Nightstalker is a band from Athens, Greece. The band was established in 1990 by Argy who first started as both a vocalist and drummer. Some time later in 1992 he was joined by Andreas who has also been playing up to recently in the famed metal act Rotting Christ. With the new line-up the band released their first EP titled Side FX in 1994 and their first full-length album Use in 1996. The band achieved recognition in the rock ‘n’ roll scene thanks to their funky rhythms and grungy sounds. After some more line-up changes, Nightstalker released Just a Burn in 2004 which widened their fanbase but it was in 2009 that the band released their most popular record to date: Superfreak. Over 20 years of existence and the band is as strong as ever with the release of their fourth full-length Dead Rock Commandos.
Argy, Nighstalker’s vocalist, talks to MetalRecusants about their newly released album, Dead Rock Commandos, live performances and the Greek rock scene.
Veronica: First of all, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Dead Rock Commandos is Nightstalker’s newest output. How was the songwriting and recording process of the album? Did you face any major difficulties during the making of the album?
Argy: We started the songwrighting right after the Superfreak release, but you know, inspiration is a pain in the ass. These last 3 years I had a feeling that something is going to take place in my life. So, last summer I had a heart attack! After that I knew why I wrote some of my darkest songs in this album. Apart from this, we had to make the whole process of the production on our own. It’s a risky business because no matter what you think there’s always something missing…
Veronica: What are the lyrics of the album about? Is there a particular message behind the lyrics?
Argy: Well the message I received was that if I didn’t die from this [see above], I’m in the right way, ha ha ha!! The message I try to communicate is simple… total freedom.
Veronica: Compared to Nightstalker’s previous releases, how different is the new album music-wise?
Argy: Dead Rock Commandos is moving on a different level than Superfreak. Dead Rock Commandos is more plain, down to earth and “into your face” rock. We wanted that right from the beginning so the whole process had to be analogue. In this album we stripped the music from weird sound effects that we used in our previous recordings. Anyway, the final outcome has a more vintage sound.
Veronica: Nightstalker are well-known for their live performances. Do you have any ‘rituals’ before going on stage? How do you feel when you perform in front of so many people? Do you prefer playing at festivals or in small clubs?
Argy: Well, every gig is a new experience for us and we try to live it like it is. When we are on stage with my people, you know we don’t care if there is 10,000 people or 0.1. It’s the only real thing we do in our lives, apart from our families. I think that the clubs are more personal. We are closer to the crowd. On the other hand, festivals are in summertime…
Veronica: Looking back at your career, do you have any regrets?
Argy: The only regret I have now is that I did not have any regrets. Anyway, if you have any regrets, try again, maybe you will do it better now.
Veronica: Greece has been in the spotlight in the last few years due to its economic problems. What is your view on Greece’s economic and social woes and how does this situation have an impact on you and the music scene in Greece?
Argy: Greece has been in the spotlight for some 3000 years. We invented the democracy trick and now we fell in our own hole, it’s totally crazy. The public service here sucks. I feel distress because of the children growing up in this bullshit.
Veronica: As veterans in the scene, how does the rock and metal scene look at the moment? Are there any noteworthy bands that you feel are worth recommending?
Argy: The music scene in going a little better than the last decade because of the internet and the social discomfort. Here in Greece when we feel bad we make a song. No, seriously now, there are so many good bands like The Last Drive, Lord 13, 1000mods, Planet of Zeus, Lunatix and so on…The record companies like this scene now because the productions are more economic and the music is fuckin’ real!!!
Veronica: There has been an upsurge in vinyl sales in the last few years, in spite of the domination of the internet. What is your opinion on this phenomenon, as well as illegal downloading?
Argy: If you need to listen rock music you need to use vinyl. I don’t think that’s a phenomenon. I think that vinyl has steady lovers that suddenly stop buying CDs. Now about the illegal downloading I don’t know. We are losing food, but we get good times!!
Veronica: You recently performed at the Ayia Napa Youth Festival in Cyprus for a second time in a row. How was that experience? Do you have any plans for a European tour?
Argy: Ayia Napa is my favorite place in Cyprus. The people there are crazy. They knew already the new songs and they were singing along. They love rock music but to get there is a different story. There is nothing sure yet but we have some plans for a small European tour in springtime.
Argy with Nightstalker at Ayia Napa Youth Festival 2012
Veronica: The band has been around for over twenty years. What keeps you going? What are the band’s plans for the future?
Argy: Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, and nowadays it’s more rock and roll. The music, the music. My main plan for the future is not to die, I’m too old to die, haha.
Argy – Vocals
Andreas Lagios – Bass
Tolis Motsios – Guitars
Dinos Roulos – Drums
Live photos of Nightstalker performing at Ayia Napa Youth Festival 2012 (Cyprus) by Savvas Proestos (SavvasProestos.com)