"People always consider doom to be slow, whereas in my eyes, doom is something extremely potent."
Skandal, the Doom 'n' Roll band originated from Greece but relocated to the UK. This duo are not well known and are simmering under the radar, GMA went to investigate and interrogate George about the band's origins, the tour they're currently embarking on and what life was like growing up on a Greek island as a metalhead.
Skandal originates from Greece, can you tell us about how Skandal came to be in the UK?
"Tradition and ambition. Although one will find our doom elements are deeply rooted in Greek traditional music, it sounds way different than the distorted electric / metallic trademark UK sound. I never wanted to impose such influences on the Greek audience in high frequency, nor did I ever expect acceptance / success playing Doom n' Roll over there. On the other hand, the Kingdom's tradition in all that's hard & heavy is unparalleled. It only made sense to move here, in order to plant the seeds on fertile ground for that sort of activity. We reckon we can do it well, and I guess time will tell. Hence, tradition and ambition."
What was it like growing up as a rock / metal fan in Greece?
"Growing up on an island, let alone a Greek one, made heavy music less accessible. All we had was a couple magazines dedicated to heavy metal and rock, a few record stores which would supply us with all the classic releases, and occasionally, a radio show. On the rare occasion a band would visit Crete for a show though, everyone would show up and turn the event into a unique experience. However, I wouldn't say I'm a representative example of the average metalhead in Greece. Far from it. The guys in the mainland had it easier hahaha. To conclude, growing up with limited options in regards to music outlets made things less complicated/disorienting, and at the same time, it made me appreciate and re-discover the records I could get my hands on, with every repetition."
You're about to head out on a a tour across the UK and Iceland, will this be your first shows in Iceland? Who will support you on tour?
"Yes, indeed, only one week left. We get to visit most of these places for the first time, and share the stage with a bunch of fantastic bands. In fact we get to share the stage with some bands for more than one night (Lord Of Worms, Tales of Autumn, Jacdo, King Juss, Slor, Strange Bru). We don't know what to expect from most bands and cities, which keeps us all on our toes. Iceland is not one of these places though, as Reykjavik was the place the band took the stage for the first time ever. Lots of things have changed since then, and we cannot wait to return and show the locals what Skandal sounds like now. "
Can you explain to us what the genre 'Doom N Roll' entails, assuming it's the slower version of rock n roll?
"See, that's what's bugging me; people always consider doom to be slow, whereas in my eyes, doom is something extremely potent. I wouldn't tie doom down to a tempo range as that would be unfair to the rest of the facets of death. People also tend to forget about the lyrical content of their music. People keep trying and strive to find a formula for doom and fill the void Black Sabbath left behind. Tuning down and playing slower simply doesn't qualify as doom if a relevant message is not conveyed. The truth is Doom will find both the people who seek it, and those who shy away from it. With Doom N Roll we bring Doom to their doorstep. The key word here is energy. We're still defining the sound, so for now let's just say that it's a campaign to convert all of Doom's potency into explosive and impactful sonic waves, be it fast, be it slow, and along with the lyrics, deconstruct death before understanding it."
Is it a two-man line-up? Could you imagine yourselves supporting the likes of Royal Blood of whom have a similar setup?
"We've been working as a duo for a couple of years now as we couldn't just wait for the right person to come along before the kick off. The right person might never come, so why put our ideas on hold? We've been working with session guitarists for our shows so our setup isn't exactly similar to Royal Blood's. Wouldn't mind to test our music on their fan-base. I reckon they'd like it. Hopefully, we'll come across someone who is adequate as a personality for the guitarist's position, and we'll get to do it with a full line-up."
What plans do you have for 2018?
"Hah, we've got so many plans they overflowed all the way to early 2019. Our priority is to record our debut full length. We're taking a week off after this tour, and then we'll regroup for some hardcore and meticulous jamming and songwriting. When the record's ready, the rest of the master-plan will unfold."
Finally do you have any greetings you wish to send out?
"Hope to see as many of your followers as possible to our shows and have a great time with them on and off stage. Thank you and your colleagues Rhys, for spreading the word about the tour. We wish you all an intense remainder of 2017, and an eventful 2018. Cheers."