We are approaching the finish line in our interview marathon across Europe. Next stop is Thessaloniki, where the band members of Koza Mostra live. Together with Agathon Iakovidis they will present Alcohol is free in the second semi-final on 16 May, as song number 9.
1.Αre you, guys, ready for this? I mean Eurovision, although this interview will be challenging too!
Hello Esctoday.com! We are totally ready to answer your questions and sing on the magnificent Eurovision stage in Malmö!
2.Who are Koza Mostra? Can you describe your music in just five words?
Koza Mostra consists of 6 friends, playing each of us a unique instrument and joining sounds and music styles, while following our love for concerts and singing LIVE! We got together while drinking coffee one sunny day at a picturesque Cafeteria in Thessaloniki. Alex and I we were really close friends and then we invited the rest to join our music passion and make the KOZA MOSTRA Band. Our music in 5 words is: Blood, sweat and tears…energy and truth.
3. So alcohol is free in Greece, is this what you’re telling us? What is the song about?
‘Alcohol is free’ is related to our feeling when our soul is free …when our soul is free and our way of thinking is free, we feel that great feeling of pleasure and satisfaction. The song is a metaphor talking about the strength to surpass our problems and turbulents, keep moving ahead and staying alive through any “waves” of our daily life.
4. You sing in Greek (and fast too!), your song combines ethnic (rebetiko) from your homeland as well as sounds from the wider Balkan area with ska and rock, not what you’d call a typical Euro song. How come you chose this particular song?
We sing in Greek because rebetiko style cannot be sung in any other language, and as fast as the rhythm and our heart beats while singing!! Our music style is traditional Greek music together with rock, reggae, ska punk, a combination of sounds we really believe in and an outcome that combines all our favorite music styles. We came with this proposal, when ERT (the Greek national broadcaster) invited us to participate to the national final, and this was a song which was made for our new album. It is something really Greek, but at the same time familiar to Balkan and ska punk and rock friends and to all rebetiko lovers from all over the world. It is an uptempo song which makes us feel good, happy and giving hope to all of us. Life needs fun and energy. Greek is the language we grew up with and we first expressed our emotions. Eurovision is a contest we share our feelings through our language but also through our music. We also sing in English ‘Alcohol is free’ so that they all get the meaning…as we are one!!
5. Do you think Europe will find your song to their liking, enough so to pick up their phones and vote for you? If not? What then?
From what we have seen through our promo tour and communication with people, they are really keen on the song, and we believe this is true. People sing along ‘Alcohol is Free’ and that is amazing! We want our fans to express their original feelings as we really estimate original and honest opinion. True actions, bring true results. We believe people will sing with us and hope that alcohol will become free, at least in Eurovision, hehe! A good placing would be fantastic and will make us play music all following days and nights!! We hope you will enjoy our stage performance. Participating in Eurovision is surely a unique asset in our music career!
6. From a relatively new and unknown band Koza Mostra became a household name overnight in Greece, how are you dealing with this?
We really like that now with Eurovision, more and more people are getting to know us, following our band and our music. This is really amazing as our dream is to travel all around the world, play our music, sing to concerts and become one with friends who love real music and passionate musicians as we feel. We are sure that Euro-vision will give us a wider-vision towards all our foreign friends. We sing Balkan and foreign music together with Greek sounds always as we want to prove that there are no music borders!
7. What’s the best part of representing Greece in Eurovision?
Representing Greece is really an honour for us, and especially in hard times as nowadays, but we want to keep the Greek spirit in high levels and prove that our heart belongs to our effort of never giving up. We hope people will recognize our true love for music which is far away from the commercial profit. Music is our life and this is how we all have been raised up.
8. Any downsides?
Hard working schedule, we miss our friends and family sometimes.
9. Are you going to tour Europe to promote Alcohol is free? Any other plans for promotion?
Promotion for us is showing to people our live singing spirit! Concerts are our passion. As promo tours, we just got back from London and we have also visited Amsterdam, Brussels and Nuremberg (Agathonas). We hope we will keep having invitations also after Eurovision, no matter the result. The lyrics of our songs are both English and Greek and this is why we want to get closer with Europe and all other continents.
10. Are we going to see you wearing your trademark skirts on stage in Malmö?
This is under discussion, we love kilts but we may try also something else. This will not affect our energy and music speed..that is why for sure it will be something comfortable related always to Koza Mostra way of expression!! The certainty is that the kilts will travel with us to Malmö, as it is our lucky outfit, revealing that our music style joins all regions from Northern, Western Europe, Balkans.. to Greece and beyond…
11. We want to make Europe …………….Fill in the gap for us?
dance dance dance !!
12. This is the first time in over half a century of Eurovision Song Contest history that the sound of rebetiko will be heard on stage. What does rebetiko mean to Greeks?
We feel very lucky that Eurovision TV viewers and audience will hear the sound of rebetiko on stage, representing Greece. Rebetiko is also really known in Sweden as lot of Swedish musicians are waiting for Agathonas in Malmö. It is a music style that expresses real feelings with simple words. Its origin is relevant to jazz as it has started from simple people, expressing their life and society. It hides a funny way of revealing social problems, but whoever sings rebetiko is a real and strong man that is never afraid to surpass through any difficulties. Rebetiko singers are honest, everyday and really outgoing characters, talking straight to the point and singing with great sense of humor.
13. Your song embraces many different musical genres, some native Greek, some from the wider Balkan area. Where do you draw your inspiration from? Is there an artist or band you would like to work with?
We like that this time we sing together with Agathon Iakovidis, as we sing rebetiko in conjuction with new music style of our generation!! Inspiration comes from our music taste, ska punk, Balkan, rock and jazz. From the wider music arena, we would love to work with Gogol Bordello, Floggin Molly and Russkaja.
14. Do you have any favourite songs from past Eurovision Contests?
We adore Abba and we also love Athena, the Turkish band, and Lordi because of their being special and different!! We feel very proud of participating to this year’s Eurovision Song contest, as it is held in Sweden, the place were music is always on the first row!!!
Thank you a lot,
Ilias Kozas – Alex Archontis