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Electric Litany by Alexx Decode

Electric Litany:The album was made in a church in 4 days

We talked with Electric Litany an afternoon in Exarhia. Four guys from England, U.S.A. and Greece.
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We talked with Electric Litany an afternoon in Exarhia. Four guys from England, U.S.A. and Greece. Alex Miaris (vocals, guitars, synths), Richard Simic (drums), Duane Petrovitch (bass) and Ben Prince (synths, piano) are one of the bands, we love in Greece.

How not to love songs like "Home", "Minute", "February" etc? We talked for many things, but the most important factors we distinguished from this talk is the modesty and the responsibility they seem to have, with which they can gradually work on fulfilling their dreams in music.

Electric Litany play at Gagarin tomorrow 25/09 and on Sunday at Manifest, in Patras.

MG: As a band you exist from 2008, am I right?
Alex: Christmas of 2007.

MG: How did you meet each other? Did you study together?
Richard: Alex was in London and he had already some demos, some songs and therefore, we were rehearsing some more in East London. We then looked for a bass player and this year Ben joined the band.

MG: For many people who love music here in Greece, your album is one of the best of 2010. Tell us some things about how you created it.
Alex MiarisAlex: Most of the songs were ready a year before the recordings. We were just waiting to find the right place to make them (the recordings), because we didn’t want to do it necessarily in a studio, as usual. So we delayed the whole process of recordings, until we found everything we needed. We knew we were going to use George Botis as a producer. So that was in June 2009 when we found the church, where I moved in, lived in the church and prepared it for a month and got all the equipment there. In July we had seven days to record. George came over from Greece.  We lost the first 3 days, because the machinery  weren’t working. So we had actually 4 days to record.

MG: This reminds us of 60s and 70s, where bands had few days to do the recordings of an album.
Duane: The way that we did it has a sense of 70s' sound. We have previously done so much work in studio, but it didn't go well for us. It seemed like we had lost something. Having a church with a big space, made us work well and mostly live.

MG: Did you try to improve anything in the studio afterward?
Alex: We kept everything from the live and we added some overdubs, additional guitars, some cellos and the vocals we did in Athens. We mixed the album in a studio in Patisia, which already went bankrupt.

MG: Alex how was your stay inside the church? You know, it is very weird for us.
Electric Litany bAlex: If you compare it to the standards of Greek Orthodox Church, there’s no way it can be done. I usually use these places for a while, town halls, churches, and a factory, where I moved in for a clip.
Duane: Have you seen The Minute Video?

MG: Yes of course. It was very good.
Duane: He lived there as well.
Alex: The worst place ever (laughs).

MG: Which are your influences? Listening to your album, there are times where I believe that you sound like Radiohead, but I think that you have something unique in “How to be a child and win the war“.
Duane: There are some bands like Joy Division. We enjoy their music, but I don’t think that when we were putting together the songs for the album, we tried to sound like that.
Alex: The main common factor we have in music is not necessarily a musical style-type (alternative etc). It’s the music that is aesthetically good in our horizon. And through all of this, we have a sound that of course resembles to other sounds.

MG: Alex, you dedicated the album to the events, which took place last December. Aren't you afraid that there will be some people who will say that you're trying to exploit this event?
Alex: I can only talk for myself. It doesn’t represent exactly what we do. I really don’t care for this people, just because any event similar to this can be a part of a war. The healthiest being that lives in society will disagree, take a protest and won't just be influenced by what is on in television. It‘s something that wakes up the society for at least a couple of days or forever. For me, these were some of the most interesting things that happened in Greece. Many years of big disappointment…

Electric LitanyMG: You had some concerts in other countries. How did you see the audience there?
Richard: We had these gigs in different places and the crowds are different from the Greeks. They go to the bars to mainly drink beer and not listen to the music. And also in London when we started the sound was like Kaiser Chiefs, NME Bands etc. In Greece people get more into us. They are more receptive.
Alex: In London there are a million of choices. So the more you have, the less you appreciate. We haven’t done a gig for a year in England because of the album.

MG: Do you plan to do something in England?
Alex: We started touring in Europe with this fantastic manager, we have. When we go back, we will do something.

MG: Alex you are let’s say the third singer of an English band, after Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand) and Filippakis (Foals). Why did you decide to go to Inner Ear to release your album and not a record label like Domino etc?
Alex: We separate the things. Inner Ear is only responsible for Greece. We haven’t started the procedure of approaching labels and this is what we‘re going to do, when we go back to England. So Inner Ear is just what comes first.
Duane: I think it was quite good to test the water here in Greece to see the reception. It seemed quite positive.

Electric LitanyMG: Giannis Petridis is a great radio producer here in Greece. He has a radio show for almost 40 years. His show can be stopped due to economical crisis. What’s your opinion about that?
Alex: I’m going to generalize it. In an economical crisis like this, one of the things that it shouldn’t affect is this kind of people. It shouldn’t affect Giannis Petridis or any other Petridis.

MG: Many bands decide to release more singles, than albums. Some say that the albums will be gone in the future.
Duane: It’s a shame in a certain sense, because there’s something aesthetically pleasing about these albums concept, rather than releasing only songs. That’s the way technology moves. That’s the way it happens in the download. People choose to take the song.
Richard: Now bands can do more things, promote themselves a lot more. There’s MySpace and YouTube. At the same time the bad thing is the album thing. I personally like the idea of the album.
Alex: More or less, it’s like a film. A film makes sense because everything makes sense to each other. I’m not sure why bands would not be able to do an album in these days. I mean we spent a fraction of the money that bands spend to record an album and it’s nothing for even poor people. You can do it in a home studio. It’s a matter of will and a bit of knowledge.

MG: Some albums that you like and listen to at home.
Richard: I’m a big fan of Joy Division. I listen to classical music.
Duane: I listen a lot of blues. Old American blues.
Ben: I like Nick Cave. A lot of American bands.
Alex: Nick Cave is my favorite. Recently, I listen to “Ta Rizitika” of Psarantonis and “Music for Airports”of του Brian Eno.

MG: Thank you very much for your time guys. Good luck to whatever you do.
Alex: It was our pleasure. Thanks.

The photo of the cover belongs to Alex Decode.

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