Kosta Zafiriou

First steps in music

P1000775Kosta Zafiriou was born on September 26th, 1966 in Zofingen, Switzerland. He has an older brother (2 years older), he is married and has two daughters.

At the age of 11, he started to being interested in hardrock music after hearing Live On Stage of Rainbow. He also became huge fan of Kiss and other glam rock bands like Sweet.

Since he always was interested in the rhythmical side of music he started to play drums at of 16 years, mainly when he began to listen some bands of the NWOBHM. His first band was Redline in 1982 where he played with the guitarist Alfred Koffler. Later it came the band Kymera where he played with the vocalist Andreas Deris. With that band they recorded an EP and they did some shows in Karlsruhe and other cities of Germany. Since the band didn’t have a good relationship between the members, Kosta and Andreas left the band and started to create Pink Cream 69. Kosta commented: “All music for Kymera was written by Bruno di Blasio and they would not accept anybody else’s songs, so we left”.

Pink Cream 69 era

In 1987, the guitarist Alfred Koffler, drummer Kosta Zafiriou and vocalist Andreas Deris created a band called Pink Cream 69 in Karlsruhe, Germany. And they were searching for a bassist until they found Dennis announcement in the magazine. Already together they won a newcomers band competition in Ludwigsburg, Germany organized by magazine Metal Hammer and they got a multi-album deal with the giant label Epic (Sony Music BMG).

P1000494They released three successful albums Pink Cream 69 (1989), One Size Fits All (1991) and Games People Play (1993). The got to join in the official German and Japanese album charts, and they got the chance to do an intensive touring with White Lion and Europe which helped them a lot of to gain a big fan base all over the world. During the recording of the last album the band started to argue frequently for musical and personal differences which ends in singer Andreas Deris leaving the band and joining Helloween.

Already without singer, the band thought in Dennis Ward as a vocalist but finally after auditioning various singers, the chosen one was the British David Readman. Kosta  said: “We got over 450 demos from singers sent in, wanting to audition for us. Most of them knew the band and heard about the split, but we also put ads in English and American mags. Dave read one in the English Melody Maker and sent us a tape”. With the new singer they released the album Change (1995). At this time, Dennis started to have a very negative attitude towards the producers, he didn’t agree with their work so he decided to become a producer. He did that job in the following album Food For Thought (1996) which was produced and mixed with Gerhard Wolfle at Horus Sound Studios in Hannover, Germany (curiously where Helloween recorded the Keepers). After that, they also released Electrified (1998), Sonic Dynamite (2000), Endangered (2001), Thunderdome (2004) and In10sity (2007).

Manager work

When Pink Cream 69 got their first deal in 1989, Kosta proposed his friend Jan Bayati as manager. Kosta started to doin’ some management task as well, he got experience and in 1991 he decided with Jan and Sasa Erletic (Pink Cream 69′s guitar tech) create the Bottom Row Promotion company. Since 1995 Kosta works in that company as responsible for management and publishing. He also works as a tour manager of Pink Cream 69 and other bands like Helloween and Axxis.

P1000574fffffPlace Vendôme era

In the summer of 2004, the Frontiers Records owner Serafino Perugino, contacted with Dennis for creating a new AOR project with Michael Kiske as vocalist. Dennis wrote the stuff with some contributions of Pink Cream 69 musicians Alfred Koffler and David Readman. The album was recording with Kosta on the drums, Uwe Reitenauer on the guitar (who had been joined in Pink Cream 69 band in 2003 to support Alfred Koffler who suffered from neuropathy), Gunther Werno of Vanden Plas on keyboards and of course Dennis Ward on the bass, and also doin’ backing vocals. Michael Kiske recorded his vocals in his own studio. The album received very positive reviews around the world.

In 2008, they start workin’ again for a sequel. In this case Dennis Ward was busy doin’ another productions and he had no time of writting new stuff so they used outsider composers: Torsti Spoof (Leverage), Ronny Milianowicz (Saint Deamon), Robert Sall (Work Of Art) and Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear) plus two covers, ‘Set Me Free’ of Casting Crowns and ‘I’d Die For You’ of Soleil Moon. The album was released in February 2009 and was also very well received, in some cases even better than debut album because it has more musical variety. Serafino (Frontiers owner) decided to promote the release shooting a video clip of ‘My Guardian Angel’. It was planned to be with the whole band but they couldn’t put together the whole band so finally it was only Kiske singing in a studio.

281949_10151241502318755_1585371927_nUnisonic era

Unisonic was formed at the end of 2009 by Michael Kiske, Dennis Ward and Kosta Zafiriou. They had a meeting in Hamburg and they decided to create a new band. Kiske commented: “I was stuck with my solo record, I didn’t get anywhere, couldn’t write songs for month. I was kind of really stuck and then Kosta and Dennis wanted to meet me in Hamburg, and we met up. Kosta is part of Bottom Row Promotion, it’s a management company and he said something like, “I don’t think you have ever been really managed” and he is right! I didn’t have management. Mainly, the reason was – I was kind of stuck and it was the right time. It’s like two years earlier I wouldn’t have done it, but you can’t really say why, you just feel it is good. If I don’t do it now, I will never do it.” The guitarist Mandy Meyer (Gotthard, Asia and Krokus) joined in the team after the advice of Dennis Ward.

Unisonic started their first tour in June 2010, first playing some warm-up shows in Germany and then performing at Sweden Rock Festival ’10 and Masters Of Rock Festival ’10. The set-list was done with some Place Vendôme tracks, one brand new song ‘Souls Alive’ which was previously released in demo form via Myspace and two Kiske classic tunes of Helloween-era, also released in Past In Different Ways solo album; ‘A Little Time’ and ‘Kids Of The Century’.

In March 2011, Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray, ex-Helloween) joined in the band and they started to work together in the new album.