Label Feature: FYC Records & Distro, Vol. 2

The Metal Wanderlust has not been shy about our collective fondness for Nikolaos Spanakis, known to many as ‘Wrath’ – the mind behind Dødsferd. Covering his work has been a privilege, and a number of us at TMW have been lucky to chat with the man about what makes his vision so intriguing. The Great Mack had an amazing conversation with Nikolaos towards the end of 2020 in which he explains, among other things, how all of the passion and pain of being alive has shaped his music over the years. When asked what inspires him to write, Nikolaos responded by saying…

“Every day you face misery, stupidity and destruction of Mother Nature!!! They have turned this world into a hostile graveyard for useless parasites!!! You see people with no values, no vision; just helpless humanoids taking advantage of weaker and unprotected forms of life in order to feel powerful and valuable to this dead society!!! For years I have rejected their world, their rules and their methods to survive in the expense of others!!!

This is a rage born from an ability to love unconditionally. Nikolaos Spanakis adores the physical plane in which he exists. He seems a peaceful man because of this, but such peace is unbearably fragile and all too often misunderstood as weakness. His inability to shake the human race out of its self- destructive infatuation with power gave birth to Wrath; Nikolaos’ gift to the dying world around us all.

Fucking Your Creation Records & Distro is an extension of everything Wrath has unleashed upon the world, which is by no means completely dominated by Metal. We touched on this briefly in our last FYC feature [August, 2021], but two recently released EP’s prove this point even more powerfully. Uniting people with similar mindsets regardless of – and at times because of – differences in expression seems to be a part of Nick’s overarching goal. Support and reinforcement for the underground in all of its shapes, denominations, and locations. After analyzing his music, and his words, that’s the impression I’m left with. And when it comes to the creation of art for a purpose, I cannot readily think of one more noble. 

Please enjoy the chat Nickolaos was kind enough to have with us, and do check out the music. Keep your eyes peeled for future FYC-related stories and reviews. 

J. Wukotich (JW): Hello, Nickolaos! It’s so great to have another chat with you! And great to hear some new music coming from FYC! We visited some excellent releases last year in our first FYC feature. How is 2022 going so far? 

Nickolaos Spanakis (NS): I am very glad and honored having another interview for The Metal Wanderlust. You supported me since the first day I created my label and it’s a great honor for me. 

2021 was busy as hell, but it seems 2022 will be even more. I have already released two great Ep’s. Gin Lane, my own project, and The Flower of Love, a project of a very talented musician, Babis Nikou. I knew him for so many years and when I listened to his new project, I was amazed once again. I am very glad having him on my roster. A genuine fighter of the true underground scene, with passion and ability to create. 

I am already working on the new releases for May – June; a new Drunk Motherfuckers EP and the debut album of a new band that I signed Manos Six and the Muddy Devil! Their debut album is a gem in the experimental, dark music with very talented musicians, loyal to the underground scene. I saw them performing live with Shattered Hope and I was overtaken by their unique atmosphere!! But more releases will follow after these for 2022. 

JW: Gin Lane and The Flower of Love are quite different from your previous releases, which is exciting because it expands the Metal palate, if you will. Starting with Gin Lane, how did this project come to light?

NS: I have no music restrictions on my releases, as long as they are loyal to the underground beliefs. Of course I have to like them, too. I never follow trends or what the masses desire. FYC Records is a family that breathes and evolves through the dignity of their members and followers. I created Gin Lane when I returned back to my homeland, Ierapetra, at the end of 2017. The idea was always on my mind, but here in Crete, I managed to proceed on it. When I was in Athens, I attempted to create a full band for Gin Lane. We made one or two rehearsals and that was it. But when I decided to move from Athens, this project was put on ice. Like most of the projects I had created. But you know that there is no rest for me, so I decided to start all over again. And here we have the first EP, “Unpleasant Promises.” 

Interview: Gin Lane (Father W.)

JW: Gin Lane’s philosophy is fascinating. The music “represents death and desperation of a diseased community; of a world long drowned by the absence of dignity,” focusing on the “failure of mankind.” Can you please expand on this for us? 

Father W. Daily you experience the bitterness of mankind’s failure; Their incapability to create and offer something greater than their own pathetic existence. They live at the expense of others, like leeches, parasites; draining the blood of this world, without caring to preserve its beauty in peaceful harmony with other living beings. Money, corruption, filth, glory…With no self respect and of course no dignity at all, they walk a path full of disease and destruction. They are digging their grave, but they don’t want to see it. And the worst is that they are inspiring other losers of their kind to do the same.  

JW: “Empty Life” has a really cool classic rock kind of vibe. It sounds like a travel song, or an accompaniment for a road trip. There is certainly a bluesy element. Given that the lyrics outline the end of what sounds like a long and passionate relationship, that makes sense. I can picture the narrator driving away from this woman, watching her disappear behind him in the rearview mirror. The lyrics and the tone of the music seem to both combat and attract one another. What is the story behind the creation of this track?

Father W. Yes, I know that the lyrics lead to that scenario, but they speak about life itself. It could be all the things you wrote above, but it’s all about life. The divorce with life and the journey to the arms of lethe.

JW: “Disposable Fright,” though written and recorded several years after “Empty Life,” very much seems like a continuation of this character’s story. Perhaps I’m reading too much into that, but it seems to me that this man has had some time to think about his heartbreak, and the repercussions of what followed for him. He’s angry at the world, but still seems to harbor resentment towards the one person who showed him the truth of that. Can you set the scene for us? What is happening at the beginning of the song, and throughout?

Father W. It speaks about a constant fright that never ends. For the first time, “disposable” has a good meaning. But it shows that even if you face one of your fears, then another one will appear and another one and another one and that never stops, cause you have plenty of them messing with your life and your psychological stability. There is no way to find peace with your demons, always having to struggle with these daily born diseases that this modern society has planted so deep inside you, all these years of your existence, never letting you enjoy your presence on this beautiful planet!

JW: Musically, “Disposable Fright” reminds me a great deal of Michael Gira’s Angels of Light project. Sort of a more acoustic version of Swans. There is a ton of emotion in your vocal, and m.Sarvok’s sound design is spectacular. I’d really love to know where you’re coming from with influences here. 

Father W. Thank you very much, I am honored. I have a lot of influences through Metal, indie rock, alternative, Greek rock music, ambient, trip hop…I always listened to new kinds of music, as long as they could speak straight to my heart and soul. That’s why I am creating different music projects, or add different elements to my established bands. I never cared to please the masses, but the creator and his legacy!  

JW: “Disposable Fright” serves as a lead single for an upcoming Gin Lane full length. Do you have the record started yet, and what can you tell us about the remaining songs? 

Father W. The first full album of Gin Lane is ready to be recorded. Pre-production of 8 brand new songs has been completed since last year. But because a full band is involved and in different places of Greece, it means that it will take some time to be completed. I am the sole creator for this project with very talented musicians on my side. They have all the freedom to use their skills in order to create with me an album that would serve right the philosophy and genuine feelings of our rebel and uncompromising hearts. A fist against this greedy and hypocritical society. I have a lot of obligations with my label, bands, and family and I don’t know if I will be able to complete the album right on time, but I am into it. Recently my first book with poems was published and that means that I will need time to spend also on this.  

JW: A book of poems? I’d love to check that out. Has this been released?

Father W. Yes! It was officially released yesterday [April 8, 2020]. A book with 60 poems in Greek.The title in english translation is “buried in the land of dream.” 

Interview: The Flower Of Love (Babis Nikou)

JW: The description given for the meaning of your band name is fantastic: “The Flower of Love is a hypnagogic state experience, during which a person feels completely connected with its partner, spiritually and physically, while they are sleeping next to each other.” Can you tell us more about this philosophy?

Babis Nikou (BN): It was an actual experience that I had during this phase between wakefulness and sleep. It came to me with a name and a raw image of what was later designed to be the band’s symbol. Then I decided to write down its definition, make it seem as if it is actually scientifically proven and use it as the band’s bio! 

JW: I hear a late 80’s/early 90’s Manchester sound spread throughout your EP. The Charlatans and The Smiths in particular, especially in the guitar work, which also sounds a great deal of The Cure in many places. How did you achieve this guitar sound?BN: The Cure more than The Smiths and The Smiths more than The Charlatans. But even more, I have to mention The Sound and Wipers. Both very influential to what we are doing with The Flower of Love. At least with these first recordings. Concerning the guitar sound itself, I have a past in the Goth rock scene, still releasing music with my project Angel’s Arcana, so the heavy usage of reverb and delay found its way into Pan’s not Dead as well.

JW: Let’s dig into some of your lyrics. “Utopia,” while uncomplicated on the surface, says a lot with just the opening lines: 

“Everything is going to end sooner or later

Everything is going to fall on our heads…”

And, as the song points out, we’re all still wasting all kinds of time searching for something more meaningful than what’s right in front of our eyes. Am I correct in thinking that your suggestion here is that Utopia is all around us… existing between and around the high and low moments in our lives?

BN: It refers more to an inner struggle, let’s say, between nihilism and idealism. Meaning that this person who is in search of Utopia, knows at the same time that this search might as well be meaningless. But I guess what you are saying could be a possible positive outcome of this struggle, a more stoic view of the world.

JW: The great god Pan is not dead! You sing, “there’s life after his so-called end – I smell his scent again and again – On a sunny morning, on a rainy day.” There is life for a thing after its natural life has come to an end. I would love to hear more about this concept! 

BN: Pan is a symbol and symbols as long as they influence people can not die. And he has been very influential throughout history for many poets, painters and philosophers. Still is. But apart from that, according to Plutarch, somewhere between 14–37 AD, a divine voice asked an Egyptian mariner to make it known that “The great god Pan is dead. ” Should we let “divine” voices tell us what is dead and what is not? Let alone “spread the news” as well? 

JW: “Policia” is a really cool cover by Brazilian new wave band Titās. Quite close in sound to the original, and an excellent gem for anyone unfamiliar with the band to uncover. Are there any other obscure songs you’d like to cover?

BN: I really appreciate it. Would love to cover something by Greg Sage at some point. Probably the self-titled track from his first solo album “Straight Ahead,” or “Time Marches On” from Wipers.

JW: Thank you so much for answering a few questions for us. We’re excited to see how people respond to the EP. What’s next for you guys in the coming year?  

BN: A full length album, which is currently in the making and won’t take long before it’s out there. Thank you for your interest and I wish all the best to The Metal Wanderlust!

Official Video:

The Flower of Love – My Last Will (Barking Dog Productions)

Links:

theflowerofloveofficial@gmail.com

thefloweroflove.bandcamp.com/releases

www.youtube.com/channel/UCh4dqrVYBxvpgzm7YnaCDlQ

www.facebook.com/theflowerofloveofficial

Official Video:

Gin Lane – Empty Life (Nemesis Productions)

Links:

ginlaneofficial@gmail.com

www.youtube.com/channel/UCEnzO9jDC2ziwVfmDmp9WeA

For each release Wrath with the cooperation either of Barking Dog Productions, VisionBlack, M.D. Productions, or Nemesis Productions creates a promo video, which is later being uploaded on Dødsferd’s official you tube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC37nBG-pqk7wNl5RfApqvMQ

Here is the official site of “Fucking Your Creation Records”:

Bancamp Page:

https://fycrecords.bandcamp.com/

And you can contact also through the following mail:

Wrath_dodsferd@yahoo.gr


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