EMQ’s with DOPE DEFAULT
Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Greek Metal band, Dope Default. Huge thanks to them for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
We are Dope Default, a five-piece metal band from Thessaloniki, Greece. We play mainstream metal music, with some stoner, doom and groove metal elements. We were formed in 2015 and we’ve been with our current line-up since 2018. So far, we’ve released 2 EPs and 3 albums, the latest of which is ‘Division’, which came out on March 3rd.
How did you come up with your band name?
We were looking for something that summed up the kind of music we play and the place we come from. ‘Dope’ is a word that is associated a lot with stoner music, which was the kind we played when we began. ‘Default’ we felt made a great pair with ‘dope’, since it was a word that was being thrown around a lot at the time, back in 2015 when Greece was supposed to ‘default’ on its debts. This pairing was quite unique, short and catchy and, besides, no one had come up with that before. So that was that!
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We are from Thessaloniki, Greece’s second biggest city and home to a vibrant music scene. Our city is the hometown of quite a lot of famous domestic bands and artists. It is sometimes considered the ‘Mecca’ of Greek rock. And speaking of the Greek rock scene in general, it is of course quite rich and up-and-coming. People all around the world support Greek bands and know that stuff that Greek bands put out is worth checking out!
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
‘Division’ is our latest album, which came out on March 3rd this year. It’s an album that took a lot of hard work, a lot of effort and a lot of love to make. And it’s something that we are really proud of! It was supposed to come out right after the release of our first single and music video ‘Down to Pieces’. However, Covid postponed everything, but it allowed us to take our sweet time and make everything on the new album sound as better as possible.
Who have been your greatest influences?
The big heavy metal bands like Metallica, Pantera, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath are our biggest influences. And more modern bands like Ghost, Lamb of God and Stone Sour. And of course, the big bands of the Greek rock scene have always been a big influence.
What first got you into music?
We all got into rock music in our teenage years, which was around the time when we picked up our individual instruments. We all felt the urge to not only mimic our “idols” but also make music of our own and make a name for ourselves. We’re very happy to have found each other and be able to play together, the five of us!
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
It would probably be Ghost. Or, if we had to pick just one musician, Corey Taylor.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Wacken comes to mind! It’s a big festival, perhaps the biggest metal festival in Europe. A lot of the bands we love have made legendary appearances in Wacken. Playing that stage would be a dream come true!
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
We haven’t received anything, however, if anyone likes, we’re accepting cheques!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Thank you very much for sticking with us through the years and especially for supporting us during the pandemic! Your help and appreciation are what keep us rolling and we couldn’t be where we are without you!
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Cliff Burton. He was a music genius and a bass pioneer. Seeing as Metallica became the legendary band that they are today, one can only wonder how much better things would have been if Cliff Burton was alive.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
The creative process. Making new music, writing new stuff, getting your heart out! And of course playing live! There’s nothing better than that.
The thing to hate would probably be the unpaid hours! Music takes a lot of sacrifice, a lot of hard work and a lot of wasted hours, during which you almost never get paid. That’s probably what happens in every art form and it’s something that drives a lot of people out.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
We’d like to get the PR factor out of the way, the personal relations, the who-you-know kind of stuff. As difficult as it is to accept, who you know, how well you talk and your personal social media presence plays a big part in your band’s success. We’d like to get rid of that, if we could. Music should be appreciated for itself, no matter where it comes from.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
It’s really hard to get five different people to agree on one song, let alone one album! However, Metallica is a common denominator in our band, and the “Black Album” really stands out.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, or Downloads?
We’re a pretty modern band so we’ll go with downloads! There’s nothing wrong with digital music, it’s a format that can provide enjoyment and appreciation of music. But of course, the vinyl record has an allure of its own. We are all avid vinyl collectors and we like to buy albums in vinyl! And CDs are great, too, since we all grew up at the time when they were the most popular music format. Cassettes, although a big part of our childhood, are more of a nostalgia item, rather than a great way to enjoy music.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Our last show before covid comes to mind, in our hometown at the Rover band, with fellow Thessaloniki rockers ‘The Walking Stone Giants’. It was a great show, a great night and we made a lot of friends that day. Other than that, the ‘Ram the Spot’ festival, which was the biggest crowd we’ve ever played for, comes to mind. It was a big festival, big stage, lights etc. and we remember it very fondly.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
We’d still be involved in art, in one way or another. We don’t know what, specifically, but something in art.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Lemmy, Ozzy, Dio, Bruce Dickinson and Tobias Sammett.
What’s next for the band?
We’re planning on doing some shows in support of our new album. We also hope to play a big festival this summer. And, of course, we’ll start working on new material as soon as possible. This is what we’ve always done. Once we finish a record we immediately start working on the new one.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
They are biscuits. Cake needs to be big and you need to cut it into pieces. So they are biscuits.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
We hope you listen to ‘Division’ and enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it!
‘Down to Pieces’ music video
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