The sole reason for doing this interview was asking how they maintain such glorious beards. We forgot to ask.
1. Greetings! Thanks for agreeing to take part in this friendly conversation, we’re very glad to have you. First of all, we want to know exactly where you are, what time it is, what are currently eating and/or drinking and what each of you is wearing. Nothing else than detailed descriptions is acceptable. Go!
We are also very glad to have this interview as it’s the first one for Romania!
We are in Athens, which is our home town and I just ate a juicy pork-steak, accompanied by the famous Greek salad and a glass of ice-cold Coke, wearing a KREATOR t-shirt and a pair of shorts that remind of famous basketball player back in the 80’s.
2. This might sound awkward (because the previous question totally wasn’t, those are normal things you get asked in every interview), but the vocals of Babis remind us of Forrest French, frontman of a very young (and now very defunct) heavy metal band called Crooked X. They released their first and only LP in 2009 and they were about fourteen of age at that time. Having that in mind, we were curious know how old were you lot when you released your debut back in 2008?
To be honest, I am not familiar with this band but I’ll do my research for sure. So, back in 2008 Babis and Yog were 24 years old and I was 26.
3. At one point you mentioned all four of you come from different musical backgrounds and you like different things when it comes to music, but you found stoner metal to be a mutual interest. What are these musical differences between you (basically, what bands or genres do you enjoy?) and how do you use them to your advantage while writing and performing as Planet of Zeus?
There is a common love, respect and admiration for the classic rock/heavy metal bands, Black Sabbath, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, just to name a few.
One’s top 5 of worst bands ever probably contains bands another one worships. What I’m trying to say is that musical differences between us are so complicated that it’s a bit impossible to figure out how we end up playing the music that we do.
4. Your merchandise is pretty damn cool. Who does all the awesome artwork? Do you work closely with the artist(s) or do you encourage them to come up with their own concepts? Also, you seem to run pretty limited t-shirt designs. Is that true and if so, how do you decide these things?
We feel lucky that work with very talented people. Betty, one of the best tattoo artists in Greece and Aris, the vocals of Sarabante (crustpunk band from Athens,Greece-check them out) are responsible for the latest artwork on our merch stuff.
Usually, we give ‘em some directions about the concept and then let them free to deliver their magic to us. As for the limited t-shirts, the reason behind this one is that a every single t-shirt design corresponds to a specific period of the band. For instance, you can’t have on your merch stand a t-shirt of a tour that took place two years ago. It seems a bit unfair to the people that bought that T-shirt on that particular period of time.
|Looks like a scene from a slasher flick.|
5. I like hard rock much like any other music lover in my neighborhood (although, that's somewhat debatable; we have here in Romania one of the most vomit inducing genres of music ever to exist, called manele; you should steer clear off that). Like I said, I like hard rock: it’s great for parties and it makes you look cool when you recommend it to your friends, yet considering both of your albums, there was one song that really struck a chord with me, and that was ‘Hazelnut’. Taking in the fact that writing atmospheric stuff must take a considerable effort, this one feels like an anthem for a second day after-party, where everyone struggles to get their shit together and cleanse their minds of all the remaining booze clouds. Have you ever considered releasing a record filled only with this kind of songs? Or better yet, maybe a double album, one part heavy/hard rock and the second one atmospheric? (Jonathan).
Hazelnut is a track entirely composed by our drummer, Syke. We thought that it would sound really nice in our second album, especially as the album’s last track, following actually the notion that you describe in your question.
I don’t know about a double album, but I’m pretty sure that there will be another moment like “Hazelnut” in the future.
6. Things are looking pretty bleak in Greece, much like in the rest of Europe. The economy is struggling, people are angry and frustrated and extremist parties have started popping up, taking advantage of the bad conditions. Are you, as a band, politically motivated in any way? Ever thought of starting a socially-conscious pissed off grindcore band and scream about all of these things?
There’s no need to form a grindcore band to scream about all these things, let alone that most of the times you can’t make out what a grindcore vocalist sings/screams about. “Dawn of the dead” is one of our songs that describe they way that we perceive the whole situation. It’s about time for people to react.
7. Greek food is fucking amazing! The fresh, flavorful ingredients, the simple yet tasty dishes, the olive oil, the wine – they all make for some of the world’s best cuisine, and that’s a fact. What’s some of your favorite Greek food, which you think everyone on the planet should try?
We feel extremely lucky that Greece has such a cuisine. The list is endless, so I would try to mention of few apart from the classic mouzaka, pastitsio, greek salad, tzatziki. Fava, Gigantes, Dolmadakia, Saganaki, Gemista, Apaki, Spetsofai, Stifado, Kleftiko and galaktompoureko for dessert. Google them for further info.
|We have no witty remarks for this one. Sorry.|
8. Stoner culture has been essential to the development of the stoner/desert rock scene. Starting from ancient masters such as Kyuss, Sleep or Electric Wizards up until new bands like Elder and Tumbleweed Dealer, weed and psychedelic drugs have been a key ingredient in creating quality stoner rock. Are bongs an important weapon in your musical arsenal as well or do you just rely on booze like other heavy metal bands?
The key ingredient to the music that we play is the different music backgrounds between the members of the band and the way they blend with each other. However, it‘s common sense that rock and metal music are strongly linked to drug and alcohol abuse.
9. It’s been 2 years since Macho Libre was unleashed onto the world. What’s next for Planet of Zeus? What do you, as a band, wish to do in the following years?
We are already in the process of recording our third album. There are two shows as special guests to Clutch’s shows in Athens and Thessaloniki and some open air festivals in Greek territory.
We would be more than grateful if we continue to do what we have been doing the last years. Composing new songs, making new records and touring as much as we can. Simple as that.
10. You probably get this question in every interview (if not, the interviewers are some uptight lame asses who don’t know what their priorities really are), but my conscience begs me to ask: are you planning on ever hitting Romania? We want the chance to spend all of our money buying Planet of Zeus concert tickets, followed by cheap beer and custom autographed merch (to which Chester already had his chance). What say you?
We had an offer to visit your country for a few shows but the routing of the tour made that impossible for us. We hope that we can make it the next time.
11. This is it, we’re almost done! Thanks again for indulging us, you guys are great. As per usual, the last item on the interview is open to you. You can add something you feel might have been left out, address your fans or even ask us something. SEX ΚΑΙ ΒΙΑ, ΣΤΟΝ ΠΛΑΝΗΤΗ ΔΙΑ!
Thank you so much for your support. We really appreciate this! Hope we can make it to Romania someday and sweat together!
Greetings from Athens, Greece!
Greetings from Athens, Greece!