CJSS/David T. Chastain Interview 9/15/2000

Interview by Jens Koch from Moshpit/Germnay

Jens Koch 1. What was the cause for a new album?

DTC: CJSS released a compilation release last year called 2-4-1. It was a Cd that had both of the band's early Cds, "World Gone Mad" and "Praise The Loud." We put the word out that the band was interested in doing a new Cd under the right conditions. We received 3 immediate offers and we decided to go with Pavement Music because they seemed most in tune with the band's musical vision.

2. How would you describe the new album in your own words? (It's important for our readers, so they can take another view besides my CD-review)

DTC: We tried to make the new Cd, "Kings of the World" sound pretty close to the old Cds in both sound and material. We didn't want to deviate from something that the fans loved so much. We felt we had to stay true to the classic sound. We had over 50 songs recorded in demo form. We sent the songs to Pavement's owner and he chose the songs that he liked best. There were a few I wished that had made it to the Cd but the band really couldn't be objective about the material since there was so much to choose from.

3. A lot of our readers don't know the roots of CJSS. You've started with CJSS nearly at the same time like CHASTAIN. Please, tell us more?

DTC: CJSS came first but then I got a recording contract that was more of a solo deal. I then hooked up with vocalist Leather and that is when Chastain was officially started. After Chastain released Mystery of Illusion there was a lot of interest in my music. Therefore it was much easier to get recording deals for CJSS. CJSS recorded 2 Cds in the same year that were both very well received and sold a lot of copies. However there were some problems within the band that prevented the band from moving up in the world. Therefore I started concentrating exclusively on Chastain since it was a more professional situation, all things considered.

4. CHASTAIN were here in Europe bigger than CJSS and cast a shadow above CJSS. Where are your personal preferences?

DTC: Well I love every song CHASTAIN has ever recorded.(7 Cds worth!) However in concert I usually prefer to play CJSS stuff because it goes over better in a live environment. The CHASTAIN stuff is more complicated and dark sounding. That comes across great on Cds. Both bands are enjoyable situations and have their good points.

5. Together with ZANISTER, CJSS and your Solo albums you've got a lot of projects today in work (like in the 80s). How can you organize these work together? For some musicians one band is more than enough.

DTC: Actually I have a new Cd out in 2000 called SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN "Exotic Dancer Blues" that is actually my best reviewed Cd in the United States that I have ever done. It is kind of heavy metal blues rock. Zanister has just finished recording our second Cd, "Fear No Man." I think it is a big step up for the band over "Symphonica Millennia" which was pretty damn good. Back to the question; I have always had access to a recording studio and I am a very prolific songwriter so that just lends itself to a lot of Cds. I am also a workaholic so that just adds more fuel to the fire.

6. Do you earn enough money with your music to survive? I think it's a hard job.

DTC: Oh, yes. I have my hands in a lot of different things in the music business and some of the past Cds have done surprisingly well worldwide. Of course Leviathan Records brings in money to help me survive and support some of my musical projects that might not make money. The music business is very difficult and very few can make a successful living at it. I have been lucky.

7. How do your Label 'Leviathan Records' do? 'Kings Of The World' is released in Europe by Pavement Music.

DTC: I wanted another label to run with the new CJSS to hopefully give it a little more push. Was it the right decision? Who can really say. I prefer to make music and not have to sell it so anytime that I can license my music to another label I most certainly do.

8. Do you've got other metal band under contract? Like in the past with Simple Aggression, Manilla Road and various solo artists?

DTC: Vainglory is a new band that I just finished producing that is a group I am very excited about. Kenziner is doing pretty well around the world. Joe Stump is also big in the states and the guitar players worldwide. We help many other bands in one capacity or another, Event, Tiles, Masi, Arch Rival, Michael Harris, The Reign of Terror and others.

9. How would you describe the American metal scene of today? Do you've played at Powermad Festival with Zanister in 1998, 'cause there is a song from Zanister on the CD-compilation that year?

DTC: The big selling so-called metal acts are all rap based to one degree or another. Not true metal at all. Pretty bad scene in the US. Europe's is much better for sure! I have not played Powermad but one of our artists, Joe Stump, has played twice.

10. I think you're better informed about the states because in the last few years the fans in Europe had no many chances to get info about your activities. Scarcely interviews, no tours in Europe.

DTC: It is difficult in getting a lot of press now days with the massive amounts of new bands coming out all the time. I also have chosen a few projects that were outside of the normal metal scene, SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN and an all instrumental acoustic Cd called "Acoustic Visions." Hopefully with the new CJSS and ZANISTER Cds more of the metal press will become interested and the fans will find out what is going on. People can always visit our site at http://www.leviathanrecords.com to find out the latest on myself and any of our bands.

11. Okay, now the compeled question in every David T. Chastain interview by all means, he, he. What's about CHASTAIN? Has the band split up forever or exist chances for a new record? Even from Leather I missed musically news in the last view years.

DTC: Massacre and Lucretia both re-released the Leather solo Cd "Shock Waves" in the past year. That is a really good Cd. The new lineup of CHASTAIN, featuring Kate French on vocals, has been on hiatus the last few years as Kate had a baby and that put her out of commission to do anything except be a mother. I think the last CHASTAIN Cd, In Dementia, was one of the best CHASTAIN Cds ever and we hope to do another one, maybe in 2001. Kate is a great songwriter and she needs time to compose the lyrics and have her mind made up to do it.

12. Okay, that's it! Now you've got a chance for last words to the German fans:

DTC: Check out all of the new Cds I have done in the last year or so. It is a pretty diverse set of releases. Zanister "Symphonica Millennia" straight ahead traditional metal, David T. Chastain "Acoustic Visions" all acoustic instrumental Cd that is still heavy as hell, SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN "Exotic Dancer Blues" heavy metal blues rock and finally the new CJSS "Kings of the World" which can only be described as CJSS metal!

CJSS 2000 Photo

Kings of the World Cover Art

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2-4-1 European Cover Art

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