Ibanez: How did the recent shows with Hank III & Assjack go?
Chris: They were awesome, man. It was sold out just about every night. There were usually about 1,500 people, and it was good all around. The people were going crazy, and a lot of them were sticking around for the metal. Yeah, I got to play a lot of guitar on the bus. It was awesome not having to worry about all the Psyopus stuff. I had insomnia pretty bad on that tour for some reason. With that, I had even more time to be up playing guitar. It was cool I had a lot of fun.
Ibanez: Were there any particular shows that stood out or crazy stories from the road?
Chris: The House of Blues in San Diego, California was awesome! The energy was there. The first couple of shows, my confidence was down a little bit after the whole Psyopus lineup change. I had been taking care of so much other crap and not working on my chops like I normally like to. San Diego kicked in and was awesome. Fort Worth, Texas was awesome. I did everything I could do to try and go see Dimebag¡Çs grave, but it was like 50 miles away from where we were playing. I couldn¡Çt get anyone to drive me down there.
Ibanez: What led to you getting the gig with Hank III?
Chris: He¡Çs a total metal head, and when he was on the Superjoint Ritual tour someone dropped him a Psyopus demo. They all became super fans of the band, and he contacted us and became friends with us. We had some downtime when we had just lost our drummer, Lee, and I didn¡Çt have anything to do to pay any bills. So I called Hank up and asked if he needed anyone to play lead guitar for Assjack. He called me right back and said, ¡ÈAre you serious?¡É
Next thing I knew, I had to fly down to Nashville with one day to learn the set. That sucked [laughs]. It was cool though. He¡Çs just a super fan of what I do and super supportive. Once I had the material down, he was like, ¡ÈAll right. Now you can do whatever you want for the whole set.¡É There have been shows where I¡Çm soloing from beginning to end of the set [laughs].
Ibanez: What Ibanez models are you currently playing live?
Chris: I¡Çm playing one of the RG550 reissues and the RGT42DXBP.
Ibanez: Who have you been listening to lately?
Chris: Johnny Hiland, man. That guy is bad ass. He did all the chicken pickin¡Ç stuff on Hank III¡Çs albums, and he lives right down the road from him. They were like, ¡ÈWe need to get you two to hang out.¡É Talk about a humbling experience. ¡ÈWill you show me how to play like you? I don¡Çt know any country music.¡É I don¡Çt even know any groups, because this is so not my world. I generally don¡Çt listen to a whole lot of metal, because I don¡Çt want to be influenced by it. But I do listen to some. I know nothing about country music.
Ibanez: What have you got coming up next?
Chris: I might have a gig with Hank III supporting Reverend Horton Heat. Psyopus just got offered four shows with Melt Banana. We¡Çve got some lineup changes in Psyopus right now, but we should be back in the mainstream grindcore scene by late January.
Ibanez: Do you have any advice for young musicians based on your experience so far?
Chris: Alright [laughs]. Play all the time. Use a metronome. Umm... learn as much stuff as you can. If you¡Çre trying to be an artist, from the beginning try to find your own voice as much as possible. Try to do your own thing as much as possible.