Jimmy Kay from The Metal Voice recently spoke to Agent Steel singer John Cyriis talks about the upcoming new Agent Steel album and GoFundme page to assist in obtaining funds to complete the next studio album.
Plus Cyriis talks about his early Megadeth years when we was brought in by Mustaine into the band to sing and to out due Metallica at the time.
GOFUNDME page to support the new Agent Steel Album
When asked about his time singing for Megadeth in the early years
“We never did any shows unfortunately. It was quite a while (in Megadeth) , maybe almost a year. It was awesome, I mean every rehearsal just felt like, I always looked at them you know the two Dave’s playing behind me and I was singing. The drummer was Dijon Carruthers at the time. It was an African-American drummer that was just an incredible talent and a super nice guy. In fact he (Djon) was the one that motivated them to follow through with their wanting me in the band because I had already kick-started Agent Steele at that time, even before I joined Megadeth. It all started by them seeing me in Abattoir (Pre Agent Steel band) and then they knew I was an Agent Steel. They came to an Agent Steel rehearsal or two and then it started. They came and they brought me aside and said at a rehearsal. Hey John, do you ever think about joining us? I mean Agent Steel’s a cool band and Juan’s super cool guy. He’s our buddy but you know without wanting to bring any harm to anyone and step on anybody’s toes. You might be able to be in both bands. I said what are you guys talking about? We’d love to have you in Megadeth, I think that would give us a shot definitely. That would be one of our greatest hopes and of stepping over Metallica or crushing Metallica is if you were the front man. That would give us the edge that we need to put us in a category beyond Metallica more in like the Maiden and Priest category. If I was singing for example Dave was saying to me, to tell you the truth, singing gives me a headache and gives me a sore throat so I could never imagine it. But unless we get you as a vocalist not some other guy unknown or some other guy that sings more aggressively or more coarse. With your clear singing in the high notes and everything like Halford singing in Megadeth that would do it. We would be instant celebrities we just and we could crush Metallica there’s no way James could compare with you vocally, range wise. I was shocked to hear him, I was like they were pitching me. It’s such a privilege that these guys like my singing and they like what I’m doing and yeah there was like no words to describe how I felt, I felt like a star right then, you know that these guys didn’t even consider or talk to me.”
“They (Dave Mustaine and David Ellefson) were regulars on the L.A. circuit. Dave Mustaine and David Ellefson were a team, they were like Siamese twins, they were always out together. We never saw Dave Mustane without Dave Ellison anywhere. Those guys (David and Dave) were having a hard time and I didn’t know it. They stayed in my house with me and my parents house for a while because they were sleeping in their van and I only found out after I joined the band. They mentioned something kind of like it in secret and they were kind of whispering while sitting in the front seat. I was in the back of the van, they were driving me home after rehearsals. They picked me up and would drive me home and they were saying things like, hey you got this soap back there and yeah just got a fresh bottle of it. We gotta get up early to get to the beach before the police would go by. They were showering at the beach in the morning and they were sleeping in the van. I said hey guys man are you serious at what I just heard no no no man you guys, stay at my house. Are you guys crazy man, we got an extra room there. He goes no man we can’t impose that’s why we didn’t ask you. I’m insisting now you guys are staying at my house. Let’s go and we can write there and everything. They loved my mom and my mom always used to say yeah it’s a pleasure having these boys here, these are really good boys, yeah they are really nice guys. They’re really polite, they’re respectful of my family. In fact I didn’t even see them in the heavy party mode I mean whatever they did it they didn’t do it around me. I’ve never seen them do hard drugs as long as I was in the band rehearsing with them. I never saw it, they were just super sweet guys, really nice guys easy to get along with. Dave (Mustaine) was not dictatorial like people say, he’s a really very cool stand-up guy, very easy-going, and acted very normal. I’ve never seen him falling down drunk.”
When asked what songs they worked on in Megadeth rehearsals, in the early days?
“I had some stuff that I was writing, some lyrics to their material that was kind of Mercyful fate-like. I was kind of going through a dark period in my life at the time and I really loved Mercyful Fate and King Diamond. I thought yeah this is a cool band to kind of add some of that kind of element. I had a song called ‘Into the abyss’ that was really cool. I loved that song and Dave (Mustaine) even said you know hey this is a little bit creepy you know Johnny. I think Dave’s always been kind of on the Lighter Side. He (Dave Mustaine) writes some of the heaviest music ever of course and he’s the rift Master Emperor. He’s just a heavy guy but as far as philosophically in the whole ambient and being attracted to that darker element of metal um it wasn’t Dave he was kind of creeped out about it. So he didn’t say much but he was almost kind of looking at me like yeah do you really want to do that with that song?”‘
When asked how they both parted ways
“I was so involved with Agent Steel that I started pulling back and not going to rehearsals as much. We started just becoming more distant. They were always looking for me. I was more interested in Agent Steel and Juan were very close friends and I was so involved with that that I wasn’t really interested in continuing Megadeth, they kind of knew it. I think he (Dave Mustaine) decided that he was going to make the first move before I did so that historically he could always say yeah we let John go instead or John quit. So one day I came home then my mom was kind of really sad because she really liked them and she picked up an envelope from the kitchen and said the boys brought this over. Dave and Dave gave it to me and they were kind of almost crying. Dave Mustaine especially was really sad and Dave Ellefson was very apologetic and he said is John here. No she said, no he’s not here you guys want to come in and said no not today um can you just give him this envelope. We’re returning his lyrics because we have to let him go because um it’s hard to explain we love him, we love John, he’s become our friend and he’s a great singer and we know that he’s you know developing that Agent Steel thing right now. “