I think the Koulouri team is some sort of Urban Myth. I know people who claim to have seen them someplace, somewhere, or that they just know some people who know them, or something as complicated as that. And then I would listen to their small daily broadcast on the radio and I would ask myself: who are those people? Then came an interview they gave for another magazine and I would stare at their height and shoes and on my bar hopping nights I would try scouting the sneakers I saw on those pictures. But, seriously, there was no way I could get hold of those people. Then one day, my good friend Fantasmenios, whispered: I know a guy who is a Koulouri. Wow! I had to arrange a photo shoot with them. In my mind, they were scary looking guys, I was almost certain they would turn my offer down, and I could swear they were all over 35 with a bored attitude towards life. But, turns out no, no and no. Instead I got a bunch of guys (a hamburger, a Labrador, a beer and a planet) who were more than happy to pose as the Backstreet Boys, hold hands, play Candy Crush Saga on top of the Stock Market Newspaper and enjoy a good old bourbon lying comfortably on the sofa. Plus, they were kind enough to have me over their mansion, because – you know it – they are young and restless, bold and beautiful. Here is our session, in the Koulouri headquarters, were the guys spend their days in the most meek and humble way they see fit.
A small help for the interview
Jean-Pierre is the Burger. Alquet is the Planet. Gérard is the Labrador and Lafleur is the Beer.
So, first thing’s first. How many people are in your team?
Jean-Pierre: 8 and a great fan.
Are you open to people joining your team?
Jean-Pierre: No, we are a closed group. We accept no one.
Gérard: No one, indeed.
Is there anyone who disagrees with that?
Jean-Pierre: No, it’s just that we have people sending over their texts. If we like them, we upload them.
Have you gotten lots of emails from people, who want to become part of your team?
Gérard: Yes, many.
Lafleur: And we also get lots of CVs.
Mostly by girls or boys?
Alquet: Girls mostly.
Are you cool with giving interviews to other sites or papers?
Jean-Pierre: Sometimes, but we mostly try to leave that part out.
Really? How come we’re doing this then?
Gérard: I was under pressure.
Jean-Pierre: Because you are a friend of Panos Kamenos. No, actually, it’s how we feel lately.
Lafleur: At first, we had done a couple.
Jean-Pierre: But then it got a bit boring. People would ask us the same things and it was just a repetition.
Do you have any stalkers trying to find your true identity? Have you received any extreme behaviour from your fans?
Lafleur: There is an anti-koulouri account on twitter…
It’s just that I have seen this photo shoot you did for Ough magazine.
Gérard: Aha! So you’ve seen an interview we’ve given! Then why do you ask if we give interviews?
It’s the only one I’ve seen.
Lafleur: Yes, we did that one and then I think one more.
Gérard: We also gave an interview to Athens Voice.
Jean-Pierre: And to the newspaper Ta Nea.
Ok, but on that shoot, I had seen your shoes and I was looking all over Athens to find people who were wearing your shoes, just to see who you really are…. So on that interview you said that you had a communist, two Pentecostals and a Jehovah witness amongst you. Is that still the case with your group?
Gérard: The communists are three now.
Alquet: And the Pentecostals.
Gérard: Yes, we managed to persuade him.
Alquet: Tha Jehovah witness isn’t here with us now. He went to a Conference.
Gérard: No, Sundays are mostly house visit days.
Is he the only one to whom they answered the door?
Gérard: You’ve done your homework.
Okay, for today we initially discussed the possibility of you wearing masks of famous people, but then we turned that down, so we won’t get into trouble. If you could wear those masks, who would you be?
Gérard: I would wear a mask with your face on it. No, really.
Alquet: He is hitting on you.
Gérard: Wolowitz style.
Jean-Pierre: This is the sickest thing I have ever heard. But aside from jokes, we really thought about doing a shoot where everyone would be wearing your face.
Alquet: I would have an Aris Dimokides mask on. Or maybe Pretenderis.
Jean-Pierre: Yes, the initial concept was to be lame and disgusting famous people, like Pretenderis.
Yes, but he is already taken by Alquet.
Jean-Pierre: I know, I would be Kapsis.
Lafleur: I would go with Konstandopoulou… Movember syle. Either Stratoulis or Konstandopoulou. Or someone like Gletsos.
Overall, the fact that you are the team of Koulouri becomes the final card you draw when meeting or flirting with girls? Something like: if all else fails, you pull a Koulouri?
Alquet: No, it’s the first.
Gérard: And if that doesn’t work out, we step away.
Jean-Pierre: The crappy thing is that we are under a lot of pressure, I won’t say by whom, to stop saying we belong to the Koulouri team at all times.
Do you make any money with the ads you have on your site? Is the fact that you’re anonymous becoming an obstacle when it comes to advertising agencies? Can you make a living out of this?
Lafleur: Yeah right.
But, I mean, you have received so much publicity, that perhaps you could do such a thing.
Jean-Pierre: For every member of our team to be able to live on Koulouri, that’s impossible. Maybe we could make enough money to buy MEGA Channel.
Speaking of TV, how come you don’t have any videos on your site? Maybe you could direct something funny?
Jean-Pierre: It’s in our future plans.
Alquet: Like everything. But after a couple of weeks we completely forget we ever thought about it.
If you had to mention imatiothiki on your website, what sort of trolling would you do?
Jean-Pierre: We already trolled imatiothiki. By doing this photo shoot.
Gérard: okay, imatiothiki is not that famous, so we can’t do a story on it. We do it for the likes and the clicks!
Okay, so you get the likes and the clicks. What do you do with them? Since you earn no money…?
Alquet: No, but that’s a good question. We have to think of something. Look, we could say you interviewed someone… someone like Miltiades Barbitsiotis and we could do a story on how you photographed his apartment, which isn’t really an apartment, since he lives in a trailer park somewhere.
Have you ever deleted a story from your web site?
Gérard: Yes, damnit.
Alquet: We really didn’t want to delete it.
Lafleur: Because the guy had kids, when we did the story on him.
Alquet: It was posted I think the first month we were online. It was a story on a football coach that committed suicide.
Lafleur: But first he ran naked on the streets.
Alquet: And then all the fans became so angry, they started sending threatening messages.
Jean-Pierre: They were threatening to kill us and things like that.
Gérard: Haha, and another Koulouri, who is not here as we speak, was so scared, he even deleted it from the drafts in the website’s admin section, because he thought people would hack our web page and find who we really are.
Who erased it?
Alquet: The Jehovah witness. He is afraid for the safety of his family.
Does he have kids?
Lafleur: What if he had kids?
Alquet: He could have kids.
Do you guys receive a lot of hate mail?
Alquet: Yesterday a guy sent us a message saying he wants to unload a gun magazine on our heads. Oh and another said that if we have the guts…
Jean-Pierre: If we have the guts and we are men enough, we should go to the central square of Tsepelovo village and get things straight with the guys over there.
Why did they say that? Was that after a story you published?
Gérard: Yes, that came after the shocking news we revealed to our readers, that there is this tribe living in the mountains of Pindos that lives exclusively on mother’s milk.
Lafleur: They have also called us sexists.
Alquet: Also, there was this week, that was our best week ever, that everyone would be mad at us. The right wing fans of Golden Dawn and the left wing fans of the Communist Party.
Lafleur: Yes, the Communist party has threatened us.
Alquet: they put an announcement on a website.
Lafleur: That we should not write about them.
Gérard: Yes, and the story they published had a photo of Goebbels underneath. Propaganda in your face, in other words, with swastikas and things like that. And at the same time the Golden Dawn people were also threatening us.
Alquet: And we get a lot of bad comments and angry emails from Panathinaikos fans.
Lafleur: But now we know who they are, because it’s the same people over and over again.
From the stories you’ve shared on the Koulouri web page, which is the most famous?
Alquet: The Plaisio story.
Lafleur: The Plaisio story and the one we did that got on the Ant1 Channel news.
Gérard: The Plaisio story. Have you read it? It even became a chain mail.
Jean-Pierre: Months afterwards, a guy overheard some old ladies on a bus talking about the Plaisio story.
Do your families know that you have are in the Koulouri team? Have you come out of the closet already?
Jean-Pierre: Yes, and they are proud.
Lafleur: I am still in the closet.
What does the Koulouri future hold?
Alquet: We will buy MEGA Channel.
Lafleur: And SKAI TV.
Gérard: No no guys. Let’s not overcome ourselves by buying both.
Jean-Pierre: Here’s to hoping SKAI TV shuts down.
A few comments on the things pictured and said above:
Alquet was really comfortable with the camera. I think he flirted with the camera at some point. Then he found the statue. He started flirting with the statue. / Lafleur is a very hard name to remember. And he smoked a lot during the shoot. So, I call him ‘the man who smokes’. When he joins an Indian tribe, he will already have a name of his own. / Jean-Pierre is the person who did all the talking and arrangements for this shoot. So he is either the president of Koulouri or the go-to boy. / Gérard is blue blooded for sure. I have never seen a guy lie on a sofa so gracefully. He also couldn’t tie his tie. Lafleur stepped in and helped him. But that’s only because he is pure royalty and he won’t do anything on his own. / If anyone needs the pictures without the burgers, planets, Labradors or beers and is willing to pay the price – literally pay the price – you always know where to find me.