David T. Chastain interview for Lords of Metal 12/2013

Name of the band: Chastain
Website band / artiest: www.chastainmetal.com
Magazine: Lords Of Metal
Website LoM: http://www.lordsofmetal.nl
Questions by: Winston Arntz
Answers by: David T. Chastain

[b]First of all, welcome back to the band Chastain and welcome back to you too David. How does it feel to step back into the metal scene with Chastain?[/b]
Answer: Once word spread of the new Chastain Cd with Leather a lot of old fans came out of the woodwork and it was good to hear from them. Some people just never would accept Kate no matter how good she sang on the post Leather Chastain Cds. I guess it is like Van Halen... no matter who the new singer was everyone wanted Roth back in the band.

[b]Getting back together with Leather Leone, was this essential to reform Chastain as a band? [/b]
Answer: I always have a ton of music that is available. I originally was offering to record a solo Cd for Leather. She told me that everyone she contacted about SLP would say, "Let us know when you and David record a new Cd." So to avoid going to all of the trouble of recording a solo Cd and still hearing "Let us know when you and David record a new Cd" we opted to record a new Chastain CD.

[b]How did you get back in contact with Leather and how was 'Surrender To No One' built? [/b]
Answer: Leather and I have always been in touch since "For Those Who Dare." She was never fired or quit the band. We just both became burned out on the situation. We had recorded 8 Cds and numerous tours over a hard 6 years. We kept in touch and when she came out with her SLP release I tried to help in some business matters. After SLP didn't pan out as well as she hoped we discussed the idea of doing something again. I sent her 3 Cds worth of material and we worked up and released "Surrender To No One." Another Cd of material just needs the final vocals. That Cd may or may not come out in later 2014.

[b]How would you place 'Surrender To No One' in between all the Chastain albums? [/b]
Answer: Better than most. To me the two best previous Chastain Cds all things considered are "Ruler of the Wasteland" and "In Dementia." When I say top to bottom I mean songs, performance, lyrics and production. "The 7th of Never" has the best guitar playing but lacks on the production end. I will not be able to properly judge "Surrender To No One" until some future date. I have already heard the new Cd 100s of times during writing, demoing, recording, mixing and mastering... so I have overdosed on it. However I listened to it the other day and was quite happy with it.

[b]There's another familiar name back in the fold; Mike Skimmerhorn. How did he get involved? [/b]
Answer: When we decided to reform the band we wanted to make it as authentic as possible. Since he was the original bassist you can't get any more authentic than that. I have also been in touch with Mike over the years so it was an easy situation for him to rejoin the band.

[b]One thing that is quite remarkable; your sound has become really heavy. Is this a sign of the time of today or did the sound evolve that way?[/b]
Answer: I think Stian Kristoffersen's drums have made the band sound more modern and heavy. The guy is a killer. I told him to go for broke when he was recording and to play as much stuff as he could fit in. As far as the songwriting goes I would say on the whole it is probably a little more straight forward than some of the older albums but it is unmistakably "Chastain." I usually don't set out to do anything other than write and record music. How it is judged by others is how they hear it. I am usually the only one who really knows whether the original vision was successful.

[b]I remember an interview with the Dutch magazine Aardschok with you where you said you literally had hundreds of song ideas in a closet. That was in the hyper productive years when you recorded with Chastain, CJSS and released solo albums. Are you still diving in that closet for ideas? [/b]
Answer: I have at least 1000 hours of unreleased music that no one will ever hear. I have a creative river that flows that never stops. I can write 95% of an album in less than an hour. Unfortunately that is not a good thing because it creates an enormous amount of material. I usually record material that was just written. I am always the most excited about the new stuff and seldom review the old. I have musical amnesia. Sometimes I go back and listen to old albums and it is like I am hearing them for the first time! All my life I have practiced every day with a tape recorded next to me to record the new ideas that pop up in every practice session. However I have stopped recording new ideas as they will just end up in the "unused music" cabinet. So lets say I needed to record a new Southern Gentlemen Cd. I would spend the next day or so and write it and record the demo version for everyone else in the band to work from.

[b]The rock and metal world knows quite a few guitar heroes and gods. I personally think that you deserve some more recognition. If I had to recommend three albums of yours to someone who doesn't know you, out of everything you have ever recorded which three albums represent David T. Chastain, the guitar player the best? [/b]
Answer: Metal- Chastain "The 7th of Never" & David T. Chastain "Instrumental Variations"
Hard Rock- Southern Gentlemen "Instrumentalized"
Heavy fusion- David T. Chastain "Next Planet Please"
I know that is 4 but the 2 metal Cds are good for different reasons. Each style is quite different and hopefully original in its own way. I enjoy all the styles of music I release. "Next Planet Please" is my personal favorite instrumental album I ever recorded... however it is probably the least selling one.

[b]And who are your own guitar or other musical heroes?[/b]
Answer: I never tried to emulate anyone exclusively. When I first started there were numerous influences such as Black Sabbath, Hendrix, Kansas, Rush, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Allman Brothers, AC/DC and early ZZ Top. Allan Holdsworth was a big influence but obviously I don't play like that. So I guess my "metal vision" was the heaviness of Black Sabbath with the more sophisticated guitar solos of Holdsworth/McLaughlin with the progressive song structures of Rush and Kansas. Topped off with a great vocalist, preferably female. I know that sounds like a weird combination but I believe I have successfully made it work for the most part.

[b]I was happy to be at the Keep It True Festival in Germany where Leather performed with the band Sledge Leather. When that band played a few Chastain classics I got goosebumps. Yet I missed that very certain sound. You can't blame me asking this; how big do you reckon the chance is that Europe will ever get to see the band on a live stage? [/b]
Answer: We have had numerous offers from festivals as well as tours in the last few months. We will see if any make financial sense. As you probably know Leviathan Records Worldwide has released the new CD so there really isn't a European label to help directly with the logistics of a European jaunt. Be we are positive something will happen but for one reason or another we had to pass up the opportunity.

[b]Anything else you would like our readers to know about Chastain, yourself or something else?[/b]
Answer: Definitely check out www.chastainmetal.com for the latest info on the band Chastain or www.davidtchastain.com for all of my different releases. Of course we are very happy with the response we have received on "Surrender To No One" and we thank all of the fans for embracing us once again! Sorry for the long wait!!

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, best of luck with the band and I really hope to ever meet and see you perform.
Hopefully one day we will do a reputable tour of Europe.

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