David T. Chastain interview for Metallus 1/2014

Questions by: Matteo Roversi

1) What are the reasons of the comeback of the Chastain project after few years of silence?
David T. Chastain: The last Chastain Cd came out in 2004, "In An Outrage." After that release I concentrated on some of my other musical projects. Plus Kate was putting her efforts into her band Vainglory. Leather decided to come out of retirement and I tried to help her with that. Originally I offered to record a solo Cd for her but she decided to record under the name Sledge Leather Project. In the meantime I had accumulated an enormous amount of material. So I began sending her some of it and we agreed to try to do another Chastain Cd.

2) What about the return of Leather Leone, the original singer of the band?
David T. Chastain: As I answered in the previous question it was never really planned but evolved. Once we got back into it was just like old times. In the studio it was as if 2 weeks had passed not over 20 years. We work well together and I think I know what Leather can do sometimes better than what she does. Sometimes she is happy with a take but I push her because I know she can do it a little better.

3) "Surrender To No One" is a very strong title for an album, a sort of declaration of independence: what do you mean with these words?
David T. Chastain: It means stand up for yourself and don't let people push you around. Everyone's rights and opinions are valid. Personally I am usually in the minority in my views on politics, religion, social issues and other matters but I am not going to keep my opinions to myself. Lets face it, a select handful of individuals 'rule the world' and the other billions are fighting for scraps.

4) Also the lyrics of the album express these strong feelings?
David T. Chastain: Absolutely. However on this Cd it is more of a general statement instead of specific issues as I have written about in the past. Maybe more people will get aroused if it is a little more generalized. Too many people just go with the flow and look the other way. Everyone needs to educate themselves on things that have a direct impact on their lives. It amazes me people in the US vote against their own interests when they are inflamed by propaganda to take their minds off of what is really important.

5) Listening to the opener "Stand And Fight" we can immediately understand the spirit of the album: very direct and effective riffs and refrains, fast solos and a powerful drumming. Are you and the band particularly fond of the main features of the '80s heavy metal?
David T. Chastain: Anything Leather and I record is going to sound like Leather and David. Wherever that falls in the grand scheme of musical genres I guess we will be classified as such. We are who we are. There is no need to try to change at this point!

6) Did you personally write all the tracks of the album or also the other guys of the band participate in the song-writing process?
David T. Chastain: I always write the music on Chastain Cds. Sometimes I write all of the lyrics and melodies and sometimes none of them. On this Cd, I wrote most of lyrics/melodies but then I turned it over to Leather and let her Leatherize them and make any changes she wanted. I would prefer the vocalist to do all of that at this point. I really don't know what is original or what she has changed on this Cd. If she tried something in the studio that I didn't particularly think was right we would try something else until we hit something we both agreed was the way to go.

7) You also own the label "Leviathan Records": is it difficult to conciliate your role of producer with your career as a musician?
David T. Chastain: Yes it is very difficult. Before Leviathan Records was started I spent 90% of my time on music. Now days I spend at least 90% of my time on business. Not a lot of fun!

8) Could you mention some of the best talents you have discovered with your label?
David T. Chastain: I assume the most well known at this point would be Gus G and Firewind. There are many other talented less known artists such as Joe Stump, Kenziner, Michael Harris, Manilla Road, Candlemass, Eric William Johns, Stephen Fredrick, Mark Shelton etc., that have had releases on Leviathan Records. I am sure I am leaving some out. About 10 years ago I decided to only release Cds that I was a direct part of in one way or another, either as the artist, songwriter and/or producer. It was just too much "work" to take on other bands. Life is too short. Sometimes I was putting in 90 hour work weeks.

9) Are you planning a Chastain Tour in Europe? Do you already know if you will play some shows in Italy?
David T. Chastain: It seems we are always in talks with promoters and agents but there is nothing concrete at the moment. However I would absolutely love to come to Italy and play!

10) Will you continue to carry on the Chastain band, or after "Surrender To No One" you will come back to your solo career?
David T. Chastain: We will see. We originally recorded over 20 songs and have another Cd close to completion so it is just a matter of deciding if we want it out. Right now we are putting everything behind "Surrender To No One" and will hopefully have a few videos to help promote it. People can always go to www.chastainmetal.com for the latest info.

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Here are 2 full tracks from "Surrender to No One" for everyone to check out!!

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