VAINGLORY Interview 7/25/2001


1)Tell us yours and the band's history?

Well, I am a Georgia native. I've been playing guitar for about 14 years now. A few years back I began really writing seriously. Ideas would come and go throughout the early years, but around 95 things began to really develop for me and my style. As I was entering into this age of my musicianship I met David T. Chastain. I met him at a Savatage show here in Atlanta. We spoke briefly, he gave me his Leviathan Records business card, and we've been in touch ever since. He has really been around throughout the years as my style became what it is now. Vainglory is the product of my metal inspiration. I have been very fortunate to have been able to "live out" my metal band aspirations. This debut cd '2050' is a very intense piece of work. When I had finished writing the material for the cd, David and Leviathan helped me find the right members to complete the band. Through some quick, yet, some long audition time spans; Brian Harris, Ted Brasier, and Kevin Kekes completed Vainglory.

2)We heard this Cd was coming out in early 2001, what happened?

Good question!! You wouldn't believe all the things we've been through in getting this cd released. Leviathan has worked overtime getting the licensing and distribution deals secured, and has been met in the end by delay after delay from involved companies. One label that was handling the European release dragged on and on and then dropped it due to money issues and what not. The better part of a year was lost in that ordeal, if not more! Various other companies were interested and then passed for whatever reasons. It truly has been quite the job to finally get this cd out to the public. Thankfully, now we do have distribution in South America by Rock Brigade/Laser Company Records and in Europe by Lucretia Records International. Leviathan is currently still hoping to secure a US release in the near future. Lets keep our fingers crossed! A huge thanks goes to David T. and Leviathan records for all their hard work in making this a reality. Also, I would like to thank all the people out there that are interested in Vainglory and await their copy of '2050'. Very soon!!!!

3)What are your personal influences?

I have an evolving list of guitarist influences that have helped steer me in the direction I have gone and will go. First off, when I discovered that I HAD to play lead guitar in a band, it was when I heard the solo to Led Zeppelin's Heart Breaker. I was about 11 years old I think, and I was floored by that sound. From there I got into a bit of Hendrix as well. Then about a year later I heard Appetite for Destruction. To me that was a lot like the Zeppelin heavy rock but up a notch or two in intensity. After that I graduated on through Metallica, Megadeth, Testament, Helstar, and many other modern metal pioneers. All these bands had the driving guitar sound and lead guitar style that I was heavily in to. At this time I was deeply involved in music theory and really studying and practicing the guitar. I then discovered the very guitar oriented side of metal. I was exposed to Yngwie Malmsteen, Jason Becker, Marty Friedman and other players that were the pinnacle of what I was going for. After years of study and practice, even today I hold these same influences as my fuel for inspiration. Even a few new guys. I would say though my current listening tastes and guitar influence comes from Yngwie Malmsteen and George Bellas, an incredible talent if you're not familiar with him.

4)Tell us about the concept of 2050?

-2050 is a story of the future. Perhaps not even as far as one might think. It's a tale of what may happen if money and power continue to dominate the modern world. All the money in the hands of 1% of the population, everyone else kept in their working positions serving the benefit of the wealthy 1%. No one really notices the disastrous situation at hand due to schooling, the Citizens Containment Force, and a life long consumption of a mind rendering drug that's in the water supply as well as any form of liquid you intake from the day you are born. It keeps you complacent and quiet. The work force is also kept clean and efficient by a means of "retirement" after they have passed their working prime and beneficial stage in life. They are promised to be able to go to a great paradise to spend the rest of their days as payment for their loyal work duties, only to find they are terminated instead. A small group led by one man are sure of the truth and know of a serum to counteract the drug in the water. It is their duty to rise up and alert the masses of the deception and hopefully save mankind before it's too late! It is truly a great concept and story line. I will say David Chastain out did himself on this one!!! Ha Ha Ha! David is a great writer and creative force. He was a big help to me on this cd. Be sure to check out the full story and all the details of the band at the VAINGLORY site.

5)Please give us your take on your fellow band members.

I only have good things to say about them. They are great guys and all very talented. We get along great, and had a really fun time doing this cd. Brian's drumming is mind blowing to say the least, Ted's vocals are powerful and very emotional, and Kevin's bass is heavy and very classy. They all complimented the music very well and the final product came out better than even I envisioned it. Thanks guys for all your hard work!!!

6)How and where was this Cd recorded?

Well, All the initial demoing and such I did at my home studio. This is what was used to find the other band members. After that, I went back with the drum machine and click track and did the keeper guitar tracks here at my studio "The Kingdoom". I use hard disc based recording, so I flew out all the tracks to ADAT when I had finished them and sent the ADAT tapes to Ohio to "Audioasis" studio in Cincinnati. There the drums, bass, and vocals were done. The cd was also mixed there.

7)What are the future plans of Vainglory?

Vainglory is just happy right now to have 2050 finally available almost worldwide. I would love to see the cd do well and get us out to do some shows. There are many factors concerning that, but it would be cool if it happened. I have some ideas brewing for more Vainglory cds. I would like to do another disc and then possibly see a continuation of the 2050 saga after that. Either way, I think the future will be pretty exciting for Vainglory! Let's wait and see!!!

8)What are the future plans for yourself?

I have a few things under my belt aside from Vainglory. I am in the building stages of a new studio here at home. It will be a fully automated 24 track digital recording heaven!! I'm hoping by the end of the year to have everything up and running and ready to do some serious recording and production. I also just finished an instrumental cd on the Diginet Music label. It's a very cool concept called Diginet Music's Guitar Masters. Seven players were sent a cds worth of music containing the same bass and drum tracks on all our cds. We each did our own original guitar tracks to all the tunes. None of us were able to listen to what the others had recorded. So in the end there will be 7 different cds worth of great instrumental music in a very unique concept for a cd. Definitely be sure to check this stuff out at it is some great music! I am also in the writing stages of a new band idea that I have. It will be a bit more guitar oriented than Vainglory and with the right players should really get a lot of attention when completed. All I can say is think of a heavier Rising Force!!

9)Please give us a run down on your current guitar(s) and amps.

Ha Ha!! A long one I see! My guitars and amp rig is an ever evolving creature. Although right now it has come together nicely and will probably remain fairly consistent with how it is currently. I'm using:
6 American Strats. All have hs-3 pickups in the neck and bridge position, standard Fender pickup in the middle, 5 way switching. The 2 tone controls are removed and the volume knob is relocated to the bottom most hole on the pickguard, the remaining holes are plugged. All are strung with D' Addario strings gauge .009-.049 and tuned one half step down.
The guitars run into my pedal board which contains:
Dunlop Crybaby Wah
DOD Preamp Overdrive 250
BOSS Noise Suppressor
BOSS PS-5 Super Shifter
Line 6 DL4 delay stompbox modeler
The pedals are fed in stereo into the front of a Digital Music Corporation GCX guitar switching system that also runs with a custom made line level "bay" that I had wired up to use in conjunction with the switcher that feeds:
1 Marshall 1978 JMP head that has been modified by Bob Bradshaw
1 Peavey 5150 head
2 Fender Roc Pro 1000 heads
The Bradshaw Marshall runs into a 1972 Marshall basketweave 4X12 with 25 watt Greenback Celestions
The 5150 and one Roc Pro 1000 run through 2 1990(s) Marshall JCM900 4X12s with the 75 watt standard Celestions
The last Roc Pro 1000 head runs through a 1980(s) Marshall JCM800 4X12 cab with the standard 75 watt Celestions
All the amps can be switched on or off in any possible combination by the GCX switcher that is controlled by a Digital Music Corporation Ground Control midi pedal.

10)Any last words for the cult of Vainglory?

Yes indeed! I thank each and every one of you for all your support. I thank you for your patience in waiting for the Vainglory cd to finally be available as well. I will continue to write the best music I can for you, and hope to see you all one day soon somewhere back stage or from the stage!!
Feel free to drop me or the band a line through Leviathan Records or, we'd love to hear from you!!
Be sure to check out:
Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!