Theodore Kalantzakos, guitarist
Theodore Kalantzakos, guitarist from TKG. As I see there are three very important parts of the music. Fantasy, sound and style. Theodore music shows us the perfect balance among these. His world of guitar is unique. Different and great! Congratulate on you, and TKG. Theodore, how have you found the way of your own?
Hi Udy, thank you very much for your invitation! How all begun is a nice story. One day between my 14 and 15 years, I felt very strong the desire to begin to play the guitar. That night I didn’t sleep until the first morning hours thinking about this and making a bunch of dreams! I used to be self-taught until the age of 21, being in my second year of my architectural studies in the University of Thessaly in Volos, Greece, when I decided to start taking lessons. My basic teacher and mentor was guitar virtuoso Ioannis Anastassakis, who now is one of my very close friends and after 5 years I graduated from RGT (London College of Music, University of West London) with the Teachers Diploma, LLCM (TD).
Who is Theodore Kalantzakos? Please say something about yourself!
I’m just a guy who loves to express himself through the music and the arts. Ι’m interested about things such us the sacrificial and unconditional love and the role of our ego.
I believe that in the same way we practise and build our musical skills, we practise and build the skills for a true love for all the human beings - not a selective love, that leads to warm only one side of our heart. For me, this can be sometimes difficult and it demands a continuing “change of the nous”, as the title of our recent album is.
I am sure nobody can separate himself from the world of music. What or who have inspired you?
Like many others, I firstly became a fan of rock music listening to bands such us Deep Purple and Scorpions, but soon after that I started to listen to more guitar oriented musical styles and solo guitar artists such us Gary Moore, Satriani, Allan Holdsworth, Brett Garsed, Greg Howe, Mike Stern and many many others - the list here is really large! Later on, my musical tastes broadened even more, included many other styles and artists like Parov Stellar and Skrillex, but also Byzantine music as well.
But generally my inspirations are not limited to music. Being an architect, I might be inspired from a place, a texture, or a movie scene. If you notice, we ,TKG, not only compose and perform our own music but also we have a general vision for our art as a whole. We create our graphic designs, our websites, our whole image to support our art. We have love and passion to all that.
I very like how you lead your play! I think you have a strict rule, go across the style! There is no style! What about this?
Well, you know, all these years of practising, there is, until now at least, something that it doesn’t come naturally to me. To copy licks. Instead, when I listen to a lick that I find interesting, I try to find the concept behind this lick, to crack the artist code and I’m trying to integrated it into my playing, smoothly and not just by a copy-paste technique. I find this approach more organic and for me and with better results and this is how I suggest my students to use books with licks of a particular style or guitarist.
Theodore, your sound very interesting! It can be see, your rigs are very rich but I know it is not enough exclusively! Is your sound ready or make experiments continuously?
I always believe that the tools must not limit the artist. The artist must use the tools to create. The artist sets the tools and not the tools the artist! So, the experiment plays a crucial role here. I have a rich gear for this reason, to use the part of it that works better as a tool to express what I want to at any specific situation.
Could you tell us about your rigs? Guitars, amps, effects...!
I play with Schecter guitars and a customised Yamaha fretless guitar. My amps are Line6 DT-50, Line6 Spider, Fender Tween Reverb, Carvin Nomad and a Marshall 8100. I like to play with T-Rex pedals and more often I use their Replica delay, a Room-Mate, Møller and Twin Boost booster, a Bloody Mary distortion, the Mudhoney and the Comp-Nova all of these connected with a T-Rex fuel tank placed on a T-Rex Pedalboard. Also, I use extendedly my trusty Roland VG-99 and a Rocktron Xpression Multi-effects Processor.
Do you like change your rigs or collect them?
I usually don’t change my rigs but this is not because I like to make a collection but to create a rich gear that I can use effectively in every creative scenario. The electric guitar is not only the wooden string instrument that we have under our fingers, but also what we plug after the cable. So every guitarist needs to create his own unique sound that better express his playing and creativity.
Band! Theodore, everything what we need to know about TKG!
TKG is my main project and I’m happy to share it with my two brothers, Loukas - who plays the drums - and Nick - who plays the synths.
We are an electro art-rock trio, with many world/ethnic and improvisational elements. We have released 4 works since 2012 and now we just released our fifth one, titled “The change of the Nous” with the German label Rare Emotions. “The Change of the Nous” is a full-length concept album, that is consisted from 15 compositions, covering a spectrum of styles, from progressive electro rock to cinematic ethnic and electro swing. The album atmosphere is very intense and the fans of the experimental music are going to love it!
Regarding our live shows, we like to create electro-ambient atmospheres, with open harmonies and forms, we use to improvise. So, from this point of view every show is unique and fresh.
My last question, talking about your plans?
As I mentioned earlier, we’ve recently signed with the German labels Rare records, as also with Robin4Arts for our management and booking and “The Change of the Nous” is our first project with them. We are really exciting about this, the team behind these labels are doing great work and things and we are more than happy to be part of their family. So, now our next plans are some shows to share our new compositions with our fans and at the same time we work in studio on two new major projects, but it’s really soon to tell anything else about that! So, it’s going to be a real busy summer! I’d really like to thank you Udy for this interview, from me and my band TKG…all the best!
Thank you Theodore, all the Best from Hungary!