Interview with Iliana Tsakiraki of Meden Agan
Elias: Hello Iliana and welcome. So, Meden Agan, a symphonic-prog metal band from Greece, you don’t see that very often. Tell us a few words about the bands history, your influences and about the time when you joined the band.
Iliana: Hello Elias! Meden Agan was formed in November 2005 in Paris, France by guitarist Diman Koutsogiannopoulos. Their first demo was released in April 2006 and received very good reviews and feedback. Their first full-length album, Illusions, was released in November 2007, and contained progressive metal songs with male vocals. After a one-year hiatus as Diman returned to Greece, Meden Agan started working on new songs featuring me and a new keyboardist. Soon, they released their first EP, which was called Nemesis – Promo 2010. The new line up was: Iliana Tsakiraki (vocals), Diman Koutsogiannopoulos (guitars), Tolis Mikroulis (keyboards), Aris Nikoleris (bass), and Panos Paplomatas (drums). Soon after, the band entered the studio in order to record their album Erevos Aenaon. !And here we are now!
Elias: A new record is out now, called Erevos Aenaon and I believe that you had a small change in the lineup also. You also have a new video. Give us some info regarding the new record and video.
Iliana: At this point we would like to introduce Filip from One of These Days who currently aids us on the drums because our drummer couldn’t cope with it anymore. As for our video we are very pleased to work with RawRec, as their work was so excellent , we are considering making our next music video after the summer. Of course we are very happy with all seems lost, a lot of people like it and that makes us even happier.
Elias: You’re a very fresh band, but you’ve already made a very good name for yourself here. You’ve also done a few shows abroad and you’re part of the Metal Female Voices Festival which will take place inBelgium, at October 21st. I believe that this is a great step for the band right?
Iliana: Of course! We were very pleased to know that we were one of the first bands to be announced at the fest. Meden Agan would have participated at last years fest too due to a band cancelling but unfortunately the band was not quite ready at the time. We didn’t even have a drummer! The time was too short to work it out so here we are now at its best year celebrating its 10th year anniversary. We are a new band regarding the new lineup indeed but many bands change members every day and that does not make them start all over again. Erevos Aenaon has already been anticipated by lots of fans as an underground band release and we also had many orders by old fans of illusions album from France!
Elias: During the recordings of the new Septic Flesh album, you were asked to participate in one of the songs. You also shared the same stage. Tell us a few words about both these experiences.
Iliana: Its something that really makes me proud and I won’t stop feeling proud about it. Im only 22 years old and still I managed to do something like that. It is a great feeling. Most of all because I’ve been listening to septic flesh since my high school years and I used to sing along to their songs adding my own vocal melodies. And here it is. .the time I entered the studio and they could hear me. My mind was blown these moments. I thank them and I will always thank them for everything. In every single show I performed with them I had shivers all along. I am really very emotional!
Elias: It was Jeff Hanneman from Slayer who said that “I hate interviews because I hate talking about myself”. But I have to ask. Is it difficult being a soprano in a metal band? What are your main influences and background, except of course classical music and how do you manage to combine both musical worlds?
Iliana: Since I love both music genres I am a member of Meden Agan. It is the ultimate combination of 2 of my beloved things. It is not that difficult being a soprano at a metal band or a female sing at a metal band.. The difficult part is to try for the greater recognition of your band for it needs a lot of effort. All of us have different influences which are combined together. For example Diman and Tolis love Symphony X and i am more of a symphonic metal fan which all concludes at Meden Agan.
Elias: I went to your last concert with Dimlight and I must say that it was really mind-blowing, you were simply great. I feel really lucky that I attended this show. However, I don’t believe that symphonic metal is considered to be very popular in Greece and we don’t have many bands of that genre. Do you believe that we’re making any progress in that area?
Iliana: We thank you very much for your compliments! I cannot answer in general. You were there you saw a lot of people. In these kinds of gigs you don’t expect to see so much crowd so for me that is progress!
Elias: Despite the fact that you have another concert coming up, with Epica this time, I read somewhere that you don’t play concerts very often. Is that true and if so, why is that?
Iliana: Its true we don’t play a lot in Athens we prefer fewer concerts as long as they are good. Now we are ready to play with Epica. We have prepared a very powerful performance and we are looking forward to it!
Elias: This is a somehow cliché question that I ask everyone. Has the internet and social media helped the band or not? And if yes, how so?
Iliana: Good question but I believe one thing is for sure. It is you who have to use them and to dedicate a lot of time in them if u want them to help your band.
Elias: What’s the next step for Meden Agan right now?
Iliana: To have as many rehearsals as we can during the summer in order to heighten our playing level. We want to get the best feedback possible from the MFVF. And by September we will have announced something very great for us so stay tuned!!
Elias: Is there something else that you wish to share with us?
Iliana: Sure! 'leave this world behind
seek the outer boundaries of life
no more tears to hide
feeling free to confide'