Hello Chamaeleon and welcome to Brutal Resonance. This is my favorite starting question: What are three of your favorite albums of all time and why?
Alex: Greetings Brutal Resonance! This answer might seem odd considering we are playing electronic music. I think our three favourite albums for me and Nico would definitely be “Black Album” by Metallica, “Follow The Reaper” by Children Of Bodom and “Cruelty And The Beast” by Cradle Of Filth. These three albums were the most influential on us as musicians. They were the cornerstones that defined our taste in the extreme and alternative music. “Black Album” was what really got us into the metal music which ultimately lead us to the introduction of the aggrotech genre. “Follow The Reaper” and “Cruelty And The Beast” were quite shocking and revolutionary experiences. These two albums introduced us to combinations and sound colours we’d never imagined before and really showed us the power of magic the music holds.
Where and how did you two meet? When did you decide to create Chamaeleon?
Alex: Nico and me are brothers actually! I used to play the keyboards in Nico’s black metal band Turris Spectrum back in the days. By the way I’ve always been a fan of electronic music like trance and 90’s Eurodance. So one day we played a gig with Siva Six when they were touring in northern Greece. We knew that Z used to be the ex synth player of Septic Flesh so we were quite intrigued to hear his work. Needless to say, Siva Six opened a new world to Nico and me. After listening to their music I was inspired to form Chamaeleon as a side project to experiment with the electronic genre. I later asked Nico to join me for some gigs and that’s how it all begun.
What does the name Chamaeleon mean? Does it have any special interpretation?
Alex: It might sound a bit silly actually. I used to often dye my hair back in the days and sometimes people would call me “chameleon”. There is also a mysterious ninja called “Chameleon” in my favourite video game series Mortal Kombat. So I was like “hey why don’t I name my project like that?” Unfortunately “Chameleon” was taken so I had to look for different spelling and so I spelled it “Chamaeleon” which is actually a name of an astral constellation. I also like chameleon’s ability to adapt to the environment. Something like Bruce Lee’s famous quote “be water my friend”. Nico and me had to adapt a lot to new environments and situations in life as we moved around a lot. On a musical level, we like to try new things. Like changing the skin of our music but still maintain the main core of it. Each of our 3 albums sound very different but you can still hear that it’s the same band. So I guess the name Chamaeleon has several meanings and interpretations that are all connected somehow. I personally prefer the Mortal Kombat ninja interpretation.
It has been six years since your last full length album. What production techniques have you learned in that time? What are you bringing to your new album to make it special?
Alex: As I’ve mentioned earlier all of our albums are quite different. Like you said there are considerable time gaps in between. Talking particularly about the time between “Evil Is Good” and “The Game”, first thing you’ll notice is the change in the harsh vocals. At some point I decided to leave the distorted black metal screams and do something that would feel more natural. I wanted to sound more like myself and also a bit more brutal. I’ve practiced a lot to be able to sing with this vocal technique. First time I did it was on the “Fear” EP but I think I really polished my “fry” vocals in “The Game” album. As far as production goes, we decided to have a much richer sound this time. “Evil Is Good” was a solid aggrotech album. We intentionally wanted to have a consistent sound throughout all of the tracks. You know, something like [X]-RX and Solitary Experiments that use the same drums and bass sounds in their every track. This of course gives cohesiveness and recognisability of the sound as well as identity building but at the same time you might fall into the trap to sound repetitive to untrained audiences. So this time we have a different synth lead sound in almost every track, different synth pad sounds as well as a bigger variety of kicks and snares. The tracks are also quite different one from another. “The Game” track has a cyber rock’n’roll thing going on, “Vibe” is very 90’s Eurodancy, “Scars Of Time” is more like a traditional aggrotech with some folklore vocal melodies here and there and “Rage” has a black metal feel to it complete with black metal guitars. There are a lot more elements in “The Game” than in “Evil Is Good” and everything is perfectly blended by Dimitris Douvras at Lunatech Sounds Studio.
Tell us what the overall theme of “The Game” is. What is it about?
Alex: I guess analyzing the lyrics now, I would say that pretense and hypocrisy are major themes of this album. It’s about how we all need to wear metaphorical masks most of the time and tolerate people and situations to either survive or get what we want. It’s a dog eat dog world and you need to be able to play the game. Like licking the right ass crack for promotion at work or to get a gig with your band. No one is willing to just give you a chance in anything unless they have something to gain and so you have to become manipulative and tactical which often goes against your nature and you end up hating yourself.
This theme is also extended in the political and the romantic spheres. Like when you often have to lie to your relationship because no matter how much they love you, there will always be aspects of you that will be incomprehensible to them. Or how the world leaders puppeteer the sheeple and force them into full submission and compliance. The way societies are structured today, you need to constantly camouflage your true self if you don’t want to loose people you love, progress in your career or end up in prison or even dead. That’s the game we have to play against our will. It’s exhausting and most people loose themselves in the process.
You’ve a collaboration on the album with Maria Xoniki. Who is she? How did you meet? And why did you decide to work with her?
Alex: We know Maria for many years now. She is the lead singer of our metal band Aftereffect. She has also worked with C-Lekktor and Technolorgy and she is a great proffessional jazz singer too. Maria is a very close friend and a part of our inner circle. This is the third time she sings in a Chamaeleon song. She sang in “Forbidden” from “Evil Is Good” and in a cover song to Jam & Spoon, “Right In The Night”, that we recorded for an Insane Records compilation. There was no question that she would be included in one of our songs in the new album. My only regret is that we didn’t include her in more than one song but we are planning to work closer and more extensively with her in the future.
You also have a remix section. Tell me a little about the remixers on the album and what they did to your tracks.
Alex: Once again we had the honour to be remixed by amazing musicians. One of the Greek metal and extreme metal elite bands, W.E.B., reforged our hit track “Suppression” in metal form. This version of the track was supposed to be on the “Evil Is Good” album but ended up here where I think it really belonged eventually. If you’re into Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir and obviously W.E.B. then you’ll probably like this version. C- Lekktor is probably my favourite aggrotech band that I follow since the begining of their career. I met them in person in Slimelight here in London and on top of being great musicians they turned out to be really cool and down to Earth dudes. Their remix of “Scars Of Time” is slightly slower in tempo which gives it a better grove for the dancefloor. The original version has a dreamy atmosphere but their remix sounds more sinister and harsh. The kick beat is coldblooded. A totally badass version.
Van Roy Asylum have a very distinct sound and style. I was very happy that they decided to remix “The Game” as a drum’n’bass track, a genre that I also love. Their version of “The Game” is very technical and detailed, reflecting their superb mastery of musicianship. I instantly loved their remix as it reminds me of the soundtrack from the Tekken and Virtua Fighter video game series. You know, it’s big plus for Nico and me who are notorious gamers. At the same time they’ve kept the core spirit of the song so it’s still very much recognizable and I think it’s a perfect way to end the new album.
Overall, all three remixes add up to the variety of sound and structure that we were going for with this album.
You also have a side-project called AFTEREFFECT. Tell me a little about AFTEREFFECT. Why did you decide to start this project?
Alex: Aftereffect dates way back when Nico and I weren’t even in our 20s. We just wanted to experiment with simpler songs and play something like HIM and Theatre of Tragedy. This project keeps freezing and activating all the time. We really took it a bit more seriously when we met Maria. We liked her voice and invited her to be our lead singer and started recording.
Your debut release under AFTEREFFECT came out in 2019, titled “Krama”. What was the album about and how was it received by audiences?
Alex: “Krama” is the final product of what Nico and I had envisioned so many years ago. It’s a metal album, predominantly with female vocals, lots of electronic melodies and a mainstream feel to it. Most lyrics have romantic, love contnent. I mean, HIM was our biggest inspiration for this project after all. We produced it in Cyprus at Soundscape Studios where we learned a lot about music production and how things should be done. It was a great experience. Had lots of fun doing it.
I’d say the audience reception has been mostly mixed though. Some people like it and some don’t. Our live shows though are always getting great feedback. People like seeing us live. It really depends. If you’re into this genre you might like it. If you’re more into thrash metal then you’ll probably hate it but we are very proud of making this album.
Between Chamaeleon and AFTEREFFECT, do you have anything else planned for 2022? Any other singles, albums, EPs, etc.?
Alex: We want to record an EP with Maria as the lead vocalist with Chamaelon. Something like 3 or 4 tracks. Will see how it goes. We also want to film a couple of video clips if we get the chance. It’s very difficult to organize these things as we all live in different countries but hopefully we can make it happen this year. We also have our first UK gig in London at Elektro Vox Music Festival in April at Slimelight which we are super excited about! There were plans for Aftereffect but they might need to wait until next year. We have enough tracks for a full album but metal music is very expensive to produce and we don’t like to rush. In general we don’t like to put out an album every year repeating ourselves just so we stay relevant. We prefer to take our time and work on the ideas and to evolve. Like, the next Chamaeleon album will probably take couple of years to happen. We have the concept for it but need to figure out how to make it work. We also want to make some Vlogs and vids for our YouTube channel to give our fans something extra. Might do another YouTube exclusive cover track like we did with the Mortal Kombat theme. Other than that, we’re open to gigs if any event is interested.
Lastly, I’d like to thank you for your time. I wish you the best of luck. You may mention anything else below!
Alex: We’d like to take turn and thank Brutal Resonance for the opportunity to talk about our new album “The Game”. We invite everyone to listen to our new album and give us feedback as we are still very curious of what people think of it. Let us know which track you like the most or the least. You can leave a comment on a post or inbox us in the various social media. Also check out our YouTube channel. As I said we might be occasionally posting some interesting stuff there.
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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