An Interview with ‘Innerwish’ Drummer Fragiskos “Frankie” Samoilis


franki_InnerwishGreek melodic metal band Innerwish is no stranger anymore in the metal scene, since the beginning in 1995, they have released five studio albums and one split album, their latest effort has been released on March 18th. through Swedish record label Ulterium Records. This is the first album with the two newest members of the band, George Eikosipentakis on vocals and Fragiskos “Frankie” Samoilis on drums, he is also the drummer of Diviner. Recently we conducted an interview with Frankie, read it all below.

Innerwish returns after 5 years to the Netherlands to play this weekend at the third edition of Rock for Eternity. Other performing bands will be: Metatrone (progressive power metal from Italy), Malchus (progressive melodic metal from Poland), A Sickness Unto Death (doom metal band from Germany), Nefast (psych black from the Netherlands) and Wolfer (melodic punk Hardcore from the Netherlands). Rock for Eternity will be held this Saturday (April 23) again at Fluor (fka de kelder) in Amersfoort, the Netherlands.

They will do another show on Sunday (April 24) at Studio Gonz in Gouda with support from melodic post black metal band Desolate Fields (NL).

TMR: Hello Fragiskos this is ‘The Metal Resource’ from Holland, how are things going there in Greece ?

Hey guys! J Well, things are difficult here, but we don’t give up. We are not used on giving up after all! Hehe Lets see how things will turn out, cause none of us, in general in Europe, actually knows.

TMR: Will you Introduce yourself and the band please ! [name and instrument]

My name is Fragiskos Samoilis and I’m the drummer of the Greek melodic metallers InnerWish.

TMR: Tell us the brief history of ‘Innerwish’.

Things started about 20 years ago. The only remaining member from the first lineup is Thimios Krikos on the guitars, who actually founded the band back then. The debut album, “Waiting for the dawn”, was released in 1998, through NMC label. Then, Limb Music signed the band, and through Limb the two next albums were released. “Silent faces” (2004) and “Inner strength” (2006). Due to various reasons, the band needed a new label and then it’s when Ulterium Records comes in. In 2010, “No turning back album” was released and this year, after a difficult 6 year period we released our fifth album, “InnerWish”, again through Ulterium Records.

TMR: Why the name ‘Innerwish’ ? Is there a story behind it ?

I wasn’t there when the band was baptized (hehe), but from what I know, it represents their need for expressing themselves musically. Their feelings, their worries, their needs. Inner wish stands for the desires you have inside you. The “burning desires” someone has (to refer to the video of our previous album) and tries to make them true. I wish I could have a really cool story to share here, but I think it’s not that good huh? Haha J

TMR: How did you get into metal? 

I can speak for myself here. I got into metal music in 1990, when I was 9 years old. I listened to the song “One” by Metallica back then and I was so shocked from the intro to the end of this song. I bought my first tape, which was “No prayer for the dying” by Iron Maiden and the rest is history. The virus was already in my veins! Hehe More or less, the rest of the guys have similar stories lets say. It was those times when people were exchanging tapes with “collections” in a way and were searching for new music, different types of music. I think my passage from New Kids On The Block to metal music in the age of 9, was something… haha!

TMR: What is your musical background ?

One of the things I love in this band, is the diversity of our musical backgrounds! For example, Manolis (guitar) is more into the melodic rock, hard rock stuff, Antonis (bass) likes hard rock also, the same he likes classical metal and thrash metal though, Thimios (guitar) is also a classical metal fan, but also listens to some more modern stuff, George G. (keys) is mostly into classical music, George E. (vocals) likes a lot of different stuff and me, I am more into the Scandinavian metal scene, but in general I listen to whatever sounds good to me, from black metal to melodic rock. No boundaries there! J

Innerwish_2016TMR: Who writes the music/lyrics in ‘Innerwish’ ? … how do you get in the mood for writing music? And which bands/situations have influences you for writing music and lyrics ?

When it comes to music, it’s more of a team work, especially in this album. Thimios and Manolis are the main songwriters, but I was quite involved in this album also. When it comes to lyrics, in this album I wrote most of them (11 out of the 13 songs). In the previous albums it was Manolis, Thimios, Antonis and Babis (the former singer) who had that task. Inspiration is a weird thing actually. We are not a band that would sit down and say “OK, we will write 10 songs in one month”. No way. It will never work for us. Inspiration strikes in various places, times, etc. The music we write is the way we feel. Without compromises, without second thoughts. Just how we feel and how we need to express it. And this might emerge from the everyday life for example. We don’t have bands that we would love to sound like them. OK, we have some bands that we all have in common and up to a point affected our sound (Accept, Saxon, Iron Maiden, Dio, Savatage for example), but we like to believe we have our own sound in the end. About the lyrics, the inspiration, at least for me, comes from our lives. The problems we face as individuals, but as humanity in general also. My concerns, my worries, my thoughts, my view, on things that are realistic and around us 24/7.

TMR: What are some key principles or phylosophies that you hold onto as foundational stones as who you are as a person?

Honesty in number one for sure! Being yourself and honest, are of my key principles. What you see is what I am, is up to you to like it or not. Noone can please everyone J Respect also is one. Though, I respect only whoever respects me. In general I believe that if you want something, you should be the one to do it first.

TMR: Is there a highlight you will always remember, since the beginning of ‘Innerwish’?

Cliché or not here, the release of this new album! And I believe it’s for all of us the same! The relief, the proudness, the joy, all combined and overloaded! Hehe Oh, and the tape edition… haha!

TMR: And the worst thing were ? (if there is one)

I think the period between 2011 and 2013, when we actually were on a hiatus as a band.

TMR: So what makes you laugh? 

A lot of things! I laugh a lot and always try and make other people laugh too, especially through sarcasm. A good joke (we have plenty of those here), a funny moment, a smart and hilarious movie, all those little daily things.

TMR: What is your biggest fear ? 

Hm. Maybe the thought of dying without making 2-3 things that I have as goals and haven’t achieved yet. Nothing else I believe. I don’t fear life, cause I know who I am and I know I will do my best no matter what the future brings.

TMR: What are some of the things you like to do away from the band? 

I used to play basketball a lot. Actually I was in a big club here in Greece from the age of 10, up to the age of 18. I think I must start playing again. I like some TV series, I enjoy music in general, cause beside playing drums, I’m also an editor at ROCK HARD magazine of Greece and have a radio show for 10 years in a row. My second job is being a DJ at the most popular metal café in Athens, Underground Café. Actually I never rest.. haha

TMR: How do you promote your band and shows ?

Especially for this new album, we want to make as many live shows as we can. No matter how many people would attend to a show, we always play like we have a million faces watching us and enjoying our music. Cause after all, and above all, music is passion. It’s not a job for us. We try to be in the best possible shape for every show. And I think that the best way to promote a band’s shows, is by letting the people know that this band is worthy seeing live. About the band’s promo in general, maybe you should ask Emil from Ulterium… hehe J

TMR: Tell us about the hardrock/metal scene in your area please?

Greece has a really great metal scene in general! Especially in the most extreme metal genres, like black metal, death metal and thrash metal, we have a lot of really cool and talented bands. But in general, we have really good bands in all of metal’s subgenres. And despite the difficult economical situation, you can see we have a lot of great bands and there are more that are coming up next. I strongly believe that the greek metal scene is better than many other European ones. People should check some bands from Greece. No matter what metal genre they like, I’m sure they’ll find at least one band from Greece that they will like… a lot!

TMR: How do you prepare for a show?

Trying to remain focused, drinking A LOT of coffee (haha) and having the best possible positive energy and vibe!

TMR: You guys play on the upcoming edition of the annual ‘Rock for Eternity’ in Amersfoort (April 23). What are your expectations?

First of all, we are really happy to coming back to the Netherlands. Our last time there was on 2011, at Brainstorm Festival and it was a blast! Really nice people, great audience and in general, we feel like that the Netherlands embrace our music and makes us so comfortable coming there. We except a great show from all the bands of the Rock For Eternity billing. To be a party, to meet new friends, see some older ones and all of us, the bands and the fans, to have a great time!

TMR: What is your favorite Innerwish song to play live ?

Lets see. “Burning desires” for sure, “Eye of the storm”, “Inner strength” and “Sirens” are the first ones that come in my mind. From the new album, everything, since we haven’t actually played them that much yet! Haha J

innerwish_artwork_2016_dcdTMR: Speaking of recording, your new “self-titled” album has been released on March 18th. what can you tell us about the album [such as the recording process, the songs etc.]

I will begin with a cliché, but I can’t avoid it, cause it’s 100% true! Hehe This is our best effort so far and we are more than happy releasing it, especially after all that we have been through these 6 years. It’s our most diverse, modern, heavy, melodic and lyrical at the same time album. And it represents us more than any other we have ever released. Represents this current lineup, which we hope to maintain for the next years, decades, whatever! J We feel stronger and more confident than ever before. The recording process was really cool! The atmosphere was nice in the studio, all of us knew exactly what had to do and things were rolling just as they should have been! We were thinking of maybe having 11 tracks and not 13 in the end, but we decided to include all 13 tracks, because people haven’t listened to new music from us for about 6 years. So we didn’t exclude anything, but we have some ideas and half-finished songs already for the next album.

TMR: The album is released through Ulterium Records, how did you get signed by them ?

It was back in 2009-2010, when the guys were searching for a label to release the “No turning back” album. They talked with quite a few labels, they were close in signing in a major one, but Ulterium Records showed above all that truly believed in the band and wanted to make it bigger. And that the band would be a priority for the label. We are really happy that we are part of Ulterium’s roster and we are more than satisfied with what this label has done and continues to do for us! Wait to make a commercial: Trust Ulterium! Haha J

TMR: About the cover artwork. Do you think it is as important as your music? Does it visualize the lyrics of your songs or what’s the actual story behind its concept?

In heavy metal music in general, covers were and always be important. Metalheads give a lot of attention to the covers and that’s why you see some wonderful works of art in metal covers, while you see covers of pop stars for example (who sell millions) and they exist just because the album needs a cover. No, the cover isn’t as important as the music, but it’s a bonus. It’s a reason for someone who don’t know your band to see the album on a self of a record store and be intrigued by the cover. About our present cover, yes, it visualizes the general lyrical concept up to a point. Felipe Machado did a great job! It’s about redemption. The woman in the middle, trying to escape from her own demons that keep her binded and finally manages to break free and by transforming, leaving everything behind. I hope you liked the cover too! J

TMR: What would be the ultimate cover tune for ‘Innerwish’?

OK. This is like a “100 songs list”! haha I honestly can’t answer this one, cause each and everyone of us would give you 10 different options, according to our musical backgrounds and influences. We have done some covers though in the past. We have “Lonely lady” (Q5), “Neon knights” (BLACK SABBATH) and “Black mass” (WARLORD). I think something from Ronnie James Dio would be great, but I can’t pick a song. Not even 10 songs only.. hehe

TMR: What is your favorite concert that you saw and what made it so good? 

I will give you 5. First one, a non metal show, but a GREAT experience. Loreena McKennitt! One of my all time favourite artists. Then it’s this year’s Wacken instalment, because seeing Savatage together with Trans-Siberian orchestra was a once in a lifetime experience! Savatage are in my top-5 favourite bands list. The first show Amorphis gave in Greece, cause I just LOVE the band (top-5 also). Bolt Thrower in Athens again. The grooviest thing I’ve ever watched from a death metal band in a totally packed venue! And finally, Halford in Greece in 2000-2001 (don’t quite remember). Huge sound, huge performance, incredible audience. And the list has Heaven And Hell, Blind Guardian (I think I’ve seen them something like 11 times… haha) and many more.

TMR: Everyone, what is the most embarrassing music on your phone or in your collection and how do you justify it to others?

I don’t think there is something embarrassing when it comes to music. Cause most of the stuff I have in my collection are from particular periods of my life. After all, I started listening to metal music at the age of 9, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t listening to music before that. And ofcouse, I still listen and to non-metal stuff. I have vinyls from New Kids On The Block (from the age of 6 I think), Michael Jackson, The Village People (from my father’s collection.. haha), up to Emperor, Dark Tranquillity, Judas Priest, Testament etc. I also have some tapes with kids’ fairytales.. hahaha I love music. And when music is good, I don’t care what type of music it is. Though metal music is my favourite.

RfE-2016TMR: If you could pick a band to tour with, who would it be? And where would the tour go?

There are a lot of great bands in the classical metal/melodic metal/melodic power metal genre that we would love to tour with. And there are some very beloved bands that we have managed to share the stage with, even though not in a tour. We have played with bands like Accept, Saxon, Crimson Glory, Judas Priest for example. So, excluding those bands, maybe a tour with Kamelot or Sabaton or…. Again, like in the cover song question, a lot of choices! J I don’t think we care where the tour would go. We want to play. And whenever that is, it would be great for us! Explore new areas, meet new people.

TMR: What is the dumbest question you have ever been asked? 

This one! Hahaha Kidding! J I was asked once, by a Swedish musician (won’t tell the name) while I was interviewing him a funny question. “Hey man, I want to ask you something too. Why our women when they come to Greece for vacations, return pregnant?”… hahaha! As you can understand, my answer was just a laughter and one sentence: “I don’t know, but I hope you become good parents for those children”. All in good sense ofcourse. A really cool and funny guy.

TMR: What are the biggest obstacles for bands ?

I think money is number one. And together with that, the everyday life and struggles. There aren’t that many bands that make a living through music. So for the rest of us, who don’t live by music (though live for and through music) and have our jobs, families, obligations, etc, the biggest obstacle is time. So money and time I think are the most important ones.

TMR: As a band today, what do you think is the biggest challenge you face?

This is similar to the previous one, but I would add something extra: Competition. Not in the sense that each band wands to surpass another. In the sense that in the age of internet, many good albums and bands might never find their way to success cause people don’t have that spare time to listen to like 10 new albums per day. Cause we have something like 100 (and even more) releases every month. A lot of bands, a lot of information out there, and it’s more difficult to follow a band like in the 90s for example.

TMR: Any (tour) plans for the near future ?

We want to play a lot!!! And we have some dates announced already, with live shows in Greece and the two ones in the Netherlands of course on the 23rd and 24th of April. We are talking about some other stuff, we have some plans, but nothing certain yet, so I can’t tell anything. But we want to play and promote this new album like never before.

TMR: Fragiskos thanks for your time and the interview. We wish ‘ Innerwish’ all the best … Is there anything you wanna say at last ? [any final statement ?]

We thank you Eelco and The Metal Resource for giving us space in your website! And ofcourse for your support to the band! We hope to meet most of you in person during our shows in the Netherlands these coming days. And please respect, love and care for each other, cause we stand united or fall! May all your inner wishes come true… J

Upcoming Shows:
April 23 – Rock for Eternity, Amersfoort (NL)
April 24 – Studio Gonz, Gouda (NL)
May 21 – Larissa Sports Center, Larissa (GR)

“Waiting for the Dawn” (1998)
“Realms of the Night” Split (2000)
“Silent Faces” (2004)
“Inner Strength” (2006)
“No Turning Back”  (2010)
“Innerwish” (2016) [review]

Current Members:
George Georgiou – keyboards
Manolis Tsigos – guitar
Thimios Krikos – guitar
Antonis Mazarakis – bass guitar
Fragiskos Samoilis – drums
George Eikosipentakis – vocals

Weblinks: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Spotify

Video below: ‘Modern Babylon’

Lyric video: Needles In My Mind

Lyric video: ‘Rain Of A Thousand Years’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts