The ThrashCore Revolution of Aftermath
The ThrashCore Revolution of Aftermath
Aftermath is a dynamic thrashcore band from the Chicago area, whose compelling music and intense lyrics inspire the intrigue of revolution. There Is Something Wrong is the name of their latest heavy metal manifesto, and it’s sure to inspire and devastate all who give a good solid listen. Recently opening for the likes of Warbringer and Enforcer, Aftermath is ready thrash it all across the world with an all-out vengeance! Highwire Daze recently caught up with vocalist Kyriakos “Charlie” Tsiolis to find out a whole lot more about the mesmerizing Aftermath experience. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Aftermath, and how long the band has been together.
Thanks for the interview. I’m the singer in the band and I write all the lyrics. We formed in 1985, broke up in 1996, and reformed in late 2014 early 2015.
Where is the band based of and what is your local metal scene like there?
We are a Chicago band and have been since we formed. Back in the 1980s the metal scene in the city was amazing. We were at the beginning of a new genre in metal. Thrash wasn’t even two years old at that time and our brand of thrash back then was crossover or speedcore as some called it. The scene for the more extreme metal was new and huge. There were a ton of great bands in Chicago playing thrash, death metal and metal. It was a special time to be in a band back then. Chicago has always been a huge metal city and it is today as well. But, we aren’t part of the scene like we were back then.
Is there any overall story or concept behind your album title There Is Something Wrong?
It’s actually a concept album. We went old school and actually wrote a record on which all the songs tie into one another. There is an intro, interludes and an outro that are used to tie all of this in together. The lyrics and the concept are about the need for the masses to wake the fuck up and realize that the puppets on TV that play the roles of president or senator, etc. are just roles. The real power is in the hands of a few. Those few don’t run for office. They are part of this secret group that really controls the world. It’s NOT a pro right wing or left wing message. I think that right v. left shit is all a distraction to keep us divided. The elite laugh at us. We need to wake up and expose them.
Select two songs from There Is Something Wrong and what inspired the lyrics.
“Scientists and Priest” is a song that talks about how organized religion and science appear to be polar opposites, but both are just tools to separate us into a religious group v. the science group. Each side believes their side is right and the other is crazy. Just another example of the elite keeping us divided.
“False Flag Flying”, the first track on the album, is about events that when looked at closer prove the official story is bullshit. Governments have used false flags to get into war and pass laws they couldn’t get public support for without creating this fake event. That song is about that.
Who did the cover art for There Is Something Wrong and how much input did you have on it?
Dimitri Patelis did the cover. He designed our cover for our debut Eyes of Tomorrow back in 1990. We call our mascot Zoidy. When we decided to record the new album we wanted to have Dimitri work on the new cover because we wanted to have Zoidy on the cover. We hadn’t talked to him for over 20 years and didn’t even know how to get ahold of him. My brother, the manager for the band tracked him down somehow in Montreal and we met in Athens in the summer of 2018 to go over the concept. We worked on it together. The symbol on his chest I created, it’s called Sinboleye. It looks like Zoidy is branded with Sinboleye. In the background Dimitri added a ton of images, including the US dollar, that represent some of the lyrics.
You were the only band from the USA on a recent Metal Message Compilation called Respect the Steel. How did you wind up on that particular comp?
Markus at Metalmessage asked for a track on the compilation. It was our pleasure to provide Diethansia for the comp. Markus is a real lover of metal.
What could one expect from a live Aftermath show?
Speed, anger, energy, aggression and a ton of attitude.
How did your recent show with Warbringer and Enforcer go, and did you get to meet or hang out with them at all?
Over the years we have played with some great bands. Playing with Warbringer was a good fit. It’s cool to hear younger thrash bands like them. They bring kids into it, which is cool. Enforcer aren’t really a thrash band, but they seem to go over well with thrash fans. The show was cool. Steve just bought an EVH head and that show was the first time he played with it. We weren’t sure how it would sound live since he used a GK for years. The EVH is amazing. We didn’t hang with either band really.
If Aftermath could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Opening for Slayer with the real lineup personally would be my pick. But, for exposing the band to thousands of people that never heard of us, I would have to say Metallica. Wouldn’t any band want to open for them? Obviously, I picked heavier bands.
Are you involved with any other bands or projects outside of Aftermath?
No none of us are involved in any other bands or projects.
If the music of Aftermath was a donut, what kind would it be and why?
Now that is a question no one has ever asked me before. I guess I would have to say a double chocolate because that’s my favorite.
What’s up in the New Year from Aftermath?
We just recorded a cover song that we are currently mixing and then will have it mastered. The song is from a legendary artist. We picked this song because it is a perfect complement to the concept of the record. It is a song that we actually think we have improved on. No point in taking a classic that is perfect and making it a cover. No need to cover Slayer’s Angel of Death because you can’t make it better. We come from the Van Halen school when it comes to a cover. Do it if you can make it better or great. That’s what we think we did. We hope to play some fests next year as well. We are looking at writing new songs for follow up to the current record. It was 25 years between our first album and this one, maybe we can release a third record with only a year between records.
Any final words of wisdom?
EAT THE ELITE
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!
Ken thanks again. Thanks to the readers that took the time to read this. Hopefully they will check out the record on digital, CD or vinyl.
Kyriakos “Charlie” Tsiolis – Vocals
Steve Sacco – Guitar
Ray Schmidt – Drums
George Lagis – Bass
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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