As you are still pretty unknown, please, introduce the band to us.
CRYSTAL TEARS were formed in 1997 and three demo CDs are released since then: “Skies Of Eternity” (1999), “Promoworks” (2000) and “Embrace The Horror” (2002). We have changed three solid line-ups so far, the latest consisted of Natasa Pandreia on vocals, Dimitris Goutziamanis on the guitars, Stratos Dionisopoulos on the bass and Chrisafis Tantanozis on the drums. Some of our highlights were the concerts with JAG PANZER, RIOT and W.A.S.P. and our co-operation with famous people in the rock / metal scene, such as Joe Petagno, Chris Tsangarides and R. D. Liapakis. In 2006 we signed a record deal with german Pure Steel records for our first official release “Choirs Of Immortal”.
When did it all start?
Chrisafis: It all started a couple of years ago, when new ideas were being born, while several line-up changes appeared in sight. After the completion of the “Choirs Of Immortal” recordings and the confirmation of the new CRYSTAL TEARS line-up, we started to approach record labels, producers and cover artists more passionate than ever. We talked with a lot of people, we were given a lot of advices, we saw how things work in a more detailed way. This time we moved into a different level.
Do you still remember the moment you thought “I want to play heavy metal”?
Stratos: Yeah! It was at the age of thirteen, when I said I want to play! But it took a couple of years until I did it… ha, ha!
Chrisafis: At the age of ten I think, when I first listened to GUNS N’ ROSES.
Which bands had and have a huge impact on your songs?
Stratos: Mmm… I would name IRON MAIDEN and HELLOWEEN. These are the bands that come in my mind right now.
Chrisafis: Actually, you can find different music tastes between the band members. RAMONES, DIO, W.A.S.P. and ALICE COOPER are our all time favourites individually. And we try to combine all these influences the best way possible.
The first demos you had a male singer. Did you plan to continue with a female voice or where you just impressed by Natasa's outstanding voice?
Chrisafis: Well… it just happened. You see, I could never imagine CRYSTAL TEARS with a band member other than male :-), especially on vocals. When I was in search of a singer, Natasa approached me and persistently insisted on checking on her. She fought a lot for her place and she made it. She has a great rock / metal voice on the paths of Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P. and R. J. Dio.
What the hell must a girl do to get such a voice?
Stratos: It comes from inside. Natasa loves to sing. She sings anywhere, anytime.
Chrisafis: Sex change… ha, ha!
Are you surprised some people can't do anything with Natasa’s way of singing?
Chrisafis: Every person is unique. There are different characteristics that you can find among different people. No one is better or worse than someone else.
Is it a compliment or a burden that Natasa is compared with metal queens like Leather Leone or Gigi Hangach?
Stratos: It is a compliment that creates a lot of burdens… J
How did you get in contact with Volker of Pure Steel Records?
Chrisafis: I know the guy for years! He has given his life to promote heavy metal music in a wider audience. He is a cool and a trustworthy person. One day he announced to me the founding of Pure Steel records and asked for our latest work. Later on, he and his label partners proposed to us a record deal. We discussed over it, we found a common ground and here we are, having our first official CD released by Pure Steel records.
What do you expect in the near future after your first official album?
The second official album… :-)
What is the feedback you have been receiving for "Choirs Of Immortal" so far?
Chrisafis: It seems to go interestingly well! We have been receiving a lot of e-mails and reviews with heartening words and requests for interviews from all over the world! Very encouraging indeed! And we hope it goes on like this!
Are you going to play any old stuff on stage?
Stratos: Of course we perform old stuff on stage! There are old tunes that are equally qualitative with the new stuff. And these tunes have to be heard! They deserve it.
By the way: When will you come to Germany and play some gigs?
Stratos: :-) You know something that we don’t know :-) ? It is in our plans man…
Besides Natasa's voice, what do you think is the biggest improvement in your music, compared to your first recordings?
Chrisafis: Everything! We have been playing for years and CRYSTAL TEARS is a band that works really hard! There is a lot of persistence and faith in what we do. We never settle down and each single day we try to learn by our mistakes and become better in our music and in our personal lives.
What was your greatest moment as musicians?
So many things occurred the last year… Our co-operation with legendary cover artist Joe Petagno (MOTORHEAD, LED ZEPPELIN, PINK FLOYD, ALICE COOPER etc.), with producer R.D. Liapakis (MYSTIK PROPHECY, FIREWIND, CHASTAIN etc.), with Grammy award producer Chris Tsangarides (JUDAS PRIEST, GARY MOORE, DEPECHE MODE, BLACK SABBATH, OZZY OSBOURNE, THIN LIZZY, MALMSTEEN, HELLOWEEN, BRUCE DICKINSON etc.). Our contact with Michael Wagener (METALLICA, ALICE COOPER, OZZY OSBOURNE, W.A.S.P., ACCEPT, SKID ROW, DOKKEN etc.) and famous musicians, our concerts with RIOT and W.A.S.P., to hold our first official release in our hands…
The RIOT gig, our contact with Joe Petagno, when I learned that Joe Petagno is an
ouzo lover :-) :-), when our music was played in Swordbrothers festival speakers and people were asking about it.
What does heavy metal mean to you?
Stratos: It is a way of life.
Chrisafis: Adrenalin, honesty and freedom.
Thanks for answering the questions. Please finish the interview with the last words.
Stratos: Thanks a lot for the interview, maybe we will meet each other in the near future, if we ever play in Germany!
Chrisafis: Stratos, you know something that I don’t know… :-) ? Ok, thanks a lot for your support and your readers for their time! Rock!!!