By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Grande Fox, the Thessaloniki, Greece-based psychedelic heavy stoner rock band, formed in 2013 and was founded by guitarist Zao Lefteris and vocalist/frontman Berzamanis Nikos, before eventually being rounded out by drummer Dimitris Loukas.
In their time together, they’ve put out four recordings – the two LPs ‘Space Nest’ and ‘Empty Nest,’ the EP ‘Kulning’ and album ‘Documento,’ the latter of which spawned a hit music video with the title track. They’ve also shared stages with the likes of Nightstalker and Project Theory.
The Music Bugle recently had the chance to talk with Loukas about their music and more.
Music Bugle – How did you guys decide your band name?
Dimitris Loukas – The first name of the band was ‘’Fox Terrier.” We decided to include in our band’s name this animal because we love and admire it for its intelligence, power and generally for its many excellent abilities and characteristics. Then, after a couple of months, we thought about it again, because we wanted something more representative. Our vision, our dreams and our goals about music are very big. Our thirst for success is great, so we decided to change the name and replace the word ‘‘Terrier’’ with the word “Grande” and so we ended up as ‘‘Grande Fox.”
Music Bugle – What was it like making your latest album? Did you have any obstacles to overcome?
Dimitris Loukas – You always encounter obstacles and difficulties when you are about to release a new album. There is always stress until the job is done and the result that comes out satisfies you. The difficulties we faced in productions were mostly time pressure and economic factors. Usually, the necessary budget for production is high. Generally, we spent many hours working, writing, preparing the material and recording. You experiment and you overcome obstacles until you get the result you want. So far, we are very pleased with our achievements.
Music Bugle – Out of the music videos you have made, which one was your favorite to shoot?
Dimitris Loukas – Undoubtedly, our favorite video is our single ‘’Documento’’ that we made a couple of months ago. We were in a period where anger and rage prevailed over many things in our lives and generally in the world. Our emotions were mixed, but we were also determined for a good result. It was the right time to make that video clip because we brought out exactly the right emotions needed to have the result we wanted.
Music Bugle – What’s something people should know about the band?
Dimitris Loukas – They should know that we are here united. We play music and we share our musical concerns with them. We will be very happy to meet them, perform for them and discuss with all of them backstage. It is something we do with great pleasure.
Music Bugle – Does social media make it easier or harder for a band to stand out these days?
Dimitris Loukas – Social media is a very, very big world, which surely makes it easier for a band to get in touch with more people, to promote and to share new material, especially on these difficult days in which bands cannot perform live on stage. Ιt’s a useful tool to have nowadays and that is a privilege because in previous years, many bands excelled in music with other and many times harder ways. It has its positives and its negatives. Nothing compares to live shows, but it’s a good way to stand out faster these days.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Thessaloniki to someone who has never been there before?
Dimitris Loukas – We would describe it as the city that never sleeps. Ιt is the city of ghosts and love.
Music Bugle – What is the biggest challenge of being in a band?
Dimitris Loukas – Being in a band means so many things. It is not as easy as it sounds or some people might think, especially when motivation and goals you’ve set are high, so according to that, the biggest challenge is to see how far you can go or in other words, to see if you can reach the highest goals you set. Additionally, this requires tremendous patience, perseverance and effort, so it’s a bet if a band will manage to have the required duration.
Music Bugle – What made you want to play your style of music?
Dimitris Loukas – In general, experimentation is something we like very much. It is something that was done from the beginning, from our first steps in music. You can understand this as each project has something different in terms of sound, but with psychedelics, always remain as an unshakable element. We are affected by many different situations when we create, depending on our needs or what we want to bring out. In every new effort and experimentation, strange feelings are created that come from the core of our anxious souls.
Music Bugle – How has COVID-19 affected the band?
Dimitris Loukas – First of all, we would like to emphasize that health is the most important thing for a human being, so do not forget to stay safe and cautious to protect yourself and others. On the one hand, it affected us negatively because some of our live appearances have been postponed, such as our big live show in Bucharest in Romania, opening act for the European tour of Villagers of Ioannina City. It is sad to suddenly see all these bands and all these musicians cancel everything. From the other side, we didn’t want to be left with our hands crossed. We begun to chase new targets and remain creative. We continued to organize and implement our plan and our next steps for our new upcoming album ‘Empty Nest’ and at the same time, we found the opportunity to work on new ideas for the future.
Music Bugle – What was the hardest song for you guys to write?
Dimitris Loukas – Τhe hardest song to write was ‘’New Beginning’’ from our first album ‘Space Nest.’ It was the most demanding song for many reasons, especially because of its length of time at eight minutes and 40 seconds and because it includes many difficult parts with a lot of riff-rhythmic and melodic changes.