George Kollias – Drums & Invictus

Beside being one of the most extreme metal drummers and member of the band Nile, he released his first solo album Invictus 18th of May by Season of Mist.
George Kollias is in his hometown Athens, Greece, he came home from the States a couple of months ago after recording the new album with Nile, so he has a brief break for the moment. 8 pm on a Thursday night we met on Skype. Both Sweden and Greece had a bad weather going on. “One of the most, crazy rains I ever saw in Athens to be honest”. George said.

Kollias - 1

George lives in Greece permanently, where he has all his family, but he travels of course a lot because of his job, Nile, touring, drums clinics and drum camps, so he is around the globe all the time. He teaches online lessons through his website and he is a member of the LAB music education here in Athens. He didn’t grow up in a music family, but when George was 10 and his brother 14 they started to play the guitar, and then George preferred the drums and together they even started a band.



You are known for being one of the most extreme and fast metal drummers, how do you work out to keep it fast? “That’s a good question, because I don’t. haha. What I do is that I play a lot of music, we tour a lot. And obviously you have to practice to get the level and to maintain that level the secret is keep doing it and keep loving it.” George explained. ” Because one of the most important things especially when you play extreme metal drumming, it’s not just about practice but it has to do a lot with the love of this specific style. It’s very tough to do it, so you have to love what you do.”

You can read in many drum magazines that George uses a specific foot technique.Mine is one the most important techniques in the world, people make a big deal of it, which it’s cool but actually it’s very simple. There are two kind of techniques. The heel up technique and the heel down technique and there is one new technique which people call flat foot technique, but me as a teacher and I’ve done researches,  it’s the heel up technique that I use. I call it a modern heal up technique, actually pretty much everybody is using it right now. You have to spend a lot of time to get into it and to play fast but I think everybody can do it , it take just a lot of time and…pain hehe…”

Do you get hurt sometimes? “Of course I do, not actually injuries..but you have to be careful, stretch a lot, drink a lot of water, especially when you tour. You have to be able to feel your body and maintain it.”

The 18th May George has released his first solo album Invictus:
There is a long story behind Invictus, this album is actually an accident, I wrote some songs for my first and second DVD, the main reason was that I wanted to write some music so I could just do whatever I wanted with the drum set. Then I posted some clips online, people started liking the songs, and then even asked for more.” – On a previous interview here on Music Is On, George said that this album was planned to be for free download. – “Yes it will be for free, expect for the bonus tracks, I gave my word to the fans and I don’t want to take it back. I got a contract for another album as well, and actually I will start to write on it very soon, but it will be normal, and people will need to pay for it.”

Invictus

George is in charge of all the instruments and lyrics in the album. Even he was very busy, he took his time to make it through.

“While with Nile I was on tour, then I went home and did some drums, they back to the tour, did some clinics then back again and recorded the guitars, “The funny thing about this albums are the lyrics which I wrote in my iPhone, pretty much during flights, breaks and stuff”.



But there are also a bunch of great musicians guesting the album, George Emmanuel from Rotting Christ contributes with an awesome guitar solo in the track Shall Rise/Shall Be Dead, Andreas Trapalis does the violin solo in the bonus track Apocalypse, Efthimis Karadimas (Nightfall) in the bonus track Voices and Mike Breazeale sings in the intro:
The first idea was to have one guitar player do the solos, then I thought of asking more friends, making it more interesting you know. I’m really proud to have all these guys playing. I let them do whatever they wanted. I said just be yourself, no rules. Nothing. Because Sometimes there are some bands that they ask you to do a guest thing, but they tell you exactly what to play and that’s not spontaneous”.

There are some thoughts of getting this album out on the roads, just for fun, maybe I’d be play the guitar and sing instead of behind the drums or maybe I’d play the drums anyway…But it’s too early to make it happen yet!”
Do you have a specific theme in this album?
No absolutely not. I’m not a big fun of writing lyrics. If you really into lyrics you should write a book instead. My lyrics are kind of like movies. Gods, warriors and some people with twisted minds. That’s all.
What is Shall rise/shall be dead about?
It’s about a God. He try to conquer and shot down from a bigger god. He’s on a journey…
Does it reflects the image of the cover?
The guy that did the cover of this album is Manthos Stergiou from Manster Design, a good friend of mine. He is into metal and knows what I wanted. He made a lot of covers for other metal bands. I gave him a couple of ideas. When he showed me the cover from Invictus It was directly the right one. I love nature, the sky, the mountains so I really like it. The cover got the Hero and the Nature, so that was it!”
Being in Nile for so many years has it inflicted the music in Invictus? 
I’ve with Nile for 11 years. For me to sit down and copy the band would be very stupid. The only thing you can hear from Nile in this album are the drums. Because it’s me. Some have said that – “Those drums sounds like Nile” – But it’s not. It’s the drummer of Nile playing in a different band The guitar riffs in Nile are entire different from NIle’s. So i can’t write a Nile song.
Wich song of the album your are most satisfied with?
The biggest surprise that totally blowed me away was the addition of my friend Andreas Trapalis that did the violin solo. He has many influence from greek traditional music. It’s one hit of the album. Very beautiful. Nothing someone would expect from this album.

I think it’s an album that people will love, it’s melodic, catchy and easier to understand than more complicated stuff, so take a listen, download it and if you like it go and buy it!

Drums - Kollias
/Viktoria Colonna

 

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