|Chris De Niro|
Chris Constantinou is an English musician, best known as the bass guitarist and backing vocalist for Adam Ant.
He was born at Charing Cross Hospital in London and at the age of three he moved to Plymouth. He went to Plymouth College before a brief spell at Plymouth Art College. He performed with school and garage bands supporting 1970s artists such as King Crimson, Snafu, and Sassafras. His professional career started when he joined Diz Watson, the renowned exponent of New Orleans blues/Professor Longhair-style piano and barrel house blues, as bass player. In 1977, he formed the rock band The Drill. Acting as co-writer and bassist, they first signed to Ebony Records before moving to RCA Records for a string of singles, several of which were produced by Chas Chandler.
In 1982 Chris joined Adam Ant as bass guitarist and backing vocalist from his UK top 5 single "Puss in Boots". Under the pseudonym Chris De Niro, he became an integral part of the mid-80s Ant line up, highlights including the top 20 single "Apollo 9" and the Vive Le Rock album, both of which were produced by Tony Visconti. Chris was part of every Adam Ant TV appearance, video and tour until 1986, which included Top of the Pops, Saturday Night Live, American Bandstand and, on stage, Radio City Music Hall and 1985's Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium. Parting with Adam Ant in 1985, Chris spent time with SF Go, a Miles Copeland III-managed band he had formed with Danny Kustow (TRB, Glen Matlock).
At the beginning of the 1990s, Constantinou formed a band with Bow Wow Wow's Annabella Lwin, fronted by Annabella with Chris as co-writer, bassist and backing vocalist. They built a substantial following hit singles like Do What You Do (Sony, 1994), a dancefloor hit thanks to remixes from Farley & Heller and Junior Vasquez. The project was produced by Steve Lironi (Fun Lovin' Criminals, Happy Mondays). In this period, Chris also had a songwriting partnership with Guy Chambers.
Chris took centre stage to form post-punk outfit JackieOnAssid in 1996. As lead singer, songwriter and bassist, JackieOnAssid toured Europe three times, released two albums (2001's 4Play and 2002's Zip Me Up) and supported Iggy Pop. The videos for these singles were directed by award-winning British film maker Paul Hills. He later featured the band's Meditation Man single in his 2003 movie The Poet (Dougray Scott/Laura Elena Harring).
In 2004 Chris began work on his project, The Wolfmen for which he handled lead vocals, co-writing, bass and various other instruments. It saw him reunite with another former Ant, songwriter/guitarist Marco Pirroni, to blend a sound described by Mojo magazine as "exuberant filth... Chris and Marco do growing old disgracefully with style."
Constantinou played on The Slits' EP, Revenge of the Killer Slits in 2006 and co-wrote tracks "The Wolf Is Getting Married" (Single 2012) "I had a Baby" (Album track 2012) for Sinéad O'Connor's album, How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?, released in March 2012.
In January 2013, Chris Constantinou developed in a discussion with Eugene Butcher, editor from the magazine Vive Le Rock, and Dave Collins the idea of an album set out to retrace the roots of punk, new wave and ska, featuring all-star punk musicians. It materialized in the creation of the musical supergroup The Mutants, with Chris Constantinou and Paul Frazer as core members, later also joined by Rat Scabies. After a series of initial projects (like Nuclear Wasteland, made at the disaster site in Chernobyl), the first album, Rhythm and Punk Review, was released in July 2014. A subsequent album, Tokyo Nights, released in May 2015, had all the songs fronted by a rotating set of Japanese guest stars. The third album, Your Desert My Mind (October 2016), is a collaboration with a series of guests from the Californian desert rock scene, among them David Catching from Eagles of Death Metal, Chris Goss from Masters of Reality, Brent DeBoer, Peter Holmström and Zia McCabe from The Dandy Warhols, Sean Wheeler from Throw Rag and Victoria Williams. The album was recorded at Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree, California. In October 2016, The Mutants also went on a tour in California together with the guests Chris Goss, Sean Wheeler and Bingo Richey.
As a guest musician, Chris played flute with The Dandy Warhols,Holy Holy (the album The Man Who Sold the World Live in London), Brant Bjork & Sean Wheeler, Andreas Grega (the albums Mikrouli Mou and Vallar Av Snö), and Nerina Pallot (the album Fires). He also guested on bass in the 2016 UK Station to Station tour by Earl Slick and Bernard Fowler.
With Adam Ant
With Annabella Lwin
With The Slits
With The Wolfmen
With Sinéad O'Connor
With Andreas Grega
With Anisa Arslanagic and Paul Frazer
With The Mutants
With Paul Frazer