I was recently given the opportunity to interview Aftermath’s Kyriakos “Charlie” Tsiolis about the band’s upcoming album “There is Something Wrong.” You can check out that chat below.
METAL ANARCHY: First of all, the band was gone for quite some time before you reunited a few years ago. What made you decide to return?
TSIOLIS: We broke up in 1996 as Aftermath. We released a record on Interscope as Mother God Moviestar did a tour and broke that band up in 1998. We got an offer in 2015 to do the Headbangers’ Open Air festival in Hamburg Germany. I hadn’t spoken to Steve since 1998. I was in a band called Stripping the Pistol with John Lovette who played guitar in Aftermath and spoke to him on and off. Ray and I would speak and see each other from time to time. Chris and I had not spoken in several years. So when the offer came in to play HOA it was kinda too bad there is no band, this would be so cool to do. Right around that same time, Divebomb Records had contacted us about reissuing our Killing the Future demo on CD and Shadow Kingdom Records wanted to reissue our album Eyes of Tomorrow. With these three things happening it felt like the band should get back together at least for that one fest.
Our manager who happens to be my brother said: lets book the gig, the guys always wanted to play Europe this could be a fun weekend. To my surprise everyone but Chris said yes. So we brought back our original bass player for the gig and we started to jam. We had to fire Adam again because of his playing and other issues. We rehearsed as a five-piece for the gig and eventually played the fest as a four-piece. We started out as a four-piece, but hadn’t played as one since 1986. It was back to the beginning. It was only going to be one show, we added a second gig in Chicago part of the Ragnarok fest. As we rehearsed for the shows, we felt like it was the early days again. The songs sounded fresh and the excitement of playing together was really amazing. We said let’s write a new song and if it’s good we can record it and release it for the hell of it. Well that turned into writing a new record.
METAL ANARCHY: You recently released a lyric video for “Smash Reset Control.” How would you describe that track and what made you release it first?
TSIOLIS: We had been releasing teasers for about a year from the live gigs and rehearsal some of old material and some of new songs. We finished the record and figured since we have been gone for a while that it made sense to reintroduce the band with a new song and video in advance of the record. We picked Smash Reset Control as the first track because it was a return to our crossover roots. We began as a crossover thrash band in 1985 and were so fast that Don Kaye at Kerrang called us “too damn fast” back then. When Divebomb reissued our Killing the Future demo in 2015, I was forced to listen to that demo for the first time since 1987. I was really blown away with the speed, attitude and energy of the music. We decided to blend the two different Aftermath styles on this record the crossover Killing style with the technical/progressive style of Eyes of Tomorrow. Smash Reset Control is a true 1980s style crossover track that fans of D.R.I. and Suicidal Tendencies can get into. Our old fans are loving it.
It felt natural to release this song first. As I said, it was a return to our roots. We felt that the song captures the urgency of the message that is laid out in the record. We also wanted our fans to know that we weren’t just making a progressive record this time around and figured we needed to get that out there in the beginning.
METAL ANARCHY: What would you like to say about your upcoming album “There Is Something Wrong”?
TSIOLIS: We are proud of this record and wrote it in a way that we felt it would be what we wanted it to be and how we wanted it to sound. There was no pressure to get a deal or please an A&R guy. We wanted it to be a record not a bunch of songs that are put together and released. What I mean, we wrote it as a concept record and included an intro, interludes and outro that are used to connect the tracks and get the message of the record across. We hope that people listen to the message and look deeper into the subjects we layout in the lyrics.
METAL ANARCHY: What was the writing and recording process like?
TSIOLIS: It was totally natural and relaxed. We recorded the record with Chuch Macak a veteran in Chicago of the metal world at his studio. It felt like we returned to the recording process when we recorded the Killing demo with Phil Bonnet (RIP). Chuck was great to work with and made the process go smoothly. The tracking was basically completed in a few days and we spent the majority of the time getting the vocals and interludes and mixes right. Like everything since we got back together recording the record was effortless and fun.
METAL ANARCHY: What are some of your favorite tracks from the effort?
TSIOLIS: We all have different favorites, but we love all the tracks on the record. If I had to pick a favorite it would be the title track. It will be interesting to see how the two camps of Aftermath fans respond to the mixing of styles.
METAL ANARCHY: Lastly, are you planning any tours in support of the album?
TSIOLIS: We are going to focus on Festivals in the US and Europe for 2019. Obviously, we are interested in touring if the right tour comes along.