Come be our guest with Lia Hide – Interview

There is something quite alluring about a national identity, steeped in memory, myth and lore, which naturally bleeds into their music. Lia Hide could be mistaken for a Greek goddess, however she is a very talented producer, musician and singer, who has been creating music since 2013. With her style of dark pop/post-punk mixed with ancient wisdom, she has released her fourth album, The Missing Fourth Guest and we could help not help but to jump at the chance to talk to the charming Lia about this album and what has lead up to it.

Greetings to you Lia Hide. Please join us in the Onyx boudoir.  

Lia Hide is a woman with many public faces. You are a dancer and a performing artist. Was this inspired by family through your childhood or something you were drawn to at an older age? 

I’d love it if I were a dancer, but dancing is one of my weakest points.. Unless if I drink an extra or two, that might do the trick! I was drawn to acting from a younger age, though, and did take acting lessons when I was just 10 years old, and performed often back then, but once I got to my teenager years, I was utterly fixated with music. And yes, music was always a thing in the family: my dad played the guitar, my grandpa played the bouzouki, although he was a blacksmith and fisherman (!) and my mom would always sing traditional weeping Greek songs while cooking, she missed her home village and mom, badly. So, it felt natural, in all ways!

Was music always a big part of this artistic expression? 

Yes, I was always bold and fierce in a social group, but I would never, and still don’t, express my fears or sadness, to anyone.. So I wrote them down into music and songs!

What is your role as a music educator? 

I am a popular music vocals teacher, I am a London College of Music collaborator, and have been teaching also, Musical Theatre, Pop and Rock Ensembles, Modern Music History, and piano! I simply adore my students, they my fountain of youth!

Recently, I have spoken to a few Greek artists, and it is interesting to get their perspective on the music scene, especially in the capital, Athens. Do you think the dark alt scene is flourishing and has it changed since you first started your professional musical career? 

Actually, I don’t know of any other dark alternative artists, but us, although there is a substantially growing darkwave and post punk and synthpop scene, and of course, lots of metal and hip hop. I think alternative music was a bit stronger a few decades back, newer and more minimalistic genres seem to flourish at the moment.

Lia, you are releasing your 4th full album, called “The Missing Fourth Guest” and this is based on a story by Greek playwright, Plato, where philosopher Socrates is a main character. Can you tell us more about this concept and how it relates to the album? 

Timaeaus dialogue (by Plato) seems to be happening in an evening of wine and philosophy, where three people joining the conversation are eagerly trying to explain and discuss the person in the society, the man in the cosmos, war and defeat and the origin of the universe. So all these were ideas that were puzzling us, while we were stuck in these two horrible quarantines of Covid19. Socrates as a figure is a very strong influence for us and so is Plato’s Republic’s teachings!

You released the single “Dinner” in March with a beautifully made video, shot in a movie noir style with rich reds and sepia tones. How was it making the video and what is the premise behind “Dinner”? 

We had the opportunity to film in an amazing location, the Bagkeion Hotel (and Foundation) that is a very historical building in downtown Athens, designed by the architect Ernest Chiller and built between 1980-1894, that once was a glorious luxurious hotel, that later served as a hospital for WWII. We shot from 12 in the morning till 6 at dawn the following day, and we created it with Kiss the Frog, a group of gorgeous film-makers, with their team of 14 people all together !

You also released the first single, “Proposal” which again has a very lush video and seems that “Dinner” is a continuation of a theme. The music feels so full of regret and longing, so do these two tracks and videos tie in together?  

Yes, of course! Proposal and Dinner, together with Cloud (tracks 5,6,7 of the Missing Fourth Guest) put together ‘the Timeaus Sonata’ a major work, in 3 parts, in the Classical Sonata form, so Proposal is exposition and Dinner is recapitulation of that opening theme. They all discuss our questions and investigating of Plato’s dialogue.

How do you feel you have changed as a musician since, when you first released “Home” and now with “The Missing Fourth Guest”? 

It seem like ages ago! I was but an inexperienced producer, and “Home” was such a huge and long album, and I wanted to make sure I fit everything in there. Now, I am more competent in producing our music, and I know when to stop and when to leave a song behind. I am also bolder and I am not afraid to state my mind, soundwise, even if people around me might suggest other ideas or suggestions, a thing I would never do in the past. I sing less, or less loud, I don’t feel the need to show-off that I am a good singer, or piano player, also.

It has been something I have noticed about Greek musicians, that they incorporate in their music and take very seriously, the tales, mythos and history of the past of your country, which is very extensive. Do you think that it is very ingrained into the Greek psyche or is it literally part of the DNA? 

It is part of our education process I think. We are taught of these tales since we are very young, and we live in a country filled with Antiquities, so you can’t really …escape them, if you’re Greek!

Apart from your own musical endeavors, I last saw you on a compilation by Mechanimal celebrating their 10 years together with your version of “The Den” which was a lovely stripped-down reimagining. Can you tell us about your friendship with the guys from Mechanimal and what it means to you being on that compilation “Living With Animal Ghosts”? 

I have great respect for both Mechanimal and ION and it was a great honor to be included in this compilation, and especially, with the song that we were assigned with! I tried to redress our version with lots of dark pianos and recreated a duet out of his amazing song, ‘The Den’, whose words and narrative spoke directly to my heart!

Will you be touring again soon as Covid messed up a lot of band’s schedules over the last 2 years? 

We really can’t wait to hit the road again, I’ve missed it so badly! The people, the scenery, the travelling, everything!

If you could be the fourth guest at Socrates table, what burning question would you wish to talk to him about? 

Actually, I wish I was but a spectator in the banquet, so I could ask, WHO this missing and so important guest, was! What if it were a she? Why is him/her so important? What did she/he know?

Sadly, we are bereft of divination but what do you see in the future for Lia Hide? 

I am already in the process (deep in my head) of writing some new songs for the next album! Reality does not seize to inspire me and so many severe issues are storming around us, so I am already trying to figure out our new sound-vocabulary, while the words are already forming stories!

Thank you for being a perfect guest, Lia and we wish you all the best with this new album! 

Thank you so much for this wonderful talk!

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Lia Hide

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