David T. Chastain interview March 29, 2006 for Transcending The Mundane
1. What can you tell me about Third Time is the Charm.
David T. Chastain: To me it's the heaviest of the 3 Southern Gentlemen Cds. We have added new vocalist Eric Johns and bassist Dave Swart. Both of those guys use to be in the metal band Simple Aggression. Eric's vocals added the final touches to take the band to the next level. We play heavy metal blues based hard rock or some other similar nomenclature that no one has come up with to this point. We are having a great time playing this music and I hope the listener will also. It definitely rocks.
2. You have some kick ass solos on the new album, how did you approach your leads on this disc?
David T. Chastain: Since there is only one guitar track per song I had to take a completely different approach than if there are rhythm guitar tracks in the background. In a true 3 piece, you have to fill out the sonic spectrum as well as just play some cool licks. Almost no one records Cds today like we did on this one. It was almost live in the studio. I just jammed over the bass and drum tracks until I found something that I was pretty happy with and went with it. We actually have another recorded version of the Cd with 3 guitar tracks per song. We might release that on itunes or something. It is much more traditional sounding. The solos are completely different on that version. However I prefer the one track heavier version of the Cd we are releasing commercially.
3. Why did you choose to have Christian Schmid mix and master the new album?
David T. Chastain: I really like the stuff that Christian has mixed for me in the past. He mixed the last Chastain and Kinrick Cds. Ordinarily you really wouldn't have a metal guy mix this type of Cd but I knew this Cd needed the heavy hands of someone like Christian. He did a great job.
4. Third Time is the Charm is also more song oriented than the previous two records, how did the addition of a new singer influence your writing?
David T. Chastain: I actually wrote all of the songs and recorded my vocals before we added Eric so it really didn't figure into the equation. I just decided that we would get back more into the vibe of the first Cd "Exotic Dancer Blues." To me that Cd rocks from the first song until the end. The last Cd "Double Your Pleasure" had more extended solos and was less song oriented. Some of the tracks excelled but others could have been shortened. In any case it was a blast to record. I really had to stretch on "Double."
5. How did Eric become involved in Southern Gentlemen? Will he continue to sing on the next record?
David T. Chastain: I have known Eric for about 10 years and always was a fan of his vocals. I never could find the exact format to use him in again. Spike, my old band with 2 guys from CJSS and vocalist Stephen Fredrick, decided to do a reunion show in Cincinnati about a year ago. Eric had a local band that wanted to open the show. He sent me a demo of his band, Clusterfunk. They covered a Janis Japolin song and he did a great job on that so it came to mind that he might work out in the Gents. He demoed up some stuff and it sounded perfect. And the rest is....history. I hope he continues in the band.
6. You also have a new bass player, Dave Swart, what can you tell me about him and his contributions to Third Time is the Charm?
David T. Chastain: His bass playing and tone really added a lot. He comes from a background that includes a lot of old blues based hard rock so he knew when to play and when to just hold down the fort. He is also best friends with Eric so I think they both pushed a little bit extra as they were happy to be playing together again.
7. Will you play any shows with Southern Gentlemen?
David T. Chastain: Hopefully....but it will depend on the reaction to the Cd. I really don't have the time to go out and play every little club in the world. However if the Cd does create waves and we can play some serious shows we will hit the road tomorrow. I have been on quite a few tours in the past and it needs to be something appealing before I go through all of that again. The one hour on stage is great but the other 23 aren't so glamourous.
8. What plans and releases do you have for Leviathan Records this year? Will you be recording any new albums?
David T. Chastain: There is a new Vainglory Cd in the works with guitarist Corbin King and vocalist Kate French. What I have heard so far is pretty amazing. I will probably get in the recording mood soon. I have tons of stuff ready....it is just a matter of deciding what I feel like at the time.
9. A band like Southern Gentlemen would've been huge if this were the late seventies or early eighties- do you think forming this band is a reaction to the sterile, angry music scene today, which seems to mistake aggression for true feeling?
David T. Chastain: It is just a style that I have always enjoyed playing, grew up on and have been recording on the side for well over 20 years. I have no huge expectations of sales, but you never know. I think if radio picks up on it, it will do great. I never really consider the commercial merits when I do a Cd. Fortunately, since I run a couple of record companies, I don't have to answer to the "suits." The most important aspect is my artistic happiness. Very few of my previous Cds that I recorded do I see as less than redeeming. I just do what I want pretty much when I want and hope for the best. Fortunately, so far, the fans have supported the music and it has all worked out artistically and financially.
10. Final comments? Please add anything we missed. As always, thanks for your time and music David-Brett
David T. Chastain: Thanks to you for taking the time for us. To the fans I say "Give the new Cd a listen." I think it will appeal to metalheads as it is still pretty damn heavy for this type of music. It is a fun record, nothing too serious. Mainly men/women battles and what that entails. Get it...you won't regret it. Give it a spin at:
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