Vasilis Kouvelis

Zero 2 Nothing

Coming from Athens, Greece, the talented Prog Rockers from ZERO 2 NOTHING released their debut album on February 21st, "Limits Of Temptation." This wonderful album should definitely not be slept on. Editor Santiago Puyol had a chance to interview Vasilis Kouvelis about their debut album, inspiration, their time as a cover band and the band themselves.
By Santiago Puyol
April 17, 2021
ZERO 2 NOTHING's Vasilis Kouvelis: "I believe the main inspiration is things that affect our lives
Hello Vasilis, thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for our readers at Metal Temple. Your debut album came up earlier this year, would you say you were able to fully realize your vision about the record on the final release?

Hello there Santiago, let me grasp the opportunity to thank Metal Temple for this interview and of course you personally for your great review in our debut album. Coming back into your question, we tried our best for the final cut of this record…we changed ideas over and over and I can say that we are very satisfied with the final release, a feeling we also received from our fans' first impressions. We have excluded of course, some songs from our debut album that needed more time to mature and as soon as those are ready, we will include them in our next album.

How was the process of working on the record amidst a global pandemic? Would you say it affected the songwriting in any way?

Of course, the pandemic affected the band, though not our songwriting, but in the lack of playing gigs and promoting our work. The album recordings took place before the pandemic. So, we had the appropriate time to work all together and be in the studio for a better result. The pandemic started right after the final product was created and we were on a search for a record Label. We are proud that we managed to make a deal with a record Label like AGR, even during this strange global situation

Regarding the songwriting, how do you usually work your way around a song? Do you guys start with a basic outline, either lyrically or a base melody/rhythm? Or is it more of a let's jam and see where it takes us approach?

Most of the songs are ideas that Chris or me present to the band. Usually we create the basic structure of the song themes and then we handle the song as a band to enhance it, meaning Rania and Teo come in and add piano/synth and lyrics/melodic lane respectively. As a band we really don't mind to match songs as a genre. We compose and play whatever it feels good for us and we like it. Simple as that.

Rania has a classical background as far as your website notes. Does anyone else has knowledge in musical theory in the band? How do you say that affects your songwriting?

Yes, more or less we all have musical knowledge in the band (for instance I was also studying piano in my early musical steps, Chris has a Jazz Bass degree and Teo was always involved into musical scenes). Those are important tools, for collaborating with the band and I believe that the musical theory is important as long as it helps you express and not interfere in your musical ideas.

Any favorite tracks from the record?

All of them are favorite in a different way. If I had to pick something, I would say Bloody Mary and Zero 2 Nothing.

Speaking of favourite stuff, any songs or records you guys have been currently listening to?

This week I am listening to Gojira-Amazonia (nonstop). Usually when I find a song that I really like, then it stays on repeat all day long on my list.

Your band name is quite an original one. What inspired ZERO 2 NOTHING?

As expected we had many ideas to pick of, but the winner came from Teo. It was an idea he had while watching Neil DeGrasse Tyson's show "Cosmos A spacetime Odyssey".

And following on inspiration, what inspired the songs from Limits Of Temptation? Both musically or otherwise, where there any bands, songs, literature, etc. that inspired the songwriting?

There are tons of inspirations for each one of us, that we don't have so much time to depict here. I believe in general that the main inspiration is things that affect our lives, things that we see during our day (some good some bad) and those have an impact in our emotions, that sooner or later are depicted in our music.

It is quite clear that each member brings different influences to the table. How do you balance the different interests and sounds that everyone may want to reflect in your own music? Do you have any kind of rules, like something is off-limits or maybe put things to a vote should a disagreement come to happen?

No, we don't have this boundary. As I said we compose without adding any limits in our music. We want to play whatever makes us happy. Different sounds and influences in our band make a different approach in music, and usually something unique is created (at least for us). We do not want to put limits into something we love.

The artwork of the album cover is simply mesmerizing. Who did you work with to come up with the concept? What was the thought-process behind choosing an album cover?

As a band we started "bombing" each other with ideas related to the band's name and the album's title. As soon as we had almost the final thought in our head we discussed with a designer, friend of ours, Vaggelis Petikas (he is a well-known artist in the industry). Based on the ideas of the band, he managed to combine the name of the band with the title of the album, in what we think is a very artistic result.

I know most of the band actually started playing together as a cover band, in 2014. Could you tell us a little bit from that time? What kind of songs did you usually played?

It was a fun time then. Experimenting in sounds and stuff. Clutch was our favorite band I think. We also played Stooges, Staind, Nirvana, RHCP, Kings of Leon, Doors.

Any funny or worth-sharing anecdote from the cover band time?

We have recorded lots of our sessions. So, there are plenty of funny stuff caught on camera, that of course I'm not going to tell you .

What got you guys back together to create original music?

The inner need we have as individuals, to express our feelings through music. And what better way to express through your own music.

How would you say is the musical scene in Athens? Do you feel it is a welcoming environment for bands and creative people in general, especially the Rock and Metal scene?

Yes it is. Always was to tell the truth. Personally, I think that in the last decade and so, we have many great bands in Greece (of rock and metal genre) and the number is constantly growing. This leads to a steady raising audience that follows our music.

What are your plans going forward?

As soon as the pandemic situation allows it, we want to make gigs all over the world and we are almost ready to start our next album.

If you had to give a role to each member of the band, which role would you say each one play? As in, what do they bring to the band as a human group, besides their musical skills and knowledge?

We all react as a group of people. We argue sometimes, we get angry to each other and get frustrated etc. Every now and then, someone will take the mediator role, in order to stay all focused in our plan. We all have the same purpose, so roles don't really matter in the end.

What do you guys usually do when you are not busy writing and recording music?

We all have our regular jobs and hobbies that we do. I am an electrical engineer and I like to play video games. Same hobby has Teo, who is an actor. Chris is a business analyst, has a metal band and likes board games, while Rania is a software developer and also likes board games.

And to finish up, is there anything you would like to tell to your fans and the readers at Metal Temple?

Stay all safe and love each other. Everything will get better at some point. Let's hope that this point is one step away!!!!!keep on rocking!!!!

Thank you so much for your time! Best of luck with your projects moving forward.

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