New Zero God are a super band of the greatest calibre, they include three members of Greece’s greatest goth band The Flowers Of Romance. Since they formed in 2006 they have attracted quite a lot of attention in a very good way. 2013 hails the release of their new album MMXIII through Secret Sin Records and a tour starting in February. Alteria Motives Ezine got a chance to catch up with New Zero God and here is how it went.
Phlis: Thank you so much for giving Alteria Motives Ezine this interview, can you give our readers a little back ground about yourselves?
New Zero God: The current line up of New Zero God is: (me) Mike Pougounas (Vocals), Dimitris “Sidheog” Steves (Drums), Harris Stavrakas (Bass), and Lao (Guitars).
I was with The Flowers Of Romance from 1981 to 1998. We started as a punk rock outfit, changed into post punk, and finally transformed our sound into Gothic. The band released a number of albums and singles. One of our albums was recorded in Bristol and was produced by Wayne Hussey (of the Mission, Sisters of Mercy, Dead or Alive fame). You’ll also find him playing guitars and singing backing vocals in some of the tracks. The Flowers Of Romance opened for bands such as The Sisters of Mercy and New Model Army in the 90’s and had a couple of songs on the Top 10 in Greece. For most of the 80s, Lao was the guitar player of the band and for almost 13 years Harris Stavrakas was the bass player.
When the band split, I formed an Industrial Goth band, Nexus. This is where I started working with drummer Dimitris Steves (former member of the new wave band, The Drops, and drummer of the Dutch band, Mecano). With Nexus we released four albums and one single, and we opened for The Mission. It was a four piece act that ceased to exist in 2005, and by 2006 we decided to form New Zero God in order to leave behind the computers and technology of industrial to play traditional Goth and post punk.
The band opened for Christian Death and The Legendary Pink Dots and by 2010 we released our first album, “Fun Is A Four Letter Word”. During May 2011, I was invited to take part in an international cover release of David Bowie’s “Everyone Says Hi” to benefit England’s ‘The Sophie Lancaster Foundation’ (S.O.P.H.I.E.) along with artists such as: Gary Clarke (The Hiram Key, Cureheads), Trevor Bamford (Midnight Configuration), Tony and Mick Porter (Nightporter), ANKST from South Africa, and the American band Strap on Halo.
A few months later, on December 22, 2011, the song “Second Chance” was released as a Special Edition single under the moniker of New Zero God & Friends. A number of international musicians joined the members of New Zero God for the charity fundraiser to benefit the American foundation, HAWC (Healing Abuse, Working for Change). “Second Chance” remained at the #1 spot on the USA’s CD Baby Goth and Glam charts for the whole of January, 2012.
Secret Sin Records, UK, offered to release a mini album of the band, titled “Club Bizarre”, which was released during the summer of 2012.
After a couple of line up changes, Lao and Harris joined me and Dimitris and we recorded our new album, “MMXIII”, which was also released through Secret Sin Records on 13.01.13…
Phlis:The Flowers Of Romance were amazing and are a pretty tough act to follow. How do you feel New Zero God is different from The Flowers Of Romance?
New Zero God: New Zero God is more mature and outspoken. The message is obvious in the lyrics. On the other hand, we picked the name The Flowers Of Romance as a tribute to Sid Vicious and while we started as a political punk rock band, gradually my lyrics became softer, more gloomy, more esoteric, and romantic… Since there is a time difference between the two bands, New Zero God is with one foot in the 80s and the other foot in the 2010’s with all the differences in between… New Zero God is freer to experiment…
Phlis: Apart from the original band members do you feel a part of The Flowers Of Romance lives on in New Zero God?
New Zero God: Yes, it does. We can’t change our past. It is a part of our lives. A big part. And we carry it with us. Since three out of four of us shared the same experiences on stage for many years, it is difficult to wake up one day and ask “…Flowers of what?”
Phlis: What was the inspiration behind your band name of New Zero God?
New Zero God: Lack of authority… Dimitris came up with the name and we thought it was a powerful name. It also combines three words that can’t be combined: new, nothing, and absolute power… Although they are there, you are left with one thought: Lack of authority… Nothing…
Phlis: Greece is rich in history and mythical stories which have become legendary worldwide. What is your favourite story in Greek Mythology?
New Zero God: My favourite story is the tale of the Titan, Prometheus. Zeus gave him and his brother, Epimethius, the task of gifting humans and animals with different powers. The only gift they were not allowed to give was fire because that was reserved for the gods. Epimethius never thought ahead and he gave all the powers to the animals. Prometheus felt bad for the humans and stole the fire to give them as a gift. With that gift, humans were able to progress and advance their civilizations.
Zeus was furious with Prometheus for rebelling against the gods. Prometheus was viewed as an anarchist rebel for fighting against Zeus's tyrannical monarchy. The gods devised a cruel and eternal punishment for Prometheus. The immortal Titan was chained to a rock. Every day Zeus sent an eagle to eat Prometheus's liver ... and every day his liver grew back only to be pecked out again. Thus was the power and cruelty of the gods -- along with the Titan strength to persevere.
Phlis: MMXIII has just being released through Secret Sin Records, why did you decide to choose a UK record label over one from mainland Europe?
New Zero God: Because New Zero God and Angels Of Liberty sound like a match made in Gothic Heaven…haha…I am just kidding…
Secret Sin got in touch with us in order to release the mini album “Club Bizarre”. The collaboration was excellent and we agreed for the next release, “MMXIII”. After releasing our first album, Greece fell into a turbulent state and the local market collapsed. During that same time, New Zero God was being featured on compilations in the UK and Germany and the foreign press got all excited with us.Secret Sin’s offer came at the right time to help us make the next step…
Phlis: How has MMXIII been received so far in the press?
New Zero God: To be honest, it is too early to know. We are anxiously waiting for the reviews. Those who have bought the album love it and we are very happy with what they are saying. But, we are also waiting for the press…
Phlis: What are you most proud of about MMXIII?
New Zero God: I am proud of the band. While harsh reality is so sick, the band did a great job and laid down wonderful songs. Music is a way out. And “MMXIII” took us away from this misery that we see around us every day. To use something from one of the songs: “In Dreams We Trust”…
Phlis: You start a tour in February, what dates have been confirmed so far?
New Zero God: February 22 we will play at Death Disco, in Athens. We know a few days later we’ll be in another Greek city up north, Thessaloniki. We are waiting for confirmation of dates in central Athens. Probably we’ll visit Germany for four gigs and Switzerland for two, then back to Greece. We were told we will play in Crete and then it’s back in Athens again. Dates are not confirmed at the moment apart from February 22nd.
Phlis: What do you feel are the best and worst parts about touring?
New Zero God: The best part is having fun with the band. A lot of funny things happen off stage that you will say again and again for years. You also meet new and old friends and people you have had contact with over time, but had never met in person. The worst part is travelling. It is tiring…
Phlis: What music are you currently listening to?
New Zero God: Oh, that is complicated… I like listening to bands such as Sicknote, The King Blues, Jim Jones Revue, Strawberry Blondes, Grooving In Green, Berlin Black, Mr Bligh, March Violets, jazz, punk rock, 60’s garage, rockabilly… I don’t listen to just one genre… It depends on the mood and there is a lot of good music out there…
Phlis: Do you have any regrets in life?
New Zero God: Not as far as I can recall…
Phlis: Thanks so much for giving Alteria Motives this interview, is there anything you would like to add?
New Zero God: I’d like to thank you very much for this wonderful interview and I’d like to wish to you and your readers all the best for this New Year. Never stop dreaming – hold on to your dreams!!!
Take care and be safe…
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