Someone might say that NORTHWIND is the most legendary Hard Rock / Heavy Metal band from Greece. Their debut album “Northcomin'” was the first of its kind in Greece, originally released in 1982, while the follow-up “Mythology” (1987) is one of the greatest albums that ever came out from Greece. The band wanted to keep their original sound for this new album “History”. No doubt, they know well what is rock and heavy metal about.
Hello Dimosthenis, Northwind debuted in 1982 with Northcomin’ and five years later you would release another classic with Mythology. What happened after that?
Hello everyone and thanks for your time and interest. After “MYTHOLOGY” came out we gave some live shows to promote the album and then we moved to London because a great deal came along. We recorded a few songs and after a while everything turned to worst. It’s a sad story that belongs to the past. After that I couldn’t find a reason to go on and that’s why no one had any news from the Northwind field for years
What has been the motivation to build up a new album after so many years?
I was missing music, I had so many great ideas for new songs and then came the whole “HISTORY” concept in my head and I thought it would be great to make another album, though it took me so many years since that day. But here we are now.
Please, tell us about the current lineup of the band
I play all the guitars (Kostas Papadopoulos – Papadimitriou), Thanasis Tsimoudis is on drums, Theodoros Doulamis on bass guitar ,Dimosthenis Dovas is the lead singer and our latest entry is Panos Jx-F on keyboards. Me, Thanasis and Theodoros were playing together back in the first days so we know each other for almost 40 years and it’s really nice to be together again. Dimos and Panos matched perfectly and it was exactly what we needed to move forward in this new era.
Someone might say that Northwind is the most legendary Hard Rock & Heavy Metal band from Greece, what do you think about that?
It’s flattering and if people see it that way that means a lot to us. Our fans kept our legacy alive through the years especially when we were inactive. I don’t want to let them down again and that’s a promise so the only thing I can say to them is thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
So, for the Spanish fans we could say that Northwind would be something like the Greek Baron Rojo (most international Spanish heavy metal band ever)?
You could say that, in a way. The only difference is that we don’t use our native language and though there are many other Greek bands holding high the flag in international level people still love Northwind and put them in the same level.That’s fantastic.
History is the title of your new album, out on May 29th through No Remorse Records, an important label for a great return
Before we finish our recordings Christos from No Remorse was already interested and wanted to give us a record deal. When we sent him the whole album he just said “I want it” and that was it. When someone believes so much in you and trusts you without any further thinking you can’t say no.It’s a great deal and so far we are more than excited with the way they do things. Both Christos and Andreas are great guys with huge experience and the most important of all is that they are still great fans and it’s not just business to them.
By the way, there is a story about the band visiting the UK in 1992 for recording what might be your third album, something that never became real, what happened back then?
I told you before, what happened back then is a sad story. I prefer to leave all these memories behind and move forward.
Are some of the songs in this new album old stuff or everything has been recentrly composed?
There are few melodies that came out of the closet but almost everything has been composed during the last years. Soldier’s Pay is the only old song, we changed the lyrics and a few parts. It fits great with the new material and the whole concept so we recorded it without second thought.
History sounds really classic, deliberate or it’s the way you understand and play music?
I think it’s exactly the way we play, we feel and understand music. Don’t forget we lived the 70’s and the 80’s and this is exactly the music and the sound that we grew up with. It seems so natural that I never thought it that way. You make me happy if you think so, that means we did something right.
Comparing this 3rd album with the 80s albums what would you say?
Every album is different and has it’s own beauty, I don’t think I can do that. The only thing I can tell you is that all the three of them have the Northwind sound and vibe.
It seems you have recorded History in the same place were you recorded your second album 33 years ago, kind of superstition or something?
The only kind of superstition is the analog tuner that we used for the guitar and bass guitar, it’s the same one we used when we recorded our first demo at the same studios almost 40 years ago and believe it or not it still works. Papas the owner is a very good friend and we feel very comfortable in there. It’s like recording in your own home studio and he knows the band since day one, he is also a great and musician and we always trust his judge. He was part of the band, don’t forget that he played the drums on the “MYTHOLOGY” album and we still feel him as a member in a way.
It had all the sense then. How long have you been working on History and how was the composition process?
I had 90% of the songs ready before we got all together in the studio. During the last two and a half years we did a few changes, some melodies, some lyrics, a few parts. The point is that I already knew how I wanted the album to be and though we had a few disagreements sometimes which is natural the whole process was more than great. We are all happy with the result and we are looking forward for the next one.
What are the lyrics about?
Historical events and personalities, memorable battles that took place in ancient Greece, I would say it’s exactly what the title says. It’s like opening a history book and travelling in time through the stories of these great men. I think it’s a great chance for everyone to reopen his history books and fight side by side with Aristodemus, Pyrhhus, Themistocles, to see the very last moments of Socrates, Archimedes, Demosthenes, to ride with Alexander all the way from Egypt to India, to mourn with the soldiers in Hades and live as a “Dog” with the great philosopher Diogenes. Trust me it’s a hell of a ride.
The cover art has that classic style of history books indeed, I suppose is not by chance?
No it’s not by chance. We wanted to find something that will remind the cover of an old history book and then we saw the painting. Diogenes is maybe the most controversial figure of ancient Greece ,we have a song for him…there you are,everything worked out great.
In this new album we find a wide variety of songs that carry us from rock to heavy metal, always with a great work on guitars
First of all thank you for your kind words. It just came out naturally, as I told you before we grew up with classic 60’s and 70’s rock so these are our main influences. When the whole heavy metal scene started in the late 70’s early 80’s we were there and it was a massive musical revolution. So taking all these pre-heavy metal sounds from Deep Purple, Sabbath, Heep, Van Halen even Jimi Hendrix and giving them a real push with the new heavy metal sound was something more than natural. You couldn’t do otherwise and don’t forget Greece in the 80’s wasn’t the best place on earth to play this kind of music.
Any favorite song in the album?
I could say Aristodemus the hero, but it would be unfair for the other songs hahaha
Life is hard my friend. Being one of the most important bands in the Greek heavy metal scene how do you see the Greek scene nowadays compared to the 80s?
So many things changed over the years. Back in the 80’s if you could record an album here in Greece an get a deal trust me you were a hero. Things got much better now and we are proud to say that the Greek scene now days is better than ever.Recording studios are better, band equipment is better, live stages are better and there are many bands with fantastic songs, great productions and some of them are huge names and people know them all around the world.
Talking about the dominating issue everyewhere these days, how are you doing with the covid19? It seems in Greece the situation is much better than in Spain and that you are going to “steel” away all our tourism?
Really we don’t know where the truth lies. We do what they tell us to do and we are waiting like everyone else for further information. Honestly I didn’t expect the Greeks to be so responsible and this is very positive after all these shit we’ve been through the last ten years. Well the situation is getting better every day and I think really soon we will get back to normal. I don’t think we are gonna steel your tourists hahahha….don’t forget that Greece is always one of the top summer destinations so I don’t see a huge problem but for sure it will be a strange summer. You are welcome anytime my friend.
Congratulations for the success in this battle. Thank you very much Dimosthenis for your attention, congratulations also for your great new album, if you wish to add something…
We wanna thank all the people around the world for their support all these years and we promise you it won’t take another 33 years for the next one…keep on rockin’ people.