Interview with Silviu Dan Iliescu, Guitarist at AXiS and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (https://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
Silviu Dan Iliescu: Hey Pete, thanks for having us!
Raw, bold and strong. I think these are the words describing us best. We believe that the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll is what keeps us going and drives what we’re all about. Modernism has put it’s mark even on powerful music. We like to keep it in an old fashion, from every aspect.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
SDI: Sure thing. Myself, I’m from Romania. Born in a small town in the south of the country called Orsova. Dejan and Ranko, my band mates are from Serbia, also born in the small city of Kladovo. Between us is the Danube river. Once I played with my high school band in Kladovo (maybe 15 years ago). That’s how we met.
My love for music came from my uncle. He was playing in a folk band so he had instruments around he’s house all the time. That’s what struck my curiosity for music. Little by little I started to discover bands like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC or the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
I think this is how we all came across rock ‘n’ roll, at one point or another, and offered us the needed drive to study an instrument.
All three of us have more or less the same musical influences so it makes it very easy to work together.
PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?
SDI: I think nearly every classic rock band from the 60’s and 70’s have put a mark on us, as a band and as individuals. We’re very keen on things that are not in fashion, at least not where we’re from, as classic rock is a very misunderstood genre amongst young people. This is also one of the reasons why we do what we do. The other one is that we’re inspired by, let’s say, “imperfect” music. We don’t try to be something we aren’t, by recording to a click or having an entire orchestral production of our music, when we’re a trio. We’re looking to revive the classic rock vibes and create our own thing on the foundations that we’re laid down by the legends of this genre.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
SDI: One of our dreams is to have, at least once in this life, an US tour. But personally, my biggest aspiration is to be able to make a living out of music.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
SDI: For sure the release of our second album, “Electric Peace”. We’re very fond of how it turned out and we’re very proud that we managed to work with a amazing team for the entire process.
Recordings were done at SONO Records in Czech Republic – a famous studio in Europe, which over the years accommodated artists like David Bowie, Nazareth, Joss Stone or Living Colours.
The mixing of the record was done by Greg Gordon – a prestigious sound engineer from the United States, who’s work can be heard on records from groups like Jet, Slipknot, Rival Sons, Airbourne or System of a Down.
The production was done in house with the critic ear of our dear friend Ivan Mihajilovic – a great musician, producer and sound engineer from Belgrade, Serbia.
And in the end, the first person that believed in us and actually did something about it – Emil Biebel from Viniloteca – record label from Timisoara, Romania – who published this amazing album on vinyl.
So yeah, this is for sure something we’re really proud of!
PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?
SDI: Eh, you know. We’re on our own. Constantly trying to reach out to people who will give a listen to us and maybe tell someone else and so on and so forth. The problem I see with promoting new music is that it’s very hard to get to the ears of people who are interested in that sort of music.
Of course paid promotion is a good thing. I’m doing it all the time, in parallel, but I’m only looking for genre correct promotion. I don’t care about the numbers. I just care about the right music for the right person. There are not a lot of promoters who do it like that – of course talking about promoters that will also look at us.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
SDI: Usually it’s DIY. We haven’t done very much about that in the last period, as we were focusing on releasing the album and also promoting it, spreading the news.
We’re starting to book our autumn and winter album release tour, with dates in Romania and Serbia and who knows, maybe other European countries. It takes a lot of time, when you’re not famous or do not have the right person by your side, but we’ll manage it, for sure! Slow and easy.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
SDI: I think this is the main reason for music losing it’s value. There was a time when, if you wanted to listen to music, you had to pay for it. It’s not the fact that nobody’s paying anymore. It’s about how much you valued your purchase. As you paid an amount of money on something, you try to make the most out of it. This is an universal rule. Unfortunately, this does not apply to music anymore.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
SDI: Pfuh, this is a hard one. Music is like any other historical event. I believe that what was written at a certain point in time had it’s “spiritual” reason for being there. I don’t really wish I had written any of the songs that influenced me and I still to this day love to the core. What I’d wish, though, would be to be able to do what Joe Cocker did for Beatles’s With a Little Help from My Friends or Hendrix did for Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
SDI: The music industry has nothing to do with music itself. The music industry is a business, just like any other. I feel that the biggest problem is with the fact that technology has enabled almost everyone to make “music”, as well as to release it in the ether of the virtual domain. The fact that people are listening to shit music more and more and the intelligence coefficient is running down the hill, has nothing to do with the music business. The music business is just selling what people want.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
SDI: Currently we’re focusing on pushing the new album as much as we can, either through the internet, physical sales or gigs. We have to take the music out into the world right now and what better way than by touring. This is what we’re most focused on right now.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
SDI: Thanks for asking. Here are some relevant link to our social media presence:
Social: Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | TikTok | Twitter
Band/Artist location – Timişoara, România
Website – Facebook – You Tube – Bandcamp – Merch –
Twitter – Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – LnkTo – TikTok –
Check our page for AXiS