Chatting with "Locomondo"!

What happens when you mix traditional Greek music with an element of Reggae, a splash of Ska, and a drop Caribbean vibes? Locomondo! Their unique sound, is guaranteed to give you the dancing fever...keeping your feet still to their bouncy beats is near to impossible! They are trendy, and highly skilled musicians!

"Locomondo", hail from Athens, Greece, and they have an incredibly impressive resume to their name. With 7 members in the band, the explosion of melodies and instrumental riffs is fantastic, and each song is jazzy, yet remaining true to its traditional Greek style! They are one of the most successful bands in Greece, and they can certainly put on a show! The band members are:

Markos Koumaris - Vocals, Guitar 
Yiannis Varnavas - Guitar, Vocals 
Stamatis Goulas - Keyboards, Sampler 
Spyros Mpesdek
is - Bass
Stratos Sountris - Drums
Thanasis "Spogos" Tampakis - Sound Engineer

Horn Section:
Nikos "Tattoo" Vlachos - Trumpet |
Christos Spiliopoulos - Trombone |

Photo courtesy of www.iefimerida.gr

Energy, sass, spark and fun are up their with their top qualities. They have performed internationally, including Germany, Turkey and the UK (details below). They have also released 6 albums. I was able to have a chat with Markos from the band, and he kindly answered some questions, including inspirations, what they are doing this year, and some incredible in depth advice for novice musicians starting out!! 

Photo Courtesy of Locomondo Offical Facebook

The Questions!

1. How do you prepare for a big show? 
Well, every one in the band has his own tactic. Some people get energy by being with a lot of people, making jokes or other things to release the tension. I usually load up my energy by being alone and concentrating before the show. I've found out it is very useful to imagine the whole situation the night before just before sleeping and concentrating on things I want to do or put an accent to.

2. What is the best advice you have ever been given? 
I had the chance to meet Manu Chao after we opened up for his show in Athens. He told me that for him the two most important things were "persistence and luck". Luck doesn't come often, if it comes at all, so you have to work hard and be ready when the time comes.

3. Who are your musical inspirations? 
I'll try to name the most important as they are quite a few. In terms of Reggae I think Bob Marley is my main influence. His songwriting, his performing and the way his band sounded is timeless. Manu Chao is from my point of view the most powerful and authentic show on the planet. I also love the greek Rembetiko music with Markos Vamvakaris being my absolute favourite. But my biggest inspiration is and will always be Bruce Springsteen. I saw him at the age of 10 on TV and it branded me for life. I also love the music of Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, The Pogues and many many others.

4. How do you stay motivated in life and in your career? 
I absolutely need a stabile and harmonic personal life to be creative. If I eat and sleep well I can be very productive. My way is slow and steady instead of fast and explosive. 

5. How do you go about creating your music, what is your process?
I have different ways of approaching it. Sometimes I just sit with my guitar and let my unconscious lead me to a new idea. Sometimes I have a specific topic that bothers me and which I need to write about, so I go on really systematic, collect all my lyrics having to do with that, think about a refrain and so on. Sometimes I listen to artists I love and get ideas for a new song. 

6. What is the craziest thing you have ever done? 
Oh, I don't think it would be wise to write about that. he he

7. What are your musical plans for this year?!  
Locomondo is always very busy touring in Greece every summer and will also do some shows in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and the UK . I'm also working on my personal folk project as well. 

8. What advice would you give someone starting out in the business?
Things have changed a lot since we first started in 2003. I don't know if the knowledge we have gathered is still useful today. I think we are coming into an era where music is perceived in a way that has little to do with the way people experienced it at the beginning of the millennium, not to mention the earlier times namely the 70s, 80s and 90s. Music in the last 10 years was shaped by the unstoppable force of the internet, which came hand in hand with the gradual breakdown of the music industry and opened completely new ways for artists to manage their careers. I would definitely advise them to let a professional manage this part so they can put all their energy in their music. Otherwise one gets too distracted by all this permanent stream of information and can easily lose focus.

9. If you could visit any country in the world, where would it be and why?
In terms of musical inspiration Brasil would be my favourite. It has such a rich musical culture, rhythms, melodies, dances - an (maybe because of the language) undiscovered musical jewel for most people. Even their Pop music is great!  

Photo Courtesty of Locomondo Official Facebook page

If you want to check out Locomondo on tour, here are some upcoming dates and locations (outside of Greece):

27th May O2 Academy Islington London (UK)
28th May Melkweg Amsterdam (NL)
11th June Moelln Folksfest der Internationalen Begegnung (DE)
12th August Antilliaanse Festival Hogstraten (BE)
13th August Afro C Festival Bredene (BE)
To buy tickets, click on the link below (official site).

For any fans wanting information on concerts within Greece, check out their Official Site. If you are social media savvy (aren't we all these days), then go say hi to them on their other official platforms:

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