Only a year after the last release, Arrayan Path is back with a double album that musically is a return to their original sound. Founder and vocalist, Nicholas Leptos, tells more about the sound and the lyrical theme of the concept album ΑΡΧΕΓΟΝΟΙ.
You are soon to release your seventh album, and the third album since 2016. And not only that being an achievement on its own, but the forthcoming album is also a double album! How is that possible?
Nicholas: It is possible if you’re in Arrayan Path, haha! We always work very hard and continuously writing. We almost never stop! So, there’s always a bunch of songs lying around and it gives us a good head-start when it comes to creating new material. Even as we speak, I have a good number of songs that will form the next album.
Why a double album? Was it only that you had so many good songs this time, or did the theme and concept of the album also affect that decision?
Nicholas: I think it has to do with the duration of the songs. We have 13 songs and one instrumental, pretty much the number that we have on previous albums. So basically, the fact that they are quite long is what pushed us to make a double album for the first time in our lives. Plus, our favorite band, Iron Maiden, also did that recently!
The press release state that this album is a «return to your original sound». Do you agree on that, and if so: why did you want to return?
Nicholas: It’s not so much about «wanting to return». It’s more about «time to change our sound again». If you know our discography you will realize that all our records differ from each other. We want to surprise people every time we have a new album; do something unexpected! So yes, we decided to return to the sound of the earlier days for this album, but it will not be a permanent thing!
The new album is called Archegonoi, Greek for «Ancient-Born», and is somewhat a concept album where the lyrics tells stories about the ancient world and ancient Greece. What can you tell me about the album title and how the title reflects on the theme of the album?
Nicholas: ΑΡΧΕΓΟΝΟΙ is actually the real title of the album and it is in Greek. The Ancient-Born or the ancients, the people who lived at those times, the people we are singing about; the heroes, the Gods, simple people like you and me, the people who lived in antiquity – this is an album about them. Our world ancestors!
What can you tell me about the lyrics in general? Why did you choose to write a concept album, and how did you come up with the theme?
Nicholas: Actually, we have been dealing with this theme from day one. Sometimes we have let it go for a couple of albums and then returned to it. We are Greek Cypriots and we are writing about our ancestors, just like Swedish bands write about the Vikings for example. Also, the new direction of the music was pushing us to write about these kinds of themes. I think it’s what we do best as a band. We really love telling stories through songs. So, it was basically an album that had to be done! This is our Book Of Souls!
Review: Arrayan Path – Archegonoi
On this album you have a «long list of amazing musicians, friends of the band, participating as guest» according to the press release. But it’s only Mark Zonder (Warlord, ex Fates Warning) who is mentioned. First of all: why did he play the drums – what happened to Stefan Dittrich?
Nicholas: Mark Zonder is a guest on the album. Stefan is also a session musician. We love Stefan and his work on our albums is amazing! But my interaction with Warlord and Mark Zonder helped to build the grounds in working together in Arrayan Path as well. It is something I have wanted for a long time and wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to make him a part of our band’s history. We are not sure if we will make more albums together, maybe yes, maybe no, but Stefan is still our main man.
And who are the other guest musicians? And what roles do they play on the album?
Nicholas: Well, we don’t really have many guests on this album except some minor additions in various songs. George Eracleous, our producer, did some growling and choirs, Elli Koutsouli and Melanie Louise were the female choirs, Kikis Apostolou for some lead guitars, Angelo Vafeiadis and Huseyin Kirmizi did some additional keyboards, and Yiannis Koutis, Nickolas Philippou and Christodoros Mnasonos were the players of various ancient or old instruments that added that extra «spice» to the songs!
More general: how do you feel about the state of Arrayan Path at the moment? It seems that there is no problem writing songs and be creative!
Nicholas: You are right! We have lots of material and we hope to be able to record every year if possible. We love creating new music. Even if we make an album that is very successful and hard to surpass we will not abuse this success and rest on our laurels. We always move on to the next challenge even when it’s hard to surpass our previous effort!
And what about the future; is Arrayan Path the main band, or are there other projects and bands that will have main priority in the future?
Nicholas: Well, Arrayan Path are always my priority but I am at the moment trying to set up a few other bands of different styles because I always like to keep busy and continue writing music. It’s too early to reveal anything yet but I have a few cards up my sleeve, haha!