Until Rain: The Future of Progressive Rock
After interviewing The Laser’s Edge bands TILES, White Willow and Dream the Electric Sleep in the past two years, I was ready for the next great signing to the popular progressive rock label. Until Rain is that band and Inure is their latest masterpiece. Modern, crossing genres, going from growling vocals and Djent metal to soaring balladry to jazzy flourishes on keys and guitars, Until Rain does it all and lifts the spirits doing so. I recently sent questions for the band to answer and keyboardist Lef Germenlis got back to me in record time. Read on about this exciting band.
I was surprised to read that the two founding members were only 14 when the band started 13 years ago. What growth have you done as people and as a band since getting together?
Lef Germenlis: Obviously a lot and the band has changed so much since then. For me personally the band took form in 2008 where we started writing our own music and eventually released our first album a year later. Even since our first album we have evolved a lot I think as individuals and definitely as a band.
What was the band that you heard that made you want to be a musician? Who supported you to go further, explore your talents?
I grew up with rock and prog bands from my father’s album like Queen, Pink Floyd, Supertramp and Genesis. Also bands my sister use to hear like Katatonia, Opeth and Anathema. This made me want to write my own music, create a similar atmosphere and eventually create a band. I had full support from my parents to follow a career in music.
What is your personal stamp on Until Rain? What do you bring to the band that makes the music exciting, unique?
Me and Theodore (Amaxopoulos, guitars) co-write all the music of Until Rain so I think we equally bring our musical influences, our needs for expression and songwriting style to the game. Personally I think I’m merging influences that maybe have never been merged before and that’s why our music might end up having a special character, an identity.
Every song has some variety, slow piano, acoustic guitar, quickly played keyboards, growled vocals, drama, beauty, ugliness. Who is the biggest metalhead? Who listens to pop music/singers, jazz, prog, etc.
I think our singer (Cons Marg) and our drummer (Matthew Vella) are our biggest metalheads. Me and Theo, although we adore heavy music the last years we don’t listen to so much of it. Personally I listen to a lot of Electronic Music, Soul/Future Soul, jazz and many many other things that have absolutely nothing to do with metal. But I love writing heavy and extreme music. Still, I enjoy some heavy and prog bands all the time! Open mind above all.
What is the subject matter of Inure overall? What specific song has a line or two that really hits home?
I suppose it is exactly what the title says. Themes of loneliness, abuse, depression and grief circulate but also there are some silver linings behind the clouds. You could say that the title track of the album has some good descriptions of what this album is about. But I can’t really pick any, I will let you discover it yourself.
What bands are you listening to on road trips? Who has the most annoying tastes, what do you all agree on? Or is everyone wearing headphones?
Lately we were on tour and we found ourselves listening to whatever CDs our singer had with him and that included Ihsahn, Ghost, Katatonia, Opeth, The Gentle Storm, Leprous and more. We all have an open mind though and that’s exactly why we are all in this together. There is absolutely no room for any narrow-minded individuals. I really think that no one has annoying taste. And as I said there is plenty of different and diverse music we all agree on.
What is an Until Rain live experience like? Do you all dress in style? Lots of fans singing along, couples, ladies?
We have been characterised in our latest tour as incredibly energetic. Truth is we don’t stop headbanging on stage, we have tons of fun and we sweat A LOT. It’s like a little work out. Or a one-hour workout. And we love it. We kind of dress in the same vibe but not exactly the same. But we give it some thought. Given the nature of our music our crowd is eclectic for the moment. I really hope more people get to experience our shows and our music cause I truly believe that with a few more tries our music can stick with you. We have loads of sing along parts, that’s true. And a lot of choruses!!
This Solitude is one of the heavier songs on Inure. It also has many different parts. How did this song come together? Was it many different parts that you pieced together? You’re all such amazing musicians! This song gives me chills when Cons starts to growl.
Happy you enjoyed that one! That song has a really funny/crazy story. I wrote it initially and full of excitement showed it to the band. They liked it. But after a while I started hating it for some reason and I didn’t want it to be in the album. But then we all sat down, made many changes and collectively wrote most of the vocal parts and came up with loads of ideas. And it became an exciting piece of music we are really proud of and also love playing live. I will include a part from This Solitude given the fact that you really liked it.
What are some of the most enjoyable songs or parts of a song when played live?
Personally I love playing all the album live but some moments I enjoy are the heavy riffs of Progressus in Idem, New World Fiction, This Solitude and Inure but also the atmosphere we create in the long outro of Because Something Might Happen, a build up, a chance for the spectator to breathe and slowly lose themselves in the music.
Do you have fans asking for tablature? I think it would be really interesting to be able to include some sheet music from one of your songs, at least an instrument or part of a song that is intricate.
We actually had people ask before and we privately sent it to them but we are planning to release some sheet music for people to have access and dive even deeper to the world of Until Rain.
Your members are from all over Europe. What is your favorite club to go to and/or perform at? Where did you go to buy music or see it live in your hometown or where you live now? Where is your favorite place for food or drinks where you live, something unique to your area? Maybe you have a pre- or post-show place you go to?
Exactly. We live in separate countries. Our most memorable gigs were in Le Divan Du Monde in Paris, Eightball in our hometown, Thessaloniki, Greece and of course every show we’ve done in Netherlands but also lately our shows in Sweden. We can’t wait to go back! Personally in London I go to a lot of gigs all the time and I think my favourite venue is Islington Assembly. Seen some great shows in that one. For a couple of years around 2010-2013 we used to go a lot to a certain creperie in our hometown which sadly closed now.
You’re in good company on Laser’s Edge in the States. I love Tiles and White Willow. I’ve been covering proggy music for over two decades and Rush is my favorite band. Who are some of your favorite bands that introduce progressive elements?
I think from modern bands I love names like Leprous, Port Noir, Agent Fresco, Karnivool, Porcupine Tree but of course we used to love and still admire Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Pain of Salvation etc. A favourite band of mine and Theodore that really inspires us is Marillion. Also bands like Radiohead, Toto, Hiatus Kaiyote, The Reign Of Kindo, The Dear Hunter & Submotion Orchestra. (a little brainstorming of favourite artists).
Where do you see Prog going in the future?
Hopefully to more people than now. I really hope that people start craving for some depth in music. Only then Prog will be loved as it deserves to be.
Is there plans for touring the States, specifically the Los Angeles area? Please say yes!
We really hope we visit the States as soon as possible. I know it is tricky for this year but we have high hopes for 2018 and it is true that we are doing everything in power to make it happen!
OK, I’m getting chills again, This Fear just came on…
Excited you love this song as well, many people commented positively on the chorus of this song.
Thanks for your time and great music!
Thanks for the great interview and the insightful questions. Hope to meet you in person when we finally visit the states for a tour. Until then, prog on and stay safe!
Here’s a few bands that I’m loving:
Codeseven, Anciients, Kylver, Opeth, Cynic, Zombi, Outrun The Sunlight, He Whose Ox Is Gored, Dream the Electric Sheep, Dungen, Junius, Corpo-Mente, AYAHUASCA.
All added to my listening list!!
(by Bret Miller)
Until Rain is:
Cons Marg – Vocals
Donna Zed – Backing Vocals
Theodore Amaxopoulos – Guitars
Lef Germenlis – Keyboards
Linus Abrahamson – Bass
Matthew Vella – Drums