Thursday, January 08, 2009
Hail Voyagers! Happiest of New Year's wishes to all & sundry! We begin our journey 'round the blazing orb-though it blazes better right now for our Southern Hemishperical friends, with yet another outstanding guest survey respondent. (I think they're ALL outstanding.)
Today's guest hails from that musical hotbed of Athens. No, not Georgia. GREECE.
They've been an active band for over 20 years now debuting with Exit #4 in 1988. (I'm listening to it now, as I type. Brilliant psychedelic album. Brilliant.)
There followed five more albums, all mind-blowing in their own right, on up to their latest, a 2006 live document from their beginnings containg show experiences from 1989. A Trip To Purpleland: The Early Years Live on Nasoni records.
(For an in-depth album-by-album overview and an interview from 2002 by the Space Rock king himself, Jerry Kranitz of Aural Innovations, go here.)
It's Costas from Purple Overdose!
Here's a lengthy overview, taken from the web, unattributed, (with thanks to the original writer. Many thanks.):
They're considered by their fans and music experts in Greece and abroad as the one and only band of the 90's which faithfully revives and improves the fine psychedelic music of the 60's and 70's. The band was formed in Athens, Greece in 1987 by Costas Constantinou (born Athens, 1960), a gifted and inspired man who plays guitar, sings, composes music and writes lyrics of exceptional sensitivity and beauty, in the fine tradition of the futuristic psychedelic philosophy. The band recorded their first album which was released in June 1988 andtitled '' E X I T # 4 '' At the beginning of 1990, PURPLE OVERDOSE, started the recording sessions for their next album, which was finally released in April of the same year, again by ''PEGASUS Records'' and titled ''INDIGO''. Another small independent record label outside Athens ,''FIFTH DIMENSION'', asked PURPLE OVERDOSE to record a couple of new songs in order to release a 7''single . They remixed an outtake track from the album ''INDIGO'', '2008 Old View' and recorded a new one 'You Lose It'. On both tracks they hired as organ player an old pal Vasilis Kapanikis (who soon after that joined the band) and on drums the session musician Makis Bellos. The above single was released in 1993 to a limited edition of abt.1000 copies. When their drummer returned from the army PURPLE OVERDOSE started the recording sessions on March 12, 1994 at the studio 'PERIPOU'.. By the end of the sessions on April 7 they realized that they had created an exceptional album which was simply titled ''PURPLE OVERDOSE'' as a sign of their new beginning. The new album was released on June 7,1994 by 'PEGASUS' with an extraordinary cover which was a giant poster of a painting by Iliana Noea. Inside the multicolored cover was a vinyl record with 8 new masterpieces of psychedelic music. PURPLE OVERDOSE'S album received a very warm reception from the Greek musical press and also from abroad, describing it as one of the finest psychedelic albums worldwide. ''PEGASUS Records'' soon after that released their two earlier albums in coloured vinyl (EXIT #4 in yellow and ''INDIGO'' in red). A new album is ready by early 1996. Recorded by the band from December 16, 1995 to February 21, 1996 at PERIPOU' studios with Andreas Troussas once more as recording engineer and co-producer with the band. 'PEGASUS' released the album on May 13,1996 which was titled ''SOLEMN VISIONS''. By mid 1998 they had signed to a new independent small company ''ACTION RECORDS'' and in November of the same year recording sessions began at ''ACTION'' studios in Athens. Recording engineer was Aris Christou. After 180 hours of recordings everything was ready. It's a concept album and the first PURPLE OVERDOSE material to be released on CD. The title of the new album is ''REBORN'' and it was released on April 22,1999. How can one describe a masterpiece? PURPLE OVERDOSE steals the heart of every listener of 'REBORN'. A hopeful message of sensitive and optimistic viewS about the coming of the new century, is the meaning of 'REBORN' . In Spain, magazine 'ATROPOS' rated this album with the maximum and wrote the following as a conclusion to the review….''probably is the best psychedelic band in the world. But what a pity! They are not from England….'' (JAN. 2000). A series of selected performances, electric and unplugged, were recorded in the spring of 2000 in various clubs and the material collected was very good and more than enough for a CD and a double vinyl record set. During September the band spent time remixing the recorded material and the album released February 7th on CD and June 7th 2001 on a limited edition vinyl containing different songs from the CD. The title of the album ,''THE SALMON'S TRIP LIVE! ,was an idea of their manager Steven Panagiotakis trying to describe the 13 hard years of the band's history in the rock scene of Greece, identical to the counter-current voyage of salmon trying to fulfill its destiny in life, against all odds… The band throughout the years deserves an unexpected publicity in Greece and abroad.Many radio stations,especially European and American ones include tracks from the "Salmon's Trip Live" in their playlist. By the June of 2004 a small but devoted new record company from Salonica,"ON STAGE Records" interested to release a tape with early but unreleased recordings and a demo of "Indigo" which recorded in 1989 with alternates.Band agreed and on August 12th a brand new quality vinyl album was available.Soon after a new circle of interviews started in magazines, tracks from this album entered the playlists mostly in USA and Europe (as usually). After all these 19 years, PURPLE OVERDOSE, remains an underground band devoted completely to its dream: The evolution of the futuristic and visionary psychedelic music of the 60's.
Here's his thoughts on psychedelic music:
1. In ten words-or less, define "psychedelic music."
It's a music for mind expanding and for the body.
2. What is the most psychedelic instrument, why?
Fuzz and feedback guitar for the creation and sitar as the further evolution of this music.
3. Favorite psychedelic album of all time?
"Electric Music for the mind and body" by C.JOE & THE FISH
4. If you could be a member of any band in history, what band would it be and what would you play?
5. Roky or Syd, why?
Syd, I believe he was a much more talented composer.
6. What era has the best roster of psychedelic music? (60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s..?) Why?
The 60's because this music created from the people and the culture of that era becoming a global wave.
7. What album do you wish more people knew about in the psychedelic genre?
8. What band, active today, most defines "psychedelic" to you?
ST. MIKAEL from Sweden.
9. Top Ten Psychedelic Songs?
"Nam Myo Renge Kyo" by MUSIC EMPORIUM
"Trip Through Hell" by CA QUINTET
"Colours" by HUNGER
"Section 43" by C.JOE & THE FISH
"My Friend" by FOREVER AMBER
"I" by THE ELECTRIC PRUNES
"Why Can't It Rain" by McCULLY WORKSHOP
"Mescalina" by TRAFFIC SOUND
"Someday" by LAGHONIA
"My Norwegian Butterfly" by COMPLEX
(Editor's Note: HOO! I love that Traffic Sound!)
10. Turn the tables, if you'd like, and ask me a question.
Costas: What you could do for a good psychedelic band to survive?
-valis: Support them as much as possible, in every way possible. After that it's "Ars longa, vita brevis..."
Thank you Costas! Also, a big thank you to Stefanos, manager of Purple Overdose, for acting as go-between on my behalf and making this possible. You're a gentleman Stafanos.