|Birth name||Yiannis Sotiris Bacolas|
|Born||March 3, 1969|
|Genres||Hard rock, grunge, electronica, world music|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, producer, songwriter, audio engineer, director, videographer, editor|
|Instruments||Bass guitar, guitar, Greek bouzouki|
|Labels||Capitol, Timestyle Music, Red Rocket, Electric Head Records|
|Associated acts|| Sleze, Alice N' Chains, Second Coming, Darin Isaacs |
The Crying Spell, Lotus Crush, Yianni Bacolas, Owin' Soul, The Rumba Kings
Johnny Bacolas (Greek: Γιάννης Μπάkολας; classical transcription Yiannis Bacolas) (born March 3, 1969, in Seattle, Washington) , is a composer, musician, producer, music video director, and videographer. He is best known for his work with the post-grunge band Second Coming.He was also a founding member of the band Sleze, which was later renamed Alice N' Chains (a precursor to Alice in Chains that also featured vocalist Layne Staley), The Crying Spell, Lotus Crush. and The Rumba Kings.
Johnny Bacolas is a first-generation American born to Greek parents in Seattle, Washington. His father was a restaurateur, and leased jukeboxes that played in his cocktail lounges. The jukeboxes played 45 RPM vinyl records, which he rotated from month to month. Bacolas approached music through these records that his father brought home whenever he changed the jukeboxes. His earliest influences were The Beatles, Elton John, and old Motown. Some of his later influences were hard rock and heavy metal bands such as Kiss, Black Sabbath, Mötley Crüe, Judas Priest, and Iron Maiden; he was also influenced by Greek music and house music. As a child and teen, he spent the majority of his summers in Greece. Bacolas met his future bandmate James Bergstrom when they were both five years old on their first day of kindergarten. He then began playing the electric guitar at the age of 12.
In 1984, Bacolas started a garage band called Sleze along with James Bergstrom and two other Shorewood High students, Zoli Semanate and Byron Hansen.At the suggestion of Bergstrom's friend Ken Elmer, they recruited Elmer's stepbrother Layne Staley, who back then also went by the surname Elmer, as vocalist. In 1985, Sleze began performing live at various high schools with Bacolas on guitar. They mostly played Slayer and Armored Saint covers. Sleze went through several lineup changes before they eventually changed their name to Alice N' Chains. At one point, Bacolas briefly left the group to jam with another band called Ascendant, where he took up playing bass guitar. By the time he rejoined Sleze, the band had already written what would eventually be recorded on the two demos they put out under the moniker Alice N' Chains. The group continued to tour throughout the Seattle area before they broke up around 1987, which was the year that Bacolas graduated from Shorewood High.
A few months after Alice N' Chains broke up, Layne Staley joined the glam metalband that eventually took the name Alice in Chains, which Bacolas later claimed was the name that the two of them along with the other members of Sleze had initially flirted with. Throughout the rest of his career, Staley continued to stay in touch with Bacolas and the two of them shared an apartment during the mid-1990s.
Meanwhile, Bacolas continued working with James Bergstrom in another band called Second Coming. In 1994, they independently released their debut album L.O.V.Evil , which features a guest appearance by Layne Staley on the track "It's Coming After". In 1996 Bacolas and Bergstrom replaced the vocalist/guitarist of the group. In the subsequent months, the new members of Second Coming wrote, produced, and financed an 8-song demo (which was produced by Kelly Gray and Dudley Taft). The band performed cover songs on the outskirts of Seattle under the moniker, F.T.A. to finance the demo. Once the recording was finished, the band dropped their cover act, and began performing solely as Second Coming. The band subsequently generated a massive buzz in the Seattle area performing their original songs. On May 9, 1998, Second Coming signed an exclusive recording agreement with Capitol Records Inc. and released their eponymous second album Second Coming . Second Coming had three singles chart in Billboard's active-rock chart ("Soft" #9, "Vintage Eyes" #10, and "The Unknown Rider" #11). The band had one of its songs "The Unknown Rider" featured in the 1999 blockbuster Bruce Willis film The Sixth Sense . The band toured extensively throughout the US supporting and performing with acts such as Van Halen, Candlebox, Monster Magnet, Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz, Fuel, Sponge, Sammy Hagar, and The Goo Goo Dolls. The band split from Capitol Records in 2002 after the departure of Gary Gersh, the president who signed them to the label. Following the split, they independently released an EP titled Acoustic and third studio album 13 .
From 2004–2007, Bacolas focused on his production skills by apprenticing as a producer and audio engineer for multi-platinum producer/engineer Kelly Gray. During this time, in 2006, Bacolas helped start another band called The Crying Spell, which played "Man in the Box" with Live vocalist Ed Kowalczyk at the 2009 Layne Staley Tribute Concert.
In early 2008, Bacolas partnered with electronica producer, Andrea Martini (Emotive Sounds, Copenhagen, Denmark) to produce Trance and House remixes, primarily of songs he had prior song-writing and/or production involvement with.
Also in 2008, Bacolas is credited for co-producing a track titled, "The Great Big Sleep" for Clive Barker's 2008 horror film, The Midnight Meat Train .
Bacolas left The Crying Spell early in 2010 to focus on his songwriting, music and video productions, and other endeavors with other recording artists. He started his production company, Johnny Bacolas Productions, in January 2010.
In 2010 Bacolas performed several shows as the bassist for the group Lotus Crush. The group features vocalist Terry McDermott, who was made famous on the third season of NBC's The Voice (2012) as the 2nd runner-up. Lotus Crush also features guitarist Peter Klett and drummer Scott Mercado from the multi-platinum group Candlebox.
In December 2011, Bacolas released a video for the Greek classic 'To Agalma' of which he produced and engineered the music and co-directed and produced the video. The song was originally recorded in the late sixties by Greek singer Giannis Poulopoulos and written by the highly respected songwriters, Lefteris Papadopoulos & Mimis Plessas. Bacolas is also credited as the bassist and keyboardist on the track. The project was an international collaboration, featuring several artists from Bacolas' hometown of Seattle, and well as well-known Greek vocalist Giorgos Sarris (formerly lead vocalist for Greek group Zigk Zagk) from Athens, Greece, and guitarist Josh Sulfaro, from Los Angeles, CA. To film the shots of vocalist, Giorgos Sarris in Athens, Greece, Bacolas partnered-up with Greek director Sherif francis.
In June 2011, Bacolas produced a track titled "Ophelia" by the Alexandroupolis, Greece-based group, INK. Bacolas makes a cameo appearance in the official music video.
In May 2012, Bacolas produced and released a remake of George Michael's Careless Whisper with X-Factor USA (2011) contestant Tiger Budbill.
In June 2015, Bacolas formed the Latin & Mediterranean inspired group, The Rumba Kings, with Romany-Gypsy guitarist/songwriter, George Stevens. Bacolas and Stevens began recording The Rumba King's debut double-disc CD titled, "The Instrumental and Vocal Sessions, Vol I." Johnny Bacolas produced and engineered the record, as well as being a primary songwriter. Recording of the music took place in Lakeview Studio in Kirkland, WA., Northside Studio in Athens, Greece, Sofita Studio in Athens, Greece, and Robert Lang Studio in Shoreline, WA. Recording was completed in January 2018, with the release of the double-disc set on February 17, 2018. In June 2019, The Rumba Kings released their sophomore album titled, "The Instrumental Sessions, Vol. II," which was also produced and engineered by Bacolas. In early and mid 2020, The Rumba Kings released two more singles, "Mirame," (February 2020) which was written by Horacio Alcantar (lyrics) and George Stevens (music), and "Dance with me," (June 2020) which was written by Bacolas (lyrics) and George Stevens (music). During the pandemic of 2020, The Rumba Kings stayed busy re-crafting their entire live show, writing, recording and releasing new music, and publishing several videos, which they titled, "The quarantine sessions." The Rumba Kings began performing live in the greater Seattle area beginning in April 2016 to present day.
|1994|| L.O.V.Evil |
|1998|| Second Coming |
|2002|| Acoustic |
|2003|| 13 |
|2007||Here with Me Now|
|2008||Through Hell to Heaven|
|2011||Half Light Morning|
|2012||Warm August Day|
|2018||The Instrumental & Vocal Sessions, Volume I|
|2019||The Instrumental Sessions, Volume II|
|2020||Mirame feat. Natalis|
|2020||Dance with me feat. Natalis|
|2020||Den tha se Ksehaso feat. Sofi Alexandrou|
Alice in Chains is an American rock band from Seattle, Washington, formed in 1987 by guitarist and vocalist Jerry Cantrell and drummer Sean Kinney, who later recruited bassist Mike Starr and lead vocalist Layne Staley. Starr was replaced by Mike Inez in 1993. William DuVall joined the band in 2006 as co-lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, replacing Staley, who died in 2002. The band took its name from Staley's previous group, the glam metal band Alice N' Chains.
Layne Thomas Staley was an American musician best known as the original lead singer and co-songwriter of the rock band Alice in Chains, which rose to international fame in the early 1990s as part of Seattle's grunge movement, becoming known for Staley's distinct vocal style and tenor voice as well as the harmonized vocals between him and guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell. Staley was also a member of the glam metal bands Sleze and Alice N' Chains, and the supergroups Mad Season and Class of '99.
Facelift is the debut studio album by the American rock band Alice in Chains, released by Columbia Records on August 21, 1990. The tracks "We Die Young", "Man in the Box", "Sea of Sorrow" and "Bleed the Freak" were released as singles. "Man In The Box" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal in 1992. Facelift became the first album from the grunge movement to be certified gold on September 11, 1991. The album peaked at No. 42 on the Billboard 200 chart, was certified platinum and has gone on to be certified double-platinum by the RIAA for shipments of two million copies in the United States.
Jerry Fulton Cantrell Jr. is an American musician and singer-songwriter. He is best known as the founder, lead guitarist, co-lead vocalist, and main songwriter of rock band Alice in Chains. The band rose to international fame in the early 1990s during Seattle's grunge movement, and is known for its distinctive vocal style and the harmonized vocals between Cantrell and Layne Staley. Cantrell started to sing lead vocals on Alice in Chains' 1992 EP Sap. After Staley's death in 2002, Cantrell took the role of Alice in Chains' lead singer on most of the songs from the band's post-Staley albums, Black Gives Way to Blue (2009), The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (2013) and Rainier Fog (2018), with DuVall harmonizing with him in the new songs and singing Staley's vocals in the old songs in live concerts.
Mad Season was an American rock supergroup formed in 1994 as a side project of members of other bands in the Seattle grunge scene. The band's principal members included guitarist Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, lead singer Layne Staley of Alice in Chains, drummer Barrett Martin of Screaming Trees and bassist John Baker Saunders. Mad Season released only one album, Above, in March 1995. Its first single, "River of Deceit", was a radio success, and Above was certified a gold record by the RIAA in June.
Above is the only studio album by the American rock band Mad Season, released on March 14, 1995, through Columbia Records. Above peaked at No. 24 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album has been certified gold by the RIAA in the United States. Layne Staley created the artwork on the album cover.
"Man in the Box" is a song by the American rock band Alice in Chains. It was released as a single in January 1991 after being featured on the group's debut studio album Facelift (1990). It peaked at No. 18 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1992. The song was included on the compilation albums Nothing Safe: Best of the Box (1999), Music Bank (1999), Greatest Hits (2001), and The Essential Alice in Chains (2006). "Man in the Box" was the second most-played song of the decade on mainstream rock radio between 2010 and 2019.
Sean Howard Kinney is an American musician, best known as the drummer and co-founder of the rock band Alice in Chains. Kinney also founded the short-lived supergroup Spys4Darwin, and has collaborated with other artists such as Johnny Cash and Metallica. He played drums for his Alice in Chains bandmate Jerry Cantrell's first solo album, Boggy Depot (1998). Since 2009, Kinney has been co-owner of the Crocodile club in Seattle. He was a guest drummer on NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers in September 2018.
Michael Christopher Starr was an American musician best known as the original bassist for the rock band Alice in Chains, which he played with from the band's formation in 1987 until January 1993. He was also a member of Sato, Gypsy Rose and Sun Red Sun. Starr died of a prescription drug overdose at the age of 44 on March 8, 2011.
"No Excuses" is the lead single from American rock band Alice in Chains' third EP, Jar of Flies (1994). Written by guitarist and co-lead vocalist Jerry Cantrell, the song was well received by music critics and was a charting success, becoming the first Alice in Chains song to reach No. 1 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, spending a total of 26 weeks on the chart. It has gone on to become one of the band's most popular songs. The song was included on the compilation albums Nothing Safe: Best of the Box (1999), Music Bank (1999), Greatest Hits (2001), and The Essential Alice in Chains (2006). Alice In Chains performed an acoustic version of "No Excuses" for its appearance on MTV Unplugged in 1996, which marked the last time they performed the song with Layne Staley, and that version was included on the band's Unplugged live album and home video release.
"Grind" is a song by American rock band Alice in Chains. It is the opening track and the lead single from their third studio album, Alice in Chains (1995). The song was written by Jerry Cantrell, who also sings lead vocals with Layne Staley harmonizing with him. "Grind" spent 16 weeks on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and peaked at No. 7. The song was included on the compilation albums Nothing Safe: Best of the Box (1999), Music Bank (1999), Greatest Hits (2001), and The Essential Alice in Chains (2006). "Grind" was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1996.
Second Coming was an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1990. They relocated to Seattle, Washington around 1992 and released their debut album L.O.V.Evil in 1994. This band underwent several lineup changes throughout its existence with drummer James Bergstrom being the sole constant member. He and bassist Johnny Bacolas were ostensibly the nucleus of the band as they were only members who appeared on every album. The two of them have been friends since childhood and they had also formed the rhythm section in an early incarnation of Alice in Chains that also consisted of vocalist Layne Staley and guitarist Nick Pollock; they called themselves Alice N' Chains.
"Don't Follow" is a song by American rock band Alice in Chains. It is the third single from the band's 1994 EP Jar of Flies. The song was written by guitarist and vocalist Jerry Cantrell, who sings lead vocals in the first part of the song, followed by Layne Staley in the second part. The single spent seven weeks on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and peaked at No. 25.
"Nutshell" is a song by Alice in Chains that originally appeared on the band's 1994 extended play Jar of Flies. "Nutshell" is also known for having opened the band's performance on MTV Unplugged in 1996. This rendition of the song was included on the compilation album Music Bank (1999), as well as The Essential Alice in Chains (2006). Since 2011, guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell dedicates "Nutshell" to Alice in Chains' late original members Layne Staley and Mike Starr during the band's concerts.
Alice N' Chains was an American glam metal band from Seattle, Washington, formed in 1986 by former members of Sleze. Toward the end of their run as Sleze, discussions arose about changing their name to Alice in Chains. However, due to concerns over the reference to female bondage, the group ultimately chose to spell it as Alice N' Chains. They performed under this moniker over about a 12-month period and recorded two demos before breaking up on friendly terms in 1987. One of its members, Layne Staley, ultimately took the name that he and his former bandmates had initially flirted with when he joined a different group a few months later that became known as Alice in Chains.
Nick Pollock is a Seattle-based singer, guitarist, and songwriter best known for his work with the grunge band My Sister's Machine. He has also played in various bands with other notable musicians, including Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley and Queensrÿche guitarist Michael Wilton. He graduated from Lindbergh High School in 1986.
James Bergstrom is an American musician best known as the drummer for the band Second Coming. Before that, he played drums for the band Sleze, which also featured future Alice in Chains vocalist Layne Staley.
Travis Bracht is a Seattle-based singer and guitarist best known for his work with the post-grunge band Second Coming. He has also been a member of the nearly identical bands Peace and Silence and Post Modern Heroes, and he has fronted Soulbender with Queensrÿche guitarist Michael Wilton.
Sleze were a short-lived American glam metal band from Seattle, Washington formed in 1984. Although Sleze were mostly a cover band and went through several lineup changes before changing their name to Alice N' Chains in 1986 and breaking up a year later, its former members later formed other bands, most notably Alice in Chains.
Susan Jean Silver is an American music manager, best known for managing Seattle Rock bands such as Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Screaming Trees. Silver also owns the company Susan Silver Management, and co-owns the club The Crocodile in Seattle.