Thursday 04 February 2016
Interview with Stavros Lantsias in Linto
Editor: Gogo Dimopoulou
G.D.: You have done covers on two of Manos Hadjidakis’ songs. Would you like to tell us how did that come about?
Stavros Lantsias: I essentially became acquainted with Manos Hadjidakis music through my collaboration with Elli Paspalla. He is now my favorite Greek musician and I think that he has greatly influenced many Greek musicians (instrumentalists and composers). His compositions are effective in a unique richness, ideal for adaptation and personal expression.
G.D.: Have you ever tried having a fourth member in Human Touch? And other than “chemistry”, what other qualities do you find essential in order to collaborate with an artist?
Stavros Lantsias: A fourth permanent member we have never sought for, but we really like to work with our favorite musicians as guests. Personally, I am attracted by musicians who have their own sound and feel confident they have something to say. Being technically good is not enough. The choices and aesthetics you serve define you. It is no coincidence that with Giotis Kiourtsoglou and David Lynch we share similar concerns that we often discuss and I trust that we have positively affected one another in our evolution as musicians and as people.
G.D: Your latest work, Dreams’ Diary, has been brought out in vinyl records as well. Knowing how limited the vinyl audience is, what led you to make such a decision?
Stavros Lantsias: The audiophile audience itself urged me and the first edition has almost already run out. I am glad because I have discovered that there are people who love music and recognize that by buying CDs or vinyl records, they actively support the creative continuity of their favorite artists.
G.D.: Do you think recording studios in Greece should be jealous of those abroad?
Stavros Lantsias: Yes, but not because of lack of machinery or capable sound engineers. The difference between (us and) America – where from I have recent experience- is the very high level of professionalism in all the activities of the music industry resulting in producing masterpieces. Dreams’ Diary was completed in Los Angeles in less time than I had expected because of the efficiency and experience of everyone who worked with me. I am optimistic that technology is becoming more attainable, and along with hardworking, young, talented musicians and sound engineers, the quality of music production will improve in Greece.
G.D.: Every artist fears that there will come a time of lack of inspiration. Where do you draw it from?
Stavros Lantsias: There is always the fear of fatigue-frustration. The antidote is to be active and to set goals that you fulfill. Collaborations with talented and restless artists also help keep the spirit open to creative influences.
G.D.: Would you like to tell us about your next plans?
Stavros Lantsias: Recently I have had the pleasure of working with young musicians in concerts in Greece and Germany. Having tried my compositions with different timbres I am forming my next record proposal. Also, we are about to complete the recordings of our new work with Human Touch. A single has already been released at Christmas 2015: Human Touch Kalanta Thrakis (Thrace Carols).