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The Myrrors: "Our favorite shows of all time were in Greece"

The Myrrors talk to Summer Rain, in a unique, long and great interview, just before they 'land' in Greece for six shows in Athens, Thessaloniki, Volos, Ioannina, Patra and Serres

The Myrrors are a band from Tucson, Arizona, creating what themselves call 'Sonoran Trance Music', a hypnotic cocktail made of heavy drones and mountain krautrock, equally influenced by world psychedelia and experimental minimalism.

From 23rd to 28th of January the band is 'landing' in Greece for six shows in Athens and Thessaloniki, Volos, Ioannina -for which they are really looking forward to, as you're gonna read below, Patra and Serres. One of the founding members of the band, the multi-instrumentalist Nik Rayne, talked to Summer Rain about the upcoming greek tour, their rabidly consecutive releases, vinyl and cassette, but also about their experimentations on their music.

You're returning to Greece for six (!) shows. What are your thoughts on this Greek tour?

Yeah, we're all really excited to be spending more time in Greece this year, as that handful of shows we played last time through were incredibly memorable. Some of our favorite shows of all time, really!

Most bands choose to perform only in one or two cities. What led you to the decision to travel and perform all over the country?

The Greek shows last time were successful enough and response was so good that we decided it would be a good idea to spend a little more time and focus more on the area this time around. It will be exciting hitting cities we didn't do last time, as well -I think that was part of the focus on this tour, to try and hit places we weren't able to go on the last European tour. That and, I mean, the longer we're able to spend down near the Mediterranean, the less freezing mid-February Alpine snow we have to slog through! Three of us are actually planning on spending a little bit of time after the tour is over hanging out in Greece, hopefully without any of the residual stress and hassle of everyday tour-running spilling over.

Which of these gigs are you more looking forward to?

Well, of course we're excited about the whole thing, especially as there are a lot of cities we're going to that we've never been to before (and some that we didn't even know existed). But personally speaking, I'm probably most excited to visit Ioannina, as I'm a huge fan of the music from that region and would love to spend some time checking out that part of the country.

What kind of music do you listen to when on the tour bus?

Everyone in the band has pretty eclectic taste, so it tends to be a pretty wide range, but we can usually all agree on Swedish progg or classic krautrock. Can, Amon Duul II, and Trad, Gras och Stenar tend to get a lot of play time.

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Your album, Entranced Earth, was released last year. Could you tell us about the concept and the process? It also seems that the artwork fits perfectly with the music. 

That album I think was us trying to consolidate a lot of the gains that we had made since Arena Negra and try and push and pull the sound of that record in some new places. We were also keen on laying down some of the acoustic material that we had been working on and getting that angle of the band on tape, the result being a pretty even spread of acoustic and electric music. The artwork was a painting that I did specifically for the record sleeve, and I usually have a pretty clear vision of the aesthetic direction for each album as we're recording it and I go into the mixing process. Each one just natural seems to evolve and form as a full organism.

From 2016, when Entranced Earth was released, until now you have released five EPs in just one year. I think you just never stop recording! Is it that you just want your music to be shared and heard, is it that you like 'short' releases, nothing of the above?

We have actually released a full-length LP since Entranced Earth, Hasta La Victoria, which was released in 2017 -and we actually much prefer long-form releases to shorter ones, as tracks naturally tend to run into the double-digit minute marker and you can only release so many 'excerpts' of tracks before you start wondering why you're even bothering. That being said, we love recording and the process of making records (or tapes, or what-have-you), so we're always excited to work on new projects if people ask us for material. I also started delving into the band archives this past year and preparing a lot of 'lost' material for release- the first two volumes of the Archive series were self-released a few months ago, one of which (Lunar Halo) we will have brand new vinyl copies of on tour with us. There was a period of a couple years when we just never stopped recording, so there's a lot of stuff stashed away in the vaults. I'm currently working on trying to finalize a double-LP of unreleased studio recordings from around the time of Entranced Earth that I'm getting more and more excited about the more I listen to it.

Every new material released is something new. It certainly is same to the previous, but in the meantime it's pretty different. Experimenting with music is something you enjoy to do, right?

Every recording or album is approached with a pretty open frame of mind, letting ideas flow spontaneously and the music develop through dialogue rather than composition. The result is that, while we definitely have a particular sound and way of going about things, each release is largely informed and shaped by factors such as what we have been listening to recently, things we've been experimenting with on stage, etc. It always keeps it fresh and interesting.

Your music and your character as a band 'fits' well to the vinyl. Do you think that the dynamic return of the vinyl boosted also the hype about the music, or was it the other way round?

I don't think that the actual vinyl format in itself had much in boosting the success of the band, if I'm understanding the question correctly. But every album is definitely recorded for that format, and a lot of thought goes into organizing the music in a way that is conducive to the flow lent by the two sides of an LP.

You also have some material released on cassette. Is it the 80s - 90s nostalgia striking?

Nothing to do with nostalgia, simply that cassettes are a cheap and affordable analog audio format that lends its own unique character to a release. There's also a pretty large underground cassette scene here in the United States orbiting experimental noise, drone, and free-improv music that I am very much into, especially with my own label Sky Lantern Records, which actually focuses a lot on tape releases.

What do you enjoy more? Vinyl, CD, cassette, digital?

I tend to prefer vinyl and cassette, and those are the formats I listen to most at home, but I'm not all that picky. With a lot of releases these days you don't really have the choice, you just have to take it in whatever way it's given to you.

What is your opinion about the digital releases? Has this helped you improve, get known? Does eventually the internet do more good than harm to music?

That's way too big of a question for me to really tackle in detail, especially that last part, but I'd say that, in general, the ability of bands like us to provide digital releases and maintain a presence online has been a good thing -the more formats and channels you can release your music through the better chance it has of getting heard. And after all, it was word-of-mouth by way of the internet that The Myrrors first became known outside of Arizona, so we definitely owe the technology a heavy debt.

Greek version here.

Lambros Loco Papaefthimiou

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Thank you, and may the force be with you.