Interview with Thimios Krikos - guitarist, Innerwish -  May 2010 


Formed 1995 In Athens, Innerwish is one of the most influential melodic metal bands form their part of Europe. May 28th is the release of their new album 'No Turning Back' and we asked Thimios bit more about the new album and lots of other things around the band Innerwish.

'No Turning Back' is already your fifth album, but for the readers that don’t know much of you, could you please give the band a short introduction?

Thimios: Back in 1995 I and our first singer Giannis Papanigolaou formed this band. With Tsigkos Manolis on guitars, Alexis Levenderis - bass, Pavlos Balatsoukas - drums, Papalexis Dimitris - keyboards we made the 'Waiting for the dawn' album which was released in 1998 by NMC (a small Greek label).  After some line up changes in 2000 we released a split CD with our compatriots 'Reflection' named 'Realms of the night'. From 2003 the line up of the band becomes stable and with Babis Alexandropoulos on vocals, Antonis Mazarakis-  Bass guitar - Moros Terry - drums we signed deal with Limb music with which we released 2 albums. 'Silent Faces' in 2004 and 'Inner Strength' 2006. Signing with such a big label gave us the opportunity to get off the Greek boundaries and be well known especially in Europe. We started playing several live shows all over Europe to support our albums. More over, after all these years of appearance we made it considered as one of the best Greek metal bands and maybe the best immiscibly  Greek band in our era (melodic power metal). 3 years ago George Georgiou entered the band as a stable keyboard player. The stability of the line up has given us the strength to go on and nowadays our new album 'No turning back' will be out in the market.

The name Innerwish, whose idea, was it and is there any message behind it?

Thimios: I'm really not sure whose idea it was, maybe our 1st bass player Alexis, but we just wanted to say via our 'name' our inner need for music creativity. Music is a very important part of our lives and we can not imagine our lives with out it.

What happened in the period between the release of your 2006 album 'Inner strength' and the recording of your new album? Did you tour a lot and if so, where and with whom?

Thimios: After 'Inner Strength' and for about a year and a half we did several Headline shows in our home country in which we have strong fan base. We also participated in some big festivals in Greece and Europe among very big bands like Judas Priest, Within Temptation, Cavalera Conspiracy, BonFire, Manowar, Rhapsody, Masterplan, UDO, Orphand Land etc.. Generally it was a good period but I know that we should have tour more. From our side we did the best we could. After that we started working the material of our new album. A very hard working period cause we wanted the best we can. The final result is our new album and we are very proud about it.

Your new album 'No Turning Back' is a strong album, it is heavy but also very melodic with good choruses. What is in your opinion the biggest difference between the new album and your 2006 release?

Thimios: The music direction is not different from 'Inner Strength'. We keep moving in the fields of melodic power metal, the music we like, paying the same attention to the same parts of our music, heavy guitar riffs, strong drum and bass, strong melodies, catchy choruses... For sure the production is much better. That is the biggest difference. The final result is very strong and powerful.  More over in this album weused a choir of 11 persons who gave the songs a mystical and Lyrical sense in our songs.

Who is the main songwriter in the band, or is it a real band kind of thing?

Thimios: The main composers in the band are me and Manolis (the other guitar player). First we work our ideas in my home studio and then when we have something that we believe its ok we show it to the rest guys. With their contribution we make the final touches in the songs to get the best result. We generally take our time when we compose our songs. We do not want to do rush thinks. We give each song the time it needs to get ready.

In my review I was very positive about the singing of your vocalist Babis, who are his biggest influences? Dio (R.I.P) or Jorn Lande perhaps?

Thimios: I agree with you. Babis did a great job in this album. He is powerful, emotional, angry... He gives each song what it needs. And the most important is that in each album he gets better and better. For sure he is very talented. I know that he listens to many kinds of music and respects a lot of singers (not only metal). But for sure Dio (R.I.P.) and Eric Adams are some of his favourite and biggest influences.

Talking about influences, what are your musical roots, are it the older bands such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, or Hammerfall, Gamma Ray and Helloween?

Thimios: All these years we've been listening different kinds of music but for sure Metal of the 80's and 90's, hard rock of the 70's are our favourites. Most of us where teenagers then so we grown up with this music and has a specific place in our hearts. I believe all that in a way have affected our song writing. The bands that you are mentioning above are for sure some of my favourites.

Any deeper message behind the title: 'No Turning Back'?

Thimios: The lyrics of this song have to do with the nature abuse, and the effect of it to our lives. We wanted to say that we are in the position that if we cross the line there is no turning back for all of us. It's a protestant of us of what is going on and how thinks will end to if we do not do something about it.

Nice artwork done by George Zacharoglou, was it completely his idea, or did the band come with an idea?

Thimios: We have worked with George also on the 'Silent Faces' album. We’ve been working together for more than 10 years for several thinks and during our cooperation we have become very good friends. He is a great guy. As you understand it was easy for us to work with him.  We discussed about the 'album title' and explained him what has to do with. I told him one idea we had but I let him work free and give me his options also. He came back with around 8 rough designs. They were really all excellent, but the one we choose made us the biggest impression from the beginning. The final result is a mix of both sides' ideas.

What will the next steps be for the band, after the usual album promotion and interviews, touring perhaps?

Thimios: We have already arranged some gig's in Holland and Greece but for sure we intent to play as much as we can. There are schedules for a Greek tour at the end of September, and a possible Europe tour at the middle of November. We are looking forward for it.

You signed  a deal with Ulterium Records, why did the band leave Limb, was this a better deal?

Thimios: We separate our ways after the previous album. Both sides, us and Limb had thinks that bothering us, so we decided to separate our ways. The guys from Ulterium Records showed their interest from the beginning, and being patient to us.

What do you expect from the label?

Thimios: They really like what we do, and what InnerWish is all about and until now we have a great cooperation. They have been helpful, friendly and not bothering us. They give the attention we need as a band to go ahead. And that is what we expect and need.  A label who works for our mutual progress. 

With the sound of the album there is nothing wrong, but with Frederik Nordström responsible for the mix and Mika Jussila for the mastering you can of course expect a good sound, but who's idea was it to choose these two, not the cheapest ones I think.

Thimios: In this business if you want to get the best result you need to work with guys who know what they are doing. Mr Nordstrom and Mr Jussila are many years in business and their work is very familiar to all of us in the band. We like their sound and what they are doing. We got in contact with them and just arrange everything.  It was an easy and good cooperation. You have to know that guys like them do no work with 'anyone'. They do not play with their 'name' cause that is what they have in this business. They asked for samples to know what they are dealing with and accepting working with us was gives us complacence.

What are your expectations for the next 3 years?

Thimios: First of all be healthy. That is the most important think. If you are ok you can go on in your life and aim your targets. InnerWish is my second family and these guys have been my band mates and friends and my fellow travellers in this journey. I really want to see InnerWish becoming 'bigger' in the hearts of the fans.

Name the 5 albums that you will be taking with you on a year long journey?

Thimios: It's difficult to answer. I will give you the albums that marked my heart in time and probably played most in my stereo:

Accept - Balls to the wall (My favourite band)
Judas Priest - Pain Killer
Manowar - Hail in to England
Helloween - Keeper of the seven keys 1
Pink Floyd - Dark side of the moon

Anything else you want to share with our readers?

Thimios: Be true to your selves, follow your dreams and listen a lot of metal. Give our new album a try and I hope that you will love our new album as much as we do.  !!!!!


Interviewed by Reinier de Vries

Inner Wish - No Turning Back

Album out on Ulterium Records