By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Home to Thessaloniki, Greece and influenced by hard rock, stoner and good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, heavy rock quartet Chipper formed in 2017 and recently released their eight-track debut album ‘Self Patrón,’ which was recorded at Valve Studio.
Chipper is vocalist/guitarist Nick Antoniadis, vocalist/guitarist Nick Karamanidis, bassist Chris Nalbantidis and drummer John Charalabidis.
The Music Bugle recently had the opportunity to chat with Antoniadis about their music and more.
Music Bugle – What inspired you guys to name the band Chipper? What does it signify?
Nick Antoniadis – “Chipper” was the name of an instrumental track we used to play in order to warm up before the main rehearsal. It helped us a lot to adjust our sound in the studio and we had fun playin’ it, so we decided to name the band after that. Chipper is the machine for grinding wood, but also has some informal meanings that we liked!
Music Bugle – How would you describe Thessaloniki, Greece to someone who has never been there before?
Nick Antoniadis – Thessaloniki, Rock City! Well, we love our town, that’s for sure. The main feature is the feeling of “everything running smoothly.” Thessaloniki has many places for long walks and the people here are very friendly, sometimes more than they should! There are many rock bars full of nice people, but the most remarkable thing is our rock/metal scene! We got some awesome Greek bands.
Music Bugle – What do you feel are some challenges of being a band that some people may not see on the surface?
Nick Antoniadis – Well, first of all, we all need to have “real” jobs in order to invest “real” money to our studio, equipment, recordings/production. That is not easy. Many groups have disbanded due to economic reasons. For 10 years, we had an economic crisis here in Greece. Many people lost their jobs and many young people migrated to other countries for a better future. You also need to sacrifice a great amount of your time to write and practice music, tour with your group and promote your music via social media, so you need to organize your daily routine very, very carefully!
Music Bugle – What made you want to become a musician?
Nick Antoniadis – AC/DC, of course! I still remember the day that I listened to in my headphones “Rock n’ Roll Singer” from the ‘High Voltage’ album! When the drum bit came in and the guitar solo started, I said, “Man, I need to get an electric guitar, immediately!” and so it happened.
Music Bugle – Who are some of the group’s direct musical influences?
Nick Antoniadis – The main influence was something between Black Sabbath and Motorhead, but eventually, we had many elements from Monster Magnet, Warrior Soul, Kyuss and the list might keep on getting bigger.
Music Bugle – What was your favorite show you’ve ever played and why?
Nick Antoniadis – I think the best live show was when we opened for Nightstalker, one of the greatest Greek bands – you have to check ’em out! The live show was in our hometown, so we had many friends in the club and the vibes were great. The sound was exactly what we wanted and we performed better than ever! Greek fans will always make you feel comfortable and they will show you their support, especially if you are a new artist.
Music Bugle – Could you describe what the creative process was like for your debut album and how does it sound to you nowadays, looking back?
Nick Antoniadis – We had some unfinished songs from our previous band era. For many years, we played under the name Paraphernalia – hard rock and we wrote some new ones without giving too much thought to what we are doing! We didn’t analyze too much of our music. It’s just rock n’ roll – don’t overthink it. Spontaneity is the key. We had one week for the main recording process, so we had to give our best effort and I think we did it! Nowadays, after one year of the recordings, I can’t stop listening to the album. I love it.
Music Bugle – How has the COVID-19 outbreak affected the band?
Nick Antoniadis – We had live shows booked and unfortunately, they were all canceled! For about two months, we were in quarantine and we had a lot of time to compose new songs and write some lyrics that may be included into our next album. It was an opportunity for us to reevaluate some things and set new goals for the band.
Music Bugle – What do you feel is left for the band to accomplish?
Nick Antoniadis – The band has not started yet! We have already released our first album, but we have not promoted it in live venues due to the COVID-19 outburst. The band needs to play live because the energy you get from the shows is the inspiration you need to write power rock songs!
Music Bugle – What is your favorite set of lyrics from this band?
Nick Antoniadis – “I’m feelin’ sick and dazy/I feel I’m left alone/My mind won’t stop ringin’/They’ll find what I owe/My head or my old wheels/My whiskey or my jeans/But I’m a foxy boy/I keep my country clean.” That’s from our “Brains On The Railings” track.