Kalte Nacht is a dark synth, minimal wave duo from Athens that first appeared in 2018. The bands members are Nikos Konstandinidis (synthesizers, drum machine, bass) and Myrto Stylou (vocals). Until now, they have only participated in two compilations, one being Die Seele’s "Stimmen Der Seele Vol.3" with the track "Voices In Silence" and recently they uploaded a video for the new track "Ghost Dance".

Your name, Kalte Nacht (Cold Night), reflects very nicely with your music. Was your idea always along the lines of being a minimal synth, coldwave project?

Nikos: First of all, we would like to thank Die Seele for the invitation and generally for the support not only to us, but also to the local underground scene!
[Myrto: It is more than important for new artists to feel welcomed and that they have an open space to flourish and share their ideas.]
Our band name came out of the overall feeling that's reflected in the music we play, as you mentioned.
[Myrto: We actually talk about cold feelings, in a cold way, for cold nights.]
[Nikos: The truth is that I never really had in my mind a genre for our music into specific terms, that is why it is kind of hard for me to describe it, since personally my influences are so many bands and artists that have several different elements between them. Definitely though, the primary idea was to create a project where these synth, coldwave, darkwave elements would be present as a base].
By hearing your music, one can easily see that you have a soft spot for 80s underground sounds. What drew you to this kind of music in the first place? Any band/artist that influenced you towards this direction.

Nikos: Looking backwards at the past, I remember that I always enjoyed the sounds and styles of music that were created mostly in the 80s. This may have been somehow random though, since I firstly listened to the music, without much of an interest as to where it came from. After the first listening, and of course continuing to look around even more, I realized that these sounds were created in a big extend during that period. The influences are so many and so different, I cannot mention them all! The first significant though, were bands like Joy Division, The Cure, Bauhaus, Chameleons etc. After came the 80s Greek music scene as well. Bands like Alive She Died, Film Noir, Metro Decay, Libido Blume, In Trance 95 etc. Some more from the latest local and foreign scene: Human Puppets, Doric, Selofan, Lebanon Hanover etc.
Myrto: I have to say that I was always fascinated by the underground sounds that emerged in the 80s, these dynamic low synth lines and the haunting drumbeats, I believe carry a silent rebellion in them. Not to mention the punk experimentation that accompanied them on the total deconstruction of vocals, being something more of an internal expression-dialogue. And if you think about it the 90s music era that we grew up, had some echoes left from the 80s, or at least they were still present in a way. Nikos is more dedicated – if I can use this term- to these genres and I am glad that he brought me back to this world, because I am always wandering around all kinds of music genres both in song writing and performing. So, it's my point of view as well, that music doesn't need to have boundaries because it is an actual expression from the inside. In Kalte Nacht, I think we combined our love for the 80s sound and still are discovering our place in it, on our terms.

You first started out with Nikos as sole member. What made you become a duo with the addition of Myrto Stylou on vocals?

Nikos: When I started creating the project, I didn't have at all the idea of creating a band. I simply started trying to create the music I like, without knowing where this could lead. After a very short period of time and performing only once as a solo project, I started thinking that I would like to focus more on the instruments and not on the vocals. Apart from that, I always enjoyed so much female voices. So, somehow like that we met up with Myrto and worked on some material. We really enjoyed the result, so we continued as a band and this is how the project took the form it has today.
Myrto: I have to say here, that when we first started experimenting with Nikos, we both had no idea what would turn out, as we have never worked together before. But now, having both similar aesthetics and the excitement of further exploring this primary idea, I believe we have a long road ahead of us. On top of that, it’s more than interesting and challenging for me to deconstruct the idea of female vocals.

When playing live you use analogue equipment. In an age where computers can make things much easier, we see many acts playing with laptops, you chose the route of oldschool analogue. Is it the sound this type of equipment makes that makes you use it or also the challenge of performing live and not only with pre recordings?

Nikos: I can say both. Obviously in our times the digital sound is much more evolved and it offers an increased convenience by all means. I personally do not get into comparing or analyzing, this is clearly an individual’s or band’s choice. For me the idea of natural instruments and analog sound was and still is the most attractive. On top of that, I have no knowledge in the digital sound field! The analog sound offers the sense of reality, by having direct and physical contact, not only when writing music, but also when performing live.
Myrto: I agree that nothing really compares to the feel of playing something with your hands and soul, touching every key or string, transferring your vibe each second of it. The digital sound has indeed so much to offer, but the idea of being able to bring to a live stage the initial feeling you had when writing a song and the sense you want to share right at the moment, I think will never lose their uniqueness.

You have performed live a few times until now. What is it like for you being up on stage presenting your music?

Nikos: It is a very beautiful emotion because you are given the chance to share your feelings. Overall for me, being able to share is of outmost importance.
Myrto: The awkward first minutes where you feel utterly exposed and small on a stage that transform so fast through music to a mutual platform with everyone present, is something that I personally live for. The energy created by our need to express and the openness of the audience to receive, is every time so strong and precious.

Recently you uploaded a video for the new track "Ghost Dance", the first with Myrto on vocals, but also the first to feature bass expanding your sound even further. Shall we be expecting more changes, additions or variety in the future? Do you think your still finding your sound or do you think that the experimentation doesn’t ever stop?

Nikos: The addition of the bass is something that exists a long time now in many of our songs which haven’t yet reached the public. Therefore, I don’t really see it as a change, but as something that is happening either way. Apart from this, we are and always will be searching for our sound, trying to evolve by adding new elements.

Having played live and having released some of your material online, what is the feedback you have had until now? Do you feel there is a scene out there and an audience that will follow?

Nikos: In general, there is a great feedback so far and I am very happy for this. I believe that there is a scene and audience that dedicates time and love for this kind of music. People create bands, they are attending live performances, listen and play music, they are on the move in all ways.
Myrto: The feedback is actually amazing and of course it motivates us even more. I agree that there is a particular scene that existed but is also very present at the moment, with a dedicated and knowledgeable audience worldwide. I personally feel that this kind of audience is ready to embrace something new or even just be open to our sound.

We gather that you are working on finishing your first full length album. What can you tell us about this and when do you think it will be complete and released?

Nikos: Indeed, this period of time we are in the process of completing the recordings for our first album. It is a process that is taking us more than we initially anticipated, but that isn’t something that makes us rush it out, as we both want to feel content with the final outcome. If everything goes according to our plan, I believe that the album will be ready late 2019 or at the beginning of 2020. In the meantime, we are already arranging more live performances. Once again, we thank you so much for this chance and interview! Meet you when the sun falls!

Photos: Panos Dedepsidis

Interview by Nick Drivas