Bands - Musicians - Issue 5

Aggressive and romantic at the same time, Potergeist spoke to HeartbeatInk about their new album, swamp metal and their tattoos.


What is Swamp Metal?

Swamp Metal is a darker version of Southern Metal, with more sludge.

Why did you choose this type of music?

We didn't choose it, we created it. That's just what we wanted to play. The natural flow of things, you see.


When were Potergeist first formed and how has the journey been so far?

The band formed in 2004, from our unquenchable love of music before anything else. Potergeist love the stage and never stop playing, from small bars with friends to stadiums alongside huge bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and small countryside clubs, while at the same time recording. We now have three full length albums (Southwards, Muddy Mermaids) and one ep (Purple EP) under our belt.


What is the style of your new record and what are your expectations?

It is a balanced record. There are many heavy moments and many blues rock moments. Aggressive and romantic at the same time. Expectations? Well to go gold in five - six countries so I can build a second swimming pool for my castle in the Carpathians (laughs). To have friends coming over to our gigs and party hard.


How does the Greek scene treat its bands and how do the bands treat the Greek scene?

Even though I don’t go camping (laughs) I like the Greek scene. I feel for it, I live it and I love it. I believe the Greek scene doesn’t treat its bands as it should, while on the other hand the bands treat it with great respect and responsibility. That sounded like a political advert (laughs)!


Alex, how many tattoos do you have?

Tell me, how am I supposed to count them? Should I consider my one arm one tattoo, the other another, my one leg one and the other leg another, all of my back as one and the rest of my body as one? Six big tattoos then (laughs)!


When did you get your first tattoo and which one is it?

Alex: My first is the Joker from Batman, full of colour, and Vasilis from Medusa Tattoo gave it to me when I was 19 years old. After 15 years I can say it remains the best tattoo I have.


In your opinion which are the most symbolic of your tattoos?

The back piece, which is a bluesman skeleton in a paper boat, like the ones we used to make as children. The paper the boat is made of is a newspaper scrap which coincidently is the obituary page which, again coincidently, has the dates of birth and death of my eight favourite bluesmen. There is a frog next to it which is relaxing on a water lily eating a bolt of lightning from the skeleton – voodoo style – and holding a guitar playing the blues. The blues is the teacher and thus my love for the blues is a big part which was imprinted on me this way. This specific tattoo was done by Argentinian Maxi Espino.

Another important tattoo is the face of a dear friend of mine, with whom I am very close, like brother and sister, and she will always grace my arm. That was done by Vassilis at Medusa Tattoo.

Also, the crocodile with the name of my band, is a huge part of my life and it was done by Skeryone at Medusa Tattoo. Other than that, due to my love for the swamps, if I remember correctly you will find seven or eight frogs on me. As with my love for the American comic book, there are many heroes and villains on me as well.





















Tolis, when did you get your first tattoo and which one is it?

My first and best is the one with the Blues Brothers. If I hadn’t seen that movie in the early 90s when I was a kid in the summer cinema Elena in Ilissia in Athens (unfortunately it doesn’t exist anymore) things would definitely be different in my life. The A and the Z. The biggest influence in my music and not just my life. I had said it was going to be my first and last tattoo, but anyone belonging to a band knows very well that that is simply not possible…


Regarding your other tattoos, what do you have to say?

Tolis: Bud Spencer…is coming for you…aka Carlo Pedersoli. My childhood hero. Countless Sunday afternoons with Captain Birdseye fish and his movies playing non-stop on the video player. And for the oldies to remember and the young to know, his nickname came from Budweiser beer and his favourite actor Spencer Tracy.


Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold. I was initially going for “lust for gold’ so I could be part of the spirit of the day, the new city trend, but Mikey Boy probably tricked me and gave me more letters without me realizing. Beyond the joke though, when I got these specific lyrics from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man in 2009, when Medusa was still on Kallidromiou street, how could I imagine that I would be a part of their live concert and the Hellinikon Stadium three years later…


Other tattoos of various models and beautiful boys from the Greek rock scene (see Stratal) and more, which are on various parts of my body are hidden due to respect to the female population.

Lastly, I would like to say a big thank you to Vassilis from Medusa Tattoo and also a big respect to George Skeyrone, Selina and Mikey Boy.


*Potergeist are presenting their new record ‘Swampfires” on Friday 4 October live at the magical AN Club. Alongside them, their good friends Psycho Choke, Harsh Demise and Stonebringer.

HeartbeatInk would like kindly to thank Santa Botella (Panormou 115, Athens) for the hospitality and for the realisation of the photoshoot.

Photos & interview by Ino Mei.