MARCH 17th 2016

Welcome to Metaltitans, Guardians of Metal Entertainment Worldwide, we are here with R.D. Liapakis - vocalist of Mystic Prophecy. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview.

You're welcome…

1. Let’s talk a bit about before your new album. Tell us, for those who don’t know, how each of the members came to be in your band, I know you originally formed the band …

There were many changes in the band's line-up during the 15 years since it exists. Only the strong survive, so they say, even more in the music business. But let's talk about the current line-up. Markus is in the band since 2004 and besides me the one who's in the band for the longest time. He joined back then as a second guitarist, when Gus G (Ozzy, Firewind) was still with us. Gus G. was playing on the first 3 longplayers, as it is known. Laki Ragazas (guitar), my fellow countryman from Greece and also playing in my other band Devil's Train, is part of it since 5 years now. He and Markus form the perfect guitar duo. Tristan, the drummer, our youngest member, also is in the band since 5 years. Joey Roxx (bass), the newest member, joined for "War Brigade" and is one hell of a bass player girl.
2. How did you come up with Mystic Prophecy for the band name ? Did everyone have a say, or vote ?

Back in the days, when I founded the band, I was trying to find a punchy name for it. Most of all, it was because the millennium was about to happen, and everybody was talking about prophecies and what might happen in the year 2000, according to Nostradamus. Just because no one really could tell, I named it after all those mystic prophecies - Mystic Prophecy.

3. What made you choose to do power - speed - thrash metal ? Great choice, but why those instead of all the other choices ?

I was born in '67 and got to know all those styles and scenes from their beginning. They left a mark on me and influenced me in some kind of way. I will never forget the day when my brother came home and brought a vinyl with him, it's cover saying "Black Sabbath - Master Of Reality". I was 6 years old I guess? This day I became infected with this virus and I am ever since.. 70ies / 80ies was the time of Rainbow, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple etc. Later in the 80ies came the NWOBHM with Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon, and at the same time the Bay Area scene with Exodus, Testament, Forbidden, Slayer, that left an imprint on me with their music. You can hear all those influences in our music, and I think that not many bands who deliver this kind of music as multifarious as Mystic Prophecy. Of course we will not re-invent Heavy Metal, but we can't easily be pigeonholed and told as "they sound like band X". Mystic Prophecy have their own scent and I'd say, that's what makes the special character of this band.
4. Now you have a new album “War Brigade” your 9th, being released through Massacre Records, tell us what we can expect from this album compared to your previous one “Killhammer” ?

"War Brigade" is a full grown Heavy Metal monster. Killhammer and all of our previous albums were great and I can't put any of it in the rear. All of them feature awesome songs and sound good, but "War Brigade" is, compared to the others, richer in variety. It's a mighty production, which makes every instrument and every song blasting with it's typical power. Guitars and drums are not just backing instruments, they hit you right in the face. Like said above, "War Brigade" is a monster in prime condition, waiting to be unleashed. It's happening on march 18th...
5. Who composed the lyrics for War Brigade ? Where does the inspiration come from ?

It's me writing the lyrics. I write about many things, things that affect me personally and things that happen or happened on out planet. Politics, war, holocaust, my home country / Spartan Warriors, and much more. "War Brigade" isn't a concept album. The album is called this name, because we, our fans and my band, all together are a war brigade, that lived through many things over the years, highs and lows. The band wouldn't exist without our loyal fans. That's why we dedicate the song "Metal Brigade" to all our fans who supported us through all those years. No fans, no future for a band...

6. Do you personally have a favourite among them ? If so why that one.

That's an easy one hahaha, All of them. The thing is, we never put songs on an album, if we're not 120% convinced of. Each song has it's power and it's intensity, be it the riff, the hookline or the chorus. Every song is as terrific as the others. But to be more concrete, "Burning Out" has got this monster of a bay area riff to make it outstanding. "Metal Brigade" is a Heavy Metal hymn, due to it's riff and the hookline in general. "The Crucifix" is a killer song with an earworm of a chorus. "Good Day To Die": another killer riff and a chorus to shout along. "10'000 Miles Away" is a power ballad that wins you over with much emotions. You see, every song has it's own special thing. But that's only my opinion. I prefer to let the fans decide if the album and the songs live up to the expectations they have on Mystic Prophecy. Let's take pot luck, time will tell.
7. Who did the artwork for the album, and how did they come up with the design ?

The artwork is once again painted by Uwe Jarling and I'm really happy with his work. I told him about some of my ideas and the title for the record, and he wanted to create something really big. I wanted to have the guy from "Killhammer" on the cover once more. I think it's cool if you can interpret the cover your own way. I believe that most people forget that the cover may be the main reason to listen to a record. When I was a young boy, I bought Iron Maiden records just because of their great cover artworks. That's a real important point to me, because the cover is the main appetizer for a record. Uwe Jarlin is old school, he painted everything. It has not been made with digital photo editing. I wanted something real, something with many details and as you can see, it is unique and it's very meaningful.

8. How long do you see yourself in the music industry, as things are changing so much these days ?

Even the fact that we are still going strong after 15 years is the best thing I could imagine. I have seen bands come and go during these 15 years... It has become very difficult to survive in this biz, mostly during the last 10 years. CD sales diminish constantly and there comes more and more of this digital bullshit like streams, downloads and other crap. That's what killed music in general, people download  songs instead of buying them. Some bands already have stopped releasing their material in physical ways, you can only download it. To make a living out of music has become really tough. All of us have our day jobs and are lucky enough to be able to make music out of conviction and for the love of it. Rock'n'Roll is a lifestyle and either you go along with it or you give it a miss. As already said before, only the strong survive, and as a band, we have grown by every kickback and have come out of it stronger than before. That's why we're still standing and we deliver what we like most, pure Heavy Metal for the people who are willing to listen to it!!!
9. What has been the most important thing that has happened to you in your career ?

Many things have happened during the last 15 years. Wacken Festival was among them. You just don't play in front of 50'000 people every day. We played pretty much every big festival and every club all over Europe. But the biggest and most important thing was signing or first deal with Nuclear Blast for our first album. Every new band is dreaming of being signed by a top label. That was the most important thing to me, because it opened the doors to climbing higher and to the future of Mystic Prophecy.

10. Will you be doing a tour after your release of War Brigade ? Are they plans in the works as we speak ?

Of course. We already have many offers and we are also planning a headliner tour in September. We will keep you posted and inform you as soon as we have everything set.
11. Who in the music industry has had the most influence on you ?

I like vocals  from the old school rock n roll era like  RAY GILLAN ( BADLANDS ) BRIAN HOWE & PAUL ROGERS ( BAD COMPANY ) GLEN HUGHES , DIO , JOE LYNN TURNER , and some guys from the new era like RUSSEL ALLEN , JORN LANDE . I have never tried to copy these people , So these guys are forever and ever the original. In my opinion is to give my  best for the songs with my own vox ,and not try to copy some of my favors.

12. Do you ever get any personal time outside of the band ? I know most are almost 98% doing band work.

I do work very much and very intensely on the band. There's always something to do. Be it writing new songs, or organizing gigs or much more. Having a band means putting 100% of work in it, next to my family, my job, the studio etc. I do have a family that needs me and I take the time they need. I could never pull it off without the support of my family. It takes much more than just understanding the partner, if you're on tour for weeks or playing festivals almost every other weekend and the family is left alone at home, waiting.
13. Tell us something about Mystic Prophecy that us fans might not know..

Ok, here we go. I guess many might not know that we're an international band and not only German. Laki and me are from Greece, Joey lives in Switzerland, only Markus and Tristan are Germans. And that GUS . G. guitar player from OZZY / FIREWIND was the first guitar player of  the band and rec. with me the 3 first Mystic Prophecy album.
14. Is there anything you would like to add to this interview that I might not have asked ? have not asked when Mystic Prophecy will finally play in Canada.
So, if anyone over there is willing to book gigs in Canada, we're ready to jump in the ocean and swim over haha!
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this interview with us here at Metaltitans, and we want to wish you much success with your new album “War Brigade”.

You're welcome and thank you so much for the interview.

MYSTIC PROPHECY - Metal Brigade Video clip: