Worship Metal’s new regular feature, an antidote to the usual stale interviews, asks Metal’s true icons and pioneers 10 Questions Of Biblical Proportions! Are they up for the challenge?
Our first contender is legendary underground Thrash frontman Kyriakos “Charlie” Tsiolis from Chicago’s Aftermath. With Aftermath recently playing their first show in over 20 years, we realised the timing was perfect and what this man doesn’t know about Thrash, and Metal in general, just ain’t worth knowing!
1. So….what are Aftermath up to then?
“Aftermath just finished our first show in 20 years last week and will be doing our 2nd reunion show late July in Germany, at the killer Headbangers Open Air Festival. We’re also re-releasing a remastered Double CD and Vinyl soon (1994’s Eyes Of Tomorrow) plus Killing The Future (Demo) for the first time ever on CD, that hasn’t been available at all after 1987, on 2 cool underground reissue labels; Shadow Kingdom and Divebomb Rec. After that we will release a new song! It will be a combination of our Technical Progressive style but with the Proto-Crossover, super ultra fast shit in there as well. It will definitely sound old school since most of the guys musically have not been affected by the last two decades of shifting styles in Metal music. They are untouched by that shit, so I guarantee it will sound like it was written in the 80s but yet it will still sound fresh like Killing The Future does now.”
2. Which album/artist/gig/experience made you first realise you ‘Worshipped’ Metal?
“The first album I have ever bought was by Kiss, Rock ‘N’ Roll Over. I was around 7 or 8 years old. As for gig, it was the Fair Warning tour, Van Halen, an amazing show. So those 2 bands got me into this glorious genre.”
3. Name the one album that epitomises Heavy Metal over all others?
“For Heavy Metal, the one record that epitomizes the music I would say is Iron Maiden’s Number Of The Beast or the first Sabbath, since it did start the genre…it’s the blueprint you could say and as for Thrash Metal; Slayer’s Reign In Blood is the epitome of that style.”
4. Which guilty pleasure album do you listen to the most? Be honest now!
“For guilty pleasure I actually don’t hide any of my musical likes. The shit I listen to is the best of every genre I choose to listen to, so it’s hard to answer since I’m not embarrassed by it and don’t know what would be embarrassing to others. In high school, I remember when all kids my age at the time stopped liking KISS and we were embarrassed to admit we ever did. Okay, anyways, to answer the question. Since most Metalheads would not listen to him, or her, George Michael and Madonna. Those two had some incredible records at certain points in their career. I listen to old-school hip-hop, I love Public Enemy but no one would be embarrassed to say that right? And I do enjoy the Saturday Night Fever record but only the four Bee Gees songs.”
5. You have one opportunity to introduce your band to the entire world, which album from your back catalogue do you blast them away with?
“That would be the Killing The Future Demo, that’s the one I am actually right now introducing to the world, even though it was a successful and popular demo cassette in the tape trading underground world-wide scene. But now kids, young Thrasher kids, are really being blown away by it, saying descriptions like intense, spastic, full of energy, ultrafast, sic, angry, pure old school and it’s funny because a lot are thinking it’s new and calling it an album and every day I have to tell someone it’s a Demo from the 80s! But, the craziest part is I had not listened to it since the day we finished recording it. I felt, at that time, we needed to be progressive to be a good band and totally ignored it but when I received a burned copy from some torrent site one night, about 2 years ago from my brother, as I was leaving for work I put it on expecting to feel the same as I did in 1987 BUT the opposite happened because as I’m driving I was literally blown away!! Then, angry at myself for ignoring it, it became my fav NEW music. Which was just what the doctor ordered because the last few years I was burnt out and had lost major interest in music and had, for the first time in my life, ignored all things musical. So to cut this short, the thing I ignored at the beginning of the bands existence is the thing that made me want to play again now. So my band has become my fav band and that’s insane!!”
6. You find yourselves booked on a mammoth, 12 month, non stop, around the world tour, what 5 essential items do you take with you in order to survive?
“Five essential items? Now, as I would never go on a twelve-month tour, this is a hard one to answer. Let me pick my music CDs or whatever. I’m thinking more vices, bad stuff for you as opposed to any essential items I need every day, and my vices must remain private! Oh, one I would say from my vices is my bowl (smoke).”
7. What’s been your most memorable experience on the road?
Aftermath only did 33 shows, 34 now, so very little time on the road for this band. We toured with our project MGMS (Mother God MovieStar) after the band broke up and that was with Genitorturers. Even though it wasn’t an underground Metal tour it felt like it because there were members of Morbid Angel, Aftermath, Sindrome, Crumbsuckers….and speaking of the Crumbsuckers, they would be a memorable experience. We did a few shows with them, back in 1988 I think, and in Detroit we had brought a girl you can say is the type that bands love having around! The Crumbsuckers were definitely smitten with her and at the end of the gig she had lost her keys so we were literally delayed by hours scrounging through the club. The guys were on their knees looking under tables, it was insane to see a band called the Crumbsuckers on their hands and knees looking for keys all because she was a cute girl that loved hanging out with bands (kids there were not many girls at underground metal gigs in those days btw). She was Aftermaths groupie, exciting the New York boys, but literally they were looking for hours and I was saying screw her let’s get out of here and eventually I busted her car window and the keys were found inside. In normal Illinois we played with Macabre and that was memorable because myself and my brother Peter, who happens to be our Manager, got into a fight with a bunch of jocks at a Sports Bar next-door to the venue we were playing. We busted pool cues and turned over a pool table basically like a movie bar fight 10 minutes before I went onstage so the anger was still in full effect inside me. So I destroyed a bunch of equipment in my rage. Btw, this was instigated because they were making fun of Metal, as lame ass muscle head jocks did back in the day before they all became Pantera fans in the 90s, Hey, we always have to defend our genre!”
8. You’re given the chance to handpick the ultimate 4-piece Rock and Metal supergroup (living or deceased). Who’s in the line-up?
“We would always ask each other this question when we were growing up! Freddie Mercury on Vocals, Eddie Van Halen on Guitar, John Entwistle on Bass, John Bonham on Drums. That’d be a pretty kick ass band, good Hard-Rocking!”
9. Hard Rock and Heavy Metal is blatantly the greatest thing ever invented but what’s the second greatest invention of all time?
“Yes! Metal and Hard Rock is the greatest! As for second greatest, I’m assuming you’re not saying musical? Can I say girls, women LOL! If not, let’s say weed…obviously excluding the essentials like food and water.”
10. It turns out Ozzy’s luscious long hair is imbued with time-travelling qualities and just one stroke of his lion’s mane can transport you back to any Rock/Metal gig of your choice. Who do you go and see?
“This might be easy for some to answer but for me it’s so hard because there’s not just one that I can narrow it down to. So, Ozzy’s luscious long hair is imbued with time traveling qualities huh…because Ozzy’s hair is probably the best hair in the music biz. I remember at one point in the early 80’s, I got my new circus magazine in the mail and he was bald. Next thing you know, like it seemed less than a year later, it’s back and he’s done this other times. It takes forever for most (not me) to grow their hair but he’s got some damn healthy hair with magic qualities for sure! I have seen a lot of things people would dream about like Freddie Mercury, Randy Rhodes, Cliff Burton. Lots of deceased artists on my over 700, and counting, concert list. So let’s say Pink Floyd, at a small venue, when they were just starting out in 1969 but now I’m thinking Zeppelin or Sabbath or Van Halen, or any of the greats I love, at a small club at the very start of their career. I told you it was a tough one! Every second a new one pops in my head.”