We first met Vicky with E.V.E.’s project, a combination between rock/jazz which received really positive impressions, including George Kollias too! We admired her through her videos on Youtube with her great covers of Iron Maiden, Kamelot and other huge names of rock/metal. We also saw her working beside Wardrum and Until Rain at their live concerts. We sadly found out about her departure from Greece when the big announcement was made... Vicky Pasarakis, “our own” Vicky is the new singer of The Agonist, replacing Alissa White-Gluz who left to join Arch Enemy!
It’s not only Vicky’s magnificent talent that we admire but, her amazing character and fun personality too!
That’s why Rock Overdose and Zisis Petkanas contacted with The Agonist’s greek singer and she accepted to answer our questions!
Hi Vicky, welcome to Rock Overdose and congrats on your new position!
Rock Overdose: Tell us a few words about yourself. When and where were you born?
Vicky: Hello there, thank you! I was born in Chicago in 1988. At the age of 10 I moved to Greece and since then it's been constant change after deciding to come back to Chicago.
Rock Overdose: When did you discover that you wanted to be a singer and get involved with music on a professional level?
Vicky: Good question. Ever since I can remember myself I've been singing. It was always for fun though, something that came to me naturally. I never actually said "I want to become a professional singer". The whole thing started off as a hobby, I wasn't born into a music family and no one ever pushed me to get involved. After discovering metal music as a teenager it started to kick in. I enjoy many genres of music but that's when I realized I wanted to be a musician. I played a bit piano back then, self-taught, so I started writing my own music/lyrics and figured I might as well sing it too. I guess the more I wrote music and sung the more addicted I became. When I was 19-20 I took a few lessons in classical singing but I realized it wasn't really my thing so I quit and continued on my own. After a couple of years, I wanted to test my limits vocal-wise so I started doing covers of bands and songs I found a challenge in.
Rock Overdose: Which are your main influences first as a fan and second as a singer?
Vicky: Being a singer affects my influences in all aspects, I can't enjoy a band/artist just for the music; the vocals have to be on the same level. I could write a whole page of artists that I admire, so I'll only name the ones that have inspired me the most in the metal scene. Daniel Gildenlow, Mikael Akerfeldt, Devon Graves, Anneke Van Giersbergen, Mikael Stanne.
Rock Overdose: You have dealt with several things in the Greek Metal scene. Can you tell us some of those?
Vicky: I can't really say that I've dealt with much from a musician's point of view. I remember I used to go to many local gigs when I was younger and there were bands every now and then that really impressed me. You know, I could see them going places in the future, but for some reason most of them are still in the same place or even disbanded. I'm not an expert here to say what's wrong with the whole situation but I do know that sometimes it's the wrong set of priorities, lack of devotion or will to make sacrifices and take risks. It's never been easy to "make it big" so I completely understand but one thing I've learned is that you can't approach music half-heartedly.
Rock Overdose: What is your main advantage as a singer?
Vicky: I think that's something for the fans to decide. Honestly, I don't know. I can tell you that my main goal is to able to inspire other people as I've been by my biggest influences. I've gotten a few messages along those lines and it's the best compliment in the world. If you can get someone to fall in love with music, what more can you ask for? Rock Overdose: From progressive metal band E.V.E to THE AGONIST, that’s a big leap! What’s the story behind it? Well, E.V.E. was a project of mine. I wrote the music and the lyrics and released a 4-track EP in 2010 with the help of various session musicians. Having George Kollias record the drums was a huge privilege for me. I attempted to turn the project into a full-band later on but for several reasons it didn't work out, so I turned my attention to singing instead. That was when I started uploading vocal covers on Youtube. As I said earlier, the main reason was to challenge myself vocally but deep down I did hope something might come out of it. So, one day I logged onto Facebook and I saw a message from Danny Marino.. you can imagine my reaction. Obviously, he didn't state the whole situation right away. He told me how he was impressed by my covers and how he had a few songs on the side if I wanted to try to lay down some lyrics/vocals. I sent him back some rough ideas, we got to know each other a bit more and after a while he asked me if I would consider being the new singer of The Agonist!
Rock Overdose: From Athens, Greece to Montreal, Canada. Do you feel comfortable in this new environment?
Vicky:Actually, my permanent residence is now in Chicago. I was planning to move there before joining The Agonist. The timing worked out perfectly though since now I'm shifting between Chicago and Montreal.
Rock Overdose: You were hired to replace Alissa White-Gluz in THE AGONIST. In my opinion you were born ready for this. What’s your opinion about it?
Vicky: Well, I don't know if I was born ready for it but thank you! It's a challenge I must admit. There's so much versatility between singing and screaming, especially live, but I'm not worried. The level of difficulty and the faith the guys have shown towards me is a push. I'm inspired to give my 100%. The more we jam and create new music, the more I feel that this is right. That maybe I was born to do it!
Rock Overdose: A new THE AGONIST song was released named “Disconnect me”. Obviously you can bring a new sound, and it’s not going to be the same as it was. Do you agree with this?
Vicky: Yes, that's true. Most of The Agonist fans know that Alissa did all the lyric/vocal work, so since the switch a change in the overall sound is inevitable. Most of the vocals/lyrics were done by me but we've collaborated with the guys on some of the songs. Danny, who is also the main composer of the band, brought a lot of lyrics to the table and Simon as well. It's great because everyone has a different writing style and we seem to work really well together.
Rock Overdose: What are your next steps as a band? Is there any other news about The Agonist that you would like to reveal?
Vicky: We're currently in the studio tracking the new album and it's coming along great. It's scheduled to be released the beginning of this fall. We've also announced a European tour this August, mostly summer festival shows though. Once the album is out, we're going to hit the road again so stay tuned for more on that soon.
Rock Overdose: We recently saw on your Facebook profile, photos of you where you were cooking. Is this one of the things you love to do in your free time? Tell us about your hobbies.
Vicky: Sure! I've been living on my own for about 8 years now so learning to cook was necessary. As in music, I love to experiment and create new recipes. As you can imagine, there's not much free time nowadays but I'm a fan of good movies, tv shows and games. And going out with friends for a beer is, of course, priceless.
Rock Overdose: Thank you Vicky for your time! Would you like to leave a message for your fans?
Vicky: There's not much I can say apart from THANK YOU! I never imagined anything like this could happen when I first got into music, so don't be afraid to pursue your dreams and keep on living life to its fullest! Rock on \m/