Q&A with talented Greek Blues/Rock guitarist Tassos Skouras, rock touch with blues feeling and soul oriented

"I think that people who realize the power of rock and blues and have felt all this energy inside them, are bound to have a serious addiction!!! I believe that there is a strong community that supports this kind of music, and I also feel that when people start choosing based on their souls and bodies, rock and blues will rise again. Living with the blues and rock is a way of life, a different kind of awareness, a different mode of thinking, a different attitude, and a different way of seeing things."

Tassos Skouras: It's Always Rock n' Roll

Tassos Skouras is a Greek Blues/Rock & Soul/Funk guitarist. Tassos says: "My philosophy about Sound and Music. I strongly believe that music should be mostly soul oriented. Technique matters of course, but making music is like poetry. It doesn’t matter if you know all the words and if you can spell them correctly. It matters if you really have something to say; it’s the same with music. Technique is a language, having something to say is what comes straight from your soul. I believe that’s where the good stuff comes from."                    (Tassos Skouras, Athens Greece 2022 / Photo by Alexandros Makris)

Tassos shared the stage with legendary Greek rock band of Socrates Drank the Conium, American singer Nellie "Tiger" Travis and many others. Greek Blues/Rock musician continues"You should never give up; you don’t know what the future will bring your way. You should be yourself. It’s okay to be influenced by the greatest, but you should always find yourself in them and not become a copy. Master your technique. Don’t let technique be your master. The journey is as important as the destination – enjoy it all the way!!"

Interview by Michael Limnios

How has the Blues & Rock music influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

Music is my life and the only true journey I ever had. I believe that when you come in touch with the feeling of the blues, you become emotionally wise. It is a way to discover that there are spiritual things in life that matter much more than material things. I feel so lucky to have the ability not only to play, but also to feel the music.

How do you describe your sound and music philosophy? What's the balance in music between technique and soul?

My philosophy about Sound and Music. I strongly believe that music should be mostly soul oriented. Technique matters of course, but making music is like poetry. It doesn’t matter if you know all the words and if you can spell them correctly. It matters if you really have something to say; it’s the same with music. Technique is a language, having something to say is what comes straight from your soul. I believe that’s where the good stuff comes from.

What moment changed your music life the most? What´s been the highlights in your life and career so far?

Unquestionably playing with Socrates Drank the Conium (known also as Socrates) has been the highlight of my career so far. A legendary blues and progressive rock band from 1968 and the biggest band that Greece has ever presented. I learnt so much from them, I learned how to play with soul and reason. The moment that forever changed my music life was when I first saw a Stevie Ray Vaughan video; I could not believe that somebody could play like him. I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears.

"Music is my life and the only true journey I ever had. I believe that when you come in touch with the feeling of the blues, you become emotionally wise. It is a way to discover that there are spiritual things in life that matter much more than material things. I feel so lucky to have the ability not only to play, but also to feel the music." (Left: Antonis Tourkogiorgis of Socrates & Tassos Skouras / Photo by Tony-Mojo Risin ; Right: Giannis Spathas of Socrates & Tassos Skouras / Photo by John Ioannides)

Are there any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

A very memorable moment was when I played with Vasillis Papakonstantinou (Greek Rock musician) in a huge stadium in front of a crowd of 45.000 people, in a joint concert with the Scorpions. It was a very rare feeling playing in front of such a massive crowd. Also playing with Nellie Tiger Travis in House of Art. That was my first cooperation with somebody from abroad, and I think it was one of my top performances so far.

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of the past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

I feel that today’s music is mostly based on technical aspects and technology, and it has lost its way. I think that today there are some great artists, but everybody’s trying to be trendy and sound awesome studio-wise, and the result is that there is no more creative freedom. It’s like perfectly polishing a very cheap pair of shoes. I think we need more creativity because people get distracted by their phones and all the available content, and we need to remind them that there is a real life happening out there by using our souls to create songs and music.

If you could change one thing in the Greek Music Scene and it would become a reality, what would that be?

I would like people to dig a little deeper. There really are some great Greek artists but the industry has been working mostly for easy and quick profit. This makes it difficult for artists who really have something to say to come forward. If I could change something it would be the industry’s greed.

What is the impact of Rock n' Blues music on the socio-cultural implications? How do you want the music to affect people?     (Tassos Skouras, 2022 / Photo by Alexandros Makris)

I think that people who realize the power of rock and blues and have felt all this energy inside them, are bound to have a serious addiction!!!

I believe that there is a strong community that supports this kind of music, and I also feel that when people start choosing based on their souls and bodies, rock and blues will rise again. Living with the blues and rock is a way of life, a different kind of awareness, a different mode of thinking, a different attitude, and a different way of seeing things.

"Music is my life and the only true journey I ever had."

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experience in the music paths?

You should never give up; you don’t know what the future will bring your way. You should be yourself. It’s okay to be influenced by the greatest, but you should always find yourself in them and not become a copy. Master your technique. Don’t let technique be your master.

The journey is as important as the destination – enjoy it all the way!!

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