Karmic Link

Interview date

Mars 2010




Interview Stathis Kassios

This album is more homogeneous than the previous one. How did you find this homogeneity?

Hello Ostianne and thank you for this interview and for your support! Well, to be honest it was not actually planned for our new album to sound more homogeneous. I believe though that because I spent more time in producing "Esoterica" than I did with "No light..." and also had already gained more experience, it is more homogeneous in this sense, yes. As regard to the songs I find the same amount of diversity though as in "No light..." album back in 2008. Other factors like mixing and mastering played an important role in the album to sound more homogeneous and this is explained by the fact that all the nationalities (Swedish, American, Greek) that participated in the creation of "Esoterica" collaborated in an excellent way!

Evan brings some maturity for the guitars and the songs are catchier than on "Light but Rather Darkness Visible". How did you met and worked together?

Meeting Evan was another Karmic Link established in an artistic way! I started my Master studies around the music business in Sweden back in Autumn 2008 where Evan was also a student there and in a very short time we had exchanged ideas and laid down common goals with music that motivated us enough to start preproducing tracks for "Esoterica" during the cold Scandinavian winter. An experience memorable enough which also inspired us to write the lyrics and concept story behind the album. Evan brought his influences from the South of the USA coming from Nashville and bands he had been listening to like Pantera, Lamb of God and even bands like Extreme, just to name a few so that you can have a picture of how and why the guitars in the album sound the way they sound.

The cover is very special with the buildings, the girl who is crying, and the candles. Do you think it reflects the ambiance of this album?

You are the first interviewer to ask this question so you will be privileged to learn that the girl represents "Sandra" the female protagonist in our concept story. The background with the skylines represents her troubled life working as a news anchor in a giant media network in the US. I sometimes find myself lost when staring at this cover and looking through this "soul window" because I hypnotically come across with the catharsis elements of our protagonist's inner world and life adventure described throughout the album. Thanks goes to Stephane and Ess graphics for creating this beautiful cover and artwork.

There are a lot of keyboards on this album for the atmospheric parts. Why did you develop this side of your music?

Playing and using the keyboards to compose and perform music has been my only way so far and in metal music as well. I have never spent a lot of time learning other instruments other than bleeding the ears of musicians when I sit in a random studio drum kit creating sound pollution around them..hehe. On this base I always try to minimize the appearance and overall volume of the keyboards during mixing of a Karmic Link album, to achieve the ideal balance for the rest of the instruments and voice to breathe.

"Pleasure Is Nothing Without Pain” is an instrumental song. Is it in the continuity of the other songs or a break in the album?

This instrumental track is not something that you might call a typical album intermission even though at that point in our concept story it somehow summarizes the complicated inner feelings of our female protagonist who is crushed under a thick dark cloud of external forces governing her mental and physical world. These feelings are expressed in intense, cold, industrial music colours dressed with a hedonistic title. It does not stand separate though but comes as a natural continuation of the previous tracks.

All the songs of this album are not the same but there are not that different so it can be hard for the listener to remember one of these songs. According to you, why have we this feeling?

Karmic Link as I have stated before is a surrealistic music project/band and all its structural atoms move in quantum chaotic directions having their own free will, emerging according to pure feelings and ideas. Karmic Link does not follow marketing patterns to offer a typical mainstream music product which can easily be followed by the average listener. At the same time and interestingly enough the fact that "Esoterica" has all these different sides and sounding songs, could even make the album match to a mainstream music listener. Contradictions in perceiving art is what spices things up and makes our daily routine more flavorful don't you think?

"Esoterica" is a concept album, as "No Light but Rather Darkness Visible". Why do you do concept albums?

Not to make money of course... hehe! I cannot hide from you that my previous studies on philosophy have affected the way I deal with music where sometimes irrational and subconscious forces manipulate and sometimes take over the mind and body of a musician. To answer more realistically the concept storyline behind "Esoterica" is also based on long discussions I had with the guitarist of Karmic Link, Evan, during our stay in Sweden where this totally foreign environment gave birth to interesting perceptions about the power of technology and the modern media, control and their effect on culture and human psychology.

Do you think you satisfy your fans with this album?

It is a big challenge to strive and satisfy every single fan in music. Maybe it is a bad utopia unless you recruit music star producers who can bridge your material to what the average metal listener wants in order to feel satisfied. I just hope that we will satisfy more people this time and dissatisfy less. Hehe...

To produce this album; was it something important for you?

Producing the Karmic Link albums has been a great new adventure for me which has been happening ever since "No light..." while in the past years I would only record keyboards for other bands and perform with them. With Karmic Link I now have all the artistic and production freedom to experiment with what I always wanted. If people like "No light..." and "Esoterica" it means that the production has proved decent so far.

Is there a song you prefer on this album or all of them have something special for you?

For some reason I am personally attached a lot to the track "Still"! Its title, music, lyrics, everything. I would then pick "Whispers on a breeze" which I think is the most catchy song of our new album.

Karmic Link, Esoterica, it's all about spirituality. Does the spirituality is important for you or is it just a concept?

No it's not only a concept. I am seeking out spiritual paths every day of my life through science, art, and other abstract stuff that trigger my spiritual imagination. I hate sticking to one side of spirituality only and I absolutely disagree with somebody systematically organizing someone's spirituality with what this means...

Because Mina is not in the band anymore. Are you looking for another female singer or will you change your sings' concept?

I cannot answer this question now because we are very focused in promoting "Esoterica" at the moment so any future plans have been put on ice temporarily. I think that you will get your answer in the third Karmic Link album...

Isn't it too hard to do the promotion without your singer?

Actually you don't need anybody to do the promotion... hehe! Our label is very good at doing that so I would like to take this chance and thank Pervade Productions/Manitou Music for the promotion so far. Don't forget too that we now have an interesting artificial female persona by the name of "Sandra" (also featured in the cover of "Esoterica") who can handle promotion by herself very well... hehe.

Which are your goals for your career?

To keep being creative, meeting new interesting people, working and interacting with them! I can't stop composing music, writing lyrics, producing art and thinking about philosophical theories that surround our grotesque world.

You are a band, which have a lot of potential, but it seems you don't exploit it that much. Do you have any idea why we can think that?

This is because Karmic Link is something so personal that I don't want to sacrifice it! By that I don't mean that every band that tours or follows a career sacrifices itself. Far from that, for me it's like keeping and investing on a personal treasure and a spiritual vehicle which accompanies me as I grow as a person and musician, even if some people won't necessarily agree on withholding it and not further exploiting it. Thus the shifting terms band/project. But you never know! We live in uncertain times and things constantly change.

We always see pictures of you and Mina or Evans. Why do you push only two members forward and not the whole band?

This happened because the photoshoot for "Esoterica" took place while me and Evan were in Sweden and it proved extremely difficult to synchronize our schedules with Mina who was back in Greece during that whole time. Therefore time and place were factors which obliged us to present the current line up! In general I prefer keeping a steady core in Karmic Link and co-operating with other musicians as we did when we had to play gigs both in Greece and Sweden where we hired session musicians.

What do you think about bands which are doing a "similar" music than yours?

I would use Edward R. Murrow's quote "goodnight and good luck"... hehe.

Is there something you want to say to end this interview?

Yes indeed, I will post here the first prelude to be found in the booklet of "Esoterica" which kicks off our concept story. It was written by Evan! Thank you for this interview!

June 19th, 2017;
Dear Mom,
I hope you will forgive me for taking so long to reply to your message. My life has been a wreck lately, and the stress of my job has really been getting to me. Fifteen years out of college and I have finally been promoted to anchor, but I had no idea about the amount of stress this position holds! One of the things they didn’t cover in those journalism classes. However, I know I have made the right decision and that I couldn't go on chasing leads and filing stories forever. This promotion is a blessing, and despite the stress, I really appreciate Sean (one of the network exec's... I told you about him, right?) for handpicking me from the rest of the reporters at the network. But life isn't all about work, is it? Well, that's what they say, but somehow I still find myself alone on the weekends - so to answer your question before you even ask it, sorry Mom, no new man in my life yet. Well, I need to be getting to the station; hope you'll be able to watch me tonight!