CATHEDRAL ECHO is Lefteris Tsourapis’ personal neo-psych project from ATHENS, Greece. Lefteris started recording music at an early age, until ultimately releasing his music under the name “CATHEDRAL ECHO” in 2017, which culminated in the project’s first performance “an evening of experimental sitar music” paying tribute to SPACEMEN 3 and LA MONTE YOUNG. He self-released his first digital EP entitled “ΨΧ” in 2018, followed by a series of performances in the local Athenian psych scene. We asked him some questions some days before his live performance with Uncensored
Hello Lefteris, first of all I wanted to ask you if it is possible to describe your sound with words…
I guess the only way to describe it, it would be the echoes of a kaleidoscopic cathedral or something along those lines. It’s mostly a mesh of sounds, a collage of sorts, that is best described by its own nature of existence, which is kind of a translation of short musical moments that I come up with and then they unfold while I’m recording them.
How did cathedral echo started?
Well, I’ve always been recording music in my bedroom and most of it was just endless experiments with synthesizers and tape delays and then around 2017 is when I started playing with my current guitarist, Thomas, and through that I started recording under the name “Cathedral Echo”. It wasn’t meant to be anything more than my bedroom recordings but then we formed a live band and started playing gigs.
What are your future plans?
We just re-released our EP “ΨΧ” on cassette via Thinkbabymusic Collective and The state51 Conspiracy and we are playing our own headline show at six d.o.g.s on the 18th of April with Uncensored. We are currently scheduling more gigs meanwhile I have already started recording some songs for our first LP.
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Can you tell us about your source of inspiration?
It’s mostly songs that come to me while I’m playing the guitar or messing about with synthesizers but I draw inspiration from all sorts of places. Like sometimes it’s some artist that I’m listening to or some certain mood I might be in, most of my lyrics are introspective as they come, so it often seems to reflect my personal thoughts and visions.
As far as I know it is a solo project and for live performances you work with other musicians. Can you tell us the pros and cons of this?
Well, recording on my own is the most liberating thing to do, creatively at least. I’m quite young really, so recording in my bedroom has always been the easiest and most accessible way to be as creative as I can and being able to experiment on my own pace. The only negative that I can think of, is that sometimes I can’t translate very clearly what I want to achieve on each song to the rest of the band, so it requires effort from both parties in order to make those songs sound good in a live venue.
What about the equipment you use. Do you have some favourites?
I love my Roland Space Echo RE-201! I have a bunch of different tape echoes from the 60’s and the 70’s (WEM Copicat, LEM/Univox) and I love them all, it’s exactly the sound I’m trying to achieve. I do have a Korg Poly 800 which I use a lot for poly/analog pads and my trusty AKAI 1721 tape recorder that I use for overdubs. I also recently purchased a vintage Telefunken mic from the 60’s which sounds crazy.
The last years psychedelic music has gained a hype. Do you think it helps or not?
It certainly helps bands by creating a communal scene around the world, makes it much easier to tour and be able to translate your music in different countries. There is certainly a lot of repetition from bands that sound derivative and there’s a lot of copying without a primal inspiration, but that is always going to happen, especially when a specific genre becomes a trend. But it’s also great to discover new and creative music on a daily basis, there’s a lot of art being produced.
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If you had to choose three dead artists to cooperate and other three alive who would you choose?
That would be Syd Barrett, Demis Roussos and Brian Jones. From living artists, I’d love to work with MGMT, Haruomi Hosono and Pete Kember (Sonic Boom).