The Metal Asylum Talks To….Errikos Bloukos

Can you tell us about the origin of the band name, a history of the band and a little bit about the various members?

The name for my solo project, “Errikos Bloukos,” is quite straightforward as it’s based on my own name. I wanted to keep it personal and authentic, as this project represents my individual musical expression and creative vision. My solo music project began several years ago when I decided to explore my own musical ideas and compositions more deeply. While I’ve been a part of various bands and musical collaborations over the years, I felt a strong desire to create music that was a direct reflection of my personal musical influences and emotions.

Who are your favourite artists/bands and how have they influenced your own sound?

I have a deep appreciation for various artists and bands that have influenced my own sound and musical style. Here are some of my favourite artists and how they have shaped my music:

Metallica: Metallica’s powerful guitar riffs and songwriting have had a significant impact on my guitar playing and song composition. Their ability to create catchy, yet heavy, melodies has inspired my own approach to crafting memorable metal tunes.

Iron Maiden: Iron Maiden’s melodic guitar harmonies and storytelling through music have been a tremendous influence on my songwriting. Their ability to fuse melody with aggression has shaped my own musical style.

Dream Theater: Dream Theater’s technical proficiency and complex compositions have pushed me to improve my guitar skills and explore intricate song structures. They’ve also inspired me to incorporate progressive elements into my music.

Opeth: Opeth’s ability to seamlessly blend heavy and melodic passages, as well as their use of clean vocals and acoustic interludes, has encouraged me to experiment with dynamics and contrast in my compositions.

Steve Vai: Steve Vai’s virtuosic guitar playing and innovative use of effects have expanded my understanding of what’s possible on the guitar. His creativity and willingness to push boundaries have influenced my own guitar techniques.

Tool: Tool’s intricate rhythms and atmospheric soundscapes have inspired me to create music that evokes a sense of depth and mood. Their ability to build tension and release it in their songs has influenced my own compositions.

Porcupine Tree: Porcupine Tree’s fusion of progressive rock and metal, along with their use of keyboards and atmospheric textures, has influenced the more atmospheric aspects of my music.

Mastodon: Mastodon’s blend of sludge and progressive metal has encouraged me to experiment with different metal subgenres and incorporate diverse elements into my music.

These artists and bands have left a lasting impression on my musical journey, and their influence can be heard in the way I approach guitar playing, songwriting, and the overall sound of my solo music. While I draw inspiration from a wide range of sources, the common thread is my love for melodic and progressive metal that tells a story and evokes emotion.

Did you always have the ambition to be a musician and in a band or did you originally have other plans?

My journey as a musician has been a lifelong passion, but it wasn’t always my primary career focus. Like many aspiring musicians, I had other plans and interests early in life.

Initially, I pursued a college degree in a different field, and I even started a career outside of music. However, the pull of music was always strong for me. I had been playing guitar since I was a teenager, and the desire to create and share my own musical ideas never truly faded.

Over time, I came to realize that music was not just a hobby for me; it was a calling. I couldn’t ignore the urge to express myself creatively through music. So, I made the decision to shift my focus and pursue music more seriously, leading to the creation of my solo project and the release of my first personal album.

While my path as a musician took a bit of a detour, I’m grateful for the experiences and skills I gained along the way. They’ve contributed to my growth as an artist, and I’m excited to continue my musical journey, pursuing my passion for creating and sharing music with others.

What songs or albums are on your current playlist?

As a metal musician and guitarist, I have a diverse taste in music, and my playlist reflects that. Here are some songs and albums that are currently on my playlist:

1. **Opeth – “Blackwater Park”**: This progressive death metal masterpiece never gets old for me. Its combination of brutality and beauty is a constant source of inspiration.

2. **Dream Theater – “Images and Words”**: Dream Theater’s technical prowess and melodic sensibility are on full display in this classic album, which I revisit often.

3. **Tool – “Fear Inoculum”**: Tool’s latest album is a testament to their unique sound and ability to create immersive experiences through music.

4. **Gojira – “From Mars to Sirius”**: Gojira’s blend of technicality and environmental themes resonates with me, and this album is a standout in their discography.

5. **Pink Floyd – “Wish You Were Here”**: Pink Floyd’s iconic album is a masterclass in progressive rock, and it’s a source of inspiration for my own atmospheric compositions.

6. **Tesseract – “Sonder”**: Tesseract’s djent-inspired sound and emotional depth are captivating, and “Sonder” is a recent favorite.

7. **Haken – “The Mountain”**: Haken’s intricate songwriting and musicianship shine in this progressive metal gem.

8. **Caligula’s Horse – “Rise Radiant”**: This Australian progressive metal band consistently delivers exceptional music, and their latest album is no exception.

9. **Plini – “Impulse Voices”**: Plini’s instrumental guitar work is awe-inspiring, and “Impulse Voices” is filled with beautiful melodies and complex compositions.

10. **Devin Townsend – “Empath”**: Devin Townsend’s creativity knows no bounds, and “Empath” is a genre-blurring, experimental journey that I find inspiring.

These songs and albums span a wide range of subgenres within metal and progressive rock, and they provide me with a constant source of musical inspiration and enjoyment.

Do you sing in the shower?

Absolutely! Singing in the shower is a universal pastime, and I’m no exception. It’s a great way to unwind, relax, and let loose. Plus, the acoustics in the bathroom can make anyone feel like a rock star! Whether I’m belting out my own songs or jamming to my favourite tunes, the shower is one of those places where I can’t resist singing along and having a good time.

Do you have any plans for the band for this year and into next year?

My plans for my music project are centred around creating and sharing new music and expanding my reach as an artist. While I don’t have a traditional band, I continue to work on my solo project. Here are some of my goals and plans for this year and the next:

1. **New Music Releases**: I am constantly writing and composing new material. In the coming year, I plan to release new music, whether it’s a single, an EP, or another album. I’m excited to share my evolving musical journey with my audience.

2. **Music Videos**: Creating visually stunning music videos to accompany my songs is something I’m considering. Music videos can enhance the storytelling aspect of my music and provide a visual dimension to my compositions.

3. **Collaborations**: Exploring collaborations with other musicians or artists is a possibility. Collaborative projects can lead to new creative directions and broaden my musical horizons.

4. **Live Performances**: Depending on the state of the world and the opportunity, I may consider live performances or virtual concerts to connect with my audience and showcase my music in a live setting.

5. **Promotion and Marketing**: Building a strong online presence, engaging with fans on social media, and seeking out opportunities for press coverage and interviews are essential for promoting my music and reaching a wider audience.

6. **Musical Growth**: As a musician, I’m continually striving to improve my skills and evolve my sound. This might involve experimenting with new genres, instruments, or techniques.

While my plans may evolve as circumstances change and creative inspiration strikes, the core goal remains to create meaningful and expressive music that resonates with listeners. I’m excited to see where my musical journey takes me in the coming year and beyond.

Do you currently have any new songs/albums ready to be released?

I always have ideas for new music so yes I have some new songs ready to be released

If you could play at any venue in the world where would you choose?

if I could choose any venue in the world to perform at, I would have to go with the **Royal Albert Hall** in London, United Kingdom.

The Royal Albert Hall is an iconic and prestigious venue known for its stunning architecture and impeccable acoustics. It has a rich history of hosting legendary artists and events, spanning various musical genres, from classical to rock and everything in between.

Performing at the Royal Albert Hall would not only be a dream come true but also a tremendous honor. The venue’s grandeur and history make it a significant milestone for any artist. It’s a place where music truly comes alive, and the atmosphere is unparalleled.

Of course, there are many other incredible venues around the world, each with its unique charm and significance, but the Royal Albert Hall stands out as a symbol of musical excellence and a dream stage for many musicians.

Do you have a favourite album? If so, what is it?

I have a special affinity for several albums that have profoundly influenced me and continue to inspire my musical journey. One of my all-time favorite albums is:

**Opeth – “Blackwater Park”**: This album is a masterpiece of progressive death metal. It combines hauntingly beautiful acoustic passages with crushing, intricate metal sections. The complex song structures and emotional depth of the music have left an indelible mark on my musical style and approach to composition.

“Blackwater Park” is a brilliant showcase of Opeth’s versatility and musicianship, and it has had a lasting impact on my own music. It’s an album that I can listen to repeatedly and still discover new layers and nuances with each listen.

While “Blackwater Park” is one of my favorites, I also have a deep appreciation for numerous other albums across different genres, each contributing to my musical tapestry and inspiring me in various ways. Music is a diverse and ever-evolving art form, and I find joy in exploring its vast landscape.

Do you have any guilty pleasure songs/albums?

As a musician, I don’t believe in “guilty pleasures” when it comes to music. Music is a highly personal and subjective experience, and what resonates with one person may not resonate with another. It’s essential to appreciate music for the emotions and memories it invokes, regardless of genre or perceived coolness.

That said, I do have a diverse taste in music, and I enjoy a wide range of songs and albums beyond the metal genre. These might include pop, classic rock, electronic, or even classical music. These different genres offer unique perspectives on melody, composition, and production, which can be both inspiring and refreshing.

Ultimately, I believe in embracing music in all its forms and allowing it to evoke emotions and create connections, without the need to label any of it as a “guilty pleasure.”

If you were putting together the greatest show on earth, who would be playing?

Putting together the “greatest show on Earth” would be a monumental task, and it would require a lineup of iconic and influential artists spanning various genres. Here’s a dream lineup featuring some of the most legendary and impactful musicians:

1. **Led Zeppelin**: As one of the greatest rock bands in history, Led Zeppelin would headline the show, bringing their timeless classics and electrifying stage presence.

2. **Pink Floyd**: Pink Floyd’s immersive and visually stunning concerts would provide a unique and mind-bending experience.

3. **Metallica**: Known for their high-energy live performances, Metallica would deliver a powerful and memorable set.

4. **Queen with Freddie Mercury**: An unforgettable performance featuring the legendary Freddie Mercury would be a showstopper.

5. **David Bowie**: Bowie’s eclectic and innovative music would add a touch of artistry and theatricality to the event.

6. **Prince**: His virtuosity and showmanship would bring funk, pop, and rock to the stage in an electrifying way.

7. **Radiohead**: Radiohead’s experimental soundscapes and thought-provoking lyrics would provide a unique and introspective element.

8. **Tool**: Tool’s intricate rhythms and atmospheric soundscapes would create a hypnotic and immersive experience.

9. **Stevie Wonder**: A master of soul, funk, and R&B, Stevie Wonder’s performance would bring a groove to the show.

10. **Nina Simone**: The incomparable Nina Simone’s soulful voice and piano skills would add a touch of jazz and blues elegance.

11. **The Rolling Stones**: This iconic rock band’s longevity and enduring hits would make them a fantastic addition.

12. **Daft Punk**: Known for their electronic music and spectacular visuals, Daft Punk’s set would be a danceable and visually stunning experience.

13. **Jimi Hendrix**: A posthumous tribute to the guitar legend would be a fitting addition to the lineup.

14. **Adele**: Her powerful vocals and emotional ballads would provide a heartfelt moment in the show.

15. **Rush**: A progressive rock powerhouse known for their virtuosity and conceptual albums.

This fantasy lineup aims to offer a diverse and unforgettable musical journey, celebrating the richness of music across various genres and generations. It’s a testament to the incredible talent that has shaped the music world.

Can you remember the first album you bought with your own money? What was it and do you still have it?

I can share that the first album I bought with my own money was Metallica’s “Master of Puppets.” This album is a classic in the world of metal music and had a profound impact on my musical journey.

As for whether I still have it, I do. My copy of “Master of Puppets” holds a special place in my music collection. It’s not only a reminder of where my love for metal music began but also a testament to the enduring influence of this iconic band and album. It’s a treasured piece of my music history, and I continue to appreciate and enjoy it to this day.

As your fans will be reading this, is there any message you would like to send out to them?

To all my fans and supporters,

I want to express my sincere gratitude for your unwavering support and passion for my music. Your enthusiasm and dedication mean the world to me, and I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to share my musical journey with you.

Music has the power to connect people across distances and cultures, and it’s a universal language that transcends boundaries. Your support fuels my creativity and inspires me to keep pushing the boundaries of my craft.

Whether you’ve been with me from the beginning or have recently discovered my music, please know that you are an integral part of this musical journey. I look forward to creating more music, sharing new experiences, and connecting with you in the future.

Stay passionate, stay inspired, and keep the music alive. Thank you for being a part of this incredible adventure.

Finally, let us know all your social media sites so your fans, old and new, can find and follow/like you!

We, at The Metal Asylum, would like to thank you for your time. Is there is anything further that you would like to add?

I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to The Metal Asylum for this opportunity to discuss music and share insights into my musical journey as Errikos Bloukos. It’s been a pleasure, and I’m grateful for the support of the metal community and music enthusiasts.

To all the readers and metal fans out there, keep rocking, exploring new music, and supporting the incredible artists in the world of metal. Music has the power to connect us, and it’s the passion of fans like you that makes it all worthwhile.

If you ever have more questions or want to discuss music further, please feel free to reach out. Stay inspired, and let’s keep the metal flame burning bright!

Horns up!

This interview is the property of The Metal Asylum

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