Friday, January 26, 2007

Interview - Denis Ioutsis of Dush

I actually ran into this band by accident, but after interviewing Denis Ioutsis I'm glad I did.

How did you come up with the name Dush? I noticed a cool piece of artwork with an Ancient Egyptian flavor to it on your MySpace profile.

Well you noticed right! We were going for something short and easy to remember but at the same time we wanted something that related to our heavy and melodic sound with a little mystical and mediteranian touch to it. So we found this destroyed Egyptian temple on the internet that was built in the town of Kysis for goddess Isis. It was like an epiphany -"Dush" fit perfectly what were looking for - so we stayed with it.

What methods have you used to promote yourselves, and how successful have those methods been?

Well even though most of the band's members have more than 10 years playing and performing music, this project is quite young. In fact, the crew was complete only in August 2006 and since then we've been pumping shows, going on the radio, networking on MySpace and other internet websites. We also re-aranged all our songs to an acoustic set and we already gave a couple shows with it (we had great feed back for this kind of setting also). Some t-shirts and stickers were printed as well,so if anyone is interested they can contact us for those. Basically it's a fresh start!

Who are your biggest musical influences?

I think any band, when approached with that kind of question nowadays, will say that all the musicians in the band have different tastes in music and that their influences are all over the place. Well I could mention a couple of bands that in my opinion influenced our sound, I'm almost sure the 4 other members would add more bands to the list, so in no particular order: Lacuna Coil, Rob Zombie, Ramstein, Nine Inch Nails, and many others. Anyway most people, including us, when hearing our music wonder what to call it. It's in human nature to want to label everything, so we made it easy for you and we dubbed our music as "Bronze". Since we can't see it as Rock, nore it is really Metal we decided to name it after the well known alloy that actually fits the music as well as the name.

I've noticed a lot of Metal bands in Europe and Canada are big fans of SF, Fantasy, Horror, and Anime. Why do you think that is?

Are you talking about the band member's interests or what the bands sing about? If it's the interests, well not only the metal bands are into those. Any intelligent person that prefers alternative thinking as opposed to that of non-creative and non-imaginative patterns of the grey mass would be interested in some sort of science fiction, fantasy or horror. Sometimesbecause it's out of the "norm", sometimes because it scares or shocks the "regular" folk and sometimes just because. I don't want to go into Niezschean philosophy but it answers pretty well the question - it's only natural that creative people would be interested by something that goes out of the common interests.

So basically Niezsche was saying we creative types are just wierd that way?

Well to answer to your question I would have to go into Niezschean philosophy and that's exactly what I didn't want to do, but here you are, forcing me! :)

Well Niezsche doesn't necessarily say that creative people are prone to be interested in "weird" things as you put it. You see when Niezsche talks about the "super-human" in his theories, he describes the "uberman" as a person who refuses the commonly accepted morals and thinks on his own ethics, at the same time he stipulates that this "super-human" would be a creative person (to create your own thoughts, your own ethics you have to be creative). That's why I'm mentionning Niezsche when it comes to talk about people who create. We are free thinkers, we refuse to accept what we are fed, we might accept it but only after having looked at it with our own eyes and when we're done, if we don't like what we saw - we create our own food for thought. People who can't create don't have that luxury, you see?3

What are your plans for 2007?

I think 2007 has a lot to offer for us. I'm seeing the band going on tour and recording a full length album. Hopefully appearing more on the radio and maybe somewhere on TV!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Variable Star by Robert A. Heinlein and Spider Robinson

Author Spider Robinson was picked to complete a story that Heinlein shelved decades ago. And after reading it, I have to ask, did anyone perhaps think that maybe he shelved it for a reason?

Don't get me wrong. For a character-driven story, it's well written; the characters in it are an intriguing bunch with all their foibles, and Robinson certainly shows his strength in that regard. But for a "hard" SF story, the science borders on fantasy, and there is much political preachiness within. But that's all well and good, and even those who don't view the politics in the same light, or not concerned about the believability of the science, would be able to overlook that if...well.

It's the plot. The main character gets onboard an interstellar craft for completely stupid reasons. A whole bunch of character interaction goes on. Everything meanders from one place to the next. Then Earth gets destroyed. And after that...

Please tell me because I have no clue. Amidst all the babbling and yacking, I kept waiting for something else to happen, but nothing did beyond tying up all the dangling loose ends of the many subplots. Who or what blew up Earth's star? Dunno. What can be done about it? You tell me. Will the human race survive? Should you even bother to ask? The ending just doesn't leave you satisfied in any way.

Others may like this book, but from me it gets a big fat NEXT!

Publisher: TOR
Price: $24.95
Hard Cover 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0-765-31312-X
ISBN-13: 978-0-765-31312-6
Genre: Science Fiction

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

More Coming....

I'm currently dealing with a family crisis involving my mother in the hospital. That's why nothing has popped up this week. As soon as I get a chance, I'll have more cool stuff up soon, including:

A review of Variable Star by Spider Robinson and Robert A. Heinlein.
And interviews with Nathan Meyer and Scott Sigler.

And any prayers for my mom's recovery will be most welcome.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Here There Be Dragons by James A. Owen

This little Fantasy tale involves historical characters that avid Fantasy readers will recognize quite early. WWI is being fought, and certain Oxford fellows find themselves caught up on a magical quest of epic proportions when the Imaginarium Geographica is passed on to an undergraduate by a deceased professor. Owen delivers an imaginative tale full of danger, wonder, and quite a few inside puns. While readers new to the Fantasy Genre might not catch some of the puns, the story is still sure to delight with its sense of adventure.

Best to read while listening to: Sarah Brightman, Enya, Epica, Loreena McKennit, Nightwish, and of course the Lord of the Rings Trilogy soundtracks.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Price: $17.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 1-4169-1227-4
Genre: Teen Fantasy