Desert Near The End is a power/thrash metal from Greece, active since 2010. Lucas Biela (LB) interviewed them for ISKC Radio Group.
1/ LB: Desert Near The End started as a duo, following the demise of a band named The Eventide. Can you tell us more about the very debuts of the duo and what lead you to the name change?
Alex: Greetings from Desert Near the End! That is correct. Me and Akis started playing together in school, both being members of a school band called Ainur! Along the way some quit or lost interest, others decided to take another musical path. So, basically “Eventide” was our first attempt to begin our musical journey. After many demos as Eventide we decided to focus on a full length album, telling a story, an idea that sort of created itself! We were trying to find a name that was more personal, so we decided to keep the name Desert Near the End, the title track of our first album.
2/ LB: Around the core musicians of Alexandros Papandreaou on vocals and Akis Prasinikas on bass guitar, the line-up seems to change from one album to the other. Is it something you planned from the start of the Desert Near The End adventure, or is it linked to other circumstances?
Alex: Believe me, there’s nothing that we would like more than to have a steady line up! But, you know, in Greece the scene as active as it is, the number of musicians is limited. Almost everyone is playing in more than one band. And when it comes to drummers…you wouldn’t believe in how many bands a drummer could play (lol) . So, it’s pretty difficult to find people to share your vision as a team. But if you want to move forward you have to do it in any way possible. But, at that point I would like to say that we are lucky to have Panos on the guitar.
3/ LB: Can you tell us more about the influences of the band? I hear some strong influences from early Iced Earth (both instrumentally and vocally), Forte, Agent Steel (Bruce Hall era) or early Sieges Even.
We are children of the ’90s! We grew up listening to Blind Guardian, Iced Earth, Manowar, Kreator, etc. And don’t get me wrong, as fans and listeners we are into almost all kinds of metal genres. But, the style that defined us as we grew up is this raw power and epic melodies of the power/thrash of the ’90s.
4/ LB: I listened to ‘Hunt For The Sun’ from 2014 and ‘Of Fire And Stars’ from 2019. While influences were still very present on the first, you seem to have outdone yourself on the second one. Is it the core of Alexandros and Akis that brings new and fresh ideas from one album to the other, or is through exchanges with new members that you decide on how a new album should sound?
Alex: …and in the next album, that hopefully you will have the chance to listen soon, we feel that we overcame our influences more than ever. Delivering this way a more personal style that bears the trademark of Desert Near the End. We try to make a step forward in every album. We analyse, maybe too much (lol) every previous album and we try to improve in every next one. In every new effort we are more experienced, more self aware and we can have more control on the outcome.
5/ LB: Metal is an ever-evolving genre. We can hear some black metal influence in the blast beats of your last album to date, ‘Of Fire and Stars’. Are you planning to incorporate more influences from other metal subgenres in the future?
Alex: As I said previously, we are fans of almost all genres of metal music. We like to evolve and we like to express ourselves without musical taboos. So, yeah! The thing is that this comes naturally and we are not having second thoughts when something sounds “blacky” or “deathy”.
6/ LB: Are you having a good follow-up in Greece? What about the international audience?
Alex: I would say yes! We received outstanding reviews both in Greece and internationally! And the most encouraging thing is that the audience can receive our message. And I have to say that I am most pleased that people tend also to say good things about the lyrics too. It is very important to us, because that means that they process our perspective to its whole.
7/ LB: When can we expect a new album? Your last album to date, ‘Of Fire And Stars’ was a big slap in the face.
Alex: Thank you so much! It was intentional (lol)! I believe that with the next one you should turn the other cheek!
The new album is ready! At this point we take actions towards its release!
8/ LB: Where can we buy your albums, or be updated on the band’s activity?
Alex: You can get it on our bandcamp or by sending as a message in our Facebook page, if you would like a hard copy. There you can also be updated on what we are currently working with. News and pictures. The whole deal
9/ LB: Do you wish to add something else?
Alex: First of all I would like to thank you for this interview and for the opportunity to share what we are doing with our friends around the world. It really means a lot to us!
Be safe everyone!
Follow the path across the Desert… Cheers!
Of Fire and Stars (Official Lyric Video)
Desert Near the End – Throne of Martyrdom (Official animated video)
Desert Near The End – A World Beyond (Official Video).