Thursday, June 9, 2016

Interview: Sotiris Pappas (WOMB OF MAGGOTS/ PROCREATE)

    The band I am about to present on Playdeadnation this time went through some sound- and line-up changes over the years, and it sounded badass both as atmospheric death metal pumped up with industrial influences, and the straight-out brutal death metal it is today. 
  I've had the pleasure to see Womb Of Maggots perform last year, after which we went out for some beers and more metal. What I can say is that I can't wait to see them again! Here is guitarist Sotiris Pappas for a little chat!

pdn: Great to have you here! As I understand, you guys live in Athens. How would you describe life for a raging metalhead around there?
Sotiris: Glad to be here! To be a raging metalhead in Athens has its pros and its cons. For example, there are many shows you can go to with quite big names and in good prices, there are many great local bands you could support and a few places you can hang out and have some drinks listening to good music. On the other side, there are no big festivals as they used to be and if there will be, it’s way too expensive and not worth it at all.

pdn: At around what age and how did you get into playing metal? And inspired by...?
Sotiris: I was 15 years old and all started when I first listened “…And Justice For All” by Metallica. I loved it so much, I wanted to play every riff in that album. So, I bought a guitar and tried to play “One” immediately. After that, I had to find more albums in this genre, so Sepultura’s “Arise” and Slayer’s “Reign In Blood” were next.

pdn: There was this temporary metamorphosis of Womb Of Maggots into Inactive Messiah, and back. This also brought changes regarding the sound, at present being brutal as it ever was. Could you tell me a bit about this journey?

Sotiris: After the first Womb Of Maggots album “Life Odium” and some line-up changes, the band created a more melodic and less aggressive or dark album, so the name didn’t fit anymore. That’s the beginning of Inactive Messiah and some years later I joined the band. We recorded two more albums together, we toured Europe four times, we shared the stage with great bands like Vader, Krisiun, Malevolent Creation, Septic Flesh, Rotting Christ and many more. But, as a death metal fan myself, I came to a point that this wasn’t enough. All these were great experiences for me but I wanted to play the music I love, so I left the band at 2009. Years later, Lefteris (bass guitar) asked me if I still want to play death metal and create such a band with him under the name “Womb Of Maggots”, which now fits. Something that we discussed many times all these years but never happened. I said “yes” and this is where we are now.

pdn: Which was the most exciting venue you have played so far? Where would you be dying to play in the near future?

Sotiris: I played in some great venues in the past. I remember Z7 in Pratteln Switzerland or Effenaar in Eindhoven and Patronaat in Haarlem. They are huge venues with great equipment. But, to be honest, I prefer playing in smaller venues because the vibe is better. In small venues there’s a connection between the band and the crowd. Nothing beats that! As far as where I’d be dying to play, I’d choose either Japan or the United States. Both are countries I have never been to.

pdn: And if there is one band you could choose to tour with, who would this be?
Sotiris: Probably, I would tour with Behemoth. My favourite band for many years now, with great albums, great stage performance, the whole package. Even if my younger self screams for Metallica or Slayer!

pdn: How do you guys usually prepare for gigs? Do you have any particular "ritual'?
Sotiris: The gig is by far my best part of being a musician. I can’t wait to be on a stage every single time. So the first thing I do and the most important for me, is try to think about it. To appreciate the fact that there are people in the room that came and paid a ticket to see me doing my thing. It’s an investment of money and time that is not easy for everyone. Meanwhile, there is some warm-up and some beer of course because we have to be relaxed and enjoy the event as well…

pdn: What do your nearest plans and ambitions look like? Something new we can look forward to, maybe?
Sotiris: First of all, we’re waiting for our new album “Decay Of Humanity” to be released these days via Lord Of The Sick Recordings. As far as some gigs, we are playing at New Long Fest in Athens in July and at Hazardous Open Air in Croatia in August. We haven’t booked anything else yet but we’ll do for sure for this fall. Probably some more countries in 

Europe or a small tour but nothing confirmed yet.

pdn: Thank you for this awesome interview! Is there anything you would like to leave in closing for all of our friends out there?
Sotiris: We would like to thank our Romanian friends for supporting us since 2003. We always enjoy to play there and we wish to be there as soon as possible! Last but not least, cheers to our brother Titus Constantinescu for his help all these years, and to you of course for your time!

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