Aftermath is an excellent 80ís thrash band that recently got back
together with the original line up and recently released a brand-new concept
album. Here is an interview I did recently with singer Kyriakos ďCharlieĒ
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
Charlie: I was born in Greece and then within 11 months of my birth, we
moved to Chicago. I grew up and still live here.
What sort of kid were you growing up? Was your family a big family?
I donít know what to say or how to answer this. I was a kid that never
took shit from anyone. I remember hating school, going to sleep early, being
told what to do Ė the list goes on and on. I got into a lot of fights when I was
young Ė usually defending someone else. There was this kid named Freddy in grade
school that was the school bully. He said something to me one day in class, I
got so angry, I just punched him in the chest as hard as I could Ė he fell off
his chair. He never tried that shit with me again. We actually became friends
after that. I remember driving my parents crazy. I was always in some kind of
trouble. At the age of 10 we derailed a train one time that was probably the
worst thing I did. The stories can go on for days. But I also discovered music
pretty early and knew what I wanted to do at a young age.
My immediate family was my parents and my brother. Almost all my uncles and
aunts and first cousins live in Greece. I have an uncle and two first cousins
who live in New York City.
So were you big time into music say in your teenage years and if so,
what bands did you get into?
Yeah big time into music is putting it mildly. I was obsessed, it was
like nothing else matters and it started with Kiss at the ripe ole age of 7. The
teen years were even more intense and the music I got into kept getting heavier
and heavier. By the mid-80s I went completely underground and hated anything
that was mainstream. Like I said Kiss got the ball rolling, but then I
discovered Van Halen. In the early 80s it was the NWOBHM, MotŲrhead etc.
Was there a healthy metal scene in Chicago? What stores stocked metal
Chicago had a great metal scene back then. There were so many great
bands playing their own style. None of us sounded the same. That made our scene
unique - there was no CHICAGO sound.
We had great independent record stores. My favorite is still around - Rolling
Stone was a great record store. Glad itís still around. Hopefully it wonít fall
victim to what has happened to so many others.
So, when did you get the itch to join or to form a band?
I ďgot the itchĒ at around 7 years old. Like I said it all started with
Kiss. Most kids that got into Kiss wanted to become rock stars. When I got a
little older, it wasnít about being a rock star. I wanted to be in a band not
just hey I want to be famous. It was about being part of a great band. When I
got into heavier bands, I went from wanting to be a guitarist to being a
vocalist. I didnít have the patience be a guitarist.
So, did you ever take any singing lessons?
No, never took lessons.
How would you rate yourself as a singer and who are your favorite
This is a very unique question. For me, my vocals and lyrics are like
my hand, a tool to spread the truth. I never thought of rating it from a singing
point of view. So rating my own voice is hard to do, especially when I donít
view it on a rating system. Freddie Mercury (Queen) is the greatest but Iíd
never want to have sing like him. Freddie is a favorite as is Tom Araya. DLR is
up there because of his tone and phrasing. (I assume he means David Lee Roth
from Van Halen-cf).
So, was there chemistry early on with some or all of the band members
and what were the early practices like?
There was chemistry day one with Steve, Ray and me. The same chemistry
we have today among the three of us. It felt totally natural for us from the
first rehearsal. Our first bass player Adam was a skinhead. He had the look and
played that way also. What I mean is he had the punk vibe and playing ability.
Therefore, in the early days he fit in because our style was way more basic Ė we
started out as a crossover band and the four of us worked well together.
Rehearsals were a party back then, we usually rehearsed only once a week. There
was a lot of drinking and smoking weed and really loud music. As the band
progressed, we added John Lovette first on bass, then on as a guitarist. He
wasnít a bass player, but we thought he was. Thatís a different story for later.
We have gone through a lot of bass players. Chris Waldron played in the band
longest and played bass on the Eyes of Tomorrow record. We added George Lagis on
bass, and he is on the new record. We went back to a four-piece on this record
and the vibe today as a four-piece is great. Like the old days. Less of a party
at rehearsal this time around. But still smoking.
So how early on did the band start to write original songs and what do
you remember about this time period?
We started out writing our own songs. At first, Steve and I wrote our
earliest material on my old acoustic guitar. Those songs came easy. All I
remember is that we wanted to write the fastest songs ever. Our entire goal was
to be faster than any other band. But we still wanted it to be comprehensible.
The early material was really catchy and straightforward compared to what we
started writing later on.
We would write the song and play it for Ray at rehearsal. He added the drums; he
is such a great drummer and a great writer. I call him a writer because his
beats are so important to the sound of the band.
So, to backtrack a bit, how did you discover the whole underground scene
and back then was there many stores that stocked underground metal? How about
clubs, did most touring bands play Chicago back then?
Back then, it all started with Venom. I remember hearing Venom and
thinking what the fuck is this? Word of mouth was the key. Then tape trading was
the rage. Zines were important in getting the word out. We had some great record
stores back in the day. We also had a few really cool clubs that supported
underground bands. The scene was amazing - new and totally creative. Chicago is
a huge metal market - every band toured here. Those early days were the best.
So then, the band was familiar with the whole fanzine and tape trading
thing. How soon in did you as a band decide to go in the studio to do a demo?
We were really into zines and tape trading even before the band formed.
In a way, zines and trading made bands want to record a demo because we felt
that we could get it out to the fans. Without the zines and traders there would
be way fewer bands recording demos because what would be the point if no one
would hear them. Demos were made to get record deals before the thrash scene.
With the birth of the thrash demos became important beyond a way for a label to
hear your music. Instead, demos could reach thousands of fans just like a real
So, we wanted to record right away, which we wouldnít have done if it wasnít for
the zines and traders. We formed on October 31, 1985 and recorded our first demo
in 1986. It was a simple four song live recording - like if it was recorded in
1960s. It was a great first experience in the studio and aggravating at the same
time. We wanted to sound pro, but it didnít come out the way we wanted it to. I
think we only made 100 copies and never really sent it out back then. In 1987,
we recorded Killing the Future at Solid Sound Studios on 24 tracks and got the
sound we wanted. The production sounded like a real record not just a demo.
The scene was so big that demos allowed the band to get fans around the world.
All because people like you Chris that supported bands with zines not to make
money, but to share great music. (you got that right-Chris).
Thank you. Now moving past the 1st demo then, your 2nd demo, what were
the reviews like back then and what were the live shows like for the band?
When we wrote Killing, we wanted to be the fastest band ever. I think
we achieved our goal on it. The response was instant. People loved it from the
beginning. Two tracks were selected by Bernardo Doe at Metal Forces to be
included on their compilation ďScream Your Brains OutĒ. That was their first and
only comp. It was so cool to be picked to be one of only 5 bands from all over
the world. Think about it, MF was huge at that time and they got thousands of
demos to pick from and they pick two tracks from Killing - that really says
something about how good that demo was. Other major zines at the time raved
about it also. The buzz it created led to some label offers as well. The live
shows were intense. The music was meant to get the crowd going and for the pits
to be extreme. The energy from the shows was amazing. The pits were violent.
I remember that comp release. Now did that lead to record interest at
The comp led to a lot of attention from fans and labels. We got a lot
of offers around that comp and demo release. We turned down all of them. When
you are that young and get an offer you either jump at the first one or reject
them waiting for the better deal. We decided to wait.
How long did it take to gather material for the ďWords That Echo FearĒ
demo? What was the morale of the band like then?
After we recorded Killing, we added John Lovette. We were changing as a
band around that time and Johnís writing was completely different from Killing.
He had these amazing heavy riffs. He was dark and technical as a writer. The
Words demo was a reflection of the changing style because of Johnís writing, but
also because we all wanted to slow it down and write slower, darker and heavier
songs. The crossover material was gone.
We had a lot of material for the Words demo, selecting the four songs was the
hard part. We were excited at that time about the songs we were writing. In the
studio, we were blown away when those songs were being played back over the
studio speakers. The middle section of Words that Echo Fear sounded epic. We
couldnít wait to release that demo.
We were on the forefront of the technical/progressive thrash sound with that
Was the plan back then to spread this demo through the underground and
get a record deal or did you still wish to wait before doing that?
The plan was to release the demo to the underground and build the buzz
that would lead to the right record deal. We had lots of offers like I said
during the Killing days and we were still getting offers and interest while
recording Words. We felt that Words would get the right deal on the right label.
But we didnít shop it to labels right away, we let the underground buzz grow.
Then the labels noticed.
Before we go any further, please tell the story of how band member John
Lovette joined as itís kinda funny.
You canít write this kind of stuff because no one would believe it. We
got rid of Adam after Killing. The band was writing more complicated material
and Adam couldnít keep up. So, we started a search for a bass player. We got the
word out and a few dudes came by to tryout. A friend of Steveís brought John
down to the basement. John plugs in and it was nuts. He was the fastest bass
player ever. He played the bass like a guitar. I mean I never heard anyone play
like that before.
So, we got the perfect technical bass player at least we thought we did. Our new
bass player John Lazette. A few months went by and John said guys Iím moving to
California. We were shocked. At this point, we were a four-piece. Looking for a
second guitarist. John knew we were looking to make the band a five-piece. He
never said anything about being a guitar player during this search. I mean he
never mentioned it. Instead, he says Iím moving. During that meeting, he said he
was a guitarist and since we were looking for a second guitarist, it was time
for him to leave. We flipped out. We said, dude what the fuck are you saying?
You are really a guitar player and you have been playing bass never saying
anything about not being a bass player?
He said when we were looking for a bass player, he wanted to be in the band, so
he never said anything after he got the gig. We were blown away by this, I think
anyone would be. The guy knew we wanted a guitarist and never bothered to say
hey Iíll switch to what I really play. It explained why he played the bass the
way he did. He played it like he was playing guitar. All technical no feel or
groove. We said John play guitar and we can find a new bass player. He said cool
Iíll stay and by the way, my last name is Lovette not Lazette. So, about a year
into the band we find out our bass player John Lazette was really a guitar
player named John Lovette. Is that crazy?
Big time. Now you signed onto Roadracer who approached you for a demo
deal that resulted in a live 4 track demo. Tell me a bit about all this.
We got a demo deal with Roadrunner. We went into a studio to record the
demo quickly. That demo unlike the others was meant only for the label. That
deal didnít work out. Not really sure what happened with that, but someone at
Roadrunner gave the demo to the owner of Big Chief Records. He loved it and
offered the band a deal. Which we signed.
Did they give you a budget? How many records was the deal for?
Big Chief was a new label that had major label distribution through WEA
- Warners/ Elektra and Atlantic. The owner of the label was a rich kid whose dad
was financing the label. I think his dad was a NY real estate developer. We got
a two-album deal if I remember correctly. The budget to record was like $10k.
Which wasnít bad for an indie label back then. The major label distribution is
what sold us on the deal. We thought with a new label and WEA distribution that
this was the right deal to sign.
Then all the problems began, and the label eventually folded while you
were still recording it. It took 4 years to see the light of day am I correct?
Why didnít some other indie label pick you up?
Yeah, we start recording the record and we were half way done with it
or something like that. The studio had received something like 25 to 50 percent
of the cost by that point. Then we hear the label went bankrupt. What really
happened is that the owner was overspending, and his father decided to pull the
plug. He wasnít overspending on the bands - more like the office and shit like
that. So, we are now stuck without any money and we need to convince the studio
to let us finish the record. They go along with us finishing the album but
refused to give us the masters until they were totally paid. It was like 5k we
still owed. Doesnít seem like it was a lot of money now, but it was for us back
then. It took years to pay it off.
We never shopped it to any label. We decided that we would control it. We waited
for years for the right deal and it was gone. We felt like fuck labels - we will
release it on our own on our own terms. We did a pressing and distribution deal
after the first pressing with Feedback Distribution and their in-house label
Thermometer Sound Source to get it in stores. They also went bankrupt. We have
reissued that record with Black Lotus Records in Greece in 1998. Area Death
Productions in China as part of the 25 Years of Chaos box set in 2010. Shadow
Kingdom Records in 2015 reissued it on CD in partnership with Zoid Entertainment
(our label). Itís my favorite version - remastered by Pail Logus and with an
expanded booklet and we added the logo to the cover not block letters. Itís
great. I think itís the most reissued record in the history of music.
Before we go further what is the whole issue with you guys and
Interscope Records and Dr. Dre over the ownership of the name at the time?
Itís a story I hate talking about because it still gets me angry. But I
know itís part of the bandís history and that it is unique. To understand the
story and timeline I need to start in the beginning, I guess. We decided to a
get a state and federal trademark for the name Aftermath. Back then, no one did
that. Bands didnít bother getting trademarks or didnít have the money to do it.
Our lawyer at the time suggested we trademark it. It cost something like a grand
to get it done. I remember thinking this was worth the money to protect us. Man,
I was wrong. We got it sometime in the late 1980s. In 1996, I get a call from a
lawyer named Pete Paterno. He said he wanted to license the name for his client
a small R&B label. The story made no sense right from the start.
Paterno was Metallica and GnRís (Guns n Roses-Chris) lawyer. He had no small
clients. He lied. His client was Dr. Dre and the small label was Aftermath
Entertainment. We told him we werenít interested in granting a license. We
uncovered the truth about who his client was and decided to sue them for a TRO
and permanent injunction. We figure the law would protect us. We have a damn
trademark that we paid for just for this reason we figured it was a guaranteed.
The hearing lasted 3 days and the judge decided to not grant the injunction. He
said we could go to trial. The trial required we post a bond that we couldnít
afford and legal bills we couldnít pay. Instead, my brother worked out a deal.
We wouldnít continue with the lawsuit (which we convinced them we would) and
Interscope would give us a record deal. They thought we wanted a deal to release
an Aftermath record. Instead, we gave them a record under the name Mother God
Moviestar. They freaked when they got it. They didnít understand why we didnít
record a follow up to Eyes of Tomorrow. They couldnít comprehend we did it on
That case made me feel that the judges and the system are rigged. There was no
way we should have lost that injunction. What the fuck is a trademark worth if
it doesnít protect you? Itís bullshit. That case is taught in law schools and
they agree with us.
Yes, that sucks. So, you finally released your album, Eyes of TomorrowĒ
on Zoid Recording. Now the thrash scene had changed by 1994. Gone was the speed
and intensity of most thrash bands, replaced with groove and much more
commercial oriented music. So how was your release received back then?
Chris, this question sums up part of the problem with the date of the
release. Not only was thrash changing, but it was dead also in a way. Some bands
released great records, but the golden era was gone by 1994. Some blame grunge,
thatís part of the problem and the other part has nothing to do with grunge but
with what you said. A lot of the bands had written their great records years
before that and by 94, they were losing what made them great. The other problem
was that we wrote a record between 1988 and 1990 that was a trailblazing
technical/progressive thrash record and by the time it was released other bands
had put out technical thrash records. What I am saying is that instead of it
being considered by some as a pioneering record, some have compared us to
Coroner or other bands. When in reality we werenít influenced by any of them.
So, were sales of your release any good? How about reviews and live
The sales of Eyes of Tomorrow were good considering when it was
released and how it was released. We put it out on our own initially with no
radio promotion or marketing behind it. We didnít even have a tour to support
the release. It was all based on word of mouth and the bandís fan base that we
had established. When we partnered with Feedback to distribute the record, we
got it in stores and some marketing through them. But, nothing like you would
want for a debut. It kept on selling with the reissue on Black Lotus in 1998.
The reissue in 2015 was a limited run on Shadow Kingdom for CDs - I think that
pressing sold out. We still sell a good number through downloads on Apple Music,
That record would have done really well if it came out in 1989 with real label
support and a tour behind it. The reason it has continued to sell is because the
writers have praised it from the beginning. It is so cool to see it on top ten
lists despite the limited copies that are out there.
How was the morale of the band during this time period and did anyone
leave or did you keep the same line-up?
You know I think we were pissed more than anything. The whole thing
sucked. We get this deal that we thought was the one that would be the right
fit. A label that loved the band with real distribution and out of nowhere they
are gone. Taking four years to pay off the studio caused some stress. But we all
knew the record was great and we needed to get it released. So that kept us
going. The five of us that recorded the record Eyes were around until after the
release. We broke up in 1996, so we stuck it out.
So now before you broke you did a demo in 96. What was the musical style
on it, and did you get any label interest from it?
After we released Eyes, we record that four-song demo in 96, but never
shopped it. We cranked it out quickly. The music was extremely progressive &
somewhat technical even beyond Eyes. After all, it was 8 years after we started
writing the Eyes record, so the songs on the 96 demo naturally were different.
This band went from a crossover band to a technical/progressive one pretty
quickly when you think about it. It wouldnít be like us to repeat the Eyes
record. We never shopped it because the whole Dr. Dre lawsuit came at that time
and we never got around to shopping it.
So now, we come to the name change. How did you come up with it and for
those who donít know what style of music was it?
Like I said earlier the deal was for Aftermath on Interscope, but we
gave them a Mother God Moviestar record. The name was long and completely
different and a name no one would ever use. I was sick of the confusion with the
name Aftermath. There have been a lot of bands that tried to use Aftermath as a
band name. Even today, you see new bands using it all over the world, most are
metal. I don't fucking get it; don't they use Google? Why the fuck would you
want to start out using someone else's name. So, Mother God Moviestar I was sure
no one would ever use it, because I made it up.
I gave it a meaning - like a hidden message - Chris you need to figure it out.
The music was heavy but not thrash. It was progressive and different from
anything we did before. We added a girl to for backing vocals a dj and we
remixed our own songs on the same record. It was a combination of electronica
and metal - that would be the best description.
How was this release received? You were around with that band for 3
years what led to the breakup of that band?
We wrote this really out there record. It really didnít fit into any
genre or category really. But we wrote a record we wanted to write and made a
major label release it. Ultimate creative control - how many bands can say that
with major labels? We did one tour with the Genitorturers. Not the greatest
match from a style perspective, but it was like 25 cities which was a great
experience. We shot our first video ever - for a track called Subway. That was
cool also. After we got home from the tour, we all kinda felt that it was time
to end it. We werenít going to write another MGMS record and we werenít about to
reform Aftermath. The time was right to end it.
So, what did you do after the band ended?
A few years went by where I did nothing in music except for the Black
Lotus Records reissue of Eyes in 1998. Then in early 2000 or so, John Lovette
was working at Guitar Center with this dude Kevin Cherrello. They wanted to form
a band and wanted me to sing. I wasnít into doing it. But I went by to check out
what they were playing. The music was nothing like Aftermath or MGMS. Kevin had
written all these songs that were super catchy way more commercial or accessible
than anything I had ever been involved in. But it was great. Kevin and I shared
vocal duties. He wasnít a metal fan, which made the music standout from other
bands. The first 3 song demo led to a ton of major label interest. Matt Walker
from the Smashing Pumpkins, Filter and Garbage played drums on it. Those three
tracks were great. We later recorded another bunch of songs. At that point, Joe
Nunez (Soulfly) was playing drums in the band. We almost got signed by Matt
Pinfield to Columbia. Bad timing I guess because Matt was let go by the label
before we could sign the deal. Eventually, we released a vinyl on Floga Records.
The band was called Stripping the Pistol.
So, is that band still around?
No, itís not. We do have a Facebook page and itís kinda wild how many
requests we get for a reunion.
So, tell me how Aftermath got back together and how many are from the
In 2010, we released 25 Years of Chaos a box set on Area Death
Production (China). As part of the release, we spent a ton of time putting
together the DVD. We also did an interview on the DVD. We talked about getting
back together at that time, but we hadnít talked to Steve in years. Four years
go by and we got an offer to play Headbangers Open Air in Germany and one to do
Ragnorakorr in Chicago. We were reissuing Killing the Future on Divebomb and
Eyes of Tomorrow on Shadow Kingdom at that time. While working on Killing, I
finally listened to that demo for the first time since it came out basically. I
fell in love with those songs. The offers to play those fests were cool and
especially with the 2 reissues that were coming out. I talked about it with my
brother Peter who manages us, and we thought it would be the perfect time to get
back together to do the shows, release the records and have some fun. No
pressure. We werenít thinking about writing a new album, it was a chance to play
a gig in Germany. What a way to spend a weekend right?
We knew John would say yes. We called Ray and he was in. We got a hold of Steve
and he said yes - we werenít sure what he would say. But he was excited about
it. Chris Waldron who played bass on Eyes wasnít into playing music. So, we
figured we should call Adam - our first bass player. He played on Killing and we
planned on playing those songs for the first time since 1987. He was in. We got
back together as a five-piece. The original four members and John Lovette who
joined the band after Killing but was on the Words demo and Eyes record.
We rehearsed for several weeks and realized Adam couldnít do the Eyes material.
We needed someone that could play all the material. We brought in Eric Alvarez
on bass. And we did our first reunion show. But before Germany, John had some
personal issues and left the band. We went to Germany as a four-piece. It felt
great being a four-piece again like in the beginning plus as a four-piece we had
a different vibe live. We decided to write one new track. It felt so natural, we
Eric moved to Vegas and wanted to stay in the band. He wanted to be on the
record, but that couldnít work. We added George Lagis on bass. He is on the new
record. Itís a great fit and he does backup vocals along with Steve. We never
had backup vocals like this before it adds a different dimension.
We have returned to the original lineup from 1985. The three of us Steve, Ray
and I started Aftermath on October 31, 1985. We are all back and we added George
on bass. So, the record has the 3 original members on it with a bass player
change. We have joked over the years that we are like Spinal Tap we go through
bass players like they went through drummers.
What was it like playing Germany?
Playing Germany was special in a few ways. It was our first show in
Europe, which makes it special. But what makes it even better was that it got
the band back together. We played our first gig in Europe in 2015 - we formed
1985 and broke up in 1996. So, playing in Germany in 2015 is crazy. The gig
itself was great. Having fans wearing Aftermath T-shirtís from our demo days was
so cool. They waited for 25 years to wear those shirts to a gig.
The location of the fest and the promoter and crew were all great also. We look
forward to going back.
Did you meet many fans or bands that you wrote to back in the 80ís?
Yeah, we met fans at the fest that waited over 20 years to see us play
live. There was also a meet and greet that we did as well and, on that topic, I
feel bands especially the major bands - they should always be free after all
itís the fans that made them rich.
We hung with some of the bands that started out when we did, and we even did a
after party gig the next day.
Does it amaze you all these re-issues on your material over the years?
It really does amazes me how many reissues there have been over the
years. Like I said earlier Eyes of Tomorrow must be the most reissued album of
all time. It was released in 1994 reissued in 1995, 1998 and 2015. It was also
included in the ď25 Years of ChaosĒ box set in 2010. Truly amazing. Killing the
Future has been reissued on Cd, tape and vinyl as well. It says a lot about that
old material and what it meant to a group of people. As a matter of fact, there
are more requests, we just got word from another label for tape reissues for the
KTF & Words ... demos.
So now what gave you the itch so to speak to write new material? How
hard was it coming up with new songs? How would you compare the new material
with the old material?
The ďitchĒ really started when we decided to write one new song. We
said letís write a few more for an EP. Then we figure screw the EP we might as
well do a record. The writing process went smoothly for the songs. The hardest
part was working the intro, interludes and outro for the record. Itís a concept
record and like any concept record you need to tie the songs together. Thatís
what all the extra stuff on the record does. I did it all on my iPhone. Trying
to figure out what those extra parts were that would end up on the record was
harder than the actual songs. As far as the songs go, we wanted to mix the
Killing crossover material or style with the technical progressive style of Eyes
on this record. Itís different from the previous material because we never
merged the styles before. Eyes had no crossover songs and killing wasnít
technical. This record has both, which I think is the first record to ever do
Itís combining the 2 eras to produce the 3rd and we even have a new logo doing
the same we didnít add it to album cover but are using it elsewhere. The music
needed to have anger, rage and aggression ala the KTF demo. The message/concept
is of crucial importance itís the be all end all of topics. It explains and
gives solutions to the freeing of humanity.
How was it going into the studio as Aftermath after so many years away
It was different and yet the same. If that makes any sense? We recorded
the MGMS record at the Chicago Recording Company - a huge studio with the walls
filled with Platinum plaques due to the huge selling albums that were recorded
there. We thought about going there because we wanted to work with Jeff Lane who
we worked with before. But we decided to work with Chuck Macak. Way more laid
back and his studio is at his house. It was great working there. It felt natural.
Working with the guys this time felt like the other times we recorded. Ray
finished all his drum parts in a day. Then we tracked the guitars and bass and
finally the vocals.
Now obviously the scene has changed, some for the better, some for the
worse. Now when your new record was done did you want to release it yourselves
or on a label?
The scene has evolved from tape trading and paper fanzines to streaming
and websites and other social media, but that concept is the same. Itís an
underground movement just in a modern way. It is so much easier to get your
music out there today, but there are way more bands today doing it. Back in the
day, you needed to go to a studio to record a great demo or album. Today you can
do that in a basement. You can record a song tonight and have it exposed to the
masses tomorrow. That wasnít possible back in the day. The scene from a music
standpoint is different because we were creating a new genre back then. It was
the beginning of a scene and style of music. Today, bands playing extreme music
are derivative from the bands from the 1980s. The music is more extreme in some
cases, but itís part of a genre that was created in the early 80s. There are a
ton of sub -genres today that all go back to death or thrash metal. Itís cool to
see the scene is strong again with kids playing thrash metal. It was dying in
the 1990s and early 2000s with all the Nu Metal bands and now itís back.
When we decided to record the new album, we did it to please us first. We could
have played it safe and released a follow up to Eyes of Tomorrow with 10 pure
technical thrash songs. Instead, we wrote a record that isnít a conventional
follow up. It blends two totally different styles into a complex record. An
album that people will either love or hate. There is no middle ground on this
record. We knew that going in. We knew we were going to release the album on
Zoid Entertainment - our label and management company. We werenít looking to get
a record deal. We wanted to control the process. We looked briefly for a
distribution deal for the release. In the USA we decided to work with INgrooves
and The Label Group for the world-wide digital release. We are selling the CD on
our website and are finalizing the distribution to stores and online retailers
now. In Europe, we partnered with Sleaszy Rider Records to release the CD and
vinyl in Europe. The CD was just released in Europe on March 15th. The world-wide
digital release was on February 15th. The vinyl in Europe will be in stores soon.
(so go get your copy-chris)
Since it is on your label, how do you plan on promoting it? Any possible
Actually, we are promoting it like any label would. We have our radio
promotion team, our video promoter and our publicists - we have one in the US
and one in Europe. The plan was to release it and promote it like any label
would. The one difference is that we will promote for longer than any other
label would. What I mean is we will continue to promote beyond the average label
cycle. We have released two lyric videos and one performance vid so far. We have
two more lyric videos coming. This wouldn't be possible on any other label at
this level. For a band that hasn't released a record in 25 years, put aside the
reissues, we need to make this a slow buildup. It's not like we are the band
Overkill, who are releasing our 19th record. What I mean a band with that many
records and such a long career with a loyal following will get way more exposure
on a new release right out of the gate. All the stations know them, and all the
writers will review it. We need to introduce the band to them like it is a brand-new
band - to many of them. We would like to play the festivals. A tour would have
to be with the right bill at this stage. We just got on the Warbringer/Enforcer
gig in Chicago.
Very smart. How long do you see the band sticking around this time as I
am sure you guys have lots of other things going on beside the band?
You know I donít think we have thought about it that way. We are
enjoying it this time around probably more than back in the day. We arenít kids
worrying about getting signed or becoming famous. We are doing this because we
love it. We love the music and playing together. How many guys our ages are
doing what they love? We will keep doing it as long as it feels good. There is
no deadline or plan.
The other guys in the band have wives and kids or step-kids. They have work and
the family thing going so for them this is a release from the structured life. I
donít have that part of it. I live as free as humanly possible caring less &
less for material garbage and refusing to enter the rat race filled with debt
slaves. I live for the moment.
Well we are winding this great interview down so please plug and social
media or websites the band has.
Horns up and last words to wrap this up?
Final last words: I have a few that will touch on the answers earlier, but I
figured why not do it again. The new record is more than just a band that wrote
a record 25 years after its last record. We really wanted to mix the two styles
of music that we are known for on this record. The reason - like I said early is
because I was blown away by our demo Killing the Future. I literally didnít
listen to it after the mixing session back in 1987, I mean not once. A year or
so before the band reunited, I had someone give me a CD of it from a torrent
site. So, I threw it in my car stereo and was blown away. I regretted ignoring
it for 3 decades. I played it for a year straight (like I did with my fav albums:
Van Halenís ďWomen & Children FirstĒ or Slayerís ďReign in BloodĒ). It actually
got me excited to listen to music again. Because the years leading up to that, I
had gone almost music-less (is that a word) for the first time in my life. I
played that demo for a couple of years almost daily. When the band got back
together it was the only style I wanted to play. The energy and aggression on
that demo really got me going all these years later. We wanted the new record to
capture that same vibe. We knew that some of the Eyes of Tomorrow fans wouldnít
like it or get it. It is too basic for a lot of those fans. But, for the concept
of this record, the aggression and anger needed to be there, and a record
completely in the vein of Eyes of Tomorrow wouldnít work for the concept behind
it. The crossover tracks are essential to the record. We added the technical
Eyes style tracks also during the writing process.
I have spent years reading and researching how things work in this world.
Reading led to more reading and it took me to places that I never thought I
would end up. I wasnít religious person and I still donít believe in the
traditional church or bullshit they feed you. But I believe there is a battle
between good and evil and evil is winning at the moment. The entire system is
run by evil people that have deceived us. They have created all these
institutions and stories to ensure they keep control. This record is about all
of it from politics to religion to science to education. It is about "donít
believe it because they tell you itís true." If you think itís wrong look into
it. Research it yourself. QUESTION EVERYTHING. I repeat a lot of words and
phrases throughout the record for a reason. I am using their techniques against
them. Some will claim itís all conspiracy theory bullshit. It isnít. I am not
saying believe me. I am saying believe your own instinct Ė look into it. Look
into ďthe FedĒ, the three city states, the countless satanic symbols on
buildings and currency. This isnít a record that is political Ė itís a record
that goes way beyond that. It isnít specific to the USA. This shit is global. If
you listen to the songs and the intro, interludes and outro you will understand
that they can be defeated. They canít beat the masses if we all wake up. KNOW
Finally, Chris I wanted to say thanks for this really in-depth interview and for
all the support over the years. Its guyís like you that allowed the underground
to exist and grow in the beginning. The fanzines were as important as the bands