at: 14th, January 2017
received a mail by the Greek doom metal band Black Juju who
wanted to know if I could write a review about their new EP
“I Prophesy Disaster”. I checked the music and it kicked
ass! I asked them if they sent me an original CD if I
offered them an interview, and they agreed! This band is
really worth to be checked by doom metal heads! Here´s the
whole story behind the band. I talked to singer Panos
Panos! Please tell us why In Vain became Black Juju in 2011!
Was it just a name change or a totally different band?
there! Well, back in time, till 2011, the band with the name
In Vai was not active for about 4 years, so when we decided
to get together again, there were a lot of changes. Two
members left the band (bassist and drummer), but basically
we (me and the guitar player Dimitris Tsimbonis) wanted to
make things more seriously for this band. So came the change
of the name Black Juju.
the meaning of the band name Black Juju? Was it inspired by
the Alice Cooper song from his 1971 album “Love It To
Death”? Or were there other reasons for that?
was my suggestion, of course inspired by Alice Cooper´s
song, but also because it sounds so fucking great!
“Juju” in African means “Voodoo, the worst kind”.
Black Juju also can be bad luck, hex and all this nice
you known there´s also an English alternative rock band
called Black Juju too? Have you ever heard about this band?
And was there ever any confusion about this?
that time I had no idea of that English band with the same
name. So far, there was no confusion about it. I hope it
stays like this. Are they still active?
In Vain and Black Juju play(ed) doom-/stoner metal, so where
exactly are the differences between both bands, both
musically and lyrically? Which bands are your main
and I were responsible for In Vain´s music and lyrics, and
so it stays for Black Juju. The songs became heavier darker
and more classic; black to the roots metal the way Black
Sabbath (both Ozzy and Dio era) taught us so well; similar
to Trouble in the 80´s and 90´s.
are your lyrics about in general? And is there a certain
message to spread?
can I say about lyrics? Anything that can move me is a
subject to write about: dreams, nightmares, feelings, the
harsh reality and fantasy, of course; just anything but
filled with a lot of metaphors, symbolism and imaginary
pictures; not a certain message to spread. No need to; as
about the two In Vain demos.
Vain released two demos in 2002 and 2003, then nothing
happened until the name change. Why? What went wrong?
happened. I don´t know why. Maybe because we didn´t give
it a push, maybe we just didn´t care enough at that time. I
had denial price also. Maybe just destiny was meant to favor
it´s Black Juju.
released your debut album “Letters From My Brother Cain”
in 2012 via Rock Of Angels Records. How did you get in
contact with them?
he we came to our first release on 21/12/2012, at the end of
the world by that time. It was a self-financed release, all
of our own! One year after Rock Of Angels Records got in
contact with us to sign. At that time they wanted us badly,
there also still some In Vain songs used on the debut? I
mean, it was released only one year after the name change.
It worked much faster than in the past, it seems…
From My Brother Cain” includes songs from the In Vain era
plus some newer songs, with great production and artwork. It
made us proud and the fans just loved it. So what can I say?
Yes, it worked faster as Black Juju. I guess it´s because
of the name.
nearly 5 years of waiting, there´s finally a new 5-track-EP
entitled “I Prophesy Disaster”. And much time did it
take to write and record the songs? And are there any plans
to release both album and EP on vinyl too? I think doom
metal with its 1970´s vibes is perfect music for vinyl!
Prophesy Disaster” is the old state of the soul, but a new
state of mind. It took us a while. It´s all new stuff. It
was recorded in the summer of 2015, also self-financed and
it was meant to be released on vinyl. That´s why it took so
long to be released, and finally the lack of money when you
don’t have a label to support you. This made us turn back
to the CD press. Hoping for the future!
you also play live? And will we have the chance to see you
live in Germany one day maybe?
live is something we enjoy much and I can tell we sound as
heavy as at the studio recordings. Hope we make it to
Germany or elsewhere in Europe someday… Why not?
only know one other doom metal band from Greece called
Sorrows Path. Do you know them? Are you in contact with
them? And is there a kind of doom metal scene in Hellas at
know Sorrow´s Path, but we don´t have any contact with
them. And, of course, there is a doom scene in Hellas, but
as it comes to Black Juju, we don´t consider ourselves as a
doom band. Okay, we play doom, but we also play other stuff.
We like to call our music classic heavy metal.
It´s the music of our souls. You can call it soul
metal! Wow, I think I just invented a new metal scene, haha!
let us know about your future plans!
for the future, we have started working on new songs (We
lot!) and plan live gigs to promote “I Prophesy
Panos! The last words are yours!
feel happy I had the chat with you! Wish you a great year!
Cheers from Black Juju! Hope we see you out there!