Michael Sopolidis is a musician and singer-songwriter based in Nuremberg. I recently featured his song MY TIME OF MISERY on a round-up review and playlist of songs that have elements of metal in them. Check out our interview below to find out more about his music.
By Jane Howkins
You recently released a single titled MY TIME OF MISERY, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about the track and where can it be purchased?
MY TIME OF MISERY is my third officially released single. It’s about something that most people feel from time to time, and what others experience every day – the feeling of being lost, angry and sad. It’s about having everyone against you with no chance of escaping the black hole that’s sucking you into its darkness. But its also about the hope of getting out of this situation, one way or another.
Although the main theme is played on the piano, it was initially a guitar piece, but I felt the piano suited the overall melancholy atmosphere better.
It’s available on all major streaming services, like Spotify and Apple Music, but you can also purchase it for a small fee at on Bandcamp.
What is the writing and recording process like for you?
Writing and recording for me is often a single process.
Though I don’t have a set workflow for writing, most of the time it starts with an idea created on the guitar or keyboard. Sometimes it’s just a drum pattern around, which I build an arrangement around that eventually develops into a full song. While some ideas are already quite developed in my head before I start recording, others are just a little riff or melody that I record and play around with.
The basic instrumental arrangement usually doesn’t take long and many of my finished mixes are still based on those first takes. However, writing lyrics and vocal melodies takes a little more time, because I’m very critical with those. Occasionally I start from scratch, even though I have it all written and recorded already. If I don’t really like the melody and lyrics, I won’t use them. I have a few songs that had more than two different melodies and words, before I found the ones I was satisfied with. I want it to be perfect and how I think it should be, because it is 100% me. No one else is to blame when it’s not good.
Have you got any plans to release a full length album or an EP anytime soon?
Yes, I do. I have about twenty seven songs which I will release on two albums. Because there are so many songs and they are stylistically very diverse, I decided to split them into two records, which are quite different from each other, but also belong together. I named this whole project NEW HORIZON, with NEW HORIZON:DUSK representing my heavier and darker side, and NEW HORIZON:DAWN having a lighter mood and softer, poppier songs.
The first one will be DUSK, with the first three singles titled NEW HORIZON, SAVE THE WORLD and MY TIME OF MISERY, which I released in 2021. I will finish it sometime this year, although I don’t have an exact date or time frame. Since I do everything myself and have a family/full-time job, I won’t commit to a release date yet.
You’re based in Nuremberg. What is the music scene like in your part of the world?
There are many good bands here and some of them are quite successful, but Nuremberg isn’t Berlin or London. It’s mostly underground, with bands playing in little clubs to small audiences and earning virtually no money, which is a shame. A lot of hard work is in vain, when nobody is coming to your show.
We hear you play a number of instruments and have been in several bands in the past, can you tell us a little about your musical history?
I started playing drums at the age of nine. My brother, who is a keyboard player, was in our school’s band and their drummer left, so I decided to fill the gap. From there on, I spent every break in the music class room to practice. I didn’t have a teacher, so I played along to my favorite records. I made progress really quickly and eventually got asked to play in the band.
At twelve, I picked up the bass for the exact same reason, as there was a gap to fill in another band. When I was eighteen, I got myself a cheap electric guitar and started writing music.
I’ve played in quite a few bands since then, doing both covers and original music.
In 2009 I wrote and produced a concept album with my cousin for his band MORAL, which was released by Universal Records in Greece. Since 1999, I have been the drummer and singer in a successful cover band and from 2003 I’ve been a member of the metal band M.I.GOD., at first playing bass, and now drums.
Do you plan to release any singles at any point in the near future?
I will probably release another single from DUSK before finishing it, but I don’t have an exact timeline for that either. Just follow me on social media and I will keep you up to date!
What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?
As to WHAT, it’s really simple – good music. No matter what genre, if it’s good honest music that connects to me in any way, it will find its way into my own songs somehow.
And regarding WHO – my earliest influences since childhood are Phil Collins (solo and with Genesis) and Sting/The Police. Their contribution to modern pop and rock music is really outstanding. They’ve definitely had a huge impact on my work.
My introduction to heavier rock music was Whitesnake’s 1987 album. Then there is of course Metallica and Megadeth, early Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Winger (I love Kip Winger’s solo stuff), Van Halen, etc. – I think that is the musical foundation I build on. More recently I have been listening to Foo Fighters, Three Days Grace, Of Mice & Men, & Sevendust, to name but a few. But I always come back to the music I listened to when I was a kid.
Has the pandemic hindered your work much?
Fortunately, in regards to my day job as an art director, not that much. But it did have a huge impact on my cover band, because so many gigs got cancelled due to lockdowns and other restrictions.
On the other hand, my own music and the work on my albums got a boost from me suddenly having more spare time. As terrible as this whole situation is, I wouldn’t be at this point without the pandemic. These are strange times but I try to make the best of it.
Do you have any tour dates lined up? What can people expect from one of your shows and why should people come and see you perform live?
I don’t have any plans to perform the material live whatsoever. This was always meant as a recording project.
Any last words for the fans?
Go and buy local, support bands and musicians in your town and your country. Listen to their music and attend their concerts – this will make a lot of people happy.
And of course listen to my music, watch my videos and follow me on my socials – it’s all a work of passion. Thank you!