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BAiLdSa, is a very creative band from Thessaloniki, Greece. They have balkan sounds, combined with gypsy melodies and a post punk aesthetic. The name derives from the turkish word bayilmak (to faint), which is used in villages in the Balkan region with a similar meaning.
The band is active since 2007 and since then they haven’t stopped appearing at festivals, music halls, bars, venues, streets with excess energy and power but no biting! Lets meet them!
You have quite an inspired name. What were you looking for when you came up with it? Were you aware that anyone trying to pronounce it has to use a bit of his imagination to figure it out?
Indeed, a lot of people have trouble pronouncing it. We like it because it’s used all over the Balkans with a few differentiations even though its Turkish. We also like the feeling we get when we say it. Try it out: “Ba-ill-d-sa”.
How did you begin and where are you today? Was it an easy road?
The band began with a different composition and a lot less electric sound. Thankfully there was no specific goal or expectation. It was our pure wish to get together and jam. We haven’t ended up anywhere yet in the sense that the band is still evolving. We don’t know where it will take us and we don’t really worry about it because we are enjoying the ride. As for the road ahead, for those that are exclusively dedicated to music in Greece, it is never an easy road.
What other kind of music do you play on your live shows? I heard that you love Manu Chao.
We love him, we love him and we have the pleasure to open for him at his concert in Skopje at 21/9. On our live shows besides our own songs we also do covers of songs we like, from east and west, which essentially come out from our schizophrenic and turbulent characters! As for weddings, we still didn’t have the opportunity to play at one.
You have been all over the Balkans. Where have you performed and where was it the best venue? Do Balkans love Greek musicians?
Its nice everywhere when the vibe of the live show is nice. As far as love goes in the sense of acceptance, it has nothing to do with ethnicity but its more about what each person represents. A Greek musician with a nationalist attitude is not welcome for instance in Skopia and that does make sense. In a few days we will be playing there live for the fourth time and the acceptance of the band was already determined from our first visit in the neighbouring country. The same thing happened in Turkey and this winter we will have our first show in Bulgaria. The claps we receive from the people when we greet them at our lives by saying “we are neighbours, we are brothers” shows that the people know who is their friend and who is their enemy.
I caught up with while you were in the studio. What are you preparing for us?
We are just working on some tracks for our second album.
Where does the inspiration come from? Have you changed since 2007?
Inspiration is a heavy word. You can get Influences and stimuli for lyrics from all the things that are happening around you and inside of you. It’s like talking with friends. You tell them a story, you fantasize, wonder, fight with your fears, react, in essence you are communicating with people. The influences and stimuli also work the same for the music we make. We still do listen to Greek, Turkish, Slavic and Roma folk and we also like the rythms of reggae, ska and punk. The process is more similar to a collection of influences. It’s not like we are discovering gunpowder!
You are chasing after an album, a career, Europe, money, glory or is it all about the music?
Preparing music material, recording it, playing it live and in the middle of a tour is more attractive than any of the things you mentioned as hunting goals. We like this whole process so much that the only thing one might say we are after is to find ways to continue doing it.
What does it mean to be Greek in 2013’s Greece and trying to make something with music?
The “something” part is a bit vague and general. Obviously it is not a good time for quick schemes, public spending on those so called well organized festivals or for “bubbles” that used to get reach in no time in older days. But making music never had and never will have a connection with our country’s financial situation. (Otherwise Jamaica would not be producing any music!!!)
Are you musicians that are married to your guitar or is there life beyond the music? What kind of music do you like to listen at home?
We are married with guitars, consoles, trumpets, etc but at the same time we are sleeping with our wives, we spend time with our kids, we walk our dogs and offcourse we have a private life. It is there that each of us reclaims his real name and that is what keeps the balance. In the band we are Baildsa and thats how we operate, as a team. You will not see a name next to our compositions, lyrics, execution, sound, video. They are all considered Baildsa’s creations in spite of who does what. Music at home… wooow! Where do we begin?
Where can we find you in the near future?
After our opening act at Manu Chao’s concert in Skopia we will be performing in Larisa and Thessaloniki and at the same time we are working on a mini tour of Cyprus, Bulgaria and Serbia. After that we have our dedicated winter appearances in Instabul and we are talking already about some appearances in the UK and Germany. After all that, we’ll see what will do. If all goes well we might even get to the Netherlands one day!!!
Could you dedicate a lyric on the spot for the Greek expats of the Netherlands?
1 2 3 op, how I wish I was in a coffeeshop!