LEAD GUITAR PLAYING AND VIRTOUSITY COMING FROM
Interview & Article By Adriana Rubio
Photographs: Courtesy of T.K.G
“I felt a very strong desire to play the guitar. I didn’t sleep that night. I was 14 y/old”.
Theodore Kalantzakos was born in Athens, Greece and is the lead guitarist of T.K.G, a metal-fusion-jazz band with a remarkable presence of very well done progressive-experimental rock. The combination of all this together is what really makes the difference in a music world where creativity is reaching the highest levels.
Guitar virtuoso Theodore Kalantzakos and his TKG band have played in various cities across Greece and were opening acts for well known established musicians and bands such as Vinnie Moore and Aristocrats.
TKG first live gig was in 2007 for a rock fusion festival in Athens. In 2008 they released the first single and video clip “Echoing Chemical Reactions”, and in 2012 they released a full length album titled “Pattern Partner”. In 2013 TKG released two more singles, “No shortcuts (Paving the way Forward)” and “Paralles” featuring the acclaimed female guitarist Irene Ketikidi.
TKG is continually moving forward into the European music industry mainly focusing in Germany, England and Greece amongst many others.
Theodore is the eldest of two brothers and grew up surrounded by the music his father played for fun in a rock band.
“My father used to play the guitar in a rock band, mostly as a hobby. He never encouraged me to follow his steps or to play the guitar”.
“It all started as a nice story. I felt a very strong desire to play the guitar. I didn’t sleep that night. I was 14 y/old and couldn’t stop thinking and dreaming about it until the early hours of the next morning!”
“I was a self-taught guitarist until the age of 21. I was at the University of Thessaly in Volos, Greece, studying the second year to be an architect when I decided to start taking music lessons”.
“My teacher and mentor was guitar virtuoso Ioannis Anastassakis, and after 5 years I graduated from RGT (London College of Music, University of West London) with the Teachers Diploma, LLCM (TD)”.
Theodore proudly says that after some changes on the band’s lineup, TKG is now a brothers’ trio. He also explains why it has to be this way.
“TKG is a dream that came true with me and my brother Loukas Kalantzakos on drums. Our little brother Nick has recently joined us on synthesizers and FX loops”.
“Nick is 10 years younger than us and grew up being fed by our passion for music so he’s been enough trained to join the band (Laughs!!!)”.
“Now, seriously, I think it is very difficult for a person to follow someone else dream. It needs dedication, confidence and commitment. This is why for many musicians it’s hard to keep a band or even more difficult to keep a band going all together. Your dream has to be someone else dream too!”
“My relationship with Loukas and Nick is great. Loukas and I have shared the same passion for years and followed the same dream right from the start”.
Theodore openly talks about what music means personally to him in terms of feelings. He also talks about how styles and influences interfere or not the songwriting process.
“There’s a composition in our upcoming release titled “Hot Air Balloon”. There is a part in the lyrics saying “I have a flame in my core”. This is true. I feel as having a flame in my core where music and my guitar playing express what I feel. It feels like a unique and direct language speaking in our hearts”.
“The music I’ve listened to in my free time has changed with time. In recent years for example I used to listen to Byzantine music. I believe that someone’s music tastes definitely influence you. Personally, I do my best to keep away from that, I mean I don’t like to write something rigidly based on a particular style or influence. I prefer to let that influence come out naturally during the songwriting-composing process”.
As previously said, Theodore is an architect and as such makes his music sound even more attractive. His TKG band website provides the visitor with a number of very well done video clips like being deeply interested into the visual arts department.
“I definitely see TKG as an audio visual performing show. We try to add projections in most of our shows, while musically improvising. I believe that our music in wide terms can be described as cinematic art. We plan to meet with directors specialized in video art, short films or movies. We are very open to new collaborations, don’t forget that I’m still an architect and the visual factor is also important to me”! (Laughs!)
Aside from his TKG band, Theodore Kalantzakos has recently been in Germany as RGT meaning “Registry of Guitars Tutors” in collaboration with Robin4Arts, a cultural production company located in Berlin.
“Yes, RGT is a Registry of Guitar Tutors organizing exams around the globe in partnership with London College of Music and is highly qualified by the University of West London. This is a new project that I’m very excited about. I’m looking forward to give my best”.
“At the same time, TKG new EP is ready and titled “Rise from the Ground”. It will be out in March. TKG new EP counts with 3 new compositions with ambient textures and ethnic/world elements as I made an extended use of fretless guitar in these recordings. Fretless guitar is a great instrument for making world/ethnic music. It tends to become my main instrument”.
“If you listen closely to TKG previous work, you can find references in this regard, the fretless guitar, even in our first recordings. Examples are the extended intro of the “Echoing Chemical Reaction” where I emulated a fretless guitar using a guitar tremolo”.
Theodore and his TKG band are preparing for some live shows starting on February 8th in Athens along with two amazing guitarists, Theodore Ziras and Panos Malahias. It is expected that at the end of the show the three guitar masters will share stage to jam together!
“See you all out there guys!”
Theodore Kalantzakos not only is a talented guitarist, visual artist and architect but a kind gentleman who thanks this blog for the interview, readers, friends and fans for their support.
For further info on Theodore, his TKG band, upcoming shows and releases or to purchase their work, please feel free to visit the official website at: