Kevin Kekes/David T. Chastain Interview 9/17/2000

Interview by Greg Cataline from MUEN

1. MUEN: On Exotic Dancer Blues, what influenced (David Chastain, Kekes, Lesh) to go retro and shy away from the more flamboyant style the musicians have played in the past?

DTC:I had been planning on doing this type of Cd for about 10 years. I just seem to be able to come up with a lot of this style of music. In other words it just seemed very natural to me to do this Cd. I guess it is what I originally started on when I first began playing. So it is the cliche of "Going back to my roots!" Of course I still occasionally like to listen to early Trower, ZZ Top and those guys even till this day. That music still "speaks to me." We just wanted to do it a little heavier.
K.K.: For me, it was a chance to do something different, another musical statement. But it was also the fact that I would play on any type of record that David asked me to.

2. MUEN: Kekes (bassist), with the 80's band Damien, 'almost' brushed major success when his band scored rotation on MTV's 120 Minutes. To some musicians, this is a complete blow, and even convinces them to give up their dreams forever. What gives Kekes the power to carry on, and pursue relentlessly?

K.K.: I don't see it as a blow. I was able to experience something that few musicians ever do. I'm actually grateful for the chance. No one can take those accomplishments away. I play music because I love playing and creating music. I'm happy as a person. That is the greatest success. I consider my current musical situation as a success, maybe more than ever.
DTC:My group Chastain had a similar experience with For Those Who Dare. Numerous plays on MTV's Headbangers Ball in 1990. While it's cool to see yourself on MTV and gives the band a little extra exposure it really didn't change our lives in any great way.(Just more women!) The only way it would have effected either of our lives is if MTV would have played the videos 6 to 8 times a day every day like they do Eminem, Brittany, etc. That is when it really starts making a difference in your career. I have played concerts in major coliseums and in someone's garage for a birthday party and each event was fun. Either you enjoy playing/creating music or you don't.

3. MUEN: How extensive has the tour been for this album Exotic Dancer Blues'? And were older songs from past Chastain albums played on the tour? And what were some of the best experiences from that tour?

DTC:Although we had many offers for dates we decided to wait until after we release the second SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN Cd in 2001. That way we will have much more material to play and choose from. Also the word on the band will have reached more people. In regards to playing stuff from previous bands, we will see. I don't think I can sing anything Leather or Kate did. That is beyond my capabilities. However we might do a CJSS song and even a cover or two.

4. MUEN: Is Kate French (who posed for the cover of EDB) a former bandmate and/or a real exotic dancer? And why did she originally send Chastain (if Chastain) that photo?

DTC:Kate sent me that photo a few years back after the release of the Chastain Cd 'In Dementia.' I never found a place to use it in the promotion of Chastain. However once we decided on the SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN title I asked her if we could use it for that cover and she agreed. We still communicate regularly and we hope to do a new recording at some point. As far I know Kate has never been an exotic dancer. She hasn't had to work much in her adult life as some man has always been anxious to support her for obvious reasons.

5. MUEN: When is the next Southern Gentlemen CD due out? And has a cover of a sexy girl been chosen for that CD yet?

DTC:There will be a new SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN Cd in 2001. Currently I am trying to weed down the prospective songs from 50 to 10 or so. In regards to the cover my plan is to have a hot looking woman on all of the SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN covers. I have a couple of very beautiful sexy women who want to do the next Cd cover. No one will be disappointed!!

6. MUEN: With all of David Chastain's projects and band line-ups, how does he give each one the attention it needs? Or how does he find the time to devote to each project?

DTC:Since there is very little touring involved for me at this point in time and since I am a workaholic things seem to work out in the end. Everyone I deal with pretty much have other projects they play in so no one is totally dependent on any one band. I enjoy doing different types of music with different types of musicians. Keeps my creative juices flowing.

7. MUEN: What ever happened to Damien? Has anyone heard from Wolf?

K.K.: Damien is on a long hiatus. We haven't played as a band in over three years. Maybe some day in the future, maybe not. Randy (Wolf) is playing in a band with Johnny Cappelletty called Fetish Doll.

8. MUEN: What are your opinions of the 'so called' new metal (hard-core, glam, etc.? And has the band, or any members of the band, ever thought about venturing down that road?

K.K.: I honestly don't listen to a lot of new music because I don't have time to pursue it. The radio doesn't offer much in the way of quality. My ears are always open though. Personally, I just played on a great record by a phenomenal new band called VAINGLORY.
DTC:I can not stand any of those so-called rap/metal hybrid bands. I thought grunge sucked but at least some of those guys actually tried to sing. In today's rap/metal environment all you have to do is play a simple beat, play 2 chords and have someone scream lines. I think you could take any idiots off the street and put a band like that together in a couple of days whether or not they have ever played an instrument in their life. Definitely the low point of metal history. If I ever do a rap/metal song I hope it is my last and I die on the spot. On the other hand there is some great new metal coming out of Europe in the power and progressive metal fields. Bands such as Rhapsody, Hammerfall, At Vance, Vanden Plas, etc. Just unfortunately they get very little attention in the states.

9. MUEN: In all your travels... tours, US and overseas, where on the planet, was one of your most memorable visits, and why?

K.K.: For me, so far it's been New York City. I've spent some time there and I love it. Sometimes, my brothers and I go for the weekend just to party.
DTC:Probably Tokyo, Mexico City and Paris. All for different reasons. Tokyo because of its' futurism, Mexico City because of the intensity of the fans and Paris because of its' history. In the US Dallas would probably be tops. (Because of the overabundance of metal women!) And of course Cincinnati for the devotion of the fans.

10. MUEN: Please add any new information about the band here:

DTC:The current working title for the next SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN Cd is called "Ladies of the Night." It might change. A topic that lends itself to numerous avenues. As I mentioned earlier I am trying to narrow the songs down but I believe I have some material that will top the debut Cd. We should record the Cd in late 2000 and it will be out in 2001 spring or fall depending on factors beyond our knowledge at this time.


Southern Gentlemen photo

Mp3 Sound Sample

On-line Review 2/16/2000