Interview by Matteo Bussotti

It is quite an unusual thing to have a band from Greece, but, let me say this: if all the bands from Greece are like E.V.E, I’ll certainly listen to more Greek music from now on! E.V.E.’s lyrics are really deep and beautiful, and their sound is unique, special. Their goal is to share a message, a vision about contemporary world. We asked their singer and founder, Vicky, what’s the idea at the base of this band, and what Greece has to offer to the world’s musical landscape. Needless to say, her answers were complete, meaningful, and really interesting to read.
 
So, let’s start this interview!
 
Hello Vicky, and welcome to Femme Metal! We are very proud of having you here! First of all: you started the E.V.E. project with the intention of speaking about modern society, people and their interactions, don’t you? Why did you feel this need? Can you recall a moment, an event which triggered your determination to create E.V.E.?

Hello Matteo, thank you for the interview. I’m more than happy to answer your questions. The whole idea regarding the main concept of E.V.E. was something that progressed throughout the last 3-4 years. Why modern society and human interactions, you ask? Simply because the need to write about every intriguing event that I’ve witnessed is like an instinct to me. Especially, during the latest happenings in Greece, and many other countries as well. It’s not easy to turn your back on them and pretend that we live in fairytale world.

I think that your band’s name is a very peculiar one! Equations Vanquish Equality…what is the story behind that? Were there maybe some other names that you had to choose from?

Good question. To tell you the truth I was trying to find a proper name for the project for over a year. It’s difficult to reflect your music’s content in just 2-3 words. In the end, I decided that I’d prefer a one-word abbreviation as its name. So once the word EVE came to mind, almost instantly the 3 words “Equations Vanquish Equality” completed the puzzle.

As for what they stand for, it is indeed peculiar and complex. For me, the word “Equations” is connected to technological and scientific progress. Without mathematical equations none of these would have been achieved. The following words, “Vanquish Equality” describe the other side of the matter: even though progress is greatly valued the means in which it’s acquired sometimes damage humanity itself, bringing an imbalance to the world. Overall though, I really think that it’s a personal matter seeing that many people have given me their own valid interpretation.

Your lyrics are really, really deep and poetic, I love them! How do you find the inspiration for that? Do you do some “writing sessions” all by yourself, or maybe you write down everything that comes to your mind throughout the day? Did you write the lyrics alone or did Elias help you?

All lyrics are written by me and it’s not definitely something that occurs on a daily basis. It depends on what might happen to me (or around me) on a particular day. There have been days where I could write about stuff all the time and other periods where nothing significant would come along for months. Lyrics aren’t like singing for instance; you need a specific push to be able to write about something worthwhile. As I mentioned earlier, inspiration comes from various events that I’ve experienced or seen with my own eyes. Usually, I focus on telling other people’s “stories” rather than my own.

Is there any other theme you’d like to sing about in your next release?

In the full-length album, you’ll see more themes but they all revolve around the same concept. There are songs about wars, greed, government conspiracies, addiction, excessive fame and even prostitution. In all bad situations there’s always a silver lining so you’ll see perhaps some positive spots.

Talking about Elias and George, who helped you in the EP, how was working with them? Did they vastly influence the sound of the EP, or did they follow your directions?

Since, E.V.E. started out as a project it was really interesting to work with other great musicians and it’d be a lie to say that their contribution didn’t influence the sound of the EP. Elias mainly helped with the arrangement of the songs, deciding what each instrument would play on every section. Though, he’s mainly a pianist/keyboardist, his general music knowledge counted a lot with instruments I was quite unfamiliar with, such as guitars and bass.

As for the drums, George Kollias is a worldwide known remarkable professional so I wouldn’t dare to have him follow any directions. Luckily enough, the studio at which the EP was recorded & produced was familiar with him and that’s how the project reached his ears. He was interested in recording something different than his usual drumming style and offered to play on the EP with pleasure.

Now that you’ve “grown up” to be a band, do you feel any difference between the “project” E.V.E. and the E.V.E. “band” (in terms of efforts to put in it, maybe)?

There’s definitely a huge difference now that the project’s turned into an actual band. It’s great to share your ideas right away and fit them accordingly to every member’s needs. We’ve had some tricky moments though and it’s really hard to find a stable line-up, we’re actually going through some line-up changes as we speak. Besides the musical talent/knowledge, it’s important to be able to have fun as a band and enjoy moments beyond music if you want to stick together for a long while.

How did working with new members influence the band’s sound? Did the whole thing take a turn you’d not expect? Maybe…can you give us a sneak peek about some of the new things you’re composing?

The whole thing did take a turn, but not something I didn’t expect. Any new collaboration will definitely bring change; the goal is for them to lead you towards a better direction. It’s too soon to talk about a definite “sound” as a band but I can surely notice a few differences from the EP to the full-length album. You’ll certainly sense the presence of the guitars as part of the music’s main structure rather than coming from the background, for instance.

As for new material, I would say that the musical style is still towards the same direction, that being a prog/melodic base, though with a few additions to it. You’ll witness perhaps a more aggressive attitude comparing to the EP. One thing I can tell you for sure is that each song will reflect its own lyrics.

Let’s talk about you, now, Vicky. How did you become a musician? What’s your story? I already asked you why you became so “socially involved” in the first question, so I won’t repeat myself by asking you again!

Hm, good question. I definitely grew attached to music since a very young age, that’s every musician’s story anyway, but I never had the chance to be involved on a more professional level till the age of 20. That’s when it hit me… that music’s the only thing I really want to do in my life!

As for an education, I’ve only had vocal lessons for about 2 years in the past. Besides singing though, I’ve learnt some basic music theory and play the piano on my own, and recently started to play the guitar. Music is kind of like a disease, in a good sense that is. Once you’re “infected” you can’t get it out of your system, you just have to keep on feeding it while it grows!

Is there someone who really inspired you in your life, who gave you the strength to follow your passions?

Not somebody in specific. As I mentioned earlier, with every experience I reached a point where I realized that music was my “calling”. It’s an amount of things that push you to follow your dreams, passion, as you mentioned, is one of the biggest drives. Apart from that, I think it requires a certain character… high self-esteem; confidence that you’re good at what you do and determination to keep on getting better at it. Convenient circumstances are always handy, events that’ll shift your mind towards your goals and make them seem possible; and of course family and friends, people that will support you no matter what.

I really like interviewing musicians from other countries. You are both American and Greek, if I’m not wrong. So…musically speaking, how do you deal with your “dual” musical background? Is there something in your sound, in your musical taste and in your way of composing that you’ve taken from America and/or Greece? In your opinion, is there something that differentiates deeply these two countries (even though America is not a country…let’s limit “America” only to USA for this one!) in the way they make music?

I must say I really enjoy all your questions, they’re really thorough and not what someone would expect. This one in particular is a thinker. There’s definitely a huge difference in the music industry between the U.S.A. and Greece, which is due mainly to each culture. Music in the States has developed mostly based on a jazz/blues/country background whereas in Greece it’s influenced by traditional Balkan music, with a lot of oriental elements in it. Different musical scales are preferably used and each country has its own “popular” instruments. Most music-lovers will know what I mean.

Living in both countries for a significant period of time has influenced me of course. Having a native musical background is just like having a native language. There’s a difference between studying something and just having it grow on you. My musical taste, way of composing, general influences and even lyrical themes would perhaps all be different if I’d not grown up that way.

What’s your opinion about Greece’s musical landscape? Are there lots of valid bands? Do you feel a musician as enough ways to play around and be noticed? Is there something you’d change?

Greece is a small country compared to those where the music industry is enormous, population of course matters, and each country has specific genres which sell more than others. Unfortunately, rock and metal music don’t have a large fan base here, so it’s hard to make a living out of that alone. There are of course many valid bands that aren’t recognized on a worldwide level due to the lack of social and financial resources. Nowadays, you can’t just be a musician if you want to “make it”. You also have to be a manager, a promoter, and even a stylist, at least until you’re able to have a team to do that work for you. Of course I’d want that to change, have every person occupied in their own field of work, doing what they do best, but that’s just ideal thinking.

Final question: hopes, dreams and projects for the future?

Well, there’s not much to say here. I simply hope that everything goes well with the band, for a promising full-length album release and the ability to perform in other countries in the future! As long as there’s music in our lives, there’s also a string of happiness.

Thank you Vicky for your time and your answers! We’ll wait for you to come playing in Italy!

Thank you for the wonderful interview, it was my pleasure! We’d love to play in Italy one day and hopefully see you in person! Cheers Matteo!

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