Interview by Kevin Hansen 8/29/2005

How are things?

David T. Chastain: I am taking it a little easier now than in the old days. However that only means a normal work day instead of 14 hours!

Wow, you have done so many projects, can you name a few highlights?

David T. Chastain: Well....that is hard to say. I am pretty proud of most all of the Cds I have recorded over the years. However usually the first Cd of each band holds a special spot in the Chastain pantheon of Cds. I guess it is just like a new relationship. Everything is fresh and exciting.

On to the newest Chastain CD "In An Outrage" tell us about how you came up with the music?

David T. Chastain: I usually just sit down and practice every day with a tape recorder close by. For the last year, on each tape that is in the recorder I will try to record ideas for a specific type of music. One tape will be metal, another instrumental, another Southern Gentlemen stuff. In the past I would just sit down and jam and whatever style it was, it was. So in the case of "In An Outrage" it was a process of going thru the metal tapes and deciding which tracks I thought would fit best together for the people involved.

When writing the music you feature Kates vocalsŠwhat part does she do in the song writing process?

David T. Chastain: On the last few Cds she does all of the lyrics and melodies. So I will send her a finished song and note where the vocals go and she does the rest. I prefer it that way. However sometimes a vocalist hears things a little different than I envisioned and sometimes that causes disagreements. Sometimes I am right and sometimes not. In the end it usually works out for the best.

Not to many bands in metal can pull off a strong sound with a female vocalist how did you find Kate and when did you know she was the one for Chastain?

David T. Chastain: I met Kate at a metal convention (Foundations Forum in LA) about 11 years ago. She had been a fan of Chastain's previous vocalist Leather. She gave me a tape and I checked it out and thought it rocked and showed a lot of potential. Plus she looked hot! I flew her out to my studio and we worked for a week or so and decided to do a Cd. It was "Sick Society" and it was released in 95. When people heard I was working with a new vocalist they expected the same music with a different sounding vocalist. However what they got was the same sounding vocals with a little bit different music. I think it surprised a lot of people.

On Southern Gentlemen you go for a more blues hard rock sound that is reminiscent of the 70's, what got you to do such a band?

David T. Chastain: I have always been a fan of early ZZ Top, Robin Trower, Free, Bad Company, Skynyrd and other bands from that era. I actually grew up on that stuff. It is just a fun type of music to do. Nothing serious to think about. I have been recording demos of that type of stuff for 15 years. I only got the nerve up to release it a few years ago after a lot of people who heard the stuff said "You have to get this stuff out!"

The progress with your vocals from "Exotic Dancer Blues" to "Double Your Pleasure"?

David T. Chastain: Well...I probably think they are about the same. I have an OK voice for bluesy stuff. I have been surprised by the very positive reviews on the voice. Comparisons to Coverdale, Dewar, Paul Rodgers, Hendrix and others were pretty flattering. On the new Cd we are recording we have added Eric Johns as the vocalist. He use to sing in Simple Aggression and he has a perfect voice for this type of stuff. We are also adding the bassist from that band Dave Swart. It will give the stuff a little more metal edge than the first 2 Cds. So this stuff will really be like ZZ Top gone Metal!

Are we ever going to see another CJSS Lp?

David T. Chastain: Even though I am still friends with all of the guys, I don't see that happening unless for some reason or another I move back to Cincinnati where they all live.

Besides all of your solo stuff which we can go on about for years, you also have the label Leviathan does this help you with the way bands and other artist you record with?

David T. Chastain: I am fortunate in that I can be involved with a lot of great musicians and still record pretty much what I want without a record company executive telling me what to do. We don't make tons of money but I have never been into music for the money. I wish we had a fortune in the bank because every week I get demos from deserving bands but we just don't have the time and money to sign any more acts than we do.

What are the major differences between producing and recording?

David T. Chastain: In producing another act you can take a step back and evaluate the material a little more objectively.

You also have played bass on many recordings, what is the difference in your mind set when you play bass instead of guitar?

David T. Chastain: When I play bass I want to be a backup kind of guy who helps sets the groove. A lot of bass players want to play lead bass and that just messes up the overall sound of the band in many cases. My job as a bassist is to play as tight as possible with the drums and showcase the vocals and guitarist.

Lets move on to your solo stuff, how does it feel to be considered one of the guitar legends?

David T. Chastain: Hmm...I guess that is a hard question to think about. I guess if you are around long enough then either you are a legend or forgotten. So I guess I am happy to be a "legend" although I just consider myself a guitarist/songwriter and try to record quality music. Most of the other stuff is out of my control.

When playing the solo albums you have had many guests on your Lps, who has done stuff for you that was beyond your expectations?

David T. Chastain: It would be hard to single out anyone since I believe every person who has played on my instrumental Cds has done a great a job without exception. I can't think of one bad performance in the lot!

When can we expect another solo lp?

David T. Chastain: I have one recorded already that is in the "Rock Solid Guitar" style. More of an all out jam. Not sure if and or when it will hit the streets. The next thing out will be the third Southern Gentlemen Cd.

What is the best thing about all the music you play?

David T. Chastain: That it is musically correct! Well...I just play the music that I enjoy and hope that it finds an audience of similarly minded musical enthusiasts. As strange as it may sound, I would rather record something I am really proud of and sell 10 copies than put out something that gives me the creeps and it sell 100000.

Thanks for all the great music that you inspire!!!

David T. Chastain: Believe me, it has been my pleasure to make music all these years and I hope to be able to continue. I couldn't ask for a better "job."

CHASTAIN "In An Outrage" Cd $9.99

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Southern Gentlemen Corbin King Joe Stump Chastain David T. Chastain Zanister Firewind Joe Stump's Reign of Terror Vainglory Kate French Kenziner Leather Michael Harris Candlemass John Hahn Full Circle CJSS
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