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Biotoxic Warfare

Greek thrash metallers Biotoxic Warfare have returned with their debut full-length, Lobotomized, which has been released through Slaney Records, and now Static Tension Records for the North American Release. I was given the opportunity to shoot the band over some interview questions discussing the album, tour plans, and the metal scene in their home country as of late. It was lead guitarist George “Dimator” Dimitrakakis who answered that call. Check out what he had to say below, and give the full-length a listen while you do as well.

How is everything going on your end? I hope all is well.

George:
Things are going very well at the moment.

What was the writing process like for ‘Lobotomized’?

George:
The songwriting process started right after we finished working on our first EP. The working procedure that we followed was something like that. I, as the main songwriter, was bringing every track in its very primary phase in the studio, where the other members were listening to it, making their statements about it and adding their own details and personal touches. We worked very intensive in each track as we tried to make them as well organized and well-cared as possible.

How about musical influences? Who were some of the bands, or what albums were you guys spending a lot of time with while coming up with the material for this album?

George:
Our major influences can be placed in two great scenes. First of all, the old school, mostly European, thrash metal scene and the old school American death metal scene. Some representative bands can be considered the following: Kreator, Sodom, Slayer, Dark Angel, early Sepultura, Obituary, Cannibal Corpse, Bolt Thrower, Morbid Angel, etc.

Some albums that played important role for our musical identity are:

  • Slayer – Show No Mercy/Reign In Blood
  • Kreator – Pleasure to Kill/Extreme Aggression/Hordes of Chaos
  • Sepultura – Beneath The Remains
  • Sodom – Persecution Mania
  • Obituary – Cause of Death
  • Morbid Angel – Altars of Madness
  • Cancer – Death Shall Rise
  • Dark Angel – Darkness Descends

Your first release was the ‘Baptized in Blood and Greed’ EP back in 2013. How would you say the two releases stack up against each other? Do you think ‘Lobotomized’ is any different, or perhaps show additional refinement or growth within the band’s ranks?

George:
“Baptized…” was our first release and it indicates our first steps as a band. We have not found our musical identity yet, we were not too skillful musicians and it has learnt as a lot. Our debut album stands several steps ahead, as it consists of more mature material, it includes wider musical variety and, of course, it overcomes our ep in terms of production and sound quality. We can say that it is not something different but it shows our evolution without losing our style. That is something that we try to achieve with every release; to overcome ourselves but remaining true to our roots.

I noticed that the band picked up two new members recently. Stelios Sfendylakis joined in 2013 after the recording of ‘Baptized’ from what I’ve seen, and Panagiotis Poliousdakis came in last year. What prompted the band to work with these two, and how much did they contribute towards the writing of ‘Biotoxic Warfare’?

George:
Stelios was a good friend of the band. Our first co-operation took place in June 2013 when he helped us as a sessional guitarist for a gig where, Antonis, our former rhythm guitarist, couldn’t attend. He fitted in very well, so when Antonis left the band, we picked him up in no time. Panagiotis contacted us when we are looking for someone to fill the bass player position. He was a great fan and very talented musician and we all came along perfectly. In terms of songwriting contribution, Stelios took part more actively in ‘Lobotomized’ as Panagiotis entered the band when the album material was already ready for recording.

How did Biotoxic Warfare end up releasing ‘Lobotomized’ through Slaney Records?

George:
Slaney Records was one of the labels that we contacted in order to reach a possible deal. The guys were very willing and happy to proceed with our consideration, the deal was great, so we find it as a very promising decision.

In a recent interview, I read that the album art was inspired by “the propaganda and politics of fear that terrorize our society due to organized religion” and its growth. Is this also a belief that impacted the music or lyrics of ‘Lobotomized’?

George:
Yes, it is the main lyrical idea. As a band, we strongly oppose to any kind of organized religion, which tries to manipulate and keep us restrained and through our lyrics, we call the people to rise up against their oppressors, read between the lines and act for theirselves. We believe that the plague of organized religion is the root of all evil, as it is the most ancient and well-organized scheme.

A music video for the song “Proclaim the Gospel of Lies” was shot to promote ‘Lobotomized’. Why did you choose this song in particular to push the release, and what was it like filming the video?

George:
We chose that song as we thought that it was a very representative example for our style. Catchy chorus, acoustic parts, shredding solos and high technic guitar riffing; all those things that mark us a band and are reflecting within the record. The video was directed by Athina Tousia and it took place inside the Medieval Heraklion walls.

‘Lobotomized’ is also streaming on the band’s Youtube account, as well as on Bandcamp. Do you feel that putting it out there like that has helping the band out or increased sales, or would you say it might have done more damage than good?

George:
No, we don’t find it as a negative aspect, at all. It is a free way to get us heard by bigger audiences, who will support us and buy our album and merch if they find it worth to, so we can say that not only it didn’t harm our sales, but, in a way it has managed to increase them.

I’ve been noticing a lot of bands coming out of Greece lately. Has there been a large boom within the metal world there in recent years?

George:
Through the last decade, there is a huge burst of upcoming bands here. Every day, we hear about a new, very promising group, with high quality material that can be compared equally with professional bands. It is no lie to speak for an upcoming greek underground scene that will draw the lights in the nearby future.

Looking at your Facebook, I’m not really seeing any new live dates for you guys. Will the band be hitting the road or doing random performances any time soon?

George:
There are some plans for several live appearances, even for some mini-tours, but we cannot give you any further details yet, as they are not fully arranged.

Is there any interest in taking Biotoxic Warfare out of Greece and into other countries, or do you see that not happening any time soon, if at all?

George:
Unfortunately, Greece is not such a fertile ground for new bands that are willing to chase their dreams and make the next step. It is vital to move out in another country with more career opportunities, so it is a very possible scenario for Biotoxic Warfare.

Well I look forward to you guys hopefully coming over to North America one day! And thanks for your time.

George:
Thanks for the interview, it is a pleasure for us.

Anytime. Take care, and all the best with the band and the album.


Biotoxic Warfare
Interview conducted thanks to Dewar PR.