Interview with Scorpios from Melechesh.
Enki is about to be unleashed through Nuclear Blast Records. I got the privilege to listen to this new masterpiece from Melechesh. When they contacted us for an interview, I was more than willing to put down questions for bass player Scorpios.
Enki is about to be unleashed, can you tell us a bit about it? Is there a concept to this record?
Yes, a few weeks until it is out (Feb 27th, to be exact). It’s been a lot of work and still a bit surreal to imagine it will be finally released/complete. It is not exactly a concept album so to speak, but it is a new Melechesh album without any compromises. The material has matured, as the course of Melechesh’s discography has always done.
John Coulthart did the artwork for the record again. What makes his art so fitting for your work?
It’s been a few albums now to continue with his work, so it has adapted well. There are many great artists to work with out there; however, it’s nice to use someone who isn’t doing every other metal release out there for a change.
Max Cavalera, Sakis and Rob Caggiano are having a guest appearance on Enki. How was it to work with these guys?
One of the first extreme metal bands I got into at a young age includes Sepultura, so that was a great pleasure to have had him on the album, but the novelty and nostalgia aside he did a great job and Max’s vocals fit the track (Lost Tribes) like a glove. As for Sakis, I come from the early 90’s days of Black Metal so again, it’s an honor to go from listening to these people in their bands as a fan to now recording with them. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical about how the track “Enki – Divine Nature Awoken” would turn out from the beginning days of just hearing the rough structure, it was one of those things that could be just ok or great depending on execution, but now has come to be one of my favorite tracks off the album. Last but not least, Rob Caggiano’s solo on “The Pendulum Speaks” added an excellent element to the album as a whole. Though there are many guitar solos on the album, they are from a totally different approach so this added an interesting new texture to the release.
Enki got recorded in Athens, why did you guys choose for this location?
Before I joined Melechesh, they toured with Rotting Christ so Ashmedi has been in contact with George Bokos since then and it turned out to be the most feasible option within the budget provided. Also, thinking outside of the box, we didn’t really want to go to the same studios that are used by a million other bands in this scene for the sake of a uniform production that you can hear used by so many others.
You have been with Melechesh since 2012, are you considered a permanent member and did you contribute in the writing with Enki?
Yeah I am a permanent member, though there has been a lot of… let’s say turmoil over the last year with the line-up. There was never any sort of official announcement in regards to my current status in the band as I started out just as a live bassist/backing vocalist. There were a few people who basically auditioned, played a show or two (or even less), failed miserably in living up to their commitments and expectations, but found it really important to be announced right away for their personal gain/ego. Some people have issues with getting their priorities straight it seems.
Melechesh was one of the pioneers in Middle Eastern influenced metal. Nowadays you see more bands carrying this sound. How do you look at this evolution?
If it’s sincere and done well, more power to them. If it’s just a poor clone with no originality I look at that like I would any other band in any genre that lacks creativity of any style.
You are also got a career with Crimson Moon. What is the difference between those acts? How do you look back at your career with both?
Crimson Moon is something I started doing in 1994 and quite a bit different in many aspects from Melechesh. At this point it has turned into something I do alone now, when I feel the inspiration to do it and have the time to allow me to do so. Musically, it’s quite a bit different from Melechesh as Crimson Moon is more on the black metal side of the spectrum though there are some common topics in the lyrical perspective. It’s a lot easier to just listen to the music than for me to try to explain it in words. I have a home studio, so most my free time is spent in there recording various material I tend to work on, mainly alone.
What would be the next milestone you wish to achieve in your career?
The next album. Actually anything that enables me to dedicate more time towards music and less time away from it is a goal for me.
Besides releasing Enki , what else is in the pipeline for Melechesh?
Well, the album has yet to be released, but it looks like a lot of shows and touring will be taking place, and depending on the feedback and response to ENKI, I could be understating that.
Thanks for your time
Interview taken by Ronald van de Baan