Misfortunes can act as driving forces to pursue something better or to drag you down with them. I like that contradiction.”

Logo interviewIt is quite hard to describe the feeling of coming across a band that reminds you of the qualities you value so much in music and which are somehow, lately, been set a little bit aside but most bands. This was the feeling since we came across the latest release by Misfortunes entitled ‘Brilliant Endings‘. This is a band that shines bright in the gloomy synthwave sonic universe. In fact, we were so touched by the melancholic melodies and the poetic lyrics that it became imperative that we talked with the musician behind this brilliant project, Ioakim Vasiliadis.We talked about the band’s beginning, the songs, the collaborators and the future. 



Blauerosen: Hi Ioakim, first of all congratulations for the release of your album and thank you for joining me in this interview. The band started in 2014 and the debut album was released through TONN Recordings in Northern Ireland, if I’m not mistaken. What’s the story behind the name Misfortunes? What inspired you to choose it?

Ioakim: Misfortunes can act as driving forces to pursue something better or to drag you down with them. I like that contradiction. In addition it is the title of a favorite song by And Also the Trees.

Blauerosen: The third album of the band entitled ‘Brilliant Endings’ was released a few days ago again through TONN Recordings. It seems that this collaboration is successful. Could you talk a little bit about how it came about?

Ioakim: My first EP titled ‘Hybrid‘ was released in 2017 by Werkstatt Recordings. I knew that Mary McIntyre, who runs TONN Recordings, was really fond of that EP by a comment she made on social media. I decided to contact her to ask if she would be interested in having Misfortunes on the label’s roster of artists and, to my joy, she replied positively andMisfortunes cover with great enthusiasm.  Indeed, my collaboration with TONN Recordings is one of the best things I could have wished for Misfortunes. Mary, apart from being a good professional, is also a very polite and gentle person and it is a very pleasant experience to collaborate with her.

Blauerosen: Misfortunes are ‘looking’ towards Belgium of the 80s as well as towards Germany of that time on what concerns the aesthetics of their sound and the rhythms. At the same time, we are delighted to observe strong references to the Greek dark music scene of the 80s and 90s. What type of music have you been listening to?

Ioakim: Interesting that you noticed that. I was not aware that you could find such traces in my sound, but of course it may be coming out unconsciously. I am a fan though of bands from that era and those countries like for example Neon Judgement or Xmal Deutschland. As for Greek bands of the 80s and 90s my favorites are South of No North, the Reporters, Διάφανα Κρίνα and Metro Decay.

Blauerosen: What inspired you to create the album ‘Brilliant Endings’?

Ioakim: My need to compose music is the driving force behind every new record. In every record I try to add something new or simply something different to my sound and that makes it more interesting for me. In addition, the fact that I collaborate with a group of friends who are the lyricists, makes it more playful and pleasant as this is always a very beautiful process and we always come back for more.

Blauerosen: The lyrics across all releases of Misfortunes, are poetic and this makes me assume that you read a lot of poetry and literature in general. Could you share with us the title of a book that you read recently which inspired you? 

Ioakim: This surely is true. Most songs have indeed a poetic form and this has to be attributed to my collaborators- the lyricists, not me. I used to read a lot of poetry in the past, now not so much. In the last years, my limited amount of free time is dedicated to Misfortunes, leaving no time for anything else. It has been a while since I had that feeling with a book but to name one I would say Lewis Carroll‘s ‘Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There’.

Blauerosen: Are you thinking of visualising your music through video? 

Ioakim: Funny that you mention this. In the next few days, I will release the video of ‘Android‘, which is one of my favorite songs from the new LP.

Blauerosen: I was very happy when I came across the music of Misfortunes because I think they fill a melodic and rhythmic gap created by the absence of important Greek bands like South of No North, Diafana Krina, Magic de Spell to name a few; and at the same time Misfortunes invest in melody and poetry in ways that bands from other countries don’t. How has the band being received in Greece?

Ioakim: I am satisfied with the appeal Misfortunes has had in Greece taking into account the limited audience this scene has here and, of course, the fact that even though Misfortunes has existed since 2014 my first live gig was actually in 2022. I prefer my energy to be invested in composing songs rather than performing live. It is very nice to be included in radio setlists all around the globe and to know that my songs are being played in clubs in many countries.

Blauerosen: In ‘Brilliant Endings’ as in the previous albums ‘The Left Behind‘ and ‘The Isle of Tomorrow‘ there are a lot of lyricists. Do you want to talk to us about your collaborators in your latest album? How did they come about? 

Ioakim: I am very fortunate to be surrounded by friends who are very good with words. I am not easily satisfied with my own lyrics so it is a blessing to have my friends as collaborators in this project. I have known most of them for over 25 years and we have very close relationships. The fact that we can write songs together and release them makes this a very pleasant process which brings us even closer. It all started in 2014 when I asked Markos-Valsamis Lyritsis to give me one of his poems to turn into a song. ‘Katalixi‘ was born (Hybrid EP, Werkastatt Recordings 2017) and from that point onwards, I have collaborated with 9 lyricists all of them close friends. One of them is my brother.

Blauerosen: As far I know you live in Thessaloniki. Can you talk to us a little bit about the music scene in this city? I’ve always had the impression that many musicians there are looking for reference points in various types of music created abroad and, as a consequence, create a unique sound rich with influences. I have come across quite a few bands from Thessaloniki that have a memorable sound and I am not just referring to the dark scene. What is your impression? What were your influences and the overall atmosphere in the music industry in your city when you set up Misfortunes?

Ioakim: I was born and raised in Thessaloniki and spent most of my life here. The music scene of Thessaloniki has always been vibrant. There are many bands and solo artists doing all sorts of stuff and indeed not only in the dark scene. My affection for Thessaloniki and my life in this city is expressed through the song “In the streets of our city” from ‘The Left Behind’, one of the few songs I have written the lyrics for.

Blauerosen: ‘Brilliant Endings’ is evidently darker and has stronger darkwave elements compared to the previous two albums. I danced while listening to the music of this album whereas with the previous two, I mostly paid attention to the lyrics. What was your intention when you were creating this album?

Ioakim: It definitely is darker than the first album, and I think it is just as dark as the second one but in a different way. Sure, it has some very danceable tracks like “When the night falls” which is like a call to the dancefloor but the same is true for the other albums as well. I really like writing songs that you can dance to. I am not thinking about that though when I am in the process of writing songs for a new album. I just go with the flow of my mood.

Blauerosen: Did the release of ‘Brilliant Endings’ create indeed the feeling of a brilliant ending? 

Ioakim: I feel that with every album I make a step forward in songwriting. ‘Brilliant Endings’ has many layers and there are many interesting details and ideas in every song. I am really happy with the result and I am quite proud with what we have accomplished with the LP. I hope it reaches many people’s ears.

Blauerosen: The song ‘Heartbeat Race’ which describes the story of two people as they prepare for a trip in space, ends with the following beautiful verse ‘They met Ziggy Stardust and settled on Mars’. How did David Bowie affect you ?

Ioakim: These are the lyrics of Constantinos Georgiadis with whom we share the same admiration for David Bowie. His work as an artist was extraordinary in every aspect and as a person who was not afraid to push the boundaries forward he has my eternal respect. I talk to my children about David Bowie in every opportunity I have. With Constantinos when we dj-ed together quite often we used to dedicate about half an hour playing only Bowie songs.

Blauerosen: The song ‘Υπανθρωποι (Subhumans)’ was one more from this album that left a strong impression on my, What inspired it?

Ioakim: This is a song about injustice, social oppression and discrimination. It was born from the staggering fact that there are actual people living in the sewers of the world’s big cities.

Blauerosen: Finally, I’d like to say that it would be great to see you perform live in London in the near future.

Ioakim: Thank you! For now you can come to Thessaloniki on the 2nd of December for a live presentation of ‘Brilliant Endings’.

Blauerosen: Thank you

Ioakim: Thank you too!

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