Friday 01 April 2016

Interview with Next Step in Linto

Editor: Gogo Dimopoulou
G. D.: How did Next Step come together?
Next Step: The four of us met in Corfu in the Ionian University. We had known each other for many years and we had played music together. After completing our studies we all went to Athens. We wanted to start something with our own material. We found Orpheus, the saxophonist we had on our first album, and we clicked. As Next Step we started relatively late if you come to think that we had known each other for a long time.
G.D.: Last November you released your 2nd album, 2. What was the public’s response?
Next Step: We had its presentation at Gazarte in Athens on November 29, 2015 and then we released it electronically. We reckon that it is different from the first album. One or two months after its release, something huge started taking place, and especially after the international competition in which we excelled, we gave many interviews and performed in numerous live shows. We have already booked appearances in House of Letters and Arts, the Niarchos Foundation; we are traveling to New York. We have several things (scheduled) on the whole. All this happened very suddenly and that is good for us.
G.D.: Your album cover is quite impressive. Who’s behind it?
Next Step: Carmelo Papadopoulos, Yannis’s brother (Yannis is the pianist of Next Step) and Vasilis Kourentis who form the group Quiet Room. We always work with both of them on anything artistic.
G.D.: Tell us a little about your collaboration with Tivon Pennicott.
Vasilis Podaras: Two years ago I decided to take a trip to New York. I met him in a jam session, and as soon as I played with him I was impressed. Our musical chemistry was very good. We talked a bit and I proposed he come to Greece and play with Next Step. Within three months, and while the guys and I had already started preparing our second album, Tivon agreed to come. We played together in two live performances in Athens and recorded the album. It was a great experience for us all.
G.D.: How did your music covers of the Radiohead tracks come up?
Next Step: At first, we had added the Paranoid Android of Radiohead as part of our set. It happened randomly, and we thought that if that track sounded nice, maybe the rest would too.
G.D.: You have excelled in the international competition Made in New York Jazz Competition. What does that mean to you?
Next Step: Last year while recording our album, we thought of preparing some videos. We were informed about the competition and decided to take part. The funny thing is that we could not upload the video on the contest’s site, because due to the capital controls of the time in Greece, the payment could not be completed. Nevertheless, they accepted us in the competition. Gradually we moved into the final phase, in which we were the winners in the category small band. At the end of the process, we received an e-mail which informed us that they wanted us to join the jazz gala to be held in New York in late May 2016.
G.D: What are Next Step’s future plans?
Next Step: The important thing is to play music as much as we can, because that itself brings whatever is to happen next. The aim is to write the third album, whose title will not be 3 (laughs). We will most likely record Radiohead covers.
D.G.: Thank you very much.
Next Step: Thank you. It’s been great pleasure to be here today.

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