Southern Gentlemen Interview 3/9/2000

Interview by Alonzo Moseley-Renegade Magazine (Brazil)

Alonzo Moseley:1 - How did you decide to create Southern Gentlemen?
David T. Chastain: I have been doing this type of material on the side for a very long time. I just never had the time and confidence to do the Cd. I was raised in the southern US where bands such as the Allmans Brothers, Skynyrd, ZZ Top and others were like gods. Then of course I was very into Hendrix and Trower. And at the same time I was also into metal bands like Sabbath and guitar virtuosos such as Allan Holdsworth. So I guess you can say I have very diverse influences. I might not be the greatest guitarist on earth but I think I am the best at the quality of all of the styles. Sort of a "jack of all trades" type of guy. Master of none:-)!! The bottom line was Kate was pregnant and instead of just sitting around doing nothing I decided to do the SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN Cd with Dennis and Kevin. I must say it was a blast to record!!! A very wise decision. I should have done this a long time ago.

2 - It seems that your voice style is very well adapted to the band sound... when did you get interested for hard blues and which are the ones who influenced you on this style?
DTC: Thanks for the compliment. I was always insecure with my vocals. However I am happy with my voice in this context. Actually I intended to have a lead vocalist on this Cd but after all the demos were done it was decided that my voice fit the music the best. James Dewar of Robin Trower has always been a vocal hero for me for this type of music. Also Paul Rodgers, Van Zandt and Greg Allman. All of these guys have so much emotional intensity that it is scary. I am very honored that some of the reviewers are mentioning these guys as people I sound like. Amazing!!

3 - Do you expect that fans of Chastain and Zanister will accept well this release?
DTC: So far it has been a big universal YES! However there may be some people that want to hear my more traditional metal material. There will be more soon. Nevertheless SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN is still pretty damn heavy. As far as I know this is the heaviest blues based Cd in history!?!?

4 - It has just been released here in Brazil. How is the response?
DTC: I believe it comes out this month so I look forward to the full response. Let's hope it is good enough for a tour. Rock Brigade Records expects big things from the release.

5 - In this album you're not so virtuoso as in Chastain... do you feel better playing more simple in southern gentlemen?
DTC: It is more fun playing this type of material. In my other bands everything is so serious and some of the music is very difficult so every night it is like a test of some sort. That stuff is very challenging and rewarding to listen to. However in SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN we will just have a good time rock'n'rolling and trying to pick up women for the after concert parties!!

6 - How came the idea to put Kate in the album's cover?
DTC: I wanted a very hot looking woman on the cover and Kate sent me this picture. Couldn't do much better. I hope to have a similar cover on all of the SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN covers. So any beautiful woman out there that wants to be considered for a our next Cd, send us your picture and info.

7 - How do you do to conciliate so many projects (Zanister, solo career, Chastain, label commitments)? Do you have time to sleep?
DTC: Sleep, what is that?? No it is not that hard. If each of the bands were touring then it would be a big headache. However that is not happening at this moment. I would love to just tour with one band and that be it but things have just not worked out that way. I love all of my bands and am very proud of all of the Cds I have been involved.

8 - What was the importance of Jimi Hendrix for you?
DTC: While he was alive he was the greatest. His studio albums released before he died are masterpieces in some ways. He wasn't necessarily the greatest lead guitarist in the world he was just innovative as hell and wasn't ashamed to show it. Some great songs, that is for sure.

9 - Do you plan to put Southern Gentlemen on the road?
DTC: I surely hope so. I think this would be the most fun band for me to tour with since my SPIKE days of long ago. This music was written and recorded to be played live. There are almost no overdubs on this Cd just bass, guitar, drums and 1 vocal track. It was basically live in the studio.

10 - What are your future plans with Zanister, Chastain, etc.?
DTC: Chastain is on hold as Kate lives thru motherhood. Zanister is currently recording our second Cd. My old band CJSS has completed a new recording for Pavement Music called KINGS OF THE WORLD. That Cd should come out this year.

11 - Do Dennis Lesh and Kevin Kekes, who are also in Chastain, share the same interests of you for hard blues/rock'n'roll since they are part of Southern Gentlemen too?
DTC: I think Dennis is actually in a blues rock band on the side in the town he lives and is probably more into this type of music more than Kevin. Kevin seems to be pretty much into the music as well. We all have been in numerous metal bands for the last 10 years and this is a nice change of pace for all of us.

12 - Many of the lyrics involves women, the cover has Kate (very beautiful as always)... don't you fear about receiving reactions from feminists?
DTC: This album is about women but not in a negative way. It is more talking about how wonderful they are and how they can sure lead to heartbreak! If feminists don't like it they can kiss my ass. I am totally for women's rights of equality. I am as about liberal as they come. I just don't see why it is fair to have it the other way around. The 90s was the decade of ugly as far as I am concerned and anything we can do to change that I will be very happy. If lusting for a beautiful naked woman is a sin then send me straight to hell as soon as possible. That is where all the good looking women probably are anyway. They are so bad!!!

13 - Do you plan to continue with Southern Gentleman for more cds in the future?
DTC: I certainly hope so. I have already written enough music for many Cds and everyday it seems I come up with more. It is just very exciting not to have to worry about a MENSA test in the middle of a song. Just let a song groove and spice it up with just the right amount of guitars and vocals.

14 - Would you like to add something more? The space is yours...
DTC: Please give SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN a listen. I think you will appreciate that SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN is a unique band in today's rock and metal world. Have some fun. We only live once so there is no use going thru it unhappy. And by the way, did I tell the good looking women to send us pictures!!
Leviathan Records
P.O. Box 745
Tyrone, GA. 30290


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On-line Review 2/16/2000