As part of a press conference before the Release Athens Festival, the founder and bassist for the band “Manowar,” Joey DeMaio, announced an epic collaboration between the band and the Greek father-and-son acting duo Costas and Konstantinos Kazakos for an Odyssey-inspired song.
As related on the rock website Rockpages.gr, the song, titled “The Revenge of Odysseus” features, among other things, a narration in the Ancient Greek language. The song reimagines Telemachus in a fabricated story that follows his personal view of the Odyssey; the respective roles are played by father and son.
The Blessing of Reading the Odyssey
“I feel blessed for the very day when I was 10 years old and I was given the book “The Odyssey” to read. That changed my life forever! I always believed that those stories were based on people that did great deeds,” said DeMaio during a press conference.
“After playing the [Athens festival] last year, I just could not believe that the fans had become more and more, and stronger, stronger… the audience and all the love and all the emotion came out, so I said maybe now is the time to approach this big work, the ‘Odyssey,’” he continued.
Manowar’s connection to the Odyssey and Greece begins very close to home, as one of their crew members, Jimmy “Immortal,” is Greek. In fact, it was Jimmy who connected the band with Costas and Konstantinos Kazakos.
The latter is a self-identified metalhead, who was especially excited to participate in the project. “From a young age I was a metalhead. As most of you know these colors don’t run,” said Konstantinos Kazakos at the press conference. “I’m an actor, but I’m also a musician and Manowar were my childhood heroes. So, working with them was a childhood dream come true.”
His father Kazakos was less familiar with the band, though. “I had to explain to my father who Manowar is!” laughs Konstantinos Kazakos. “I said ‘do you remember some posters I had in my room when I was 15-16?’”
Odyssey-Inspired Song was DeMaio’s Passion
This passion extended well beyond Manowar and the Kazakos father and son, as DeMaio enlisted the assistance of friend and fellow metaler, Sakis Tolis, the frontman of Rotting Christ, who was asked to translate the text from English into Ancient Greek.
“I was asked to translate a text from English into Ancient Greek, which is very difficult,” said Tolis. “It is already difficult to translate it into Greek as a matter of fact. So, I asked my wife and some friends for help and during the summer we sat down for five days to do the translation.”
Tolis continued to describe how honored he was in working with the legendary metal band, as well as the Kazakoses. “It is a great honor for me to be able to participate in a work by Joey, as Manowar is one of my favorite bands. Of course, I am impressed by what the father and son Kazakos did!”
DeMaio’s love of Greece and excitement for this project could not be contained, as he spoke about traveling to Greece to record the narration portion of the Odyssey song; he expressed immense gratitude to Sakis Tolis for all his efforts and for connecting him with his Greek protagonists.
“A translator and a friend, Sakis, who – believe me – suffered and his wife suffered with me, like no one is supposed to suffer… and he put us in touch with this amazingly young guy (pointing at K. Kazakos) and his “young” father and it was like the greatest gift.”
DeMaio went on to say, “And to have all my friends around me and of course him (pointing at Sakis) helping me with his beautiful translation of the text and hear him (pointing at K. Kazakos) speak with his father, his real father… the part of Telemachus and the father speaking back as Odysseus. I can tell you, not only me, but everybody in the studio — the hair was up on their arms. And it was something that I just can’t forget.”
This epic song, along with a must-see Manowar setlist, will be part of the Release Athens Festival on June 22, 2022 in Plateia Nerou, where the band is headlining.