Interview: Towards Atlantis Lights : "I firmly believe that you can always do better, if not then there is no point continuing and we still want to continue at this stage! "

  Erik Vandamme    11 maart 2018

Towards Atlantis Lights are a Funeral doom metal band releases their debut album: ''Dust Of Aeons'' at the label Transcending Obscurity Records. We take a listen to this wonderful masterpiece. And write about it: ''Within a decoration screaming for mercy, as if we feel the pain that people felt at the time. This very dark doom metal disc goes straight through your heart. That is just the great strength of this record and band. With which you, even after several listens, promptly transfer through the splendor." We ask the band some questions. About the future plans and talk about this wonderful debut:

In some biographies I read this band is a sort of super group or something? You guys been playingwith other bands in the doom metal scene or other metal scene? Please tell more about it.

KOSTAS: Yes, most of us have been playing in other relatively known bands in the underground doom metal scene, even though none of us really likes the term ‘supergroup’ as it’s quite absurd to apply it in such an obscure and underground scene as funeral doom metal/doom death metal. But just for your readers’ information, I play in Pantheist, Ivan plays in Void of Silence and Riccardo plays in Aphonic Threnody (of which I also used to be a member several years ago).

How did you guys found each other? How and when did it all start?

IVAN: I started this project in 2014, and you know how it happens, after several attempts we have arrived at the current situation. I entrusted the drums to Ivano, then we were looking for a suitable singer the option for Kostas was the optimal consequence, he introduced Riccardo, and here we are!

Where does the name ''Towards Atlantis Lights'' coming from? It has something with the historical place 'Atlantis'?

IVAN: Yes, Atlantis as a symbol of a place that reaches perfection

I guess label you guys as a ''Doom metal'' band is that correct? In other words, how would you describe you music?

IVAN: There is no doubt, this is our intention, are very fond of doom British productions of the first half of the '90s, and here we try to offer them closer to modern Funeral.Surely here we include our skills and styles

Where does the inspiration of this record coming from?

IVAN: Inspiration is within ourselves, everything we do, everything we see, our memories, our experiences, this is the consequence.

One song 'the bunker of life' is about 30 minutes long? But you never get bored about it, very impressive. Why start the record with such a long song?

IVAN: Our intention was precisely to make clear what would happen in the continuation of listening, as you said, we talk about 30 min. with many variations. This track represents perfectly our style, so there appeared obvious start in this way

Is there also a historic story behind ''the bunker of life''?

KOSTAS: lyrically, the song is based on two separate dreams I had: one in which my dead grandfather spoke to me and invited me into his bunker, telling me that he was very happy there, which I wisely (?) declined. Another one was a dream about the lost continent of Atlantis, where I seemed to be on a guided tour with a voiceover explaining how the continent’s inhabitants, despite their impressive scientific prowess, didn’t realize they were actually controlled by a higher race (which in turn was controlled by a yet more evolved one). God knows how I came to the idea of conbining the two dreams into one lyric, but the mind works in mysterious ways! The general theme of the lyric (like most others on the album) is that there is secret knowledge hidden in the bowels of history and antiquity, knowledge that can advance humanity, which has somehow got lost and is only carried in our days by a small number of enlightened but misunderstood individuals who are struggling to help the big masses to ‘see the light’.

Each of the songs consists of Historical facts. Did you also do the necessary research work?

KOSTAS: Yes, I am very interested in Greek and Roman mythology as well as in history of antiquity, and had many years of Latin lessons when I was at secondary school in Antwerp, even though most of that knowledge has now become obsolete due to lack of use. Considering this band is a Greco-Roman collaboration, it was a no-brainer to delve into these themes, from a dark doom perspective of course!

Are this Historical facts also about things in you country? In other words, is the History still having effect on things going on in your country? Although it's going about Greek History, I think about Roman History also.

KOSTAS: Ivan can answer the part about Roman history. Regarding Greece, I can tell you that most Greeks are strongly aware of their glorious history and cultural tradition, even though religion has come to unfortunately destroy this superior mentality of the past and create a more servile and less individualistic attitude. It pains me to see the current state of the Greek government and general mentality that has been bred there after years of extreme materialism and the ‘you need to know someone who knows someone, in order to progress in life’ philosophy, instead of using your own will and creative thinking; but I guess it’s a good reminder that all empires wither and decay eventually.

towards atlantis lights - bandcamp


So, how are the reactions about this record so far?

KOSTAS: I have to say very good, they have exceeded our expectations! A lot of credit needs to go to Kunal and Transcending Obscurity records, who has been spreading the word very effectively, as we didn’t do any promotion or marketing of the band previous to signing with TO.

If the debut is a milestone, what this debut can certainly be called. Is it difficult to do better? The bar is already very high. Are there other growth opportunities like other music styles or maybe, other historical facts?

KOSTAS: I firmly believe that you can always do better, if not then there is no point continuing and we still want to continue at this stage! Lyrically I can think of myriads of other historical and mythological themes I would like to explore, and musically Ivan has already presented some great ideas which we didn’t use in this album simply because they had a different vibe and we wanted to be as coherent as possible. However we are not in a hurry, and time will tell when and how this happens.

Are there also plans to go on tour? In other words, what are the near future plans?

KOSTAS: Not as far as I am concerned, we live in separate countries and rehearsals are just not realistic or cost effective at this stage. This was set up as a studio project and is likely to continue like this.

Is there something like a doom or other metal scene in you country? Give some names of bands we should check out?

KOSTAS: There are many good doom metal bands in the UK where I live. Other than the obvious ones such as the Peaceville three (old My Dying Bride, Anathema, Paradise Lost) there are also several underground bands worth exploring such as Esoteric, Eye of Solitude, Clouds, Camel of Doom, A Dream of Poe, Indesinence etc. Don’t even get me started on the metal bands in general in the UK, as they have been numerous and very influential since Black Sabbath started it all!

You guys are on the route for many years, next to this project and others. I guess you have seen many changes in music and how people listen or buy music?

KOSTAS: Definitely! I still remember trading cassettes and then burning CD-Rs for people, while nowadays we have come to the point where my car doesn’t even have a CD player, because the manufacturer assumes that people only want to listen to music digitally! I do however firmly believe that if you are passionate about music, you are prepared to listen to it through all possible forms and mediums. I have a vinyl player and CD player with a healthy (in size) physical collection and good equipment to play it with. But I also listen to a lot of music on my ipod as I drive a lot around for work etc, and I even stream more and more music particularly on platforms such as bandcamp.

This brings me to the next question. What is your opinion about downloading music?

KOSTAS: I used to care a lot about these things, but I don’t that much nowadays. Sure, it’s sad that so many people see music as a commodity that they have the right to obtain for free without investing anything in researching and purchasing it. But why concentrate on these people, and not on the smaller, but ever so loyal legions of fans that are prepared to give significant sums of their money to support a band by buying their albums (often in various formats), merch and coming to their gigs (sometimes even travelling abroad and spending a lot of money on plane tickets and accommodation)? At the end of the day, it’s that last group of loyal fans that matters, as they are the ones that keep us going after almost twenty years in this scene. Those are the people we need to nurture and be in contact with, rather than caring about everyone else who doesn’t care enough to support independent bands.

Let's talk about the far future. Is there something like an end goal? In other words, what you expect from the far future?

KOSTAS: I don’t believe it’s wise to plan too far ahead, expect too much of the future, or even having an end goal. Intellegetis unum diem.

I think that was the last question. Are there any messages to our readers? Feel free to share.

Thanks for taking the time to read this interview. If you want to find out more about Towards Atlantis Lights, visit our bandcamp page to listen to our music and feel free to connect with us on our facebook page.We don’t play live gigs, so we have a ‘digital presence’ only but we are rather approchable people, despite what our music and concepts suggest!

IVAN: Many thanks also to your readers, for the attention and the space you give us Thanks for this interview. We hope to see you guys on stage, somewhere in our country, very soon.