Demetrios Katis is the founder, composer and lead guitarist of Greek best-selling metal band in S. Europe, “Exoristoi” (pronounced eks-o-ri-sti), and it means “Exiles” (EMI). Dimitri has established the term “Epic Metal” worldwide in 1989. He has collaborated with major distinguished Foundations and institutions of culture, education and entertainment and he has received multiple Music Awards in the United States & Europe (BILLBOARD world song contest, Los Angeles Music Awards, Hollywood Music Awards, Hollywood F.A.M.E. Awards and others).

 

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Everything in our interstellar micro-chaotic life may easily be considered as epic, and that thing motivates the spirit of inspiration to get ahead and create melodies and harmonies.

What inspires you to write music? 

“Epic” is the magic word of inspiration. Anything that goes along with that small Homeric word that contains a huge amount of drama, action, poetry, heroism, eroticism, altruism and Hellenism is the womb of my inspiration.

Everything in our interstellar micro-chaotic life may easily be considered as epic, and that thing motivates the spirit of inspiration to get ahead and create melodies and harmonies.

That is what I call composition of music, the child of a mind that generates a balance between peace and war in the perpetual universal battle of surviving, and its ability to melodically chronicle the past events, the current timeline, and the sign of things to come, through the ages.

How would you describe your music?

I am committed and devoted to two different kinds of music in general, seemingly different at least, as regards the genre. I compose Orchestral and Symphonic music (contemporary and romantic, medieval and baroque). I do also compose Rock and Metal music as well, and several times I combine those two kinds creating that way, either a symphonic rock/metal music composition (including opera sometimes), or different sub-genres, according the amount of dosage of each type respectively. Furthermore, I have also composed world/ethnic music, mostly as a combination of Greek and Celtic, new age, and several other types that all share a common characteristic, which is apparently the strong element of the epic sound.

 

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You have received international awards in US but also Greece has recognized you with awards for your contribution to promote the Hellenic Spirit worldwide. What does each of these awards mean to you as a Greek composer?

For my musical work and contribution to music, culture & education I have been multi-awarded by various prestigious institutes and various organizations in Europe and US as well (Los Angeles Music Awards, Billboard wsc, Hollywood Music Awards, Hollywood F.A.M.E Award, AHEPA, Euro-American Women’s council, etc.) I have been honored and awarded, by City Municipalities and Mayors (i.e. Golden Key to town of Portland, ME), and the Academy of Athens, for my contribution in promoting the Western spirit and culture worldwide.

I still remember that night so clear and vivid, it was the night of the ‘Los Angeles Music Awards’ at the ‘Henry Fonda Music Box Theater’ in the heart of Hollywood on Hollywood Blvd.

Every and each award has a special sentimental impact to my career and all of them have a unique place in my heart and mind and force me to be more responsible regarding my work, especially that one that has to do with the promotion of Hellenism and the Western culture distributing them around the globe via my music. Although my first award back in 2007 in Hollywood was the greatest experience in my career, and that because it was a thrill, a remarkable feeling. A lonely Greek, actually the only Greek, who’s attending the event, among hundreds of non-Greeks. I was sitting next to the LA mayor, waiting anxiously and eagerly for the final results hoping that my name would be among the winners, which it was something that I wouldn’t believe cause of the multitude of the nominees. I still remember that night so clear and vivid, it was the night of the ‘Los Angeles Music Awards’ at the ‘Henry Fonda Music Box Theater’ in the heart of Hollywood on Hollywood Blvd.

The exact same thing happened 4 months later when ‘Billboard’ presented me with the ‘award of excellence’ at the famous ‘America Mansion Theatre’ in Branson, Missouri. And again, the only Greek around, and that truly made feel the burden of responsibility.

Your video “Story of a Hero ” with Alexis Georgoulis has received great comments. What did you enjoy the most making this video?

Aww! Great moments, last February in the Greek mountains we’re shooting wonderful scenes. I worked with a great team of professionals from the German TV channels RTL & ZDF, the Greek-German director Jorgo Papavasiliou, and the German director of photography, Tobias Platow. Renowned Greek actor Alexis Georgoulis plays the leading role as a timeless wanderer searching through centuries for his princess who’s been kidnapped by the Dark Evil Queen. I’ve composed the music and written the lyrics and the story as well, and of course I produced this music video which has been recorded in three languages, Greek, German and English respectively. My band ‘Exoristoi’ performs and appears on the video playing the role of the storyteller. Philip Dennis Modinos – son of the late John Modinos, the famous Greek tenor – is the leading vocalist who performs equally in quality in all of these three versions of my song. On the bass, my friend, Mr Rich Melvile from Los Angeles. I am truly happy that I’ve had also the pleasure of working with a young talented video editor named Jim Georgosopoulos who’s an undergraduate at the University of film and media studies in Corfu, Greece. I’ve really enjoyed those moments behind the scenes; it was like an endless party, even when we were exhausted and wet from the heavy rain and the icy snow. Some of those moments depicted by ‘behind the scenes’ photographer, a Swiss lady called Eveline Ziegler. It was fun!

[Watch the trailer on YouTube]

 

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Do you have a “favorite” musical composition? Why?

I am not quite sure, I love them all, and they are my creations after all. Perhaps some of them have meant a great deal to me since strong emotions were shared with special and rare and most significant moments in my career and especially in my whole personal life. I have composed and recorded hundreds and hundreds of musical pieces which were published and distributed around the globe, and yes, some of them were related to a promised and successful period of time in my life and career, and the people and fans loved greatly those songs and instrumentals. Surely, those songs and pieces, that motivated emotions and had a great successful impact, I could softly call them “favorites”. But deep down I consider all as musical chain.

Performing is great and you have the chance to meet your fans, your true admirers of your music, and to present live music, and feel the positive vibration that springs out from that solid audience.

What do you enjoy best: composing or performing?

I love composing new stuff all the time. That way I can feel the power of nature pumps life into my soul like enamored heart. It’s quite different how you see the world than the other people when you compose. A true artist can feel, or even better, can virtually watch the raindrops in a real time slow motion as a drip embraces the autumnal leaf and causes the fall to rebirth . Moments of creation are like the joy of a NASA scientist’s discovery, of a new planet in a distant galaxy. Performing is another thing.

Performing is great and you have the chance to meet your fans, your true admirers of your music, and to present live music, and feel the positive vibration that springs out from that solid audience.

But there is a huge difference between these two actions, composing is unlimited and boundless, performing comes with a certain schedule and plan and kneels to limits.

Which of your live performances have you enjoyed the most and why?

I’ve really enjoyed the “300 Spartans” tour 2009-2011, a symphonic rock opera dedicated to the few Greeks who defended not just Greece but whole Europe and protected the ideals of the western culture. The “300 Spartans” premiered and showcased at “Zappeion Megaron” – the most famous neoclassical mansion building in Athens – during the Artemis Awards Gala organized by the Euro-American Women’s Council, performed by leading musicians, members of the National Opera and State Orchestra. Another significant showcase took place at the “Theater of the Citizens” (Part of the Olympic Games Establishments of 2004).

There are many other concerts, musicals and theatricals that equally enjoyed touring in the US and Europe as well. Plus I love performing with my band EXORISTOI, and all those concerts with the band make me feel so happy about it. We’re truly followed by “believers” instead of just fans (that’s why we’re also considered as a cult band), and these remarkable people are the power and the motivation to go on.

Mostly I love all kinds of Greek traditional music (dimotika), the folk music, the pop music of early 60s (elafro-laika), and anything that comes out from the Hellenism and its tradition.

Are there Greek composers or Greek music genres that have influenced your work?

Greek composers, no, I don’t think so, neither Greek music genres. There is no influence on my work. But that, it doesn’t mean that I don’t love Greek music and some great Greek composers like Chatzidakis and Markopoulos. And when I say Greek music I mean the genuine one.

Mostly I love all kinds of Greek traditional music (dimotika), the folk music, the pop music of early 60s (elafro-laika), and anything that comes out from the Hellenism and its tradition.

I hate “skyladika” and hard core “laika” which they lack of quality in music and lyrics.

The Greek Mythology and History have both been a great influence. That is why I love the term “Epic”. Our history affects me greatly. Many of my compositions are musical depictions of the Hellenic Timeline. I have written a song about “Digenis Akritas” and it’s called “Glory and Honor” (Δόξα και Τιμή). I’ve written the songs “Battle of Delphi”, “Son of Laertis” (Odysseus), “Macedonia, Land of the Greeks”, «Constantinople 330 – 1453 AD”, and several others including the “300 Spartans Symphonic Rock opera”.

 

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Where can one listen to your work? 

You can find my music in most of the legitimate digital shops on the internet; you can buy a single track to a full album. But dozens of my compositions have been published by professional film music libraries and other publishers and labels specially designed for the film and TV industry, and therefore are not available for the public. I have composed, arranged, produced, and performed music, for major record labels (EMI, Polygram, Virgin Classics, music Publishers in the US, Canada & Europe (Boosey & Hawkes, Abaco, and many others worldwide). I have written music for Symphonic Orchestras (Kiev), TV, Radios, theatricals (Ancient Greek Tragedy), various Projects for Universities, Municipalities, Ministries, and Cultural Centers. I have worked for Planetariums (Athens Planetarium of ‘Euginides Foundation’) composing educational films.

[Some of the links to Demetris Katis’ music available for the public:
Real Epic” on cdbabyiTunes, Amazon,
“Europe, Hymn and Duty” on cdbaby and Amazon]

What are your future plans?

There are some certain plans for the near future starting with the presentation of my new video clip “Story of a Hero”, and its way to international festivals. A soundtrack need to be prepared for a new video game, a new movie score ahead, the 2017 tour with my band including the 1st appearance in “KYTTARO” in January the 20th. There is also a new idea for making a short film in the summer and I am participating as the director and composer, planning a new Rock opera to present in Greece and be touring throughout Europe, and several others including the recording of a new CD album.

 

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Find Demetrios Katis and his music on:
LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, ReverbNation, SoundClick, Los Angeles Music Awards, YouTube, Google+, Twitter