Interview with Tas Danazoglou from Mirror6th January 2016 0 By John Deaux
AATR – Cheers for taking the time to have a chat with us. Hope we’re not taking you away from your tattoo studio.
TAS – No problem & I don’t start tattooing til later (laughs) you know us tattooists, we’re lazy (laughs)
AATR – How did things come about with Mirror?
TAS – I wanted to start a classic heavy metal band. I had a band called Satan’s Wrath which was more of a death metal outfit & it was quite hard finding members for a classic metal band.
AATR – But find them you did.
TAS – Yes. Firstly I contacted singer Jimmy Mavromatis who I’ve known for over 25 years & he was up for it & that’s when I started to write the songs & that’s when I contacted Stamos from Satan’s Wrath & then Komos the drummer came on board. The only thing missing at this point was a second guitarist. Komos suggested his friend Matt Olivo from Repulsion, so we sent him the demo & he was up for it also.
We then started recording. Everyone was happy with the songs & it happened really easy actually.
AATR – It really is a classic sounding album.
Tas – I grew up with classic heavy metal & then around age 12 or 13 thrash happened. I still listen to the classics like Maiden, Judas Priest or The Scorpions. This is something that I’ve always wanted to do & I’m very happy with it.
AATR – It’s great to hear some “new” classic sounding metal too.
Tas – A classic metal album was needed as there a lot of modern metal coming out that I’m just not sure about. This modern metal in my mind is not really metal. There’s no real melody & it’s just chugging away. Everything sounds so computerised. The drums sound like a type writer. It’s like pop with distortion. They come across as kids just whining about something.
When Maiden started they were kids but had grown up songs.
AATR – This is true. Back then there were genuinely things to moan or comment on as that’s what society & situations were like & it was really the only way to speak out.
Tas – True. They didn’t cry about getting a hair cut (laughing)
AATR – “I’ve been grounded, they’ve cut up my gold credit card but allowed me to keep my cell phone. I’m so pissed off” (laughing).
Tas – Paint your nails black & away you go (laughs)
AATR – I’m so glad it’s not just me.
Tas – There’s quite a few actually which is why I hope that kids get into the classics like Sabbath, Maiden, Priest & this whole thing just stops.
I was speaking to a friend of mine about when the big bands go, like Maiden & Priest, who’s going to take over? It’s a scary thing to think about.
Back in the 90’s metal took a strange turn for what I think is the worse but it seems like musicians now want to go back to basics & how it all started.
The good thing about playing festivals I do see a lot of people of all ages wearing classic metal shirts especially in Sweden & even England which does give me some hope.
AATR – What have you heard lately that you’ve actually liked?
Tas – Of course my friends Grand Magus, Ram & this one band on Metal Blade called Noctum. Their album Final Sacrifice is really good. I also like my friends from the UK , Amulet. There’s a few good bands out there & hopefully there will be a lot more.
AATR – How did the relationship with Metal Blade come about as they seem to be at the forefront of bringing back the classic sounding Metal?
Tas – My previous band Satan’s Wrath were on Metal Blade & I was pretty certain that Mirror would also come out on that label. Not just because we’re kind of friends over there but Brian Slagel, the owner of the label, is a massive fan of classic heavy metal. I was waiting to have the finished album before I sent it to him & he was up for releasing it. I feel like family with them.
AATR – What about touring?
Tas – We have a couple lined up in April Manchester & London with Repulsion as Matt also plays with them so that should be fun. There will be more coming.
We’ve just signed with the Agency Group which I think is now called United Talent Agency which hopefully book us some good shows as we can’t wait to play.
AATR – I’m personally looking forward to seeing you live. The tracks will sound immense.
Tas – Depends on how much beer we have to drink (laughs)
AATR – While we’re on that subject are there any pre-show rituals apart from getting drunk?
Tas – I haven’t played a gig since Electric Wizard. We were wasted constantly as playing slow is kind of easy for me (laughs). But with Mirror I think we’ll have to be a bit more careful as alot of the songs are a bit more complicated & fast, so we’re going to have to control it a bit.
I’ve already decided that with Mirror I will play the album backstage & warm up with it to make sure it’s fresh in the memory. Which is a bit different to Electric Wizard as that was just a mess (laughs) So with Mirror I think it’s just be 2 or 3 beers before stage.
AATR – Does tattooing get in the way of practice?
Tas – Not at all. I practice every night. As soon as I’ve put my son to bed I practice for a couple of hours. I use a 1981 Gibson flying V bass which they only made 375 of.
I did use Rickenbackers as I had 3 of them but the moment I saw the Gibson I thought I just have to play it. They sound & look amazing & I love them. So from now on I shall only play those as I ahad to sell 4 basses including 2 Rickenbackers to buy the 2 Gibsons.
As for amps I’ve always liked the classic Ampeg with the 8×10 cabinet which I’d never change. Actually I would change if I had 2 of them (laughs)
Before we head out on tour we’re going to head into London, rehearse at Komos’s studio where he has a huge collection of amps. Every amp you could imagine.. He even has Tony Iommis cabinets which came from Cathedral when they toured with Black Sabbath they purchased a few cabinets from Tony Iommi. In fact one of the Iommi cabinets we used on the Mirror album.
AATR – You can’t get much more classic metal than that.
Tas – Exactly. I almost cried when I saw the cabinet with the Black Sabbath spray paint on it. It was a bit of an honour.
There was also this one time when we were sitting in the airport waiting on a flight & this guy walks up & asks us if we were a band. I explained that we were & called Electric Wizzard. The guy looked familiar & I couldn’t place him but he said he would check. Turns out it was Carmine Appice. It was a bit random but he came straight up to us. He looked fantastic. When he left us we were all speechless kinda like “what the hell just happened?”
AATR – Tas, I understand you have some tattoo work to take care of. It’s been an absolute pleasure to speak to you. Good luck with the album.
Tas – It’s been a pleasure & hope to see you soon.
The album is available now from all good & bad music retailers. Do yourself a favor & grab a copy.
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Some say Yank My Doodle, It’s A Dandy! is a biographical movie based on John. Some have even said that his favorite artist is Chesney Hawke! All we really know is he sleeps inside out and his hair tastes like candy floss.