Shred Lords: Steelianos Amirides
A fourteen year veteran with the guitar and a member of a rising Greek symphonic metal outfit, Steelianos Amirides is quickly making a name for himself in the European scene. So, how did he get into metal music and decide to pick up a guitar?
“When I was about four years old, my cousin who’s 10 years older than me was already into that stuff. He would play it to torture me,” recalls Steelianos about his early experiences with heavy metal. “One way was to put on a cassette of Sepultura and turn the lights off. When he came back inside about a minute later I cried. “
Though a little traumatized by the heavy tunes of the Brazilian thrashers, Steelianos soon grew to appreciate heavy metal, especially after that same cousin introduced him to Metallica and Iron Maiden.
“The feeling was fear at first, but there was something to say about it. It was like watching a horror movie. I was hooked,” he says of his first enjoyable taste of heavy metal music.
Even before discovering the aforementioned bands, Steelianos realized he wanted to play guitar. His mother, however, insisted that he play the piano. And after five years and “getting no joy out of it,” he walked away from the instrument. Then, when he was 14 years old his father brought home his first guitar.
“When I got my first guitar it was like more than a dream come true. It was like I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life…nothing else but this.”
Diving into the instrument head on, Steelianos decided that the best thing he could do was hit the books and learn the proper way. As such, he bought a book of tablature on Metallica’s ‘Black Album’ and soon learned to play the opening riff to Enter Sandman by dedicating up to twelve hours a day to the instrument when school wasn’t in session. However, his growing love of heavy metal was not well-received in his household.
“My mother is not a fanatic, but she’s very much of a Christian woman…an orthodox. So, anything I like or I’m playing is like the devil. I was hiding all of my cassettes and CDs, because when she found one she would show me the cover and break them or throw them away.”
Regardless of his mother’s dislike of his preferred taste in music, Steelianos kept playing the guitar and learning the works of his favorite guitarists such as Paul Gilbert, Jeff Waters, Steve Vai, and Marty Friedman. Before long, he was familiar with differing melodies and playing styles.
Thanks to playing the piano at an early age, learning guitar and teaching himself “came pretty easily” and he was able to develop his own sound pretty quickly. So, for the next two to three years Steelianos kept his playing to himself and didn’t bother with bands. By his early twenties he was beginning to branch out and evolve with his music.
“I felt that I first began developing my own style when I was twenty-one years old, but it hasn’t stopped. I don’t think I’ve completely found my voice 100 percent just yet.”
It was around this time that Steelianos decided that college wasn’t for him and began making an effort to make a living with his guitar. Teaching lessons and playing in bands on the side, he learned to support himself with his instrument. Then, in 2009, he joined Keado Mores. Four years later he would be recruited for a newly forming band called Enemy of Reality.
Discovered by vocalist, Iliana Tsakiraki, after stumbling across some of Steelianos guitar videos, he was asked to meet up to discuss possibly joining Tsakiraki’s new band. After the meeting, Steelianos walked away the founding guitarist for Enemy Reality. Three years later, Steelianos has appeared on the band’s debut album ‘Rejected Gods’, and the second album currently in production. As well, he has played shows around Europe including Metal Female Voices Fest in Belgium in 2015, which has invited the band back for the 2016 event.
With a new Enemy of Reality album coming up and a low key summer due to recording efforts, Steelianos has plans to write a solo album in that time. The tracks he has planned for use include some old, never used songs from years gone by. Of course, he plans on writing new music. As of right now, he’s unsure if the solo album will instrumental or feature a power metal singer. As such, this is just a future side project and not Steelianos’ top priority. Should his solo album come to be, you can expect some serious power metal shredding from Steelianos Amirides.