By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Do It Yourself” to the core, Greek melodic death metal band EphemeraL have self-financed everything they’ve done so far, including the release of their first EP ‘VII’ and are also set to record their first full-length album.
EphemeraL is vocalist/guitarist/bassist Elias Elias, drummer Kostas Matis (Forbidden Seed) and keyboardist Angel G., who all participated in other rock and metal acts around their hometown of Thessaloniki before they united based on their common love of music.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with Elias about the new release and more.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Thessaloniki, Greece to someone who has never been there before?
Elias Elias – Well, Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece! It is a city with a port, so living next to the sea is pretty liberating! It is a city with warm and kind people, always willing to help you! Not that I’ve been living there since I was born, but it’s one of the most beautiful cities in Greece. In addition, there is a strong and upcoming rock/metal scene.
Music Bugle – What is it about melodic death metal that excites you?
Elias Elias – Well, to be honest, I wasn’t always fond of “extreme” metal music, but once I listened to the melodies of Wintersun, Insomnium, etc., I just couldn’t go back! It took me some time to get used to the vocals though, but by then, I was so into MDM that I started writing my own songs!
Music Bugle – How did you guys decide the band name?
Elias Elias – I think this is pretty obvious! It is an all-time favorite tune by my personal favorite band, Insomnium. Apart from that, there is also a phrase in one of Kazantzakis’ work, in which he uses the word. There is also something else – since there wasn’t an actual band the time I was writing songs, I thought that it may be something literally ephemeral, so I think it all made sense then!
Music Bugle – What was the creative process like for your first EP ‘VII’?
Elias Elias – After a long time of not recording music at all, I decided to grab my guitar again. I started writing some songs back in 2015 and some of them made it to our EP. I recorded everything in my home studio and once I decided to publish the songs, I needed a good drummer. Kostas was working in Germany back then, so the releasing process was postponed for some years. In 2019, I heard that he was back in town, so I sent him a message. He loved the songs and after some rehearsals, he recorded his parts in one weekend! He then proposed that we should hire Angel – his old band mate – to record some keyboards. In the end of the day, he flew from Athens in my house and he recorded everything in a weekend as well. The rest is up to your ears!
Music Bugle – How will your first full-length album be different?
Elias Elias – Well, first of all, it won’t be so different than our EP, musically speaking. It will be in the MDM genre, but lyrically, there is no concept. The interesting fact though, is that maybe there will be more people involved, so we kinda don’t know which direction it will take, although in my opinion, MDM is a very “broad” genre and experimentation is always welcome.
Music Bugle – What’s the biggest challenge in being a band?
Elias Elias – Being in a band! (Laughs) Well, the biggest challenge is to be able to perform and record high quality music, while at the same time, there is lots of admin work that has to be done. It’s hard to focus on both, so from time to time, I am taking a break from either music or admin so that we can maintain quality. So far, so good!
Music Bugle – How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you or the band?
Elias Elias – Well, that’s kind of funny. Although we are a recording trio and anyone could imagine that we wouldn’t be affected, there were many things that had to be done and we couldn’t do it because of the lockdown. First of all, the pandemic hit us at a period of time that we decided to transform EphemeraL into a full band: canceled. We had a photoshooting booked: canceled. We had plans for shooting an official music video: canceled, so I had to put my focus on promoting the band without these three aspects. In the end and all things considered, I think that went well.
Music Bugle – What’s your biggest source of motivation?
Elias Elias – Apart from reality itself? Other people’s thoughts, sentiments and lives. In fact, anything that can trigger my hands and mind to write music.
Music Bugle – What frustrates you the most about today’s music industry?
Elias Elias – Well, even if you asked me to write a book about that, I still wouldn’t be able to include all my thoughts. Just kidding. Let’s keep it simple. I think that the most frustrating thing about the music industry is that it never gives new people the opportunity to get exposed to others. It is funny to think that music by definition is to be shared, not to be a product! I am not saying that music and bands are not products, but it’s not only business! Nowadays, numbers on social media seem to matter more than the music itself. I think that the truth is somewhere in the middle.
Music Bugle – What was the hardest song for you to write?
Elias Elias – “Sloth.” It is hard to pass a “boring” feeling that describes “Sloth” as one of the seven deadly sins, while performing in a genre that is characterized by energy or melancholy. Looking back to the recording process, I think that this song could be different.