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XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Chris: Right now, mainly just working on promoting my current Tralineate album. It came out in September of this year. It’s available on digital format right now and I’m working towards getting CDs made. I’m also working on getting an actual video filmed and put together for one of the songs. That’ll be fun. I’ve only done playthrough or simple lyric videos on Facebook and YouTube thusfar so I’m excited about that. I’m writing new material for a follow up which is going pretty good. I’ve got some cool stuff there and I’ve learned a few more tricks so it’ll be even better than this current one. Between work, family, and Tralineate, it’s been busy to say the least but really fun seeing it all come together.
XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?
Chris: Just barely over a year. It’s been in my mind for longer than that, but I really just finally started to do something about it last summer. Too much other stuff going on all the time and I have terrible time management skills. Haha.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
Chris: Funny as it sounds, it just makes me feel complete. Without it, I’m a train wreck. Haha. Really, I’m kind of a mess of a person. I love being able to share my thoughts musically and having people understand exactly where I’m coming from and feeling the same way. Having that connection with people is the best.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Chris: I’ve done a few things. I played piano and trumpet and sang in the choir when I was a kid. Picked up guitar when I was like 17 or so but honestly never really got serious about playing until not long ago. I taught myself to play guitar way back then by ear and learned every Danzig song I had on tape. Even though I played piano, I still can’t read music very well and I never took guitar lessons or anything so I don’t know scales or theory or anything like that, I just play what I like and try to make it make sense. I can still pick stuff up by ear really well but I spend most of time just fiddling around with it until I hear what I want. I’ll get lessons one of these days. Haha. I’ve been in a few bands throughout the years and was vocals only for my first band, Doomsaer, but still wrote several of the guitar parts. I had to teach myself how to do a proper death metal growl and it seemed to come pretty naturally. I stepped up to vocals and guitar for my second band, No Flesh Spared, which worked out pretty nicely. This is technically my second solo project. The last one was under the name Heteromorphic which did actually start out as a band. Due to a lot of things though, it ended up being me deciding to finish it out on my own. Tralineate is really the first time I’ve done a full album from beginning to end completely by myself aside from a couple of guitar solos which were done by a friend of mine who was in the original lineup of Heteromorphic.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Chris: Good question. I would like to say aggressive. Lots of fed up with everything, ‘we’re not gonna take it’ kinda attitude. At least I hope it comes out that way.
XS ROCK: What are your immediate music career goals?
Chris: Well, my first goal was to get these songs out of my head and into a format that I could actually listen to. Now that that is done, I’m hoping to get this album in front of more people and establish Tralineate as more than just a hobby. I’d like to get a second album out well within that time frame as well. I’ve got some other personal things I’m working on too and hopefully this will help all of that. Time will tell I suppose.
XS ROCK: What are your long-term career goals?
Chris: Like any other musician, I’d like to figure out how to make this my full time job and still be able to balance my life with it. I love making music and to be able to do it for a living would be the goal. I’m just not cut out to work in an office and working graveyard shifts just ain’t good on the brain.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Chris: Right now, I’d say writing new stuff. I love it when I come up with a new riff or song and I get caught up in the feeling of creating. Plus, there’s no real schedule involved in that, I can do it on my time and not have to answer to anybody. It’s been several years since I’ve been in a working band playing shows but I know how great that feels as well. I’m hoping to play a show or two next year so we’ll see.
XS ROCK: What are you songs about?
Chris: Lots of stuff actually. This current album covers fear, depression, suicide, paranoia, insomnia, religion, a real life airplane disaster, apocalypse, anti government, and death of a loved one…not necessarily in that order. Haha. I try to keep it interesting, but fairly simple. In my past bands, it was all anger, hatred, blah, blah, blah, and while all of that has its place, I wanted to say other stuff and not be too one dimensional lyrically. I still like the angry, destroy everything themes, but it has to fit the song, not just because it’s death metal. I’m not a very serious person either, which sometimes makes it difficult. I’ve written some funny stuff in the past. When my kids were little, I wrote a death metal song about Dora the Explorer called Dorapocalypse which was about how parents are completely bombarded with licensed products bearing whatever kids thing is currently popular. My house was inundated with Dora merch for a while there. It was a pretty great song actually. I’ve also written an instrumental about my old car that I put out on Facebook. I recorded a bunch of samples of the exhaust sound of that car starting up, doing a burnout, driving on the highway, stuff like that. I like that one a lot. Super fun. And I’ve got another one that hasn’t been released yet about a favorite puzzle of mine, the Rubik’s Cube. Don’t know when I’ll put that one out. I’ll have to do a funny video for it though probably.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
Chris: Unfortunately, no. I’ve never toured in any of the bands I’ve been in. We played out of town a few times but never on a tour. A couple of us always had management type jobs and other responsibilities so it was just never in the cards for us. We made up for it with some pretty epic after parties though. Haha. We even played a couple of shows in my living room that turned into some pretty unforgettable times for all that were there.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Chris: Ha. With my old band No Flesh Spared, somebody once said they wanted us to play at their funeral…or their wedding. That’s weird either way. I can’t imagine how either of those situations would’ve went down.
XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Chris: Nope, not at all. They always said I needed to grow up and focus on a real job. I know they were trying to look out for me but I think they always thought that since I was in a band, that I was getting into trouble. Funny enough though, I got into trouble well before any band stuff and usually, I got into more trouble when I was away from band stuff. Being in a band kept me focused! My dad started to at least be more okay with it before he died. He sold some of our No Flesh Spared CDs to some coworkers of his. I thought that was pretty cool. My mom and the rest of my family have just recently started to come around to it. I think they finally realize how important it is to me and that I’m probably not ever going to grow up anyway. Haha. Sidenote, I had one Uncle that always supported me. He even came to a couple of shows in the past. I always appreciated that.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Chris: Yet to be determined. I’ve got a few in mind that I think will be really great live though. Ike Antz Leap for sure, Saturn’s Last Breath and Cast From the light are super heavy. Three Points of Execution is intense. Oh, and Monday May, 12th. That one is about the day my Dad died and actually has seen some live action and it translated to the crowd really well. I had several people tell me how well they could relate to that song. That was the only time I’ve seen somebody tear up at a metal show.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Chris: That’s easy. Danzig without question. That early lineup with John, Eerie, and Chuck was awesome. They always had such an incredible stage presence. Pantera, Fear Factory, and Slayer would be a tie for the second reason. I had never seen anything heavier in my life. Seeing Pantera live was life changing. All the other bands I had seen couldn’t hold a candle to any of those live shows. There was a Slayer and Fear Factory tour that came through here back in like 98 I think? That was hands down the most intense show I’ve ever seen. Add to that the temperature in that place was easily 110 degrees. Incredible night.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Chris: Wow. That’s super tough. How about me opening, then Devin Townsend, Lamb of God, and finish it out with Fear Factory. Holy crap, that would be nuts.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Chris: Raising kids that aren’t jerks. Haha. Seriously, I’m happy about that. Seems to be a rarity anymore. Haha. I’m pretty happy that I’ve made it this far and that I’m still making music. And even happier that my kids still think I’m awesome. Haha. I’m pretty stoked that I got this album done too. It’s been a long time coming and it’s only the beginning!
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band, what kind of career do you think you would have?
Chris: Well, honestly, probably exactly what I’m doing now, warehouse work. But if I could pick, then woodworking. I love building stuff. I just built my youngest a loft bed completely from scratch. And she helped me literally every step along the way. That was some really good bonding time. And it turned out great, we’re pretty proud of it. I’d love to have the time and the tools to build more stuff like that. Furniture, knick knacks, puzzles, stuff like that. It’s an incredibly peaceful hobby. Very centering.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Chris: Another one I’m not sure of yet. I’m sure I’ll stick with my Hughes & Kettner/Ampeg setup for my amp and my Ibanez. I’ll have to have a computer of some sort for the orchestra parts.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Chris: It seems pretty good to me. There’s always people out at the shows and there’s no shortage of new bands. I don’t know if I like how some of the trends have gone, but overall, it’s still good. I appreciate the different interpretations and ideas even if they don’t necessarily fall within my tastes. It’s good to have new stuff continually coming out from so many different walks of life.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Chris: That I’ve been sober for a little over 11 years. Even people that know me are still surprised by this! Haha! I’m guessing that’s because I can be a little over the top and maybe a bit overwhelming at times, not always in a good way. Depends on the situation I suppose. I’m pretty reserved when I first meet someone, but once I’m comfortable, forget it, the filters come off and we find out how much it takes to become annoyed. Haha.
XS ROCK: If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
Chris: Raw, heavy, and unrelenting with a couple of touches of atmosphere here and there. Fast, but not blinding fast, back to basics metal. Sometimes less is more in my case.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Chris: Well yeah! If you get a chance, check out my album, Ike Antz Leap, by Tralineate on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Spotify, and YouTube! And come visit me on the Tralineate Facebook page and say hi! I do most of my interaction there and try to post songs or new videos and other weird stuff as much as I can. I hope you all have a great day out there!
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS Rock!
Chris: Thank you as well! I appreciate the opportunity and hope to catch you again sometime! Stay metal!