Inure is the third release for this Greek outfit that describes itself as an alternative progressive metal band. Formed in 2008 in Thessaloniki, Greece – Until Rain released two well received albums that explored progressive fusion and punk and now with its first release with major label Sensory Records they have steered towards progressive metal with a strong touch of symphonics and a new powerful vocalist. This interview was conducted with Lef Germenlis, keyboard player and lyricist.
SoT: Symphonic metal and rock albums are becoming more common these days. I have reviewed a number of them. One of the (pros) is the additional musical drama and tension its adds to the overall work. But a (con) is sometimes it can be repetitive and cliché with a male and a female singer battling big lengthy tracks. How did you approach this project to become more interesting and unique in this genre?
Lef: I completely agree with you on that point. We didn't consciously think about it but a fact is that none of us listens to this kind of music anymore. We don't really listen to much metal anymore, maybe a bit of modern prog/alternative etc. but yes, symph metal is maybe a bit too cliché/retro for our taste. In our band, we don't have female lead vocals, just female backing vocals. So, we tried to bring together only the elements that would help the music (tension & drama) along with other modern influences so hopefully you have an interesting hybrid of symphonic modern prog!
SoT: Greece seems to be producing some fantastic bands in the past few years. Is there something going on there creatively that is inspiring this resurgence?
Lef: Not really sure. Greek bands always have been really driven but our position in the map and also our financial issues the last couple of years have been major barriers to allow Greek bands to make the next step in better recordings, better shows and European/world tours etc. Nonetheless, some bands seem to have found their way through those issues with hard work and a little bit of luck!
SoT: I'm a big fan of the track "A Tearful Farewell." Can you explain how that song came into being?
Lef: Theodore (our guitarist) came with the intro idea to me and I loved it. It was something we haven't done before, simple but really sentimental and effective. So, we put it down, Theo wrote the lyrics as well, and then we took in the studio. Generally, we tend to prepare most of the arrangement of the song before we show it to the rest of the band but this particular song came to life in the studio with Matthew and Linus doing excellent work in the rhythm section. I think we experimented a lot with the vocal lines and the backing vocals with Cons while we were recording the top lines and also some fun string arrangements, so it was a fun song to do after all.
SoT: I often joke the more symphonics in an album the better the singer has to be. You are fortunate with extremely talented vocalist. Have you given thought in a major concept album in the near future?
Lef: Thanks, I think as well that we are blessed with a really open minded and talented vocalist. It makes things so much easier. We actually have. Currently we are building the concept of our new album. We haven't done a concept album in a long time and it's much fun.
SoT: I ask this question often. How do you plan to incorporate many of the symphonic attributes of the album while playing live?
Lef: I can do most of it with my keys! With loads of different layers and splits on the keyboards and a bit of juggling I'm able to play most of it live. A little amount that cannot be done will either be on a backing track but as we try to avoid backing tracks and do as much as we can live sometimes we just don't have a layer or two but no one really notices!
SoT: The music world went digital. Big record companies are no more. They are even bringing back vinyl. Do you have thoughts or feelings on the direction of music production and distribution these days?
Lef: Although there is a common nostalgia for the old days we are practical and understand how the system works. So, trying to focus on the good things of the digital era that makes the music accessible to everyone instantaneously, our music is always available in all digital platforms. We still make an effort to have a well-presented CD/artwork for the people who still want to buy but in the end, we just hope that as many people as possible will enjoy our music through any means available to them.
SoT: Who are the musical influences that helped shape your writing and playing?
Lef: Initially 8 years ago we started classic prog bands like Dream Theater, Symphony X and Queensryche but later on we got loads of inspiration from Opeth, Pain of Salvation and other modern prog bands like Leprous & Agent Fresco. Also for our more mellow parts we get inspiration from Marillion, Radiohead and Anathema. Luckily all of us listen to a variety of different genres so we are shaped by really diverse and different artists.
Mark Antony Rossi
(Click here to read our reviews of Inure)