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METAL MAIDEN OF THE MONTH------MAY 2015

VICKY PSARAKIS  lead vocalist for THE AGONIST. 

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Photo by Pazit Perez

This interview was done in London, ON, Canada before the last show on The Agonist current tour. The Agonist is a Montreal based Metal band. Their original vocalist Alissa White Gluz left the band in 2014 to join Arch Enemy and The Agonist replacement was Vicky Psarakis who we are happy to have as our Metal Maiden of the Month for THE METAL PIT.   THE METAL PIT:  How did you become the vocalist for The Agonist? Vicky Psarakis:   Danny Marino (guitarist) found me on youtube. I was doing vocal covers at that time. He sent me a message and said how he was impressed by my vocals and we just got to talking and later on he asked me if I wanted to try some ideas for his songs not saying anything about The Agonist. I sent him back a few of my ideas and he discussed it with the rest of the band then contacted me telling me about the situation of Alissa leaving the band and asked me if I was interested in becoming the lead singer and obviously my answer was yes.   vicky4What was it like replacing Alissa? I think it was really smooth. Everyone in the band was very supportive and they didn't really pressure me. I got to Montreal the first day and it was a learning process and getting to know each other and working on the new album. As far as fans reactions it has mostly been positive but of course there is some negative comments as well but overall it went smoothly.         Were you a fan of the band before joining? Honestly no. I never heard enough stuff. I knew a few songs from seeing them on you tube and they were cool songs but after Danny contacted me I listened to all their albums thoroughly and I actually liked some songs that weren't out there more so it was great as I liked the old material and it gave me hope for the new album that it would go well.     Did you feel any added pressure performing the songs that Alissa was a part of? Not more pressure necessarily but they are more difficult because I wrote the new songs so they were written for my vocals and capabilities. So its always a challenge when your doing any type of covers and thats what I was doing before I joined the band. Doing covers as they were a challenge for me and when I am singing the old songs they are a challenge.   How was the current tour? (Ended May 9th) It's been a lot of fun. Jumping around a lot. We were on the Revolver tour with Flyleaf and a few other bands which was strange as we were the only real Metal band there. We were kind of playing to more pop oriented crowds and when we went on stage it was funny as the people were mostly shocked and thinking "What is this". And it worked out well for us as its impressive to hear us when its not something they have really heard before. I think it worked out well for us as I think we gained new fans with that. Apart from the Revolver show we have had a few headline shows like this one (London, ON) so it's been great.   
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Photo by Pazit Perez

You have been in the band since March 2014. Did it take long to feel accepted by the other band members?   No, not at all. It was straight away obviously we were all nervous as we didn't know what it was going to be like. They flew me in from Greece and they had no idea what I was going to be like and I had no idea what they were going to be like as it is 4 guys. (laughs) But we got along really well and its great cause now we have been touring for 2 months now almost and it's great cause if we have a issue we just talk about it and solve our problems and then we step on stage and remember why we are doing this as friends first of all so its great.      You are originally from Chicago but before coming to Canada and The Agonist you were in Greece? I was born in Chicago and moved to Greece at the age of 10.    Who were your vocal influences? There are a lot really. My favourite female vocalist is Anneke Van Giersbergen and then I would say most of my influences are male vocalists like Daniel Gildenlöw of Pain of Salvation and Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth and really a lot. Generally I am influenced by versatile singers. Those kinds that can do a lot of things with their voices. And not only from the Metal genre but rock and like Led Zeppelin and extreme vocalists and there is a lot.    vicky2You moved from Greece to Montreal to join The Agonist. What is the biggest differences? Besides of course language.   Its a different vibe. Greece is a Meditteranean country. Its warm weather and almost always summer and then I come to Montreal and its below 20 degrees and snowing. (laughs). But Montreal specifically is a great city, its very cultural and the night life is great and the people are very friendly. I would say I prefer it. I love Greece but its more of a country you would go to visit and stay for a couple of weeks and go on vacation and go to the beach but its hard to make a living there.    Now that you in Canada most of the time when not touring. So do you partly Canadian now? Oh yeah. I have definitely been influenced by the rest of the guys and you know we will be talking and I will say something like "I know EH" and just stuff like that will slip out. Drinking lots of Tim Horton's coffee and eating poutine and all that stuff.    Why did you decide to be a vocalist and why Heavy Metal? I have been singing for as long as I can remember. Back to when I was a kid. It was just something that happened naturally. As far as why Heavy Metal. I just remember when I was a teenager and I listened to heavy music in general that I knew that was it. I heard it and was like "Wow this is great" and its what made me want to persue singing. I would be in my shower and I am along and I never considered it a career but when I listened to heavy music I saw the challenge and that was it I guess.  vicky5 What is up next for The Agonist? This tour is finished but up next we have Heavy Montreal in August and were trying to get a few more dates after that in September. And hopefully another tour in the fall and also trying to line up shows in Japan and South America maybe this year or next.    Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Thank you and enjoy the show.    ***Photos used by permission of Vicky Psarakis***