Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: January 2009
Brian Rademacher: Hello Chris and welcome to RockEyez.com, this will be your third time around doing an interview for us and it's a great pleasure to have you back again.
Chris Laney : It is always a pleasure.
Brian Rademacher: In 2008 RANDY PIPER’S ANIMAL released “Virus” which got 5 out of 5 stars on our site plus was rated the second best album of the year by me in our Year In Review. How does that make you feel when you wrote most of that release?
Chris Laney : I gotta tell you, that is an amazing feeling. I mean, I had written about 9 songs for the album and scrapped most of them since I knew I could do better. So I started from scratch and this shows my gut feeling was right. I am never satisfied but “Virus” is an album I am very proud of my work on. Especially since I HAVE NOW LEFT THE BAND to do my solo-album. All the guys in ANIMAL are great and we have had an awesome time together and I will always consider Randy Piper and Rich Lewis my brothers but there is simply not enough time to be both a producer and an artist in different bands. So I have to choose and since I got this record deal for a solo album that is what I went for.
Brian Rademacher: You guys also played the 2008 Sweden Rock Festival, what was that feeling like?
Chris Laney : It was unreal! We opened up the festival so when we started playing there was a couple of thousand...at the end of the show we had over 10,000 people singing our songs; crazy feeling. I mean, let’s face it, here's a band who had done 3 shows together, 5 days of rehearsal... we pulled it off great, at least I think so ;). When, if the DVD ever will see the light of day, you can judge for yourself since that whole show is on there as a bonus.
Brian Rademacher: When Randy came over to Sweden did you work on any new material for the next release?
Chris Laney : Most of it was already written. I remember working two days before the guys came to Sweden finishing up the last demos. We had my demos on the bus while touring to learn the songs inside out so Rich could sing them by heart when we were able to get the time to record them. We recorded the album on a few days off we had from touring/rehearsing. Rich did nail the whole album in days, he is an amazing singer. Piper did some guitars in Sweden and some when he went back home to the States. He sent those files via the net. Pretty smooth ;)
Brian Rademacher: You are also producing a lot of other bands at Polar Studios; anyone you would like to mention?
Chris Laney : Last year was a busy year, I did BLACKRAIN, CANDLEMASS, BABYLON BOMBS, DYNAZTY, BRIAN “ROBBO” ROBERTSON, DEAD BY GUN and my own album...No rest for the wicked!! And then I did a lot of other bands too that was just regular day to day work as an engineer at Polar.
Brian Rademacher: Now you have a debut solo CD “Pure” coming out on Metal Heaven records on March 27. How did they approach you to do the record?
Chris Laney : I have been asked before but never felt there would be any point for me doing a solo album since I was in ANIMAL and ZAN CLAN. Me and Lennart Östlund sat at the studio one night and he said he thought I should do one after hearing some of my songs. So I contacted Metal Heaven, I have seen their work and they’re a great label. I sent them 3 songs and the day after Georg at MH called me back and told me he had an offer. So it basically went much faster than I expected lol...so back to work and I wrote 12 songs.
Brian Rademacher: I had a chance to check some of the tracks out and it sounds like a killer release. Let's get into some of the tunes, when you sit down to write material does it come to you naturally writing killer choruses?
Chris Laney : Thanx!!! Killer...hahaha, nah, I just think the chorus is the soul of the song...if the chorus isn’t there; I dump the track without a doubt. I often start writing the chorus, could be a word that triggers the idea. Pretty often I get ideas while looking at a movie or something, reading a book, buying food lol!!! Anything can get me going. My wife sees when I am in writing mode.Sometimes like during dinner, I just disappear, I’m there but my mind is somewhere else (lol). I always write stuff, analyze; man, I'm a maniac!
Brian Rademacher: Track two "I Dunno" has a WARRANT feel, when you finish up a song and listen do you say to yourself this has a WARRANT feel, maybe I should change it or do you just go with it?
Chris Laney : For me, a good song is a good song, if it sounds like WARRANT, cool!! I mean, WARRANT did some great stuff. As a producer I think like this…If you hear a song and feel you've heard it before, it might just be good, there is no place like home! On this album the songs are like a mix of my vinyl collection. All my heroes get their little tribute on this one.
Brian Rademacher: "The Stranger In You" is a killer melodic song and I really loved the track. Can you tell me about that song?
Chris Laney : I had the chorus but I didn't get the verse right... The melody on the chorus is a little "Paul Stanley-ish" so I asked Bruce Kulick if he would like to give it a try and write something. I sent him my idea and within days he sends me this beautiful verse. I had some great words, but just not good enough, so I contacted Anders Lundquist, a friend who also has contributed with lyrics to ANIMAL. He is just a master with words. I did a demo and sent it to Bruce and Anders, they both loved it and so do I.
Brian Rademacher: "Fire and Ice" is another great hard rocker and there is also a great solo by my friend Martin Sweet of CRASHDÏET. Since you worked with those boys on their debut release and now this track have you heard what’s up with them since Ollie's been fired?
Chris Laney : I know they have something going on but I can't say anything, I am sorry! I love these guys and I am glad Martin wanted to come down to Polar and play a solo. It was great; he is a great guitarist.
Brian Rademacher: The first couple tracks are mostly about love and relationships and I really like the addition of keyboards and your vocals change a lot from song to song, but when you hit "I Hate Yer Guts" man you're pissed off at someone, saying you lying piece of shit, I hate yer guts for doin' this. Was this intended for anyone or are they just lyrics of anger? Is that Zinny Zan talking on this track?
Chris Laney : Well, yeah, actually, that is what I love about music, You can take your anger out that way instead of fist fighting. Zinny and I sing duet on this one, he is the most cocky singer in the world and who would make a better job than him on this one. I love Zinny, he’s the best.
Brian Rademacher: Another track I loved was "Get U Down". Is this going to be the single or tune the record company will push? It has a sound reminiscent of DEF LEPPARD.
Chris Laney : That IS my LEPPARD song; a tribute to Mutt Lange ;)
Me and Anders Ringman, whom I wrote this song with, used to have DEF LEPPARD writing sessions drinking beer. We would sit and record 300 channels of backing vocals and, shit, just to win the competition in who made the best LEPPARD sound! hahaha. I think I got a hold on how to make it sound that way lol... I love the Mutt Lange sound...
Brian Rademacher: Hey Chris is that you slicing the axe of "Pissed At What Ya Missed"? That’s a killer song; a little heavier than the rest of the CD.
Chris Laney : Yes sir! It is one of my fave songs on the album, VAN HALEN meets SHOTGUN MESSIAH!
Brian Rademacher: I think “Last Man Standing” sounds a bit like KISS's “Crazy Nights” and it seems you're pissed at someone again but you rise to the occasion, it seems you mention a lot about someone being a liar. You seem very angry with these lyrics. I love the tune and I am sure KISS fans will want to check this one out. Can you tell us anything about this song?
Chris Laney : I am a KISS fan...or should I say a Paul Stanley freak, I love his melody language. The lyrics are based on me going solo. So many bands have passed through the years and "I’m better off alone" is something I would tell myself each time a band has broken up. It is tough to break up a band or leave a band, it is your family and a divorce isn’t always easy. I also love the fact that the song is so happy and the lyrics are pretty angry.
Brian Rademacher: Hey Chris are you a QUEEN admirer? Sure sounds like “Skin On Skin” has elements of QUEEN incorporated in this track.
Chris Laney : Yeah! I love QUEEN and their background vocals are the shit! This is a song I have worked on for some years but none of my old bands would touch it since it is so different. Finally I got to record it. This is MY song, I play the drums, piano, guitars and I sang backgrounds for 6 hours ;) Anything for the QUEEN sound! Lennart had a big part in the arrangement on this one; he pushed me to my limit. I couldn't speak for 2 days after that session! hahhaha
Brian Rademacher: How many songs did you actually write for “Pure”?
Chris Laney : Sixteen.
Brian Rademacher: How long did it take to record?
Chris Laney : I recorded for 10 days and mixed 14 days.
Brian Rademacher: I see you have some great guests and friends of ours like Zinny Zan, Martin Sweet, Rob Love, Vic Zino, Bruce Kulick and your ANIMAL band mates J.Koleberg and Nalle Pahlsson but with all these guests one person is AWOL… Randy Piper what's up with that?
Chris Laney : I would have loved to have Randy on my album. Unfortunately flights are expensive and it didn´t work out this time.
This sounds like PURE, is a killer debut CD and if you're a fan of great choruses that has sounds of some great past artists this should be added to your collection. Remember March 27, 2009 pre-order it through Metal Heaven records.