Part of the Theory, a Greek prog/soundtrack/post rock-metal band, stands as a great example of the boundless creativity that defines the rock-metal music landscape. Some days after its live show at the Temple Athens venue with Passengers in Panic and Crimson Fire, we talked with this highly-promising newcomer group; it was both an honor and a privilege to delve into the enigmatic world of Part of the Theory, in the context of this exclusive interview!
by Dimitris Zacharopoulos
Can you share the story of how Part of the Theory came together, and what musical influences have shaped your unique sound?
It all started with the attempt to create a band from the close circle of our guitarist. Of course at that time none of us knew how and where it would develop, but through the constant rehearsals, we bonded first of all as a group through music and little by little our desire to create something together began to emerge. There wasn’t a clear vision of what we wanted to achieve as a band, but perhaps all this freedom and detachment from the wider stress and pressure that overwhelms the modern music industry to succeed allowed us to be able to search for our identity without some clear boundaries. Each of us brings with us our own world through our own influences, which they have shaped us since childhood, and they all come together in our music, from hip hop and the underground scene, funky groove and jazz elements, ethnic and folk culture to the hardest metal sound and symphonic character.
Your music is often described as progressive/soundtrack/post rock. How has your sound evolved since the formation of the band, and what factors contribute to your distinct musical identity?
The first track we ever wrote as Part of the Theory could be included in the spectrum of funk rock, but since then the more progressive structures and feeling had started to appear. Along the way and in the context of all the experimentation that characterizes the way we deal with the composition, the prog mood entered more and more and also the most soundtrack-like moments, around the clear themes that are transformed through the creation of the world, that each composition tries to narrate. Somewhere there we felt that this is the identity we would like to characterize us. Certainly a decisive factor in the formation of our sound, is our need to communicate with each other the different worlds that each of us carries as musician, in the light of the creation of a common universe.
The Schoolwave Festival seems to have played a significant role in your journey. How did your experiences at the festival, particularly in 2022 and 2023, shape your perspective and impact the direction of your music?
Schoolwave Festival is clearly a turning point in our course so far. It is an institution for the Greek scene, which gives the opportunity to young artists, treating them with complete professionalism, to be able to present their music in a fully professionally set up live and in front of a ready audience, full of energy and willingness to embrace your music, showing you the way. Plus, even now, the Festival continues to help and push us in every way possible, so it’s clearly been helping us to move forward and chase our dreams to the end.
Your performances are known for crafting intricate soundscapes. Could you elaborate on the creative process behind your tracks, like “Vikings” and “Famished Mammon”? How do you achieve such depth and maturity in your compositions?
We think everything starts from the fact that we treat each piece as its own microcosm, within the widest possible universe that we try to introduce our listeners to. Therefore, each piece begins with a clear core that forms its initial character, but without yet having formed the course of its story telling. This is achieved through constant experimentation, revision and above all allowing the composition itself to guide us to where it needs to evolve and be completed. From then on, this process requires a very long time for the completion of each composition, with the result that each piece has time to mature as well as us with it and around it.
In your live performances, there’s a noticeable level of professionalism and showmanship. How do you approach your live shows, and what do you aim to convey to your audience through your performances?
We try to treat the shows as a complete performance/production, more than just a live performance, where you play your music. We would like the audience to leave with a special experience to tell about how the live show was understood on all levels. Starting from the sound, the stage presence, to the lights and even the performance itself, we hope to be able to introduce the audience to a complete audio-visual show, to the world we are trying to create.
Part of the Theory is known for pushing the boundaries of progressive/soundtrack/post rock music. How do you approach breaking away from traditional genres, and what challenges or rewards come with such experimentation?
As mentioned above, we didn’t start out with any goal in mind to end up in a certain genre, it was more the meeting of the different temperaments that characterize us as individuals, the constant experimentation and the playing on a musical level between us. So, it was never that we wanted to join exactly a certain genre, it is understood that there are elements from various genres that you can meet in the compositions, but more we think it is the search and the experimentation that drives us. It is definitely a non-digestible music, making it difficult to bring it close to the commercial music industry requirements. In addition, there is always the risk of how the public will interact with the new. On the other hand, the moments when you manage to find the path you will follow to complete the narrative of the story of each track and see it come to life, through a long search, are perhaps among the greatest rewards.
Have you completed working on a full-length studio album? If yes, how does it sound? Give us all the technical information about this album (recordings, production, mixing and mastering).
At the moment we have in our hands the completed full production of our debut single, which we hope will be released within 2024. To give a small hint about this particular track, it is one of our first compositions, but we evolved it and brought it into our modern times. The recording, mixing was done at Unreal Studio by Alex Ketenjian, produced by Part of the Theory and Alex Ketenjian and mastered by Maor Appelbaum. It was an unprecedented experience for us, since it was our first serious studio work. Definitely an incredible experience that we can’t wait to do again and we definitely learned a lot about how the process works. We came out much more ready, although we certainly still have a lot to learn, for the production of our first official full length album, which we are in a position to have completed its composition and at the moment we are in the pre-production process, with the aim to enter the studio to record it in the near future.
What are your goals and aspirations for the future?
To make the first official release of our music and to complete the full production and publication of our full length album. Ultimately, our ambitions are to pursue through work, establish ourselves in the music scene and take the next step. The cliché motto “reach for the stars” exists as a guide, as you cannot chase something “unrealistic” with realistic data.
How has being part of the Greek music scene influenced your music and your journey as a band?
We are completely new to this scene, so we don’t know that much. Nevertheless, the Greek music scene, from our experience so far, is certainly a difficult road with many unexplored waters. We are a very small fish in this ocean that is still looking to find its place, we hope there will be opportunities since the Greek scene definitely deserves to grow and has a lot more to show.
Your message to the fans!
We would like to thank our audience, who follow us every step of the way and give us the push to continue by allowing us to create our world with them. Not to spoil, but we hope that 2024 “will be the year”, with several new features and releases.