With a new album just released with Come Taste The Misery, it felt like the perfect time to catch up with the ever-busy Christos Kariotis and find out more about the band, his many other projects and what the future holds for him.
Q: Let’s start with a bit of background. Can you tell me a bit about your own musical path and specifically what brought you to Come Taste The Misery?
Chris: Well, I started my journey in music as a lyricist. I had been writing lyrics for fellow musicians for a long time. One day I felt like giving life to my own, personal lyrics. I bought an acoustic guitar and I taught myself to play it. A few years later I created my first metal band under the name “A Different Ending…” In 2016 my second band “My Creepy Susanne” debuted. Heavy grungy riffs and nothing more…
All these continued until January 2020 when I decided to act all alone. I said to myself “Ok Chris it’s time to do things as you want and when you want”. Come Taste The Misery came to life.
I released my first EP under the title “Stone Dead Ballerina”. After some months a new version of the EP came out with guest singers. They sang my songs from their personal perspective and the result was amazing (for me at least). I changed the title to “Stone Dead Ballerina Uncovered”.
Q: Musically, the latest album House of Silence runs on a sort of dark, gothic-infused alternative rock sound. What are your musical influences, in general, and the ones that inform this new album? And are there any important influences that lie outside of music?
Chris: I’m especially influenced by bands from the ’90s, but they are not all of the same music genres. Just to mention some: Nirvana, The Pixies, The Offspring, Paradise Lost, Amorphis, Tool, Type O Negative…
On my new album, you can hear influences from all these bands, but if you want me to be more specific… I’d say that during the time I was working on the construction of my songs, three LP’s were on repeat in my turntable: “Bloody kisses”, “Smash” and “In Utero”.
Outside of music, my influence is life itself. 90% of my lyrics are true stories. The other 10% is the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe that leads my hand to write.
Q: It’s an album full of dark music and dynamic lyrical imagery, is there any underlying theme or message which you are trying to promote through the album?
Chris: Yes, my message is “Live your life free and don’t let anyone manipulate you”. I write about depression, domestic violence, suicide prevention and toxic relationships.
Life is a black hole that will swallow you if you choose to live as an observer. I’ve been through a lot of shit in my life, so I chose to be a fighter than an observer. My lyrics are screaming “FIGHT”.
We must protect women, we must protect children. Humanity is dying slowly.
Q: Who else is in the band and how did you all meet?
Chris: CTTM is a one-man-band. I play all the instruments and I sing most of the time, and I write the music and the lyrics.
Of course, when it comes to a live show my friends are always there to help as session musicians. Most of them are members of my other musical projects. We help each other a lot. I’ve met most of them in music venues and music studios.
Q: How hard has it been making music with the recent restrictions and lockdowns that have kept us all apart?
Chris: The worst of all was the lack of live shows. Especially for full-time musicians. The positive thing was that I had plenty of time to write songs. And I wrote a lot. I worked in my home studio and the process was like a walk in the park. I’ve had time to make changes and try some new pedals and plugins. But believe me, nothing can replace a music studio and the fun to make music with your friends.
Q: And did you learn anything, musical or otherwise, throughout lockdown, perhaps something that will inform the way you approach music-making in the future?
Chris: Never pressure things. Inspiration will find you at the right time. If you are stuck in the middle of a composition, stop. Do something else and continue when your mind is clear. To put it another way, if you don’t have something good to say…Shut up.
Q: What is Athens like as a music scene in general and for rock music in particular?
Chris: Athens is a very lively city and the music scene here is fantastic. There are many talented rock bands and most of them are well known even beyond the Greek borders. Rock fans here are extremely passionate about their favourite bands. There are many rock clubs and live shows, and If you are in a band, there is always a place to play live. Rock as a genre is still on top here in Greece.
Q: Do you still play in other bands, if so can you tell me about them and how hard is it to juggle so many creative outlets at the same time?
Chris: Yes, I still play and write songs for these bands too. Now I’m working on some riffs for my band “My Creepy Susanne”. The hard part is to find the time to meet with my bandmates because they have other projects too. But in the end, I’m sure we will make it. We plan to play live in some clubs in November and December. As for “A Different Ending…” our new EP will come out at the end of this year.
Q: So, where next for you Chris personally and for CTTM in general?
I created a new project “Christos Kariotis Band” with three old friends of mine and we play a mix of Jazz, Pop and Electronica. We have released seven songs until now and we are planning to release a full album next year.
For CTTM I just finished a cover song (“Something In The Way” from Nirvana) and I’m planning to release it in the middle of November.
Also, one of my plans is to compose an acoustic album for CTTM.
Thank you so much for your time and good luck with all of your musical endeavours.