interview with Groove Therapist

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Have any of you played in other bands? Yes, mostly as session musicians

How is it that you started playing music? We loved music since we were young, so we started with piano or guitar classes (most of us). As we were growing up, we decided that music is what we want to do to our lives, so we have done many academic musical studies on the instruments we play.

What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you? Groove Therapist consists of five members. Haris Lolos(36) is on vocals, Yiorgos Kalodoukas (36) on guitar, Yiorgos Konis(42) on keyboards, Katerina Koti (35) on bass and Thanos Kalodoukas (32) on drums.

Have you had other previous members? Yes, Kleanthis Konstantinidis was on keyboards until last year.

Did you make music even when you were young? Yes, almost all of us used to write music but not in a certain style or for a certain project.

Where are you from? We were all born in Athens, Greece.

What year did the band form? As a band, Groove Therapist started in 2010. Most of us already knew each other many years ago, but we never did music together! We created this band – as a cover band in the beginning- playing gigs at numerous venues in Athens. But, at some point, we realized that this did not fill us musically, so we decided to work on our own material. So, since 2012 we have been dealing exclusively with our own personal sound.

What's your style of genre? People who have heard our songs tend to characterize us as a progressive theatrical rock / metal band. We don’t know if that genre fully represents us. Our influences start with rock, funk music and reach up to progressive metal. Definitely, we do have all these musical elements but we do not want to confine our music within certain limits.

What inspires you? Life!!!

How often and where do you rehearse? We rehearse every once in a week in our studio.

How have you developed since you started with the music? Εvery time we make music, we try to develope a little more in many areas: in music itself, in the production process of an album, and even in getting better as human beings.

Do you have other interests of work outside the band? We run our own music school and we work as session musicians.

Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? We recently signed in with a new agent here in Athens and we are looking forward to get to work with her. Booking is a completely different era from making music and it should be done by people who know exactly how to deal with it.

Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? We are currently in search of a new record label, since we are working on our second album. Unfortunately, the past ten-fifteen years, record labels’ role has completely changed. Nowadays, most labels will only help you release your album but will not participate in production expenses. On the contrary, you need to pay for releasing your album, distributing it and also pay for booking and advertising. All these, raise the expense of an album to a level that makes it almost unbearable for a new, upcoming band. It’s very difficult to find a trustworthy and reliable label to work with.

What made you decide to make this music? Love for music and a need for creation / expression

What are your songs about? Our songs concern our questionings about the way in which our society evolves or situations that human beings should face every day.

Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? Teamwork is the key word for both music and lyrics. A member comes up with an idea and the rest of us get together in the studio. Sometimes, there are tracks made entirely in the rehearsal. The same happens sometimes with the lyrics; we all say our ideas and someone put them in a row! Besides, this was the motive that made us want to make our own music: our ideas complement each other’s.

Do you start with the music or the lyrics? Mostly with the music.

Do you compose in a certain environment? No. A music idea can hit anywhere

Have you done any covers live? As we already mentioned, in the beginning, Groove Therapist was a cover band. But we used to play a completely different music style.

What language do you sing in? In English.

What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? We don’t know the precise number of the attendants in our gigs.

What ages are most of your concert attendants? 20 to 25 years old and above

Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? We usually play the same songs but with a twist.

Do you have a regular place you play live often? Nope.

What was your first gig like? Our first official concert was held in December 2015, when we presented our debut album. It was a unique experience for all of us, because we had the opportunity to share with our fans our first complete work, a concept album we did make.

What was your latest gig? The latest gig was held in May 2018 in Romania, during the Soundart Festival.

Have you had to cancel a gig? No!

Where have you played live this year? We have only played in three Romanian cities during the Soundart Festival, due to professional obligations.

Where do you plan to gig the coming year? Since we are working on our second album, we don’t have any scheduled gigs yet. But, we are always ready to go up to the stage and play our music.

When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? We started to sell merchandise the time we released our debut album. Our merch consists of t-shirts, “Mr Funker :The myth” Guitar Tab book and the album.

Where can people buy your merchandise?  Through the band’s site and Facebook page. Soon on Bandcamp as well.

What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records nowadays?

Music definitely needs to be accessible to the public. Unfortunately, the economic crisis doesn’t allow us to buy music albums as often as we used to in the past. But this dilemma is so strong, because the artists are not compensated by either the record labels or the public. Plus, the expense to create an album is very large, especially if you want to have a good production. So, if artists are constantly spending money to create music but don’t get back not even a small amount, then how will they continue producing their music? On the other hand, by downloading an album, the listener may lose the opportunity to fully enjoy the artist’s work - in the case of a concept album there are many factors that complete the instrumental work, such as the artwork, the dialogues which are likely to be created through the characters of the album, as well as a cinematic narration.

How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? First of all, downloading music affects the music sales on a global scale. The result is many closing businesses and many unemployed people. The positions that have had to be cut include songwriters, producers, engineers, technicians, marketing support and artists as well. Furthermore, downloading has also caused the music industry to have less funding options to recruit and develop new talents. This means that new artists have to look for outlets to create and promote music on their own, such as selling it off directly online. Unfortunately, illegal music downloading is something that is still going to continue because people will always choose to go for the cheapest option available.

What do you think of my work? Very good work! Artists need people like you in order to get their story out to the world.

How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? Every interview has a good impact on our work, since it is an alternative way to communicate our music with the audience.

Do you have any role models or idols? No. We have artists that we admire but no idols.

Why do you think that they exist? Perhaps people need to idolize artists in order to identify with them. Sometimes they even try to imitate their idols. But we believe that following your own dreams is more important. Each one of us is unique, we just need to believe in ourselves.

Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? For us, there is no difference in being an older band or a band that’s active nowadays. Any musician that works and develops music, is an inspiration for us.

What have been your biggest obstacles? Our daily jobs. We spend many hours working, and this leaves us with such a little time to make the music we love.

What advice would you give to other bands or artists? Write the music that represents you, without compromises.

How do you get psyched for a gig? We try to rehearse as much as we can

Do you have any new material? We are currently on the studio working on our second album. Plus, a live recording of “Mr Funker the Myth” is about to be released in the following months.

What are your web sites? http://www.groovetherapist.com/el

How can people reach?

By clicking on the website above or our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Groove-Therapist-161351343904080/

Also via email groovetherapist@hotmail.com

What are your plans for the future? Create more and more and more music

Do you have something to add? Thanks for this interview!

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