Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: February 14th, 2006
Hey Chris, what‘s up? Welcome to Rockeyez.
Thanks man! I’m a frequent visitor ;)
So really, at the age of 12 or 13, you knew the direction you wanted your life to follow?
Yes sir, I never had any doubts. My friends loved sports, and when they went out playing soccer, I stayed in my room, practicing guitar in front of the mirror. He-he-he, Nerd!
Who made the biggest impact on your music career?
Hard question, I must say KISS was the band that made me want to do it in the first place. But now a days, I must say the Zan Clan & Animal fans are the ones making me want to do it even more!!
What was the first song you wrote?
“Country Road” is the first one; my sister’s band recorded it!!! It was amazing having my song on tape at the age of 10. It was of course a rip-off of another song but I didn’t care and no one seemed to notice anyway. Ha-ha-ha, I still have that demo tape.
So in your younger years what was the name of some of the bands you saw live?
Europe, KISS, Helix, Saxon, and Motley Crue…
What kind of kid were you growing up?
I was kind of a loner in my younger years; I was bullied around a lot since I was so short. But the day I joined my first band my ego came back and I was ready to raise some hell. Ha-ha-ha, no, my family and friends always talk about me as a very nice kid, a little strange, but still kind of normal.
You worked with some amazing bands. What person did you have the most fun working with, out of these bands?
Europe, Talisman, Candlemass, Bruce Kulick (the former Kiss guitarist with whom he toured as a lead singer), Marc Ferrari (ex-Keel) and up-and-coming Swedish glam rockers Crashdiet.
I must say touring with Kulick. It was a dream come-true, doing 19 KISS classic tunes live. Bruce was and is a great man and we had lots of fun... actually just got some mail from him today. We keep in touch and try to meet up when ever we are on the same place on the planet.
One band sticks out in my mind is the band that I named as the best band of 2005, Crashdiet. It was totally shocking to me and devastating the lost of Dave Lepard who we interviewed twice for our site. Do you have any feeling about this subject?
I could write a book full of feeling. Man, getting the news that morning made me numb. I had to go to the studio where I had a band waiting for me, went there and I promise, it was tough working that day. Dave was kind of a slob; his stuff was still lying around the studio, which made me breakdown every now and then. I do miss him and my heartaches thinking of his family who are the nicest people. I’m proud of the work we did together these last 3 years and I know he was too. BUT, the show must go on, and I hope London, Sweet & Young carry on.
Why would a guy like that take himself in passing, when he had so much to offer and a bright future ahead of him?
That is nothing I‘d like to go into or speculate in respect to his loved ones. All I can say is he left us all a legacy in his music. Don't remember him for what he did to him self, remember him for the music he made for us.
Are you spiritual?
I believe in something... you can call it God... I don't know what to call it.
When did you first hook up with Zinny Zan? And tell us what that meeting was like?
Man, I've been a Shotgun Messiah fan since the age of 18 and have a large Zinny Zan collection. YES; I AM A NERD, Ha-ha-ha.
So when I got the news he moved back to Sweden, I did my best to get in touch with him. It took a friend of mine in the US to hook us up here in Sweden. We were to perform on the Rock the Boat cruise here in Sweden, Zinny as a guest-star and I was playing with my KISS tribute band. So we finally met and man... we slept 1 hour in 2 days... partying like Animals and just bonded, right there and then we decided we had to meet at my studio to try and write something... and as you know now, it went excellent.
How did Whitesnake treat the Zan Clan when you were touring with them and are there any good stories to tell?
They were GREAT!!!! Thanks guys!!!
You are now working with Randy Piper former guitarist for WASP. How did Randy approach you in joining Animal?
I approached him. Ha-ha-ha. I contacted their management when I got my ANIMAL “900lb Steam” CD, telling them I’d remix the disc for free since I hated the sound, and hated the fact one of my heroes albums sounded that poor in production; I sent them some stuff. Then all of a sudden, Randy called me and asked me to join the band for their promo-tour for that album, but I had to turn it down. One year passed and I got a call from Pipes. I got the news that the band kind of split. I told them NO WAY, and we started working on the new disc. I think it took 6 months, and then I was on a plane to Ohio to record the album. Man, Pipes and Rich are the most underrated musicians ever, Piper’s feelings when he plays is something, I can never even get close to him and Rich’s vocals are just amazing. We had a blast.
What kind of reception are you getting from fans replacing Chris Holmes?
None so far, Ha-ha-ha. People are very nice. Right now, the fans just look forward to the new disc, and all I can say is that if you like Piper’s guitar work and good songs with a fat sound you better go get the new album, “Violent New Breed” released in April.
Have you talked with Chris at all?
No, never. But I met Blackie (Lawless) ;)
I hear Animal has a limited edition box set out right now. Can you tell us anything about that?
This is a VERY limited edition box. It was my idea to give the fans something new, and cool before the actual release. It includes 2 new tracks on a 7 picture disc vinyl, badge, sticker, pin and a signed certificate. All in a black box with a chrome ANIMAL logo. It’s only released 333 copies. Go to: www.distbox.com and buy one before its too late!!!!
Tell us about the new upcoming Animal release?
WASP-ish songs ala the first and second album but with a more modern sound... it’s still 2006 and not 1986. Name of the title, “Violent New Breed,” Release date April 2006 (Diesel & Glory).
What does the cover look like?
I have only seen some outtakes from the booklet but not the actual cover art yet, but so far it’s kind of Horror looking.
Any special guests?
Nah, we have 2 different drummers (Koleberg from ZAN CLAN and Joakim Bloohm from FREAKDOLLS) on the album and some other musicians that did that extra something to different songs and parts. But I don’t consider them special guests more like hired guns. We only wanted the best this time.
Do you sing any lead vocals on that release?
No, I didn’t, but I sing most of the background vocals.
Will Animal tour?
YES!!!! West and East Coast!!! Hopefully everywhere, right now the label is working on setting up a promoter for the release. But as it looks now we will first go to Europe and do some dates in the fall of 2006, I think.
You also did a song called “Instinct Animal” for the new Perris release “Hollywood Hairspray Vol. 5.” That song is killer. When was that written?
Since I've been asked to do a solo album and turned it down, I still felt it would be cool to maybe try my wings and just do 1 song... so me and my buddy’s went into the studio and wrote this song. It was recorded in a day, and I’m very proud to say that everything on that recording is performed by me.
Do you have any other projects in the works?
As always! A new Zan Clan disc is in the works, and a DVD, we are working on the new Crucified Barbara disc, My Curse and the forthcoming Tigertailz featuring Steevi Jaimz.