At 69, famous Greek composer Vangelis Papathanassiou spoke to The Guardian about the “Chariots of Fire,” composing for the movies, professional success and the Greek crisis in one of his rare interviews.
Apart from his work and personal success, he made an extensive reference to the Greek economic crisis, expressing his frustration and sadness over the present situation in Greece: “I see the crisis like a theatrical play that concerns the world – not just Greece. Greece is a very good place for experimentation. I felt many years ago that this was going to come. I’m not surprised at all. There’s been a lot of mishandling of the situation on the part of the Greek governments. But, I am afraid that it is not easy for any country today to decide their own future. The Greeks have never been in the position to exploit its endless supplies of natural resources, which every Greek citizen would benefit from. Corruption is another way for just a few to benefit. I am indifferent because it’s only a step to buy time. It’s a game. What you read is not what’s happening. The whole planet is in trouble for the same reason.” What does he think it is – greed? “Generally speaking, yes, greed and capital. In other words, banking.”
Papathanasiou also showed that he has come to terms with himself and expressed his deeper opinion with regard to success and its very effect on every artist, “I realised that success and pure creativity are not very compatible. The more successful you become, the more you become a product of something that generates money. Instead of being able to move forward freely and do what you really wish, you find yourself stuck and obliged to repeat yourself and your previous success. Success is sweet and treacherous. Of course it helps you sell things, but I’ve been trying all my life not to fall into the trap and to try to get out of it.”