PZO: If you could have any two musicians as parents
who would they be?
Chris: Thats a tough one. Actually my parents are musicians, so
I kind of got lucky. Probably Steve Perry the singer from Journey, and
What flaws do you find with success?
Chris: Do you have time for that? <Everyone laughs> Its
weird; its 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
thats 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 doesnt even have a category. Weve got songs
that go from heavy to soft that dont 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 youve got to pay back. Thats
probably the biggest thing.
Do you experience Deja Vu?
Chris: Sometimes yeah, sometimes it happens in different cities, but its
the same thing that happened in the city before it. Its kind of
weird because when you are on a tour that goes to each major city you
dont 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 its like all one big state. Deja vu though? I dont
know, I mean a lot of the same people come back to shows, I guess I could
say yes, but I dont think I can give you a specific incident.
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 its 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
thats weak. Rock actually, I think has taken a decline in that manner,
to where back in the 80s rock bands used to write about heartfelt
stuff. They used to write about loneliness, pain, sorrow, or even happiness.
Now its all about, Im the coolest mother fucker with
the most money in my pocket, look at me shine. Its like wait
a minute, your not shining dude, your fucking taking these peoples
So its 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 dont then thats 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. Thats 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.
What is one song on mainstream radio you cant stand to listen too?
Chris: Umm, mainstream radio. I would have to say the songs they way out
play. I definitetly cant stand that fucking Kid Rock song with Metallica,
what the fuck is it called? "Cowboy".
PZO Friend: Aww
Chris: Im sorry I am not a big Kid Rock fan. Ive met him and
hung out with him. Hes 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 didnt give up. I cant stand songs
where they do parodies of other songs. A lot of hip-hop these days, they
cant write it without taking the fucking guitar line from other
songs. Whether its 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 hes making money I couldnt
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
its not coming from here (heart) or here (mind), its 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, its a universal language.
It doesnt matter if you are French or Italian if you hear a good
song and you dont understand the words its still a good song.
Its 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.
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, thats the biggest thing. Thats 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 didnt 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 arent
paying for tickets so they can watch them for 20 minutes and then say
bye. They are coming to make a connection, and whether its a vocal
connection or a handshake, I mean that matters to us and it should matter
to other bands, but sometimes it doesnt.
If you could have Flaw candy hearts for Valentines Day next year, what
would they say?
Chris: <Laughs> Be your own Valentine.
Do you remember what you were doing the first time someone recognized
Chris: What I was doing, no I dont. Its 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 didnt
even recognize you standing there.
Chris: There is something cool about being able to do that. Its
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 dont remember what I was doing the
first time someone recognized me.
PZO: Thats ok.
Chris: Im sorry <Laughs>
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 moms 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. Its great to
get attention and its 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. Thats really what its all about
What is the most annoying thing that has ever happened to you?
Chris: Most annoying thing, I would have to say currently its dealing
with other bands crews and management. They fucking make their own decisions,
and a lot of time they dont even ask the band what they think. Were
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 werent
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.
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. Thats her right
there. <Shows a picture>
PZO: Oh shes so cute!
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 dont have time to go and sit in a restaurant and eat for an
hour. So probably smoking and eating better.
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 dont think they have the ability or the emotional
stability to actually get through a lot of stuff. Ive 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, its their fault, and two
they cant 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.
Who is your favorite new artist?
Chris: Favorite new artist, 40 Below Summer.
I know you have a lot of tattoos, so what is one thing that you would
never have tattooed on your body?
Chris: A girls name. <Laughs>
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, thats about my moms suicide and it makes
him feel better. Thats the whole reason II wrote that song. Words
cant even describe that, honestly, that is by far the most important
thing anybody has ever said to me.
What is the last meaningful thing you did?
Chris: Last show I played, yesterday. <Laughs> We dont
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,
its the little things like that. So I would have to say the show
I played yesterday was the last meaningful thing I did.
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 its 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 cant 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 dont 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.
Chris: Sorry <Laughs>