Interview with Chris (Guitar)
Interview conducted by Barbara Williams (Crowley)
Date online: July 19, 2003
You have been together for about 10 years now and have several demos and albums out, have toured and gigged extensively, and managed to make a name for yourselves. You speak of the hardships the band had undergone. What are your feeling now, looking back? Would you change anything?
Looking back, I have no regrets. I think we have done something we all can be proud of. We made a mark. Whether it was for good or bad, that is for music history to decide, but I sit here typing these answers with a feeling of pride in the band's history and accomplishments. Sure, there may have been things I would have done differently, but overall, I think everything worked out well.
Chris, you are leaving. I wish you luck in whatever you chose to do, but your absence will affect the band. Do you know who will take your place and how closely will you still be associated with Internal Bleeding?
Jerry is going to take over the band. He has the fire, the passion and the drive that is necessary to continue the IB tradition. I will still stay involved with the band, helping with the website, philosophical frameworks, lyrics and other stuff.
I have a couple of your albums and you have been with Pavement Music for a long time, but Hatefuel Late, is now with Olympic Recordings. How is this working for you and do you think that changing the label affected your music?
Well, we relased ALIEN BREED with Olympic Recordings, and the experience with that was much better than anything we did with Pavement. Martti at Olympic is an ace guy and has treated us really well. We appreciate his efforts. I don’t think changing labels has changed our music at all.
What are you currently working on?
I am putting a project together along the lines of Black Sabbath, and IB is furiously writing some new songs.
How do you write your music and how do you get the inspiration for writing your lyrics?
All my inspiration comes from my daily experiences. I am a news-a-holic. I consume news from websites, the television, etc. That usually affects my lyrical approach to things. I am a very political animal and I am not afraid to express my very strong social and political opinions. I usually write music on an acoustic guitar first, then translate it onto the electric guitar. This way I can be assured it's heavy.
I know you're getting to go on a European tour. Are you excited and what are hoping this tour will do for the band?
I won't be with the band at the time of the tour, but I am sure it will be great for the rest of the fellas as well as the band as a whole.
What have been your most memorable experiences while on tour?
I think the best experience was when Dying Fetus and us got stuck in an incredible blizzard in Northern Canada. We thought for sure that we were going to die. We got caught in a huge snowdrift and our van was completely buried in the snow. We were cold and miserable, but we ended up having a great time and laughing about the whole thing.
Which songs do you like most playing Live?
I have no particular favorite, as I love all the songs we write. If I had to choose though, it would be "Driven to Conquer."
What was your first concert you ever attended?
Black Sabbath and Van Halen, 1979 in NY. I was 11 years old! My sister took me. That was great!
How would you describe your style of vocals? Who have been your role models?
I don't sing, so I couldn't tell you. Jerry takes a lot of styles into account when he sings, but I just couldn't tell you who specifically has influenced him.
The music scene really changed between the 70's, 80's and 90's. What would you say has been your strongest influence?
I cannot really comment on the music scene in the 70s, but I can say, that in the genre of metal, things have gotten progressively heavier and heavier. In the 1970s, it was SABBATH BLOODY SABBATH that was the epitome of metal, in the 80s it was REIGN IN BLOOD and in the 1990s it was CANNIBAL CORPSE, etc. that defined metal. I like the progression. As long as there is musicality involved and the music doesn't devolve into complete noise. My biggest influence —bar none—is Black Sabbath.
Which bands are on your list of favorites? If I were to look through your CD collection, what would I find?
Lets see…in my CD collection: Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Slayer, Morbid Angel, Al Dimeola, John McGlaughlin, Jimi Hendrix, Suffocation, Ripping Corpse, Return to Forever, Souixie and the Banshees, New Order, Cannibal Corpse, Mortal Decay, Dying Fetus (old) Carcass, Frank Zappa, Vast, Agnostic Front, Blind Lemon Jefferson, BB King, Albert Collins, T-Rex, Black Flag, Entombed, Morgoth, Pyrexia, Suicidal Tendencies, Dead Kennedys and hundreds of others! My tastes vary so widely, I could go on forever!
When did you start playing and how old were you when you became interested in metal?
I started playing when I was 19. I am 35 now. I got into metal when I was 4 years old, 1972, when I heard Sabbath for the first time.
Have your parents and friends always been supportive?
My parents never really supported the band, but my friends were always behind me 100%.
Besides Metal, what other types of music do you listen to?
Jazz, Blues, 80s Gothic and classical.
Do you keep up with Metal Magazines? Which ones do you read or like the best?
I prefer metal fanzines as opposed to magazines. Most mags are pretty shallow and only cover what's trendy. Fanzines are more from the heart. Outside of playing Metal, what kinds of things do you enjoy doing? What kind of books do you read? Any good books or movies you would like to mention? I love drag racing, and I race my car, a 1968 Plymouth Barracuda, quite often. I read lot of political books. Currently I am reading The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk. As for movies, I enjoy war movies, documentaries, and, of course, horror movies.
How do you feel about mainstream bands, especially those who at one point started out as Underground?
If they are successful and staying true to their original vision, I say more power to them!
You have had your share of trouble. Do you feel that Death and Black Metal bands have it more difficult to gain recognition compared to those who play other types of metal?
Death and Black metal is definitely an acquired taste. There isn't much that's pretty about it, so promoting it and getting people into it can be quite difficult.
At a concert I attended, a metal fan voiced some heavy criticism because he no longer finds that Black metal is acceptable because the satanic content most albums have. As an atheist he sees this as a form of religion. What's your take on this?
I think that it's a decent point, and I can respect his opinion. I think Satan Worship, worship or Norse Gods, etc is pretty lame. Writing about it is cool, but to worship the stuff is just as idiotic as worshiping Jesus, etc. I personally don't think that many of the bands actually worship what they sing about. I think its more fantasy, so your friend's opinion may be a little too critical. After all, at the end of the day, music is entertainment and nothing more.
Noticeably, your lyrics are very strong and straightforward in content. I have just recently read an article (on anus.com) about boycotting Christian metal. What are your feelings about that? What does "metal" actually mean to you?
Boycotting Christian Metal? How stupid. I would always love to see a metal band oriented toward Christianity attack Satan worshipers as idiots who are just like blind sheep—turnabout is fair play, you know. That would be hilarious Even Anton LaVey's thoughts on Satanism are hypocritical and paradoxical. As long as the music is fucking heavy, it's metal to me. It can be Christian, Norwegian Pagan God worship, Gore, whatever. As long as it's heavy, it's metal.
How is the music and being Internal Bleeding connected with the person you are? Is your band image a reflection of you or completely separate?
I think there are hints of me within Internal Bleeding's music. Lyrically, there is a lot of me in there though…especially the political stuff.
Where do you see Internal Bleeding in a year or two from now?
I hope successful.
What advice would you give young bands and musicians who are serious about making it in the music business? Work hard, respect others, and, at the same time, don't take any shit from anyone. Defend yourself, be proud of what you do and treat your fans with love and respect.
Any last words to fans, enemies, or anyone else?
To my friends, my love, gratitude and respect for all the years of loyalty and friendship. To my enemies…drop dead.
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