Aftermath Bio

Aftermath logo

Chicago based Aftermath, fronted by the Greek born Kyriakos “Charlie” Tsiolis, formed in October 1985 when Charlie and his schoolmate Steve Sacco (Guitar) got together. This early incarnation with Adam (Bass) and Ray Schmidt (Drums) issued their first demo in 1986 featuring ‘Sentenced to Death’, ‘Revenge’, ‘Shotgun’ and ‘The Aftermath’.


In 1987, they unleashed their second demo entitled ‘Killing the Future’ featuring the tracks ‘When Will You Die’, ‘Going No Place’, ‘Chaos’, ‘Meltdown’ and ‘War For Freedom’. The band pursued a mind-blowing speed and technical brand of Thrash that soon set them apart from the pack.


The tracks “War For Freedom” & “When Will You Die” were both featured on the British ‘Metal Forces’ magazine compilation LP ‘Demolition: Scream Your Brains Out’ in 1988. Their appearance on the Metal Forces’ compilation further expanded the band’s international appeal.


By 1988, the musical direction was changing and Adam’s raw and simple bass lines would soon be replaced with complex and technical bass parts handled at first by John Lovette. Ironically, John never played bass on any Aftermath recording and wasn’t even a bass player. However, he wanted to join the band so badly, he came to the audition with a friend’s bass he had just started to play. The speed and complex playing he displayed was something none of the members had ever seen before on bass. He landed the gig that day. When the band decided it was time to add a second guitarist, Lovette told his band mates of his desire to switch to guitar and for the first time, he came clean, he was a guitar player pretending to be a bass player all along. His bass playing was surpassed by his guitar skills, the band found its second guitar player, but unfortunately, the search for a bass player was back on. Luckily, the search (for the time being, anyway) ended with Danny Vega. His warm and precise playing was the perfect complement to the guitar playing of Lovette and Sacco and worked amazingly well with Schmidt’s powerful drumming. With Lovette handling most of the song writing duties, Aftermath was about to make an unbelievable musical change.


By 1989, that change brought on by Lovette’s writing and the band’s musical tastes and stylings had slowed and matured as evidenced by the release of the underground classic demo ‘Words That Echo Fear’. Danny Vega was replaced on bass by Chris Waldron.


In 1990, based on the huge international success of the Words that Echo Fear demo, the metal label RoadRacer Records (a subsidiary of Roadrunner Records) approached the band for a demo deal, which resulted in a live four track demo featuring the songs ‘Eyes of Tomorrow’, ‘Afraid Of Time’, ‘The Act Of Unspoken Wisdom’ and ‘Reflecting Pictures”. Negotiations eventually broke down and Aftermath signed to New York’s Big Chief Records. The label’s collapse halfway through the recording sessions led to a long delay in finishing the record. While the band struggled to pay the studio bill, the album the band started to record in 1990 would not see the light of day for four years. The experience left the band reeling and forced them to issue the album under their own steam with the help of their manager through Zoid Recordings in 1994. Four long years had passed since the initial recordings for the record “Eyes Of Tomorrow” and the scene had dramatically changed.


The album was subsequently re-released on Thermometer Sound Surface / Zoid and released yet again four years later on Black Lotus Records in a re-mastered version.


Quite famously, Aftermath the act, lost a notable court case Tsiolis v. Interscope. Records. Inc., 946 F.Supp. 1344, 1349 (N.D.III. 1996) with high-profile millionaire rapper DR. DRE over the ownership of the name. The Rapper reportedly made a conciliatory offer of some $50,000 for rights to use the name but would go ahead and use it regardless. Fortunately for the band, this period of turmoil had built bridges with Interscope Records. After the name change to Mother God Moviestar, they signed to Interscope for the eponymous Electro-Metal debut of March 1998. The case has been studied in law schools around the US related to the issue of trademark dilution.


Aftermath has continued to receive critical acclaim as one of the major influences in the genre. The band was featured on pages 9 and 10 of Gary Sharpe-Young’s A – Z of Thrash Metal, available on Cherry Red Books. Twenty five years after its formation, Aftermath made its return in 2011 with the release of the Box Set 25 YEARS OF CHAOS on Area Death Productions and the vinyl When Will You Die on F.O.A.D. The reemergence of one of the most original thrash bands ever continues in 2014 with the reunion of the original lineup. In 2015, the band fronted by Kyriakos “Charlie” Tsiolis on vocals, Steve Sacco on guitar, John Lovette (guitar), Ray Schmidt (drums) and Adam on bass is set to bring their groundbreaking music to audiences in the US and Europe.

Aftermath art

Blackened Horde Zine © 2015