Afflicted
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Afflicted

London, England, United Kingdom | SELF

London, England, United Kingdom | SELF
Band Rock Alternative

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"Review & Interview"

Afflicted are a 5 piece UK based Hard Rock band. They've been making music for over a decade, and after a long break the band are back with their new album 'Cold'.
The bands sound is energy filled and full of driving riffs that make you want to punch your fist in the air with joy.

It's nice to hear a band that is so classically hard rock with the wailing guitars and thumping triple pedal bass drum, whilst still managing to keep that hint of alternative rock with songs like 'Gone'.

Afflicted's single 'Oxygen' (The drummers favourite from the album 'Oxygen' we might add) has an industrial, grimey sound with definate 'Disturbed' influences, we highly recommend this song to any Disturbed fans out there.

The single 'Gone' from Afflicted's new album 'Cold' starts with a melodic vocal line backed with a simple yet catchy guitar and bass line, which leads into rockingly pleasing riffage.
The chorus is catchy, thumpy and you just can't resist the beat. This track is awesome to rock out to and is one of those tracks that says 'screw you! I am who I am and I'm better off without you'.

So we can honestly say we liked what we heard and we wanted to get to know Afflicted a little better. So here are some questions we posed to them...


Band members:
Menelaos - Vocals / Guitars

Melio - Gutiars

Rob - Guitars / Bass

Nabz - Drums

Vin - Backing Vocals / Keyboards (Unfortunately not available for the interview)


1. What got you into music?

Menelaos: I've always been into music from an early age. My older brother used to play the piano and I remember watching him play when I was like 3 years old. It was a natural thing for me. Later on, when I was around 14 I started to learn the guitar and shortly after started singing and recording myself.. I used to really suck in those days! LOL I learnt how to produce music at school and just kept learning.

Melio: I started playing keyboards when I was 10, I progressed to guitar when I was 12. I've never looked back!

Nabz: Picked up the drums when I was at secondary school, but always had a fascination with them before that. Learned to play by playing along to rock and metal records.

Rob: My dad's influence in particular I would say.. Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple.. It's enough to get you to pick up a guitar!




2. What is your favourite moment/memory with Afflicted?



Melio: After the band's long break, it was great to restart it again and start preparing for a new album and touring.

Nabz: The completion of the Oxygen album was a particular highlight because it was the first album I was involved in with Afflicted… And it was challenging!

Menelaos: I think the greatest moment for me is when I was originally working on the AffliXion back in 2000. Near the end of it Rob got involved with quite a few of the tracks too but we didn't really have any expectations for it other than the fact we thought it would be fun to do. When it was finished we kind of looked at each other and thought.. Man.. We've got something here!

Rob: Starting off with "The Fall" at our Sound gig in 2004. The impact of the crowd when they heard that opening riff. It was also the biggest venue we've played to date and you could hear the difference!



3. Do you prefer gigging or recording?

Melio: I've always enjoyed performing rather than recording. There's something about being able to improvise in live performances that I prefer.

Nabz: I really enjoy the creative part of recording new material and getting it down on record, but nothing beats the feeling of playing live. The vibe can be electric and it makes all that hard work of writing new material worth it in the end.

Menelaos: I'm the odd one out here - It's all about the recording! Don't get me wrong, playing live is great but my real passion is locking myself away from the world for a day or two and then producing something original. It's the way I deal with life's problems I guess so it's a very personal experience to me!

Rob: I would say recording. I like putting together all the small pieces of the puzzle. I find you can be a lot more creative in the recording process! There's nothing quite like recording that perfect guitar section and hearing it back in the mix!





4. Has illegal downloading of music affected the band in any way? And what are your views on people getting the recorded music for free?

Menelaos: Ahh.. An interesting one. Okay, mp3 is a great way for unsigned artists like ourselves to get recognised and to promote ourselves, but in the end, mp3 is widely used to steal music, which I believe is morally wrong. I think people should pay for music they appreciate, otherwise the bands, (especially if they are as poor as us! LOL) will have no financial backing to continue to create quality music. The silver lining is that people who steal music *may* decide that we are great and advertise us to their friends which is of course good for exposure.



5. What is your favourite song that you have written so far?

Melio: "To The Light" has an awesome riff and I like the way the backing vocals and synths support the main vocal melody line.

Nabz: Probably "Oxygen" from that album because it was so challenging to get nailed and when it did it sounded like a beast. From the new album I'll go with "Gone", it's a good rock song and a lot of people can relate to the words.

Menelaos: I would say "Gone". It's one of the most recent ones I've written so it is still very fresh and personal to me. I think anyone who's ever been in a relationship that ended will be able to relate to it.

Rob: That's a tough one.. But I would have to say "Oxygen". It's such a powerful track that it really lifts you.


6. On your website you say that Cold was inspired from Menelaos' personal experience. Does the band always write from personal experience? And who usually writes the songs?

Menelaos: I can honestly say that every Afflicted song is based on personal experience. For the most part, they tend to be mine! I generally write and produce all the music but the guys do get involved and tell me when stuff "sucks"! In saying that, several songs ( especially the older ones ) were co-written by the guys and me.


7. Do you have a favourite lyric? (can be from your own songs or another artists song)

Melio: No. < laughs >.

Nabz: "How does it feel to know that this life of yours is real" . It's from a Sevendust song called "Live Again". Just the idea that knowing that if you're really having a hard time in life that this is all there is, how does it feel? It's a messed up idea that makes you sit up and think about your life and where you're headed. Are you making the most of it?

Menelaos: "Holding on to hope.. Hoping to hold on.. " From "5:00 AM" on the Oxygen album. This line is a clever play on words that describes "hope" as something circular and not concrete. Hope isn't strong enough to get you through something, you need a plan, something decisive. This line was meant to demonstrate a certain emotional weakness through the lyrics.

Rob: I really like the line in "GONE" that goes, "I thought you were the greatest part of me, sucking my soul away, you know you deceived me". I find that line to be simple and effective.


8. We noticed on your site there is talk of a tour? Any news on when this will be yet?

Nabz: The tour will be taking place as soon as the new line up (we've just got Rob back in to play bass) is set on the material. We're looking to hit the gigging hard for warm up and then organise a tour around Europe, depending on how the album does. Either way, Afflicted will be coming to a lot of people live all over the country.


9. Any tips for people starting up/in a band trying to make it in the music industry?

Melio: Never perform until you are 100%! 95% just won't do!

Nabz: Keep practising, work hard at developing your sound and being comfortable with each other and most of all have fun! If you put too much pressure on yourself to "make it" you'll miss out on the greatness of just kicking back with mates and creating something.

Menelaos: Also, If you think you're going to get rich quick - you're in the wrong industry! This is an industry where passion flourishes first! If you want to offer something of value make sure your heart is in it!

Rob: Yeh, make sure your heart and soul is in it and make sure you're not doing it half-heartedly. You have to be committed to your music and you need to be passionate about it. If you're not then it's not worth doing..


Any last words?
Nabz: Check out "Cold", our newest album - just head to our website www.afflicted1.com. Also keep in contact with us on facebook and myspace for upcoming gigs and just to let us know what you think! - Rootsmusicuk


"COLD ALBUM REVIEW"

Album Title: Cold
Artist: Afflicted
Reviewers Name: Rhonda Readence
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Summary: Afflicted takes us through the many stages of a break up, but they do it without sounding sad, sappy, or depressed. The music itself is enough to keep any listener pleasantly occupied, but when coupled with the heartfelt and thought provoking lyrics, there is no chance that anyone could walk away from this album.


When I think of Great Britain, the first thing to come to mind is tea and crumpets, royalty, and cool accents. And while this is all well and good, it’s always nice to know that there is some killer music that comes out of Great Britain too. The UK, that is. Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, the Beatles, Mary Poppins…… Oh, wait……

In any case, the list goes on. Included on that list should be one Menelaos Georgiou, the mastermind behind the band Afflicted. The album is based on his divorce, and when I read this, I cringed ever so slightly. I was expecting to hear some sad sappy heart broken love songs. I was gritting my teeth and wondering how I could possibly write a decent review about an album that revolves around something as serious and painful as separating yourself from someone you once loved enough to marry?

Well, I need not worry. Menelaos is not about to send us into hysterical crying jags. With the first track he makes it clear that this is not an album designed to mire anyone in sadness or despair. “To the Light” is a song that speaks volumes. I feel stronger just by listening to it. The sound is excellent and the lyrics can give hope to anyone who is going through hard times, regardless of what those hard times might be. I take some sort of cold comfort from the fact that someone can make a song like this. It makes me feel like picking myself up after I’ve just been knocked down by life…… Picking myself up, giving myself a brisk shake, and sauntering off into the future, whatever it may bring. “To the Light” is an inspiration.

“Enemy” is a high energy track and Menelaos’ voice makes me think of the singer from Nickelback. This tune rocks and I’m really digging the guitar work in this one. This is some amazing musicianship and I’m starting to understand the talent that is pouring into my ears through my crystal clear headphones. Still keeping in mind the theme of divorce, the lyrics are again very deep and thought provoking. I have never been married, which means I have likewise never been divorced, but I’m beginning to think this album can reach many people from all around the globe regardless of what the message is or what people have been through.

The third track, “Live and Die,” is another hard hitting tune and again the musicianship is fascinating. However, the musicianship is secondary in this song. The lyrics of “Live and Die” should be heard and listened to by everyone. Menelaos has something important to say here. “There’s more to this life than to live and die.” Indeed. I’m really starting to like this guy.

“Break Me Down” is another rockin’ piece of musical bliss despite the harsh reality of the words. Menelaos hits home with this one. He’s fighting back now. He’s feeling his strength and letting everyone know that nothing is going to break him down. This track makes me feel strong too. And it’s not just the lyrics. There is some seriously wicked guitar work happening here and it’s phenomenal.

“The Lie” tones it down a notch and this is more of a sad song even though it still kicks. It deals with love and lies and trying to move on but not wanting to. Being caught in something that simply can’t work, but being afraid to let it go. This album gets deeper and deeper the more I listen to it, and the music gets better and better.

Track six, “Memories,” breaks it down even further. I very much enjoy the softer feel of this song and the rhythm of it. It’s a haunting tune and anyone who has ever been hurt can certainly relate to it. I also get a much better sense of Menelaos’ vocal abilities. His voice is clear and clean on this track and I can hear the obvious talent that resides in those vocal cords. “Memories” is very nicely done and the quiet dignity in which Menelaos pours his heart out is touching.

“Cold,” which is the title track, starts off with a guitar riff that leads perfectly into Menelaos’ melodic vocals and then some hard hitting chords that takes this song to a new level. This is a brutal song. This is when reality sets in and the harshness of the situation is apparent. This is when the emotions start to get more complicated, and at the same time, they are simplified. Like turning off a switch. Shutting it down. Going cold. There is some anger in this track and that’s what makes it just about perfect. It’s about time I heard some anger on this album.

“Belief” begins with a softer and more melodic beat and I like this one already. I can tell it’s another deep one, rife with emotions. The lyrics are incredible and I feel things stir within me that have been dormant for some time. “Belief” is one of those songs that can be listening to over and over again, and each time it is heard, there is something new to be learned.

The ninth track, “Mine Again,” kicks it up a notch and I can sense the frustration of having lost someone, having parted ways, and trying to figure out what the hell to do now. I can sense great strength and determination in this song and it does me good. It makes me feel like I can overcome the hard times. It makes me feel like fighting for myself. I can find my own way home, just as Menelaos has done.

“The Sign” is a tune about searching, trying to find some THING, anything, to make it better. It has a desperate feel to it and yet it simply rocks. I was getting caught up in the story of this album and the lyrics, and I have committed a grave error. I have forgotten that this is a talented group of musicians. This song makes me remember that. The quality of “The Sign” has brought me back to the here and now and has made me realize that these guys can PLAY. Nice work.

“Desire” is clearly a hard core song from the first notes to the last. Sexy, hot, and dark, this is one of the best tracks on the album. Menelaos nails it, figuratively speaking, with this track. One night stands…… Yeah, they work for a short while, perhaps even one whole night, but it doesn’t take anything away or give anything back. All that aside, this is a great song and if I were to chose a single, this would be it.

“Gone” is full of hope and this saga is almost at an end. Menelaos sums it up well with this track. There is anger, despair, longing, love, hate, hope, fear, strength…… There is a wide range of emotions in this song and the music itself compliments it perfectly. “Gone” lets us know that life goes on, no matter what, and that we DO survive, somehow.

The closing track, “The Wind Blows,” is the final chapter of this story. Menelaos has decided to move on, and even though it will always hurt and pieces will always be missing, this song makes us understand that perhaps that’s alright. For every painful moment, there is a happy one. For every piece that is missing, there is another one waiting to be born. “The Wind Blows” ends this album on an optimistic note, and that was clearly the best way to close this one out.

Afflicted has taken us through the many stages of a break up and they have done it without being sad, sappy, or overly indulgent. This is the way rock ‘n’ roll people break up. The lyrics throughout the album are exceedingly well thought out and they hit home, not just for me, but for everyone. The musicianship is absolutely fantastic and the entire album is carefully crafted, well produced and finely written. Menelaos has done himself proud with this album, but more importantly, he has done himself proud by writing what he was feeling and getting through it. No one likes to be hurt, but if being hurt creates music like this, then there is, at the very least, a silver lining. Much love and many cheers.

Reviewed by Rhonda Readence
Music Journalist ( USA ) - Rhonda Readence (Music Journalist)


Discography

Mirror - 2004
Oxygen - 2006
Cold - 2010

Photos

Bio

London (UK) based Hard Rock band. We have been creating music for over a decade! We have found our own unique sound, that we have found to appeal to a wide variety of listeners.

We have been through many musical transitions. From Rock, to Hard Alternative, from Industrial to just plain Metal, you’ll know you’re listening to AFFLICTED. Chart success mainly via internet charts, including number 1's at Vitaminic, Soundclick and awards from Garage Band, almost always topping the charts in our genre. We write, record and produce all of their own material, giving them full creative freedom to fine tune their sound.

Notice the heavy driving rhythms and powerful vocals and structured melodies; all contributing to AFFLICTED’s signature sound.

By entering their latest songs into Internet music charts all over the world, the early signs are phenomenal. 'Break Me Down', 'To The Light', ‘Sin’, ‘Oxygen’ and ‘5:00am’ all placing high in the charts and generating huge interest, whilst the older songs from our early days (The Fall, Erase, Dark Angel) continue to do well in charts also.

We have found their music worldwide on radio, TV Shows and more!

Since the Summer of 2010, AFFLICTED have performed at some of London's most renowned venues, including the O2 Academy. We have also become well established with several Radio Stations worldwide.

To mark AFFLICTED's 10 year anniversary, "Cold" is here! We believe it's our strongest album to date, with a new and matured focus that really pushes music into the realms of "legendary"!