Fotis Benardo (a.k.a. Fotis Gianakopoulos) was born inMay 24, 1980 in Thessaloniki, Greece and started studying drums in 1997.
Since 2003 he has been teaching and doing clinic sessions in multiple cities around the world. Fotis invented the concept of the “Hellblast” technique, a variation of the normal “blast-beat” where the main difference is that the blast is performed by one foot only.
He has worked with various bands such as Nightrage (2004–2006) and Firewind, until 2002 when he joined Septicflesh (2003, 2007-2014) for their European tour promoting their "Sumerian Daemons" album (Hammerheart Records).
Ever since he released 2 studio albums with Septicflesh by Season of Mist Records: “Communion” - 2008, mixed and produced by Fredrik Nordstrom, (In Flames/Dimmu Borgir/Arch Enemy etc.) and “The Great Mass" – 2011, mixed and produced by Peter Tägtgren.
The release of "The Great Mass" gladly met a massive promotion which was followed on by touring in Europe, United States and Canada with top-of-the-field-bands, such as Children of Bodom, Amon Amarth, As I lay Dying, Megadeth, Kreator and many more.
As a “Sound Engineering and Music Technology” graduate, he is the proud co-owner of “Devasoundz” Studios in Athens, Greece along with Christos Antoniou, which is taking over the majority of heavy bands such as: Septicflesh, Chaostar, The Fallen Within and Rotting Christ among others.
Fotis Benardo is also a founding member and frontman of the rock band SixForNine with Pete Outfox as their drummer.