ARRAYAN PATH – A Talk With NICHOLAS LEPTOS (Vocals)

Posted on October 28th. 2017

Questionnaire by Stefan on behalf of METAL TO INFINITY WEBZINE BELGIUM


Arrayan Path will release its sixth album in November 2017 through Pitch Black Records. In response to this, I have a number of questions in the offer but my intention is to go back in time as well… to the day the band was formed and many more. I really like their style of music and in some ways, Arrayan Path seems a bit underrated in my opinion. I will give these guys a fair opportunity to speak their own words, glad to have AP on board and am curious about their story !

Stefan: Welcome here at Metal To Infinity Webzine Belgium, how are you guys?

Nicholas: Hello Stefan and thanks for the interview! We are very well thank you. Really excited with our new album!

 

Stefan: What’s the origin of the band and when exactly you were formed?

Nicholas: I started writing the first tunes around 1995 when I was studying in the States. Then it became a real band when I returned from my studies and in 1998 was our first demo.

 

Stefan: Who is the founder of the band – how difficult was it to find fellow musicians?

Nicholas: I started the band because I wanted to combine my favourite bands and express myself musically. Iron Maiden was the main reason! It was not difficult. I approached people that I knew. Everyone knows everyone in Cyprus! One of them was my brother anyway haha.

 

Stefan: Active for more than a decade you decided to change the band name, why?

Nicholas: Simple answer: We had nothing to do with extremist groups so we didn’t want people to connect us with extremist or hate groups. We play epic/power and we write about mythologies and histories from all over the world. We hate politics.

 

Stefan: What’s the story behind the current name of the group?

Nicholas: It doesn’t really have a deeper meaning or something. Just like Edguy for example haha! We liked the way it sounded. For the record, ‘Arrayan’ is a plant and a flower.

 

Stefan: Each band has its own ambitions, what about yours?

Nicholas: Our ambition is to create a legacy. A good number of albums that people can re-visit and enjoy and consider classic. We want to have our own ‘Piece of mind’, our own ‘Master of puppets’ or our own ‘Legendary tales’!

 

Stefan: First there were two demo’s which saw daylight during the early years of existence, followed by several full length albums. Did the albums came as a result of the success of your demo’s?

Nicholas: Well no, the albums came because as I said before, we wanted to create lots of music. Up to this day, the thirst for making new music is still there. The demos were just to ‘test the waters’ and find out where we ‘belong’ in this enormous scene called ‘heavy metal scene’ .If you hear the demos you will see that there are lots of styles. That’s because we did not know which of all the types of metal suited us more. Maybe we still don’t know!

 

Stefan: Meanwhile delivering Metal for two decades, what happened within the ranks across all those years? Who left the fold and give a summary of the current musicians indicating their musical background.

Nicholas: Oh God, dozens of musicians have come and gone from our ranks and very few have left their mark. The greatest change we had was our bass player (Paris Lambrou) for almost 20 years has left the band and since he was a song-writer in the band, the influences he brought to the song-writing are now absent. So we had to explore other paths and open new doors. I don’t think the trademark of Arrayan Path has changed a lot, since I am the main song-writer but still it might sound a bit different now. The line up, besides myself, is my brother Socrates Leptos, our new bass player Miguel Trapezaris, Guitarist Christoforos Gavriel and drummer Stefan Dittrich. We do have some friends who write songs with us on occasions, like Kikis Apostolou and Huseyin Kirmizi.

 

Stefan: In my introduction to this interview, I described you as a fairly undervalued band. I have the impression that you deserve more despite the fact you guys are really good ! I do not see you often on posters of concerts and festivals, how come and most important… are you agree with this way statement?

Nicholas: Well yes, although we like to play live, this is just a hobby for us and we don’t really go after it that much. We love recording music and playing a few concerts here and there but I guess we are not into big tours etc. It’s a choice but that does not mean that we won’t discuss playing anywhere in the world.

 

Stefan: Steel Gallery Records released your debut album, all the other albums has been released through Pitch Black Records, obviously a label that believes in the musical potential of the band. How the collaboration came to be?

Nicholas: We are very happy with Phivos and the label. We trust each other 100% and we are happy with the distribution and the promotion. Ok sometimes it’s hard when you are in a small label and they can’t finance you. I can only imagine how much creativity we would have and what kind of albums we could make if we didn’t have to worry about the financials too. But hey, it has its positives and negatives. We calculated that the positives exceed the negatives.

Stefan: The new album “Dawn Of Aquarius” will see daylight in November 2017 and we’ll talk about that a little later on. First I’d like to know some lore details on the previous efforts. To keep a long story short, which album(s) get your preference and why?

Nicholas: Our first album ‘Road to Macedonia’ had good songs but poor production. Our second one ‘Terra incognita’ was a breakthrough album for us. It is one of my favourites. Then ‘Ira imperium’ was the transition to more fast power metal although it was very diverse and ‘IV:Stigmata’ is our most successful album and considered by many as our best one. I love that too. Then ‘Chronicles of light’ is a great album for me but some people didn’t like that it was very modern, especially the guitars. For me the issue was the mixing of the vocals. It could have been much better if more time was dedicated.

 

Stefan: In what way you will describe the style of Arrayan Path, name a few bands familiar to the sound of yours.

Nicholas: Arrayan path was created to combine our two main influences, Iron Maiden and Rhapsody. So you will hear both of these bands in our music. But people have been telling us that we also have that Kamelot vibe. I also think we have our Orphaned land moments. We love middle-eastern influences!

 

Stefan: I’m really curious about the end result of the upcoming album, what can I expect? Same style of some new elements has been added to the regular sound?

Nicholas: I think this album is as diverse as ‘Ira Imperium’ but also has that dark atmosphere of ‘IV:Stigmata’. We added more middle-eastern elements this time and we arranged the song order so as to keep the ups and downs in the pace. We had 13 songs so we had to do that to keep people’s interest until the end. It is also the first time we end an album with our heaviest and shortest song!

 

Stefan: Who wrote the songs and what about the lyrical content?

Nicholas: The songs were written mostly by Socrates Leptos, Kikis Apostolou and myself but our new bass player also contributed one song. The lyrics refer to Hindu mythology and history and specifically Kali and her many faces.

 

Stefan: Can we speak of a concept album and who’s the creator of the cover artwork?

Nicholas: The cover was made by Stefan Heilemann who works with Epica as far as I remember. And yes, it is a concept album, it is an album dedicated to Kali. It consists of 13 mantras and praises to her.

 

Stefan: Would it be the best effort up-to-date? If so, for what reason.

Nicholas: I think the best judge for an album is if it can last through the years and stand the test of time. So it is too early to know if it is better or worse than our other albums. I can tell you that we are all excited with it and we can’t wait to play it live!

 

Stefan: Do you have a correct release date to announce, any possibility to pre-order by now? Otherwise, feel free to give the link to proceed.

Nicholas: Hmm I think pre-orders have already begun yes. The album will be out 17th of November!

 

Stefan: Plans for the future guys, something to say about that?

Nicholas: Our plan is more and more albums until you get tired of us haha! And we hope to play some more concerts as well of course.

 

Stefan: What keeps you guys busy when you’re not busy making/playing Metal music?

Nicholas: We all have our jobs. For example I work at the bank. We also have a lawyer and two music teachers. So this is our hobby but we hope to do it for many more years!

 

Stefan: Due to my admiration for your style of music, you have my blessing anyway ! Look ahead to the new album coming up within a few weeks – be sure that I’ll write down my thoughts as soon as I’ve heard the entire piece. My expectations are at a high level and I know you won’t let me down. Thanks you for completing this interview and if you might have some final words before closing the curtains, speak as free as the wind blows!

Nicholas: Thank you! I will wait for your comments and I hope you will like it. And I hope people will give our album a chance and support us!

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