Hi, I’m Kostas Charalambous. I was born in 1980 in the tiny island of Cyprus, where I still live. I started playing musical instruments at the age of 10 years old. My first ever instrument was a small Casio keyboard which my parents got me as a X-mas present. I started taking lessons shortly after that and roughly a year later my parents got me a bigger keyboard, this time with standard sized keys. I was really into Yanni, Vangelis and similar artists at the time.
Enter 1993, my first year in high school. A very dear friend of mine, J, gave me a tape of Metallica’s Kill’Em All. My life changed. I had never listened to anything like it and I would play that tape multiple times a day. It was my first encounter with anything metal and I was blown away. As time passed I quickly got more into it with bands like Megadeth, Slayer, Pantera, Obituary, Cannibal Corpse and even not-so-metal bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden. Naturally, after listening to all of this guitar based music, I had the urge to play guitar.
I got my first guitar in 1994. It was a no name classical guitar and I took lessons for about a year. Trying to play songs like ‘Seek and Destroy’ or ‘Symphony of Destruction’ on a classical grew old pretty quick. So in 1995 I got my first electric guitar. It was a cheap white Squier Strat which I still have to this day although it’s in a pretty bad shape. I took lessons for the electric but being all metal and because my instructors wouldn’t teach me anything remotely close to metal I quit about a year after and started teaching myself. My biggest influences are James Hetfield and Dimebag Darrell to a lesser extent. There are quite a few more bands that influenced me but those two had the biggest impact on my playing and making music in general. You can probably hear a bit of those two in my riffs. I never really got into lead playing until very recently. To me it was all about the almighty riff and how heavy I could get it to be.
A couple of years after getting my electric, we formed a cover band with a bunch of friends and we even played a couple of shows. The music scene here was pretty much non-existent back then so getting to play anywhere was a really big thing, even more so if you were playing metal. It was short lived because people had to go abroad for their studies.
At this time I started getting into writing and recording music and joined another cover band which was a bunch of friends as well but they were just starting to write their own music. This is when I fell in love with the drums. I would relish every chance I would get to sit behind the kit and play around. This band was short lived as well as people had to go to the army although we got to play a couple of shows before that.
At the turn of the millennium I had a new passion, drums. We put some money together with J and bought a basic kit. I still play it to this day and you can see it in a few of my videos. Yes, it’s in a pretty bad shape but it’s cool to bang on it from time to time 😀 During this time I was writing and recording stuff all the time so me and J started a band, Crystal Skull. We were unable to find a drummer so I switched to drums and we played as a three-piece instrumental band with another friend on guitar and J on bass. The plan was to eventually include vocals, as I was working on that with a good friend of mine but it never came to fruition. We got to play a few shows as an instrumental band before the guitarist had to move on with his life. After this folded I took a new job and moved to a new place and didn’t play as much for a number of years. Gaming came into my life as well as I was working as a manager at a gaming cafe and I spent a lot more time playing games than playing guitar. Also, I didn’t take the drum kit with me so I didn’t play drums at all.
In 2010 I decided that it was time to get serious about playing guitar again. That’s when I spent a lot of cash and got me some nice gear, like my first seven string guitar and the Axe FX Ultra. I’ve been playing, writing and recording a lot more since then and recently formed my current band, Morte Sistema with Low D, former vocalist of Cyprus giants Sonik Death Monkey.
The rest, as they say, WILL be history!