Band of the Day: The Bittersweet

Charging into 2020 now with another Band of the Day, this one from… well, I’ll let them tell you!

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

Athens, Greece.

How did you meet?

One of the members is a relative of mine, the other two were former students of mine and we met the drummer through a mutual friend.

How long have you been playing as a band?

Thirteen long years.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

Quite simple. From the track “Bitter-Sweet” found in Roxy Music’s LP Countrylife. Nothing to do with The Verve!

What are your influences?

The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Bowie, Radiohead, The Smiths, Genesis early era, Caravan, Fleetwood Mac early and mid era, Nick Cave, Blur, Syd Barrett, Roxy Music and many-many others. We do not like to stick to a formula so the influences are varied.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

Our decision to blend different musical styles. We don’t choose to play a certain type of music or follow trends. We do not want to be defined and specific. So I would boast about our musicality, our sincerity and versatility. And also a certain lack of fear.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Existential issues bother me a lot. So that comes obviously through in the lyrics. Also a love for the metaphysical, the absurd and the metaphorical and psychedelic. I love turning landscapes into music, making them visual. But recently we have intentionally simplified our lyrical themes – love, pain, absence and the world situation are the new influences, more raw and real. Expressing frustration and inner turmoil interest me too.

New materials in the lyrical palette.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

I could not possibly count the shows we’ve played, since we exist and play for 13 long years. They are certainly over a hundred.

Our shows focus more on the musicality, the togetherness and the quality of the music. We go more for a professional and rehearsed live approach than a performance based on adrenaline and raw power. We do not act a lot on stage. I, being the ‘frontman’ am the only possible exception, aside from the drummer. I tend to move a little bit more than the others. I find I have a message to convey, so I try to present music as an act and a performance. No dressing-up, no flashy props.

But on the whole I would call The BitterSweet on stage a proposition based on music and a more professional approach. A ‘real’ band. With a feeling.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

My wildest memory as a performer was during our first record presentation, when a fan threw a pair of men’s underwear on stage. I collected them and wore them on my head as a crown. Another one threw me a silly hat during a festival. I also wore it !

Now, as a fan I’ve seen a lot of shows. Iggy Pop’s nudity, the riots in Rage Against The Machine and Prodigy’s live shows in Greece and the peculiar expression of female affection towards Nick Cave during a certain Grinderman show, easily stand out.

Nick, ecstatic, jumped off stage. Some wild girls caressed particular particles of his body with passionate devotion. They were not one or two… And I was quite close!

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

Fender Stratocaster, Gibson Les Paul and Telecaster guitars. A Juno keyboard. Fender Jazz bass. Tama drum set. Fender Champ and Orange amplifiers.

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

Our latest single “Shit” from our second lp, entitled The Age Of New Delirium. But the most important BitterSweet current event is the recording of our 3rd LP, which is going to be called September’s Sons. We are very passionate, excited and devoted a hundred per cent to our newest project! Hopefully it will come out at the end of 2020.

What are your plans for 2020?

Releasing the 3rd album and playing a lot of shows, in Greece and abroad.

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

If we opened up for somebody, my dream is that it would be for Radiohead, Blur, The Cure or Paul McCartney. A fantastic band to open for us or, even better, play equally on the same bill, are the Greeks Verbal Delirium. A fantastic band – check them out!

The Bittersweet: facebook | bandcamp | youtube

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