A journey into the inside – interview with Theodoros Dimitriou of Lefki Symphonia

Lefki Symphonia was formed in February 1984 in Athens, Greece. Their first album titled Mistiki Kipi (Secret Gardens) was released in April 1986 by EMI Greece. In 1987 they played two concerts in Barcelona Spain in the Biennale and participated in the Biennal 87 album with the song I Vrohi Pefti Dinata (The Rain Is Falling Hard). In August 1988 Lefki Symphonia released their second album titled Iho Tou Pothou (Echo Of Desire) on EMI GreeceLefki Symphonia is the first greek band to appear on MTV in 1988 with the video clip of the song Kitazodas Piso (Looking Back) a production of MTV, filmed in Athens.

In 1990 the band moved to Berlin Germany, lived there for almost three years, playing concerts mainly in Germany, and recorded their third album titled Lefki Symphonia. In 1993, they returned to Greece and released the 12” EP Tha Ime Eki (I Will Be There) and the album Lefki Symphonia (Warner Music Greece). The video of the song has been directed by the famous cult director Nikos Nikolaidis. Οn May of the same year their drummer Spyros Harisis, committed suicide at the age of 27.

On the 26th of June 1993, the band played the 1st Rock Marathon Festival with The Cult and Metallica in Athens and toured in Greece and Germany. In June 1996 Lefki Symphonia released their fourth album titled Hromata (Colours) on FM Records and toured constantly in Greece. The band appeared live on stage at Piraeus 117 Academy in Athens on Saturday 9.12.2017 and started touring major Greek cities, playing festivals, and preparing the new 5th album, San Ton Ilio (Like The Sun).

While the group is currently working on their new sixth album, the follow up of the highly acclaimed San Ton Ilio (Like The Sun), the new official video of the song Eki Pu O Anemos Rotai Gia Esena (There Where The Wind Is Asking For You) is out now. Here’s our interview with Theodoros Dimitriou (singer, lyricist, songwriter)!

Beginnings:

The members of the first formation of the band were originating from two neighboring outskirt areas of Athens. Our bassist Diogenis, were friends with drummer Spyros. They met with our first guitarist Takis – who was a common friend and with whom I had already started playing in a school band – on a way to a concert. They thought to bring all the guys together to discuss the possibility of starting a band. This was the beginning of the band in 1984. After some personnel changes through the years, I and Diogenis are the remaining founding members, and together with our drummer Vangelis Tsimplakis who joined the band in 2017, and Kostas Mihalos on guitar who joined in 2019 we are Lefki Symphonia in 2021. With this formation the band played numerous concerts and recorded the 2020 album ‘’San Ton Ilio/Like The Sun’’ and the newest single Black Twilight as well.

Behind the name:

The name Lefki Symphonia came from a brainstorming session we did, aiming to find a name for the band. Lefki means white in Greek and Symphonia has the meaning of the agreement. We came to choose this name at once. It is a name that means that we, the members of the band have done a sort of agreement between us to make music and express ourselves and our musical ideas without any sort of restrictions or terms.

Inspiration:

We have been inspired by psychedelic and progressive underground bands of the 60s-70s as well as classic rock bands, The Doors, Pink Floyd. The classic new wave, goth and darkwave bands like Joy Division, The Cure, Sisters Of Mercy were of great inspiration to us, also the top grunge bands like Soundgarden and Alice In Chains. We currently listen to the new scene of darkwave and goth groups and bands like Katatonia or Opeth, Ulver or Draconian as well.

Teamwork:

I write all the lyrics and compose some fully integrated songs. Most of the musical part of the material, I compose with Diogenis. We jam and try things together and then each one of the members does pre-production work in his personal studio. We exchange files and add musical ideas to the songs. The final orchestration work we do in our band studio, when we rehearse for the new album, normally two-three times a week. When we are ready to record the album, we go into the recording studio with our producer Ektoras Tsolakis and finish it.

Inspiration behind the upcoming album:

I write the new songs’ lyrics in both languages, Greek and English. Each song is about and inspired by the search a person does inside himself trying to explore the dark side and express it. Search for possibilities to be free and express feelings, try to live outside the given norms and rules, examine ways to escape from society’s restraints and boring modern way of life. Maybe we will release two albums, one in Greek and one in English, we will see. It will be the follow-up to a well-received album. Right now we do the pre-production work and we are planning to go into the recording studio at the end of the coming May. We are going to release two singles with videos. One during the coming summer and one in autumn. This will keep us busy working for the finalization of the upcoming 6th album. It will be released sometime in 2021, hopefully in October of this year. We have already started to plan some concert dates for 2022 in Greece and abroad.

A journey into the inside.

Describe the upcoming album in five words!

COVID-19:

Last year was a hard and strange year for everyone. As many people have lost their lives because of COVID-19, others have lost their jobs and most are psychologically in a bad situation, depressed, and in fear. This situation has affected everybody in the band and our plans for the future as well. Hopefully, this will change soon. Unfortunately, we had to postpone and finally cancel the scheduled concerts and tour from spring 2020 and on. But we have tried to remain positive and productive. We are in the making of the new 6th album right now. We keep on working and making plans. We have just released the new video of the song “Eki Pu O Anemos Rotai Gia Esena” (There Where The Wind Is Asking For You). A song out of the last album “San Ton Ilio” (Like The Sun), the 6th video out of it. The video was made by Melanie Merges-Dimitriou with whom we have also worked together on the previous one Dakri (Tear). We are very happy with the result achieved. Both videos are doing really well.

Online concerts:

We are not big fans of live streaming. We believe and hope that this cannot and will not replace real live shows. But it does for the moment. The best aspect out of this situation is that maybe in the future real live concerts and live streaming will work together, so you can see your favorite band on demand when they do a show on the other side of the globe. The bright side of this is that it can work as a new challenge for us, keep the band in action, besides the recordings of the new album, and finally give something to the fans during this time we cannot meet. We are also planning to film and record live streaming of our own. All dates will be announced soon.

We wish everybody stays safe and in good health and hope to see our fans again in live concerts soon.
Until now the upcoming dates are as follows:
Midnight Club Bergamo Open Air Festival (Italy) 7.8.2021
Eightball Club Thessaloniki (Greece) 19.11.2021 with Algiers (USA)
Temple Athens (Greece) 20.11.2021 with Algiers (USA)
Street Dreams Festival Panellinios Gymnastikos Syllogos Open Air Stadium Athens (Greece) 8.5.2022

Coverphoto by Giorgos Nikolaidis (1986)

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