Tuesday 1 September 2015

Potergeist - Crocodile Tears Reivew + Interview

(Photo Credit: Danai Fokiou Photography)

Potergeist may well be a familiar name to many now. This Greek stoner/Southern metal outift have been making music for over a decade now and 2015 has seen the recent release of their fourth full-length, Crocodile Tears via Garden Of Dreams Records. This year they've played alongside Corrosion Of Conformity and Black Label Society in their native country, which just shows how well respected they have become. With plans to tour Europe now in place for later in the year, I felt it was a great time to chat with via e-mail about their collective experiences and the reaction to their new record.

TNIO: To start off, can you please give people an introduction to Potergeist? Who the members are and what brought you together as a band?

Potergeist: Potergeist are 5 friends with true love for music. Sratal and Nick XP on the guitars,Tolis Toleas on the drums,K. Vihos on bass and myself (Alex Swamp) on Vox. The Potergeist "saga" goes back to 2004 and counts 4 albums of Swamp Metal a mix of southern metal,blues and stoner rock.I guess the swamp demons is what brought us together hahahaha...

TNIO: You’ve just released your 4th full-length “Crocodile Tears”. How does it feel to have reached this point in your career, especially with over a decade of experience under your collective belts?

Potergeist: It feels good actually to be around still and it feels good that people are still into our music. Like you said all this experience has just made us better and wiser but as in life so in music there are a lot of new experiences and things to see and learn from so we just keep on doing our thing and hope that people like it ...

TNIO: What are the main lyrical themes running through the album? Are they more focused around the current situation in Greece or are they more personal?

Potergeist: Well some lyrics are personal, some are about the shit that is going on not only here because the same shit is going on in many countries right now,there are lyrics against racism, lyrics against trends,about the wrong ways of show biz, about helping out your fellow man there are a lot of things we talk about in our lyrics now that i think about it.

TNIO: You’ve recently played with sludge royalty Corrosion Of Conformity and you’re about to play with the mighty Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society? What does it mean to you when bands like this come to Greece and what is like playing alongside them?

Potergeist: Through the years we have played with many bands so it's just another show. The difference is that these bands have bigger audiences and more people get to learn of your band. Now if the members of the band are cool guys it's even better if they are ass holes it makes it harder and you might also stop admiring them after meeting them. hahahaha!

TNIO: Following on from the previous question, what other live/touring plans have you got for the rest of 2015?

Potergeist: Well we just had time to do a Spanish tour since the album came out so we will hit the road this fall in our country Greece and around Europe to promote the new album.

TNIO: What have been your highlights so far as a band? (These can be from any part of your career)

Potergeist: That would have to be opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd in our hometown at Elliniko baseball stadium 3 years ago and when Red Bull gave us an endorsement deal after seeing us live.

TNIO: If Potergeist was a new band in 2015, what advice would you give yourselves about the industry?

Potergeist: Get a manager so you don t go through all the shit in the industry to learn. Hahahaha! 


1. Swamp Muse Summoning
2. Crocodile Tears
3. Visit From A Swampire
4. What Then
5, Truth
6. Atonement
7. The Preacher And The Witch
8. Eve
9. Last Punk Standing

After the short and sweet intro of Swamp Muse Summoning, Potergeist launches straight into their fourth full-length’s title-track. It’s very pleasing to hear them hitting the loud pedal without a pause and Crocodile Tears is riff city! The vocals at first sound quite mean and menacing, but during the choruses they soar. Musically, Potergeist’s own summary of “Southern metal and stoner rock” is pretty much spot on, with obvious catchiness thrown in for good measure. It strikes me that Potergeist’s second home might actually be the swamp, as they make reference to it for a second time on Visit From A Swampire. There’s more than an air of the venerable Clutch during this song, which is certainly no bad thing as it’s brilliant. Potergeist has obviously settled on a sound that works for them and aren’t afraid to venture closer to the mainstream on songs like What Then. On this showing, they’re definitely one band that would be at home playing arenas and major European festivals main stages if given the opportunity. Truth reeks of thrash to begin with, before it settles into a huge rock n roll ballad. As you’d expect from a band of Potergeist’s experience, you get mature and quality song-writing right through the record. No songs outstay their welcome and they remain stuck in your head for days after. Despite the different genres I’ve already mentioned above, it’s stoner that truly flows through this record and Atonement is the archetypal case in point. It’s made even better by the guitar solo and female backing vocals that add another dimension, even if it ends abruptly (I wanted it to carry on!). All good things come to an end, but what follows certainly isn’t disappointing. The Preacher And The Witch is a driving slab of rock n roll that keeps the momentum high. Even though Crocodile Tears is drawing to a close, there’s no slowing down or fading away from Potergeist. I’m hearing a nod to glam rock during Eve, but not sure if other people would agree with that. There’s just something about it. Sadly, Last Punk Standing is more played in the key of punk, but is instead a twin-guitar filled slab of melodic metal. It may be classed an “easy listening’` to some metal fans but there’s nothing wrong with this record at all. In fact, it has the quality and the musical hooks to make it a classic. This should definitely draw new fans towards Potergeist and guide them to great things.

You can stream Crocodile Tears and purchase a digital download or CD here:-

Potergeist Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/potergeist
Garden Of Dreams Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/gardenofdreamsrecords

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