overground scene


What happened to us? #2 Rage and the Efthimiadis brothers

This second instalment in the split of classic line-ups series of posts is dedicated to my all-time favorite power metal band (alongside Blind Guardian), Rage, and its split with Chris Efthimiadis (Drums) and Spiros Efthimiadis (Guitar) in 1999.

Rage-Black_In_Mind-Trasera

I understand that calling the split with the Efthimiadis brothers the split of a classic line-up is a bit far-fetched. Peavy Wagner (Vocals, Bass) has always been the undisputed leader of Rage. Chris (previously of Atlain) first appeared on the band’s third album (Perfect man) and Spiros did not appear in the picture before 1994’s 10 Years in Rage. However, it can be safely said that the arrival of Chris marked the beginning of a period of great creativity for the band. Again, this does not mean that Chris was solely responsible for that. His arrival coincided with the entrance in the band of guitarist-extraordinaire, Manni Schmidt, a genius of guitar playing. In any case, Chris’s unorthodox and manic style of drumming – borrowing a lot from hardcore-punk I would describe him as a pissed-off Philthy (Motorhead) – to a large extent defined Rage’s sound. The more qualified drummers that preceded Chris (Jorg Michael) and followed his departure (Mike Terrana) never came close to capturing the magic that Chris brought into the band.

Spiros on the other hand might have not been on classic releases such as Perfect man (1988), Secrets…(1989), Trapped (1992) and Missing link (1993), but he played in at least two albums that I consider classic, namely Black in Mind (1995) and End of all days (1996). His contributions in those two albums are without any doubt brilliant. He and his brother contributed in two more pretty good Rage albums (13 (1998), Ghosts (1999)) and, just when this line-up seemed to be the definitive Rage line-up, they were out of the band, along with Sven Fischer, the other guitarist.

From interviews with Peavy, Fischer and the Efthimiadis brothers it can be postulated that the split should be understood as an outcome of a combination of factors which include: the internal tension created in the band due to divergent creative visions among band members, discontent related to conforming to the norms of the heavy metal genre, and perhaps the limited opportunities for a breakthrough in the music industry field faced by heavy metal musicians. Chris tactfully avoids going into details on the split and instead describes his time in Rage as a great time, among great people, that came to a natural end (read his interview on Rock Overdose here). The assertion that the Efthimiadis brothers willingly left rather than being ousted from the band is further supported by an interview with Peavy (read here). However, on the same interview Peavy suggests that there was animosity between band members. According to Peavy, Spiros turned against him for reasons the former could not understand. (In another interview he identifies Spiros as one of the biggest mistakes he did in his career.) Peavy goes on to say that Fischer and the Efthimiadis brothers stopped being interested in Heavy Metal by the late nineties, a claim which further supports Chris’s attitude that their time in Rage had reached its natural end. In another interview with Spiros and Fischer, the latter suggests that being in Rage meant that the audiences had specific expectations which effectively limited their creativity (read the interview here). Finally, the decision to play a more radio-friendly style of music should be interpreted in the context of late-90s music culture, a time when heavy metal’s popularity had long faded and the potential for economic and symbolic compensation was small.

After the break up, Rage continued with new members Mike Terrana (and more recently André Hilgers) and Victor Smolski, all of them extremely technical and experienced musicians. However, and although Peavy was the undisputed driving force and true genius behind the Rage I loved, I personally think that the magic that Rage achieved with the Efthimiadis brothers on board has never been reached again. The Efthimiadis brothers went on with Sven Fischer to create the pop-rock band Sub7even, which enjoyed moderate commercial success in Germany, and more recently Chris put together the ethnic-pop-rock band Tri State Corner.

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14 Comments so far
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Check this new photos of Peavy together with Manni and Chris 🙂

Comment by de_mo

This is awesome, thanks! 😀 Where did you get these? Did they perform together or something?!

Comment by lentil81

actually I don’t know, I’ve found this accidentally…btw here is one more photo:

also there is a new interview with Peavy (in German), from where one could get that Peavy keeps some relationship with Chris and he sometimes even jam with Manni, but nothing official:

http://powermetal.de/content/artikel/show-RAGE__Interview_mit_Peavy_Wagner,8407-1.html

in Autumn there will be big anniversary tour and some gigs are marked as “Rage with guests” (e.g. 05.09.2014 JUZ Club, Andernach, look here:
http://www.regioactive.de/index.php/konzert/rage-gaeste-30-jahre-jubilaeum-andernach-juz-live-club-2014-09-05-tickets-4FHKnd6BR.html),
probably there Rage are going to play with some of former bandmates (but neither with Spiros nor with Mike Terrana for sure)

Comment by de_mo

Thanks so much for taking the time to post all this stuff here, this is really cool news! It feels good to see that there’s no bad blood between Peavy and Chris 🙂

Comment by lentil81

I’m glad you liked it and I hope we will see some more shows of this old Rage line-up in future 🙂

Comment by de_mo

By the way, I collect bootleg audios and videos of Rage (especially from old years), if you have something to exchange or got interested somehow, you can send me a message to de_mo (at) e1 dot ru

Comment by de_mo

Well, I don’t have any bootlegs of Rage of my own, but maybe somebody else will see our conversation here who does have some 🙂 I love old videos with Manni! He was such an impressive player!!!

Comment by lentil81

So take this, you’ll definitely like it 🙂

https://mega.co.nz/#!UU8EEQRJ!4sRmCbNrtO5HL8nk8JMMiVvO0XwOZlv6G1bsaXOsHJI

Rage – Live at Solothurn, Switzerland 22-12-1990 (concert was on Peavy’s 26 birthday and 3 days before Christmas).
Setlist:

1.That’s Human Bondage
2.Invisible Horizons
3.Waiting for the Moon
4.Light Into the Darkness
5.True Face in Everyone
6.Echoes of Evil
7.Down By Law
8.Drum Solo
9.Happy Birthday Peavy
10.Without a Trace
11.A Pilgrim’s Path
12.Dust
13.Intro (Opus 32 Nr. 3)
14.Time Waits for No One
15.Nobody Knows
16.Reflections of a Shadow
17.Fast as a Shark (Accept cover)
18.Don’t Fear the Winter

Comment by de_mo

Hey, thanks 🙂 I will let you know what I think! Did you ever see them live with Manni? I saw them live twice in 1996 and ’98 and it was manic!

Comment by lentil81

No, I have not seen them live then unfortunately, neither with Manni, nor with Sven and Spiros. Only on old videos)

Comment by de_mo

check this 🙂

Comment by de_mo

:O Brilliant! This is amazing, thanx mate!!! Do you know if this is gonna be a long term thing?

Comment by lentil81

no, this was only a one-show reunion with Manni and Chris. Full setlist of the show can be found here:
http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/rage/2014/musikertreff-stennert-ev-herne-germany-6bce326e.html

also there some more videos on Youtube and Facebook

Comment by de_mo

That’s a pity. I’d love to see those three writing music again together. I haven’t enjoyed Rage for a long time. Off the last 4-5 albums I only like the songs written by Peavy 😦

Comment by lentil81




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