By Nicholas Jason Lopez
In July 2020, quartet Altribe self-released released their new album, ‘The Promised Land,’ which dives into genres like rock, pop, psychedelic and blues.
Altribe is vocalist/acoustic guitarist Fiona Lambrides, electric guitarist Apostolos Karatzas, electric bassist Giannis Gardicilis and group founder/composer/lyricist/drummer Albert Panagiotopoulos.
The band, who’ve traveled to play all around Greece and abroad, also received official permission from The Rolling Stones’ publishing company to record a cover of their song “Gimme Shelter.”
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with Lambrides/Panagiotopoulos about ‘The Promised Land’ and more.
Music Bugle – How did you guys get your band name?
Fiona Lambrides – ALTRIBE is the tribe of Al(bert), the founder of the group. We like to act as a tribe.
Music Bugle – What was it like making your album ‘The Promised Land’?
Albert Panagiotopoulos – It was fun, for sure. We were relaxed, we took our time, no big hopes – no loads. We wanted the music to be simple, light, kind of pop and the lyrics to speak mostly about love – hard and easy – and the relationship between two people.
Fiona Lambrides – Even though the title is a bit ironic. The land they promised us seems not to be so fruitful…
Music Bugle – Does social media make it easier or harder for a band to stand out these days?
Albert Panagiotopoulos – Of course, social exposure is necessary, but “too much sauce” may spoil the meal.
Music Bugle – What’s the biggest challenge of being a band with four members?
Albert Panagiotopoulos – The biggest problem is when we play live, to surpass the lack of the keyboards we use in the studio. In the past, we have used keys in some shows and pre-recordings, as well.
Fiona Lambrides – Having two guitars – I play electro-acoustic – we get a more vivid, rock sound.
Music Bugle – If you had the chance to chat one-on-one with one of your musical influences, who would you choose?
Albert Panagiotopoulos – Jimmy Page. He is a nice guy. I would love to play with him, too!
Fiona Lambrides – Etta James, but I have to wait for a while to chat with her in hell! (Laughs)
Music Bugle – What was it like being able to cover The Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter”?
Fiona Lambrides – I first made the attempt to give a new shape and feel to the song. The guys liked it and they all contributed, but the big surprise was that the Rolling Stones’ company replied fast and positively when we asked for the permission to release it.
Albert Panagiotopoulos – We’re talking about a high professional industry and it was a great honor.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Albert Panagiotopoulos – We were working on our new project and we had decided to take our distances from the market at that time, but it all happened lightning-fast and globally and things are gonna be worse in the future. Too many people are gonna have problems because we are all connected.
Fiona Lambrides – On the other hand, it may be the time for more mental work, a chance for self-exploration.
Music Bugle – What did you miss the most about performing live?
Albert Panagiotopoulos – The hot, cheerful, transcendent interaction with the human beings.
Fiona Lambrides – The strong relationship we create with our audience.
Music Bugle – Where are some of your favorite places to play?
Albert Panagiotopoulos – The magic may happen even if we play in a small club or in some bigger venue. Festivals are a big challenge too. We wouldn’t say “no” if somebody proposed us to play in Albert Hall or in Madison Square Garden. (Laughs)
Music Bugle – What has been your favorite release to date?
Albert Panagiotopoulos – ‘Spooky Train.’