DEIFIED – A Talk With NICK ‘Shriner’ MAX (Lead Guitar)

Posted on June 06th. 2020

Questionnaire by Stefan on behalf of METAL TO INFINITY WEBZINE BELGIUM

Nick “Shriner” Max

I’d like to introduce to you a Greek band that surprised me with their debut EP “Chaos, Blood & War”. Been released back in 2015, yet I thought it was worthwhile to offer this band some extra support. You’ll find my review at:  I’d like to go deeper into their existence and start a conversation with the lead guitarist.

Stefan: Welcome here at Metal To Infinity – I appreciate you wanting to talk to me about your band Deified, tell me under what circumstances you started. Who’s the actual founder of the band?

Nick: Hi Stephen and thank you very much for this opportunity. Back in 2012 I was looking to play in a band or to form a band. After a short period and with help from a friend I met with Aris Bartzokas (drums) and Makis Petritsis (bass) alongside with Michael Apostolakis (vocals) and we formed the band.

So right now the only two founding members still in the band are Aris and me. The plan which started to unfold after the first rehearsals was to approach a more epic power heavy metal course and since then the two of us continue with our vision, hopes and dreams.


Stefan: Was it difficult to recruit the right musicians – what did the first line-up look like?

Nick: It always takes time to either to blend in a new situation or keep up the spirit and the flame of the beginning. Changes were made since the first rehearsal, we had many auditions for lead guitarist. After the “Chaos Blood and War” EP the line changed radically. In September 2015 the only piece that was missing was a bass player. The puzzle was completed in March 2018 with Vassilis Pyrris.


Dimitris Giannakopoulos

Stefan: Does everyone have a musical background?

Nick: If you mean not all the guys in the current lineup played before in other bands, yes they did. And more or less everyone has studied their instrument. For example Dimitris Giannakopoulos is a vocal coach and Manos “Dime” Karachalios also teaches guitar.


Stefan: After some time and after a hard rehearsal you get to the point where you want to play in front of a live audience. What was it like to play in front of a bunch of metalheads for the first time?

Nick: This question brings up many good memories. All the anxiety and the stress to be ready for our first gig although we all had stage experience in the past.

We wanted everything to be perfect although we knew that this was a very difficult and ambitious task. And of course we hoped that our songs would be welcomed with enthusiasm.

It was fantastic to play in front of a bunch of metalheads!

I think for all of us it was a night to remember. At least for me it is still one of my milestone moments.


Stefan: Which bands have you shared the stage with – what was the most memorable concert you’ve ever played?

Nick: We have shared these years the stage with many bands, some of them not only for just one time and we always had fun and many laughs at the backstage. Erase, Blind Justice, Lightfold, Achellous, Wisdom, Clairvoyant, Mystery, RagenHeart, Forgotten State, Solid faith, Dark Nightmare, Power Crue, Dream Weaver… I’m sure I forget many of the bands we played together… And there were many memorable moments. For example our first gig as a band 2013. The Wreck festival right after the release of “Chaos, blood and War” in March 2015 at the legendary “Kyttaro”, the full house at the “Crow” club in February of 2019.

Manos “Dime” Karahalios (Guitar)

Stefan: Deified debuted with the EP “Chaos, Blood & War”. What can you tell about the end result – how satisfied were you in days the EP saw daylight?

Nick: We were very satisfied. George Stratakis who was the sound engineer and producer treated our songs as his own and I think that you can listen that at the final result. Of course all things can be better, but as our first official release, we were very satisfied, and we still are.

Stefan: The reactions of the press and media were very positive, right?

Nick: Yes they were. We knew that we did our best and the press and the fans saw it and embraced our music.


Stefan: Before the recordings of the EP you didn’t have a regular singer and help came from Tassos Krokodilos (Spitfire). Feel free tell me some more details on this?

Nick: As we were searching for a vocalist back at the time, Makis asked Tassos if he could help us by singing one song so that we had a vocal approach. When he listened to the rest of the songs, he liked them and we decided to join forces. We were lucky by the opportunity to have such a talented and powerful voice in our “archery”, even if it was only for the EP. Tassos also joined us for two shows, which was a pleasant surprise. We knew he wouldn’t stay more, so after that we managed to recruit Dimitris, a very talented and skilful singer, who knows how to make the upcoming songs even better and has a vision for the band. Alongside came Manos, a very skillful lead guitar player who understands the concept of DeifieD.

Villy Pirris

Stefan: We’re five years down the road now, has anything changed in Deified’s camp?

Nick: We had some setbacks, but I believe right now we’re back on track. Sadly, not only for us but for the whole world, the coronovirus postponed some of our plans, but I’m optimistic that at the end of 2020 or the early 2021 we will be ready for our second official release.


Stefan: Can you tell us more about the content of the texts?

Nick: The lyrics are based mostly in the Greek mythology and history. We have songs from our personal experiences, but that’s not the general idea.


Stefan: How would you define the style of Deified?

Nick: We play metal. We like double melodic themes on the guitars with aggressive riffs. We try to write solid riffs, with epic feeling, tying to sound modern but at the same time … old school. I think that if you had to put a label or in a genre, we’re an epic power heavy band.


Stefan: Your EP was a self-released product- have you ever been approached by a label?

Nick: No. But we also didn’t really try to sign with a label.

Stefan: What are the plans for the near future – will there be a sequel to “Chaos, Blood & War”?

Nick: The sequel is on its way. We are in the stage of pre-producing our next release. We hope that we won’t have any more setbacks in the next few months.


Stefan: In order of a new album, can we expect something else or do you guys stay true to your epic style Heavy/Power Metal?

Nick: The style will be the same. I think that our new songs are more – let’s say – “mature” and better, although I’m not the one who can judge them unbiased.


Stefan: Do you have any important facts to report before we end this conversation?

Nick: As I said, I’m confident that DeifieD fans will have a… Christmas present.

Stefan: Awaiting the release of a new effort, I’d like to thank you for the smooth service of promo stuff as well as the willingness to participate in this interview. Appreciation is on my side and look forward to new material from Deified ! Finally, do you have anything to say to our readers?

Nick: We appreciate your hospitality in Metal To Infinity Webzine and for the great review of “Chaos, Blood & War” EP. For all the metalheads out there: support the bands, as much as you can. Stay true and safe – due to difficult times – and as we like to say… Open your eyes and become DeifieD.