Interview for Rock In Access/Voice of Metal
INTERVIEW WITH DAVID T. CHASTAIN
1 - Zanister has a particularly means and You've looking over the alternative vocabulary. But, which is the really means of Zanister?
I have had that name stored up for about 15 years. It is just a word I made
up that sounded cool. Since I made up the word I made up the definition.
"Sophisticated Intensity." I think that was one of the goals of mine with
the band. Heavy, aggressive but with some intricate musical passages thrown
2 - How did You define the style of "Symphonica Millennium"?
The goal was to put out a Cd that was more like our earlier influences and
tastes. It was more of my musical vision. I had wanted to do something more
like my CJSS and early Chastain material for awhile. I just never found the
time to put it together. I decided late last year to put it as my main
priority. I sent the material out to Michael and he added his touches to the
songs. I wrote most of the lyrics about things that were of interest to me.
3 - About the songwriting of "Symphonica Millennium"?
I wrote most of the music and sent the material out to Michael and he added
his touches to the songs. I wrote most of the lyrics about things that were
of interest to me.
4 - Different guys has told "Brian Sarvela vocals" remind to Leather Leone style. Are You agree?
Well since I wrote my of the lyrics and melodies for both it is more my
fault or credit that they sound somewhat similar. It was not a conscious
effort to do so but you are not the first person to mention this idea. Of
course I personally don't hear it but I am pretty close to the music!
5 - Every Chastain albums is development and based upon a specific theme. Which theme in enclosed in "Symphonica Millennium"?
I'll just give a brief description of each song but generally I was just
writing about things and topics that mean something to me:
1)Fighters from the Sky-An uptempo track that showcases everyone in the
band. Michael wrote and recorded the intense intro.
2)We will Bring Glory Tonight-One of my favorite tracks. About defending
one's territory against tyranny.
3)Save Me Now-Basically about the greed of many religions. Michael wrote a
great harmony guitar part in the middle.
4)Searching For Freedom-The music to this song was actually a CJSS song back
in the old days and I resurrected it for Zanister. Song is about minorities
standing up for their rights and standing proud in the face of bigots.
5)The Edge of Sanity-A song written by Mark Shelton (Manilla Road) and
myself back in 89 or so. I wanted to use it in Chastain but Kate didn't like
the story. I love the story. It is about the curse of the Pharaohs! One of
Brian Sarvela's best vocal tracks.
6)Let Them Live-One of my major concerns. Millions of animals are killed in
the US every year by animal shelters and the like. It is murder plain and
simple. I only support no kill animal shelters. They all should be. Once
again how can a civilized society allow the wholesale slaughter of other
creatures to make their lives more comfortable. As you may have guessed I am
a vegetarian. I recommend everyone to research the benefits to such a
lifestyle and the negative impact of eating the decomposing corpses of
7)Born in Cold Blood-Sounds like a Chastain track to me. It is about how the
US was born and expanded due to very horrific means. The US government are
hypocrites and its' history is tainted with blood.
8)Downfall-Actually I wrote this song in support of Bill Clinton when the
assholes in the US Congress where trying to throw him out of office. He
eventually won and they lost a couple of their leaders.
9)Children of the Gods-My song in praise of the ancient Egyptians. Their
society had some amazing things that even today are unmatched.
10)The Evil Will Survive-It always seems that the Evil does survive in one
way or another. A cool heavy track that once again showcases Brian Sarvela's
amazing vocal range. The ending is just fading into the intro again and we
have come full circle.
6 - I know actually with Zanister You're work at new second release. I know also will be released for summer 2000. What can You tell me about a Zanister second episode?
DTC:I pretty much have the general ideas to all of the music written. The
label in Europe wants a new Cd for a May release so we will start moving on
it later this year. It will be in the same general style as Symphonica
7 - In last time many people's talk about a possible reunion of CJSS. And I've listening a news about a possible new album for March 2000. Can You confirm?
DTC:It is official!! Currently I am recording a brand new CJSS Cd. I put word
out that CJSS would be interested in doing a new Cd and I got flooded with
offers. We chose Pavement Music. A new Cd should be out in the first quarter
of 2000. Please see below the press release on the band:
C J S S
KINGS OF THE WORLD ! !
This press release is to notify all interested parties that Cincinnati
metal legends CJSS have just signed a new long term recording contract with
the powerful international metal label PAVEMENT MUSIC.
The band will be holed up during the months of November and December at
studios in Atlanta and Cincinnati recording the new Cd. PAVEMENT MUSIC is
planning a worldwide release date of March 2000.
Contacted in Phoenix label President Mark Nawara commented, "The band has
always had a legendary reputation even though they haven't released a new Cd
since 1986. We grabbed up the rights to the 2-4-1 release (a Cd of the
band's classic albums World Gone Mad and Praise the Loud) for Europe and
when we found out the band was available for a new recording we did all we
could to sign the band."
Band leader David T. Chastain says, "I put out word that the band would be
available for a new recording deal and I was immediately hit with 3 offers
from well established metal labels from around the world. We chose Pavement
Music because they seemed the most in tune to the bandŐs history and music."
Bassist Mike Skimmerhorn ads, "I guess that the 80's metal resurgence must
be in full swing to have all the interest in the band from just a mere
mention we were considering recording again."
Drummer Les Sharp comments, "I was very pleasantly surprised with the
response and this is a day I have been looking forward to for a long time!"
The new Cd is tentatively titled KINGS OF THE WORLD and will include the
following tracks: Wild in the Streets, Thief of Hearts, Kings of the World,
The End of the Rainbow, Cries of the Dawn, The Final Frontier, The Fall of
Babylon, The Executioner's Song, You've Been Alone Too Long, I For An I, All
is Fire and the band's version of the classic Jethro Tull song Locomotive
Lead vocalist Russell Jinkens states, "We had so much good material
available that we sent 50 songs to Pavement and let them decide which tracks
to go on the Cd because it was just too difficult for us to make the
Guitarist David T. Chastain, who will also produce the Cd, explains the
band's situation this way, "CJSS never officially broke up, we just quit
doing live shows back in late 92. Then I moved to Atlanta in 94 and we just
didn't do anything for awhile. Russell and I were still writing and trading
tapes over the years and lot of the songs on the new Cd will come from that
material." He further says, "We did some live shows in August just to
promote the 2-4-1 release and it was just like the old days. The vibe was
still very positive amongst everyone and that is when I brought up the idea
of trying to get a new deal for the band. Of course everyone was very
enthusiastic with the possibility and that is when I put out the word we
were ready to record a new Cd."
David's final words, "Nearly every time I have done an interview over the
last 10 years it almost never failed that I wasn't asked, 'When is there
going to be a new CJSS Cd?' Well now I can finally tell them!"
The band is looking forward to once again playing live in 2000 to support
KINGS OF THE WORLD. For further info please contact I.A.M. at 770.463.1177
or Pavement Music at 480.783.0288.
8 - From 80's since today we've listening David T Chastain in different version. But with "Acoustic Vision" is a my first time I listening You in acoustic version ... however no problem because I love much the acoustic guitar (I'm an ex blues guitarist!). Also is very particularly the cover. Show an important part of history, the pyramid of Maya. What did You tell me about this disc?
It was something I had been wanting to do for a good while. I had been just jamming around on acoustic guitar for a month and I had so many cool songs I had to put them down on tape. Originally I planned to add extra guitar parts to them but they sounded pretty damn heavy solo so I just decided to let it to as a solo acoustic guitar record. It was kind of scary but I think it works and I have gotten great response so far.
9 - Come back at Zanister. You and Michael divided in "Symphonica Millennium" a guitar and keyb's parts. Have You find any problem in this?
Michael and I had worked together before in the early 90s on the Chastain
Harris project. We did 2 tours and 1 live Cd in that band. It was a lot of
fun and we worked good together with no ego trips. Last year I decided I
wanted to do a 2 guitar metal band and Michael was my first choice. When I
discussed the idea with him he was very enthusiastic about everything and
then we went about finding the right musicians to finish the band. Since he
had not ever played in a band with his brother, Brian Harris, I checked him
out and we added him on drums. Then we added Michael's bassist James Martin
who plays live with Michael in Dallas. We auditioned many singers and we
choose Brian Sarvela who I had heard before with one of Joe Stump's bands.
Michael and I get along great and there are no problems.
10 - "Symphonica Millennium" means "music metal for the future." How You seen the heavy metal act scene of new millennium?
DTC:I think good melodic metal will always have an audience. All other styles will come and go depending on the flavor of the month.
11 - Meanwhile You playing and working with Zanister You've also other parallel project called "Southern Gentleman." Can you introducing these band to Your fans?
This is a heavy blues rock thing I did with the bass player and drummer from
Chastain. It is really my favorite thing right now. I also sing, or try to,
and it is fun music. Nothing too serious. Music to get laid to!! Imagine ZZ
Top and Robin Trower gone metal and it is sort of the idea of the music.
12 - In these week You've also finished producing "The Prophecy" a new Kenziner album. How is work with Kenziner and what you can tell me about "The Prophecy"?
The new Cd should be released in a few weeks. It is really a great piece of
music and I am happy to be involved with it. Jarno Keskinen the leader of
the band is really a musical genius. I just help him get his ideas in a
workable form. Of course the vocalist Stephen Fredrick is an amazing singer.
13 - In 1995 Ronnie Montrose worked with You at "Dementia" CD Actually Ronnie Montrose starting to work with one of the '80 most famous and popular band Elektradrive. In Italy in last time out many interesting band especially power prog. Did You like to producing an Italian promising band?
DTC:I really have no idea what you are talking about Ronnie Montrose and In Dementia. I have never met Ronnie. I believe Kate sent him a copy of the Cd
and he thought Kate was great but that is all I know about it. I am not to
familiar with very many bands from Italy other than Time Machine and
Rhapsody. Both of those bands are great. I always looking for new talent to
14 - With Zanister have just planned an international tour and think to come also in Italy?
I would love to come to Italy but I doubt that will happen this year. Maybe
in 2000 Zanister or one of my band's will make the trip.
15 - What can we except from You in the future?
DTC:I am currently in the process of many projects.
Recording and producing the new CJSS
Writing and recording the new Zanister
Producing the new VAINGLORY Cd. (Featuring Corbin King on guitar and also
Stephen Fredrick from Kenziner on vocals.)
I also have written the next Chastain Cd and I am waiting on Kate French to
work on the vocals.
And of course the 10 hours a day in the Leviathan Records office!!!!!
16 - Actually, which guitarist or musician is Your favorite?
Probably Allan Holdsworth on guitar although I am not too much into his
newer stuff. I like a lot of different things from classical to pop but I
have no idol. There is just so much good stuff out there in metal it is hard
to listen to it all.
17 - You've released since today over 20 albums. Which of your album is the preferred and why?
That is like which of your children to you like the best. It is a hard
question however my feelings today are:
Chastain-Ruler of the Wasteland, In Dementia
David T. Chastain-Instrumental Variations, Next Planet Please
If I could only take one Cd to a deserted island it would probably be Next
Planet Please or Acoustic Visions as I know those Cds will still sound
current in 20 years.
18 - In the Your discography appear also a Japanese musician, Chono Masohiro. Who is him? And what tell me about their mini album?
Actually Masa Chono is a pro wrestler in Japan and I just composed some
theme songs for him. It is actually my biggest selling Cd in Japan.
19 - Last question. Which acoustic and electric guitar You use? You prefer to use a few or more effect or you preferred to play directly in the ampli/mix?
I use Kramer and BC Rich electric guitars and BC Rich acoustic guitars. I am
currently using the POD unit to record the new CJSS and it really screams!!
Ok the long interview is terminated. This out at end 1999 beginning 2000. Thanks!
DTC:OK thanks!! Keep in touch.