"never give up on your dreams and try to be happy always"
Mags breaks her writing drought by asking all the interesting (with a few silly ones for fun) questions with En-Stigma, a talented and original musician who just released a remastered version of his latest album, Reforming the Universe with the help of a lot of friends and collaborators.
Mags: Hello Vonifatios and thank you for talking to us. First thing I have to ask, your genre is Galactic Progressive Metal – can you please explain to somebody new to your style what it means?
Vonifatios: Hello and thank you for having me. Well the Galactic part is given due to the lyrical meaning and the Progressive part is given due to the music meaning that it incorporates parts of many sub-genres of Metal.
M: I see, makes sense... Another one for your new fans: you’ve just met someone who knows nothing about you, how do you describe your music?
V: My music is a mixture of many Metal sub-genres with oriental and symphonic elements I believe is the best description
M: I love it, it's very original. How did you get the idea to start En-Stigma?
V: Well due to some personal problems I devoted myself in composing so I had songs but they couldn’t fit in any band I was playing at the time so I thought I could start my own project playing those songs and carving my own style.
M: I understand that way too well! How has your music evolved since you first began playing?
V: When we practice more our composing evolves along with technique so I believe that every single day that passes I’m becoming better.
M: Practice does make perfect. What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time?
V: I mainly concern myself with human behaviour and evolution along with the destruction of the earth and natural resources with a dash of the epic sci-fi in it involving the universe itself and the En-Stigma council who I’ve made up.
M: Could you briefly describe the music-making process?
V: The more I play, the more riffs are coming to me, when I have something that is clear and finished in my mind then I think of the other elements I want to incorporate into it and of course there is help from the people I work with so that we can have the best result there is.
M: A lot of musicians collaborated with you on Reforming the Universe, for your next effort, if could have anyone dead or alive to feature, who will it be and why?
V: I already have thought about most of the people I want to collaborate with in my next songs but if I could have someone from the dead people I admire it would be Chuck Schuldiner and Warrel Dane because they were people I really admire.
M: Following that train of thought, you’ve just been signed to do a massive worldwide tour, what two bands are you inviting to open for you and have a beer with afterwards?
V: If that would ever happen and that’s a big if because there are certain things to be in order for that to happen, the bands I would have with me are One Step from the Edge [check them out through this link] and Cravarc [here's their YouTube channel] because they play great music, they are great people and friends of mine and they are fun to hang out with.
M: That's seriously a great answer, kudos!... Still talking about live music, I see you live in Crete, how’s the local music scene?
V: I was put here temporary to work as a school nurse so I really don’t know that much but I think things could be better, but it’s also the year that Coronavirus struck so it’s hard for musicians.
M: If you weren’t in the music business, what would you be doing instead?
V: I’m not a professional, music is my passion but my day job is nursing and for this last year I’ve been a school nurse in the special education sector.
M: I'm not one, but I have worked with nurses for many years and I'm glad the world is finally giving you some (although not enough) recognition, it's a very tough profession to be in, specially in this climate. Changing the subject now, how do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
V: I believe it made music more accessible and that’s sometimes good but also sometimes bad.
M: Yup, it's a double edged sword. What are you currently working on? And what can you tell us about it?
V: I’m currently preparing some new songs, more experimental but lyrically bonded in the same concept.
M: Looking forward to hearing what you have in store! What is the best advice you’ve been given?
V: To never stop trying to be happy and never give up.
M: If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
V: I believe the newer bands need more space to be seen and heard and also Metal needs new ideas on the table, fresh stuff, to think out of the box.
M: Giving space to new bands is exactly what we are trying to do here, we feel it's very important. Now I have a few general question to understand your character. Name one of your favourite albums.
V: Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) by Slipknot.
M: Nice, another Maggot, I'd love to see Slipknot live some day! Do you rather play live or record in studios?
V: Both are really fun with the right associates.
M: What is the best cover you’ve ever heard?
V: 'Lose Yourself' by Sharks in your Mouth.
M: Hells yea! We are big fans of Sharks In Your Mouth here at RR! Now plug yourself anywhere you want: in what social media platforms can your fans find you and follow you?
V: There is the En-Stigma page on Facebook, the En-Stigma Spotify account, my personal YouTube channel Vonifatios and my personal Instagram account.
M: Perfect, now people know where to find you. Talking about your fans, what is one message you would like to give to them?
V: Stay healthy because that’s the most important thing, be gentle because society is what we make it, never give up on your dreams and try to be happy always, and don’t make money your god because at the end of the day people are more important and they will be there for you all you have to do is be there for them.
M: Lastly, is there anything you’d like to add that we haven’t mentioned?
V: I would like to thank you for this interview and Angels PR for all their help.
Here's En-Stigma remastered latest album Reforming the Universe below.