Given Free Rein is a Greek band with an interesting take on hard rock, alternative, punk, dark and post-rock genres. The band fronted by Andrew Kouretas put out their debut album In-Ear Trip this year, which was produced, mixed and mastered by George Bokos (Stone Cold Dead, George Kollias, Melechesh).
What made you go for the name Given Free Rein?
Given Free Rein are those that have achieved freedom in their perspective of life. I hope that the fans of the band will be Given Free Rein as far as the perception and the experience of our music is concerned. This choice had to do with my wanting to play the sound I really like without any genre restrictions.
How do you usually describe your music?
When my friends started asking me, I used to say that I don’t know exactly how to describe it etc but I have concluded to say that my music has a hard rock and post punk basis along with some heavy, post, alternative and electro elements. Apart from the musical genre, I would like to mention something that my friend Mathis told me a couple of months ago when he listened to the album: that In-Ear Trip music is deep. And I kind of agree with this. It’s deep in the way it is was conceived and from this depth it was brought to the surface.
What is your writing process like?
Everything starts from one riff, one idea, an “idee fixe” that stacks in my mind after playing and improvising with my guitar or piano. And after it stacks, I know that I really like this idea and that it can become the basis of my new architecture. Then, I start experimenting with different ways of building this idea and this is the most magical and cool moment. When you create something out of nowhere. The sounds of my interface sometimes define my mood and so the progress of the music.
Who or what is your inspiration, if you have any?
The inspiration for me is a deep state of thinking and experiencing the music when I play the guitar and the piano. But what leads me to sit on my chair and start playing is a force that I feel since I was very little, which made me start playing music and get touched by the sounds. For sure, the difficulties of everyday life make me want to create something beautiful.
What is your favourite piece on the In-Ear Trip album?
I could say I enjoy very much “Day in the Dark” because of the nice conjunction of the fuzz rock riff with the dark electro synths. i felt quite inspired at the very moment of writing this song and I like remembering this vibe when I listen to it.
What makes In-Ear Trip different?
Maybe the guitar riffs played on the piano and the piano themes that became guitar riffs. I really like trying the same riffs on the piano and the guitar, because these two instruments are really different. But in my point of view, not so much.Another thing is that with my producer George Bokos, we used different guitar amps and settings for nearly every song of the album, but it was something that we felt we had to do from the very first moment because each song has its own vibe. So there is a diversity of sounds that makes the album different in some way.
What should music lovers expect from In-Ear Trip?
A trip to their inner self, a sinking to the subconscious notion of their hearts. Stylistically, a variety of guitar and synths sounds combined with rhythmical and groovy drumming and my voice, and all of these joined with a passionate production.
What kind of emotions would you like your audience to feel when they listen to your music?
Whatever they want! The Given Free Rein meaning is that the listeners and the fans of this band are completely open to the music and free to perceive it with the feelings they want to. Or need to..
Which do you like most, life in the studio or on tour?
I have never made a big tour so I cannot answer to this question. I hope that Given Free Rein band will give me the chance to do it!
Pick your three favourite albums that you would take on a desert island with you.
Placebo’s Without You I am Nothing, Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here and Jean Michel Jarre’s Magnetic Fields.