The time has come to finally rise! Back in May of 2017, the accursed debut volume of a certain series of sounds from the depths of the miasmic hell was unleashed unto the unsuspecting (and nonexistent) public via Metal Recusants. After more unsuccessful attempts to pump this lifeblood through your sunken face than there were Friday the 13th sequels, it has been decided this here shall be your ticket to a nightmare you wish would end. And, as the inaugural post under this Cult Ibex moniker dealie, I shall unearth something which has lied stagnant for many moons. Behold!
Some time ago, in an inbox heavily inundated with garbage, a promo lay waiting to be discovered. It came from a relic of the Greek thrash scene, a bygone age when Metallica could write music and the sordid likes of Radiohead could not be heard. They disappeared, only to be reborn thirty years later to finally lay down the tunes responsible for the sonic carnage laying waste to headbangers across the country on to disc. I pressed play. It sounded terrific. Against insurmountable odds I decided I needed to interview mastermind behind Darkest Color. He kindly obliged – here are his answer to my questions.
[JC] Greetings one and all! How are you doing? Could you please introduce yourself/yourselves to our lovely readers?
[TOM – rhythm guitars + vocal] Greetings to you and your readers from Greece..Darkest Color is more than one man band..the truth is that me is the one that with the bands original bass player (Elias pavlioglou) and the help of many friends made this happen.
Could you provide us with a history of Darkest Color during its initial incarnation? Why did you split the group up?
Well this is ancient history..Darkest color came to life in 1988..we were 4 kids thirsty for thrash..I was the composer of the bands songs with the dream to play them live..this happened a lot of times during the next couple of years .we had our own fans following the band to every gig. The times were difficult to record anything in Greece so we didn’t get ourselves in a studio because we didnt have money to do so.
The band splitted mostly because of me that I accepted a big offer for that period of time, to play for FLAMES which was the first and biggest Greek thrash metal band ,with 4 albums since that day..the other reason is that sooner or later other members should join the army (this is not a choice in Greece, you have to do it) and our drummer had to go to England to study to a British university..
You were also a member of seminal speed metal group Flames. Was this experience any different to that of Darkest Color?
I already told a few words about Flames…this band is not speed metal…its totally thrash..I had very nice moments with Flames and the chance to play on big stages mostly in our country and share the stage with bands such as DRI , KREATOR and SODOM..
What have you been doing with yourself since leaving Flames in ’93? Were you still active in some degree with the Greek metal scene?
I made a family…No I wasn’t active for 20 years….I was just watching and listening.. i have seen a lot of great bands from these days to do great things..my Friends from Septic Flesh and Nightfall made me proud for instance..
Why come back now? How did the reunion come about?
This wasn’t a reunion…during the crisis in my country i was depressed for some time..so I decided to stop watching the news and grab my guitar just to kill time..
Given the influences in the music, how do you think the material has stood up against the test of time? What were some of the inspirations behind these songs?
THIS IS EASY…good music does not have expiration date..I think that they look fresh…simple and pure..inspired by Metallica, Slayer, Sodom, Kreator all the thrash metal heroes of that time.
What was the recording for Deal With Pain like? How did it feel to get these thirty-year-old songs recorded to disc?
I was very lucky that Thimios Krikos (Innerwish guitarist) produced and helped me to work on. the truth is that I knew how I wanted it to sound and Thimios understood it immediately..how did it feel? I am still thrilled ..
You worked with George Emmanuel of Rotting Christ fame and the legendary Frankie Blackfire, the man behind the furious riffs from Persecution Mania and Agent Orange. What was this experience like?
We can make an interview just talking for these great musicians..I am not a friend of George, I met him only one time at a Rotting Christ concert..I am very happy that he accepted to play a solo for my song deal with pain and I tell you , that man has SKILLS… I spoke to Frank to be also a guest..He chose the Jesus Christ song to play because of Flames..Jesus christ is a song that after I joined Flames was on the set list.
You’ve signed with No Remorse Records for the album’s release, how did this relationship come about? Was it essential to sign with a Greek label?
When we started the recordings I didn’t have on my mind a release for the album…I mostly wanted to have it for me..In the studio the phone of Thimios rang and I listen him to talk with somebody…he was saying…hey Chris (Chris Papadatos-No Remorse) do you know who is in the studio? It is Tom and Elias from Darkest Color. Chris was a fanatic follower of our band since his childhood…he dropped the phone down and wanted to listen our stuff…he was excited and he offered us the chance to have a label.Greek label but one from the best in the metal underground scene…
Now that Deal With Pain is unleashed upon the world, how have the reactions been to it? Has there been a lot of interest?
We are not Metallica….haahhahha…we have a good feedback from the most of those who listen, what I am going to do is to prepare for some gigs.
In your eyes, how has the Greek metal scene changed between when you first started out to the album’s release?
The musicians now are much more skilled..they know how to do things..it’s the evolution..But the spirit is the same.
You’ve also rejoined Flames, how did this come about?
It is a many years discussion with the Kirks brothers (Flames) ..we had a proposal for a festival to headline, so we did..this made us to want more.
How do you and Darkest Color react to the political goings-on in your home country and within the EU?
Our songs have a political statement…written in the 80s and it is the same thing today…I don’t blame EU , I blame the politicians all over the fucking universe.
What’s next for Darkest Color? Any plans for touring?
We wanna make a video clip during this summer for promotional reasons, and of course we also have plans for some live performances.
I don’t know if it is going to be a tour or some targeted lives yet…we will let you know..
Thank you for your time – the album is a blast! Have a fantastic rest of your day!
You re welcomed…
Deal With Pain is out now on No Remorse Records.