Interview with vocalist John Cyriis
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: October 8, 2019
Who could have seen it coming; Agent Steel, with original vocalist John Cyriis and original guitarist Steve Simmons, are back, strengthened by bassist Joe McGuigan with other members to be announced through the band's official Facebook page at some point. Keep your eye out for these yet-to-be-named agents of steel.
No Other Godz Before Me is the title of Agent Steel's 14-track comeback album, a fine-tuned and super-charged album, according to the band's well-known frontman, Mr. Cyriis himself. Undoubtedly, Agent Steel fans around the world are excitedly preparing for the new album...
As always, when there is some true Metal happening in any corner of this dying planet known as Earth, The Metal Crypt wants to rush there via luxury flying saucer to get the hottest news first. Fortunately, Mr. Cyriis was kind and willing to meet us halfway somewhere in time.
John revealed some facts related to Agent Steel that might otherwise have remained occult for a very long time.
Thanks to Mr. Cyriis' representative, Slim IK, for being the helping hand getting this interview arranged.
Luxi: Hey John! How's life now that you have made this grand return to the limelight? Pretty busy I guess, eh?
John: Just been trying to put into perspective all that I've learned and experienced for the last thirty-two years—since Unstoppable Force was released in '86. As I consider myself a student in the scheme of the universe in which we all currently reside—and, after studying the scheme of things, I have come to the conclusion that there should be "NO OTHER GODZ BEFORE ME...!"
It is my personal belief, and as sad as it is to say... We are not all as inter-connected—as the New-Agers—would like us to believe. In fact, it's quite the opposite: it seems everyone is in competition with everyone else. It is sad to say, that deep within, everyone knows this to be the ultimate truth... Whether most will admit it or not—depends on the ultimate consciousness level the individual is currently experiencing!
And, at the end of the day, it is the natural human instinct for survival—which confirms this current human condition... "Just look at the current state of the world around us... Just what is it that you see? Do you see unity, uniformity, interconnectedness?"
I would like to quote here a very wise man who once wrote: "Everyone wants to feel better than someone..."
The only chance humanity has to survive as a species is to—very simply: "Stop waking up in the morning, or afternoon, or evening... And CEASE and desist from—plotting as to 'how can I judge today, my neighbour; how can I get over on that person; how can I take what that person has that I think should be mine instead; how can I do enough harm to that individual I simply don't like... Because he/she can do something better than me, or has a quality I consider something better than mine, newer, more attractive, more advantageous than mine? How can I ruin that person's life—by making myself the judge and jury of that person's life—so I can sentence that person to be the victim of the evils of my jealousies—and insecurities—until I see their demise—despite the fact this person has not done a single thing to bring permanent harm to me in any way?'"
When humanity ceases from exhibiting such behaviour and consciousness, and seeks to—upon awakening every day—cultivate, develop, and project self-love and self-respect, thus sharing with others their evolving jewels—to a freer state of consciousness—thus diminishing the current sinister, coveting, conspiring jealous natures—we as a race—will achieve to recreate a better world, where peace and well-being, even universal prosperity may manifest. And so, upon cultivation and application of such consciousness—we may survive, as a species—to be respected, and finally approached, by other more evolved races residing elsewhere in the universe, perhaps even those residing in finer, purer, peaceful dimensions...
THE RETURN OF AGENT STEEL
Luxi: When did you start thinking of returning to Agent Steel after so many years? What was the main catalyst that started the snowball effect and made you realize bringing Agent Steel back was worth trying?
John: It had occurred to me for the first time since 1999 that I should restart the true Agent Steel when I saw Bernie's (Versailles) failure to reinvent the band I had created and launched in 1983. I somehow knew that, should he continue to nurture its development without my participation, the band he'd reinvented sporting my band name/mark would certainly just... Vanish... Sooner than later.
I think the three Agent Steel albums with Bruce Hall on vocals were good efforts at creating something other than Agent Steel—which, in my opinion, was the reason for the project's ultimate demise; it simply was not Agent Steel. If they had called it something else, they would've perhaps gone a lot farther than they actually did—justifiably so...
You can't sell rubies as diamonds. Rubies are also precious stones, but in truth, we all know they are not diamonds, and that is the reason why I refer to the Bruce Hall incarnation of the band the "faux Agent Steel"; not because it was valueless, or devoid of talent or effort, but simply because it was not inclusive of its creator, and the cosmic substance of spiritual, philosophical, musical, and polemical intended projection—from which it originated—and therefore not the true and official Agent Steel.
Therefore, after Bruce Hall jumped off a runaway train that was destined to crash and burn, I decided to take a step forward, and make manifest my pet vision to reactivate the true Agent Steel, this time around, inclusive of my participation—which further inspired me to act upon making contact with Juan (Garcia), good ole friend/now guitar Guru—to begin drafting plans to re-launch the true Agent Steel musical entity.
The details as to why the reunion failed to blossom to fruition onward to the making of an official new Agent Steel album has been covered extensively in other interviews I've done. But to summarize here and now for the record, it was due to Bernie Versailles' greed as to motion to take my place onstage as the singer/front man—which was the ultimate cause of the reunion's failure.
Continuing: It was actually eight years after the failure of the reunion to stay intact, that Oliver Weinsheimer—first reached out to the administrators of the official John Cyriis/Agent Steel Facebook—proposing that I bring my current band onto the 2019 Keep It True festival stage—to perform a classic Agent Steel set; this is where the true catalyst began to take form—as the official launch-pad, through which I would endeavour to resurrect my current musical aspirations—forwarding my vision to relaunch my brand (i.e., "Agent Steel" to re-manifest itself—as the saucer, by which my novels would be recognized).
NEW AGENTS OF STEEL
Luxi: The new incarnation of Agent Steel has had a pretty troublesome start, with all kinds of not-so-beautiful things happening within the band. Would you kindly enlighten us about those things?
John: Well, first I'd like to begin here by clarifying some rather troublesome details which should be brought out: I'd like to begin this subject by saying that "the lineup which appeared at Keep It True festival 2019 was the farthest exemplary—to a lineup that my administrators and I had envisioned. Instead, and unfortunately so, we gathered a team of less-than-competent musicians—who from the get-go, despite having claimed to be adequately competent for fulfilling the sensitive positions—were obviously not. It is now evident, that none had been sincere in their intentions to wholesomely take on the responsibility, and a few in the crew, had actually gotten on board with ill-intent as to representing me—and the brand I held so dear. They were in it for the money, and "the glory."
One of the two guitarists who came on board one-month prior the show (due to the fact Damien Giron, Texas guitarist extraordinaire, had bailed out of the lead guitar position—due to extreme dissatisfaction with the inabilities of Igor Lopes—to handle the Juan Garcia guitar parts—thus avoiding embarrassment, by refusing to take the KIT festival 2019 stage—with Igor lopes) was a fine lad, but despite taking into consideration the fact he had less than a month to learn the entire Agent Steel set—became extremely irritable, and hard to work with—due to continual pressure from dissenting Igor, a psycho Dutch guy named M., and other colluders—who worked over time, to abort my 2019 "Eight Lights Over Europe" tour.
Hein (bass man) was probably the most competent of all the musicians in the bunch; he was definitely not of the same breed of incompetency... As the others. In fact, he was a polished professional who "simply wanted to help out, and make a few extra bucks!"
Kyle A. (drums), whom I believed to be a professional—was another problem, due to his having bailed out on me just like the rest— as he initially insisted that he preferred touring with his young wife, rather than "leave her at home amongst the wolves", demanding private accommodations separate from the band ("as if he and his wife were on their honeymoon"—quote Igor Lopes, circa 2019).
Kyle, in truth, despite being a competent player, was not a really a Speed/Thrash drummer; he was more of a hard Heavy/Rock drummer, resembling the kind of drummer you would see in a band like Foo Fighters. His true musical function is as singer/guitarist—who fronts his own band—"beneath the Hollywood logo (a lyric from new Agent Steel song "The Way of The Mechanism"—which is one of the tracks included on the forthcoming album No Other Godz Before Me—soon to be released on Dissonance Productions/Records)".
It was Kyle, whom upon following the others to swing the axe——that led to the final abortion of the "Eight Lights Over Europe" tour—stated as he walked away, "Hey John, face it dude, all the promoters mysteriously cancelling this entire tour means something. You should consider just how powerful your enemies really are, and you should just accept it, dude; accept the fact that—at the end of the day, they all conspired with your ex-managers, and other adversaries from your past and present, to make a fool out of you onstage at KIT, by getting you there late—and by then not performing at their very best, and in truth, performing at their very worst; worse than their already incompetent selves allowed!
And so, I'll just tell you this much as I gathered the facts... THEY ALL PLAYED THEIR PARTS IN CONTRIBUTING TO YOUR TOUR BEING ABORTED!
He finalized by saying, "Just look at the facts, bro, Igor Lopes"—rhythm guitar for Agent Steel at KIT 2019—didn't even try to help you to sing the back-ups so important to an Agent Steel classic set live performance... Sad man!
"Maybe you're in the wrong business. As the saying goes, "Crime doesn't pay." Instead, in your case, the saying should be, "Fighting against the cosmic gag order at large—doesn't pay...!" Mwahahahahahahaha!!!!
I must reiterate here, the fact that I believe Hein (bass), and Leo (lead guitarist) did their very best to play their parts adequately... And perform to the best of their abilities.
So you see, I have come to the conclusion that, in today's Metal music industry, overwhelmed by cliquish executive personnel—working overtime to be politically correct, sucking up to the "popular crowd of demons and minions of twisted religious crusades of hate and darkness" who sport their self-imposed inquisition onto all who express an indifferent philosophy to their own, do so by a disguised threatening—of all whom they consider rogue to their state, with a warning (of course hypocritical and contradictive of their original philosophy which claimed to champion free thinkers)—by letting it be very well known... That "to be left alone in Metal nowadays, one must either... Join them in their religious crusade... Or... Turn a blind eye to their proselytizing rhetoric—and "DARE NOT OPPOSE THEIR mythological BASED RELIGIOUS SADO-FETISHES—lest one choose to suffer prosecution in the courts of their troll-based juries... Who suckle on their twisted girlie patrol of non-intellect degenerates—lulling the rogue troops into inquisition—by way of banishing, slandering, libelling, into intimidation... Those who as much as blink away from their control and agenda. This, manner of running the Metal state they've taken for their own, serves their ultimate agenda that is to "Isolate by intimidation" all and any who go rogue.
So therefore, nowadays, you never know—who anyone truly is—or what their true intentions are—considering the highly religious stigmas attached Metal music, that which has apparently dominated the scene—as being "the cabal that is popular, and politically correct!"
The problem with my functioning within this cabal harmoniously is... I did not form Agent Steel to be politically correct. Agent Steel is not, nor will ever be "politically correct!"
I truly believe this is why Agent Steel has developed into such an icon and legendary band/brand in Metal music; the attention Agent Steel has gained is truly occult and legendary, is due to the fact that it is not a politically correct musical entity. Should Agent Steel ever veer toward a philosophical direction that could be considered politically correct, it would simply "vanish" as quickly as Punk music has.
Again, the uniqueness, and polemical quality attached the brand/entity—still acknowledged as unique and occult—the musical entity known as AGENT STEEL—will never be "politically correct!" should this ever plague the brand known as Agent Steel, it will completely seize to exist in a blink of an eye!
Adding: I believe this to be yet another component which led to the failure of the faux Agent Steel. Bruce Hall's attempt to compartmentalize the Agent Steel/Alien interconnected lyrical and philosophical concepts—as an inverse argument to counter my narrative colouring the concepts relegating my '80s Agent Steel (rebellious, politically incorrect) anti-social stance—campaigned by Bruce into the ultimate disinterest of the "true fans" which brought about the dissemination of that incarnation. Bruce and company embarked upon a crusade inspired by, and provoked (by someone) for delivery via his lyrical agenda to shoulder as their canon to counter my concepts—the "David Ike" conspiracy theorist—mass marketing book selling agenda—constantly revisited within the fabric of Bruce's lyrics, which simply put the Bruce Hall faux Agent Steel into a "politically correct mode". Oops! This change in conceptual delivery—irreconcilably jutted the band into a "turn the head away snarling—by the fans"—whom disillusioned by the abandonment of my "chilling politically incorrect lyrical alien based concepts"—i.e., those I had envisioned, created—and put to work delivered via the first three classic Agent Steel albums—brought about a fate that "simply backfired on them." Their plight, boomeranged, thus serving nothing other than to sport a "hands off the wheel risky business venture", down a dead-end street—bringing Bruce to a heavy foot on the brakes climax—aborting their engineered agenda to erase me—by carbon copy/proxy. They arrogantly, and blindly failed to respect (out of disrespect toward me) the reality as to just how valuable and important my formula was—to the catalyst by which "my original/thought provoking politically incorrect brand/alien related concepts"—were responsible for the ascension of Agent Steel on its rapidly ascending upward flight—onto the platforms of international recognition—by which it is now obvious—that my philosophical lyrical formula—and unique song writing approach—was the very element—which attracted the true fans—the band retains to this very day!
(Keep in mind that there are only 2-3 bands who wrote, and recorded instrumentals within the genres of Rock/Heavy Rock—only one being of the Metal genre—that being Iron Maiden's "Genghis Khan"; Agent Steel is the only other; the instrumental "The Day at Guyana" was my idea and creation; the forthcoming Agent Steel album titled No Other Godz Before Me will continue the instrumental tradition—with two spacey instrumentals I wrote, titled, "Passage to Afron-V", and "Entrance to Afron-V"—which will close the album.)
Continuing my delineation of the Bruce Hall-Agent Steel albums: All of this, brings me to wonder just whose agenda they were trying to brownie point—as a ploy to ascertain the support of—those who would share in their mutual dissatisfaction with what I had achieved against all odds. What I'm trying to say here is, the faux Agent Steel may have reached out to some group of people with a philosophical agenda platform contrary to my own—that to use as a strength in assisting their campaign to reinvent, and bilk, for financial gain... My Agent Steel brand—simultaneously desecrating my conceptual agenda—-all the while adding the intent of erasing my person and my legacy, not excluding my cherished concepts, both philosophical and musical to the burner. Their philosophical stance seemed to me, sycophant delivered, to impress those who would see their recreation of the band—as a support for inverse philosophies—that are at cross purposes to my own, thus, seeing their diversion of my work as advantageous—their decision—hoping their motions would be supportive of their business agenda—simultaneously showing a hands down, raise the white flag to... Those whose philosophical "politically correct sinister agenda" —was irrevocably opposed to that of mine.
Continuing additions to this question:
Bands that have been together for a long time, where there is camaraderie (such as Overkill), don't have to face the problems musicians have to deal with in this day and age. So I would like fans, as well as those interested in Agent Steel in general, to know that I am not making promises as to lineup solidarity, another words, everyone is replaceable, such as is the case with Megadeth: as long as Dave (Mustaine) is intact, and as long as an album is made and delivered, it is still the true Megadeth. However, I do have a solid commitment with certain long-time friends—such as my partner/guitarist Bill Simmons—which is a non-negotiable friendship, such as if someone were to attempt to wedge us apart, it's non-negotiable for my end. I also have a solid commitment to bassist Joe McGuigan, who is a truly gifted musician, and has helped a whole lot with the kick-start of this new Agent Steel. Joe has become a trusted adviser, and good friend.
Other than these individuals, you never know...
Luxi: Would you also say this new lineup are all true Agent Steel fans, so working with them is truly easy because they already know almost too well how the band should sound like?
John: I would like to clearly state here and now—for the record—that whatever lineup supports me in my endeavours to explicate the Agent Steel band's music—past, present or future—will be carefully chosen from here on out, as professionals and supporters, representing my vision—both music and perpetual—in the band's evolution, relegating the brands' tumultuous and tongue-biting polemical philosophy—and evermore magnifying my visions as the character antithetical to plasticized society, and political-correctness and the mass-thought endorsement of the flabbergasted, alleged-rebellious artistic community—many who are, at the end of the day, a cabal of posers, hypocrites, thieves, and cowards. Most live a life completely vagrant and unconscious of my ambivalent and philosophical memorandum, which is: "And remember: Believe in everything... For Humans have the power to create, and so anything is possible—positive or negative; we have the freewill to make it thus so... But beware... And worship nothing—thus no other should be above thyself!" (J. Cyriis, circa 2019).
Reiterating: It is in my opinion that, many who populate today's artistic community—are mostly made up of posers, who at the beginning and end of the day, turn their backs on those who are truly unique, and innovative—especially targeted, are those who provoke some manner of original thought, alternate genres of music and art, not compatible with their agendas to puppeteer robotic downward-directed energy sensation seekers—i.e. below-the-belt—salivating consumers of "popular dance music (for more info on this, see No Other Godz Before Me album track—"The Way of the Mechanism/Slaves of the Mechanism", for a more detailed synopsis)".
It seems that if one is a bit intellectual, and questions the why's and wherefores of the politically correct—religious ambiance dictatorship—dominating Metal music nowadays—stigmatises and labels the perpetrator as being "bat-shit crazy" or "hard to work with"—for simply being bold enough—to stand forth against those of the status quo, and their mythological crusades—their philosophies proselytized as gospel rather than what they truly are—a sham...!
MR. METAL MASTER BILL SIMMONS
Luxi: Bill Simmons, who was the original Agent Steel guitarist, is part of the band nowadays. How did you connect with him after all these years and what was his catalyst to join the band again after so many years?
John: Well, the chosen cream of the crop metal pioneers that I have had previous contact with always seem to make their way back to the mighty Steel—if they are truly legit. Mr. Bill Simmons is a truly legit Metal Master, and long-time friend. As I said earlier, our friendship/partnership is non-negotiable—for my end.
Luxi: As the prime motor of the band, how have you been able to keep your voice in shape all these years? As you get older, it isn't so easy to reach those higher notes as it probably used to be when you were younger, I would imagine. See what happened with Rob Halford, for example. At times, he's sadly struggling live when trying to reach those high octaves.
John: All I can say is, it's like a 90-pound woman, who upon seeing a small but very heavy vehicle about to run over her baby, manages to lift the car up long enough to pull her child from beneath it, without any earthly logical explanation... Whatsoever.
NO OTHER GODZ BEFORE ME
Luxi: As you reported earlier, the forthcoming Agent Steel album will be called No Other Godz Before Me. Is there anything you can tell us about the new songs you have in the works for this album?
John: Here is the official tracklist for the album:
1. Passage to Afron-V
2. No Other Godz Before Me
3. Ill Wind That Bloweth
4. Carousel of Vagrant Souls
5. The Devil's Greatest Trick
7. Separation of Church and Fate
8. No Way Out
9. Outer Space Connection
10. Time Machine
11. A Sinister Turn of Events
12. The Way of the Mechanism
14. Entrance to Afron-V
Luxi: The new Agent Steel album will be released on October 18, 2019, by the UK's Dissonance Records. Have you also planned to make a promotional video (or two) prior to the album's release to promote it better?
John: I certainly hope so. It's up to the label, really. Technically, this is the seventh Agent Steel album, but the true fourth, due to my inclusion in the lineup, so it truly deserves a serious and major campaign be launched prior to, and simultaneous with its release. Let's hope that Dissonance meets the expectations that I have and follows through all that was promised (which includes videos to support song clips).
STEVE BEATTY AND DISSONANCE RECORDS
Luxi: How did you end up signing a deal with Steve Beatty's Dissonance Records? Was it a relatively easy decision to sign with them, knowing Steve's such a huge fan and supporter of the band?
John: Well, I believe that I do owe a degree of significant thanks to Mr Oliver Weinsheimer for allowing me the privilege of the greatest vocal audition of my life. Considering the fact the lineup at his KIT festival 2019 was so shitty, I was at least given the chance to demonstrate my vocal abilities have evolved and even transcended the work I did—not only on the three classic studio albums—but surpassing as well—all the combined work I did on tour throughout the 80s.
Steve Beatty, as a true long-time Agent Steel fan, may have witnessed that performance, or at least got wind of it, deciding to reach out to me, offering a recording agreement. I was really very flattered by Steve's interest in me as an artist, as Steve approached me with basically an open option to release a new musical effort—either as an individual, or attached the Agent Steel brand name. It was I that chose to return to show-biz, officially so—via Steve's offer, shouldering the Agent Steel brand name—as the platform through which I would resurrect my voices and philosophy, thus relaunching the band, for the revisiting by previous and hopefully new fans alike—promising on international campaign be kick-started within the true Metal Music community—via Dissonance Productions, respectfully so.
At times, I have to be honest: I sometimes wonder whether it was the right move to resurrect my brand, the Agent Steel entity, via this opportunity, rather than a solo effort, which I would in turn call S.E.T.I. Yet, considering the fact I prefer to be involved in a collaborative effort, being a team player, despite what Bernie (Versailles) would have everyone believe, I decided to resurrect and re-launch my musical and philosophical efforts, via my Agent Steel brand/entity.
Back to the topic at hand, it has been an absolute pleasure thus far, working with Steve, Tom (his partner), and the rest of the staff at Dissonance. I must add that the agreement I entered into to record and release this long awaited/forthcoming Agent Steel 7th/4th studio album—was all in all... A fair deal... Not a great one, but fair enough for me—as for the most part, I believe it far better a bet, to enter into "a fair deal" with experienced music industry personnel, who support and believe in their acts, being fans themselves, rather than entering into an agreement with "heavy hitters", possibly corporate sharks—who care nothing about the music, and its creators' well-being and reputation.
HIGHLY FINE-TUNED AND SUPER-CHARGED METAL
Luxi: Would you go so far as saying these new Agent Steel songs represent the same vibe and feeling that the band incorporated into the first two classic albums (Skeptics Apocalypse, Unstoppable Force) and the Mad Locust Rising EP, just with a tad more modernized production?
John: Absolutely not!!! This exemplary of Agent Steel, is a highly energy fine-tuned super-charged evolution supernovae, which will far surpass the efforts of the 1980s classic albums; this, not simply due to the fact that musical equipment and technology in the 80s was inferior to the devices and recording gear available nowadays, but instead, for the fact nowadays, music and recording equipment's technology techniques and approaches to capturing music—has far surpassed the technology available in the '80s. A lot of great recordings can be made on one's domestic front (via pro tools, etc)—being far less costly than hourly rates at prestigious recording studios.
First of all, despite Juan Garcia having evolved into a super fine musician (or he would never have landed the guitar position in such a great band as Body Count, and be one of the founders of one of the best Speed/Thrash bands on the planet, Evil Dead), he was not originally an experienced Metal music composer. The first two Agent Steel classic efforts were volcanisms from the vaults of my leftover guitar-writing years. Of course, Kurt Colfelt composed "Back to Reign", and Mark Marshall the main riff and harmony in "Agents of Steel", but aside from those songs, 90% of the writing of the first two Agent Steel efforts were my guitar music creations. Unstoppable Force brought about more original contributions from Bernie and Juan, not excluding Michael Zaputil—but mainly so being, inspired by influences, brought about by the music I had written for Skeptics Apocalypse and Mad Locust Rising.
So, to revert back around to the core of your question: No, the new album—No Other Godz Before Me—will not lay itself in stagnancy and inertia by repossessing itself in the re-creating of the classic albums—which participate musically as a creation in that point in the history of the band's songwriting projection, but should bear no resemblance, or influence, in the band's current evolution—if we are to succeed in fulfilling the current state of evolution, every true fan I would hope—expects of this album.
One moves on from high school to college, and not the opposite. This album is the graduate school of Agent Steel. If need be, I apologize here—to Agent Steel fans, who expect a cloning and stagnant re-enactment of the exact same song writing approach, sounds, and philosophies exhibited on the 80s classic albums... This album will not be what many would expect it to be... As an evolving artist and polemicist, I refuse to go back to high school—or worse... Elementary school.
Comparing Led Zeppelin albums, as an example: Zeppelin I was a different universe to that of the album Presence—so why should No Other Godz Before Me sound like Unstoppable Force?
Luxi: Have you had any talks about a record release party/show yet?
John: We are hoping that Dissonance will honour us with such a gala event. The ultimate would be a barbecue and party, with some former lineup mates such as Juan Garcia, George Robb, Robert Cardenas, etc., performing a classic set—which would include some new material, as well as some classic songs—performed under the stars on a pleasant summer evening in Machu Pichu...
But, a bash at a prestigious London club would do just fine!
Luxi: You have some shows already scheduled for this year and next, like Up the Hammers festival in Greece in March 2020, which will also be captured on film. Obviously, you have planned to play a very special Agent Steel performance there, with some old and new stuff in a good mixture. Is there anything else you can reveal about that show? Can we, the fans, possibly get a sneak peek in to what's to come? Any special settings on stage, with flying saucers, aliens and stuff? ;o)
John: Well, first of all, Dissonance showed serious interest in participating in the making of the first live Agent Steel album/DVD, inclusive of its original singer and creator of the Agent Steel brand. The rest is really rather confidential at the moment, as we wouldn't wanna add any unnecessary spoilers—as it will be far more energizing as a last-minute surprise bonus close encounters—to let watchers see for themselves just what may approach venues upon the arrival of the band.
WHEN THINGS DON'T GO AS PLANNED – THE KIT EPISODE 2019
Luxi: How was your experience at Germany's Keep It True festival on April 26 of this year? I read you only played a 30-minute set though you were slated to play for a full hour. What happened to shorten your set so radically? Some Agent Steel die-hards were kind of mad and disappointed, according to what I heard anyway...
John: I agree, and so was I...
The original plan was for us to get there three to four hours prior to the performance. The reason as to my late arrival at the gig was due to multiple series of events which occurred sometime before the performance.
My personal representative, Slim, penned half of the story from his perspective, as I wasn't present throughout some of the issues surrounding the events that transpired prior to our late arrival at the festival:
"It all began with a deal we had with a tour van dealership—that fell through; the band was supposed to use the tour van to get to Keep It True, and perhaps for the rest of the shows we were scheduled to play (all eventually—and mysteriously cancelled—for no logical or legit reason). After the deal fell through, a then-friend of ours (who was the perpetrator involved in bringing about Jon's late arrival at KIT, and who I will here nickname "M."), bragged on about how he could get us a better van for a cheaper price from a relative of his, adding how closer it was to go fetch it. Considering he was at the time acting like a manager/friend helping out the band, we thought he had it covered."
"On the day of the show, we got to his relative's dealership to pick up the van. It was a last-minute nightmare learning that his relative had suddenly brought up multiple unnecessary additional charges—and safeguards. We were a bit furious, to be honest; M. had not told us about all these added issues would be brought out—prior to the show, making us wait two hours at the dealership trying to resolve multiple issues, which started a sort of domino-effect—that led us to arriving late at the gig. After being delayed for two hours, we finally managed to reach an agreement with his relative, and after finally getting the van, we made our way to pick up Jon, along with the rest of the band."
Meanwhile, M. had invited a friend of his from Dusseldorf, Germany to accompany me to KIT the previous day—driving his own vehicle—separate from the band van, which would include transporting me and Leo (guitarist) to the festival. M. told my representative he had chosen this course of transportation—because his friend owned a Station Wagon—and it would therefore be more comfortable for me to relax a bit while driving to the venue. In the process of picking up the band, we had suddenly realised that the van M's relative rented us, was too small....and would not serve as a good size transport for the entire band and crew.
After everything was packed up and ready to go, the van made its way to Hein's (bass player) house—which was thirty-minutes away. On the way to Hein's, the "domino-effect" began its chain reaction effect upon the timeline...
About twenty-minutes after departing from the hotel and getting on the road, I had realised, that M. forgot my luggage in the parking lot of the hotel. My representative then had to call the hotel, letting them know about the lost baggage. M., his friend, Leo and I had to return back to the hotel and collect it, while the rest of the band continued their drive to Hein's house. After retrieving my luggage and finally getting on the road on our way to KIT (we were already about thirty-minutes behind the van that which carried the rest of the band), we encountered heavy loads of traffic. Though we were now only fifteen-minutes behind the van transporting the band, something went terribly wrong—due to my having fallen into a deep sleep in the car with M., his driver, and Leo.
Continuing: Upon awakening I had realised that—something was wrong. Awake, I pretended to still be asleep, carefully listening to the dialogue between M. and a Dutch promoter—who was the first to unfairly cancel Agent Steel from our Dynamo Eindhoven show. I heard M. on his phone, chatting with the Dutch promoter, apparently coordinating something with M. When M. realised I was awake, he quickly got off his call, and sat in silence in the front seat. That's when I requested M. to make immediate contact with my representative and the band, who weren't supposed to be too far ahead of us (little to my knowing at that moment—the van was hours ahead of the vehicle I was in) before I took the nap—or so I thought...?!?
I asked M., who had cell service in Europe, to call the driver of the van, and ask them to stop at the next roadside gas station, so I could get some cash off my rep, as he was in possession of my wallet before the trip. M. turned to me and said, "Well, that would be impossible, because we are now three-hours behind the van that is transporting your rep and the band."
From that point till the time of reaching the KIT fest grounds, all M. and his driver seemed to do was—argue with me, coming up with excuse after excuse—all invalid—as to why we went from being fifteen-minutes behind the van, to three-hours behind the van—in merely a blink of an eye—all conveniently executed during my nap after departing Tilburg.
The van arrived at KIT three-hours before M., his driver, the guitarist and I did—yet upon approaching the venue ten-minutes a distance from the KIT festival grounds—M. suddenly decided to stop at a Burger King, where he claimed he just had to charge his cell phone for about an hour, before finally delivering me and the guitarist to the festival grounds—of course, all the while, calling various personnel at the KIT festival grounds from his charging cell phone at Burger King, stating to some of the staff at KIT "that it was I (Cyriis)" who asked to stop at Burger King—to use the toilet... Stating to personnel at KIT that he thought this gesture to be "outrageous" on my part!
I asked him why he was lying to personnel at the KIT festival grounds as to why we were late, and why he stated on his cell phone to them "that it was Cyriis who asked to stop at Burger King to use the toilet instead of proceeding to the festival grounds to begin the Agent Steel already-late performance"; he simply stated, "Because it will be okay if the late arrival comes because of you rather than me...You are the performer and are therefore immune to any backlashes—should they decide to implement one due to your tardiness."
I had no control of that car, as I was not the driver; no one was answering my questions as to why that car being fifteen-minutes behind the van—suddenly went to three-hours behind the van after I began my nap; no one answered my questions as to why M. just had to stop at a Burger King, ten-minutes before finally arriving at the KIT fest grounds—my being already so late to take the stage. I knew that all this had to have been pre-planned by an ex-manager with an axe to grind; a booking agency that chose to collude with him; and all the trolls that they collected to assist them along the way—all engineered before reaching that fateful stage at Keep It True XXII.
So, as you see, I was railroaded to arrive late at the festival by this person, who was under the command of the interfering colluders—he was commissioned and puppeteered by....
AGENT STEEL CONQUERING STAGES IN 2020
Luxi: Now when we are talking about your future live plans, do you believe Agent Steel are going to catch the festival train as far as 2020 is concerned? I believe you do have some negotiations going on with some festival organizers as we speak, correct?
John: I certainly hope so. After all the fiction that was circulated, as launched by the outcome of sharing the stage with a faulty lineup at the Keep It True 2019 festival—the collusions enacted by conspirators to landmine the outcome of that performance via various social media outlets, have inspired me to herein via this interview—clarify what is truth, and what is purely fake-news. I am hoping that promoters will see through the veneer of deceit, and hypocrisy, the colluders have campaigned against me as sham and fakery: their attempts to blacklist me from performing in the EU—as the ploy through which their personal agendas—are expedited and in their hoping that their smear campaign agendas will bear ultimate fruit, and therefore bring about the demise of my family and I—my brand, and philosophies is most certainly failed...
Despite all their efforts to do me harm, I carry on... RA!
Luxi: Is your main intention to tour as much as possible in 2020?
John: Absolutely! The intention is to send a reeling curveball back upon the jealous losers-militia, who colluded to have every date of the "Eight Lights over Europe" tour cancelled, and erase my current "Metal mission...".
"John Cyriis and Agent Steel lives" and there are several dates already confirmed, and the new album is about to be launched. GET READY FOR THE STEEL in its current evolutionary supernova combustion!
This time around, we'll just let the music do the talking friends!!
Luxi: ...or will you just try to focus on some well-selected festivals...?
John: Yes, we would prefer to be more selective as to the kind of shows in general that we will take on in 2020, being the fact that we're going to be campaigning and representing the new album, No Other Godz Before Me.
"Quality rather than quantity" is the motto for the 2020 show selections.
Luxi: Are there some countries that you'd like to visit with Agent Steel or does it not really matter as long as there's demand to see the band live?
John: Well, anywhere that is home to an Agent Steel fan, is a nation that is deserving of our respect and praise and that is exactly what we'll show upon travelling to any destination on the planet that will demonstrate themselves as kind and generous hosts toward the mighty Agent Steel!
Luxi: What do you overall expect from the band in 2020?
John: A clean, direct, precise execution of, not only the evolution and continuation of my philosophical and musical agenda, which I engraved onto the first three classic Agent Steel albums—but also a modern transformative advance from the sludge and slumber, that I feel kind of restricted old school metal from evolving, transcending, and reaching an all-new high and peak—in the current age of continuing and always-developing/evolving Metal music.
I also expect this lineup to execute the classic material with mastery and precision, all the while demonstrating an upgraded superior-technique and transcendence from all previous lineups—especially to counter that disappointing incompetent circle of jerks that joined me onstage at Keep It True 2019—excluding, of course, the bassist, Hein, and guitarist, Leo—who were obviously the only competent musicians in the bunch.
Luxi: I want to sincerely thank you, Mr. Cyriis, for your time to have this "chat" with me, and in the very same breath, I want to wish you all the best with any future endeavours with the band! Any closing comments perhaps?
John: Can't wait to visit and perform in the wonderful and beautiful country of Italy! They will be one of the first to witness the mighty sounds of the transcended Agent Steel, being some of the first to witness live performances campaigning the majestic material from the forthcoming true 4th/7th Agent Steel album—officially titled: No Other Godz Before Me.
"And remember: Believe in everything... For Humans have the power to create, and so anything is possible—positive or negative; we have the freewill to make it thus so... But beware... And worship nothing—thus no other should be above thyself!"
—J. Cyriis (circa 2019)
|Other information about Agent Steel on this site|
|Review: Omega Conspiracy|
|Review: Order Of The Illuminati|
|Review: Unstoppable Force|
|Review: Skeptics Apocalypse|
|Interview with Juan Garcia (guitars) on July 7, 2003 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)|
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