1. Why this Cd now?
David T. Chastain: Over the years I have released quite a few instrumental Cds and for the great majority of them I have had varied musical styles within. I decided to put together a collection of my favorite "Heavies" for myself and see how they sounded back to back. After doing so I decided it would make a good collection to release.
2. After putting it together what were your thoughts?
David T. Chastain: A lot of good memories. I was proud of the music that had been recorded over those 20 years. While I wasn't particularly in love with some of the mixes on certain Cds the playing and compositions were still top notch. I think the music still sounds contemporary in that it is unique and was never "in vogue" so it shouldn't be considered "dated." In any case, I would rather be considered "dated" when music was top notch than some of the periods that followed where you were crucified if you knew how to play. With that said, I was always my main critic and I really didn't hold much weight to the opinions of others.
3. There is only one track from "Within The Heat." Why not more tracks?
David T. Chastain: I wasn't particularly in love with the Cd's guitar tone. I believe that was my first attempt at "Home Recording" my guitar tracks. The mixing engineer pretty much left the tones as recorded whereas I believe they should have been "spiced" up a tad. I tried to include "In Your Face" on this Cd but I felt there were better choices elsewhere.
4. Any favorite tracks in the collection?
David T. Chastain: I had to choose one track for a Guitar World Cd and I chose "The Oracle Within." That might surprise people but I have always liked that track a lot for numerous reasons. First off, the intro guitar choir is actually lifted from part of a song I wrote a million years ago for my band Target. It is quite melodic and beautiful, for me anyways. For the solos I tuned my guitar in a really weird way so that even though you played in a normal box the intervals where way different. Therefore the solo is "unique" sounding. I would love to have someone try to put that to Tab. Unfortunately I don't remember the tuning I set up for the solo. In reality I like all of the tracks or they wouldn't have made the collection.
5. I see you included the Chastain track "827" and the CJSS track "Thunder and Lightning."
David T. Chastain: Yeah I love both of those tracks. Especially "827." That intro section is HEAVY! It also has a lot of parts that are classically tinged and then the solo is more of a Fusion fest. I never get tired of hearing or playing that track. "Thunder and Lightning" has a part in it that I originally wrote on keyboards that is the most complex time signature we ever did. Measures of 3,4,3,5,3,4,3,5,4. Fun to play but if you get off, forget it!!
6. The Cds seems to tilt towards "Instrumental Variations."
David T. Chastain: A couple of reasons for that. One it is the Cd with the most Metal selections and two it is still Leviathan Records biggest selling Cd. I have to admit that I almost never released "Instrumental Variations." I was currently riding high with multiple successful releases from Chastain and CJSS. I was sitting in the studio thinking, "Why am I doing this?" In retrospect I am certainly glad I did. Some great music on that Cd if I say so myself.
7. I see there is even a track from "Acoustic Visions" included.
David T. Chastain: Actually that Cd has some pretty heavy stuff on it even though it is an acoustic Cd. I could have added more to "Heavy Excursions" from that Cd but I felt one slight moment of peace was all that was needed.
8. You didn't include any of the instrumental Cds that Diginet Music has released?
David T. Chastain: Contractually speaking it was best to just keep the Leviathan Records titles on this one. All of the Leviathan solo instrumental Cds are represented except "Next Planet Please," which is strictly a fusion based released. At some point we will probably release a collection of my instrumentals that are fusion based. Probably called "Fusion Delusion" or something similar.
9. You have a lot of great musicians on this Cd. Any favorite moments?
David T. Chastain: David Harbour plays a lot of impressive stuff on quite a few tracks. Drummers Ken Mary and Mike Haid do their usual impressive works. Drummer Rick Porter, who has disappeared, did some great work on his tracks. I have always tried to let the other guys on the Cds play "outside the box" and I am sure they will tell you I pushed them to play more not less.
10. If someone has not heard your music before which track would you recommend?
David T. Chastain: Probably "Capriccio in E minor" as that has a lot of everything I am about. Also "Attack of the Mechonrites" is another good example. Of course "827" is a fine example except that is a Chastain track and not a solo track. Just about anything on this Cd tells a story of my music and style. I have always tried to be a little different than everyone else. I think I succeeded if you look at the entire body of work. If you hear a Cd of mine you should know it is David T. In the early days I was compared to Yngwie but I thought that was ridiculous. While he is a great player his influences where totally different than mine and it showed in our music. He was heavily influenced by classical music and I was not. In those days everyone who played a lot notes were put in the same category: Neoclassical Shred Heads.
11. Speaking of influences, who are yours?
David T. Chastain: Well it is a varied cast of characters. In the early days Page, Clapton, Hendrix, Blackmore, Iommi, Duane Allman, Robin Trower and Tommy Bolin. Then I "graduated" to people like Holdsworth, McLaughlin and Di Meola. Then Van Halen, Rhoads, and Uli Roth. Actually when I first started playing guitar there were numerous excellent guitar players in the Atlanta area that I could go see every weekend so they were just as "influential" as the big name guys. Plus just jamming with friends helped me develop my own identity. Even when I was in a cover band 99% of the time I refused to play the solo on the album and I did my own thing. Partly because I wasn't patient enough to pick it out but mostly because I had no desire to copy anyone. I was writing originals about a week after I learned a few chords. I have always had a creative river flowing threw me. Hand me a guitar and I can write you the basis for about 10 songs in an hour or so.
12. What does the future hold for you?
David T. Chastain: I have an instrumental version of some of the Southern Gentlemen" tracks coming out this year. The Cd is called "Instrumentalized." It is a really cool Cd. Originally it was intended for all of the TV shows the band seems to provide music for but after putting together a few tracks we decided to do a whole Cd. I am just as proud of that style of music as the heavy stuff. The Gent's style is less technique but a little more feel and fun. Also I have recorded the music to another Chastain Cd that I just need to add vocals and drums. That should probably be out in 2010. Some cool heavy riffs on that one. After that who knows. Maybe I will finally take the break I have talked about for years.