During my travels to Hellas, I had the occasion to meet Petros, the leader of the enigmatic formation Decadence. With a bottle of ouzo to keep us company, we discussed various subjects while listening to the band's forthcoming release...

Can you explain the history of Decadence to the readers of Heimdallr? How many records have you released?

We released the first album through CAPP records in 1996, I think, and it was called "The beheaded winner and fragrances of happiness". The next release was "Leftovers from another summer" it was very limited, something like 300 copies, also through CAPP records. Then of course, we have been on several compilations throughout these years. The next one was the 7" on Hau Ruck! Now we are going to release a 10" and a 7" in a gatefold cover, which is called "Something to love something to spend".

How many members are there in Decadence?

Right now, the main persons are me and my guitarist. We also have a female singer because I like female singers, I'm not fond of my vocals to music, and a producer since I'm doing the mixes with another guy called Nigel Fox. I think that mostly we are two persons aided by one female singer.

What does each member do in the band?

Ok, Eufrosyne sings. I play all the synths, pianos etc. and the samples. I treat some voices too and my guitarist Elias plays the guitar.

Who writes the music and who writes the lyrics?

I write the lyrics and I also write a part of the music, but most of it is done by my guitarist.

Are you a trained musician? And which instruments?

Yes, I played bass guitar for seven years but I quit it. I thought that bass guitar had nothing to give me. Then I turned to piano and now I can play a few chords on a guitar too.... I have also professionally studied musical technology and sound engineering.

What inspires you to create music?

Nothing! [laughs] Nothing inspires me to create music [laughs]. It's just writing music; it's not that I can always write music... no! It's just at some periods. Right now I do not feel that I can create music. I have done some music in the past in which period I think I was very productive but now I keep my music because I believe that those songs were really good. Right now, I don't think I can write very good music. I do not know... I hope the next period is going to be near soon because I need new songs... [laughs]

On your forthcoming release on Fluttering Dragon, there is a new female singer. What is the reason for this change in the line-up?

Luck! Our first singer called Alexandra is now permanently living in Sweden. I had to choose between a female singer and my voice. I used it once on the 7"; I like the result but I think it was time for a slight change. I believe in the voice that my singer has right now. And of course, she is a trained musician, she is very talented and I think it fits the music too.

On this release, there is a cover of "Rent" by the Pet Shop Boys. Why did you choose this song?

The truth, you know... I know my fiancée would be very glad to know the truth [laughs] but I do not want to tell the truth. So let's say, it is on the Pet Shop Boys album "Actually" and it sounded a bit strange to me. If, as a sound engineer and musician I was told "Ok! That's all; you have to choose three albums at which you would like to be present during the recording. I would say very easily Pet Shop Boys "Actually", Modern Talking's first album because I like it very much and Def Leppard's "Hysteria" since this album has magnificent sounds and amazing arrangements / programming / production. And of course I like the traditionals such as Stock, Aitken and Waterman. Anyway, I'm a disco boy trying to balance between sweetness, melancholy and spiritual heroism. Naturally I love Pet Shop Boys.

The track "Herzliebster Jesu" is a long piece with four different movements. Do you try to compose your music as a classical composer?

No, of course not. Classical music has got nothing else to tell me. I've studied it, listen to it and fed up with it !

Why did you choose to use a passage from "The Passion of Saint Mathew" by J.S. Bach?

Ok, let's say that this introduction to the "Herzliebster Jesu" and, for me at least, the pianos... These two themes with the piano, the first and the last ones are very religious to me, the second piano section is something like a 'capriccio' and sounds very much like Bach, very inspired by Bach. In the period that I composed it, I was listening to Bach very much. That's why... I think it's very religious all this thing and it just came to me, I needed it. You know, I was close to something like this to use this theme.

On this release, some melodies sound like traditional Hellenic folk music. Do you consider Decadence to be a Hellenic band?

What else? You can consider Decadence to be... what else, apart from a Hellenic band? What else? A European band?

Yes, but it does have a Hellenic element to it. Each band should show the culture of its members.

Yes, I agree with these things...

So, I wonder if it's a deliberate choice to have a Hellenic sound?

You know, I think it depends on... let's say DNA. I was born in Hellas and I grew up in Athens. So of course I have all these Hellenic melodies inside me and sometimes I think... you know it's very natural for me, it comes out of myself...

Can we say that your music is a modern incarnation of the Ancient Hellenic Soul?

No. But on a second thought if my music is a mean I use to let loose a compressed wave of tension leading me through an orgy of sounds to catharsis then I could only claim that my work is ruled by a certain part of Ancient Hellenic fundamental guide lines. It serves in a modern time the same needs that my ancestors had in a different form.

On your records, you always sing in English. Can we expect to hear some songs in Hellenic in the future?

In the past, Prikosnovenie... you know Prikosnovenie from France?


Many many years ago, before our first album, they had told me that it would fit us to use Hellenic as a language. I think all these things are about propaganda because, [whispers] I want my propaganda to be extended to most of mankind or something... But nothing that I have to tell. So, the answer is no.

Your 7" on Hau Ruck! sounds more martial than your other releases. Will you continue to explore this style in the future?

Of course, I like martial music. Yes, why not.

Can we expect a full album of martial music? Or something longer than a 7"?

Yes, the 7" is martial. I don't know if you mean that you shall expect me to play snares, clench banners all the time. I don't know, it could be very boring to have only snares going bang bang bang... It's ok, when it is intense I like it but a whole album like this... No. [laughs]

On the cover of the 7" released on HR!, there is a soldier playing a piano and in the booklet of the Ame Electrique compilation there is a photo of a soldier holding an Hellenic Flag. Would you like to be a soldier to serve your country?

Depends on the need and call of duty. If there is need to do so I will be on the frontline... Otherwise, being obliged to do something blocking the freedom of willingness, forcing my mental balance to collapse, I can't see a positive aspect.

Are you proud to be Hellenic? And what does it mean to you?

Yes! Yes! My answer is yes of course!
What does it mean to me?.... I have a slight problem with politicians here in Hellas. Other countries seem to gradually find the right free path and resist to those they have a duty to do so, Hellenic politicians not yet. I carry so many spiritual and morphological treasures inside of me... But of course I'm proud... I think that I know what you are meaning by this question... Something like DNA?


What is your opinion about the European Union? Are you not afraid that your country will loose its specific culture?

Yes of course I'm afraid. I don't like all this thing of the European Union. You know, I think it's all about money and nothing about culture; it has nothing to do with our culture.
Do you like euros?

They are handy but... pffft!

Of course I do not like this thing, you know I want my currency amongst other things, sometimes I want to have my border secured, I want to have my army for my country not an European army or something like this and a lot of other things... A good theme for endless discussions...

What do you think of internet? Is it helpful in diffusing your music?

I don't care. I am a vinyl collector, I have nothing to do with MP3s or stuff like this.

But you have a web page so that people know that Decadence exists.

Yes, we have a web page but the people in Decadence are lazy. My guitarist who is a programmer is dealing with internet and we are too lazy to give him all the things he needs... photographs, texts and such things for the internet. I'm too lazy to do such a thing and I don't really care. For porn it's ok. Yes! I like these things. [laughs] But you know, music on the internet it sounds strange. I want my vinyls too much.
What do you think?

I think internet can be interesting because it's a pity if you do good music and nobody knows about it. I think it's good for other people to be able to hear it or to at least know that it exists. I rather like internet, it helps me to discover many interesting records.

Yes, of course I understand... why not? But just existing can be too easy. When internet was not, wasn't it all very romantic? Where is the romance now ? Anxiety, passion, a struggle to lead you to satisfaction... Now all is too simple and even boring. I think the old fashioned way has something magical.

But you live in a big city; someone who lives in a village can't find any news, apart from on the internet. There will be no flyers or magazines lying around in his village. So, for some people maybe it's...

Yes of course you are right, but I do not care because I live in Athens. I understand the point of view of this example but, you know, I cannot be in that situation that's why I do not need this thing myself.

What records are influential to you? And what are your favourite records at the moment?

Death In June "Nada!"! Absolutely! Death In June "Nada!", because I like this album very much. There is nothing else from this kind of music.

Another style, perhaps?

I will answer you mostly eighties stuff, blitz and pop - disco. You know all these things have something to do with my work; let's say because inside the record store I have the luck to listen to as much neofolk, industrial as I like, electro... I hear a lot of this. For nine-ten hours a day, I listen to music. I have all this music, all the releases that are delivered every morning here and I have them beside me, I can take them to the record player and listen to them. I do not want to listen to the music that I sell in my home. I want to relax, that's why my answer to this question is somewhat strange. The most interesting projects for me are Von Thronstahl - Josef K. composes so intelligent music- an all time classic, Kirlian Camera and now the new Stalingrad (KC are recording their new album), as always Ordo Equilibrio, the CMI bands which are very close to what I claim as 'the sounds I envy', the new 4 cd pack by Der Blutharsch which is miles ahead, VNV Nation - an elitist future pop duo, the new Pet Shop Boys though it disappointed me a bit, old Duran Duran and generally music that awakes innocent memories a nd happy times of my life. But the most influential, yes I think its "Nada!" from Death In June.... and... "Of Ruine Or Some Blazing Starre" from Current 93, a wonderful album...

What authors, painters, film directors do you appreciate?

I like porn films [laughs], I'm a porn addict. War is the most extreme form of sexual orgy. I can tell you all those names that could make this answer be trendy but usually I think people are just name-dropping. That's why I won't give you any names... What's the point?

The last words of this interview are for you...

I thank you very much for the honour of having me and all that blah blah blah... [laughs].

Ian C.
Summer 2002

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