Greece: Have a Drink with Koza Mostra

KOZA_MOSTRA__AGATHONAS_IAKOVIDISGreece – Our first semi-finalist of this year’s TEKO competition was Greece… so let’s find some more about the Koza Mostra guys; they’re today’s featured artist. They were chosen to represent their country in a national selection programme aired by MAD TV, which they won singing ‘Alcohol is free‘ with 36% of the votes… well ahead of the 2nd place act who scored 24%.

The band consists of Elias Kozas (vocals), Alexis Arhontis (drums), Stelios Siomos (guitar), Dimitris Christonis (bass guitar), Christos Kalaintzopoulos (accordion) and Vasilis Nalmpantis (trumpet). They will represent Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 with Agathonas Iakovidis on the song ‘Alcohol Is Free‘. Here’s more about the band members:

Ilias Kozas: Lead Singer
As the lead singer of the band Cabaret Balkan, one of the best Greek Balkan Bands, in their most creative period. Kozas had a restless mind with many significant collaborations, and he sought a more personal way of expressing himself. He realised his goal by forming the band Koza Mostra, which became one of the most famous Balkan, ska bands in Greece.

Christos Kalaitzopoulos: Accordion
He started studying accordion with Aleksandar Tchuev. He has twice won the first prize in the Greek Accordionists competition and once the second prize at Star Ways, Kragujevac. Co-founder of the group “Los Mujeros” he participated at a very young age in several gigs such as Schoolwave 07, 08, 09.

Vassilis Nalbantis: Trumpet
He had the opportunity to play and record as a full member or guest artist, with bands and orchestras from almost every music gender: A funk-reggae band called Orchestra Sonora, the Balkan-swing band Melios Balkana Mama, pop-RnB band Elements, surf band Meanwhile in Mexico, reggae band Global Vibe, electronica-dub trip-hop band Auditors Domination, and the Balkan-ska-punk band Koza Mostra.

Alex Archontis: Drums
In 2005, he joined Cayetano’s live band and performed all over Greece. Succeeding the tour with Cayetano, he joined the band Emigre as a session musician and he participated in the recordings of three albums. Finally, in September 2011 he met with Ilias Kozas and joined the newly formed band Koza Mostra.

Stelios Siomos: Guitar
He discovered his passion for music at a very young age and he formed his first band James Down playing soul, funk music and participating in local gigs. Further down the road he joined Koza Mostra.

The band have entered Eurovision along with legendary Agathon Iakovidis, a famous Greek singer with years of experience and success. He is devoted to rebetiko music, loyally serving it since 1973, refusing to sing any other, even more popular styles. He is a keen collector of vinyl records of rare rebetiko recordings. In 1977, Iakovidis created the Rebetiko band of Thessaloniki and he released two records.

Alcohol Is Free‘ was written by Stathis Pachidis and band member Ilias Kozas and is released as a digital single on the Platinum Records label. The song contains lyrics telling of the difficulties of finding your way after one too many drinks!

English translation of the lyrics:

Caught in a sea storm on Egnatia street,
Gales are drifting us far from the shore,
Our route might be wrong,
Lights are blinking on and off,
The ship is heading towards Grevena.

In an endless sea of good old whiskey
Castaways are we, not to be found,
The earth is dizzy, it staggers away
Holes in the head and a car that goes round
Who gave it sail and wheel?

Alcohol is free…

Waves are huge, the winds keep on blowing
And the mermaid keeps on asking,
Good woman, Alex had one too many.
Amidst the sea a traffic light,
Perhaps they got whiff of us,
Who put such distance between my house and me?

Chorus (twice)

Caught in a sea storm on Egnatia street
Gales are drifting us too far from the shore
Our route might be wrong
Lights are blinking on and off
The ship is headed towards Grevena.

It’s not the fault of good old whiskey
The ice cubes were spiked
And the ship seems to run on four round wheels!
An alcohol test and a traffic cop
Is of no terror for us
A downhill within the sea begins.

Alcohol is free…

Find out more about Koza Mostra on their official Facebook page here and follow them on Twitter: @KOZAMOSTRA. You can also find their debut album, ‘Keep Up the Rythym’ here on iTunes. The album contains songs in English and Greek and two versions of ‘Alcohol is free‘.

Greece perform in 9th place in the 2nd semi-final on May 16th and currently have odds of 50/1 to win the final.

Interview at the London Eurovision Party by EscKaz:

The official video:

Sources: Wiki, Facebook, Greek Eurovision Promo CD, Esckaz, William Hill Bookies

33 comments on “Greece: Have a Drink with Koza Mostra

  1. Yet another great article; it even features some infos that, tbh, I was not aware of. These guys are genuine musicians; they really got the thing.
    Thank you once again, hulluna.

  2. Thanks for this.The lyrics’ translation is the closest one i’ve seen so far.The guys seem to be very fun and down to earth and Agathonas has a great sense of humor.It’s jus that he’s too straight-forward that makes people react at his comments,at times.I like their music and the mix of genres they showcase in most of their tracks.

    • We got given a beautiful promo packaged CD with lots of info, the lyrics translated and Greek tourist promo cd lol. Really nice, one of the best I’ve seen in the last few years, loved it.

    • “The lyrics’ translation is the closest one i’ve seen so far.”

      Totally agree.

  3. Great guys, full of humour and charm. And their song is in my personal Top 3 this year, a very lively, entertaining and clever song imo. I also really like the lyrics (if the translation on this page is reliable). I can only say: Cheers!

    OffT: If anyone is interested, I have finally written something on my profile page: my favourite song for each year and my top 3 for each country.

  4. there is ”mermaid”in the lyrics :D how do you say that in greek?

  5. Speaking of …mermaids :)
    This is called Η γοργόνα (=mermaid) and it is composed by my all time favourite Greek composer, Manos Loizos.

    For you dear mermaid ;) :)

    Good night and enjoy your weekend, everyone!

  6. It’s still not so much my taste, but I can hear some obvious qualities in it.

    First of all it’s both layered and ambigouos. On the surface it seems like a fun song, but when you dig a bit deeper you’ll find there’s more to it than that. They are mixing humor with seriousness which is undoubtly a good thing. These aspects are indeed characteristic for a lot of great art.

    Still, you have to read the translation above to get that ambiguity, but on the other hand I really like artists singing in their own language.

    Musically I like the energy, but maybe the “Alcohol, alcohol, alcohol is free” prase can be a bit enervating when repeated again and again.

  7. I love when there are stand-out songs that have lyrics about other things than just love love love all the time.

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