When it comes to AMERICAN METAL many people think of crap like METALLICA, KORN and stuff like that! Some closer to the metal scene think ICED EARTH, OVERKILL, and other well known metal bands. ME? Well bands that make me proud to be an American Metalhead are bands like THE WEIRD LORD SLOUGH FEG, CAULDRON BORN, GOTHIC KNIGHTS, OVERLORDE, CAGE and ZANDELLE!! Why? Cause unlike Iced Earth and Overkill these bands have a much smaller fan base and hardly any label support to help them through the tough times. They only have their metal and their faith in it to keep them pushing, fighting and screaming!! These guys find the will to.... play live when only three people show up! They find the will..... when two of the three people mock them for being behind the times! They find the will.... to pay for their own cds, websites and equipment when they barely have food on their tables! They fight for the metal and the metal fights the world through them! I feel more of a kinship to the struggling bands who fight on, then the bands with the fans,press and hype!
What to be metal? What to have the metal will? Follow me in to the mind of ZANDELLE's singer and mastermind George Tsalikis and learn from us both.
|Prof.ManiC:||Ok, lets start with the bands recent signing to LIMB . How many demos did you send out to labels in the beginning? How did you first come into contact with them?|
We didnt really send out too many demos to labels. We wanted to hit certain labels that we felt would truly benefit the band and that we had the greatest chance of getting signed with. We got in touch with LIMB through a friend of ours, Martin Brand who happens to be from Germany and knows people that work for the company. He personally passed along our three-song demo to them and upon listening to it, they apparently saw the potential. They then contacted me via email and asked to hear the rest of the album.
When you got the word they were interested in signing the band, how did it make you feel? Did you take the first deal they offered you or did you haggle with them over details?
|Prof.ManiC:||How long are you signed with them? What kind of promotion did they promise??|
Just to clear something up, we havent signed the actual contract yet. Theyve just finished writing it up and are going over it prior to sending it to us for the signing. However, the offer was for us to be optioned for three additional albums after this one, with each album having a life span of 10 years.
|Prof.ManiC:||How much money would you guess that you have put into your own promotion up to this point? Do you think being signed will help make some of it back or do you think it will just make you spend even more?|
|George Tsalikis:||As I mentioned earlier, theyre going to be dumping a lot of money into promotions so it looks like we really wont have to do too much on our end. Well still do what we can here in the States because I think most of the promotion theyll be doing will be overseas.|
|Prof.ManiC:||Why isnt Zandelle on LIMBs website under artists?|
|George Tsalikis:||Good question. I can only assume that theyre waiting for everything to be finalized before adding us to their site (contract signing, release dates, etc.). Or, it could simply be that their web designer simply hasnt gotten around to it yet.|
on to the new CD
.When is it expected to come out? How do you think
it sounds when compared to the last CD?? In what aspects to you think you
and the band have grown since that last recording?
As per my last contact with the label, they indicated that theyre looking to release the album on September 16th in Europe and shortly thereafter in the States. But that could change, so until it becomes official, Im not promising anything.
|Prof.ManiC:||And why pick the name Twilight on humanity? Was the name picked before 9/11 or was it because of that it was chosen?|
|George Tsalikis:||The title was chosen way before 9/11. The songs also were recorded long before then. At the time we were actually in the mixing phase of the project. The title is in fact the title of the last song on the album, which is a twelve-minute epic piece. The song demonstrates the full range of the band and we just felt it would be appropriate to make it the title-track.|
|Prof.ManiC:||How do the new songs compare to the ZANDELLE classics like Bringer of Doom, Flight of the Dragon and Crimson Rain? Will those older songs remain in the set list?|
|George Tsalikis:||The new songs definitely bring the band to a higher level, however the classics still remain part of our live set list since they do have a lot offer in and of themselves. In fact, weve modified the way we play some of the older tunes to reflect our current performance level. Some of the changes are more drastic than others, and thats mostly due to the line-up change since the last recording. Now that we have musicians in the band that can do so much more, were taking advantage of the increase in talent.|
|Prof.ManiC:||What are some of the new songs about?|
|George Tsalikis:||The songs vary in topic from medieval fantasy to philosophy about what happens after one dies. And of course, we had to have one Metal anthem and one power ballad as well.|
|Prof.ManiC:||In the past the cover artwork hasnt been the best even though the CDs have been good will this trend continue?|
|George Tsalikis:||Not at all. In the past, we didnt have the support of a record label so due to budgetary constraints, we were forced to go for a less expensive option when it came to artwork. We felt it was more important to dump what little money we had into the production itself. Fortunately, this time around we were able to purchase professional artwork from a very well known artist (BROM). So Im please to say that, like the music and production, the artwork will also be a huge step up from the previous releases.|
|Prof.ManiC:||Speaking of the older cds why discontinue them? Just finally ran out or was it a conscious decision to do it? If so why? Are you ashamed of the old stuff now?|
|George Tsalikis:||It was definitely a conscious decision to discontinue the old releases. It wasnt so much out of being ashamed of them because were not (although we know weve grown tremendously since then) but we felt weve reached a new level now and must strive to continue to put out albums of higher quality. But, not to worry, we do plan on doing something with the old material. Well reveal more when it becomes definite.|
|Prof.ManiC:||How have you managed to increase your vocal strength from each cd?? Just playing live? Voice lessons? What excerises do you do for your voice?|
|George Tsalikis:||Basically I do two things, I listen and I practice. First, I listen to myself on the previous recordings. I find the things that I want to refine, I figure out how to improve those things and then I practice. Its all about technique, practice and the desire to get better. I also study other singers to see how they get their voices to sound a certain way or to possess a certain quality. Then I try to implement those techniques into my singing. Sometimes I find something that works great for me, other times I dont. But you have to keep trying, otherwise youll never get better. The pitfall with that however is that you may start to sound too much like a particular singer. Thats why you have to learn how to incorporate techniques into your own style instead of just imitating someone else. At this point, I dont do any kind of special exercise other than more and more singing, be it Zandelle songs, or songs of other bands.|
|Prof.ManiC:||Since youre into martial arts. What are your favorite Martial Artists? Favorite Martial Arts books? Movies? Games?|
|George Tsalikis:||I think because Im a serious student of martial arts, I find I have hardly any favorites when it comes to martial artists, books, movies, or games. The problem is, the more advanced you become in a true martial art, the more you see the phoniness in the popular martial art movies. Books and games also fail to capture a lot and they tend to leave me disappointed. The thing with movies is they can make anyone look good because everything is choreographed. So, as far as martial artists, I like Jackie Chan because of his charisma and the sick stunts he manages to pull off without getting himself killed. I was also into Brandon Lee before he died, and of course I enjoyed Bruce Lees movies, but again, thats primarily for entertainment. I guess its like asking a fan of true Metal what his or her favorite movie depicting Metal is. Though we enjoy watching some of them, theyre only mockeries of the true lifestyle.|
|Prof.ManiC:||Since the band is coming to Cleveland to play the CLASSIC METAL FEST, what are your expectations for it? What other bands playing there are you looking forward to see play or having a few drinks with?|
|George Tsalikis:||Were actually very psyched to play this Festival. Im truly looking forward to the overall atmosphere and camaraderie that only true fans of Metal can share. Its going to be one of those shows where not only will I have a great time on the stage, but also off. Im looking forward to seeing just about every band there. I couldnt narrow it down if I tried. Its truly going to be an amazing event.|
|Prof.ManiC:||What lies after Twilight on humanity for you and the band??|
|George Tsalikis:||Basically were hoping the album does well enough so that the LIMB will keep us on for three more. Were already working on writing new material. Were even going to be playing a new song at the festival which has received very positive reviews from fans that have heard us play it live. The new material we feel is even going to surpass the songs on Twilight on Humanity. That much I can guarantee.|
|Prof.ManiC:||Any final comments??|
First Id like to
thank you for the interview and for the opportunity to help promote Zandelle
and our upcoming performance on the 12th. Rest assured that so long as I
live, Zandelle and True Metal will always exist. We look forward to seeing
everyone at the Festival.
TRUE METAL FOREVER!!!