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Interview with Markus Allen Christopher
Vocals, Guitar

Markus Allen Christopher
Freakshow

Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: May 2009

Brian Rademacher: Hey Man whatís going on?

MARKUS ALLEN CHRISTOPHER: Been busy trying to find a good tour for FREAKSHOW to jump on.

Brian Rademacher: Howís the reception to the band and the CD?

MARKUS ALLEN CHRISTOPHER: I guess good. We get a full inbox everyday and a thousand plus views a day on the site. The fans are really digging it plus MISS CRAZY sales are up too.

Brian Rademacher: With the fan base of MISS CRAZY and support teams around the world how do they feel about FREAKSHOW taking up most of your time now? Are they hungry for new MISS CRAZY material?

MARKUS ALLEN CHRISTOPHER: I think so but at the same time we get so many new fans that donít know about our first and second releases. We get so many new fans everyday that itís kind of new to thousands of people and there are thousands of people out there that donít know about MISS CRAZY yet.
To rush in there and record new MISS CRAZY material would be out of the woodwork at this time. I just did a brand new album with FREAKSHOW, so I would say to all the fans to just buy the new FREAKSHOW album because any MISS CRAZY fan will love it. I have to focus now on FREAKSHOW and get it out to the masses. If time permits in between doing that I would love to do another MISS CRAZY CD. itís not dead in the water, I can tell you that.

Brian Rademacher: With FREAKSHOW did any of the other members say you have to remove the make-up?

MARKUS ALLEN CHRISTOPHER: No not at all, I think they were actually drawn to it. Even the make-up helps out with the name FREAKSHOW. They saw what I did with MISS CRAZY and how I handled myself and the reputation I built up as a singer and player. They all heard both records and were all into the trip I was doing. It separates me from every other band; itís like hey everyone knows who these guys are.

Brian Rademacher: You have top quality members in the band, were there any others that you wanted in FREAKSHOW?

MARKUS ALLEN CHRISTOPHER: Yeah, there were a couple names but not for drums and guitar thou. Basically (it was) for bass. Tony Franklin was in our camp, he was a big supporter of MISS CRAZY and Kimís A&R for Fender and so he did somethingís for us when we were on tour. I met him years ago through Bobby Blozter from RATT back in the day and Tony and Frankie recorded and are good friends. Listen dude, Tony Franklin is ridiculous as a bass player and the playing he does on that CD, I know his catalog pretty well, and heís done a lot of stuff THE FIRM and BLUE MURDER albums. I donít care what anyone says this is the best album Tony Franklin has ever done. Same goes with Jeff LaBar and Frankie Banali. Just like Jeff said in an interview; ĎI heard everything Frankieís done and the last LED ZEPPELIN tribute thing he did was ripping, but FREAKSHOW is the best Frankie has playedí. As far as Jeff LaBar goes, I know everything heís recorded and heís never played guitar like this.

Brian Rademacher: Wasnít it at one point you wanted Rudy Sarzo on bass?

MARKUS ALLEN CHRISTOPHER: Yeah we did, we threw his name in the beginning but it just didnít work out and weíre glad of what we have now and the album couldnít be any better. These tracks are perfect and the kind of thing you have to pinch yourself and say damn this is actually is great and Iím a part of it.

Brian Rademacher: You shopped your CD to Retrospect Records and other labels and Sam at Retrospect signed you guys. How did that work out?

MARKUS ALLEN CHRISTOPHER: This is how it went downÖ we shopped it around to different labels-to all the majors and some heavy hitter independents-and we got great responses and the weird thing about it we got like Ďoh dude itís killerí and blah, blah, blah, but when it came down to it the bigger labels have their money already invested in their artists that are already signed. A lot of labels are dumping different artists that are not what they thought. Even Clay Aiken got dropped. Labels are going through their hard times just like car companies. At these times during this recession the deals that were given to us were borderline ghetto and it wasnít that they didnít respect us, it was just budgets were tight. So we went to some independents and we decided instead of going for some lower ball advances, we decided we were going to put it out independently and do it through the independent channels of MISS CRAZY with Ronnieland and get it out to all the people. We figured we had a pretty good MISS CRAZY fan base and thought it would sell pretty well and we would feel good about it. Well the deal we had kicked ass and Cass (PR for Ronnieland Records) took it to Sam and he beat it. We were like ĎOKí and discussed his avenues and distributions and the work ethic that he was going to put forth to having the band and here we are. What I like is that Sam sticks to a main style of music and he puts his full attention to it compared to other labels that have different styles and genres.

Brian Rademacher: Were you nervous at all that Samís mainstay was re-issues and older bands? Now he has FREAKSHOW and WILDSTREET and a few others and seems to be branching out a little.

MARKUS ALLEN CHRISTOPHER: I saw that and looking through his catalog I saw bands I remember when I was a little kid and my family went to Hollywood. I remember seeing little flyers on poles and things like that and he has them on his label. I think Jeff LaBar said even his first band was with Sam. At least he understands what weíre about and knows each guy in the band and our history and I think he is happy to have us and excited about FREAKSHOW. That is cool. I really donít think it matters as long as itís a label that believes in us and has the distribution then weíre happy. Are we going to have it in Target or Wal-Mart? Probably not (laughing).

What bands really do have it there anymore unless youíre the new AC/DC or METALLICA or DEF LEPPARD youíre not going to see QUEENSRYCHE in Target or DOKKEN you really canít find LED ZEPPELIN there anymore, itís bad. Virgin Mega Stores are closing; there is no Tower Records anymore. You basically are stuck with Wal-Mart or Target. Am I wrong? Itís online (with) CD Baby or iTunes; you have to network MySpace and big websites and as much PR as possible because itís not like we got signed to a big label to shell out big money like NICKELBACK. RATT just got signed but theyíre RATT, a band that sold millions of records and have a reputation. Look at DEF LEPPARDÖ Joe Elliott is like a god to me but do you hear DEF LEPPARDís new album on the radio? HELL NO! Thatís DEF LEPPARD! You canít hear "Rock and Roll Train" by AC/DC and they sold out every arena they played. Do you hear "Back in Black" on the radio? HELL YEAH! Do you hear "Pyromania " on there? Shit Yeah. But do they play any new stuff on there? No way. Itís sad but Iím a rocker and I chose to play this music and this is what I do. Iíd rather play clubs for the rest of my life then play arenas and music I hated. To play with these guys in FREAKSHOW is an honor and 2009 doesnít kick out a lot of bands like these guys in FREAKSHOW!

Brian Rademacher: Were you intimidated at all to end up playing with these guys?

MARKUS ALLEN CHRISTOPHER: HELL YEAH (laughing)! I mean dude, for one, these guys are my heroes. Iíve seen these guys in concert when I was getting hair on my dick! I didnít even have sex yet and these dudes like Tony Franklin being in our camp are unheard of. He played with Jimmy Page and John Sykes. That kind of stuff is priceless! Jeff LaBar and CINDERELLAÖ everyone knows I love CINDERELLA. They are so up my ass I could never get them out! Damn, Frankie Banali is not even really--he is one of my best friends and the sweetest guy--but itís like I was jamming with John Bonham and thatís impossible!

Brian Rademacher: Were there any problems in the studio with egos?

MARKUS ALLEN CHRISTOPHER: (laughing) Not at all! Really you know me, I kept on my toes and try and keep up. But it was a great work ethic and Frankie and I had a great relationship. We clicked, when he flew in we didnít even go in the studio we went into my room and he listened to my rhythm and understood everything and brought more to my style.

Brian Rademacher: So what about some FREAKSHOW touring?

MARKUS ALLEN CHRISTOPHER: We are looking at what tours we can jump on and looking into other inquiries for the summer. I wanna play and also narrow down who we want to play bass for us. Itís getting close.

Brian Rademacher: Were there any songs left off the release?

MARKUS ALLEN CHRISTOPHER: No, nothing, I do have more songs but they were not recorded and I have some new ones that are ripping. I am cool with what we have now. I have enough songs ready for the next FREAKSHOW CD. I know some people doubted me but itís always been that way even with MISS CRAZY and they doubted we would tour or I would lose my voice after forty shows. The Weird thing about that was I actually thought that was going to happen, it came the 30th show and I would say shit Iím still singing and then of course you were at our 148th show we did and I was ok! You have to face the people and the doubters and you get the people in the crowd saying who the fuck does he think he is wearing make-up. fuck him, KISS already did that. So if I didnít have make-up I would be like every band out there (laughing).

Brian Rademacher: Youíre right.

MARKUS ALLEN CHRISTOPHER: Iím not a hater; I love everything from Britney Spears to Elvis, Neil Diamond and THE BEE GEES. I appreciate great songs like (the ones from) ABBA. Iím very open-minded in the fact I wear make-up and have a mystique and love Alice Cooper and KISS and the hard rockers which I love. Iím going to stick to what I love and believe in what I do and anyone who doesnít like it (hereís a) BIG FUCKING FINGER! I donít care if you wanna listen to FALLOUT BOY, then you go boy, you wanna be into the new shitty bands and I donít mind saying that because there are a ton of them out there, then you go. Thatís how it is with corporate radio. Youíre not going to hear great shit on the radio anymore unless itís on a classic rock station. The best chance of hearing a new great tune is watching Monday Night football with John Madden! The band REV THEORY is one of my new favorite bands. They kick ass dude, that singer sounds like a modern day Dee Snider and AIRBOURNE, they are pretty rad also. I also like Johnny Lima, he sound like Bon Jovi and he worked with FREAKSHOW on this last album and "MISS CRAZY II". Heís a good guy and his new CD is pretty rockiní.

Brian Rademacher: Do you stay in contact with the other members of MISS CRAZY?

MARKUS ALLEN CHRISTOPHER: Yeah I stay in touch with Chris Jordan. Kim not so much; she has some trips going on in her life and a lot of chances. She was great at what she did. Will she ever come back? I donít know, maybe so. I think it would be good for her. The misconception about what people say like Blabbermouth and Metal Sludge; all those shit talking people that always have negative things to say about a band that actually does good. But the knock on MISS CRAZY with band member changes and I must be a real asshole because no one sticks with me. You know what? itís really not that. Am I a hard worker and do I give everything I got? HELL YEAH!

Do people get put through the test when you donít have a major label or a big independent label and shelling shit loads of money and have to rough it and play every night and go here and put on a schedule, some people donít like that. Some people who played with MISS CRAZY, thought they could play with MISS CRAZY and thought they could play show after show and live it and take it in the ass as we all do. Hey man, I know other then myself, Kim and Major Tom everyone else fell past the wayside that was in MISS CRAZY. They wanted to be more popular or were jealous of Kim or me; we just wanted to develop teamwork. I would hear itís you Kim and this guy, you Kim and this and all these different things. I would say we believe in rock n roll, we believe in the make-up and these songs and we are going out to play as much as we can. Like I guy like Sketch would play with us for nine months, he would play out but he was nineteen years old and wearing thin, he was losing it, he hurt his hand, he missed his Mom, he feel in love with some girl on the road, everyone realized what they want to do and it was basically two people who wanted that and the others just wanted to be in the picture and say they were in MISS CRAZY and get their picture taken. You find out who the real ones are and what I should have been doing is what I am doing now with FREAKSHOW. Itís not about changing members, itís about do you really want it hard, do you want to play 200 shows a year. I do! Some people look at themselves and say Oh maybe Iím really not cut out to do this (laughing). The greatest thing is to go on the road and see the fans, you know that dude. you were there. I was at your house, ate dinner and watched The Raiders beat Cleveland!

Brian Rademacher: How crazy was it being on the road that long?

MARKUS ALLEN CHRISTOPHER: It was two tours in 2006 and 2007; It was rough. We went everywhere. MySpace was actually bringing people to the shows and it went 100 people, great, next time 500 people, wow, then a thousand and holy shit, we started selling out places like in Wisconsin! We went back out in 2007 and did shows and there were times we had ten hours to get to the next show and just making it and when you have a girl in the band and you know those things come along and youíre cramped with space. There were times where we all hated each other and times we were all happy. We went everywhere we could go; we broke down twice in LA and in Texas. But we upgraded and got rid of the "big dog". You know when we upgraded to a killer new van and when we played with VAINS OF JENNA they had a shitty "big dog" like we did (laughing). And I said Ďyou guys travel in thatí and they responded Ďthe fucking thing breaks down all the timeí (laughing). Those VAINS OF JENNA guys are cool dudes.

Brian Rademacher: So whatís the next step for FREAKSHOW?

MARKUS ALLEN CHRISTOPHER: Like I said we would love to go on tour. But with whom? AC/DC?, VAN HALEN? Absolutely! But will that happen? Probably not. Can we go out with somebody? Sure. Will it happen? Maybe; we all want to play. We have some good booking people and theyíll get on it and see if we can get a good package deal.

Brian Rademacher: So you have a final message for all the new FREAKSHOW fans before I let you go?

MARKUS ALLEN CHRISTOPHER: If this is the kind of music you like this CD is the obvious choice. Itís got to be one of the best new hard rock CDís out there. Iím a fan of these guys and I look at the CD as if Iím not in the band and from the responses we are getting people are digging it. We want to tour, hang out and I want to be the last one gone out of the venue; until I meet everyone. I hope everyone goes out and buys the CD and supports FREAKSHOW. Hope to see everyone out on tour. Later man.

 

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