The very first article I wrote for More Fuzz, was about 1000mods 3rd effort, Repeated Exposure To… and then a few weeks ago I did the report on their sold out homecoming show in Athens. Today a few days after the dropped their very first official video, I had the privilege of talking with Labros the drummer of 1000mods in the depths of screen printing studio Fuzz Ink (responsible for many the layout in many t-shirts, posters, vinyls etc) in Athens and we covered many topics from the early days of the band, life on the road, the new album and many other! Enjoy fuzzers
1000mods’ Labros answers to Mr. Gagarin’s questions !
Which is the current state of the band before it gets repeatedly exposed in touring?
Musically we are ready to hit the road and we are adding some final touches in our preparation for this many miles and cities tour!
How is driving through Europe with a van?
Everybody drives but for the last two tours we have a guy in our crew that takes up half of the overall driving duties. This is definitely something that relieved us and me personally because one time I had to drive for five hours and then I couldn’t hit the pedal of my kick drum!
After 5 European tours, do you feel any road fatigue or fear of burning out?
We had this conversation with the guys, if touring will burn us out or make us better in our craft. Definitely there is some kind of mental fatigue which is the real deal – although there is the physical one also with everyday travelling, playing, carrying stuff etc. Fortunately for us the conditions are getting better in contrast with the old days where we could sleep on the floor or in our van! I believe that touring puts you in a state of being afraid that what you might be sick of doing repeatedly what you love to do. This thing has not occurred in our band. We even try not to have day off in our schedule because seems more tiresome than having one.
Who is responsible for the tour planning in every aspect? In terms of logistics, which cities, travelling, accommodation, etc.
We are responsible for the Greek part as well the Balkan territory, so we can do it on our own. We know the places and the people there and each organiser offers us food and accommodation. Sound Of Liberation agency is responsible for the European part. It will be our third collaboration since 2015.
The early days I was the main guy for contacting and planning the European tour but it was very difficult because there are so many bands touring and a certain timetable for them to do so (October and April along the major festivals like DesertFest and Roadburn) and also people must really like your music for you to visit their cities. I planned the tour via many e-mails and hard work but now with SoL the level of venues and our final result increases!
Looking back to the very first album and the very first European tour beside the positive side of it all, what were the negative one that you are happy you moved away from?
We definitely enjoy any conveniences in contrast to our first days. But I don’t say that we moved away from something. Yeah sure, today we get the easiness to do things the way we like, but you look back today with nostalgia and laugh with something that made you angry or anxious back then!
Next milestone in 1000mods camp?
Touring Latin America. We made contacts so the tour will take place during 2017! The amazing feedback we and other bands like us have in Europe occurs in Latin America also especially in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. Stoned Jesus made a live appearance in front of 400 people – for example this thing happens in Athens the last five years.
Reapeated Exposure To… was among the top ones for 2016 lists (and n°1 in my top 10 for More Fuzz) . After 6 months since its release, do you think that its status is more solidified?
Personally I think that none of us realises this record’s impact yet. It was a tiring process recording in studio for over 3 months hence the title, but we really love it and we are satisfied with the final result – although a musician can never be fully satisfied with his music! The album went really well with our fans in our previous tour and now we strongly believe that this will be our most successful tour to date, where we will also be headliners, thus feel freer to play stuff from R.E.T.
What is the leading force in your songwriting and what led you to this “wider” sound in contrast to your 2nd album?
First and foremost it is the need of expressing something that you like. This applies for example in R.E.T when we cut off the outside world of touring and focused on writing and recording it as it appears so. We had our own studio and no strict timetable so we got comfortable to make the sound “wider”. In “Vultures” the approach was the opposite: very tight in terms of recording it and even tighter songs, length and songwriting-wise. We had a good time in both cases!
What movie would accompany most fittingly R.E.T?
I don’t know if I should say a certain movie, but something between this two directors. Jim Jarmush (he used heavy rock bands in some of his films) and Stanley Kubrick. I obviously don’t reference and compare R.E.T in terms of their enormous artistry but in a more aesthetically and visually way. As far as the life on tour I would say Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas because there is always this paranoia if anything will go smoothly or badly!
Tell us a bit about the timeline of your band from the formation days up until selling out big venues within the Greek heavy rock and underground scene.
We were in different cover bands in high school back then, but when we said back in 2006 that this will be our band we were more interested in playing live, though it was difficult. MySpace just started and we made a few appearances in Corinth. After our first demo we contacted people of the –then not so big- Greek underground rock scene like the guys from Mushroom Freaks (with members of Sadhus The Smoking Community) monolith.gr (defunct now), Spinalonga Records and Venerate Industries agency that brought OM and others in Greece.
After that we contacted Billy Anderson to produce our debut LP and the next day of its release show we embarked for our first European tour! From this point onward things are a bit more professional so I could say that 1000mods history is separated in the first five years since our formation and trying to make something within the scene and the last five years up till 2017 where we have a stable program of record and tour cycle.
So in your opinion, what are the reasons that the last decade Greece is blossoming in terms of heavy and underground music?
First there is the social factor. The financial and in general social crisis is responsible for the birth of art movement since the 60s where Rock came as an answer to the WWII oppression or in krautrock’s case in Germany etc. People feel the need to express their inner thoughts and since they have a lot of free time to externalise their inner feelings.
Secondly people look for alternative ways of entertaining themselves instead of clubbing etc. Internet these days also seems to make everything easier in terms of communication and news, support and feedback travel fast. As fans we also have the chance these days to see even more bands in Greece than before from everywhere and not wait to see one or two every two years.
Lastly the bands participating in this scene love to play music and take their craft seriously resulting in increased quality of the final product. Here in Greece these days there is DIY horizontal and extremely professional network of people around the bands and the main act of music and art in general. Artists like designers, sound engineers, visual and videography teams and in general other collectives make this scene so alive and thriving. There are also great venues with exceptional equipment for your band to play appropriately. On the other hand though, there is no institutional presence by the state at all but that is fine because the aforementioned network is from and for the people like me and you, individuals but professionals ensuring the top quality of the final product.
Personal influences in your playing style?
These days I follow Nine Inch Nails’ Ilan Rubin. All time favourites are Bill Ward and John Bonham. Later I strongly admired the monolithic way Chris Hakius played in Sleep creating a strong atmosphere by playing so simple. I also like the playing approach of Dale Crover of Melvins and Tool’s Danny Carey but I cannot play like them.
What are the current artists you listen to?
Lastly any summer plans?
1000mods embark on their European tour so go and see them in a city near you! All dates here
A big thanks to Labros for his time, hope you enjoyed the interview fuzzers !
Photos: Irene Makri (Site, Facebook, Instagram)
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