DAVID T. CHASTAIN 10/30/01
MONDO ROCK MAGAZINE
1 How and why appear the idea to transform your jam sessions in the "Rock Solid Guitar?
David T. Chastain: Originally I recorded the stuff just for my own enjoyment but a few people heard it and said "You have got to release this stuff!" I think it shows a side to my playing that is not my normal shred metal guitar that most people associate with the name CHASTAIN. This stuff is a mixture of metal/blues/hard rock and even a little fusion. Not so much unlike SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN without vocals at times.
2 Did you like the result of the cd?
David T. Chastain: Yes I am very happy with the results. Obviously it was a very fun Cd to record. I believe that I go to different places during an improvisational setting as opposed to just having 16 bars to solo over in a song. The former is from the soul whereas the later becomes more technical. You know that you have to say a musical statement in 16 seconds as opposed to 5 minutes. Both are enjoyable but totally different. One is like having good sex the other is like getting a high grade on a school test. Both are great feelings just different in nature.
3 Which are the music that you most like in this album?
David T. Chastain: My favorite tracks would probably be Burning Passion, In Memoriam and Keeper of Tomorrow because each song touches on different styles. Burning is more metal, Memoriam is more bluesy and Keeper is more jazzy. I actually like all tracks on the Cd very much. I wouldn't mind listening to this Cd from time to time. Whereas some of my other metal band albums by the time I release them I have heard them over 200 times and I have to stay away from them for a year or two.
4 How long did you take to record the "Rock Solid Guitar?
David T. Chastain: It was really a short time. It was like over a weekend to record and only a few days to mix. The whole project just worked and there were no roadblocks to hold things up. Things such as a vocalist with a sore throat or some other similar situation. It was just a plug and play situation.
5 What the guitar's fan can learn listening to this new work?
David T. Chastain: They should learn that some of your best playing can come when you are just letting yourself go and not really worrying about it. In other words, don't necessarily try to work things out in advance all the time. Just let it flow and sometimes you will come up with something much better than if you try to work it out. Of course my solos are usually off the cuff even on my band albums but most people really spend too much time working things up. While in the end that might result in some great technical achievements it is hard to get feeling into some lick you have played 100 times. It becomes more like an exercise.
6 How is to work with Mike Haid and Steven Taylor?
David T. Chastain: I have worked with Mike for years on many other projects. He is an integral part of my extreme jam band The Cincinnati Improvisational Group. Mike and I just click in a improv setting. Most musicians aren't on the same page when it comes to that form of music. Steven is really a graphics guy who happens to play bass and knows to stay in the background and keep things together without stepping on Mike's and my abilities to take off wherever we desire. A perfect 3rd player. Someone has to hold things together.
7 Is this work more rock n' roll?
David T. Chastain: Yes I would say so as compared to Zanister or Chastain. I would say it is Heavy Hard Rock. Not quite metal but certainly much heavier than normal rock.
8 When did you start to play and how did you notice that you have this tendency?
David T. Chastain: From the very beginning when I picked up the guitar I had the ability to improvise. Of course at the time I had no technical abilities but I sure could make up stuff. Unfortunately it didn't sound very good. However over time and lots of practice I learned how to play the guitar. Now when I pick up the guitar some pretty damn good music will flow out continuously. I am quite certain that if all I did was sit in the studio I could put out a good album every week, without a doubt every month. However the business of music prevents that from happening at this time.
9 Who is your favorite guitar player?
David T. Chastain: I guess it would have to be Allan Holdsworth foremost. Or at least his old stuff. Of course there are so many great players who have influenced me over the years such as Iommi, Uli Roth, Rhoads, McLaughlin, Dimeola, Duane Allman and others. I think every player has something you can appreciate. Some more than others. I have never really sat down and tried to emulate anyone. I have always wanted to have my own voice in music. Trying to sound like someone else never appealed to me in the least. If a wizard came to me and said he could let me exchange my talent with any other guitarist in the world I wouldn't do it. I am happy with my musical standing.
10 With who did you most like to work until today and why?
David T. Chastain: I have enjoyed working with all musicians who have played on my Cds. No bad experiences that I can relate. Every players brings their own strengths to the table. Of course if I had to go on the road with them for six months some of the personalities wouldn't mesh but that is one thing I don't have to worry about.
11 You are known like the king of the improvisation and creativeness what you think about that?
David T. Chastain: I think that is one of my strong suits and I happy to be crowned the king of those aspects of music. I can easily sit down at anytime anywhere and write an albums worth of material within a few hours. I have a creative river that runs thru me that I have no control over. Also improvisation is very, very natural to me. Usually I play the solo on a song best the first time I play it. When I first started playing, I was jamming immediately. I always wanted to create something new and not rehash the same thing over and over.
12 How is your reaction when you are compared with: Jimi Hendrix, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and more?
David T. Chastain: That is amazing company to be mentioned with and a great honor. I think Hendrix is in a league of his own in many ways. I also consider myself in a league of my own. Don't get me wrong I am not saying I am equal to Hendrix. I am just different from most other players because I put out such diverse music and I think it is all still pretty high quality. Most players stay pretty much in the same style. I get bored too easily and want to try different things. There are tons of great players out there. Unfortunately, some of them no one will ever hear. However Hendrix has to be considered the King of Rock Guitar. The King of Metal guitar has yet to be crowned.
13 You have never had a commercial success(always being cult), and you still have your fans all around the world. Are you satisfied about it?
David T. Chastain: Yes! More music has always been more important to me that more money. Of course I wouldn't mind selling a few more Cds but I don't have time to promote every release they way it should be as I am already working on the next release. I hope my music reaches as many people as possible but on my terms not some big corporate machine's.
14 What are your plans for the future?
David T. Chastain: To continue to put out as much quality music as I possibly can. I am currently working on a new Chastain, Southern Gentlemen and another new metal project tentatively called Massamusia. I am very excited with all of the bands. I also want to continue to produce new acts such as Vainglory and Firewind. And of course to continue running both Leviathan Records and Diginet Music.
15 What have you listen to lately?
David T. Chastain: I usually only have time to listen to stuff that I am involved with in one way or another. I have just produced a great new band called FIREWIND that features a great new young guitarist from Greece called Gus G. The band also features x-Kenziner vocalist Stephen Fredrick. The band is really awesome. Almost a perfect band. There are no weak points in that band. I hope that they will be huge. I also produced a series called Diginet Guitar Masters that I have been very busy with. The series included Joe Stump, John Hahn, Mark Shelton, Corbin King, Gus G and others. Please check it out at http://www.diginetmusic.com
16 What you think about new metal bands? Korn, Slipknot, etc.
David T. Chastain: I am not a fan of the Nu-Metal groups. However Slipknot is interesting to watch. Most all of those bands music is way too simple for me to ever say I can enjoy it. Music does not have to complicated to be good but it at least has to have a proper chord progression and some sort of melody in the vocals. I have yet to hear any guitarist in a Nu-Metal band that is a really competent guitarist. Or if they are they sure don't show it in their band's music!
17 A lot of teens start to play guitar because of you. How do you feel when you know about that?
David T. Chastain: Well if that is true then I am honored. I know that my music has touched some people very deeply and that is important to me. I don't cast a large net but I do cast a quality one. However I would never suggest that anyone try to play guitar as a profession. It is very, very difficult to survive. I would tell everyone to continue their education and work on their music on the side. It is better to be prepared for life with and without music. A musician's life can be cruel if you are not careful.
18 When the Brazilians will have the chance to see your concert?
David T. Chastain: I wish tomorrow. Hopefully at some point in the future I can play some shows in Brazil. That is number 1 on my wish list for sure. I know it would be a great time!
19 Leave a message to your Brazilian fans
David T. Chastain: Thanks for the all of the support, especially all of the letters and e mails. Please spread the word about true metal and good music. Turn your back on the pretenders and trends.
The web Mundo do Rock www.mundorock.net would like to thank you for the interview