Mystic Prophecy - 29/12/2007

With their debut album “Vengeance” MYSTIC PROPHECY seemed to fill in a gap within the scene, receiving great reviews all over the globe. Especially vocalist R.D. Liapakis (Valleys’s Eve) makes them being something special, his both rough and melodic voice gives their music a very special feeling. With the addition of star-guitar player Gus G. (Dream Evil), the band found the right member to take their music to another level. The basis for all this is done by the swedish drummer Dennis Ekdahl (Raise Hell) and former Stormwitch bass player Martin Albrecht. Clearly influenced by such old-school bands as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Queensrÿche, Mystic Prophecy will delight metal fans looking for a link back to '80s metal.

With their 4th album „Savage Souls“ Mystic Prophecy has topped all the hopes and expectations of their fans. After Gus G. (Firewind) and Dennis Ekdahl (Raise Hell) finally decided to dedicate themselves to their main-bands, turning their backs to Mystic Prophecy, there have been a lot of fans and journalists declaring the time of the band should be over from now on. With a big bang by releasing “Savage Souls” the band proved everyone unmistakably obvious that “dead-said live longer”. After euphoric reviews a wide-spread and successfully European Tour as headliner was following.

All the experts are expecting big things happening – but with the album “Satanic Curses” the band do not need to hide at all. Not less writers share the opinion “that “Satanic Curses” will be more than only a worthy successor of the smasher “Savage Souls” With “Satanic Curses” Mystic Prophecy continue their way fearlessly. Without any compromises one riff-attack after the other will conquer consequently all the places for keyboards other unnecessarily experiments. “Made complete out of iron” - and no quotation would fit more perfect to the new concoction of the German / Greek quintet.

Like for “Savage Souls” again R.D.Liapakis and soundguru Fredrik Nordström (In Flames, Hammerfall, Arch Enemy etc) have been responsible for the production and they guarantee that “Satanic Curses” will be a soundhappening for all the fans of the hard and guitar-oriented music. The new silverling of the “Prophets” will offer not only an outstanding sound but also a musically variation like never before on another album.

Beside arrow-fast grenades like “Damnation”, “Back From The Dark” or the massive “Dark Forces” there are genius midtempo-tracks like “Sacrifice Me” or the diabolous “Demon’s Blood”. As a little “gimmick” there is the Black Sabbath / Ozzy – evergreen “Paranoid” waiting for the fans. The world has been waiting for a smashing Metal-Opus and Mystic Prophecy will serve it with “Satanic Curses”.



So, enought material to talk about and therefore Metal-Experience had a little chat with vocalist Roberto Dimitri Liapakis.

First Question, how did you launch into writing the material for 'Satanic Curses' after your previous album? Is it hard to come up with new ideas or is it an easy job for you to write new songs?
There is no big plan behind the work of 'Satanic Curses'. I just kept getting new ideas for new songs, the creative work goes on every minute and every hour. We felt a big pressure for 'Satanic Curses' because everybody was expecting something really big and special from Mystic Prophecy. It was not easy to write new songs but... we tried to do our job like we did it before and I think it worked!


Did you have a certain idea of what you wanted to do on 'Satanic Curses', any elements you definitely wanted to have on the album?
Yes! We thought that there were two possibilities for a record after 'Savage Souls'. The first option was to work more with effects like Keyboards and to create a sound that would be more cheesy...

The other possibility was to find the limits of heaviness and try to make the hardest "Power Metal Record" that ever be released. I don´t like the Keyboard and Synthi shit and i´m still a Fan of the Bay Area stuff like Metallica, Exodus and so on. It was very easy to come to a decision... HEAVY METAL as brutal as can be... SATANIC CURSES!!!


Was it a conscious decision to do it this way?
Yes! We don´t want to be the next cheesy Power Metal Act from Germany like all the others like Freedom Call, Edguy, Mob Rules...

We want to make it with our own style and we try to do it as good as possible. Nobody wants to hear the next cheesy Power Metal act anymore because with Stratovarius, Hammerfall, Freedom Call, Rhapsody, Edguy there are enough good Bands working in this genre! We try to find a smooth transition between Power and Thrash Metal... because POWER means to have Power and not to sound like the next Metal Boyband!  


It seems you were in a rush to record the new album as It's only been a year and a half since 'Savage Souls' came out. So did you have enough time to write all the arrangements for the new songs before you entered the studio, or were many changes made during the recording sessions?
A year and a half is enough time to work on a new record. We played more shows for "Savage Souls" than we have played ever before. For these shows we did many rehearsals and with Markus Pohl Mystic Prophecy got itself a new guitar player who has a big bunch of ideas like me. We send each other a lot of stuff by mail and we try out lots ideas.

We had a tighter time schedule for the work on 'Savage Souls'... just before we recorded 'Savage Souls', 3 new members joined the band and we had just gotten a new record deal.


Who was responsible for writing the songs and the lyrics on the new album, how can we imagine you work on new songs?
All songs are written by Markus Pohl and me. I don´t know why but the other guys didn´t have any ideas for Satanic Curses. I met Markus once or twice a week to work on new ideas. If we weren´t able to meet, we´d send each other ideas by Mail and work on the arrangements. It was very easy. When we finished a track we met the band in the rehearsal room to work on this song. Sometimes there was a small change on the drums but most of the songs we would finish when we met.

But maybe it´ll be different on the next record. Nobody knows. Everybody from Mystic Prophecy knows that they are welcome to write new songs but you can´t nforce creativity!



What comes first, lyrics or melodies? Is it like you sit down and write a new song because you need more material now or do you wait until you get an idea?
First I get an idea for a song. When we finish a song I start to work on the lyrics. It´s really important to have a feeling for the lyrics. I can´t sit down and write lyrics for songs that don´t exist. Markus would play the riff of a song and I´d think... that´s cool rockn´n´roll shit... so WE ROCK THE NIGHT...

That´s the way I work!


In song writing, what is the utmost important ingredient for a song according to Mystic Prophecy?
That´s easy: The Riff!!! If you have a really good riff everything will work out by itself.


What do you think are the main differences between your last album ´ Savage Souls' and the recently released ´Satanic Curses'?
'Satanic Curses' is darker and heavier than 'Savage Souls'. It´s a logical step for the Band. With 'Savage Souls' we started to work as a band, with 'Satanic Curses' we ARE a band. We tried to find the limits and to break the boarders.

'Savage Souls' is a really good record but it´s not aggressive like ‘Satanic Curses'. I worked more with growls like I did in the past and I tried to make them sound harder.

You recorded this album in the The Prophecy & Music Factory Studios. I suppose this is your own studio, as you recorded all of your albums over there. Was it a conscious choice to record your album in the same studio again and have you ever considered using a different studio?
I never thought about recording at another studios! The Prophecy and Music Factory have all the equipment that I need for making good records like 'Satanic Curses'. We mixed this record at Fredman Studio/Sweden because Fredrik has a very special hand for mixing sounds and to give our sound the right kick. He also told me that all the stuff we recorded is really good. Not wanting to change studios is also a matter of money. I can record anytime I want at my own studio and I can go there and go back in the evening, home with my wife and my little son. Other musicians spend three weeks away from home, spending the holidays recording the new record and paying a lot of money for this. It´s easier this way for Mystic Prophecy and I think it´s the best solution for us!  


How did the recording process proceed and how much time did you spend on the songs and in the studio?
The work was very easy and I think we finished recording in 3 weeks. At first we recorded the drums, then the bass, then guitars and, last of all, the vocals. We recorded in stages. After we recorded 'Satanic Curses' we spent 4 days in Hyssna /Sweden for mixing the record and that´s all.



All of the Mystic Prophecy albums have been produced by your singer Roberto Dimitri Liapakis, would you ever work with a producer external to the band if your label asked you to work with, say, Andy Sneap or Devin Townsend? And if you could choose, which producer would you pick yourself?
If you have a clear idea about your sound you don´t need a producer! I know exactly how I want the Drums and Guitars to sound and the most important thing is: I know how I want MYSTIC PROPHECY to sound. I have a vision for my music and my sound and I don´t need anybody else. I work well with Fredrik Nordström and Fredrik gives us exactly what we need. Our label is very happy with 'Satanic Curses' and they like my work.


Your new album was mixed by Fredrik Nordström. What made him the perfect man for 'Satanic Curses' and are you satisfied with the result?
We are really satisfied with the sound and Fredrik was the right man for us. It´s very easy to work with him. You tell him how you want the guitars to sound and it takes a few tricks to get the sound you want. In this case I can´t imagine working with somebody else. The only negative thing is the new Fredman Studio which is really small... but it´s got the most important factors: Tons of technics and the man who knows to push the right buttons. These are the most important elements for a studio!  


How important is producer Fredrik Nordström for Mystic Prophecy? You have been working with him for two albums now, have you ever thought of working with someone else?
No not this time. I don´t know anything about the future but if we need somebody for the mix of our new record Fredrik will be the first guy the we will contact! He´s doing a really good job and we like this crazy Guy!

Without Fredrik Nordström ?Satanic Curses' would not sound like 'Satanic Curses'. That´s a fact!  


Have you received any feedback on the new album yet? How do you feel about this album - are you satisfied with the outcome or would you have liked to have changed anything in retrospective?
We got tons of feedback and everyone seems to like the new record. We are very happy with all our records and we don´t want to change anything. A lot of people will tell you about their older records that they want to change this or that or something else...

I like all the Mystic Prophecy records and they are like babies to me. I try to learn everytime and to do a better job than before but in our history there is nothing to be ashamed of for us.


Could you please describe the implications of the title 'Satanic Curses' , what does it stand for and is there a special meaning behind it?
The world is getting worse and I think that 'Satanic Curses' is the right statement for all the shit that´s happened in this world! We are really pissed off. Take a look at what´s going on. It´s not funny and i´m not amused about this world. The human being Is doing all to destroy what god created. We are doing it faster than any creatures have ever done before. We are really good at destroying! We flyi to the moon and back but we can´t live in peace with our neighbors. If you switch on the TV the only things you´ll see are war, hate, destruction, jealousy... they are all Signs of Satan. There are not many good things that you´ll find on planet earth. 'Satanic Curses' means the evil is ruling the world more and more!  


Who wrote the lyrics for this album and can you tell us something about them?
I have written all the lyrics in the past and I will write them in the future, too. I son´t want to talk too much about lyrics. Sit down, read the booklet and have a mind of your own! Lyrics are very special... you can say that the glass is half full but you can also say that the glass is half empty. It´s a question of your perception!


Do you have any favorites on 'Satanic Curses', songs that you think are somehow above the others?
No... I like all the songs and there is no special one that I like more than the others!


You've already played major festivals like Earthshaker, Wacken, Metalcamp and Rockhard the last couple of years. If you compare these to the smaller gig venues, what are the differences for you and which kind of shows do you prefer yourself?
In the smaller venues you have more contact with the fans but at a festival you got the chance to gain new fans! I like both and it´s a great feeling to stand on a big stage and to see thousands of metal heads but last but not least the clubshows are more private and confidential.



How do you see the future of the band, do you think, for instance that the band will still exist ten years from now or do you not look to the future too much?
I don´t know what´s going to happen in the next few years because my crystal ball is broken hargh hargh


Have you already launched into writing new songs? If so, can you tell me something about them?
No, we haven´t written any new songs this time. Sorry!


What is your opinion on the powermetal scene these days, is there anything missing?
At this time it´s frumpy to be a power metal fan. Most kids in Germany listen to stuff like Caliban, Children of Bodom, In Flames or something like that. In this time I think the powermetal scene is going down. I miss bands in power metal who have the balls to destroy the world with guitars and not with cheesy Keyboards.


Every band seems to have had some sort of Spinal Tap moment during their career when touring or whatever. Do you have any disasters or funny stories from the road?
Last year we were touring with Majesty for some shows. On the trip from one show to the other our manager told us to fuel the car NOW. I told him that we had enough gasoline in our bus... ln the end we stood on the highway without gasoline because the display was defect. You can also read the "Roadstories" from our trip to Hyssna Sweden on our homepage hahahaha! That was a really crazy trip hahahaha


Which album has been your biggest musical influence, one that made you think "this is what I want to do!"?
The biggest musical influence was the sound of the Bay Area. Please choose your band because I like them all ;-)


Okay, if you could choose three bands to get on stage with, who would they be?
Metallica, Exodus and Machine Head! We would support them and believe me... we´d kick as!!!


Has anything been left unmentioned? Any last statement or anything you'd like to add...
Support Heavy Metal and thanks for the interview.

metal On!!!


Okay, thanks for the interview!
Eugene Straver



Mystic Prophecy are:
Roberto Dimitri Liapakis - Vocals
Martin Grimm - Guitar
Markus Pohl - Guitar
Martin Albrecht - Bass
Matthias Straub - Drums

Former members :
Dennis Ekdahl - Drums (2001-2004)
Gus G. (Kostas Karamitroudis) - Guitar (2001 - 2005)
Klaus Sperling - Drums (2004 - 2005)



Vengeance (2001)
Regressus (2003)
Never-Ending (2004)
Savage Souls (2006)
Satanic Curses (2007)