home    news/reviews    editorials    new talent     interviews     randumb videos     discussion board     info/contact

members present:
Chris Volz

conducted on:
February 2002
by: Natalie Kuchik
official website
shout-out to PZO


PZO: If you could have any two musicians as parents who would they be?

Chris: That’s a tough one. Actually my parents are musicians, so I kind of got lucky. Probably Steve Perry the singer from Journey, and Ani DiFranco.

PZO: What flaws do you find with success?
Chris: Do you have time for that? <Everyone laughs> It’s weird; it’s kind of a whole other world. I have been studying and writing music for like 10-12 years. You get to a point where the music is really what you want to do, then all of a sudden record company comes in and say we want to give you this money and send you out. It kind of turns everything almost not as real as it was before. We used to play shows in our home town. There would be 600 people there and they were there just for us. And now we are going out, not complaining about it but the whole business side of it mixing in with the hobby and the love for music kind of makes some people go sour a little bit. I think that is why you have a high amount of drug problems with musicians because that’s the way they can kind of forget about what they are feeling.

One of the songs on the album “Whole” is about my moms’ suicide and I wrote it as therapy for myself, and now it is going to be filmed for MTV. Just battling with staying real and not falling too much into the corporate world is probably the biggest thing. Beside from the fact they always want to put you into a category. Like “What does your music sound like? Is it thrash, hardcore, alternative, rock, pop?” Some music just doesn’t even have a category. We’ve got songs that go from heavy to soft that don’t fit into one of those. The industry has a whole different perception of what we are doing out here and most musicians really just want to do something they enjoy. The stress level like hits the ceiling when you get signed. They are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on you that you’ve got to pay back. That’s probably the biggest thing.

PZO: Do you experience Deja Vu?
Chris: Sometimes yeah, sometimes it happens in different cities, but it’s the same thing that happened in the city before it. It’s kind of weird because when you are on a tour that goes to each major city you don’t really get to see much. You are from the venue to the hotel then back, and to the vehicle and your driving. Everything becomes one big city. I used to think the United States was made up of a lot of different states, and now it’s like all one big state. Deja vu though? I don’t know, I mean a lot of the same people come back to shows, I guess I could say yes, but I don’t think I can give you a specific incident.

PZO: What is your definition of good music?
Chris: Honest music, heartfelt music, music that is not being written to sell a product, music that is not superficial. Not to name any names but it’s ridiculous when you are a singer and a lyric writer and you have to put your own name in your lyrics ten times every song. I mean that’s weak. Rock actually, I think has taken a decline in that manner, to where back in the 80’s rock bands used to write about heartfelt stuff. They used to write about loneliness, pain, sorrow, or even happiness. Now it’s all about, “I’m the coolest mother fucker with the most money in my pocket, look at me shine.” It’s like wait a minute, your not shining dude, your fucking taking these people’s money.

So it’s probably honest heartfelt music you are not playing to make money, your playing because you want too. If you make money at it then great, if you don’t then that’s the same thing too. There are too many bands out there that are doing things just for status. The fact that we are in a van right now, we could be in a bus right now, but we are saving money this way because a couple of us have kids and we are sending it back to them. That’s the kind of stuff we do instead of having to look cool, fuck that. I would rather have more money going to the people back home that matter. There is a fine line between being real and selling out.

PZO: What is one song on mainstream radio you can’t stand to listen too?
Chris: Umm, mainstream radio. I would have to say the songs they way out play. I definitetly can’t stand that fucking Kid Rock song with Metallica, what the fuck is it called? "Cowboy".
PZO Friend: Aww
Chris: I’m sorry I am not a big Kid Rock fan. I’ve met him and hung out with him. He’s a smart guy. There is just people that I have met, like that guy from Sevendust. There is a difference between them and the other people we talked about because they actually put their heart and soul into it. They have been on three albums and have busted their ass not doing great on sales for each album. And they just kept going, and kept going and didn’t give up. I can’t stand songs where they do parodies of other songs. A lot of hip-hop these days, they can’t write it without taking the fucking guitar line from other songs. Whether it’s from the seventies or nineties, it kind of takes away from the whole thing of being a musician, which is where the music is supposed to come from here (heart).

Kid Rock does that shit all the time, and he’s making money I couldn’t say whether or not he was happy or not, which to me is more important. If it takes me three years to make the kind of money I need to retire on, or if it takes me ten years, I would rather do it to be happy then do it in one year and feel like a sell-out. Basically, what you're doing is when you get to that point you are writing stuff people want to hear, you are not writing what you like to write. Right now at this point I hate to say it, but he is writing what he knows will sell albums, and it’s not coming from here (heart) or here (mind), it’s coming from here (money). It takes away the whole point of music.

Back in the 18th century music is the kind of shit they would play for psycho patients and they would calm down, it’s a universal language. It doesn’t matter if you are French or Italian if you hear a good song and you don’t understand the words it’s still a good song. It’s taking away from the whole entity of music being special. But today has also been kind of a stressful day, <Everyone laughs> so there is a little bit of stress coming out of my answers now too.

PZO: What is one thing you usually hear from fans about your shows?
Chris: That they like the energy that we have onstage. That they like the fact that we come out after we are done playing and hang out in the crowd the whole time. That we seem to be more real than a lot of bands they have seen recently, that’s the biggest thing. That’s the most important thing to us, is not to fall into the same category as everyone else. Everyone from Limp Bizkit to Staind even at this point. We did some shows with this band Soil and they didn’t even come out and say anything to people afterwards. They just got right back onto their bus and took off. You are taking away from the connection there, people aren’t paying for tickets so they can watch them for 20 minutes and then say bye. They are coming to make a connection, and whether it’s a vocal connection or a handshake, I mean that matters to us and it should matter to other bands, but sometimes it doesn’t.

PZO: If you could have Flaw candy hearts for Valentines Day next year, what would they say?
Chris: <Laughs> Be your own Valentine.

PZO: Do you remember what you were doing the first time someone recognized you?
Chris: What I was doing, no I don’t. It’s kind of weird with me because I change my look a lot.
PZO: Yeah I have seen your video so many times on Much Music and I didn’t even recognize you standing there.
Chris: There is something cool about being able to do that. It’s weird because the label wants you to stick with whatever you look like on the back of the album, or in the video so people can recognize you, but it gets fucking boring. Like sometimes, I mean I went from that haircut, I shaved a Mohawk in, and then I just shaved my head completely because it started going out of control, then I will probably grow it back out to look like that. I defintely don’t remember what I was doing the first time someone recognized me.
PZO: That’s ok.
Chris: I’m sorry <Laughs>

PZO: What is one of your most memorable shows and why?
Chris: It was probably Cleveland, Ohio on this tour, because I was going through some weird stuff on my mom’s death. We played “Whole” that night, and I had a hard time getting through the song, I actually started crying during one part of the song onstage and I felt stupid about it. Afterwards going out we did our signing, we went out to the crowd. So many people came up and they were almost in tears themselves saying they could feel what I was saying, and that they appreciated me being that honest in front of that many people. That is the kind of emotional connection that we all actually have to reach for. It’s great to get attention and it’s great to get money. There are a lot of cool things about the industry, but the coolest thing is when someone comes up and says, “You know what? That one song you guys wrote has made a difference to me.” That’s really what it’s all about honestly.

PZO: What is the most annoying thing that has ever happened to you?
Chris: Most annoying thing, I would have to say currently it‘s dealing with other bands crews and management. They fucking make their own decisions, and a lot of time they don’t even ask the band what they think. We’re all good friends with Sevendust, and their fucking guys sometimes will make their own decisions. Like this thing with the rider, food, beer, and water. The dude is probably in there sitting on his ass, the tour manager, is probably in there sitting on his ass and eating our shit right now and laughing about it, honestly. The bands that we play with there is a common respect that we give each other. We understand we are the opener on this tour, so we would never push any buttons we weren’t supposed to. Like the crew who are out there doing totally separate jobs sometimes think they are the band, and act like it sometimes. That is probably the most annoying thing I have dealt with the past two weeks.

PZO: What happened on the best day of your life?
Chris: Well, we got this record deal and my daughter was born all within like 2 days, so I have to say that was the best day. That’s her right there. <Shows a picture>
PZO: Oh she’s so cute!

PZO: Do you have any New Years resolutions that you always break?
Chris: Yep, quit smoking; try to eat a little healthier. Normally, I am really good about that, I just go on binges, especially when on tour sometimes the only thing you can eat is McDonalds and Burger King all the time. You don’t have time to go and sit in a restaurant and eat for an hour. So probably smoking and eating better.

PZO: What is one of your favorite lines in one of your songs?
Chris: Probably, “Only the strong survive.” There are way to many people that don’t think they have the ability or the emotional stability to actually get through a lot of stuff. I’ve got a lot of friends that went through a lot of abuse and I did to, from parental neglect to different shit like that. Sometimes people just get so caught up in it that, they feel like for one, it’s their fault, and two they can’t feel better about themselves. So that song is really about realizing you have the power to feel about yourself the way you want and everyone else can fuck off. There are so many people that will try to bring you down, so instead of listening to what those people have to say, besides from family, friends, and loved ones. Just knowing that you are strong and that will help everyone survive.

PZO: Who is your favorite new artist?
Chris: Favorite new artist, 40 Below Summer.

PZO: I know you have a lot of tattoos, so what is one thing that you would never have tattooed on your body?
Chris: A girl’s name. <Laughs>

PZO: What is the nicest thing someone has said to you?
Chris: In Colorado Springs a guy came up to me and told me that his mom had just tried to kill herself a couple weeks prior, and that sometimes he feels like giving up and killing himself. He said he puts that song “Whole” on, that’s about my mom’s suicide and it makes him feel better. That’s the whole reason II wrote that song. Words can’t even describe that, honestly, that is by far the most important thing anybody has ever said to me.

PZO: What is the last meaningful thing you did?
Chris: Last show I played, yesterday. <Laughs> We don’t go out there and fucking talk a bunch a shit and try to pump people up for stupid reasons. I mean we just go out there and try to explain what the songs are about. We are one of the few bands that even thanks the crowd for being there. I mean thank you for spending this time with us, it’s the little things like that. So I would have to say the show I played yesterday was the last meaningful thing I did.

PZO: What song on your album are you most proud of and why?
Chris: It would have to be “Whole”, because it was very hard for me to deal with writing that, it was hard to put the words down on paper, and it’s really hard to sing it every night sometimes. There is just not a lot of honesty in music, and there is a lot of times when people can’t believe that some of the lyrics in the song, I came out and said that stuff. But when somebody does something like that to you, somebody takes their own life, it hurts everyone but them, and they are the only ones that don’t feel pain because they are fucking dead. To be able to get that out there and maybe reach even two people, I think that is the most important thing I think I could do. Fuck a bunch of, “I got a eight ball in my pocket, forty in my hand, my name is Kid Rock listen to me rhyme.” Talk about some real shit.
PZO: <Laughs>
Chris: Sorry <Laughs>

back to interviews