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Artivist means art and action. Read the story of a person, who despite the difficult conditions continues dreaming; continues trying to make his dreams come true. Here is Panagiotis, his dreams and his song…
I was born inThessaloniki in 1981. My passion for music came early into my life and I started searching for it every time I needed to get over difficulties and obstacles, but also when I wanted something to accompany my happy moments. When I was 12 years old, I wanted to become a member of a band and dreamed of becoming a rock star. Together with my brother Vasilis, who was 2 years older, we started playing the guitar and the drums completely self-taught. For quite a while we could not find a third person to play the bass and help us form a band, until one day at school – where we both participated in the choir and the school band not only because we liked playing music but also because it was a way to skip some classes – we met Nikos Charalambidis. Although he played the bouzouki, we convinced him to try to play the bass. The band was formed and later we even discovered that our mothers were classmates and very good friends at school!
Our enthusiasm and expectations were very high and while we had managed to get from zero to a quite good level, things soon started to go wrong. The reasons were manifold, but the main one was our disagreement as to the style we would follow. I was influenced by grunge and pop music and preferred to play and write this kind of songs, while the other two preferred a more classic rock style and mainly Greek songs.
This disagreement led to the split of the band, but I continued playing the guitar alone just because I wanted to play the songs I loved. And in 1998 I tried to create a new band with my childhood friend and co-athlete in sailing, Danos Vlahos, playing the drums. Together we were playing only grunge just for satisfying our obsession, while we were looking for someone to play the bass. We finally found a friend, Nikos Nikolaidis, who became our bassist and the enthusiasm of “Spunk Equanimity” (that’s how our band was called, inspired by the title of a song by Nirvana) started growing. In 2001 we entered studio “MIX” and recorded 4 songs with music and lyrics written by me. Although the whole project was good, the very cheap production (due to lack of money) and the inexperience of the band, as it was the first time we were recording, gave the impression of a completely shoddy work. The band went on for a while until our drummer decided to leave because of a personal dispute between us. Although the rest of us tried to continue with another drummer, we did not manage to keep the band going. Naturally, our enthusiasm faded and we stopped being as active as before.
In December 2004, shortly before I had to go and complete my service in the Navy, I decided to go to the studio for a second time with two new songs and relive the experience of recording that had fascinated me so much the first time. With the help of Fotis Demertzis (former member of the bands Blue, Ellinistan) who assisted me by playing the drums and taking care of the sound, the result was quite good. Unfortunately this style, even though it sells well in Greece, it is not very popular when it comes from Greek bands. Of course, we didn’t make any serious effort to promote those songs, as they had been written only for personal use and only to satisfy my creativity.
In 2010 my dream to turn my house into a home studio became true and I started recording my own material, without knowing how to use any specific programme. Thanks to some help I got and by studying a bit, I managed to complete a song that is called “My daughter” and it is actually talking about my sister, who was forced to move to the US with her four children. In the song my sister tells to her grown-up daughter (now she is only 4 years old) that she was born in the most beautiful country in the world but some specific reasons forced them to leave. At the same time the daughter asks questions about why and how things evolved like that…
The song is of course in the form of a demo and it is definitely not professional work, but only a small sample of my music style.
The last 4 years I am a member of a rock band called “2 night band” and together we have played several times live. In the coming months the band will probably perform in one of the music scenes in the city of Thessaloniki.
Dedicated to my sister…
(click on the link above to listen to the song)
This post is also available in: Greek