Chronostasis – The Band So Far
THE BAND RELEASED THEIR LONG AWAITED ALBUM
“EVERYTHING FALLS APART”
A Chronicle of the Band – 1996-2014
The band began life more or less by chance. It’s birth date is mildly in dispute. Some of us think it was in 1996, some 1998, others still put the true date at 2000. Whatever the case it all began with no real intention to form a group.
Michalis and Andreas have a long history together. They began their musical partnership back in the dark days of the early Eighties. Michalis was one of a handful of punks in the Greek scene, and presumably isolated by his musical preference from the general public. Greece at this time had only just left behind years of dictatorship and social unrest and so the youth were just looking for something to make their blood run fresh. Andreas was persuaded by Michalis to give an ear to the music he was listening to, bands such as The Birthday Party and so on. Common between them though was the late great Captain Beefheart. And so with the help of a mutual school friend they formed a band and performed their mix of rough and ready punk, jazz and poetry (this band was called gobidibou).
Meanwhile at this time Cassi was studying to be a nurse and half dreaming of a life in theatre over in England. Soon enough she made the decision, left nursing behind and joined a small theatre group in London. Specialising eventually in improvisational and physical theatre. Her stage performance work led to her writing a couple of award winning radio plays and she never looked back.
Vishy at this time was working his way to a degree in photography in London and had already picked up the bass as his most loved instrument and was teaching himself the instrument while playing with some friends in a casual ensemble of like minded musicians. After a short visit to Greece to catch up with some friends, he decided that one day he would move to Athens to try it out for a while. But one thing or another it took a few more years before he finally made the move in ’93. In the mean time during a film shoot he met Cassi and the two decided to move to Athens permanently in ’94.
Michalis met Vishy while working at the photo studio where Vishy ended up working too. The two men spent their quiet days working in the darkroom and talking about music. What emerged was that the two had very similar tastes in music and especially their love of Jazz and Captain Beefheart was a true bonding point. Andreas and Vishy met at the same studio when Andreas came there for a portrait to appear on his latest book of poetry. The last piece of the puzzle was Cassi, who through Vishy met the other guys, and so we became a nice little bunch of friends. Some time in 1996 (sic) during a dinner at Andreas house the four went down to his basement to look at his rehearsal room, and played a little jam together. Nothing more came from this first meeting, but it was obvious even that early on that there was a certain chemistry between the four of them.
It was however a little while after this (and this is the disputed date mentioned at the start) that Michalis and Andreas started building a small studio at the back of the garden in the house to which Michalis had just moved. This was fortuitous since the new house was directly across the street from the house Vishy and Cassi lived in. The next piece to fall into place as if by magic was that some visiting friends brought Vishy his bass guitar. And so after a couple of very explosive and exciting jams in the newly set up practice room the foursome became, for want of a better word, a band.
These early jam sessions consolidated the notion that there was indeed an amazing connection and, to repeat ourselves, chemistry between the members.
How we came up with the name is another point of contention since none of us can remember who suggested we use the title of one of our songs, as it was truly a perfect match for the emerging sound of the group. So we became Bad Mathematics sometime in 2000.
Within a few months we had enough material out of the jam sessions to start paying attention to friends who were begging us to do a live show. Finally early in 2001 we gave in to peer pressure and booked a live in a local bar, the long gone Kelsos. A small place but lively and we literally filled it to capacity, which made us feel great and encouraged us to think about doing the occasional live. In 2002 we played one of our best gigs to date at the prestigious and sadly gone venue Ston Aera in northern Athens. This was an amazing show and gained us a lot of fans. In short order following this momentous gig we played a number of gigs over the next year or two in some of the best venues in town. We won’t list them all but we must mention some of the more pivotal ones.
One of the most exciting and seminal venues in Athens for the alternative and experimental bands in those heady days was the small music theatre, a wonderful open stage for all kinds of artists to try out their ideas on intelligent and receptive audiences. The smt became a kind of a home for the band for a couple of years in a row. The tragic financial failure of the venue in 2008 in our opinion hurt music culture in Athens beyond measure. We had the honour of hosting an all acoustic goodbye show at the smt with our dear friends The Velvoids, in which many of the best bands in the scene took part and the evening was filled with amazing music from the bands and from various fluid combinations of all the bands performing that night. It was sad to see the place close but also gratifying to see that the street was lined with people trying to cram into the tiny venue.
Another of the classic venues where we had a most memorable show was the An Club in the centre of town. An explosive and it seems pivotal show there in 2003 led to our working more and more with other bands in the underground/indie scene. The other classic venue for us was the theatre space at Epi Kolono. This is perhaps one of the best arts theatres in town and we were invited to do a couple of shows there which were possibly some of our most exciting, where we combined our live show with videos made by various artists who were asked to illustrate each song on the play list with a video projection made especially for the track.
We will mention only two other venues as part of this classic set. The wonderful Soul Stereo, where we performed once more with our friends The Velvoids in an event put on to close the European Music Day 2006 in Athens. Next we suppose we should mention the Gagarin. This giant of a place is one of the biggest music venues in Athens and we played a special gig there to celebrate the release of an independent compilation album called Civil Cinder Regalia along with 6 of the other top bands in the scene, who all appeared on it.
In 2001 we were nominated the winners of the Best New Band of the Year award by the estimable Rock FM radio station in Athens with a very rough and ready analogue four track recording of “Bitch” which was played on the station many times and led to at least two double page spread interviews in two of the best newspapers in Greece and a full page article in the top music magazine in the country Diphono. Many other papers and magazines over the years have written articles about us too.
In 2004 we also released our first EP, 5Live which was recorded at the legendary Ston Aera show we mentioned above, and produced and mixed by Peter de Pian at the amazing Megaro studios. The EP was produced by us in a limited run and is no longer available in the original edition, but we are thinking about making it available for download sales soon.
New Blood – The advent of a new Member
In late 2012 at a wonderful gig at the Dunkel bar we met Orestis, when we saw him play trumpet with the other band that was on that night. Vishy asked him if he wanted to jam with us on our closing track “Freakin’” and he did such an amazing job that we asked him to jam with us again in our studio. He accepted and eventually by early 2014 while recording a couple of tracks with him on trumpet, we asked him to become a member of the band. He said yes and so the old four piece became a quintet.
Recording the band
Back in 2009 we bought a digital four track and this led to us experimenting with recording ourselves and though we had some very good results (two of those tracks in fact appear on our first album “Everything Falls Apart“) we saw that it would be worth bringing in an experienced sound engineer and somewhere with a little better recording gear than our little four track. In 2013 we moved studios to a small place a friend of Andreas had set up, the Apollon Studios, and started rehearsing with an eye to continue recording the fabled album we had originally started on our own in our rehearsal space, at the wonderful Best Of Studios, on four track. The studio suggested we work with Zach and so our recording took another leap upwards. The album was finalised in November 2014.
A little boasting never hurts…
Over the years since our obscure beginnings we have not changed line up but have played and created music with some amazing talents. Most importantly we’d like to mention Kostas Tsanos who for a short while joined us on the violin. With Kostas we produced one of our most popular tracks, “It’s All Over“, a live version of which became the main theme music of a short film along with a remix of “Bitch“. In 2006 we also contributed our track “Sacrifice” to another short film, which went on to win us the best sound track award at the annual Athens SciFI Film Festival. For the same movie Vishy was awarded for his soundtrack contribution (you can hear Vishy’s solo work on his Soundcloud page). In 2003 the band made the music for a Dario Fo play, devised and directed by Cassi at the Athinais Art Centre and Theatre which was a critical and commercial success.
In this time, in spite of a supreme lack of effort from us to promote ourselves in any career building way; and what’s more in spite of the glaring lack of recorded material; what scant bits of jam session recordings, lives and one or two studio takes, we have had the astonishing luck of being played on several major radio stations, we have done interviews for the Greek equivalent of MTV, MAD TV, we have been invited for many interviews on various radio stations. We have also had the honour of being written about quite comprehensively in magazines, newspapers and online media. Our posters have appeared on sites that showcase best band posters. Critics in Athens have written about us in glowing terms. Our wonderful friend Ilias Piknadas has continuously written the most beautiful things about us, lamenting the fact that a worthwhile band such as this should, after so many years of playing in the scene, be, in his words still “the most famous unknown band in the country“…
Finally Bad Mathematics would like to thank some of the many who have supported the band with their enthusiasm and contributions over the years. Musicians who have played with us on stage and in the studio such as Stylianos Tziritas, Kostas Tsanos, Glorybox, Vice Lesley, Kostas Stergiou, Mecha Orga, Kostas Mavrikis and many others. Those who have helped us realise our recordings; Stylianos again, Peter de Pian, Michalis Skarakis, Zach Kotsikis, Kenan Akkawi. Major Tom, the radio jock who has done more to promote us on air and online than any other. DJ Kosta for supporting the band. The lovely people who paid hard cash into the realisation of our album by supporting us on Indigogo, Kuros, Marcy, Gwynne, Alexis and many other wonderful people. The incredible photographers who have shot the band, Katerina Xerovasila, George Detsis, Nick Paleologos, Alexandros Stamatiou, Mairylia Kala, Elena Dimitrakopoulou, Ellen Katsikeas, Orestes and god knows who else. The film makers who have used our music for their soundtrack work Dimitris Emanuelidis and Elena Dimitrakopoulou. Not least we’d like to thank Spinalonga Records for putting out “Sacrifice” on their wonderful compilation album “In the Junkyard 3” in 2005, and our production of “Proud” on the download only collection “This is Heavy, Heavy, Heavy” released in 2011.
Particularly special shout out goes to our lovely friend Piers Marsh, he of Mountain of Love, who aside from joining us on stage for a blistering live electronic jam in 2010 in Athens, recorded our studio version of “Shopping” that will appear on the 2015 album “Everything Falls Apart“.
And of course the lovely amazing people who have come to see us at almost every live show and joined us in having a thumping good time for all these years.
Thank you all.
The Management™ © 2014
After the release of the album “EVERYTHING FALLS APART”, in 2015, and the promotional gigs for it that followed, the band stopped live performances to concentrate on working in the studio to record the rest of their catalogue. This was finally finished in 2016-17. The mixes though seem to have been delayed indefinitely. We shall update this information as soon as we have any news to communicate. meanwhile many of the rough mixes appear on our Soundcloud.
The Management™ © 2021
All band portraits on this page © Vishy Moghan 2014, other contributing photographers Katerina Xerovasila, Mairylia Kala & Cassi. Bad Mathematics © 1998-2014, all rights reserved