RNR Interview (Greece)

I'm Peter Antonakis and I'm writing from Rock'n'Roll magazine. Next month in our CD compilation we are going to have a track from the Duel album that it's been reissued from Cyberdelia records. You know how much we still love you here in Greece. What are your impressions today from the Duel album?

‘I am very proud of it, as I am with most of my albums. Some people would consider it ‘retro’, but I think that is part of its charm. My earliest influences were early 1970s groups such as Marc Bolan/T.Rex, King Crimson and Donovan so naturally that style of music is what I wanted to recreate when I had the chance to make my own music. I wanted to combine the storytelling, poetic approach to lyrics and the 70s rock sounds (chugging tastefully overdriven guitars with acoustics and classical instruments).
I was never worried about being fashionable. I just wanted to make the kind of music that I wanted to listen to and which wasn’t being made at that time (the late 1980s).
But when I listened to the album in 2003 for the first time in seven years I heard imperfections that I wanted to correct and a few tracks sounded as if they needed a few finishing touches to be complete. So I enjoyed the opportunity to go back into the studio after so many years away from music (I had given up writing, recording and touring to bring up my 2 young sons) and ‘finish’ it. I don’t like artists who re-visit old albums but I was careful to make only subtle but significant changes that would improve the sound without re-mixing and changing the character of the tracks.

Why it was so much rockier than your previous albums?
‘I have always written both rock and acoustic songs but I had just released 2 acoustic mini albums (‘A Cabinet Of Curiosities’ and ‘Happy Families’) so it might have appeared that I changed my style to people who only knew those albums.
The other reason was that the main theme of ‘Duel’ is the story of a crumbling medieval kingdom and I needed to convey the dark atmosphere with suitable sounds. Light jangly pop guitars and electronic keyboards would not have created the atmosphere and images I wanted people to have in their mind while listening to the record.’

You are still fascinated by the Victorian age, the “fantasy kingdoms” and all this?
‘Yes, I am, but I realise the importance of growing as an artist and so my new album has moved on to other fantasy themes and periods in history with a more mature sound. Since I stopped music and developed on a spiritual and psychic level (I have written 14 books on mysticism and the occult for major publishers and created my own tarot pack called the Kabbalah Cards) I have come to realise that my music expresses my inner world – my fascination with the supernatural and particular periods in history which seem to be the result of unresolved issues in my past lives. I return to the Regency period (18th century) and the First World War again and again because I need to clear these impressions, images and memories from my psyche. In future I think I will leave the historical themes behind and write more about the supernatural and my personal experiences.

What are you doing at the moment?
‘I have just finished a new acoustic album and I have a rock album written and ready to record but I need to find new record labels to release them as the old ones closed down in the 1990s which is one reason why I stopped making music.
I’m also writing more books on mysticism (a book on how to contact your guardian angel and another on natural magic which takes a more psychological approach). I now give readings to people with my Kabbalah Cards which have just been published by Urania Verlag/AGMuller in Switzerland. So I teach meditation and mysticism to help people to find their true path in life – although I’m still not sure what my own purpose in the world is!
And I hope to be revisiting some more of the old albums for the Greek reissue label Haunted Forest which will give me great satisfaction. I’m a perfectionist and can’t rest until I’ve corrected all my old ‘mistakes’.!!!

When you are thinking about Greece what comes to your mind?
‘I am very pleased that you asked me this. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to connect with the people in Greece who like my music (I don’t like the word ‘fan’). I was never interested in commercial success. I wanted respect as an artist and genuine affection for my music and I found both in Greece. I would love to return to play music again with a violinist and a mandolin player I worked with on the new album and maybe give talks and demonstrations on mysticism and spiritual themes.
I am no longer so intense about having big selling records, I am happy now to be a respected artist. That to me is everything. Thank you for your interest in my music and please tell your readers that I am very happy to hear from anyone who wants to write to me at p.roland@lycos.co.uk