XOAN by Nefeli Papaioannou
New Music

10 things that inspired XOAN’s refreshing rock album “Greenhorn”

XOAN by Nefeli Papaioannou
Fresh off the release of their quality debut album “Greenhorm”, Greek alt rockers XOAN (featured HERE and HERE) are back with a special Top Inspirations List of things that inspired their newest work.

XOAN is a four-piece band formed in 2017 in Athens. Keeping the sound of the late-90’s and early-00’s as their main connection point, xoan craft songs with catchy hooks and melodic heavy riffing. After a period of pre-production, rehearsals and gigs all around Athens, in the spring of 2018 they hit the studio with prominent producer Alex Bolpasis to create their debut record. The result was “Greenhorn”, a coming of age record that refuses to come of age. Greenhorn consists of 8 vibrant tracks, filled with vulnerable yet visceral tunefulness that is meant to serve as a coping mechanism in the constant struggle of trying to pull yourself together. Their first single called “Dirt” premiered in July 2019 and shortly after they were selected to perform in the 2nd Music Showcase Greece festival in Thessaloniki. Their full debut album “Greenhorn” was released on May 29th. It’s available now on a beautiful yellow cassette tape via Bitter Tea Records.

𝑇𝑜𝑝 𝐼𝑛𝑠𝑝𝑖𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠 𝑓𝑜𝑟 “𝐺𝑟𝑒𝑒𝑛ℎ𝑜𝑟𝑛”

Late 90’s Early 00’s MTV

Way before MTV was head deep into cringy reality shows, it used to have shows dedicated to alternative music (like Fuse) as well as music videos of what used to be mainstream back then. For some reason we could watch a version of it on the basic TV channels in Greece and all of us used to kick back and watch music videos after school, so I guess it’s one of the first influences. And yes, we were kind of watching the Osbournes sometimes. Ok, we were watching Jackass too.

El Cabanyal (VLC)

El Cabanyal (VLC)

The first, rough versions of some of the songs on “Greenhorn” were written when John was living and working in Valencia, Spain and more specifically in Cabanyal, a fisherman neighborhood near the beach. Almost 20 years ago, the locals there prevented the plans for the gentrification and commercialization of the area by protesting against them. This resulted in an ongoing fight between the residents and the conservative local government, who was planning to demolish 1.500 houses. The plan was dropped around 2015 and since then Cabanyal has been a symbol of resistance.

That old meme with the Balkan triangle and the Bermuda triangle

Pretty self-explanatory. We think it’s hilariously sad and also true.

Triangle Meme


Definitely not talking about the famous ones. There are smaller islands that are equally or more beautiful than the classic touristic destinations, except with less people and with a way better quality of life. Free camping is still a thing in some of them, and there’s no better place or time to be creative and play music than in your makeshift beach house.

Tom Robbins

We think his whole worldview is light years ahead of his time and his books have been a major inspiration for the record.

The “You get paid in experience for your CV” bullshit.

This is something that, at least in our country, is sort of the norm nowadays. In any work field, employers tend to underpay young people who are desperate for a job. In many cases instead of paying them, they claim that the experience they get is all that matters so they give a fancier name to their job, calling it an “internship”. Sadly, what most young people don’t get is that spending at least 10 soul crushing hours in an office each day, not getting paid extra for your overtime and putting up with whatever bullshit your boss unloads on you each day is neither work nor internship. It’s exploitation.

Athens Scene

All of us have been involved in the music things of the city since we were very young. Since the scene is not that huge, over the years we got to meet, play and become friends with some of the people that make the scene up. We are extremely happy to be able to consider these people fellow travelers in this journey and honored to be growing alongside them.
Here’s a playlist with some of our local top picks, 3 hours of many different genres of music, sorted in a way that (kind of) makes sense:

Warehouse Studios – Stefanos Zakopoulos

Our friend Stef runs the studio where we normally play. Don’t know what we would do without him taking such good care of us.

Warehouse Studios - Stefanos Zakopoulos

Freddo Espresso

Although theoretically the typical coffee beverage of Greece is frappé, we are big fans of the good old Freddo Espresso, which is equally popular in Greece. Freddo Espresso is literally just a double espresso which is blended with ice cubes and served over ice. Especially in the summer, it is our go to source of energy and the best thing you can drink when you are in need of a caffeine boost.

Josh Scott from JHS Pedals

We don’t know him personally but we are obsessed with his videos on YouTube. Although he owns one of the most high-end guitar pedal companies in the world, he is so selfless and true that, if he actually likes a pedal from another company, he’s not afraid to say it and even recommend it and that includes budget companies like Behringer etc. This guy has helped us find our tone and not bust our banks.

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10 things that inspired XOAN’s refreshing rock album “Greenhorn”
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