by Brett for Transcending the Mundane

1. What is the main purpose for the existence of Southern Gentlemen?

David T. Chastain: It was an outlet to create music that was a different style from my normal endeavors. A music that was fun and not so heavy and dark. Music that I grew up on. Music where you didn't have to think too hard to enjoy it or play it. Music to watch girls strip to!!

2. How have you developed as a vocalist for this group? What did you learn from your recording experience on the first album?

David T. Chastain: Originally we intended on having another person do the vocals but none of the "name" vocalists seemed to have the right vibe for the music. Plus the fewer people in the band the easier it is to get things accomplished. Everyone gets along great and things just really cook during the jams. The response to the vocals on SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN "Exotic Dancer Blues" were surprisingly very positive. Comparisons to Coverdale, Paul Rodgers, Dewar, Gibbons and others were amazing. It definitely helped my confidence. Lets face it, the popularity of Grunge and nu-metal with all of its horrible singers has lowered the bar for us part timers.

3. What makes Southern Gentlemen a great band for women to strip to?

David T. Chastain: The heavy grooves that the songs feature. Nothing too fast or herky jerky! Numerous strippers really used the first Cd a lot at their clubs and hopefully it will continue on this Cd. Of course personally it really makes me happy to actually see someone strip to the stuff. I always hope to have a great looking woman on the SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN covers. Tamalynn, the lady on the Double Your Pleasure cover, is really hot. You would not believe all of the women who sent pictures in to be considered for the cover. We will definitely have a worldwide audition for the next cover. For the South American version we are going to have a contest with the big mag down there Rock Brigade.

4. With most classic rock bands seemingly disappeared or ignored, do you think Southern Gentlemen is filling a void?

David T. Chastain: That never really was a concern of mine but I hope so. I know that if Classic rock fans heard SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN many would dig it and find that it fills a void in today's music scene.

5. What is the status of your other projects; Zanister, Chastain, and CJSS?

David T. Chastain: Chastain has finished a new Cd that needs to be mixed. Probably be titled "In An Outrage" but possibly "New Beginnings." Hopefully it will be out later in the year. The group once again features Kate French on vocals. Now with Larry Howe and Dave Starr, formerly of the original Vicious Rumors, on drums and bass. I have written the new Zanister Cd but I am not sure when and who exactly will be part of the 3rd Cd. CJSS has really no plans at this time and I assume that entity is officially ended.

6. How do you feel about your label? Do you feel Leviathan Records is at a level you are happy with?

David T. Chastain: We would always love to sell more Cds in the US and be larger but it is a comfortable situation at present. We mainly count on foreign sales but we still release stuff in the US to keep things in the pipeline. I also started another company called Diginet Music. It is more for unique and hard to find stuff and actually has more titles than Leviathan Records. Check it out at

7. It appears that you have developed some great working relationships with people like Michael Harris, Joe Stump, and Mike Haid for example- how are you able to work so well with people like these?

David T. Chastain: From a distance. I mainly communicate with everyone by e mail and phone. Strange as it may seem I have been working with Joe Stump for over 10 years and we have never met in person. I try to find professional musicians and then work with them over a long period of time. Certain musicians, who are problems, I try to excommunicate myself from as soon as possible. No need for that headache. Life is too short.

8. You've been around the scene as a record label owner and musician for about two decades now- what have been the biggest changes you've observed through the years?

David T. Chastain: The public perception in the US about metal. US audiences are very fickle for the most part. Other countries do not abandon artists as the US has a tendency to do. MTV drives the national mood for music in the US. It really is a shame. Metal has pretty much stayed popular everywhere but the US.

9. In what ways is the music scene nowadays better than it was when you started?

David T. Chastain: The internet has leveled the playing field in many ways for indy bands and labels. Another plus is that home recording equipment is amazingly affordable and quite good.

10. How has is become worse in your opinion? What people are working at a disadvantage nowadays?

David T. Chastain: It is much harder to have a successful selling Cd in today's marketplace. You have to spend a fortune in promotion as compared to the late 80s early 90s. Also there are way too many releases that are simply bad. The market is so saturated that it is hard to get anything noticed. It is much harder to tour and make any money. The ugly side of the internet has spawned outright theft of music by downloads.

11. How do you keep your passion for playing?

David T. Chastain: Every time I pick up the guitar I feel I can write a cool song and/or riff so that is what keeps me going. I am not trying to be the fastest guitarist in the world or anything like that. That goal is pretty silly in reality. I thrive on just trying to make music that I enjoy and hopefully other will find it appealing enough to buy a few copies.

12. How often do you play guitar and practice?

David T. Chastain: I still try to practice an hour a day but sometimes I might miss that goal. I went one stretch where I practiced at least one hour a day for 18 straight years. The streak was broken due to an airplane getting diverted to the wrong airport and I was stranded without a guitar.

13. Final comments? Please add anything we missed in the interview. Thanks

David T. Chastain: Check out SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN "Double Your Pleasure" and have a good time. Especially in today's world where we all need some sort of escape from what is really happening. The Cd definitely rocks!



Larger front cover art!!

Southern Gentlemen photos

SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN "Exotic Dancer Blues"


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