Gioumourtzina is a two-piece synth-heavy duo out of Thessaloniki, Greece. Their sound is a unique one, as it mixes and matches pieces of early 80s alternative, electronic, and Gothic vibes into a very modern sound. There’s a little Depeche Mode here, some Echo and the Bunnymen there, add a pinch of New Order and some Bauhaus darkness and finish it off with a touch of Luis Vasquez’ Soft Moon for good measure. Now don’t take that to mean Gioumourtzina’s Anestis Neiros and John Tselikas are merely copying and pasting their favorite bands into their own sound. On the contrary, these two have cultivated their own brand of dark and mysterious electro Goth that is quite unique; not only to the region, but to the electronic music scene at large. This is music you fall into. Their debut, Blakk Metall is the result of combining two distinct personalities and eccentricities and the trials and tribulations that come with that kind of musical partnership. Blakk Metall, while a wink and a nod to another, more pained musical playground, dabbles in pleasure and pain. It lives and breathes in the darkness, while still occasionally reaching for the light.
I spoke to the band about their music, the album, and the budding synth music scene in Greece.
J. Hubner: So tell me about the band. How did Gioumourtzina come together? What bands did you two play in previously?
Anestis Neiros: Gioumourtzina came together by accident… I was searching for musicians to work on some of my tracks when I met Yannis. At first we were planning to make a full band, but working together we found out that we could make an interesting duet. Since then we have been a really happy couple.
As for me, I have been writing and playing music since I was 19, so through these years I took part in many bands playing various kinds of music.
J. Hubner: The sound is very unique. A mix of early 80s goth, UK electronic, and dark wave synth. When you two came together who were bands you bonded over and what helped to mold the sound we hear on your debut ‘Blakk Metall‘?
Anestis Neiros: I cannot say which bands we bonded over. However, I can definitely say that there are differences between us, concerning our musical taste! I think that these differences emerged through our musical interaction and finally contributed to the sound of Blakk Metall.
J. Hubner: This is an intoxicating LP. From “Russian Market” to “Blakk Metall” the album goes from exotic to dreamy to eerie darkness. What is the songwriting process like for Gioumourtzina? How does a song come to fruition from start to finish for you two?
Anestis Neiros: Songwritting process isnt the same for all of our songs. It depends on many factors. In general, I could say that someone starts writing down an idea. Sometimes we work together developing the song as we play the first idea again and again, or we work separately and then we put the parts together. In case that we disagree on a music issue, violence is the solution!
J. Hubner: Besides great songs, the album was engineered beautifully as well. Were there any albums that you two wanted to follow in their sonic footprints when going in to mixing and mastering ‘Blakk Metall’? Was the mixing and engineering done by you two, or did you have anyone in the studio helping out? Was the record self-produced?
Anestis Neiros: Sure,” Black” by Soft moon and “Dive” by Tycho were something like reference albums in my mind. The mixing process was done by us and mastering process was done by Giannis Christodoulatos by Sweetspot Productions. Blakk Metall was produced by Inner Ear Records located in Patra, Greece. We would like to thank once again Periklis and Inner Ear Records for their support and contribution.
J. Hubner: What’s a Gioumourtzina live show like? Do people leave your shows with their psyche good and blown?
Anestis Neiros: Intensity, beating and sweat! For me a live show is the most exciting part! I really enjoy it! But you know…I am a member of the band!
J.Hubner: What’s the synth scene like in Greece?
Anestis Neiros: There are some great bands in Greece such as Kid Flicks, Melorman, Vercetti Technicolor, Mechanimal, Pan Pan, Larry Gus and NTEIBINT.
J. Hubner: So what’s next for the band? Will Gioumourtzina continue to release albums? What’s the future hold for you two?
Anestis Neiros: Currently, we are focused on releasing our second album and we are working on enhancing our sound in our new songs. Down the road, we are going to participate in some great shows, such as Reworks Festival that is taking place on 14th -18th September in Athens.
Check out Gioumourtzina and grab their album here. Blakk Metall is on Inner Ear Records. Check them out here.