NONE OTHER: Interview with Spyros Charmanis

There are people who feel everything that can be done with guitar has been done. What is your reaction to that perspective?

I suppose it is true from that perspective. By that same measure there are 12 notes in the chromatic scale, so everything has been played already – but it is the feeling and the personality of the player that distinguishes every effort.

Following my question from above, have you ever been struggling with such thoughts during the writing process of your new album Than The Common Plague? And not only when it comes to guitar, but the music you presented on the album, overall.

Sure. Every time I start out to create something I am wondering about its place in the music world and it can get overwhelming if you second guess every step of the way. It is ultimately about the story you want to tell and the overall presentation that may make a difference, and then it’s that saying that the music is like a photograph of the person you were when you wrote it – so there’s that adherent value to it that gives it perspective I think.

Describe the journey Than The Common Plague chronicles.

In a nutshell, the album is a journey though disease and course of treatment and the implied turbulence throughout. There are some additional themes it touches along the way, much like the branches of a tree, about legacy, hope, determination and all that.

Than The Common Plague

In which measure this music represents your opinions and interpretation of the world today, and all the problems that surround it?

I’d say that the story is much more focused around the proposed sequence of events and doesn’t go out of its way to extrapolate and touch on universal themes or comment on the state of the world today…I certainly wasn’t thinking about any of that as I was writing. Of course I am a part of this world and it affects me greatly, so there’s a chance that there were things that crept up subconsciously I guess, and of course maybe the listener can find ways to do that for himself! There’s always beauty in that.

And how much Than The Common Plague is personal? What are some of the experiences you thread through the album’s lyrics?

It is very personal. Without wanting to go into it that much if I may, it had to do with some things that came my way unexpectedly about three years ago. The rest is all there in the lyrics.

What inspired Than The Common Plague in the first place? Do you recall the initial idea that started it all?

Music wise, I think one of the first things I thought about was the song that came to be “Torpor Serving”, which was an older idea I had recorded on a small handheld recorder and which I decided to revisit when I listened to it after a long while…That recorder is most of the time on me, as you never know when a good idea might present itself, and as a result there must be hundreds of short recordings in there, most of them hilarious as I often tried to emulate guitar sounds vocally since there wasn’t a guitar available nearby!

Spyros

How were you able to channel your energy during the turbulent process such as creating a body of art—in this case Than The Common Plague?

I certainly took care in not rushing anything. I took my time to flesh out the story, lyrics, music and various details and worked on the album on weekends mostly. In such cases I think the second most important part (apart from the music itself) is to properly lay out how you are going to get from A to B in terms of putting it down, if not just identifying point “A” alone. Since I am in my head most of the times when it comes to creating, having a 4-5 day break between the sessions really helped in that regard.

What are positive and what negative sides of being an independent artist from your angle?

The obvious I guess. You have creative freedom and a pace as relaxed as you want, but on the other hand there are minimal distribution choices and difficulty on making the music ‘available’ to potential interested parties.

What are your plans now after the album has been out for some time?

Live shows and new music of course! Always anxious for that last one. Thanks for the chat, have a great and creative year!

Buy Than The Common Plague from Bandcamp here.