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Theodore Ziras (Euroforce)

Interview with Theodore Ziras from Euroforce
by Michael Dalakos at 13 July 2005, 10:20 PM

Greg might have managed to snatch this review right out of my hands but I had the pleasure of chatting with the band's mastermind, Theodore Ziras (Guitars). Theodore proved to be not only a great guitar player but also a really nice person to speak with. Let's see what he told us…

 Theodore hi, how’s things in Athens with all the heat?

You’re joking, right? I know you live in Athens too, man! \[Laughs] What can I say? Thank god for air conditioning machines!

What? This early in the summer? What will you do in August?

Move to Antarctica? Wishful thinking I guess but I’m trying to live day by day. \[Laughs]

First of all congratulations on your debut album. It’s really hard to make such an impact on the symphonic Metal scene with just one album. Please tell us how Euroforce started.

Thank you for your kind words. We worked really hard on this album and I think it deserves the attention of the fans. Euroforce started as an idea when I decided to do something different than working on my solo career. I had already released solo albums and I realized it was time to add voice to my music. I also wanted to add some progressive touches to my work and change a bit the neoclassic style people have been used to seeing me in.

First problem was to find a good vocalist. I listen to a lot of vocalists here in Greece but nothing would fit in my vision. So I went abroad and I started listening and discussing with 4-5 vocalists, two of them were known ones. The most common problem was time scheduling so all these deals didn’t work out. I met Jiotis Parcharidis and I dare say that he was finally the best man for the job. He has an amazing voice. Euroforce might have started as a project but now has a full lineup. We are a real band. The CD of course was recorded with only three people in the lineup.

The name is really catchy. Who’s idea was it?

\[Laughs] A small trivia is the fact that the song European Lie was firstly named Euroforce. We liked the title however so much that we kept it for the band’s name. I think, as a name it’s catchy and pretty much defines what you are about to hear: a band from Europe playing with force = power. Or maybe a band that has won a lot of football games. \[Laughs] I don’t know…

Please give us some info about the recordings of the album…

As a total we have one and a half year of recordings. Of course this is not actual studio hours. Everything was recorded in my studio here in Athens \[Magic Sound Studio], the mixing and the mastering. The only thing recorded elsewhere was the vocals of Jiotis in Hanover. He came to Athens just to do a demo and from there on he worked on his own. I can tell you that I invested a lot of time on this album. Only the mixing took three months!

So is it just a fairytale most Greek bands use when they say we have a crap sound because it was the studio’s fault…

Absolutely. Every studio now works on digital recording. They use the same programs, the same samples. Everyone uses Pro tools. This is a sorry excuse by people not willing to invest time in their work.

The fact that your vocalist lives in a different country… isn’t this a problem?

Yes, it is a big problem but there is no way around it. Jiotis is my only choice and I wouldn’t change him for the world.

We know you as a solo artist. How do you feel, now working in a band?

I have no problem. I like both ways, solo and as a band. Working in a band is a totally different way of work. As a solo artist you have complete control on how and what you are going to play. This can’t work in a band. I might write down everything in Euroforce but each member adds its own personal touch.

I noticed in the album that in many songs there are references to Greece…

Almost all lyrics are written by Jiotis. As you understand since he’s been a Greek living abroad he has a special bond with his home country. I can say that most Greeks living outside Greece are more proud of their country than all the rest of us. They only speak about Greece…

How do you think the metalheads from other countries will react?

What can I say… \[Laughs] I mean our lyrics are not fascistic or something like that. There is nothing extreme in them.

Can you pinpoint the song that gave you the biggest headache?

The first one, Spirit Raven, it has those choirs in it with 16 voices! It was really hard to mix this sucker down! \[Laughs]

Any videoclips for this album?

We have already done a clip for Ubiquitous, the instrumental one since it was the easiest to do. We will also do a clip for Spirit By My Side.

Any chance to see you live?

Well, there are no dates as we speak. However we have a setlist ready and we only wait the right moment or call from an organizer. However we will prefer biggest live shows.

Sonic Age is a new and quite powerful company. Have you been in contact with other labels?

Yes, I had, with other three – one of them from Germany, but in the end Sonic Age was the one really interested in us. The other ones wanted to be involved in our music.

If you had the ability to change one thing in the music industry… what would that be?

I wouldn’t bother with the music industry but with the audience. I would have asked the audience to be more open minded, less guided by the media. It’s them who decide what sells or not.

Your way of convincing a metalhead to listen to your album?

Great guitars, great voice, great songs. What more do you want? \[Laughs]

You are a talented and well respected guitar player. Your advice to a kid that’s just starting to play the guitar?

First of all he needs a good teacher. No mater how hard you try on your own a good teacher will help you the outmost. He needs to listen to a lot of music and not only Metal. Find 2-3 guitar players you like, listen to them and try to play what they play at first. With time and practice you can add a personal touch.

As for equipment… well, now technology is easily reachable by most. You don’t really need a fortune to buy good equipment. A good amp costs like 200 euros, a good guitar roughly 1.000 Euros? an Ibanez, a Jackson. This is all you need to have a good sound. Don’t believe that foreign bands spend fortunes on equipment.

The immediate plans of Euroforce?

Playing live, rehearsing… we’ve started working on the second album. Oh! And the second videoclip! \[Laughs]

Theodore, thanks for your time. Close this interview with a message to all our readers…

Listen to our album, I’m sure you will like it! Thank you for your time. I hope to see all our friends live, soon!


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