July 2011 (live broadcast via phone, Roman Midnight Music Podcast Episode #23)
Guitarist/songwriter Chris Sanders made his name touring the world with 80's shock rockers Lizzy Borden, 2007 to 2010, during their successful Appointment With Death tour. He's also worked with vocalist Nadir D'Priest of the 80's rock band London, a time that brought him comparisons to Randy Rhoads. In 2009 Sanders joined other rock/metal musicians to record with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra inspired Northern Lights Orchestra. Participants with this project include Sister Sledge's Debbie Sledge, Whitenake's Doug Aldrich, Korn's Shane Gibson, Bruce Kulick, George Lynch, Kip Winger, Dizzy Reed, plus members of the Beach Boys, Megadeth, Survivor, Sly & The Family Stone, Alice Cooper, Korn, Firehouse, Dokken, Lynch Mob, Asia, Steely Dan, 55, Quiet Riott, Vanilla Fudge & Evermore, amongst others. In 2011 Sanders debuted his new band Knight Fury. Alongside him on the debut release, Time To Rock, was vocalist William King, Megadeth bassist David Ellefson & Alice Cooper & Impelliteri alumni Ken Mary on drums, the later two following him over from the Northern Lights Orchestra. At the time of this interview Knight Fury had released only 3 singles with the album still a few months away.
Having Chris Sanders guest on my show goes back to 2009 when I saw Finnish shock rockers & Eurovision winners Lordi on their first U.S. tour, having discovered them in Finland before they became internationally famous. Opening up was Lizzy Borden, who I'd only casually heard of. The guitarists came out on stage dressed as skeletons or ghouls & then came Lizzy himself all covered in black. Thoughout the show he'd go through an array of masks, props & dried blood. I was thrilled & an instant fan. Ironically, I was bored by Lordi. Later, I got a message on Myspace, one of the few times I've paid attention to Myspace, about the new band from former Lizzy Borden guitarist Chris Sanders. I'd already briefly communicated with Chris over e-mail, when I'd befriended him, & found him to be congenial & very approachable. Doing a little research I discovered he'd played with Nadir D'Priest of London, a great singer I'd just discovered, & recorded for the Northern Lights Orchestra that keyed into my Trans-Siberian Orchestra interest. Of course, I had to invite him on my show to discuss his new project & some of his past activities. It was a pleasurable hour.
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AJ: Chris, thank thank you so much for taking out a part of your evening tonight to talk with me.
CHRIS: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks, Aaron, thanks for having me on. It's great to be here.
AJ: Chris, there's so many things you've done in your, I don't know, it's a ... I won't say it's a short career but it's definitely been an intense few years now & there's so many questions I could ask, but I want to jump right to what you're working on now. & that is KNIGHT FURY. Would you mind telling my listeners, those of them who aren't familiar with your newest project, a little bit about what KNIGHT FURY is?
CHRIS: Absolutely, absolutely. KNIGHT FURY is a traditional hard rock/power metal band, very symphonic sound. I've been writing this stuff for the last year, better half of 2 years, just coming up with a great sound that I'm into that's the music that I love. & was fortunate enough to have a great cast of players play on the record as well. & so that's really what it was. It's taking the music that I love & hold dear so much &, you know, taking it out there & saying hey 'let's do a great record, let's make it happen'. & that's what it's become.
AJ: Now, you've got Dave Ellefson on bass from MEGADETH, who else do you have?
CHRIS: On the drums a good friend of mine Mr. Ken Mary, drummer from Alice Cooper, IMPELLITTERI, FIFTH ANGEL. He's played with a lot of guys & he was the drummer on the NORTHERN LIGHTS ORCHESTRA record. & so, yeah, that's how him & I got affiliated about 2 years ago. & I told him what I had going on & he said "Yeah, man, that sounds great." & so from there, we went & we recorded, did the track & just everything fell, the pieces all came together. So, it was just amazing guys playing & it worked out really great. William King, the singer, he literally fits like a glove, came in & laid his tracks down. Awesome vocals, absolutely just nailing it. Knows where the harmonies go, doing all this stuff, great creative writer, great lyricist. & just amazing the sound we're getting out of this. & it's definitely surpassed my expectations. So, I'm very very happy about it.
AJ: Excellent. The album is not out yet, but soon.
AJ: But, I want to know, here you are working with guys that have been playing in bands that, if you're like me, you grew up on MEGADETH & you grew up on Alice Cooper, you've been listening to these guys or their bands all your life. Did you, playing with David [Ellefson] or whoever, did you learn anything or was there some like 'wow' moment, like 'here I am with oh-my-gosh, you know, I don't believe it'?
CHRIS: Working with those guys is great. It's a level of professionalism that's definitely something anyone should aspire to. It's a matter of just how you approach the music, the business & the relationships which you make while you're doing this music. It's absolutely, you know, guys who are a pleasure to work with & I think we've all had experiences where we've worked with a handful of people where, hey, we love to work with them, some we won't ever work with again. & with these guys it was just amazing & developed great friendships out of it. So, it's like I couldn't have asked for better players or better people to be involved.
AJ: Chris, I was listening to some other interviews that you had done recently. In one interview you're quoted as saying "...the last several years I have been really disappointed with the way heavy metal & hard rock has gone off track. I'm really trying to keep a traditional, true metal sound & stay away from what music has become." Would you mind elaborating on this & what you meant by what music has become or the traditional true metal sound?
CHRIS: Yeah, yeah, first off, let me be clear, I really want to get it back to what it was. Hey, you know, it was about having fun, about having good times. It wasn't about being all pissed off or hating life. That's really where it comes from. It's the good, you know. Having fun, hey, let's go out & party. No problems, no nothing like that. & so from that great attitude you get great music. & then also musically just how it's done. I wanted to bring in people with the best talent to play great music. I really got lucky because I didn't have to go through a bunch of people. I already knew these people & I knew what they were capable of. & so it was good musically. That's what we did. We didn't have to fix everything later in post-production. It was, hey, you go in, you lay your tracks, it's good & that's how it was. But, it was guys with talent. Great singers, great musicians. & it goes all the way down to through how it's mixed. The sounds you're looking at, the tones, how it's EQ'd & that's all the way into the mastering phase. You know how do you want something to sound. & so I wanted a real traditional sounding sound like I grew on but definitely modern.
AJ: So the past few years, Chris, you've been with a bunch of groups, most particularly LIZZY BORDEN & before that Nadir D'Priest & other things. But, here you are now, really doing your own thing, you know, having your own child. What's been the biggest challenge with KNIGHT FURY?
CHRIS: I was really fortunate to have the history that I do working with who I have & so you learn a lot of what to do & what not to do.
AJ: Both which are long lists.
CHRIS: Yeah. & it was time for me to do my thing. I said "You know what, this is what we're gonna do ..." I'm not gonna say everything was easy. Everything's a challenge, but it's always approaching it & taking that challenge on & saying 'hey, you know, we're gonna carry on, we're gonna do this.' & so it's just anything from the beginning, the writing the music & having great songs & just listening to it. Cause I've gone in here & I've listened to things & I've changed them. I've said 'you know what, let's change the melody out here, let's change that out there.' So part of it is just making sure I'm happy with how it is, cause that's really the biggest thing is that I've got to be happy with it. & so, at the end of the day as long as I am that's fine. So, yeah, it's nothing's really shown up yet that's been a hurdle that we couldn't get over. But, everything's been good. It's been real good up to this point.
AJ: There's been 2 singles released from your forthcoming KNIGHT FURY album. The first one I want to start with is "Forbidden". Can you offer a little bit about, maybe, what inspired this song?
CHRIS: I wanted something that was kind of a darker tonality. I wanted something that was moving, something that builds, had different sections ... essentially movements to it. Of course, that's all combined into one song, but I wanted to capture the essence of different feelings & build on that emotion. & so there was the writing phase on that, I did pre-production on it & then came back, added, changed a few things, said, 'hey, let's extend that' & it really wrote itself. It was just an amazing song. It was a triumphant beginning & just absolutely all the way around an amazing song.
AJ: Excellent. Well, you know often the songs that write themselves are the ones that really ... they're like the ones, they have that glow, they're radioactive. They've got a life of their own.
CHRIS: Yeah, definitely.
AJ: Chris, for those who like the song & want to find out more about KNIGHT FURY as the project rolls on & the album gets closer, where can people go online?
CHRIS: You can google KNIGHT FURY & it'll come up. If you want to download it, so many people have iTunes accounts, itunes is the most popular place it's at. You can also get it at basically any online retailer, Amazon, Last.FM, Napster, Rhapsody & the list goes on. So, yeah, check out KNIGHT FURY, knightfury.com, there's links there. You can go see us on Reverb Nation, Myspace, we're all over.
AJ: All over the place, of course. & the album itself is getting its finishing touches & we hope before the end of the year it'll be hitting the shelves, or ... who knows at this point?
CHRIS: Yeah, yeah. It's definitely to have it out before the end of the year. What we did is we released "Forbidden" as a single & it went straight to iTunes & it's done great. & that was to say 'hey, this new band coming out there, this is what I'm doing.' & the response has really been quite overwhelming. So, what we did is the second single we released we ended up doing that as just an exclusive to the Reverb Nation fans, of course anyone can download it or listen to it, but that's just the exclusive place that we released that to. So, checking out different media outlets & the same thing, it's just been enormous. So, it's done really well for us. It's done good.
AJ: I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about releasing music & we both agreed that releasing a single before the album comes out is almost a lost art nowadays. Bands don't do that, they don't get the buzz going with one song, they just dump the whole thing out there. But, it's like how music was when you & I were growing up. That's how they did it with singles.
CHRIS: Yeah, that's right. & even before then, 70's, 60's, 50's, go back & that's all some of them did was do singles. I'm not gonna quite go that far. I'm not gonna turn it into a ... I'm not gonna turn it into a Chinese Democracy where it takes 18 years to get out. Maybe I should, it did well.
AJ: & it's better than a lot of people give it credit for, too. But, that's alright, you've got other things to work on in the next 14 years.
CHRIS: Oh, yeah, definitely, definitely. You know I just sent over to William [King] some new songs today for pre-production on the next record, on the second record.
AJ: Already, see!
CHRIS: Oh, yeah, I don't mess around. It's non-stop rock. You know, kinda get him going on those. That's ideally the plan is just do try to do a record every year.
AJ: Bang, bang, bang, put it out there.
CHRIS: Yeah, getting back to the singles is you're right, people don't do that. They don't release singles. They just drop an album & to me, my opinion is, especially in today's music age is that's not the best way to do it. So, we will ... we'll drop a few more singles before we release the whole record. But, I definitely swear by it, so that's what we're gonna do.
AJ: Chris, I have a caller on the line whose been patiently holding. A Miss Kaddie Champion in Virginia I know has a question or two for you. Kaddie are you there?
KADDIE (caller): Hey Aaron. Hey Chris, how ya doin?
CHRIS: Kaddie, it's good, I'm doing good. Great to hear you.
KADDIE: Good. I know you pretty much answered the question, but about "Forbidden" again. Was there a specific life experience though that inspired it, is what I really wanted to know.
CHRIS: No, there wasn't any one specific life experience that inspired the song. I definitely give credit to everything in life is what makes someone who they are. & I think music often captures elements of that. & there's a lot of facets to people's lives, definitely mine, & so my music tries to showcase that, & different facets of music as well.
KADDIE: Okay. & how did you come up with the name KNIGHT FURY for your band?
CHRIS: KNIGHT FURY, now this is so funny because I was just talking to Ira Black, the other LIZZY BORDEN guitar player who got another band, about a month back & he was talking about "Man, it's so hard to come up with something, because everything you think of has been chosen." So, that's what I really had to do was to sit there & think of, "Hey, what do I like? What kind of genre is this music coming at it & going for it?" So, what really captures the essence of what the music is, whose involved with the band & I wanted something that was triumphant ... & that's what it was. So, that's how I came up with KNIGHT FURY. It wasn't easy. It definitely took a lot of thought & it captures the essence of what KNIGHT FURY & the music is, absolutely.
KADDIE: Cool. Sure is awesome.
AJ: Thanks. Kaddie I wanna put you on the spot, if you don't mind.
AJ: Kaddie, you & I have been talking on Facebook. I know you're a big fan of Chris's playing.
KADDIE: Yes, indeed. Probaby his biggest biggest fan.
AJ: Yeah, you're a crazy fan. Can you tell me, what is it about Chris's music that attracts you?
KADDIE: My goodness. I am like a musichead. I mean I just really believe I love music more than anybody in this whole entire earth. I mean, I love people like Gary Moore, Adrian Vandenberg & George Lynch & just the very finest. & I've been like on the 80's for years. & recently I just came through a 10 year cancer battle & everything. To be honest, God used music to pull me through. I became friends with Chris on Facebook. I really didn't pay much attention to him for the first 6, 7, 8 months & then I started ... you know, there's just so many people out there & there's so much wonderful music to hear. & I have never, to be honest, been a LIZZY BORDEN fan or Nadir D'Priest or any of that. I've just always been into just DOKKEN kinda ... Gary Moore, DOKKEN, you know, a lot of the 80's stuff. I don't know, just one day I just listened to him & I was like "Oh, my gosh!" It just tore me apart, because he was just the best thing I had ever ever heard in my life, other than my favorites, like I said, who is Gary Moore & George Lynch & Adrian Vandenberg & stuff like that. I mean, I'm just really deeply into music & his guitar sound & quality & shredding & tapping & mobility & everything about him was like reminded me of something like Yngmie Malmsteen & some of the greatest of the greats. & then his songs just spoke to me with deep lyrics like something from QUEENSRYCHE. & even the vocals, even of William King, are just very similar to Jeff Tate of QUEENSRYCHE. It's just like, I don't know, it was just "Wow, this is like, this is amazing. I haven't heard anything like this just in recent years, since the 80's." & it was just phenomenal because it blew me away because I was like "Oh, my gosh, this is just, astounding!" I just can't even believe that somebody is actually working hard like they did in the 80's, because most of what you hear nowaday is just all this digital crap. It's nothing. There is not people working. It's not people playing the guitar until their fingers bleed & just shredding & tapping & that gorgeous melodic sounds that just came from that era. & the lyrics, too, the song "Awaken" ... I mean, "Forbidden" actually is my favorite song of the two as far as the guitar sound, cause he sounds very similar to Yngwie, but as far as the lyrics go, I really relate to the song "Awaken". It really speaks to my heart & it just lifts me up, because, you know I've gone through all this cancer crap & stuff & it's like, wow, live your life now, you've got decisions to make. & it's like get on with it & don't sulk in the past. It just speaks to me. I don't know, Chris is just ... he's not just an amazing guitarist but a producer & just a total artist in whole.
AJ: Excellent. Thanks, Kaddie, that's a great answer.
CHRIS: I totally appreciate that, Kaddie. That's great. It means the world to me to hear you say that & it's just great to hear & I thank you so much for your support. I definitely wish you the best & I'm glad you beat cancer.
KADDIE: Thank you, Chris.
CHRIS: Yup. Definitely you're in our hearts & minds & we wish you the best.
KADDIE: Thanks. Rock on.
AJ: Kaddie, thanks for the call.
KADDIE: Thank you, Aaron.
AJ: We're gonna move on & we're gonna hit "Awaken" in a second now.
KADDIE: Sounds cool.
AJ: I think definitely though, your answer was great because, as Chris was saying earlier, he's aiming for the 80's & you verified that he has hit the nail on the head.
KADDIE: He definitely has.
AJ: That's the perfect answer, Kaddie. I much appreciate it & thanks for the great questions.
KADDIE: No problem, thanks. Rock on guys, talk to you later.
CHRIS: Hey, rock on, thank you.
AJ: Rock on.
KADDIE: Rock on. Bye.
AJ: Chris, when you hear that your music has touched somebody like that, what goes through your head?
CHRIS: It's mission accomplished. I mean, absolutely.
AJ: Mission accomplished.
CHRIS: Seriously. Cause, you know what, if it wasn't for the fans, I mean, yeah, hopefully I'd still be playing music, but just to get the satisfaction of not just being able to really energize yourself but to touch someone else musically & to really inspire & give strength or whatever. Whatever feeling someone gets, cause it's music, open to interpretation, to have that feeling conveyed to them, & then get feedback on it ... it's just ... it means a lot. It's great & I think every artist likes to hear that stuff. They appreciate it & it means the world to me. It's great.
AJ: Kaddie's favorite lyrics, "Awaken". Any thoughts on them?
CHRIS: It's just a great, straight up, rockin' song. That is an absolutely great song. Of course, obviously, my favorite part of it is the guitar solo. It's just amazing. Don't try it at home, you'll blow your fingers off. Absolutely amazing. When I first wrote that I said "I wanna do something that's rockin', that's straight forward" & that's how I came up with that opening riff. & typically, if I write a song, I'll have the big hook or the big riff first thing out of the gate. & here I did the verse riff. It's just so powerful. It's just straight & driving. I said "Hey, let's just go with that" & it worked out really well. We got to the guitar solo & I said "I think we need to do something there". So while we were still in pre-production I doubled the length of the solo & laid down a longer solo, & it just hits it perfect, just absolutely amazing. & so I was very happy with that song, as I am with all of these. I mean, literally, there's not one bad egg out of the bunch. It's just the thing I'm most proud of is this whole record is nothing but great songs, so it's definitely, like I said, lets the music do the talking.
AJ: Do you have a particular ... how should I phrase this ... when you play guitar do you have a particular approach you're going for or philosophy, like 'I'm going to do it this way, or I'm gonna sound like this person.' Or, is there certain things running through your head when you create a solo? Or, what is a Chris Sanders solo? You know what I'm asking?
CHRIS: Yeah, I do. I know exactly what you're saying. There's really a lot to it. There are some generalizations that can be made & basic guidelines that I stick to, which is pretty much the formula of my style. You start out with a great riff, you go verse, pre-chorus, chorus, do that again, go to the solo, come out of the solo & don't even do a third verse, just go straight to your pre-chorus & chorus & out. So, that's kind of a basic idea of how I want to do it. But, it still gets back to the writing. If you don't have a great riff & a great chorus, if you don't have a melody, if you don't have a hook, then you really have nothing. It's capturing someone's ear & their attention & making it happen, but I'm the guy writing it, so it's not just that I'm here trying to write for others. If I don't like it I'm not even going to release it. I'm not gonna finish writing the song. So, there's a lot going into it. I don't really, say 'hey, let's do it in this key, let's try to do it like this.' I'll just go in the studio & I'll just play what comes out & if its good then I'll work it & I'll say "Okay, let's do this & let's try it here." Sometimes I'll try & write & I'll say "Okay, I want one more ... more of a brighter, lighter sound", maybe I want one dark & heavy. It's kind of a mixture between what mood I'm in, what I'm trying to capture, what ... cause I do like variety in the songs. I don't want to write one song & have that be the same song for the whole record. I like to have variety & that's something I picked up from listening to the bands I grew up on. Even as a kid, the first bands I was listening to were LED ZEPPELIN & AEROSMITH & to me, it's like hey, there's like variety, there's good stuff here, & so that rubbed off on me & same thing. That's what I go for. As for a solo. It's got to fit the song. It's icing on the cake. & I think we've all heard songs where the solo, I mean, it's a great song but you get the solo & you're like 'man, what happened?'
AJ: Numerous things can happen there. There can be numerous things that may or may not be happening.
CHRIS: Yeah, yeah.
AJ: How much imput does [bassist] Dave Ellefson & the other guys in the band, how much have they put into it, in the composing part?
CHRIS: Well, what I did was, I sent them the tracks. I pretty much had all the songs written. I sent them the tracks & like I told the guys in the studio, they have 100% freedom until I hear something I don't like, you know. Seriously. & even then it was just, "Either one of these could have worked, let's figure out what's the best result." I honestly could care less with who comes up with the best thing. Let's just make the best music. It is not even about who came up with it. & so, they brought in their parts & I'm sitting there in the studio & it's amazing. Maybe there's a thought 'here, let's try this or do something different here. I need this note here or I need this beat there' ... to try to capture the overall symphonic sound of what I was going for. Actually "Forbidden" is a great example, because in the studio ... when I sent those tracks to [drummer] Ken Mary the intro was half as long. & he started doing that tom [drum] intro & that's not what I was hearing at all in my head & I said "Man, that sounds great." So, what we did is we doubled the length of that intro, so he did the tom intro & then it goes to the straight beat & then that drops out & the vocals come in, so it was perfectly orchestrated. & that's just one of those thing, you know. It's just the magic of the moment & see what happened.
CHRIS: It it just worked out great.
AJ: As we get near the end, Chris, I gotta hit on a few other things you've done. I want to talk for a minute about the band that has really pushed your name to the front of the music community for a lot of us & that's LIZZY BORDEN, of course. I've read in interviews that you actually grew up listening to LIZZY BORDEN & you were a fan of them. What was it like being asked to join the band, having listened to this band for a long time?
CHRIS: Well, it was crazy, cause I remember being a kid listening to them. & I don't even know how I got ... that's what it was, somehow I ended up with a cassette tape for The Decline Of The Western Civilization. It was a soundtrack CD & some of the songs on that CD aren't even in the movie. But, there was one & so ... from listening to that I said "Hey, that's cool, LIZZY BORDEN, right on." They were doing a cover song. Then I had another compilation cassette tape & it had "Master Of Disguise" on it & I said "Hey, this is great stuff." So, from there I got the CDs or tapes & listened to it & so I was playing that stuff too. So, when it came time for it, when I was playing with BORDEN I already knew their whole catalog & so that worked out fine. It was like "Hell, I've been playing this stuff already for years."
AJ: Was there any ... how would I say, scratching of the chin & 'uh oh, what have I gotten myself into' when you joined the band & suddenly Lizzy's asking you to dress up like a skeleton on stage? Were you going 'uh oh, what is this?'
CHRIS: Seriously, that was the biggest surprise to me, cause I'd never seen the stage show. They never toured in the Northwest where I'm from. So I had no idea about the stage show & doing the whole zombie thing with face paint. I said "Hey, it's part of the gig". You do it, whatever. Yeah, that was fine, that didn't really bother me at all, you know it's just stage attire. That's what it was.
AJ: Well, I know a lot of us who who've listened to the band, a lot of fans have said this has been one of the best tours that LIZZY has done in decades, that you were a part of one of the best shows & the costumes & everything was just, it was like the culmination of a 25 year career. So, I know the response has been really really great to Appointment With Death & the tour & Europe.
CHRIS: Yeah, we did some great shows. It's probably the best, like you said, best shows. We did Sweden Rock & that was awesome. I did Bang Your Head Festival in Germany & there we did 2 sets, which was crazy, because we played & then one of the bands cancelled an hour after we got off stage & now we're going back on stage.
AJ: Oh, shit!
CHRIS: Yeah, seriously! & so, we already played our whole set list, so we weren't in to re-writing it or redoing stuff, so we said "What do we know?" Well, guess what, I already knew the whole catalog cause I'd been playing this stuff since I was even before in the band! & so me & the other guitar player we're back in the trailer banging out these sets & saying "Do this chord here, do it there". & in the end we just went out there & people thought that was the best. So, that was good, yeah, dude.
AJ: Yeah, you basically went around the world with LIZZY, just about.
CHRIS: We did some good stuff, did some great tours. The funny thing is ... like the lead-in, when we went out & toured with LORDI. Our first show, the whole tour was a Live Nation tour, & we're doing House Of Blues & the first show was supposed to be in Texas ... & well, as soon as we get there the show was cancelled, so that's never the way you want to start a tour.
AJ: Oh, no.
CHRIS: But, the night before, Ira Black & I had gone down the street. Here we are in Houston or whatever, so we went down looking for a bar to go drink at & we ended up in this place called D.B. Cooper's in Texas & it ended up being a strip club. & well, the manager's like, "Hey, why don't, you know ...", this is the night before our show got cancelled, & he says "... do you guys want to play here?" So as soon as the show got cancelled we called up this guy at D.B. Cooper & the next thing you know we're playing inside a strip club in Texas. It was a kind of a good thing, seeing how it could have gone, the first show of a tour gets cancelled. But, we were able to come back & fill it in. All the fans that were going to that show, who had a ticket for it, they still got to see us. So, having the show still go on, even though when things are out of your control getting cancelled I think that's a big deal.
AJ: Oh yeah. Now I saw you guys when Ira Black was with you. Also he's been with METAL CHURCH, so others may know him because of that association, but he left LIZZY BORDEN & was replaced by a young 19 year old named Dario Lorina. & I've seen videos of you two on youtube just totally in sync & having a great time with each other & onstage. Any comments on that changeover from Ira to Dario?
CHRIS: Apples & oranges. I mean you really can't even compare the two. 2 different backgrounds, 2 different styles, 2 different outlooks on music. Once Dario came in I wanted to do something that was "Hey, how can we increase the show? I don't want to have it like, I do a guitar solo then he does one." Because to me it's too much like, 'oh, we've seen this, now he's going to do the same thing. Come on now.' So, what we did is, we ended up kinda having a little guitar battle that finales in us playing each others guitars.
AJ: Yes, that's what I've seen, yes.
CHRIS: It's funny, that video is from the first night that we had ever done that. & we literally just came up with it an hour before back in the dressing room. I said "Try it like this, try it like this." & hey, we were able to play each others guitars just fine & we went out there & it worked out. It looks great & its great on video tape. Sounds good too. Very cool.
AJ: You're definitely intertwined in each other just rockin' out. It's pretty classy, classy moment, I gotta confess.
AJ: I've had a question from a listener of this show that I want to ask you, Chris. & that is I know either most of or part of last year you weren't with LIZZY BORDEN, there was another guitar player. Where are you now in the band, what's your standing? Are you with them? Are you not with them? You can answer however you feel is appropriate.
CHRIS: I haven't played with LIZZY for over a year. I did my last tour with them in June & it's a done deal. That's where it is. It's all KNIGHT FURY from here on out & that's what I've been doing. I did, like I said, last tour with them in June & from there it's just keep going on with music working my way up. KNIGHT FURY is where I'm at & that's what I'm doing now, so yeah. But, the year's been good.
AJ: That's what I thought you'd say, actually. I could kinda tell, looking online, that's where your energy is going, into the new project.
CHRIS: Yeah, yeah, definitely.
AJ: Chris, I wanted to briefly mention the NORTHERN LIGHT ORCHESTRA, cause you laid down a solo on their album The Spirit Of Christmas ... & for those people who don't know the NORTHERN LIGHT ORCHESTRA, it's actually a project headed by Dave Ellefson & there's a whole array of folks from ... Bruce Kulick to Phil Meniketti of Y&T, lots of folks have contributed to this all-star project, heavy metal Christmas, whatever. How did you get involved in the NORTHERN LIGHT ORCHESTRA?
CHRIS: Well, let's see, it would have been 2008 or '09.
AJ: The album came out in '09.
CHRIS: Okay. I got a Myspace, of all things how funny is this, a friends request from the NORTHERN LIGHT ORCHESTRA myspace. So I listened to it & said "This is great stuff. I should be involved in this. So what's going on?" Yeah. So, I wrote back to the music director, Brian Stewart & he's like "Yeah, yeah, wanna get you involved with this." I said "Yeah, definitely." & so, to make a long story short, that's what happened. They sent me out a track & I said "Okay, cool." So I put a rippin' lead on it & that's how it is, so it was good, yeah, definitely. Good experience.
AJ: Have you worked with them anymore than just the recording? The live version? Or, was that it, just the album?
CHRIS: Just the record The Spirit Of Christmas. Definitely I'd love to work with them some more here. I'm tied down with KNIGHT FURY so I can't extend myself too far, but definitely they're all great people & it's great music & they have a good thing going on. So, I'm very excited for them.
AJ: To link up something you said earlier, though, I know there's a lot of folks, or there's a couple folks in KNIGHT FURY who are also involved in NORTHERN LIGHT. Is that a coincidence or did you meet them through the project, like Dave Ellefson.
CHRIS: That's how I met these guys. It was through NORTHERN LIGHTS & just from playing the music thing, & at NAMM & what not, being in the industry, playing the circuit, but playing with NORTHERN LIGHTS ORCHESTRA really gave me an opportunity to be around these people more on a personal level as opposed to professional & so really that's where it started off. & things are great, yeah.
AJ: Well, I've read stories, Chris, about musicians & they end up playing together & ironically they were involved in a project earlier but it was a different session, they didn't meet, & its coincidence that they've joined up, so, you never know. That's why I asked.
AJ: Chris, is there anything more you might want to say that I haven't asked or you haven't touched upon?
CHRIS: Stay tuned for KNIGHT FURY. This record is coming out. Special thanks to you, Aaron. You've been great here & have a chance to talk with you & tell my story. It's good. Check us out. If you haven't added us yet find us on Facebook or Myspace. Link up & you'll get the updates. Check out the merch. Lot of great stuff going on for everybody. Just a lot of good stuff going on. & thanks for the support.
AJ: Chris, as I told you before we even went on the air I can't thank you enough for joining me tonight. It really was, 2 years ago when I saw you guys here in town, it was literally a magical moment for me. & that show I've rated as probably one of the Top 10 concerts I've ever seen. So, I was humbled when you accepted my invite to be on this show tonight, so you have my absolute thanks & my support. I'll definitely be grabbing a copy of the album when it comes out.
CHRIS: Right on, very cool, very cool, man. Yeah, like I said, it's great talking with you, man, & thanks so much for the support. Anytime you want an interview. You'll be the first one to know the release date on the record.
AJ: Chris, I want to say thanks & I also want to say thank you to my listeners tonight. Kaddie, thanks for calling in with your thoughts. They mean a lot to both of us, in many different ways.