About a month ago, I wrote a little piece for Metal Nexus in regards to the unearthing of the long lost debut album of Grecian prog/tech metal innovators, Acid Death. (Click here to check it out if you’re so inclined.) Not long after the publication of that article, I was in contact with Savvas Bettinis (vox and bassist for AD) about a possible interview with the band and after consideration, we decided on a more Q & A style due to differences in scheduling and time zones. What follows is the results of that exchange, and I wanted to share the results with you, our faithful readers, to give you a feel for the band members as individuals as well as their roles within the group. Enjoy!
Q: What was the driving factor for the band’s formation? Where you sincerely looking for fame or was it more as a hobbyist/music fan approach?
– Actually the band was and still is a part of our life. It is a way for us to express emotions, to create a piece of Art, to be active as musicians. ACID DEATH is the ship that carries four different personalities who try to work as one Human. No fame, no money etc made us to start this band. It is a way of expression and we are really happy to continue in a way that is far away from all these things…Money, fame etc…
Q: Where did the name for the band come from? Any particular reason the name Acid Death was chosen?
– Actually back in 1989 when we were in the way to start the band we were looking for a band name that could describe in some way the music style we were following…Chuch Schuldiner’s DEATH was not so famous those days, the word “Death” was something like “ok, this can describe the music style we are playing…Death Metal..” So the name ACID DEATH was one of those that we would like to chose. We kept it… Of course with today’s standards it isn’t a “catchy”one…but this is band’s name for almost 25 years.
Q: What are AD’s current plans for recording and/or touring? Any likelihood you’ll turn up stateside?
– This season we focus on the process of our new album, that will follow the “Hall Of Mirrors” album of 2015. This will be band’s 8th official release, including the “Balance Of Power 1992 – The Lost Album” that was released in March/2017 and it was ACID DEATH’s very-very first and unreleased album for 25 years. Of course touring is something we are always interested -we had areally successful tour in the end of 2016 with SIX FEET UNDER (X-MASS in HELL tour 2016). We may start touring before the new album’s release, we plan it in 2018. But of course playing shows and touring is something we are always into.
Q: What about the process of writing/recording/touring you like/dislike and why?
– Today the facilities that new musicians can have offer a really big variety of ways to work. We are preferring the more “traditional” ones…When we start to create a new song everyone puts his influences on and when the song finishes we all try to be happy with the result, otherwise the process starts from the beginning. On touring the biggest problem we have is that we are not able to tour e.x. for 4-5 months per year…Most of the bands try to play as many show as they can, it is a way for having incomes… In our case we try to have a 10-15 days slot per year, although we would like to be in a more days slot…
Q: Speaking of touring, any places you’ve visited that you especially liked/disliked?
– We liked all the places we have visited! Every place, every venue, every city has its own ways to take you to the next level and in our case we always try to enjoy the “trip”. Of course there are always difficulties on the road but if the team is united finally everything goes on the right way.
Q: There’s been lots of changes in all aspects of music since AD formed. What do you like/dislike about any particular changes (this can be anything from gear, interacting with fans, labels, streaming, etc)
– Line up changes is a topic that every band in the world faces sometimes…. It is a let’s say “part of the game”. We had enough ones till 2012 but the biggest “curse” in ourt case was the change of the labels we had to do during the years…It isn’t good for a band to change its “partners” and we had about 6 different labels that we cooperated before stopping to the German 7hard/7us Media Group GmbH. Things are really perfect now, I am sure we will continue with them for many years!
Q: What surprising hobbies do you have?
– Yes…Actually music is our main “hobby”. We try to spend as much time as we can to it. Besides that there are some more things that make us happy, such as driving, reading books, seeing friends, taking care of our families…
Q: Given the chance, what bands/artists would you like to tour with?
– We would like to tour with OBITUARY, with KREATOR (actually we have shared the stage with them some times in the past), with DEATH (if Chuck Schuldiner was still alive), with CORONER (we had the chance to tour with them in Italy the previous year)…with ATHEIST (one of our biggest influences), with CYNIC (the same!!)…You know Death/Thrash Metal is full of good bands, old and new. If we had the chance to chose…it would be a really painful decision!!!
Q: Do you have any funny/strange encounters with fans that you’d like to share from over the years?
– Hehe, yes, especially when touring things are really strange sometimes! E.x. a totally drunk guy in Paris who came late to the show, wanted to see us on stage…but he lost us. The guy wanted us to re-enter the stage and play our set again! But MASTER and Paul Speckmann were already on stage and after the entire show was finishing…
Q: Who are your musical influences (personal and professional)? What artists do you like that fans may be surprised by?
– Actually we are influenced from American Death Metal and European Thrash Metal of early 90’s. On the other hand RUSH’s Progressive Rock is something we always admire. There are also many Ethnic influences and ones even from pop music of early 80’s!
Q: What is a moment from your life that altered its path, for better or for worse, and what significance did this hold for you?
– Actually when we had to stop the band in 2001 in a really violent way. It was a new fact tha I personally had to face and to accept…Things worked really bad and in one single night everything stopped. Fortunatelly things changed 10 years later and ACID DEATH was back stronger than ever…
Q: What challenges have come from keeping the band together for so long? (Such as changes in personal lives/directions, ‘burn out’, conflict, etc and how has AD worked to overcome them)
– You know, if you are working with some persons who are the same time friends, there are many things that you have to take care of. At first, everyone to be happy with the team decisions. We passed through a really hard period back in 1999-2001, a period that made us to quit the band. On the other hand every one has to be honest and clear to the others on what he prefers, what he thinks it’s good for the team, actually to be a real man. In our case I dare say that after so many years in this circus we made to create a really strong team that works really hard to one single target: to create music.
We always give the artist the last word in the interview, and it can be anything you’d like to share with our readers.
– We’d like to thank you so much for this opportunity and presentation! We invite everyone to check ACID DEATH. They won’t be disappointed!