We're all aware that in a last couple of years (or even decade) greek scene made huge progress and impact on not just European but world rocknroll scene. Nightstalker, 1000mods, Planet of Zeus, Naxatras are just some of the bands that are currently writing new music history in Greece and Europe.

Part of this, let's call it "Greek wave", are our today guests Leftover Bullets. Hailing from Thessaloniki, they started playing in 2013. Their sound is based on hard and heavy music of the 80's and the first half of the 90's. That was the time when hard rock and heavy metal reached their peak. Of course, Leftover Bullets sound modern as well partly due to today's production.

At the end of april, they released their second album "Tell mama we’re doing OK" and that was one of the main reasons we're talking with them today. Also, we will talk about interesting story behind the name, influences, the progression of the band, song themes, creative process and upcomming tour. So without further ado let's dive in...

You come from Thessaloniki. What it’s like there at the moment? I am sure it was challenging last couple of months since the music industry was shaken a lot. I guess we are all slowly recovering now. How you addapted to this new pandemic circumstances?

We think that what we live here in Thessaloniki is the same for the whole world. Obviously all the musicians came in the same awkward position and we were no exception. We used our time creatively and having nothing else to do, we got into the mood of composing new ideas. To tell the truth, we have completed a new song, but it is too early to talk and plan something for it.

Regarding your name I will quote explenation from your website that I found interesting: “The 5 member band came together when a wave of young people started leaving Greece. According to them: “We were looking at our friends leaving one after another and us left behind. But we are bullets.”
It seems like we are sharing the same destiny since a lot of people from Balkan countries are migrating to Western Europe as well. How is situation in Greece at the moment regarding that issue?

We still continue to hear about young people who are leaving the country for something better, but what happened 7-10 years ago is not happening right now. Plus there is a significant percentage of people who have returned. However, in general, the country has not recovered, and unfortunately, people seem to be complacent, compromising and often forgetting. Rock n’ roll must be there to help do just the opposite.

Let’s get back to Leftover Bullets. You sound was influenced “by the music and the attitude of the hard n heavy decade 85-95”. Golden era for that kind of sound. You can name the most significant bands you liked, but I am also interested in what are your non-music influences (books, movies, significant events in your life)…

So we don't know if what's going on is good or bad, but the truth is that in 2020 the bands that manage to fill stadium stages come in overwhelming majority from the 80s and 90s. This is certainly not accidental. We grew up in those decades and were present at the heyday of Metallica & Guns N 'Roses, etc., the Seattle scene revolution, so we inevitably carry these sounds within us. Beyond that, beyond the music influences, it becomes more complex to answer you, but we find that between us we have developed a common crisis for the current releases of films, music and books. It's what we call a common denominator, something like a filter to see the world today.

The main reason for this interview is that you recently released second album “Tell mama we’re doing OK” (Sold Out Music Records). Are you excited and what are your general feelings and expectations from this album?

You know, we worked hard on this album and we knew what we were doing, maybe that was the reason we put on a provocative title, but to tell you the truth, it took us a few moments to get the first feedback to get the heartbeat back to normal rhythms (hahahahaha)! So far so good and the radio have embraced it. We’ll see. It’s too early to say!!

Now when the album is out, are there any things you’d like to change or you think you could do differently?

Of course there are. The problem is, that if we do it again and listen to it after a year, we would say again that we could do it differently, and that is perpetuated and has no end. So you need to know where to stop where you feel honestly satisfied with the result, depending on the possibilities you have during the time you have. Then the result is more sincere.

Can you pick one or more tracks from “Tell mama we’re doing OK” that are your personal favorites and you think they represent the album the best? And please tell us the reasons for that pick…

What you are asking for, is a bit unfair to do, because today we can answer you for 2-3 songs and after a week they will be different from them. We chose "Wasted Silence" as the opening song and as the first video that we would publish along with the release, not because we considered it the best on the album, but because it somehow contains most of the elements you'll find in the rest of the album's songs. However, in order not to leave you completely dissatisfied with the answer, "Till Next Time" is what we like a little more to play live!

Can you compare your first album “Virtue and Vice” with second? What are similarities and differences between them?

Obviously at “Tell mama…” we were more liberated about the Hard and soft limits that subconsciously had entered into "V&V". We wanted Tell mama to be more multidimensional synthetically than the first one, and we think we did it. Otherwise, the backbone of both albums remains the same, enriched of course with any development we members have over time.

When we’re on the topic, when you look at the band from this time distance (in whole), what do you think, how much you have changed, as a band and presonally, how much you evolved?

We have changed as much as any band would have worked continuously and methodically for 5 years, it is interested in developing and evolving, its members are putting their personal egos behind and looking at collective progress, and above all, they have a proposal that they believe in and can offer something to today's music scene.

Social and personal are central themes of your songs. What messages you are trying to send?

We just want to express our point of view on how we feel about the world. It is only necessary that we be honest with ourselves. We would never write about dragons throwing fires and fiction in general, without this meaning that we snoop on those who do.

Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?

We have a specific method. Usually G.K. brings some riffs that are the first approach of a song and we start jamming to find the groove for it. Once the rhythm is found, we begin to add its lyrical line by trying different things and many times at that point the skeleton can be changed. When it's over, the lyrics are written last, on the feeling that we hear. And in the end we start cleaning it, throwing away what we consider chatter and unnecessary information.

How do you manage to run a band with everyday obligations (work, friends, and family)? Is it difficult? And what are the main challenges you’re dealing with having a band?

It is very difficult. You need to sacrifice a lot of things to run your band at this level, to the point that it becomes reprehensible to some in your immediate environment. For us it is a way of life but for those around us it is just a hobby that should be done strictly in free time.

Let’s talk about Greek music scene. In a last couple of years it is one of the strongest in Europe. Nightstalker, 1000mods, Planet of Zeus, Naxatras, to name a few bands, are very active. They release and tour very often. What are the reasons for Greek scene to be so rich, active and outstanding? How do you see it as direct part of it?

We are glad that you know these bands and of course fortunately they exist and they advertise from the outside that we do not only produce bouzouki from music. However, things are quite difficult for rock in Greece. In essence, rock may be the least popular genre in Greece right now, strange as it may sound. However, there are hundreds of bands. In fact, if you go to a Rock live show, more than half of the audience below is a member of a band.

After seven years of hard work and two albums it is the right time to go on tour. What are your plans about that? What countries you had in mind? Do you plan to go alone or with some other band(s)?

Each proposal is acceptable and we study it, but the manager has the first say in what happens first. We have realized that we cannot and should not handle everything. As a band we just express our desires for where we would like to play, but no matter how you do it, some people who are their job know better to guide you on what is best for the band. Of course the Balkans are in the plan, but it has to end with the lodge so we can think of touring and live gigs with the world standing.

We’re slowely reaching the end of this interview. Are there any things we’ve forgot to mention and you think it’s important?

Yes, it is important to mention that in addition to the band members, there are other people who worked hard and put their souls into Tell mama, such as our sound engineer / producer George Vasilas with his staff, Artist Viktoria she created and gave us this cover too, our manager Zafeiris Proiopoulos, and generally the whole team that contributed to the completion of the album. Many things would be different without them.

That’s it for now. Thank you for this convesation. I hope in the near future the rest of the Europe and Balkans will have a chance to see you live as well. Till then, take care. The last words are yours so feel free to send message to our readers….

Keep rocking because there is a serious reason, and keep your head high and your dreams higher!

interview done by Miloš Pavlović