Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – James Basdanis

Photo credit – Lefkothea Pappa. Courtesy of James Basdanis.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

With over 500 live performances under bis belt, Greek modern fusion guitarist James Basdanis recently unleashed his new EP ‘Diddycoy,’ complete with three new instrumental songs that he wrote after his 2019 debut album ‘Kaemos’ came out.

He got to perform the songs live with the Anatolian trio around several cities in Greece. With Basdanis on guitar, the trio’s other members are bassist Nick Tangas and drummer George Memos.

Each track a “piece of a story,” they collectively showcase more of Basdanis’ signature style, that borders somewhere between rock, jazz and Greek traditional music.

The Music Bugle had the chance to chat with Basdanis about ‘Diddycoy’ and more.

Music Bugle – What was it like putting together your new EP ‘Diddycoy’?

James Basdanis – We have been performing live all three tracks of the album for a while with my “Anatolian Trio.” Recording and releasing the material just felt as the natural thing to do at the time and we went ahead with it! 

Music Bugle – How would you compare your new music to your older? 

James Basdanis – I always try to grow up together with my music. I see the EP ‘Diddycoy’ as my most musically mature work so far. 

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

James Basdanis – I believe that an artist’s cultural roots play a very important role in his or her artistic development and can be clearly seen in his body of work. My country, Greece, has given me a vast cultural heritage, in a way, helping me to build a sound, which combines the “music of today” with traditional sounds and colors.

Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your type of music? 

James Basdanis – The fact is that in my compositions, I can capture the images and stories that I have in my mind and at the same time, give my listeners the opportunity to use my soundtracks as the ground to create their own personal stories and images.

Music Bugle – Of all the shows you’ve played, do you have a particular favorite? 

James Basdanis – All of my shows are special and each one a favorite! I always try to give my best, no matter if I am playing for a sole listener or performing for thousands of people. 

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

James Basdanis – The truth is that it is much easier to communicate with the world and certainly much easier to share and promote new music. However, with so many new tracks released everyday, sometimes music which is fresh and good may get lost in the way and not receive the attention it needs and deserves. 

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

James Basdanis – It is a difficult situation for all artists and performers and therefore, for me. Step-by-step and with a lot of patience, all artists have to stand up again and continue our creative work. 

Music Bugle – Away from music, what’s something people might be surprised to know about you? 

James Basdanis – I am a man of music, a guitar teacher, a composer and a music book holder, so everything in my life revolves around music. Other than that, I lead a normal life. I don’t believe I have anything impressive to share with you. 

Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?

James Basdanis – “Music heals the soul.”

Music Bugle – Where do you go when you feel the need to escape? 

James Basdanis – Easy question! I “hug” my guitar and travel to her sounds!

*Photo credit – Lefkothea Pappa*

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