With a new album ‘No Other Godz Before Me’ on the horizon, Agent Steel’s John Cyriis spoke at length about a range of subjects relevant to the band and its ethos. We continue the discussion with a quote from the past…
John, I’ve got a review here that says “Agent Steel deliberately have looked for and found this cogent hybrid between all things technical, fast, and thrash.” Would you agree? In a metal world that was getting saturated, Agent Steel definitely stood out from the crowd. What do you think made the band so different back then?
I just covered some of the reasons as to why the band is unique conceptually, so if we take a look at why the band is unique musically, it is quite obvious: I purposely took in the mission of writing material that was a carefully-engineered blend of technically precise speed metal, amalgamating twin guitar solos—adding a bit of color to the chaos—all the while maintaining an energized crescendo tempo-wise, forwarding the final formula applied thereunto, or icing on the cake, being my tenor/melodic anti-social vocal delivery—attached the alien, polemical concepts—alchemizing the entire craft—into a super product. All in all, Agent Steel seems to have withstood the test of time! Thus, the final foundation that hoisted the metallic craft, which became the classic Agent Steel song, was garnished with my transmittance of a rather disturbing vocal approach. I was somehow able to clasp and catalyze melodies into cynical polemical-based anthems—placed out in front of all—fronting the songs so many fans have come to appreciate. We must agree, whether one is a fan or not, that this approach to unique metal composition has really never been executed quite the way that it was via my delivery—and as was executed by Agent Steel inclusive of my presence.
What has life taught you over the years? If you were able to go back in time now and give the 1980s John Cyriis some advice, what would you say?
If you ever come back again to visit Earth, the concentration camp planet of the universe for fallen souls, make sure you come back with some security personnel you can trust, and a cosmic diplomat passport to render yourself immunity from the sadist larvae.
Trivia! I love trivia… Would you mind telling me some items of trivia that fans might not know about you or about Agent Steel?
1: How did John Cyriis meet Juan Garcia?
John Cyriis met Juan Garcia whilst auditioning for Abattoir. Juan was the functioning guitar roadie for Abattoir, who quickly became a good friend, and who John insisted take the second guitar position in the band, after learning of Juan’s passion for metal music and guitar. When the band slightly grunted at the idea, John threatened to quit if they did not secure his friend Juan as the official second guitarist of Abattoir. And the position seemed justified for the fact that he seemed to know all the songs quite well as a result of spending so much time as a friend, and helper, of the band.
2: Who was the official first vocalist of Megadeth?
The official first vocalist of Megadeth was John Cyriis, who was basically begged to join the band by his admirers, Dave Mustaine and drummer Dijon Caruthers. Ironically, John was fired after being in the band as the official singer for over six months, due to Dave’s dissatisfaction with the alien conspiracy-based lyrical content John Cyriis was so fanatical about from the earliest of days as a singer. Shortly after being fired, John started the first official Agent Steel outfit.
Many years later, John walked into a record shop, and was surprised to see an album by his bud and guitar shredder friend Dave of Megadeth which was titled ‘Rust In Piece’. Ironically, the cover artwork displayed an alien body being transported by some elite US Air Force personnel.
Truthfully, I just smiled to myself and felt it was actually a very flattering gesture on the part of my old buddy. He obviously realized that I may have had something cool to contribute to metal which may have seemed, at the time, a bit eccentric and/or threatening (should Megadeth begin to be surveilled by ‘The Men in Black!) yet cool all the same! Thanks Dave! Oftentimes I walk around cheering Dave on for having transcended so many personal and artistic challenges in his life, and coming out the other side a man of faith! I salute Dave Mustaine: he should serve as a monolithic example to all of us in the metal community as a true hero in all aspects of the word. I am absolutely, and positively, certain that he will overcome, and conquer the evil diagnostic he has confronted as of recent. If anyone on this shitty planet can transcend any and all negative challenges in a life—it’s you, Man! Respect, Bro! You got mine, always have! And I am proud to say that it was indeed an honour to have taken part in a small piece of history in the catalyst of the Megadeth Diamond, as was getting my fifteen minutes of recognition from the Daves as a vocalist considered before any other, even Dave himself, who might have settled as the official frontman of the Megadeth brand! Wow, hey, maybe in the next life!
3: Guns N’ Roses
Agent Steel had an pretty hilarious incident involving Guns N’ Roses in the Eighties, in front of the Rainbow Club in LA, The full story will be elaborated in my forthcoming book, titled ‘Agent Steel: A Politically-Incorrect Musical Entity’ which will be the official authorised biography of Agent Steel. There are several co-authors.
And finally, if the band were marooned on a desert island and things got desperate, which band member would you eat first, and why?
I’m vegetarian, so I’m sure there would be plenty of fruits, herbs, roots, etc, that could keep me alive if I was marooned on such an island. In the event of an emergency, and for a stronger protein intake, I would have to apologize and grab some fish—even in shallow water—that I can cut sashimi-style. I would collect some of the coconuts from the trees, and some herbs from the woods, and make a Thai curry soup! I’m sure that the meat eaters that were marooned with me—if any—would hunt their own wild boar, or turkey, (which they might just find on such an island). But, one thing I can say for certain, and that is the last thing I’d ever ingest into my body would be human flesh! If anyone around me chose such a path, I wouldn’t refuse to share even dry land in civilization with such people (although said people do have the right, as we all do, to exercise their free will) as long as they don’t bother me or place themselves in close proximity of my person…hell, they can eat whomever the fuck they want!