Voodoo Drummer- Talks To Us About This Unique Project And New Single
Interviewed by Duzzy Clayton
I first became aware of Voodoo Drummer when I was sent a new track called Drunk Dionysus, I thought to myself that is an interesting song title name, but nothing could of prepared me for what I was about to hear when I gave the track a listen. Voodoo Drummer makes very interesting and Unique music, its hard to explain in words but upon first listen, it sounds like a bunch of instruments being used at odd times. Although it is bunch of instruments the songs still tell a story which I think is amazing and unique, Voodoo Drummer has just come out with a new track and if you have never ever heard this kind of music before, be prepared to be blown away, intrigued and a feeling that makes you want to explore more
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Hi there, Welcome to Fanbase Music Magazine, can you tell us who is in the band and what each band member does?
Hi my name is Chris Koutsogiannis and I am from Greece, Voodoo Drummer is my personal project, who performs my compositions. I am on drums and percussions and Stavros Parginos on Cello. Sometimes we add a bass player or another instrument.
Where is Voodoo Drummer from, and what got you into music?
I am from Athens, Greece. I can’t really tell you what got me into music, I don’t think I can explain what attracted me. It was especially the drums but I was always very passionate about music.
Can you tell us how you got your band name, Voodoo Drummer?
I was inspired by the New Orleans Voodoo tradition, through the music of the city, the jazz funerals, the voodoo ceremonies etc. (I was blessed to play there in 2009). Then I discovered the roots, the Voodoo in Benin, West Africa. (Imagine the feeling when I jammed at a funeral there, in Porto Novo). So Voodoo Drummer is just the perfect name for my own project!
I must say I love your music and find the sound very interesting, how would you describe your sound and genre?
I call it Afro-Dionysian / Experimental. I combine my versions of Greek odd rhythms plus African percussion sounds with my own melodies or melodic riffs played by the cello as the basic instrument. Always inspired by the Greek ancient drama. Some review it as Progressive, Fusion, Avant Garde or just weird! I can’t argue!
When you write music and songs, what goes through your mind when you compose it, because like I said it is very interesting and nothing like I have heard before?
With the above in mind, I just let the ideas come and then focus on just one. The others have to wait their turn.
What sort of music are you into?
Moondog, Erik Satie, Miles Davis … Ι always loved the New Orleans music, then the African, but it was Max Roach that really inspired me since I saw him in 1994. Mostly for his drum solo compositions and his bold experiments with other instruments, particularly in duets.
You have a new track out, can you tell us about the track?
“Aristophane’s Frogs” it’s a piece in three movements telling the story of Dionysus’s trip to Hades to bring back one of the greatest playwrights. With cellist Stavros Parginos. Featuring Blaine L. Reininger (Tuxedomoon) on violin and the voice of Martyn Jacques (Tiger Lillies) on Aristophanes’ famous line from the play: Vre ke ke kex Koax Koax!
Where do you record your music and who works on it?
Now I collaborate with the musician and composer Anastasios C. Katsaris (SmallStage Productions) for the mix and a past student of mine and a fine drummer now, Dimitris Grigoriadis for the recording of the drums. I am grateful to both of them.
Do you have any new music expected to come out soon?
It is hard to tell because as I do it all by myself and unfortunately the plans always change. Hope it will be this year!!!! (It will be about the “Bacchae”, but not the specific Euripides’ tragedy)
One of my favorite tracks of yours is called Drunk Dionysus, how did that song come about?
The first part, the 25/8 rhythm, came almost 20 years ago while practicing, and soon the melody followed. The swinging 9/8 part came 5 years, on stage, when I was trying to make this rhythm more interesting. But it was last May that I worked the composition on the piano first. This is how I imagine that Dionysus would sound when he just foolin’ around, drunk.
You cover a Pink Floyd track, what made you want to cover that band and song?
As a teenager I was watching “Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii” (1972) and this song was my favorite. Floyd’s drummer Nick Mason was a big influence those early days. After many years listening to the song, I just thought that it would easy convert into a 7/8 Greek rhythm. Another day I was listening to “A Love Supreme” record by John Coltrane and I “heard” the basic bass line in my 7/8 Floyd version. So, I just had to record it!
Can you give us your social media links?
Thank you for doing this interview, do you have any last messages for our readers?
For me there is no right or wrong way, it’s just our way. So, I try to follow the way Ι hear things and not the way they sound.
There is so much interesting music out there.
Give them a try!