None Other - Spyros Charmanis' one-man prog outfit
Disease and rehabilitation inspires one-man Greek prog dynamo’s literary new album.
Many of the most brilliant musical ideas are spawned in isolation. Spyros Charmanis knows this better than most. Despite having a small but passionate audience in his native Greece, he has nurtured his new project None Other alone, producing new music that manages to be both familiar and thrillingly distinctive.
The follow-up to his 2012 solo debut Wound, new album Than The Common Plague is an elaborate concept record
that covers a huge amount of musical ground: from post-Porcupine Tree bombast through to film noir jazz. Based
on Charmanis’ experiences of illness, treatment and rehabilitation, it also comes with a self-written novella that delves deeper into the album’s existential themes. Throw in the fact that he played the vast majority of instruments himself and it seems Charmanis is nothing short of a one-man prog rock dynamo.
“The difference between this record and what I’ve done before is that I wrote the small novel to go along with the music, with the lyrics of the songs as part of the narrative,” he explains. “I’ve never done that before, and that challenge was hugely inspiring and very rewarding. At the time I wasn’t sure I wanted to follow through and write about disease and how someone deals with it, but ideas kept coming – puzzle pieces kept connecting, so to speak – so I figured thatI probably wanted to write about it.”