EMQ’s With SANDS OF ETERNITY
Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Greek Heavy/ Power Metal band, Sands Of Eternity. Huge thanks to their guitarist Ioannis and Vocalist Michael 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?
Ioannis: My name is Ioannis Ioakimides I play the guitar and I am the main composer of the band. Sands Of Eternity were originally formed as Hourglass Sands Of Eternity back in 1996 and split up after two demos and an album in 2002. Fast forward to 2021 I joined forces with singer Michael Dice and producer Bob Katsionis to record 10 brand new songs for our second album “Beyond The Realms Of Time” and also dropping “Hourglass” from the name of the band and keeping only “Sands Of Eternity”.
How did you come up with your band name?
Ioannis: The original name of the band came from an Hourglass we had as teenagers that inspired us to name the band after it, also appending “Sands Of Eternity” to make the name more unique. Now in 2021 when we decided to begin with the band again, we decided to drop “Hourglass” as we deemed it as too generic, but we kept “Sands Of Eternity”. That is the tie between the new and the old band and we like the way it resonates, and the way it related to the concepts of time and infinity.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
Ioannis: We are from Athens, Greece. The Metal / Rock scene is quite mature in Greece with a lot of bands that are having a positive impact, especially in the area of heavy and power metal. Bands like Warrior Path, Stray Gods, Subfire, Sacred Outcry just to name a few.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Dice: Our latest release is the Album “Beyond The Realms Of Time” from Symmetric Records, released in May 6th 2022.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Ioannis: I would say that our musical influences are defined by the great bands of Classical Heavy/Power metal such as Warlord, Helloween, Stratovarius, Savatage, Kamelot and Judas Priest, while I personally like Iron Maiden very much, whose influence might not be so obvious in our compositions, but we borrow elements of their lyricism.
Dice: The approach to the vocals in terms of technique and performance are definitely influenced and defined by my favourite singers such as Geoff Tate, Ray Alder, Roy Khan, Eric Adams and Rob Halford.
What first got you into music?
Dice: I was introduced into the hard sound when I was a little kid in the 80s, when I first listened to Survivor’s “Burning Heart” during a national TV show. I was astonished by the vocals of Jimi Jameson. A few years later, Queensryche’s “Operation: Mindcrime” came to define me as a singer for years to come. Later on we started forming local bands with friends from school, I guess it was around ’95. The interesting part is that we used to write our own songs!
Ioannis: I started by playing piano at a very young age. Then, when I was a teenager, I started listening to heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden and Metallica and I was always fascinated by their music and their solos. So, at the time I brought my first electric guitar and started playing and quite soon I had formed my own band and also started writing songs for it. Writing songs, and especially Heavy Metal songs, is something that I’ve done for almost 30 years now, and I will most probably continue doing it for as long as I have the energy and motivation for that.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?
Ioannis: Collaborating with Warrior Path or Stray Gods, two very successful bands from the Greek Heavy Power scene would be great!
Dice: A dream of mine is to collaborate with Kamelot!
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Ioannis: I think for this one I will choose Waken Open air festival.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Ioannis: During the era of Hourglass SOE, I received as a gift a painting of our first album cover artwork (“Journey To Infinity”), which is something that I still have and cherish.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Ioannis: That the metal scene is and will always be alive and that there are very promising new bands to listen and to follow.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Ioannis: Ronnie James Dio
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Ioannis: The thing that I enjoy most is the feeling of creativity especially as I am the main composer of the band. There are not many things that I hate about being a musician.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Ioannis: “Painkiller” by Judas Priest.
Dice: “Rage For Order” by Queensryche.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, or Downloads?
Ioannis: I will go with CD even though I am aware that in our industry both vinyls and cassettes are greatly appreciated as well.
Dice: Vinyls for me! I am a kind of a purist.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Ioannis: With the current line-up we have not played any gigs, as we are in the process of rehearsing for playing our material live. With the former line up back in 2002 the best gig we played was when we performed some of our songs to “AN Club” in Athens.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Ioannis: working in the Information Technology Industry
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Ioannis: Gus G, Bob Katsionis,Rob Halford, Joey DeMaio, Adrian Smith.
Dice: I would go for the same plus Geoff Tate and Eric Adams.
What’s next for the band?
Ioannis: Rehearsing with our new line up to be ready for live performances
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Ioannis: Before I googled it I thought they were biscuits. After I googled it, I realized they were indeed biscuits!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Dice: Thank you so much for the invitation, we are looking forward to hear your opinion about the album and see you all at our upcoming live shows.
Ioannis: First of all I want to thank you for this interview. I also want to point out that good music is and will always be out there as long as our ears are open to listen to it. Keep on rocking!
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