Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Kiriakos Balanos Of Silent Winter

Photo courtesy of Angels PR.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Volos, Greece-based power metal outfit Silent Winter have been recording for their next album, after they started off 2020 with their single, “Nightfall,” a followup to their 2019 release ‘The Circles Of Hell’ via Sonic Age Records.

Since their 2018 reformation with new members in addition to the two from their initial mid-90’s run, they’ve received praise from fans in countries like France, Germany, Brazil and Czech Republic. They’ve also shared stages with the likes of Acid Death, Skyclad and Nightrage.

Silent Winter is currently vocalist Mike Livas, guitarist Kiriakos Balanos, bassist Vaggelis Tsekouras, drummer John Antonopoulos, guitarist Vaggelis Papadimitriou.

The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with Balanos about what they’ve been up to lately and more.

Music Bugle – What inspired your band name? 

Kiriakos Balanos – The name does not have a history behind it. We just liked the combination of words and the image of tranquility that prevails in a snowy landscape and so we just kept it. 

Music Bugle – What was your experience like making your album ‘The Circles Of Hell’? 

Kiriakos Balanos – We started recordings about the album immediately after the release of our first EP. It took about nine months along with the mix and it was released exactly one year after our first EP! We are very happy for the result. It is an album that all fans of the genre will enjoy listening without skipping any tracks and that was exactly what we wanted to achieve. The emotions are strong and I cannot help but feel nothing less than satisfaction and pride.

Music Bugle – What makes you the most proud about where you live? 

Kiriakos Balanos – Volos is a small city and the metal bands here can be counted, but over the last period, we can see that the scene is getting more active, with many old bands reuniting and also new bands forming.

Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Kiriakos Balanos – For the time being and after the cancellation of all live shows due to the pandemic, nothing is arranged for the coming period and everything is under discussion. We were forced to cancel four shows and now we are waiting to see what will happen about the new dates. However, after the release of the “Nightfall” 7″, we worked on releasing our debut LP and we are currently working on new material. We remain active! 

Music Bugle – What do you miss the most about performing in front of a live audience? 

Kiriakos Balanos – The interaction with our fans and making new fans. This is such an amazing feeling.

Music Bugle – Throughout your time together, what has been the one thing you’ve accomplished that surprised you the most?

Kiriakos Balanos – Definitely the release of our debut album after 20 years of existence! However, everything new we do keeps us excited!

Music Bugle – What can your fans expect from your upcoming music? 

Kiriakos Balanos – We have already started composing new tracks for the next album with many surprises. The material is 100 percent Silent Winter and sounds fresh!

Music Bugle – What excites you the most about power metal? 

Kiriakos Balanos – It is our inspiration. It is the music genre we listened to the most while growing up and consequently appears as an influence in our music. However, we try to bring things to our own standards.

Music Bugle – Does social media make it easier or harder for a band to stand out these days? 

Kiriakos Balanos – If everything is done legally and with the approval of each band, I have no problem with social media and file sharing. For sure, young people can’t understand the anxiety and passion about waiting for a vinyl to arrive by post and the pleasure of playing it for the first time. On the other hand, technology is moving forward with positive and negative things. It’s a matter of use, I guess.

Music Bugle – What do you feel is still left for you to accomplish, musically speaking?

Kiriakos Balanos – Our dream is the most common and at the same time, the most beautiful dream a band can have – to play on a big stage next to those who raised us and made us love this music for decades now. There are so many of these bands, that it would be a great honor for us to perform live with them! Hopefully soon! We are working on that! Expect surprises in the near future!

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