No Such Thing As A Stupid Question #3 w/ Niko Zaglaras (Lord Snow)
Here's the interview we once designated to be the first in this category. After Nicole of I hate sex and Billy Werner of Saetia and Hot Cross we had a chat with Lord Snow's Niko Zaglaras. Niko talked about their last tour, their current album 'winterhold' as well as their upcoming record called 'riften' and video games.
For those who don’t know you. Please introduce yourself.
Niko: Heyyy, my name is Niko Zaglaras and I play guitar in lord of snow :3
I’ve had the pleasure to see lord snow in Czech Republic at last year’s Fluff Fest. Your band played the most intense set on that third and last day of the festival. It was amazing, even though you seemed to be a bit mad and weren’t satisfied with your band’s performance. Actually you said that you don’t deserve to play at this festival! What went wrong?
Niko: Thank you so much!!! I couldn’t believe fluff fest. I talk with people in the states about it and they have never even heard of it. I don’t understand. It was such a cool fest. The only fests that I’ve been to have all been a plethora of shows that are booked in various venues in the same vicinity or just a whole barrage of bands in one show. Fluff fest was amazing because it was in a big open field and everyone was so nice and there was so much music and we got to go camping and so much vegan food. I had so much fun and met so many amazing people. It was awesome being able to see so many bands at once. As for looking disappointed, I think we were just really nervous to be playing in front of so many people and right after Loma. The tent stage was the coolest stage and for some reason watching many of the other bands play really well with a lot of emotion throughout the whole weekend, it really brought out the emotion in all of us… and since we were the very last band on the fest we were scared to disappoint everyone. The songs themselves are very emo and emotionally draining, it would be weird to be happy while playing these songs. I feel like the best musicians are the ones that can put the listener into a sort of zone where they are deeply connected to the emotional tone of the performance. A sort of cycle of emotion. Our songs, even though they are short, are kind of dense. When you first hear them, they all sound the same and chaotic and spazzy or whatever…, but when you look closer you will find a strange melancholy beauty. It is sort of like when you are going through a traumatic situation and the suffering is so great that the mind forces your consciousness to accept the present and you let go of the suffering, which in itself is a beautiful thing. Writing emotional songs are hard to do since you are opening yourself up and exposing your deep emotions through the music you are performing to the listener. Screamo is a weird genre. Very vulnerable at times. I don’t know why I developed such an attachment. I think it’s because I am absolutely sick of power chords and if it were up to me, I would abolish all power chords in screamo but ahhhh I don’t know what I’m talking about.
Nevertheless, you declared this last European Tour of yours as: “definitely our most fun tour we have ever had”. Tell us, what made this tour so special for you. What were your favorite cities to visit? Any tour stories you want to share?
Niko: The tour was so amazing. We did two and half weeks in Euro and another two weeks in the US east coast/Canada. We covered a lot of ground I feel like. Never did I ever receive such a deep response from our shows and our fans. I think that me, Steph, and Erik really internalized our performance. I can’t jam with anyone else the same as I do with Steph and Erik. They would say the same vice versa. We’ve just been playing for almost 5 years and we just got really good at playing together and reading each other’s minds. There were some shows on the tour where we played sets that really were extremely intimate, deep, and emotional. I couldn’t believe how many people who have a personal connection to our music, who would come up to me after shows and say how our albums helped them through tough, traumatic times. It brings me to tears. There were a lot of people who came up to me who said that they cried during our sets. Especially after our Fluff performance. I just can’t believe it because I feel like we’re just some shitty regular DIY screamo band that is a blatant rip off of Mihai Edrisch and Kidcrash. This tour was great because it was our second time going out to Europe in the span of a year. Even though it was for two weeks it was really stressful because we decided to book it last minute, and we originally were supposed to share a bunch of shows with Deer In The Headlights but they had trouble crossing the Bosnian border with their equipment. I’m so happy that we got to hang out with them though!!! We ended up lucking out and meeting up with our dear friends TEMPEST for the first half of the Europe tour and then finishing the rest of the days in Euro with CALVACADES. We are so grateful that they helped with backline and transportation. It was amazing how everything worked out. I personally love Europe and I am so grateful for everyone who helped us out so far away from home. The US/Canada portion of the tour was amazing as well. We played with so many amazing screamo bands!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We also recorded a new a new album “Winterhold” right before we left. And by right before we left, I mean we recorded the album the night before and finished the songs literally right before our flight. Like, we almost missed out flight because I had to wait for the songs to mixdown, and upload on bandcamp. It’s really stupid lol just last minute recording that album. But I don’t regret it and I think that it would have not come out the same if we waited for later to record it. I think Winterhold is the deepest and darkest and coldest songs we’ve wrote. The album is hard to listen to because I wrote the songs in a really fucked up, traumatic, absolutely awful, shitty, dumb, stupid and stressful time. I was so glad to get these songs out... The songs are going to be remixed and released on vinyl sometime soon. I don’t know when yet. ASMR request is the deepest, darkest, and emotionally vulnerable song that I have written to this day. That song holds a special place in my heart.
On to the next question, which might be the most important one: what was in the backpack you carried all of the time during Fluff Fest?
Niko: My laptop lololol
While browsing through your band’s Tumblr, I saw that you reblogged one of those Saetia-V-Neck-Dude comics. What do you think about this fictional character?
Niko: Hahahahah, I laughed so hard. I definitely will be listening to La Quiete, Daitro, Mihai Edrisch, Ampere, Jeromes Dream, Kidcrash and various other screamo bands until the day I die. Whenever I listen to Kidcrash jokes I literally just freak out at how amazing that album is. I can’t believe that album is still so amazing. Fuck everyone who thinks otherwise. I will listen to Kidcrash Jokes for the rest of my stupid fucking life.
Your band was named after the bastard son of Eddard Stark from the famous fantasy book series resp. the TV-show called Game of Thrones. What are your expectations on the upcoming book 6 “The Winds of Winter”?
Niko: I will forward this to Erik.
Also, you’re obviously big fans of fantasy-related video games. Your last EP called Winterhold and the forgone LP called solitude as well as your second output called sovngarde were named after places you can find in Skyrim. Who came up with this idea and will you continue this naming for your next releases?
Niko: My life revolves around Skyrim. It is such a dark game. I know the combat is clunky and outdated but the depth of detail is mind blowing. I love thinking of Skyrim as a running simulator. I made a build a few months ago that was a kajhit pacifist. This meant I cast Illusion spells like Calm and Invisibility to sneak past enemies and not kill anyone. I couldn’t believe how far I got without killing anyone. I think I got up to level 26 before I did my first kill. I realized that I spent over 100 hours on this character so I took a break… Now I started a new sneak archer build… but anywways, I think you understand the weird and deep connection I have with this game. Each release that we named after a town in Skyrim carries a certain feel that you would find in each of the worlds. Sovrngarde was beautiful and endless youth… Solitude was defensive, grounded, yet dark … Winterhold was cold, tired and lonely… and we have plans to name our next LP “Riften.” Even though I haven’t started writing Riften, I know that it will be like the thieves guild… quick, agile, skilled and focused. I still have to write all the riffs though
Speaking of video games, what are you currently playing?
Niko: I just replayed fallout 3 and im about to start on Fallout: New Vegas in preparation for FALLOUT 4!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhh!!!!!!!!! I LOVE FALLOUT 4. I HAVE PUT 180 hours into Fallout 4 according to steam.. Also, I casually play Pokemon X when I’m on the go.
Ok this should be enough nerd talk. Here is the final question: What are the plans for lord snow’s future? (tours, projects…)
Niko: We are definitely going to be writing for Riften soon. There are talks with a few bands about possible splits but nothing set in stone. I live in Los Angeles while Steph lives in Chicago and Erik just moved to the bay area. This is good, because I can drive up to Erik and jam with him and then Steph can come out and jam with us. Since it is the new generation you can send riffs over the Internet and stuff. I still have to figure out the riffs. I’m trying to figure out this album. I need to stop thinking about it and just write it. I think that I can do this. Erik and Steph are mad at me because of it.
I’m sorry that i took forever to send you this!!!!!!!!!