Dol Ammad & Theeta interview
Your biography has been covered in your ProgArchives profile so let’s bypass the biography details. But why did you choose those two names and which bands were you influenced by ?
I was looking for some strange-looking and strange sounding names back in 2001 when I started with Dol Ammad. It appeared to me inside the game “Descent 3” which had a level with a fuel refinery called “Dol Ammad”. I then did a little research and “Dol” is a Tolkien word meaning “castle”. “Ammad” is probably an Asian word meaning “Pillars”. Along the way I discovered that I needed at least two more projects to explore my experiment of “electronica art metal”. I decided that the next 2 projects will also have the “Dol” word in front of them and this started with Dol Theeta in 2008. “Theeta” is the eight letter in the Greek alphabet and is the first letter of my name. I choose it mainly because I liked how it sounds.
Let’s start with Dol Ammad. Please tell us more about your first album Star Tales from 2004
“Star Tales” was a big checkpoint in my career, it was my debut album and a product of lots of hard work and first-time-explorations in the music business. I was so excited at the time, we did the recordings of Alex Holzwarth in Sascha Paeth’s “Gate Studio”, we signed our first record contract and I think this excitement is present in the quirky space character of the songs in “Star Tales”.
Please tell us more about your second album Ocean Dynamics from 2006
I am very proud of the work we did with “Ocean Dynamics”. Everything feels improved and evolved as it should be in my ears. I love the choir sound we achieved in this album, the co-operation with the amazing guest-singer DC Cooper, the session with Alex in my personal studio this time, it was great. Of course it was the first album we released through our personal label electronicARTmetal Records and it felt great to have total control although it also meant lots more responsibilities and devotion to the project.
Why did you set up Dol Theeta ?
It was clear while I was working with Dol Ammad that lots of new and very diverse material appeared through my exploration of combining electronic and rock elements. Sometimes along the way I decided that I need to form a pyramid of 3 projects each being a vessel of a different perspective of “electronica art metal”. Dol Ammad will be the “epic” vessel, Dol Theeta will be the “atmospheric” and the third “Dol” project will be revealed soon and will be the “brutal” side of my music.
Please tell us more about your first album The Universe Expands from 2008
Dol Theeta’s debut album “The Universe Expands” is probably my deepest musical creation to date. I am very proud of the result although I was a bit anxious with the result since I was discovering myself every step of the way. It is a very esoteric album with intense melodies and psychedelic atmospheres that explore our inner cosmos. In Dol Theeta we are only 3 band members which was a bit liberating from the huge production that is required with the 19-membered Dol Ammad. It was also the first album where I also performed all the drums myself.
And the EP from the same year named Goddess
“Goddess” was a mini CD that we released some months earlier of “The Universe Expands” and it features 2 exclusive tracks together with the single “Goddess” and a videoclip for that song. This mini CD includes one of my favorite Dol Theeta tracks “Deathstars”.
Are you going to continue both bands or are Dol Ammad now history ?
I am going to continue both bands and in addition there will be a 3rd “Dol” project in the near future that will focus on darker, brutal and industrial sounds.
What is your latest update ?
The latest news is the just released Dol Ammad EP “Winds Of The Sun” which features some very special tracks. “Winds Of The Sun” is the second song we worked together with DC Cooper back from the “Ocean Dynamics” recordings. It is a space hymn that I dedicated to the memory of cosmologist Carl Sagan. Also in the EP we have our first cover song. It is the song “Black Winter Day” from the band Amorphis whose album “Tales From The Thousand Lakes” was very inspiring in the past. Finally the EP features 3 more exclusive tracks making it a total of 25 minutes mini album.
You can check the videoclip for “Winds Of The Sun” here:
Also there is a small trailer of the “Winds Of The Sun” EP here:
How is your creative processes from coming up with a theme/riff/idea to you got it down onto an album ?
It usually starts with either a sound from my synthesizers or a rhythm I discover over the drums. I like to play and experiment with sounds and sometime a particular timbre will lead me to a certain melody or riff which I use as a building block for a potential song. At the same time a certain beat may appear and shape the character and the structure of a whole song.
Just to give those of us who are unknown with your music a bit of a reference point or two: How would you describe your music ?
I like to use the terms “electronica art metal” to describe my music. In a sense you could describe our music as “progressive”. I loved the “art rock” tag of the ‘70s. Making it easier, Dol Ammad are a combination of electronics, power metal and opera whereas Dol Theeta is a combination of progressive rock and new age music.
How is the availability of your albums and what is your experience with the music industry and the new internet music scene ?
Since we produce, market and distribute our music ourselves, our main reference point is our website which has been recently redesigned at www.electronicARTmetal.com . I decided to follow the “Do-It-Yourself” route after “Star Tales” since I was very disappointed by the way the music industry handles things and by the hard time I had to convince people of new structures and experiments in music like this “electronica art metal”. The Internet makes things easier for indie labels but at the same time the work required is a lot more than some people think. I haven’t regret it but I wish I had more time and help in some fields.
Are you currently involved in any other bands or projects ?
Apart from my own projects we sometimes produce and mix other people’s albums/projects in my personal studio. I have also done some guest appearances in other cds. I have performed the drums in my guitarist’s Dim personal project “Synesthesia”. My latest collaboration were some synth-licks in a great new prog-metal CD “Threshold Of Pain” by Eternal Journey.
To wrap up this interview, is there anything you want to add to this interview ?
I’d like to thank you for this interview and support in our music. I’d like to invite you to visit our new website at www.electronicARTmetal.com and check our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/electronicartmetal Thanks and greetings from Greece. Space on!
Thank you to Thanasis Lightbridge for this interview. Interview link http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=71781