Interview, video: Elena Savlokhova
Photography: Ljubov Dzhuzhynska
In one of your interviews you mention that you ‘are inspired by the extremes of passions’. What is your personal definition of ‘passion’?
Joanna: Passion is any kind of feeling that gets you really high and allows you to reach the point where you are nothing but yourself. You should dare and go for it, because it won’t come for you.
What do you appreciate the most in each other?
Joanna: He is my man for life. I appreciate his talent and his sensibility. I love his music. I deeply believe that he is one of the greatest around, even though it might sound strange to say so.
Dimitris: It feels like we are one person.
What makes Athens so unique from other places for you?
Joanna: Athens, like Kiev, is very unique. Most cities look similar, but Athens, or Kiev, are still…
Dimitris: They’re still original.
Joanna: Yes, they’re still untouched by globalisation, they have a unique feeling about them: the architecture, the lifestyle, people’s mentality. It’s difficult to explain the feeling of a city if you haven’t experienced it.
You compare Greece with a ‘long lasting but hopeless marriage’. Did you ever consider moving and living somewhere else?
Joanna: I used to live in Germany for a few years, I had a good time and I considered staying there, but then I had to go back for some life-changing personal reasons. I didn’t regret it. Home is where the heart is and my heart is in Athens. I think I will be monogamous and stay in this hopeless marriage forever.
If falling in love would be something you could see, what would it look like?
Joanna: For me, it’s him actually [Dimitris], his face.
Dimitris: The same. When I see Joanna – it’s love.
You’ve said that ‘Cine Romance’ is about life after midnight. What is the most magical thing about the night for you?
Joanna: We’ve spent some years clubbing, going out, and everything that is connected to it – all the excesses. We have a lot of tracks on the topic. Because, you know, daytime is for everyone, it’s the same for us all, but during the night you can be whoever you choose to be.
Dimitris: People just feel free to express themselves more. In the darkness everything looks more romantic.
What is your biggest challenge in life?
Joanna: To stay together until the end.
Tell us a funny or bizarre story that happened throughout your musical career.
Dimitris: The girl who gave Joanna all of her jewelry. She was crying and giving away her necklace as a gift.
Joanna: This isn’t unusual in Mexico. People are like that, they have this thing where they give you their personal belongings. It’s very sweet. But a funny story… Hard to think of something with so much going on all the time.
Dimitris: Mostly it’s always fun after the show. We have friends everywhere and it’s always nice to see them again. Once we forgot the belt for the bass guitar, there wasn’t one in the venue, so a girl made one with a piece of rope.
Joanna: Yes, right before the concert! We love it, we will even use it tonight, because we forgot to bring a belt, again.
What is fucked up about the world of today?
Joanna: Communication between people is quite artificial these days, it’s not direct anymore.
Dimitris: Everyone is living on Facebook, no one really talks to each other – you go out and everyone is stuck in their screens.
Joanna: Also the political and economical crisis, which we have in our country. For example, to have this extreme gap between the rich and the poor… I think politicians are psychotic personalities and sooner or later, this whole thing will lead us to a zero point.
Things you can’t unthink.
Joanna: I always think about the end. Like the end of all things, of us, of what comes after life. It sounds pessimistic but I’m into this topic at this moment in my life, because of a loss of a beloved person.
What question do you hate answering the most?
Joanna: What does ‘Selofan’ mean. So I hope this is not your next question!
Well now we can cross it out. Any others?
Joanna: Like the usual ones, like ‘when did you start with the band?’. You know, the trivial stuff.
Dimitris: It’s better to be asked questions about matters of life.
You put in a lot of effort into music videos. Tell us a bit about the creative process.
Joanna: We are lucky to have such amazing friends, because all of our videos have zero budgets, it’s all about having an idea and good friends to actualize it, friends who are really talented and ready to transform themselves. Shootings are always fun, perhaps due to the fact of the missing professionalism, so the editing demands the most effort. But again a good friend who does the editing is always doing miracles.
Dimitris: It’s nice because we always help each other out, we are close friends with the other bands of our label Fabrika Records, we contribute ideas and even act in each others videos. It all works better this way. Everything is DIY
We spoke to Drab Majesty earlier this year and they’ve mentioned how they participated in a video with you back in Athens.
Joanna: Yes, they acted in the new fantastic video of She Past Away and it was another wonderful experience for all of us.
What is the difference between your stage persona and your normal life self? Is there a duality present?
Joanna: I think once you’re on stage it’s all mixed up. We dig deep into this scene and this type of music for many-many years, so it’s our lifestyle. It’s not a solely theatrical impersonation. Of course, on stage I put a bit more makeup on etc. But the essential things remain the same.
What was the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Joanna: I don’t really follow advice. I am open to criticism, it helps improve oneself if it comes from the right people, but by nature I wouldn’t directly react to any kind of ‘advice’.
Why do people hate what is not them?
Joanna: Because they cannot recognise it as their own. It doesn’t only feel foreign to them but sometimes even dangerous.
What interests you outside of music?
Joanna: Our whole life is based around music. Professionally we run a synthesizer shop in Athens and we spend 10 hours per day over there, so our life is music.
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
Joanna: I have been asked more than once if I’m a girl or a boy and I regard it as a compliment. Not to be fixed in one image makes people look more interesting. I guess it happens because of my heavy makeup.
Dimitris: For me, it’s when people tell me that they feel it in their hearts when I sing.
What is one thing about you that would surprise us?
Joanna: Well you have to stay at our gig and find out for yourselves.
What is your definition of beauty?
Joanna: To feel well about yourself and to be happy with your life – the internal. If you feel good inside, if you are satisfied with who you are, then it reflects on the outside world.
What about ugliness?
Joanna: I find beauty in ugliness. I prefer those who have big noses, scars, or whatever else is considered ‘unusual’. ‘Ugly’, for me, is someone who doesn’t respect others.
What is something you never want to do ever again in your life?
Dimitris: I don’t think we should say this in public haha.
What question would you like to be asked at an interview and what would your answer be? Is there something you would like people to know about you?
Dimitris: We prefer not to give interviews, but I think it would be nice if people knew that our music will always be our own personal psychotherapy and we are more than happy that all you people, who follow us, share the same feelings.