Being a prog metal band in a country where there’s hardly a prog metal scene to speak of – and a floundering economy to boot – doesn’t sound like much of a picnic, but for Tardive Dyskinesia, things are actually going quite well. With the band having recently made it to our shores for the UK Tech-Fest festival, guitarist Steve Lado is excited for their future.
“There’s no djent or progressive scene in Greece – we’re the only band that plays that good stuff!” laughs Steve. Taking tips from the likes of Meshuggah and Mastodon, Tardive Dyskinesia forged onwards until they became one of the biggest names in Greece’s metal scene. “We’re trying to do things outside Greece, but it’s difficult for us to get out and communicate with other bands – we’re very down in the map,” he adds.
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Newbies to many of our ears but prolific in their homeland, Greece’s geographical position isn’t the only thing the guys have got to contend with. The country’s economy has been nosediving since the recession in 2008, meaning jobs are scarce, wages are low, and travel abroad is expensive. “Things are getting bad here,” Steve confirms. “Some politicians want to make people panic. They can’t go to all the concerts, so they have to pick one. We have the opportunity to have an audience, but economically they can’t support [music] any more. We also pay bigger taxes than other EU countries, so sometimes if a promoter can’t afford to bring a band over, they just won’t.”
Nevertheless, Tardive Dyskinesia have made a mark on the local scene, appearing on the covers of Greek music magazines and supporting the likes of Meshuggah, Ghost and Behemoth at Greek festivals. Apart from a European tour with Propane, they’ve rarely played outside of Greece, so Tech-Fest was a big deal, and their appearance there was swiftly followed by the release of their fourth album, Harmonic Confusion.
No upheavals, either at home or abroad, are going to stand in the band’s way of taking their career to the next level. “We may have been affected economically, but not artistically or musically,” says Steve. “You can’t make a living being a local band. We have to get out and play some tours and festivals, and you have to conquer Europe first before you can go to the USA!”
Determination like that is hard to argue with – Tardive Dyskinesia are coming to get us all.