Names: MMMΔ (Ilios & Nikos Veliotis)
Occupation: Musicians / producers / Founders of Antifrost
Current Release: EGOISMO on Antifrost
Recommendations: Remedios Amaya - Quién Maneja Mi Barca (Spain 1983)
Probably the best song that ever found its way to the Eurovision contest. Spain’s 1983 song that came last with zero votes, a beautiful example of pop, new wave, flamenco fusion with a killer bass line. https://youtu.be/VBh7hBdYSuU / The films of Kiyotaka Tsurisaki
Website/Contact: The band has a Facebook page www.facebook.com/MMMDmohammad
When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences? What is it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?
During our teen years. Both members (and also our former third member) were involved in electronic music projects, mostly D.I.Y. using (and learning) any instrument / recording equipment that was available. To this day we have no idea what drew us to music. Some people discover Jesus, we discovered music and never looked back.
For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. How would you describe your own development as an artist and the transition towards your own voice? What is the relationship between copying, learning and your own creativity?
We always thought art to be a wide, open, rule-free environment, a place where anything is possible, a place where outrageous is the norm and that one can feel free to realise the unimaginable. In this sense, there was nothing to stop us from learning or gather influences or borrow or even steal. But all these elements would all pass through the originality filter that this freedom provided, the freedom to be true to yourself.
What were your main compositional- and production-challenges in the beginning and how have they changed over time?
In the beginning, we were using a more traditional production approach, trying to fit the monster in the established formats and listening conditions. The past few years however, we’ve been pushing things to the limits and not caring much about the audience’s listening habits: we choose a more lonesome path, whoever wants to follow is welcome, but we cannot follow the trends and rules ourselves.
What was your first studio like? How and for what reasons has your set-up evolved over the years and what are currently some of the most important pieces of gear for you?
From the very early days before the formation of ΜΜΜΔ and up until today, we always tried to rely more on D.I.Y. methods. The good old 4track Fostex slowly evolved into a laptop with a sound card, some mics and cables by the time ΜΜΜΔ started recording 10 years ago. At the beginning, it was more important to find interesting spaces to record and embrace those qualities and flaws and embed them into the music itself. Now though, the most important gear for us is our custom instruments.
How do you make use of technology? In terms of the feedback mechanism between technology and creativity, what do humans excel at, what do machines excel at?
Machines are all about precision but since building our custom machines/instruments which are often at the edge of collapse, they almost acquire a human characteristic which can be creative and annoying at the same time. We often use the flaws of both instruments (the custom upright cello and the Limax oscillators) right in the heart of compositions.
Production tools, from instruments to complex software environments, contribute to the compositional process. How does this manifest itself in your work? Can you describe the co-authorship between yourself and your tools?
The shaping of our sound is intertwined with the instruments we use. We have a cyborg kind of connection to these instruments and aim to endlessly develop them (with the help of our ex third member Coti K who is the instrument builder) in order for our sound to stay alive and grow.
Collaborations can take on many forms. What role do they play in your approach and what are your preferred ways of engaging with other creatives through, for example, file sharing, jamming or just talking about ideas?
Talking is great, file sharing is a blessing, jamming we are not so sure. It can be paradise but it can also easily become hell. Apart from the format however, we are always open to collaborations and so far, all of them have been very fruitful and inspiring.