Interview with INK vocalist Chris Tsantalis

- Jan 22, 2009 at 09:53AM
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After over a decade since their inception and a few lineup changes, the band from Alexandroupolis, Greece is still going strong. Their style of music is reminiscent of, Alice In Chains, A Perfect Circle, Soundgarden and the Doors and their unquenchable drive to be successful has helped them to rise among the ranks of to one of the finest in the underground rock scene. Vocalist Chris Tsantalis took a moment out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for PureGrainAudio.

The name of the band INK is interesting to say the least and sounds as if there is a story behind it. Where did the name come from and what is the story?
Chris: Well INK stays forever, that’s its true nature. That’s what we really want to do with our music, stay there as something true, something real, like reading a book. This was the idea behind the name, it came to us after long conversations, on a summer evening long ago.

How has MySpace and the internet impacted your band and do you think downloading helps or hinders the artists?
Chris: I think it gives real big exposure for bands like us, we are coming from a country which is unknown for its rock scene. But these last years when the Myspace thing exploded we have had a rise of new bands and many live shows and compilations which is good for us here. A lot of things are changing and I m happy with it. You can’t escape downloading, I think it’s a both good and evil, it has two different sides so I m trying to look at its bright side, I think It helps.

Every band has its musical influences. What are some of the other bands and artists that have greatly influenced you guys and your music?
Chris: We are music lovers, we buy CD’s and magazines and we have these rock fan conversations! As for the influences, they re bands like Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, The Doors, The Cult, Tea Party, Soundgarden, Tool... basically 90’s stuff.

According to your bio, one of the band's trademarks is your unplugged acoustic shows. What do you feel the reason for this is? Do you feel there is a different impact when the songs are reworked in this fashion?
Chris: I think it’s a totally different experience, you are stripped emotionally, it has more feel, it's more natural and sensitive, we really love doing unplugged shows in small clubs. It is another view of what our music is about. It’s a warm place to be, like being with old friends.

When you are on the road for a while, I am sure you see and experience many different things you might not even have known existed. Are there any stories that stand out in your mind as being exceptionally strange or odd?
Chris: Not so strange, I can’t remember anything really mysterious, but I hope I’ll see something soon... a ghost or something! Only strange people you know...

What is your musical background?
Chris: Just playing and rehearsing with this band the last 10 years, no diplomas!

Many of your songs are so hard and intense that I am sure they translate well into a live setting taking on a whole new life in front of a live audience. How does it make you feel when the emotion and power that you envisioned in the recording studio, come to life while playing in front of a crowd?
Chris: Well you are spending so much time in the studio trying to write the best material and you think that you’ve made it and that’s it. And then it’s another world in front of the crowd, new ideas in the same songs, new approach a lot of things happen. It feels like a drug we are intoxicated with our melodies and lyrics out there we are in another world and we love it. In the end it’s all about the performance, you have to give it all, that’s the best part for me.

What does the future hold for you guys as a band?
Chris: I think that we are in the beginning of something good, we'll try our best, we really love playing music together, we are friends. Basically we are music lovers and that’s what counts the most. I cannot imagine my life without music in it. When I was young I had these dreams of singing my songs in front of a crowd, now it happens and I feel lucky, I hope it lasts forever, it’s the best thing, the real one, the ultimate trip. We did strange things, experienced a lot, places, people, emotions, but this is the right place to be, one day everything ends that’s what I’m thinking the last year of my life, so before I leave this strange little world I have to live and music is the best way for me.  [ END ]
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