The Silent Heroes of Rock & Metal: Story of a Dee-Jay; DJ Diavolo Marios

The year was 2009 and I was in the process of organizing the first MetaLmorphosiS Festival. A friend suggested to me a guy from Limassol to cover the live as a DJ, in between the acts. That was the year we met, hit it off, and went on to create Tragedy EnD Productions together, counting so far almost 10 years of friendship and partnership. A person deep into metal music, and a great supporter of local rock and metal bands. Meet my partner in crime, Diavolo Marios.

Interview by Helena ‘Raven’ Geo

Hi Marie. Shall we start off by telling us how many years you have been involved with metal music, both professionally and as a fan?

Hi back at you. The first contact with this rough sound happened during my teenage years, a little less than two decades ago, when we started trading cassette tapes or “stealing” from our elders so that we could feel older as well. Soon I fell in love with the sound and then it became a way of life. Professionally, meaning being able to see that dee-jaying can pay even a little, came in 2005.

Do you remember the first live you attended?

If we exempt the local ones, which were a few back then and even fewer in Limassol, I would say the first big live was Sepultura – Motorhead at Birmingham Academy.

How did you feel at that moment?

The reason I left out mentioning the first local live shows on this question, is that first time feeling. First time in such a large venue, with security regulations, queuing, first time with Lemmy two meters away in front of you, and first time with ‘bleeding’ eardrums. You know what I mean…

Which were your first listens and how did they affect your later-on evolvement in this field and as a dj?

Alice Cooper, Guns ‘n Roses, Metallica (after the sinful beginning with Bon Jovi). They affected in the best possible way. I mean you got to start from somewhere and build on your musical education and knowledge. We also used to listen to Greek music a lot (Spathia, Tripes, Krina) since we were regulars at Kingston Town and listeners of Sosis Theodosiou. Year after year I got involved in more heavy staff, which led to metal, the most complete genre of music.

Your first dj set?

2005. Summer. Me and a friend were looking for a Summer job and someone suggested the idea of operating a venue together in Galatex, Limassol. You can’t exactly call it a dj set because I prepared a playlist in which I added on during the night, since I was mostly under bartender duties at the same time.

Which venues did you dj and with which radio stations did you co-operate?

Locally, at Crusoe’s, Tepee, Motorbar, Rolling Stone, Kingston in Limassol, Rocka Rolla and Neverland in Nicosia, as well as supporting various live shows and metal parties. Abroad, at a few bars in Leeds (a strip bar amongst them) and at Sabaton Cruise in 2012 at the Baltic Sea. Occasionally at radio stations due to friendships with music producers there, Channel 6 (Rolling Stones) and Astra (Alfa ston Kiklo).

Which of all these experiences acted as a defining moment for you and in what way?

Basically, the first one. That is where the thirst started, seeing how the metal society could come together and create fun nights and live shows. It was basically a coiling after years in Limassol, and we got visited from other cities as well.

Where did you use to hang out as a teenager and how did you spend your free time?

Up until we reached the age where we could go out at bars (Tepee, Kingston) we used to hang out at home with friends, burning the midnight oil with CDs and cassette tapes.

What is the first thing that pops into your mind first from those times?

Being carefree! All you used too think about was what would you listen to that day and dreaming of what it would be like if Cyprus was a country like all the other European ones, with a variety of live shows to attend. European ones, with many live shows to attend.

Was there an album or song that affected you as a teenager?

“…And Justice For All”. I still go back to those days whenever I hear a track from that one.

Your first vinyl?

Αccept – Restless and Wild.

Favorite album?

Top 3 in no particular order: Death – Sounds of Perseverance, Lamb of God – Ashes of the wake, Judas Priest – Angel of retribution.

Do you have posters decorated at home?

A signed one from Angela Gossow (ex- Arch Enemy), two which I “stole” from concert venues - Νecrophagist/Misery Index/Origin/Diskreet and Benediction/Rotting Christ/Bolt Thrower, as well as 5 ones signed from live shows where I was part of organizing, Sabaton/Arch Enemy/ Grim Reaper/ Rotting Christ. Also two boards with about 15 autographs from various bands which I gathered from abroad during the years.

Which bands/artists is the Cypriot fan asking for the most when you are on the decks?

Everything! The Cypriot metalhead is really knowledgeable of metal, as weird as it might sound (based on the size of our society). Of course it depends also on where you deejay, since some metalheads consider Metallica, Maiden, Iced Earth as the top ones, and others can feel the same way about Anaal Nathrakh, Kawir and Impaled Nazarene.

Do you also take requests? : )

I learned of a “trick” when I was abroad, that makes everyones’ lives easier. Pen and paper! They write what they want to listen to and if they fit into the program, you play them. You can’t deejay without requests. You play for the fans. You are not the one who created the music, you simply try to put the tracks together so that a 5-6 hours playlist can happen, which will entertain people. So, you never say no! Unless it’s Nu-metal (laughs).

What was the first moment where you felt that it was worth getting involved with metal music in the first place?

When I could feel the joy and fun people were having while I was dee-jaying. If they were drinking, getting drunk, headbanging, that meant that I was doing something right, and that moral satisfaction can’t be bough even with millions.

What is your message to our today’s metal youth on the island?

Keep being demanding as far as local band are concerned, so as to give them motive and stubbornness into being even better and create the best music. We have nothing to be jealous of from bands from other countries in this area, and our bands deserve to be promoted. Support those who sweat it, from artists to producers.

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