your question with names I will only mention bands that I like which is pretty unfair.

Who chose the name NEED and why?

Well I chose the name NEED back when the band and I were disbanded and I was overwhelmed by the need to express myself musically and personally. Thus, I named the new band NEED all too fittingly.

Do you think that it is harder for a Greek band to make a good career than a band that comes from Germany or the US for example? Why?

It’s ten times harder for a Greek band to make it than a German band and twenty times more difficult than a U.S. band. The reasons are really too long to list here. All that I can say is that we are giving it our best. After all, it is just a ride…

What is your opinion on the Greek Metal scene today?

You know it’s hard to answer this kind of questions because you are always expected to say that things are going well and other shitty and untrue things. Well I will answer you with a parallel. Let’s just think of the Greek scene in comparison with the Swedish scene. In Sweden all the bands CAN play. It doesn’t matter whether their music is good or bad. In Greece half of the bands (or maybe more) can’t even play their instruments, issue demos full of mistakes which then are praised by the local press giving the musicians in these bands the impression that they can actually go on to have ambitions of a career sounding like this. And to sum up the Greek scene is full of exceptions. There are exceptions of bands that are really good. On the other hand most of the bands that are really good don’t really see an option for something better than local live gigs and selling 100 or 200 CD’s. There are of course bands that in my opinion command utmost respect because they progress and get better all the time. ROTTING CHRIST for example have been around for I don’t know say 20 years. Listen to their albums. They get better and better all the time. Now that’s an example of a serious, hard-working, professional band. As for bands with potential I would have to mention INVERACITY, VULNUS, TARDIVE DYSKINESIA, DISTORTION OF PERCEPTION, DIRT SPAWN DISEASE, TEST OBJECT, IMPLOSION and WASTEFALL, YELLOW DEVIL SAUCE, ECHIDNA and a few others.  

Which do you think are the best releases for 2006?

In my opinion they are TOOL’s 10.000 Days, Light Grenades from INCUBUS, Monotheist from CELTIC FROST and the Pick Of Destiny From TENACIOUS D.  

If your new album could feature a well-known musician, who would you choose and why?

If you’re asking me I would have to say no-one. I’d rather we were known for our own abilities and not by gimmick songs featuring other musicians just to sell a few copies more. But of course there are many ways to collaborate with other artists. Wait and see…

How would you describe the music that you play?

I would rather not describe the music that we play as critics and people who listen to it can form their own opinion. I just have to say it’s Metal played in the year 2006. Nothing more, nothing less. Of course that doesn’t mean it’s going to remain that way. Who knows?

You have recently signed with Burning Star. Are you satisfied with your label up to now?

Yes, generally speaking we are happy with the way our label people try to promote our music. It’s difficult for them 2 being a new label in the Metal market.

Who writes the lyrics and where does he gets his influence from?

For The Wisdom Machine the lyrics were written by me as there were no other members at the time. Of course that doesn’t mean that that’s the way it’s going to happen in the future. Already for the new songs we have lyrical contributions by both K.K. and Jon. Now for Wisdom which is a concept, I thought of the story first and then adapted the lyrics accordingly. There is a prelude for the story in the album but a full-version story is going to be posted on sometime in January for anyone interested.

What is your opinion on internet? Does it help or is it something that harms the music industry and the bands?

It harms the music industry for sure. Now about the bands I can’t really tell. It’s surely a part of evolution ergo it will be used and exploited in many ways. It’s too early to say. Well the good thing is that you can listen to a band at any given time with Myspace and all. We’ll see.

What music do you listen except from Metal?

Any music that’s worth listening to. I try to keep my options open. I don’t care if it’s metal, folk, techno, classical or avant-garde. Anything as long as it’s good.

Your debut album’s name is Wisdom Machine. How did you decide to choose this name and what does it mean?

Well I was listening to this QUEENSRYCHE tune from the Tribe (2003) album (which BTW I think is super-underestimated) and it had this line in it. I think it was in The Great Divide track, it said a very simple mechanism separates the fool from wisdom. And immediately this phrase came to me, The Wisdom Machine. And then I started to wonder what it could be. I mean what is a wisdom machine? And then I created the story around this idea. In our concept, the wisdom machine is the entity that shows a dead man all of his life at a rapid speed at the time of his death.

Are there any plans for live dates or even better, plans to support any well-known bands?

Well we’ll surely appear in the Burning Star festival on the 3rd and 4th of February. Besides that we’re discussing some gigs in Denmark and England for the spring but we’ll see. As far supports are concerned we supported DEADSOUL TRIBE in Athens and we hope we’ll be given the chance to support more well-known bands in the future.   

What’s the response from the press up to now regarding The Wisdom Machine?

Well most of it is really positive but surely there have been people who didn’t like it. But hey what can you do?

Thank you again for taking the time for this interview. I leave the last words to you…

Thank you, John and Metal Temple for your interest in our band. Whoever wants to check us out there’s always and but of course the best way to see what NEED is all about is to come to one of our gigs. C U THERE, Cheers!!!


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