Beast In Black – being stable both in the studio and on stage is the secret to sell out shows


After a rather adventurous negotiation with Beast In Black’s tour manager we crammed into the tour bus for an interview with singer Yannis Papadopoulos on his first show in Athens and second in Greece overall as the band’s frontman. His is so full of emotion that he cannot even describe it. His entousiasm and thrill is translated by himself as “pride”, especially since the show in Athens – the last one of the tour- is sold out. As the crowd is flooding the venue and the adrenaline is rising higher and higher our time for chatting is limited, just like the space between the bus’ seats and corridor. Our thoughts for an extravagant production, a second camera and all that go down the drain… 3,2,1 Action! Interview: Sakis Nikas, Camera: Yiannis Dolas, Editing/Post Production: One Man Army. A big thanks to Markus Lempsch for his help to do this interview! How do feel playing in Greece for the first time ever? 

Yannis Papadopoulos: I could have told you a lot before we played in Thessaloniki. But, after that show first of all, I can’t describe you how touched I was… And still, I feel yesterday’s show as if I was  living a dream, in another world, it was something different. I experienced it in a special way. It’s difficult for the others to feel the same way I guess. 

 To give you an idea, as a band coming from  Helsinki, it’s much easier to play a show there. And the people there goes to concerts all the time. Here the audience is more dedicated. If I say that I’m going to a show it means that I know everything about the band our culture is so different, this is good and bad. The good thing is that the people who will come to the show are dedicated. 

In Finland you may find some people who will tell you “there is a show tonight, shall we check it out?” I wanna go out, have some fun.  

 So, what can I tell you… About what we experienced last night… And I am sure tonight’s show is going to be even more wild. I can’t find more words to describe it to you. I am proud. Tonight’s show is sold out. How do you think you achieved that? 

Yannis Papadopoulos: I would like to believe,  to be honest I think to the biggest degree it’s because we are so stable. Both as far as the studio albums  and the live shows are concerned. So far, we’ve played at least 300 shows in our career. Because, I remember in 2018 and 2019 it was 100 each year, so there’s 200. And then 2021… in 2022 it must have been another 100. So we’ve definetely done 300 shows. And we are consistent to what we are doing. So, I believe that the people saw that. How it’s done, where is it every night, what we are doing… That’s my opinion: they understand that they  will watch something good. That’s my perception and  I can describe it to you differently. Which was the highlight of this tour – except from the show in Thessaloniki? 

Yannis Papadopoulos: Now, if we played today the shows we did in Spain, at the beggining of the tour We would have had almost double attendance. I mean that people watched this tour, how it was going and they followed us, that’s how I see it. Personally, for me, apart from the two shows in Madrid and Barcelona the one that made us a  huge impression was Paris. We never thought about the French being so wild, but whenever we played Paris the crowd was off the rails. And we’re talking about starting an earthquake with their feet. One thousand people in the club and the peer up stairs, how is it called? Balcony, right.  I forget my Greek, don’t pay attention. It was mad, people chanting and singing it took us another 20 minutes to leave the stage. So, personally I can tell you Paris. If you ask  someone else, you might get another answer But, for me it was Paris. Amazing. It’s been almost six years since you’ve been playing in small clubs in Greece – I specifically remember a show at Comics in N.Iraklio in Athens, where you played solo with only a guitar in your hands. Do you miss this? 

Yannis Papadopoulos: Yeah, sure… To tell you the truth, there is 5 essential things in Greece that I don’t think you can experience anywhere else. Friends, culture, the lifestyle, nightlife. You can’t find all that abroad. One of the most important things I miss is playing with my father. When I was 15 to 23, 24 I hated it. I was like “come on, let’s make some money”. But, later on I started to get a different  perspective and appreciate it. Those days are numbered. You won’t have them forever. My dad is growing older… So, that’s definetely what I miss the most, as well as the freedom in doing acoustic shows. 

 I will find a way to do it in small place in Helsinki, but it’s gonna be more limited.  A limited edition. The specific show you are referring to in Iraklio at Comics- I remember every single detail. Really, it was one of a kind. The reaction I had throughout the show was like… Like I was an alien. And the audience was really dedicated. I remember them singing. Nobody had a cellphone. They were getting so much into it. Has Anton started working on new material yet? 

Yannis Papadopoulos: There’s always something cooking. He never stands still. He’s got a laptop, a sound card and a guitat to record upstairs in the other lobby we have upstairs. And he is always working and working. Now he has too much on his plate because he had to work on the production of the show. He had designed all the stage props you’ll see tonight. It’s all him. And he was a little burned out in order to prepare all that. But, he is definetely cooking something. Which two bands would you chose to cover two Beast In Black songs? 

Yannis Papadopoulos: Wow. I am fried man. Who the hell?  I’d pick Sabaton to cover a  Beast In Black song. Why not? Which one should they play? Well, Sabaton could play “Blade Runner”. I can imagine it right now, on the lower scale… Who else?  I’d pick Dynasty to cover a Beast In Black song. Dynasty is a great band. Which one? It should be a high energy song. I’d chose either “One Night In Tokyo”, or “Cry Out For A Hero”.