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R.D. Liapakis & M. Pohl (Mystic Prophecy)

Interview with R.D. Liapakis & M. Pohl from Mystic Prophecy
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 22 November 2007, 10:42 PM

The rain was pouring down on me while I was trying to make my way through the floaded streets and eventually reach the hotel where R D Liapakis and Markus Pohlfrom MYSTIC PROPHECY were giving some interview to the local Metal media. So, for your eyes only read what they had to say about their latest release.

(after deciding to do the interview in Greek and English my first question came) How was the situation after the departure of Gus G and Dennis Ekdahl?

Liapakis: Dennis left because he felt that he could not be with MYSTIC PROPHECY anymore; he also had another band running and some personal issues… With Gus things were a little bit different because we knew for the very beginning that sometime he would have to leave us. So, I had already Markus on my mind as a potential substitute and after the tour that followed he was considered as a regular member. Even though Gus is a very good musician we proved with the albums that followed that we are sounding better. One reason for this is that we had more time to work on the album you know that with Gus’ heavy program we had to finish the album in one week!

 I think that after Gus’ departure you’ve drifted away from the classic Euro Power metal sound and even added some Thrash finishing touches here and there.

Liapakis: Indeed, the band sounds more compact and relaxed so the songs gained more power and aggression through our personal influences (EXODUS, TESTAMENT. This is what we like, straightforward Heavy Metal.

 (addressing to Markus) Did have in your mind that sometimes would join MYSTIC PROPHECY as a regular member while your were paying duties as a session musician?

Markus: From the first moment I played with MYSTIC PROPHECY I felt that I was a part of them. I really like being with this band and for this I was giving (and still do my 100%) for it.

 So, did you feel any kind of pressure when Lia (aka Liapakis) asked you to join MYSTIC PROPHECY as a replacement for Gus?

Markus: Actually no, because I had been playing with Gus (and learned things from him) so it came like something natural for me.

(interrupting) Liapakis: They have a completely different style.

 I totally agree with you and I could add that Markus has something from Zakk Wylde when it comes to vibrato as heard on the Paranoid cover that you did.

Markus: (with a big smile on his face) Yeah and thank you! I am a big fan of Zakk Wylde so I think  I am a little bit influenced by him…

 (back to Liapakis) You have said that the making of Savage Souls  was a stressful period for MYSTIC PROPHECY; can talk more about this time period?

Liapakis: It was kind of difficult because I had to prove that this band was something that I have been building since the very beginning and I had to write down more songs.

 Did you write all the songs for Savage Souls by yourself?

Liapakis: I had Martin with me who helped with 2 or 3 songs; basically I was starting the songs and I was asking the rest of the band for their ideas. This process took us 6-7 months.

 Martin is Lia an easy person to work with?

(laughs) Yes you can say that; although there are times he comes with a riff that has built in his mind and wants me to play it and this pretty difficult sometimes. But we have already done to albums together and obviously we have found the right chemistry between us. Lia is thinking like a fan when he writes music.

Liapakis: Exactly when I am listening to a new song then I am thing whether

I would like it in gig. I want the fan to understand the music and have a good time with it. We want the gigs to be like a party and not confuse the listener with complicated riffs.

 So, is this why this kind of music has great success in Japan? The Japanese fans want to blow some steam off in the concerts?

Liapakis: Exactly!

 Back to the new album, who wrote the lyrics on it?

Liapakis: I did.

 Lyrics or music come first?

The lyrics. We brought a dark and depressive atmosphere in Satanic Curses because of the lyrics that deal with war, famine and this why they call us Dark Power band.

 You were once again involved in the sound production. Do you believe that the musician should be involved in the production because he knows best what is the right one for his music?

Liapakis: Yes, but not all the band can do that. You know there are some bands that go to a famous producer and say: ok we want to be like the other successful band you did, make us sound like them. Every band must have its own sound.

 What did Fredrik Nordstrom say about this?

Liapakis: At first he said to me let me work your sound and make it like the other bands who have already succeeded and I replied are you nuts? And we did our way…

 How did you choose to do a cover on Paranoid?

Liapakis: I called Martin two weeks before the recording and said to him that I wanted to do Paranoid 10 beats faster and lower it two tones down! He was stoned but he did it!

 You had to change your singing style to get into the mood of Ozzy and as I read you used a special microphone for this

Liapakis: Yeah I did! I had to do that in order to get his special timbre that Ozzy uses. Although I use aggression on it!

 What is your opinion about the Greek Metal scene?

Liapakis: I believe that in Greece there are good musicians but not good bands. You know that I get several demos from Greek bands with guitars that are completely out of tune! How can a label offer you a record deal with this sound? When the artist himself can not understand that he is out of tune then how can someone else respect your work?

 Fair enough. What about your tour plans?

Liapakis:We have booked three weeks in February with STORMWARRIOR and I don’t know if we’ll come in Greece.

 Any plans to make a live DVD?

Liapakis: We have a bonus DVD in the new album Actually whoever buys the album he’ll get the chance to download for free the five Japan bonus tracks plus 2 GB of live footage from Switzerland and Germany.

 Any news on VALLEY’S EVE

Liapakis: Actually VALLEY’S EVE are on the freezer because I have to give 100% to MYSTIC PROPHECY. I cannot work the two bands together and give my best of myself

 What about SYMPHORCE?

Markus: There isn’t any special news here. We played some shows to promote our latest album and that was it. But now is MYSTIC PROPHECY time so we will see in the future about them.

 Ok thank you for your time close this conversation anyway you like

Liapakis: We want the Greek fans to know that the bands living abroad are trying their best through hard work! I wish all the Greek bands can do what we did and more!

Markus: My advice is that the new band should stick to their own ideas and should listen to what the media are saying. Stay true and free minded!


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