Charred Walls of the Damned – Control Wounds Open the DeniedSunday, 18th September 2016
Dead Rhetoric: Have your views changed on records as a whole in the metal marketplace currently versus the time period that you grew up in? Do you think the younger generation cares as much about particular albums as we may have in our youth?
Christy: I hope they do. It’s weird because everything kind of comes in circles. It seems like tons of people are buying vinyl again, that’s what I started out with. I had this little record player that you could carry around, it folded into a box. It’s cool to see that, I’m excited that the new Charred Walls of the Damned album is coming out on vinyl. When Brian Slagel told me I freaked out. It’s definitely a good thing to getting people to buy a full album rather than just one song. It’s hard to say, I’m kind of an older guy but unfortunately I’m not in touch with what’s young and hip. I really hope they are still buying and listening to full albums, it’s probably a good thing that this album is only 34 minutes long because with people’s attention spans these days, even 34 minutes is not too much to ask for somebody.
Dead Rhetoric: What standout moments have happened in your recording and touring career that will stay in the memory banks forever?
Christy: There’s so many, and I’m so lucky to get to play with my favorite bands. Like playing with Death at the Dynamo Festival in 1998 was pretty incredible. Playing live that’s probably the highlight of my life, that was our fourth show with that lineup and fourth show drumming for Death and we are playing in front of 40,000 people. We played right before Pantera on a Friday night and it was just insane. I was walking around and meeting the guys from Emperor, I got to meet Gene Hoglan and it was surreal. I was 23-24 at the time, it just blew my mind that I was getting to do this. Playing in Greece with Iced Earth was insane- they are huge in Greece. I remember the first time we played there and they opened the doors- people were running at a full sprint to the front of the stage and I had just finished soundcheck. I knew that this show was going to be nuts. So that was pretty awesome. With Charred Walls of the Damned, getting to open for Metallica at the Orion Festival when we were promoting our second album- and Lars got to introduce us. That was very insane, such an honor- being a Metallica fan since I was about 10 years old it was very surreal and really a highlight.
Dead Rhetoric: How do you feel about the state of heavy metal drumming today – do people ever seek you out for any advice and tips, and if so what do you suggest for these musicians to concentrate on?
Christy: People do ask me for tips and I’m always happy to give advice. When I was a young drummer my band teacher Mr. Abaty he gave me a lot of good advice. One day he pulled me aside and told me that I really should stick to this drumming thing, that I was really good at it. I never forgot that, so I always think about if I could inspire somebody I’m always happy to give back. A lot of advice I give is simple- there’s a book out there called Stick Control by George Lawrence Stone and that book really changed my life as a drummer. I started practicing with that book when I was 10 years old and I still haven’t gone all the way through the book, that’s how in-depth it is. Just a lot of rudimentary drumming things, paradiddles but it’s really helped me. There’s a lot of things in there that have helped me with my double bass and feet as well. One thing I’m proud of when it comes to the drumming on this album is it sounds natural. I pretty much went in there and pounded out the drums, and if there was a tiny little mistake I left it in. I wanted everything to sound as real and as natural as possible. I think it’s good that there are drummers that are still out there recording like that. Some other advice I would give is go into the studio very, very prepared. What you play is what you will hear on the album.
I think the state of drumming now is awesome- there are some really good drummers out there. Who knows what’s going to happen in a hundred years- maybe drummers will be able to play at 1000 BPM. I remember the first time I heard Pete Sandoval from Morbid Angel in the late 1980’s, and I wondered how he was really doing that. And now there are drummers that can play that on even another level.
Dead Rhetoric: Considering all the contact you’ve had with metal musicians including meeting and performing with some of your idols over the years, who are some people that you would love to go out to dinner with and pick their brains regarding music, business, or life in general?
Christy: John Carpenter would be a big one for me, I’m a massive fan of his. If I had to pick one song that really inspired me, it would be the theme from Halloween. It’s so simple and so effective and so beautiful, I could pick his brain for hours just on that one song. He’s a huge influence on me musically, I’d love to talk to him about his films and his music. There’s a lot of them… Lars from Metallica, I’d love to pick his brain regarding the early days of Metallica. I’m excited they are coming out with a book that’s all about the making of Master of Puppets, I can’t wait to check that out. I grew up a huge Metallica fan- Lars and James as well. I think James is the one of the most incredible rhythm guitar players ever. And then there are people like Tommy Lee Flood, who is the singer in Banshee. I’d love to talk to him about the 1980’s Kansas City music scene- I remember listening to Z-Rock in the late 80’s and early 90’s as a kid. It was a national radio station syndicate but they had one in Kansas City, and they used to play a lot of local bands that were really, really good. There’s people like that too that I would love to talk about metal.
Dead Rhetoric: Do you have a preference at this point in terms of the studio or the stage when it comes to being a musician? Or are you content with the differences that both offer?
Christy: I love both. If I had to pick though I’d pick the studio, just because I love recording at Audiohammer Studios where Jason lives. It’s so fun and relaxed, and I love creating and writing music. It depends too- if it’s an awesome show where the crowd goes nuts like when we played the Orion Festival with Metallica, it was awesome and so cool to be a part of that.
Dead Rhetoric: What’s on the horizon for the band over the next year or so? Any possibility of festival appearances or another short tour run?
Christy: Yeah, I hope so. I would love to do some festivals. I know a lot of the festivals are in the summer so hopefully we will try to set something up next summer. I really do want to do some shows- at least a few festival shows – and if we are able to do a week or two touring here and there, that would be awesome too. Tim’s bandmates in Beyond Fear, they filled in for Steve and Jason when they weren’t able to tour that two week run we did in 2010 for the first album and that was awesome. We got to open for Dream Theater at one of the shows, and that was pretty killer. We don’t have anything concrete and set yet, but we are trying. We love to get out there and play some metal, live and on stage.
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