About Me

Interview with Scar Of The Sun

Greece’s Scar Of The Sun lends a voice to social injustice, merging scientific lyricism with energetic modern metal and they’re bond to become another Greek legend to make a stand on this over-crowded scene!
Scar Of The Sun will reach the next level with the release of their otherworldly third full-length “Inertia” (May 14 via Napalm Records). The album delivers a fresh take on melodic, atmospheric, often progressively-influenced metal while forging a unique path. It was recorded and mixed by singer and songwriting mastermind Terry Nikas at Zero Gravity Studios in Athens, Greece and mastered by the legendary Jens Bogren (Opeth, Katatonia, Dimmu Borgir) at Fascination Street Studios, Sweden.  
After sharing the stage with outstanding acts such as Dark Tranquillity, Insomnium and compatriots Rotting Christ, this band is here to open our eyes! 
Metal Imperium had a nice and interesting chat with Terry Nikas...

M.I. - What does the name Scar Of The Sun mean to you?

I came up with the name through a personal loss and it is describing the situation that I was at the time, around 2004-2005. The name is a real and actual story, not just a bunch of words that sound well together. It is about the personal remains of a very sad story that affected my life for 4-5 years. The band was created as a catharsis, I did in order to heal myself.

M.I. - The band formed in 2004 but «Inertia» is only your 3rd full-length... why do you take so long between releases? It’s usually a 5-year gap. 

The band was formed as a personal project back in 2004, we became a proper band in 2008-2009. So it is 12-13 years really. There are many factors that made us delay that much. First of all, we had the albums ready and we were looking for the best possible record deal. That thing takes time because you have to wait and not push the labels. After that, when we released the first two albums we had no budget from our label to do anything, we had to pay everything on our own. So many expenses, in a country that was in the middle of a huge financial crisis. That was two times more difficult. When we release an album we want to do it the proper way. Do touring, do good music videos and, most of all, have a very good production of our albums. All these cost money and it takes time to gather them. Otherwise we could have released an album without any of the above and the albums would have gone unnoticed. I can ensure you that this is not gonna be happening anymore though, things changed completely in all aspects.

M.I. - Scar Of The Sun merge modern metal sound with atmospheric soundscapes and dynamic riffs, which results in great tracks. Was this a conscious choice or did your sound just turn out this way?

When we started, the band was more into Modern Atmospheric metal and we had many other elements, like progressive and Swedish death metal elements. Years passed, the music that we listen to is changing, the music that we find challenging is changing too, so we reached this point. It all has to do with what we listen and what we like to play. We don’t really decide what direction to take. We see what songs come to the table and we go with the flow. We are completely open-minded, if we like something, we will use it even if it will be alternative or pop. We are really glad though that you liked the songs, it really means a lot to us!

M.I. - The album “Inertia” was released on the 14th May… how excited are you?

The album is released and we are super excited because, for the first time, we release an album the way it should be, and that is all because of our label Napalm Records. They are doing a tremendous work, we are really happy with them because the combination of our enthusiasm and their professional expertise is all a band needs in order to go ahead the best way possible! We are also relived because the album was ready since 2019 and we finally see it being out there and having great response!

M.I. - Why «Inertia»? Has it got anything to do with the fact that things never seem to change? Everything always remains the same?

Yes, in a way this is what you said. That could also be the whole idea behind the Quantum Leap Zero trilogy. There is also the fact that all these who run this world don’t want people to react whatever they do, so they feed us with anything that can keep us numb! Drugs, stupid TV shows like Big Brother, football, anything that will keep our minds busy and away from the real problems. If that won’t work, the next level is police violence and they don’t wanna go there because it harms their image…

M.I. - Sakis Tolis and Seth have publicly announced that this album of yours is a masterpiece. How do you feel when such legends speak so highly of your work?

It’s an absolute honor to read these words from these two Greek legends! We grew up listening to their music and being fans of both Rotting Christ and Septic Flesh, so you can’t imagine how that feels! Also the fact that they have been around for so long, they listened to too much music and they met so many bands and, despite all that, they are still excited with our album, makes their words even more important for us!

M.I. - What can fans expect of the album? Why are Sakis and Seth so excited about it?

I guess first of all because they appreciated our work, because they really liked the album, because they see another band coming out from Greece and because they see that something serious is happening with us. They paved the way we walk today, so I guess that makes them happy. Other than that, the fans should expect a very well worked album with great details and a big sound, full of catchy songs that would stick to their minds and that would make them wanna listen to them again and again and sing them. That’s what we like to do and I think we made it well on this album.

M.I. - The lyrics are inspired by literature. Name a few authors that have inspired you.

Hmmm, the lyrics are indeed inspired by literature, but I am not a reader of literature. I read many books but they are more of a scientific content or about politics. When I was a kid I was reading a lot of Jules Verne books, later on I got into authors like Umberto Eco and eventually I got into Dean Koontz and Michael Chrichton, but today I am more inspired from books like The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein that is basically describing exactly what we live today in a worldwide basis. There are many more books and authors that added their pieces in me, but these are the ones that gave me this style.

M.I. - The lyrics are also about tragedy. “Greek tragedy” is a form of theatre from Ancient Greece and it is believed to be an extension of the ancient rites carried out in honor of Dyonisus. The Greek tragedy has influenced the theatre of Ancient Rome and the Renaissance. Have you been inspired by it as well? 

Not really! What you mentioned is a whole world that I never got into deeply really, only when I was at school I got into learning about all this. What I am writing about is a modern tragedy if you want, what we lived in the last 10 years, that was also based on many very bad decisions for the last 40-45 years. I am always writing about real issues, things that are happening in front of my eyes and are affecting me, both from an actual point of view but also from an ethical point of view. I am very sensitive and I cannot just pass by things when I see them happening. So it is really reality passed through a literature filter in order to take away the direct character. I don’t wanna write direct lyrics, I believe that these are more suitable for Thrash Metal or Hardcore bands. 

M.I. - Modern tragedies seem to interest you as well as the album includes the “Quantum Leap Zero” trilogy which conveys very intense and dramatic events that occured in Greece in 2015. What events were these?

The Greek financial crisis started officially in 2010 when we entered the disastrous memorandums and IMF. For 5 years we kept on voting for these incompetent governments that brought us to this result. You could call it also Stockholm Syndrome. So after 5 years of hard austerity, the people were exhausted and they couldn’t take it anymore, because it was obvious that this “treatment” was not working for any of the parts involved. The atmosphere was boiling and you could feel that an uprising was coming –and that was what we needed anyway! This is the first part of the trilogy. The second part talks about the actual revolution that was the result of the 2015 elections when for the first time we voted for a government that wanted to do something good for our country. And they did. For the first 6 moths they were resisting hard to the insane EU politics by presenting very good plans about how to exit the crisis. That was not the aim of the EU of course (the politicians, not the people of EU of course), they just wanted to save the banks and make the people pay for that. After 6 moths of hard battles, the financial interests won again, as always, and on top of that they punished us for resisting. They don’t care if they destroy lives. They just wanna get richer and no ethic codes will stop them. Money is just the law of the jungle. Nothing else, no morals, no ethics, no logic, no fairness, nothing. 

M.I. - “I Am The Circle” is the first single and it comes with an official music video, and it serves as an exciting taste of the album. How are the reactions to it?

We had good reactions, it helped a lot to bring people to the album and to open the road for the second single for the song “Inertia”. I think that is one of the most representative songs of the album and it works very well when we play it live!

M.I. - About the first single, vocalist Terry Nikas said: “New, heavier and groovier Scar Of The Sun, but always catchy! Years of fighting compressed our anger in a few minutes shape!”. What do you mean when you mention “compressed anger”? Where does your anger come from? What are you angry about?

I was angry about the fact that the band was working extremely hard for many years and labels were ignoring us. We never had the support of a serious label so far and we had not only to organize everything on our own, but also to finance everything on our own. We were getting no respect for all we did and that was extremely frustrating. Many others would have stop trying, but we were always finding the courage to go on and to work even harder. And that’s why we were so angry for years!

M.I. - The cover is quite ellaborate. What’s its meaning? It looks like a giant machine and it always works in the same way... that’s why «Inertia» fits it well?

The cover shows a woman that is tied up on a medical lab table and she is connected to several machines and gadgets. The woman represents Greece that was a finanical experiment for years, so she cannot move and they are performing experiments on her. The same story you can see on the video for our song ”Inertia”.

M.I. - Inertia was recorded and mixed by singer and songwriting mastermind Terry Nikas at Zero Gravity Studios in Athens, Greece. How did this process go? Did Covid affect it in any way?

No it didn’t, because the album was recorded in 2018 and it was mixed for the first time in 2019. The only thing that happened later, during Covid was to mix the album again, but it was only me (Terry Nikas) at the studio mixing and I was sending the mixes to the guys in order to get their feedback and their approval. The whole process was very comfortable because this is our studio and all the guys feel like home over there. There is no clock ticking and charging, so there is no stress really. Sometimes this is not good because you take things slow, but it is a huge comfort and luxury to have our own studio and do whatever it takes to reach to the best result without having the budget limit stressing us.

M.I. - The album was mastered by the legendary Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios, Sweden. How was it working with Jens? Did he give you any ideas?

I sent an initial mix to Jens to get his feedback. He did some minor comments and other than that he just did the mastering, that was absolutely great. Jens is top of his game, I know him personally from previous albums that we have worked together and the whole thing was really smooth. When he send the first draft it was perfect, we didn’t do any changes at all. That’s why I love working with him, he gets what he has to do directly, he pays attention and he respects your work and the result is always awesome!

M.I. - “On Inertia, Scar Of The Sun utilizes scientific terminology to transmit their impassioned messages of difficult trials and social awareness lyrically, conveying an overarching theme that reflects one of society’s heaviest burdens – that financial gain has flourished at the expense of humanity and the livelihoods of everyday people.” Do you think bringing awareness to this will make things change? The same seems to happen everywhere and the rich always “win”. 

No, nothing will change from the fact that I talk about it! Even if I was able to ignite an uprising, the financial interests would have eliminated me one way or another and all the people that would have started the uprising. I am well aware of it. The reason I do that is to take it out of my chest and feel better and that’s about it! I want to scream my lungs out, feel better and maintain an inner balance. This is another reason why I am so angry and that’s a way to feel better. I am 100% realistic in my life!

M.I. - Scar Of The Sun lends a voice to social injustice, merging scientific lyricism with energetic modern metal. Why do you dedicate yourself to this cause? What kind of social injustice do people suffer from in Greece?

First of all, I didn’t dedicate myself to this cause, I talk about it because it sucks! I also believe that we should all talk about it and be mad about it! This would make sense because we should care about our fellow humans. So, as you understand, the normal would be to dedicate ourselves to this cause. Social injustice is everywhere, in your country, next to you, everywhere. The whole world is in total madness, things don’t go well at all. Whoever doesn’t see this, lives in his own bubble. We have destroyed everything, people and planet. If there is a single person that thinks that humanity is on the right path, he is into heavy drugs or needs to check into a madhouse! 

M.I. - Are you social activists? Are you involved with any particular causes?

I am not a social activist, I would love to be though. I don’t believe that through activism things will change because the opponents are so corrupted that they will find a way to eliminate you if you become dangerous for them. We all need to shake our head hard, open our eyes and see the reality that we have created. Instead of serving the planet and the nature, we are destroying everything. Stupidity reigns even on those people that think that they are so clever and that they rule their own lives. They rule nothing, the revenge of the nature will always be stronger than any action we do! We never tamed nature and we will never be able to do it. The soonest we realize this, the sooner things will improve. The only virus on earth is humans. We destroy everything and we destroy ourselves too. Plane and simple!

M.I. - Your previous releases «A Series of Unfortunate Concurrencies» and «In Flood» were released via Scarlet Records. «Inertia» will be the 1st to be released by Napalm Records. Was it your option to switch labels? How different are them?

If it was in our hands, we would have signed with Napalm from our first album, but it is very, very hard to reach a level that such a label will pay attention to you. Napalm is a blessing for us and we do our best to promote the album because, as I said, their work is outstanding and we should match the quality of their work. The difference is huge, we have a whole team next to us, their network is awsome and this is how things should be! 

M.I. - What has changed/will change for Scar Of The Sun now that you are signed to a bigger label?

So far everything changed. The press work is unbelievable, the band is everywhere and this is very important. The whole thing about a big label is the promotion and Napalm is a master to this game. Also we had a budget to do things for the first time. This helped immensely. Also, whenever touring will resume, it will be much easier to do so because we have a tour support for the first time, so the conditions would be completely different. Most of all though, the fact that our label has such a great network to promote our work, directly put us on another level. We worked hard for many years in order to achieve that!

M.I. - The Greek culture is so rich… how much of an impact does it have on the band? 

It has an impact because we grew up in this environment and we learned all about it at school. Also if you walk around Greece you see everything about our history and this is a part of our every day life. So it is all around us, even if we don’t use actual parts of it in our music. When you live in Greece you will be affected whether you want it or not. 

M.I. - You have shared stage with big names such as Dark Tranquillity, Insomnium, Rotting Christ… what have you learned from these experiences?

We have learned so many things. First of all, how to be professionals in every aspect. How to be reliable and serious and never use excuses for not doing things. We learned about touring equipment and tricks of the trade. We learned about our stage presence and how our music works live. If you don’t tour you will never be a real band. All our tours are the biggest lessons so far!

M.I. - What can we expect of Scar Of The Sun in terms of touring and playing live? Have you got any plans already? 

We see things going better with the pandemic and it seems that towards the end of 2021 or beginning 2022 the tours will resume. We are already in discussions with our booking agent and our label in order to start planning tours. There is nothing certain yet, everything is in the initial part of the planning process. The only certain thing is that whenever tours will return, we will tour like there’s no tomorrow! 

M.I. - Please share a final message with the readers of Metal Imperium.

We would like to thank Metal Imperium for this great interview, we hope all of you stay safe all the way first of all, because this is the most important thing! After that, feel free to check our new album out and hope to see you on a tour whenever that would happen! Thank you very much!

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Sónia Fonseca