Zanister "Fear No Man"
Interview by Eva-Maria Uebelhack
INTERVIEW WITH DAVID T. CHASTAIN
1) There are still some fans who don't know what happened to your band Chastain. Is there only a break or is Zanister now your only band?
DTC:I have many different recording bands going on all the time. Kate, the current vocalists in Chastain, has been busy being a mother the last couple of years but she now seems to be back in the mode of being a singer. I sent her out a full Cds worth of music recently and she seems very excited about the new stuff. Let's hope there is a new Chastain Cd in late 2001. To me the new music of Chastain is very heavy and cool! The Zanister band up to this point in time has been strictly a recording situation. I also have started a new company called Diginet Music ( http://www.diginetmusic.com ) that features a lot of my recordings that have never been released before due to one reason or another. I have released something like 10 Cds worth of stuff so far in 2001!!
2) When I received the first Zanister record I exspected a more progressive sound like I knew from the last Chastain record. Was it your "goal" to write straighter and sometimes more neo-classical songs? What was the most important aspect when you started working at Zanister?
DTC:Yes I wanted to make Zanister a more traditional metal band like Maiden, Priest, etc. The twin guitar attack with both guitarists having equal standing. A great vocalist who could make their own mark was also a necessity. But the most important thing was to have great songs.
3) In comparison to the first Zanister album "Fear No Man" seems not as bombastic but more traditional. Was this a natural developement?
DTC:Yes. The idea of the band is to play traditional metal with strong arrangements and compositions with the guitar flashes still in the music but not dominating the sound. However usually the bottom line is whatever I write I write.
4) For me it's really hard to name a favorite song on "Fear No Man". In my opinion the whole record is great. Do you have a fave on it or one song that means something real special for you?
DTC:Usually you can look at my Cds and you will find the final song on the recording as my favorite. So Egyptian Nights is the final track on this Cd and it is probably my favorite. Although I am quite pleased with all of the songs it is just that Egyptian Nights has that mystical sound that is really special to me.
5) I just received a promotional copy without the lyrics from the new album. Can you tell me a little bit about'em, please?
DTC:The lyric writing was spread out amongst myself, vocalist Brian Sarvela and Vainglory vocalist Ted Brasier. I tend to write more about things that matter to me, animal rights, wealth distribution, social problems and the like. Of course Egyptian Nights doesn't follow that path as it is a mystical song about how a servant was tricked by the Queen into killing the Pharaoh with the promise of eternal life. He has lived in purgatory for thousands of years.
6) How did the press react on the new album 'till now? And: Where you contend with the reactions on the first record?
DTC:Response has been pretty favorable to both Cds but I believe Fear No Man is making a bigger mark with the press. Especially here in the states.
7) Do you think that it's important for an artist not to be fixed on just one musical style? How important are other musical influences for you?
DTC:To each musician it is different. I get bored very easy so I must continually play different styles of music. I have released metal, fusion, improvisation, blues, acoustic, hard rock and other types of recordings. I like them all. I have the advantage of being part of a record company and also a recording studio. I am lucky in that I can do pretty much as I please.
8) Will there be the chance to see Zanister on stage this year?
DTC:Most likely not in Europe but maybe in the US. We had some offers for concerts in the past but logistically it is difficult to get everyone together since we all live in far away places.
9) When you think about the metal-scene in the USA how do you judge it? Is the europaen and japanese market still the best one for bands from this genre? Some bands say that the situation in the states gets better and I wanted to know your opinion.
DTC:Europe is the best market for traditional and power metal bands. Unfortunately Japan's market is shrinking for this type of music. In the US about the only metal that really sells is rap metal such as Limp B, Korn, Slipknot, Rage Against The Machine, etc. Maiden's new Cd sold about 200,000 copies here in the US which is about 5% of what Limp B sells. With that said I would say the metal market here is better than it was a few years ago but no where near what it was 10 years ago.