Post rock. Moving forward.

6 Oct

The term post rock is used far too easily these days. It’s usually flung like mud at anything that moves at a slowish pace and has little in the way of vocals and originality. Sad but true, post rock self imploded and suffered from a triteness that had never been seen or heard in such abundance before.

Thankfully, for those of us who enjoyed the early records of the post rock movement, there are at least a handful of bands keeping the flame alive. At the forefront of latter day post rock bands is Absent Without Leave. Greece’s answer to the question of where does post rock goes next.?

AWOL is a project that contains more emotion and feeling than anything I have heard in a very long time. A musical journey of sincere enthusiasm and creativity.  In all honesty this project haven’t put out a bad release and there is something spectacular with every new record that arrives. If you like Mogwai, Flying Saucer Attack and Epic 45, then AWOL will be right up your street.

Here is an interview I did with the man behind AWOL.

For people that may not know, who and what is Absent Without Leave?

“I’m George Mastrokostas and Absent Without Leave is my solo project based in Athens, Greece.
Absent Without Leave’s music is usually described as a mix of shoegaze, post-rock, ambient and electronica.”

How did you get into music?

“My parents bought me my first ever guitar at the age of 15, back in 1996, and then I formed my first band with some childhood friends. After playing in many different bands, it was in 2001 that I started recording my own music at home using a 4-track recorder and later my pc. Two years later I released two demos, an album and an EP. These releases were given mostly to some friends and some copies were sent to labels too and after a while I was being asked about doing some releases and compilation appearances.”

What album or band made you want to make music?

“All my first influences made me want to play and make music.

These include the grunge scene of the 90s and groups like Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Alice In Chains and of course many other older groups from the 80s like The Cure, Joy Division, New Order and Depeche Mode, amongst others.”

What have been the highlights for you since making music?

“For me, some of the highlights of my discography so far are the collaborations I have done with some really great artists like Port-Royal, Richard Adams (Hood), Stafraenn Hakon, Epic45, Yellow6, Televise (ex-Slowdive) Landshipping (ex-Metrotone) featuring Isan and Millimetrik (Below The Sea) amongst others.

As for the live appearances, my first European tour in spring 2011 was a really nice experience and of course it’s an honour for me that I have has shared the stage with God Is An Astronaut, 65daysofstatic, Port-Royal, Piano Magic, I Like Trains, Jeniferever, Arms And Sleepers, Manyfingers, The Samuel Jackson Five, Millimetrik, Section 25 and many others.”

What is on the horizon for Absent Without Leave?

“Recently I bought a new sampler and I have started playing with it, working on some news tracks that will probably be released sometime in next months as an EP.

This winter I will also do some more live shows promoting my latest releases, the Faded Photographs album and the ‘Neath The Tumbling Stars EP.

First confirmed live date is on November 27 in Athens together with Port-Royal, Dalot and Dergar.

Moreover, I’m planning new releases of some really interesting artists that will be out in next months on my own label Sound In Silence.”

Which current artist do you most admire the most?

“I really admire Olafur Arnalds and I believe he is one of the best composers nowadays.”

What is your favourite Absent Without Leave track?

“My favourite track is My Music Is Still Sad Though I Found My Happiness, which is dedicated to my girlfriend and is included inMagnitogorsk, my split album with Port-Royal.”

Lastly, anything else that you would like to add?

“Thanks so much for your interest in my music and for doing this interview.

Anyone interested in keeping in touch with Absent Without Leave can follow me here: ”


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