Syrus, formed in 1984 by AL Berlanga and John Castilleja, began as jam band playing classic favorites from Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and others. Al and John had met at a job they both shared and realized both had similar interests in music and instruments. Within a few months the lineup consisted of Ken Ortiz on drums and Julio Paz on drums. With Al and John on guitars, they started looking for a lead singer. A few adequate prospects came through but after a short while the band realized that Michael Vasquez, a friend or Ken's, had the energy the band was looking for. Syrus was now born.
As the months passed, the band worked on covers but also began writing their own songs. Over time more emphasis was placed on original material and fewer and fewer cover material. It was then that the band knew original songs was where the band wanted to go. With time and furious rehearsal schedules,
Syrus became a solid name on the local scene and began to garner some recognition. This led to many shows with other highly praised bands and resulted in a strong regional following. Studio work led to demo recordings that were sold independently all over the world.
In the time span of 5-6 years, Syrus, like many bands had it's share of successes and failures. Some successes were numerous positive print reviews in publications all over the world and label interest. A couple of members went on to success in other bands and have made an impact on those bands and their music. But there were challenges also and the band had it's share of member changes too.
Eventually the hard and heavy scene bottomed out in the early 90's with grunge and hip hop and Syrus called it a day.
Those lean years during the 1990's had many of the guys playing in working cover bands, some full-time and some part-time. Some dove full-time into careers and family. That time saw members all over the country, involved in music in one way or another. But whatever the scene or style was, it kept the musical fires burning with a hope of one day a return to the heavy.
As fortune would turn out, 2014 saw some local acts from that time period made comebacks and with that resurgence Syrus saw a potential to reform, re-record and release that material from long ago. Three years have culminated to 2017 with a new lineup and a new record. And as of now the future looks bright and the metal fans have said yes!
Henk van Delden
Owner No Dust Records
Ruitersveldweg 20-B, 8091HV, Wezep
The Netherlands (Europe)
06 - 104 692 11