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Steve Papacharitos (Godiva)

Interview with Steve Papacharitos from Godiva
by Yiannis Zervos at 26 April 2008, 11:25 PM

A new Metal force is rising from Switzerland's arsenal of awesome Heavy bands. GODIVA just released Destruction and prepare themselves for a European tour this summer. GODIVA's new guitar player Steve double-headed eagle Papacharitos speaks to Yiannis red & white Zervos about his new Metal adventure.

Steve first of all, congratulations on Destruction man. Great job.

Hey, thanks a lot. We’ve got a very positive feedback and great reviews so far. We’re all so happy with our new baby.

Can you tell me how you joined GODIVA? Was there a guitarist wanted add or something?

Yes, so it happened. Metal band searching for a lead guitar-player. So, I sent them  a demo and a brief CV, after a couple of days we jammed and right after the jam they announced me that I got the job.

I know that you joined GODIVA after they had finished recording Destruction. What is your own opinion on the album? You think that you could add something more in the recording process?

I love Destruction. The guys gave me the CD to learn the songs and it stucked for a couple of days in my player. I’ve got 2 tickets in about a week because of driving too fast. No, I wouldn’t change anything, although I believe that it would sound a bit different because of the style of my playing.

What do you remember from your younger years in Greece as far as music goes?

Hm, I was studying classical guitar and playing in a Metal band called VAAL. I remember that I had not so much options to express myself through music. I could work in a night club, you know, the ones which play live Greek music, or work in a local music school and being underpaid, or do something else and having music as a hobby. I remember myself being desperate because of the situation and making dreams of going abroad studying and making a music career. The problem was that I had not the money to do this. So, I quit the classical guitar lessons, right at the diploma class and started working as a courier to get money. A year later, I moved in Switzerland and started my studies at the Jazz School Of Luzern.

I read in your resume that you studied both Classical and Jazz guitar. I think that these musical knowledge of the instrument, are useful to any Hard Rock and Metal guitar player. You agree with that? Which guitar genre you prefer the most (Classical, Jazz, Metal)?

It’s great to have the knowledge. I can transcribe anything no matter how complicated it is, I can recognize any chord, scale whatever. I like that and I did it for myself. On the other side there are guitar players who can hardly read notes, but they kick ass anyway. That’s music. Playing music and performing are two of my favorite things in life. The feeling you get while playing Metal defers with the  felling you get when you play Jazz, or Funk, or Classical music. In Jazz you’ve got better chances to express yourself as a musician. It’s an interactive music with a lot of dynamics and damned, you’ve got plenty of time for soloing. In Metal, you jump on the stage playing your heavy riffs and get your adrenaline high only just by seeing the guys in the audience go crazy. Man, I want the best of both worlds!

How did you decide to move from Greece to Switzerland? How hard can it be for a Greek guy to live in Switzerland and make a living from music?

I came here for studying music. I did all kind of impossible jobs to achieve this goal. This was the hard part of the story. Anyway…For a Greek is not bad here. You know, when you say you’re Greek the people here go like: Awesome, I was last year in Crete, or something like that. I have never felt the slightest trace of discrimination and I always got equal chances as the swiss people. I can live well from music, too.

The fact that you are the new kid in GODIVA, makes it harder for you? Because of all the songs you have to learn? The rest of the band waits from you to prove your musical value?

Proving my abilities was a game I used to play for about 15 years, when I studied. I got bored of that. If I can’t achieve the level of playing I want in a gig, I’m just looking forward for the next one. I love music and I enjoy playing the guitar. If it won’t work one day, it’s not the end of the world. I learned the songs pretty fast.  I’ve got about 4 months to learn the set before my first tour with GODIVA.

Who has the main song-writing role in the band? Have you started to compose stuff for GODIVA’s next album?

Mitch and Sammy are writing the music and Fernando is adding the lyrics. Yes, we’ve already started writing stuff for the new album and I’m also involved in that.

Switzerland’s Hard/Metal music scene has great bands to show off like GOTTHARD, KROKUS, CRYSTAL BALL etc. What is your opinion for these bands and for the rest of the Swiss Hard Rock and Metal scene in general?

All these are great Hard Rock bands. For a Metal band is not that easy, but we’re happy that the band goes well out of the country borders.

What other musicians influenced your guitar playing style? What made you want to play in a Metal band?

I’ve had enough from playing Jazz in front of 10-20 people in small clubs! (Laughs) Musicians who influence my playing are Paul Gilbert, Eddie van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Pat Metheny, Mike Stern, John Coltrane, Michael Brecker and many more.

GODIVA made an appearance in 2006 in front of the Greek crowd in Karaiskaki Stadium with WHITESNAKE and SCORPIONS. Are you anxious at all of playing in front of the Greek crowd?

Not anxious, but I think my adrenaline will go higher the time we’re gonna hit the stage in Greece. I haven’t performed there for years! I’m looking forward for this. I was last month in Greece and I’ve met so many guys there, all asking me if we’ve got plans doing gigs in Greece.

Is there any other music that you enjoy to listen besides Heavy Metal?

A lots of stuff. I often listen to Jazz and Fusion stuff, Punk Rock, Pop, Funk, Hip Hop, the most of the time new stuff. I actually listen to some good Greek music as well.

Steve you seem to be dedicated to your music 100%. You have any free time? You watch football (your favorite Greek team)? You have any hobbies or surf the internet?

No, I have not so much free time and when I get some, is filled with music. I’m spending a lot of time in front of my laptop writing music, answering to fans and doing other stuff. I can’t image my life without Macs and internet. Favorite team: AEK Athens. What else?   

How do you feel about people that download your music instead of buying your CDs? You think internet and downloading is a way to increase your popularity by making your music accessible to more people? Or you think that your work is been stolen in a way?

Internet is a good tool to promote a band. People can read about you and listen to your music , that’s all OK. By downloading instead of buying a CD, you work indirectly against the band you like. That’s a reason why big bands don’t release new albums and go on tours playing the old stuff.

What are your future plans for GODIVA? Have you planned a tour or live performances in Europe for the summer?

Yes,  we’re going on tour next month with ROYAL HUNT. The only think I can say at the moment is that we’re gonna play in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Italy, England and we’re gonna start with Athens and Thessaloniki!!!

Besides GODIVA, you have other projects aside that you are putting your talent in? What can you tell us about Syydeband Und Bottewaage?

Oh, that’s a music theater I’m writing the music for. I’ve pretty much finished it and now I’m writing the score and the lead sheets for the musicians who are going to play. I’ve never done this before and it’s very exiting. Apart from writing music you get in contact with people from the theater who are really great and inspired.

Steve, is there anything else you want to say to our readers out there?

CU in May, in Athens and Thessaloniki. Don’t forget to visit our web page and our MySpace profile Let GODIVA tanks roll!

Steve, thank you for your time.


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