Aftermath – Interview
Interview with singer Kyriakos ‘Charlie‘ Tsiolis of Aftermath and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
A: If you don’t know I can’t tell you. Actually, we are thrash band.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
A: I’ll try and condense this; I was born on a cold fall night…. I don’t think you care about that. The band formed in 1985. We were kids. The thrash scene was pretty new at that time and we wanted to be the fastest band in the world. We helped pioneer the crossover thrash scene on our demo Killing the Future. Right after we release that demo we add a second guitarist and we completely transform into a technical/progressive thrash band. Once again, we did that right at the beginning of that sub-genre. We get a demo deal on Roadrunner Records around 1988. That demo gets in the hands of the owner of Big Chief/Warner Bros. and we signed with them. We write and begin recording our debut album called “Eyes of Tomorrow”. This is between 1988 and 1990. The label goes bankrupt. Leaving us with a studio bill to pay. It took four long years. We eventually release our debut on our own label in 1994. That was the worst year in the history of thrash. The scene was totally dead.
In 1996, we sue Dr. Dre for trademark infringement. We get signed to Interscope Records. Decide to end Aftermath and reform as Mother God Moviestar. We release our self-titled album on Interscope in 1998 and break up that same year.
In 2010, we release a box set on a Chinese label called Area Death Productions. In getting that project ready we talked about getting the band back together. That actually happened in 2015 for a festival in Germany. We also re-issued our demos and re-issued our debut Eyes of Tomorrow that year. We decided to write and record a new song, which led to an entire album called “There is Something Wrong”. That was released in 2019.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
A: No real musical influences. I get asked this a lot and I don’t want it to sound like “man no one influenced me…” but no one has as a singer. I wanted to be a guitarist. Ace was my favourite member of Kiss as a kid. Then I heard Van Halen and that changed everything. Eddie Van Halen is my favourite musician ever. He is the greatest guitarist. But, he isn’t an influence. If I was playing guitar, it would be Eddie. But, no single singer has influenced the way I sing. I am more influenced by genres than a specific person.
I can’t name a single person that has influenced me as a person. I respect a lot of different people, but no one has really been such a huge influence in the way I live my life.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
A: From a music standpoint it has changed over the years. When you first get into a band you want to be huge. Now it’s only about making music that I would want to hear as a fan. I have achieved that goal. I’m actually freeing this way. We write and release music we like and are proud of. We aren’t trying to write based on a formula to get a deal or sell records. The goal for the band at this point is to have people love the music and also listen to the message in the lyrics. The last album was a concept record with a message in it. That message is really even more relevant today than last year when we recorded it.
My dream is that the message on the record of where we are headed in the future is completely wrong. I pray I’m wrong, but I fear I’m right.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
A: I write all the lyrics. On this record Steve wrote all the music. Ray our drummer is so amazing that his playing adds so much to the songs that he’s also important to the writing. George our bass player joined the band when the songs were basically done. He has been writing some music that we will be working on for future songs.
The theme of my lyrics have always been about real life. No fantasy lyrics like so many metals bands tend to write about. The songs focused early on being an angry kid living in Chicago. Everyday issues from politics to social issues. The last album was all about the elite, you know the real power that runs the world, the non-elected leaders. The top 1 percent of the 1 percent. And their plan or agenda for the rest of us. It’s a warning and wakeup call. Before it’s too late.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
A: We use social media like every other band in the world. And of course doing interviews with cool sites like this and traditional magazines plus our videos.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
A: Are you saying downloading it illegally or on services that you pay for it. I personally never download anything. I have a huge cd and vinyl collection. I listen to a ton of podcasts – non music generally. If I want to listen to music I use my collection. It has gotten harder since my new car doesn’t have a cd player in it. But, in general I don’t have a problem with downloads. If that’s how people hear your music that’s cool. As long as they hear it right. You know people complain about them stealing the music, it wasn’t like record labels weren’t ripping off the bands anyway.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
A: None really because usually you can’t improve on a great song. I say that as we just released a cover of the Lennon song Give Peace a Chance. We did that track because of the message in the song, we felt it was the perfect answer to the dark subject matter of the last record.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
A: The list is too long to get into. In a way I’m like the Larry David character on Curb Your Enthusiasm.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
A: I think it’s the last record.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
A: We are working on new songs. We just finished a new song called “No Time to Waste”: a perfect title for today. It’s getting mixed as we speak. We are also writing more songs.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
A: Our music is online everywhere here are some links:
Band location – Chicago Illinois
Website – Facebook – You Tube – Soundcloud – Bandcamp – Reverbnation – Twitter –
Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – Google Play – Last Fm
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