Spices are ingredients that with a minimal amount, can change the composition and taste of food.
They can generally give a completely different form to the diet.
In addition to preserving food, they also have healing properties, but overdoing it can be fatal. In the Balkans, they are often compared to women.
One of the spices, which is a native of the Balkans and is highly valued especially in the region of Northern Greece is Bukovo.
But what do they have to do with music and especially with its harsh expression?
Khirki from Athens answers this to us through Demosthenes Ioannou, guitarist, and singer of the three-member band.
“The following story is about how a hot spice marked our artistic vision and helped Khirki’s birth.
Looking back, at the birth of the band and “Beast” (the album in which it is included), I realize how difficult and saving decisions we were called to make trying to keep our artistic flame alive.
Moving from the previous group and getting rid of the past was not easy.
But appreciating the success or the impact of our album on the world (the album sold out in 6 months) I can only feel proud of what we have achieved.
And it all started with a sentence: “let’s go write the craziest record we have inside”. We are talking about rage.
This is how the beginning of the synthetic process of Beastliness found us. As a trio: naked, exposed, and vagrant.
“Great risk with correspondingly great rewards, that was our bet.”
He begins the story, proving that music can combine everything, such as good cooking.
Although in cooking you do not start with the spice, you just add it, in music the opposite can be done. And Demosthenes confirms this.
“The beginning, the zero point, had to be well defined to set the horizon on the path we would take. Bukovo!
I had an old riff in the piggy bank that came out years ago, from a jam session I had with Spyros (the band’s drummer) and which was very danceable, unpredictable, and addictive.”
Bukovo is also unpredictable! It may be sweet or spicy, but for its fans, it’s definitely addictive.
“We liked it and fate made us choose it and work on it.
It is the riff of the introduction that you hear in the song and which is repeated in the middle of the song.
So, we started with that.”
Just as inspiration has a memory, which it expresses by combining seemingly irrelevant things, so does art.
“During that period, 2018-2019, I had started the passionate relationship I have with King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard.
Especially their Anatolian signs were of great importance for the rewarding of our origin and its integration in the hard sound we belong to.
In addition, it sounded very cool to me that they often sing on the riff, thus giving it more emphasis.
You understand, then, that this is how the verse was written “, the voice of the band continues.
No magician or cook puts all the ingredients together by chance, even if in the eyes of the ignorant it seems so. Exactly like an artist…
“Of course, tying these ideas is not done by chance and we almost never follow the easy solution during the orchestration.
Here comes the work of the band that takes the quality materials, the raw material and transforms it into something called, you know, song “.
Inspiration is like love…
It hides in dark corners, remaining like a big cat to surprise the unprepared recipient, almost always, and this is confirmed by Demosthenes.
“And as such he wanted a nice finale. So, I remember being on the bike one night when the Goddess of Inspiration gave me this melody that closes Bukovo.
And she was so attached to me that I could not wait to go home and record it out of terror not to forget her. Always happens like this.
You grab your headphones, your piano and try to get inspired between black candles, stopped clocks, and ketchup pentacles on the floor and no chord comes out.
While you can pee on a chemical toilet, in the morning in a popular one with hungover and there the refrain of the hit single of an album will come to you.
Let me not go too far, this is largely the story behind Bukovo’s music.”
However, a song is not just the notes. They are also the words that become lyrics and reveal or hide the truth.
Many times, this happens at the same time, as a symbol that is revealed to connoisseurs and hidden to the ignorant.
“The lyrics, now, speak of this hidden and slightly perverted pleasure of chasing a person erotically but without having it completely.
What you try but do not eat, you bite but do not swallow, you taste but you are not full.
Somewhat like the addictive burning of your favorite spice, which lent us its name, which at first bothers you but then you look for it and without this food, it is boring and immune.
Bukovo is together with Medea the 2nd song of the album in which the lyrics are in the first person singular and concern the words of a woman.
In our case, she is a fatal and manipulative woman who constantly underestimates the one who is chasing her.
I tried to get into the shoes of such a person and sound submissive and critical to the point of disgust because in rock n roll, we love exaggeration.
Exaggeration in speed, sound, and of course in emotions.”
Let us not forget that every song is not only a few minutes of its duration that reach us but infinite hours of creation.
Changes and some special bond with its creators. A bond that contains a hidden symbolism that only the band members know.
“In my mind, Bukovo is very important because within 4 and a half minutes we managed to summarize the very complex sound of Khirki and this is an achievement when you are talkative.
After Bukovo we caught the rest of the pieces and everything came out relatively effortlessly.
It is no coincidence that this took us the most time and, to be honest, it was the last one we completed synthetically.
We kept coming back to it and teasing it obsessively until we found its final form.
That’s why we consider it so important, that’s why we honored it by releasing it as a single and why in the end people ask for it and dance to it.”
This is how Demosthenes Ioannou ends, the revelations about the history of a very interesting song!