[Interview] Project Renegade
Project Renegade is a four-member metal band from Athens, Greece, founded by Marianna (vocals) and Ody (drums) and joined after by Nick K. (guitars) and Jay (bass). Their sound derives from a heavy background blended with electronic and ambient elements. After releasing their debut EP “Cerebra” in 2017, the band has now brought together yet another fantastic mix creating their first full-length album “Order of the Minus“.
Recently we had the opportunity to speak with the vocalist, Marianna Florou, and the pleasure of listening to their new album, ‘Order of the Minus’ of course. Join us as we learn even more about this incredible band.
Hello Marianna! I admit, I am new to this band but everything I’ve heard so far I’m really liking, so a big thank you for reaching out to us to share your music.
Marianna: Hello! Thank you very much for your interest and support!
To get us started, let us begin by asking first, how and when did Project Renegade get its start?
Marianna: The band was founded by Ody (drums) and myself in 2014. Later, we were joined by Nick K. (guitar) and Jay (bass). Ody and I know each other since we were in school and we have been in other bands together before Project Renegade. Back in 2014, Ody and I decided to form a band that would actually have a message and where we could play the music we liked with the aim to be a more serious band and not just a jamming band. We started to write music and we managed to release our first EP “Cerebra” in 2017 and now our first full-length “Order of the Minus”.
What drew each of you to the music industry?
Marianna: I don’t know if we are drawn to the music industry, but we are definitely drawn to music as an art and a form of expression. Personally, I believe that music is the highest form of artistic expression as it can impact millions of people from different backgrounds and has been a means of expression since the dawn of time. Just think that every person has an in-built musical instrument in their bodies, their voice. That means that music is forever connected to human existence. To be more specific, all members of the band have been in contact with a musical instrument from quite an early age and I believe that once you get the music virus in your system you cannot go back into not seeing everything in your life from the perspective of the musician, regardless of whether that’s your profession or not.
Oh yes, you can easily tell just by listening to the guys play their instruments that they have played a long time, it’s as if they are one with what they play. So how did all of you meet? Are all of you from Greece?
Marianna: Yes we are all from Greece! Like I said earlier, Ody and I know each other since our school years and we met in a band we had when we were 16 years old and Jay was also the bass player for a former band that Ody was playing for. Nick was a happy coincidence and we met him through an ad we have put on because we needed a guitar player.
Awesome. And what’s been the biggest overall reaction to “Order of the Minus,” so far?
Marianna: Although it’s really soon to do a realistic evaluation since the album has been out for less than 15 days, I am really happy from what I’ve experienced so far! The reviews we are receiving, the comments from the fans, the orders that we get in, all that show that all the work we have put during the years we are active as a band is actually paying off in the best possible way. Our fanbase grows steadily and there is interest from people all over the world in what we do. And we are constantly striving to reach more and more people with our music and spread the word of our message to them.
I’m sure it’s only going to grow even more as word gets around! Marianna, what do you hope the listener experiences when they listen to the band?
Marianna: I hope that they get to connect with us as people. I hope they find a community, a family, where they feel comfortable to converse about their problems and their anxieties and I hope that they can find solace from all the negative stuff in their lives. In a way, we want to create through our music a sanctuary, a place where people can turn to in their difficult times.
Have you ever had to deal with performance anxiety?
Marianna: Not really. I believe that what we feel is more the excitement of wanting to go on stage and connect with the audience. But not stage fright, not at all.
That’s great! So what is your songwriting process like? Where does your inspiration come from personally?
Marianna: Usually someone brings an idea and then we develop around it. Most of the time guitars are written first and then the rest of the instruments. Then Ody and I get to write orchestrations, electronics, etc and lastly we write the vocal lines and the lyrics. Inspiration comes from my everyday life, from personal experiences and from problems and thematics that I have to face in my life. Also, sometimes I get inspired by movies or other forms of art but most of the time it’s real life that makes me want to express emotions musically and lyrically.
That’s interesting to know. What’s the band’s biggest problem you’ve had to face and overcome so far?
Marianna: I would say the common problems that a DIY band has. Mainly money. We want to do all that wonderful stuff to make our band bigger, to tour more and to spread our music in more people but then you get the financial obstacle because, although you invest all your money to the band, you also have to live someway. And because of that you have to choose what to do and what not to do, where to invest more and where to downsize and that is really frustrating. I know it’s not pretty and very rock-n-roll to talk about that stuff, but it is a reality that all underground bands face. Unfortunately, being in a band is a very expensive activity and the sad part is that everybody expects to be paid good money (studios, productions, promoters etc) with the exception of the bands themselves. But we fight through it and we try to do the best we can!
I’m sure all that can get pretty hectic at times, and I’m happy to know that you guys are hanging in there! What’s your one favorite thing about being the vocalist of the band? What’s your least favorite?
Marianna: I really like the connection with the fans, because it’s more intimate. It’s logical since the vocalist is the one that gets to actually make the conversation through the lyrics with the audience. My least favorite thing is that I have to be extra careful with my health since if I am sick or tired that will affect my performance. Other than that I really love it!
Well, stay healthy, we need to hear more of you! Marianna, what can you tell us about the video ‘Liber8’ from your new album? Did it prove to be very expensive to make that one and how important was that as an investment for the band?
Marianna: It was a concept that Ody and I worked on and we managed to make it a reality. Everything was done by us, from the story, the clothes, the setup. We even built the cage that you can see in the video. It was a significant investment for us, but videos are the best way in our age to spread your music and to gain more fans so we are planning to deliver a lot of them!
Well, I for one love the outfits you’re all wearing in that video, it all blends together really well. So what do all of you like to do when not performing or practicing? What’s your world like outside of music? Any hobbies or fun stuff?
Marianna: All of us have different stuff that we do and hobbies. I like the movies a lot, Ody paints and Nick likes architecture to name a few. But a lot of our time is actually consumed by music, either by rehearsing or writing music or simply listening to music.
If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
Marianna: I would like things not to be superficial. I believe that a lot of artists have to conform their visions to what is a good product, to what sells because they are told to by labels, managers etc. I think that makes things a lot less interesting and exciting. I would much rather prefer to see a musician’s vision rather than a businessman’s.
Yes, I could not agree more! So what are the band’s immediate plans for 2020?
Marianna: We are planning a lot of music videos and lives and we are slowly starting to write new music.
Sounds most excellent. Haa, I gotta throw this one in…everyone that knows me personally knows that Rotting Christ is my favorite band ever. Being that they are also from Greece, do you know of them or familiar with them?
Marianna: Yes of course we know of them! It hasn’t been a pleasure to meet them yet personally but we like them too!
I had a feeling you did! So we’re getting close to the end here so one last question…If you could have your fans remember one thing about you, what would that be?
Marianna: I would like to associate Project Renegade’s music with important moments in their life, because they found the meaning the searched for during those moments in our music.
Sweet. I want to thank you for taking the time out of your extremely busy schedule to speak with us today. Do you have any last words or messages that you would like to share with everyone out there?
Marianna: Thank you very much for this interview! Don’t forget to check out our new album “Order of the Minus” and I hope to get to know each and every one of you in one of our shows!
OFFICIAL BAND LINKS:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/prenband
Bandcamp Page: https://projectrenegade.bandcamp.com
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX5zHAKWh35oPsbHANEbI3w
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