by MythofRock

Enter the majestic thrash metal realm of Menace, where raw energy collides with technical mastery. This powerhouse band asks for your attention with their old-school, technical thrash metal. As we embark on this journey, prepare to delve deep into the heart of Menace’s music through the words of the band’s mastermind, Stelios Kartsonis (vocals, guitars).

by Ira Bunia

Good evening Stelios. First of all, before we start with the music, could you please tell us about the other members of the band?

Good evening to you too, and thank you very much for the invitation!! Firstly, let me mention that the band was founded by me in 2006 and continued with some members until 2012. Since then, I started working on some ideas which I completed with Stavros Nikandros, a friend and very talented guitarist with whom we shared all the guitar playing on ‘Open Fire’ (2023). The result, as we had envisioned it, was very powerful and demanded a drummer with incredible skills, and that could only be George Kollias, who needs no introduction for his incredible talent. As for the bass, because, as you already understand, the album required an exceptionally complex yet technical playing, we approached Michalis Eudaimon, a highly acclaimed and talented musician who, in turn, elevated the album to new heights.

Tell us exactly about the genre of metal that you play.

Menace doesn’t represent a specific genre of music. In our first album, ‘Cosmic Conspiracy’ (2014) for example, the predominant style is 80s thrash. In the second album, ‘Open Fire’, on the other hand, there is a mixture of thrash/tech/progressive/death metal, which however doesn’t stray us away from our initial roots of 80s thrash. In our next project, which I will talk about in detail in the near future, with new collaborations that I am very excited about, Menace will take perhaps a different path, without, of course, losing the soul and the dynamics of the two previous albums.

Since 2006, when the band was essentially founded, we have had strong performances playing at various festivals in Greece and abroad. Tell us about your experience and the audience response to these performances.

Each live performance had its own unique experience, with the band always giving its best. Of course, there were performances that stood out for me, with one particularly significant one being in Madrid in 2015, at a live show with Razor. We experienced a stunning and unforgettable experience with a very enthusiastic audience and vibes reminiscent of the good old thrash live shows of the 80s.

“Cosmic Conspiracy” and you really set the stage on fire at Kyttaro. How did you feel about the response from the Athenian audience?

In all of our performances at Kyttaro, there was a tremendous response from the Athenian audience. As a highlight, I would mention our first live show where many friends of Menace attended and warmly welcomed us. Throughout the entire show, there was an enormous atmosphere of excitement. Of course, I should also mention that Menace gained many new friends through these live performances who continue to support the band to this day.

Tell us about your inspiration for composing songs, and whether all members participate in creating a song.

The main sources of inspiration for both albums are the socio-political elements combined with the wrath for the course of humanity. The final result of each album is and has been a product of the participation of all members, some more and some less. There is always a collective collaboration starting from ideas that have already been initiated by myself and are completed during the process of creating the album.

Musical influences? … Surely the giants of thrash metal!

From childhood, I remember constantly listening to metal without restrictions in its genres, which is evident in Menace’s albums. Bands like Iron Maiden and Diamond Head, as well as Fates Warning and Psychotic Waltz, Death, Possessed, and Whiplash, are some of my musical influences, bands that have followed me throughout my musical journey.

Is there a consensus of opinions within the band?

I will answer your question by referring to our latest album, ‘Open Fire.’ As I mentioned earlier, at the beginning of the album, there were already some ideas and compositions from me, some of which were incomplete. We perfected them through excellent collaboration with the band members. Each member contributed in their own way, adding their personal touch to the playing. The final result always met my expectations, if not exceeded them in some cases!

Are ‘Narcissist’ and ‘Without Morality’ representative tracks of the “Open Fire” album?

Your observation is very accurate, and surely many will agree with it. However, I must mention that initially, the album was structured in such a way that each track could be considered representative. This may sound somewhat paradoxical, as the album encompasses various subgenres of metal. Nonetheless, each track has been crafted in a manner that allows it to stand alone as representative of the album, possessing both a progressive sound and the identity I wanted to impart on the album myself.

Is there a new album in the works?

Just a few days after the release of “Open Fire”, I started working on new material that will be something fresh for Menace, yet very promising. At the moment, we are assembling a strong team of exceptional musicians, a collaboration that will lead Menace to my next vision. More details about the upcoming album will be revealed in 2024, where hopefully there will be some new material to present as well.

And a few words about the record label that supports you.

“Open Fire” was released by Razorbleed Productions, a record label that has been active in the industry for several years and has collaborated with renowned bands. The company is made up of individuals who are passionate about the genre and are very skilled professionals!

Stelios, thank you very much for speaking with us, and I hope to see you in person soon.

Thank you very much!

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