"All About The Album - 15 Questions" - a brand new section at the RockUnited site where a recording artist with an recently released CD is confronted with 'album' questions (15 of them, duh!). If you'd like to have your material up here, email: urban "at" rockunited.com (simply replace "at" with your standard @ )
Kaisas' 'Unify' is a classic eighties melodic metal project by guitarist Babis Kaisas from Greece featuring lead vocalist Tony Mills (TNT, SHY). Find out everything you need to know about the album , here's band leader and lead guitarist, BABIS KAISAS...
How has the reaction to your latest CD been?
So far it's ok. We've had some people that really loved the album,and support us, and that's all that matters really. You start with a few people that bother to listen and maybe one day, you might end up selling a million albums... :-)
How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
It took quite sometime to be honest, cause I started working on my own, late 2007,and Tony Mills got involved in the summer of 2009, and Acacio Carvalho, around May 2010. But, all this time I was progessing as a musician/writer/bass-guitar player and producer probably. That's why it took so long. The next one is probably gonna be a much “faster recorded” album. I also evolve the arrangements as I record, So... basically the sturcture changes,from the original idea quite a bit.
What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
Well, to be honest I don't listen to much what's been going round for the past 15 years or so. I go back and buy stuff from the 80's, cause I feel they sounded better, because the feeling ment more, rather than the technique, and also THAT was the time that style of music peaked. Today is just a repition of those days, ok in a bit more modern way. So I guess I had something like that in mind when I started workin' on the album,.. to try and reach for “my idols” from the 80's.
What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
Well, I happened to be credited as the producer cause I threw In a word here and there, as to what direction to take everything. Mark Stuart,and Sheena Sear did the mixing, but I was always on the other end of the line, making remarks and suggestions. What we reached I think was a fair enough “compromise” between my sound that Is more 80's, and Mark's and Sheena's,that is more of what's happening today...
And are you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
Yes, I am very pleased. I enjoy listening to the album very much, even though you always go like “I could have done this different” etc, on some part. But I think we did a very “80's sounding album” without sounding dated,or too retro.
Did the producer (you) use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
I wouldn't know to be honest. Cause I was not in the studio at the time of mixing. But I do know that Sheena Sear is considered a genious in her field, that's why she's called “Sheenious”... :-) I did re-record most of my guitar parts though, under their guidance,from my place. I don't know how weird the process was considered to be, but I actually re-recorded most of my guitar parts that I have worked from late 2007 to mid 2010. ALL in 1 week again! It was quite a test for me, but I think it came out pretty cool.
How did you go on about capturing your 'live sound' in the studio, or perhaps you didn't
The truth is, we're not a live band. This project is mostly my songwriting adventure in order to express myself through music. However when I do certain parts like on the song “Rock You”, I do have in mind a live stage, the one that Def Leppard used “In The Round” back in the late 80's- early 90's, cause to me that's the ULTIMATE live show ever. So, yes, when I record certain parts, I actually see Steve Clark,and Phil Collen,on that big Hysteria stage. It'a bit transending...
Please inform us about your favourite songs and lyrical highlights and why?
I take it you mean from our recent album... OK, I think I'm more close to the tracks “Chemistry”, cause it's about “the eternal love”, and “Innocent Cry”, cause it's about “the unfairnes of war and how innocents pay the price”.
Any overall theme of mood that you're trying to capture while writing songs?
Not really. Each song is different and it has it's own mood and theme. I try not to write about the same subject twice on an album, That's why you won't see 2 songs about love or war on it for example... And yes, I do have to get into the subject of each song,in order to bring the right feeling to it.
Does your vision for coming up with music get affected at all by time?
Time is really relative.You might hear a great song from the 60's,and not think about when it came out.I think that's the point with music,not to try and write music just to be hip,but to write songs from the heart,that if they have something to say at the time you write them,probably they will still have something to say quite a few years later...Plus,a lot of my ideas go back to my teenage years.If I still like them and relate to them sometime after,i don't see why others shouldn't.
Did the record company interfere with anything on your "sound" and songs?
No,really not.We're an “independent band”,and that's what Casket Music does, they promote,and distribute “independant artists”. We were free to do it exactly our way...
Are there any 'crazy' behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?
Aw, there's always something going wrong usually... :-) There is one crazy story. One Saturday night as I was about to go out after uploading something on YouTube, a thunder hit right next to our building. And that was through a sudden rain, on a really HOT summer night... I've lost all my data from my external disc and had quite a few other damages to my computer, but thank God, the service team managed to save my internal disc and we were able to move on with the album. Cause the possibility of losing all my data was really a NIGHTMARE,and I would have definitely had to rerecord most of my album parts again... :o
How would you describe the sound of your new CD to any potential new fan?
Ha,there's another tough question. You see I hear people that review the album,coming with all sorts of influences to their mind as they listen it. From Crimson Glory and Queensryche, to Def Leppard and Bon Jovi. I believe it's all in there. There are melancholic slow tunes,there are heavy tracks, but there are also some more cheerfull fun up tempo stuff. A little bit of everything to try and please everyone.... :-)
Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
There have been so many through the years... But I would say that the bands that defined me more were bands that had that “pop metal” appeal, cause they weren't afraid to do other stuff too. They would appeal to metal fans, but they wouldn't also allienate the pop fans either. Bands like Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Dokken etc. But,i've been listening to all sorts of stuff through out my life, like Iron Maiden, Metallica, Duran Duran, A-ha. I try to bring a little bit of all that at what I write...
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do:
Many thanx to the people that have stood by me/us on my
musical (and not only) journey so far. I hope I won't let you down. And a big CHEERS to all of RockUnited.com's readers and
stuff! (It has my team's colours from Thesalloniki-GR either way!)
Interview by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,