‘Groundbreaking, Electrified, Heavy’ | Interview with Babel Trio

Electrifying energy, gorgeous traditional mediterranean flavored riffs and massive psychedelic stoner sound. From Crete, Greece to your loudspeakers. Read our discussion with Babel Trio.

Describe your sound in three words.

Groundbreaking – Electrified – Heavy

You blend traditional elements from Crete with a heavy, psychedelic, post rock soundscape. Tell us a few things about your creative process. Would it be safe to assume that your tracks mostly start with a riff?

Completely safe and accurate! We mostly rely on experimentation! When a riff comes up we start to jam on it and experiment a lot. That’s in general our building process, lyrics come along and experimentation continues until there is a full structure and boom we have a new song!

You already have three albums which do sound different. For example your first album did focus on instrumentals. How do you think your sound has evolved over the years?

Our sound through the years became heavier, we somehow connect our music production to the social state that we live in, the Greek but also the global society has taken a dystrophic turn and we can’t put it aside. Progressively and psychedelic elements also coexist with this heavy riff style we embraced, and of course we feel that our sound isn’t something static it has evolved and we expect it to evolve further in the future.

Your riffs are gorgeous indeed. Tell us the biggest riff you wish you had composed yourselves.

Thank you very much! We like our riffs more than everything the truth is! There is a vast world of BIG riffs out there that we are fans of and it’s difficult to distinguish only one! But just to get in the mood of the question we would like to compose the riff in “Holy Wars” from “Megadeath”. It’s explosive, fast and thrash to the bone!

Additionally, your riffs contain microtonal intervals. Is Music theory in the end, considering that it strongly focuses on Western composers, kind of racist?

Racists are people, not music. We build our riffs on the modal system of our music culture, the “maqam” world, that is part of the east Mediterranean – middle eastern music, the are many musicians nowadays that experiment through mixing there local music with western elements and with the tradition of heavy rock music. In general cross-genre productions are now very important in order to say no to racism and other conservative ideologies.

Name one Greek artist (active or not) with the quality to make an international career if they had used Foreign lyrics in their songs.

“Trypes” is the most famous Greek rock band. We grew up listening to their music from early ages. Unfortunately, the band is not active for the moment. This would be a band with the quality to hit global reputation if they had used English lyrics!

Adding to our previous question, considering you use Greek lyrics, is language a barrier in music? Is it an extra challenge when it comes to promotion?

Most common language in music are English. Considering voice as an instrument, English are also the most common sound in singing. Of course, is the best language to convey the meaning of your music lyrics but most important for us is to stay authentic. We like to sing as we speak! As our lyrics are mostly taken from the Greek folk tradition and poetry, we feel that our language is the best way to express ourselves and the society around us.

What is the story behind your name? Is it inspired by the biblical story?

After we connected to each other through jamming and started to composing ideas, we concluded that what we have is a band and we needed a name for it… an afternoon as Dimitris was sleeping on it, He dreamed of the famous picture of Bruegel “the Babel tower”. When He woke up Babel was the name that came to my mind. It fitted to our band, we have so many influences of so many different genres and we are combining many “roots” to come to synthesis. The difference between our meaning and the biblical story is that we actually build the tower through this process than destroying it.

Can you share something funny that happened during one of your gigs? And what would be your dream performance venue?

One of our concerts is taking place, almost every year, in Fortuna Club in Sougia, a small seaside village in the south. There were a guy in the audience that started dancing from the first tune of our gig, alone on stage! He was dancing in a way that could not go unnoticed! A funny way we could say that we couldn’t mention after the live and laugh! When the concert finish we met this lovely guy, Mr. George, and talk with him about his dancing! All this is still unforgettable! Except these rare experiences we have through our concerts, we are dreaming ourselves performing in the biggest festivals in the world like Coachella and Desert Fest! We hope one day we‘ll hit these stages too!

Do you live in Crete throughout the year? What do you love/hate about the island?

We are living in the island throughout the year for almost 20 years now. We admire the authenticity of the locals and we hate patriarchy that is rooted deep in the culture of some groups of people living in the island. We love the island of Crete in general. We love the sea, the sun the special wild beauty of the landscapes and also the traditional Cretan festival particular taking place in many villages of the island.

Thank you!

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