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Wretch's Nick Giannakos: "I think we’ve been pretty lucky that people still seem to like what we do and come out to support us, we haven’t had to change with any trends, and I’m glad we never tried to..."

Interview with Nick Giannakos from Wretch
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 03 June 2019, 9:19 PM

There is thing with old school US Metal bands that is pretty much like being supported by a home crowd when you are the away team. Well supported in Europe, unlike in the US, the Wretch machine continues coming and going, always enjoying themselves in the small continent, which has been the center stage for Metal music of the old kind. Steinmetal sat with longtime guitarist Nick Giannakos about the newly released album, touring Europe time and time again and the feel of an old school band in modern times.

Greetings Nick, a pleasure to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online magazine. How have you been doing sir?

I’m doing great! Recently got back from our European tour and playing some local shows.

Usually I leave the support for an album as one of my last questions, but since you just concluded a European run as support for Wretch’s new album, “Man Or Machine”, I guess that I can make an exception. What do you make of this eight dates tour? I see that you are quite fond of touring Europe.

Yes!!! We LOVE playing in Europe!! We have a very good fan base there and all of the shows are very fun to play!

How was “Man Or Machine” received in general, and not mainly by your local followers in the US?

It seems to be doing pretty good. We actually have a better response in Europe than we do in the U.S. I don’t think Power Metal is very popular here.

Do you think that this album marks a step forward in the band’s progress or basically preserving the old Metal flame that has been part of the band’s legacy?

Yes, and no. I think we still have some of our old roots which were a little more thrashy but I think we have moved towards a more melodic Power Metal sound.

Speaking of maintaining the old guard of Metal, especially the grand US Power Metal flavor of the 80s, I wonder what has been making you tick all these years?

HAHAHA!!! I know! I’m getting old!! Well I know I still love writing and performing so as long as it’s still fun for me I’ll continue to do it.

What can you tell about the songwriting on “Man Or Machine”? Did the end the result matched how you envisioned the album to sound in overall?

I normally don’t have a specific thing in mind when I start writing for a new album. Usually after I get a couple of songs done I tend to stay with whatever is coming out of my head. It has worked so far so I’ll keep doing it that way.

I found the trilogy “The Inquisitor” rather intriguing. The first track’s title had me thinking of Game Of Thrones, probably just an assumption as the rest of the tunes didn’t seem to in streaming on the same GOT line. What can you tell about this trilogy? What influenced you to go semi-epic with this one?

Well I don’t write any of the lyrics so I had no idea that was going to happen. When Mike and Juan started writing the lyrics those three songs just seemed to be tied together so that’s how that happened.

Which of the album’s tracks do you consider as your prime achievement? Please elaborate about your pick.

"Schwarzenburg", I think is the best song I’ve written so far. For some reason all of the parts just came together perfectly. I tend to get bored listening to other songs of ours but I crank that one up when it’s on!! The vocals and guitars are just amazing to me.

I noticed that you covered Judas Priest’s “Steeler”, quite a classic that I believe to be rather underrated. Was it the reason that you recorded a cover for it or something else?

Steeler is my favorite Judas Priest song!! I agree that it’s a very underrated song. To me it’s a very powerful song. In fact, it’s so fun to play that we’ve added it to our live set and we used it as our set closer during the European tour!

With Wretch being a part of an era in Metal music where the modernized direction pretty much takes lead of what is hot and what not, how do you see the band’s musical sense with what is going on today in the worldwide Metal scene?

I think we’ve been pretty lucky that people still seem to like what we do and come out to support us, especially in Europe. We haven’t had to change with any trends and I’m glad we never tried to!!

Do you agree with the notion that modern driven Metal music dominates the market or there is still hope that the old guard might raise its head once more?

I don’t know if stuff like ours will ever dominate the market but I’m ok with that. We are very lucky that we can go over to Europe and do a two or three week tour and get a bunch of support from people!! Most bands from around here never get a chance to do anything like that.

Though the band has been in demo phases in the 80s, tape trading and such, in comparison to the past, how do you see nowadays’ promotion of bands? Did it get easier or rather tougher?

I think it’s much easier because of the internet. Now you can reach anyone on the planet with an email and your epk, where before you didn’t even know how to get a hold of record companies or promoters and if you did you had to send them a whole promo pack in the mail and hope that the listen to it!!

Will there be a continued support run for “Man Or Machine” in Europe this year?

I would love to come back to Europe!! We are working on some festivals for the summer of 2020. If it were up to me and I didn’t have to work for a living I would stay on tour in Europe for a year!!!! I just love it there!!

Nick, it was awesome having you for this interview. I thank you for your time. I am pleased that you guys head on forward with eagerness to bring back the 80s in today’s varied Metal selection. Cheers mate.

 Thank you!!! These were great questions!! Please stay in touch and I hope to see you soon on the road in Europe!!
 



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