Interview: Jim Tasikas from Contrarian

We took some time to interview Contrarian from Rochester, NY recently. They’re Rochester’s own masters of progressive death metal and have been working with drummer, George Kollias (Nile) on their last two albums. Here’s what guitarist, Jim Tasikas had to say about their experiences with George, the story behind the band and Contrarian’s plan for the future.
Mike Marlinski: What inspired the band name and all the cool Sci Fi imagery?
Jim Tasikas: The band name has much to do with how the music is atypical for death metal. The cd cover imagery is just cool – LOL
MM: What’s the story behind the band and how long have you been together?
JT: We got together in 2014 with the interest in releasing a progressive death metal CD with an emphasis on aesthetics.
MM: What’s it like to work with George Kollias (Nile) and how did you come to work with him in the first place?
JT: He is very professional. I was lucky. He is a friend from the old country (Greece) and I convinced him to listen to the music.
MM: Of all the shows you’ve played, talk about a few that stand out and what made them special.
JT: It was nice opening for Mastodon. We all grew up here in Rochester with Brann and Bill. It’s good to know that the metal scene in Rochester has been pretty successful.
MM: Anything special on the horizon? What can we expect from the new album?
JT: Our new album, To Perceive is to Suffer is due in 2017. Paul Masvidal from Cynic will be involved.
MM: What made you guys go in this musical direction? Who are your major influences? Who did you guys listen to growing up?
JT: We wanted to draw on aesthetic, progressive and dark metal releases from over the past three decades such as Death, Fates Warning, Watchtower, Confessor, Gorguts. Those are just a few examples.
MM: What would be the perfect tour package for you guys to hop on? What is your dream tour lineup?
JT: We would love to tour with Gorguts, Cynic, Nile, Morbid Angel, just to name a few!
MM: Talk about the behind the scenes guys on your recordings. What sound engineers do you frequently recommend to other bands?
JT: Watchmen Studios for sound engineering is as good as they come. Mixing and mastering is always more preference based.
MM: Any cool side projects people should be aware of?
JT: Contrarian keeps us real busy , lol – no time for anything else.
MM:  When people ask you who you guys sound like, what band immediately comes to mind?
JT: People say a cross between Death and Fates Warning.
MM: Well, that about does it for me. Thanks for taking the time!
JT: Thanks for the interview! Be sure to look out for our next CD on Willowtip Records in 2017!
I’m very much looking forward to the next Contrarian album. They haven’t disappointed me yet. If you’re new to this band, be sure to give their last release Polemic a spin. The entire band’s performance is stellar and Kollias’s drumming in particular is remarkable.
As for us, we’ll have plenty of other interviews and album reviews coming up soon, including our review of I’m From the Government and I’m Here to Help’s new EP, Capital Punishment! So, until next time…

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