Brown, Chris (Ghost Circus) (May 2007; Part 1B)

Inside The Big Top: An Interview With Ghost Circus' Chris Brown

Read Part A

JT: I've actually now gotten to sample their newest material and they're pretty much back to where they left off with him.

CB: Really?

JT: Maybe a little bit heavier. Maybe innovative in its own way, and in many cases, Nick D' Virgilio, his singing sounds like Neal. So, I have to wonder if Neal was doing some guest vocals there or something along those lines.

CB: You know, I've kind of poo-pooed Spock's Beard's stuff since Neal left, because it's been sort of neigh. Uh, that's the best way I can put it. Musically, yeah, they still play their asses off and that's great, but you know, that'd be great if Nick's really coming into his own. I've really wondered if that's what a lot of it is, just that transition period, because Genesis didn't after Rutherford, or not Rutherford, but after Hackett and Gabriel and those guys left, it took them a couple albums really to get to that foundation of what the three of them could do.

JT: Right.

CB: They weren't writing "Mama" and "That's All" right off the bat.

JT: Right, right.

CB: It took them a little while to make the adjustment and make the change, so I think it'd be great if they've done it, and the samples I've heard from it sound really good, and like you said heavier. It's like they're really letting Alan loose, is what it feels like, which is what I think needed to happen.

JT: Yeah, that's definitely what I can hear now.

CB: Yeah 'cause Alan's really, you know? I talk like I know these people. I've listened to their music so much. I just connect to it, and Alan as a guitar player, he's one of the more unique voices out there, and he's just got a whole otherworldly approach to it. I doubt that it's a schooled approach, but hey, I'm self taught, too. So, is Billy Sheehan. [He laughs.] What does it matter for anything? It would be great if he's really stepping up to the plate, man. He's got some interesting things to say with the instrument. So, it's great if he's really kind of coming up there.

JT: Right, well, you know, speaking of Spock's Beard, they're actually headlining the Rites of Spring Music Festival next year. [This is my attempt at changing the subject in the most subtle of ways.]

CB: Aha.

JT: Would your band be interested in playing a festival? Would that be a good place to start off, kind of to showcase your material?

CB: In a word, hell-yeah. You know, seriously, if we could get? Whenever we get a live thing going, I mean. You've got to realize [that] in order to put together a Ghost Circus live show, first off we'd have to have the material, which we are working on that right now. I'd want to have enough to really have a good balance and chill. I think with the amount we've got right now, we'd come in at about 50 minutes worth of music, 51 minutes, something like that on Cycles, and we'd pretty much have to play the whole album [he laughs] to fill in an hour, hour and a half or so. And you know, that's, I don't know, I'm not big on going up and playing an entire first record. That's kind of weird. So, I'd like to have material to pick and choose from, stuff that really feels like a good live track 'cause I don't know if like "The Distance" would be a great live track. You know what I mean?

JT: Yeah.

CB: Maybe down the road when people are used to it being, they're used to the song and we can strip it down a little bit, that would be a fun one to do. But I like to have songs with real heavy-duty energy, enough to really pick from, to really keep a crowd interested. And you know, to put the band together, we have done the math and what it will take, me and Ron both playing different instruments. You know, Ron would play the guitar and keyboard. I would play mostly guitars and sing, maybe play a little bit of bass on something just for fun. Basically, do the frontman thing, and then we'd have to have a guitar player, a dedicated guitar player, a keyboardist who also plays guitar, a bassist, and a drummer in order to really pull off a decent Ghost Circus live show. And then it's just a matter of teaching these people the parts, because I don't know if you've checked out the full-on production of that record, but I'm big on layering guitar parts.

JT: Right.

CB: The Ghost Circus sound, so much of it, comes from what I call texture guitar. It seems like keyboards underneath, but it's not. I know how to do it live. It's just finding a guitar player who will stand to be bored to tears. [He laughs.]

JT: Right, right. [I laugh.]

CB: [He laughs more.] Play a bar chord and hold it out through the reverb. Bar chord. [He laughs.] Hold it out through the reverb.

JT: {I laugh in a sinister fashion here.} That's funny.

CB: That sort of thing, but they'd be able to switch gears and do like three-part harmonies with me. It's that kind of stuff. That the sort of discipline that it takes. I understand the discipline completely. I'm the one that plays it. So, you know, and we're really getting to the part now where Ron and I are starting to do a lot of those harmony things together. We've already started working on the next album. We're doing the instrumental first and we've already got some stuff going that's just going to be absolutely fantastic in a live environment.

JT: Okay.

CB: So, we're working on stuff that's more geared to play live. Yes, we planned out the other stuff, but something like "The Distance" is so orchestrated, it can really come off sounding a little bit weird live, I think. So, I'd rather have enough material from about two albums to pick and choose. Plus, there's no point in playing if nobody knows who you are. You know what I mean?

JT: Yeah.

CB: Okay, I've never liked the idea of sticking a band as an opener for like a four-band deal. Nobody shows up for them. Most of those bands, yeah, you hear about the ones now and then who rise up through the ranks and do great, but then again, most of those bands kind of fall off into obscurity.

JT: Right.

CB: Thinking back to the very first concert I ever saw. Very first concert I ever saw was back in '89. I think when R.E.M. put out the Green album.

JT: Oh, really? That's good.

CB: Yeah, they played in Knoxville. They played at Thomson-Bowling Arena, and the opener was a band called Pylon. Um, Pylon had a small cult following in the alternative scene at the time, and everybody thought, wow, you put Pylon as the opener for R.E.M. when they're really breaking out and playing arenas. That'll do a lot for them? It didn't do a damn thing for them.

JT: Oh yeah?

CB: Even to this day, nobody knows who Pylon is.

JT: Right.

CB: The only thing I remember about them is they did one song standing on folding chairs. [He laughs.]

JT: Yeah, yeah.

CB: You know, so develop at least a few people who are there to see you. That's kind of my thing, and remember I do come from sort of the idea of the Heavy Metal world where a lot of bands come from Europe, you know, they play small clubs over there and do their thing that way, you know, doing a little circuit. They don't bother coming to America until there's a reason to come to America.

JT: Right.

CB: You know, I mean, even the bigger bands. You look at Opeth. It took Opeth forever to get over here. But, when they got over here, it was damn well worth it, you know.

JT: Right.

CB: So, that's sort of my mentality. We're not in a business where we have major label money giving us big advances. None of us. None of the bands that are in this end of the business.

JT: Yeah.

CB: You've got to pick and choose your spots man. That's my thing from a business perspective, and this is a business. We do look at it that way.

JT: Have you seen Dream Theater on their latest tour? Now they actually do have the backing. It's like one of the few bands in the genre that I can say that about. It's unbelievable. They have the production. They have the music. They've got the light show. They've got everything. They've got the full package. I mean, it was, the last time around that I saw them, it was incredible.

CB: Oh yeah, I've seen the DVD.

JT:The Score DVD?

CB: I'm not much of a concert person, believe it or not. [I laugh.] I'm just not. I like big shows. I like to go to big shows. Then again, around here we don't get much. Um, it's Nashville. It's the Country industry. There are very few promoters who want to bring anything here. You know, I think the closest thing to Prog that we actually get here, when Yes and Rush tour, we get them, and when Transiberian Orchestra is touring. That's really about it. We don't get Spock's Beard. Neal Morse, the only way I ever saw Neal Morse was cause he did an in-store at Tower back when Testimony came out.

JT: Sure.

CB: It's that sort of thing. We don't get, you know, Enchant is never going to play Nashville. You know, Marillion's never going to come here. It's that sort of thing. So, I don't really get a chance to go out and see this kind of music. I mean, it'd be great, and now I'm really ticked off, because Frost* broke up, so now I don't get to see Frost*. [He laughs.]

JT: Oh yeah.

CB: They were one of my favorites. I kind of had this great vibe going on. Frost* came out and Riverside's come out and Ghost Circus. It's kind of like this new wave of Progressive Music, you know, the young guys kind of coming in. We can all rally together; hoorah sort of thing.

JT: Right.

CB: Then all of a sudden Frost* breaks up. It's like, great, strongest unit in the bunch just decided to call it quits.

JT: Supposedly, they had the second album ready to go.

CB: Argh. Well, uh, I don't know. I have my opinions of what that's all about and it's probably very much a business thing for Jem Godfrey, but you know, it's just a shame. I mean, I really enjoyed that album. My wife hates that album. [He laughs.] I love it.

JT: She hates it?

CB: She's one of the few people that I've talked to who hates Frost*, because she thinks the vocals are over-processed, which they are a bit overdone. I'll say that. They're a bit overdone, but still it doesn't get in the way of the music. The music is fantastic.

JT: Since we've covered almost every song on your album, I feel kind of compelled to cover the remaining two?

CB: Okay.

JT: I think you said earlier that "Trick Of The Light," and I can obviously hear this, it's got a Genesis influence to it. Is the name "Trick Of The Light" a play on "Fading Lights" and "Trick Of The Tail"?

CB: No.

JT: No?

CB: Interesting story about that song. When we had just the music for it, alright? that's the way that we do stuff. We do the music and do it all the way. We produce it and do all that stuff, and then I come in and I write the lyrics and then do the vocals on top of it. That's why everything, if you noticed with the lyrics combined with the music, everything, meters very, very well. That's why. I did the lyrics last. When we originally had that, what I was envisioning, because of some of the creepy sounds on that, was basically a Prog horror piece. I was thinking like what if you take the King Diamond idea, but just kind of smoothed it out and didn't put the falsetto vocals on it.

JT: Sure.

CB: It was originally going to be about some guy who flipped out and kills his girlfriend and buries her in the woods. [He laughs menacingly.]

JT: Wow.

CB: Very Un-Ghost Circus really when you look at it. This is why bad ideas die. [we laugh and I think 'no pun intended'] But anyway, it was going to be like that, and I was struggling, because to come up with a story like that and make it tangible and make it actually work, make the vocals come across right, it's just a pain in the butt. I mean, there's a reason that King Diamond is one of the only people in the business that does that sort of thing. 'Cause he's good at it, and we'll just let King keep on doing that.

JT: Right. [We laugh.]

CB: With Ghost Circus, I don't think we'll go into that territory, but it had a Genesis vibe, and I think part of it came from the Genesis thing. Cause if you get into Phil Collins' lyrics, yeah, he comes off like, you know, "I'm just a little average man, very harmless, small, sort of short, kind of guy. I'm a great drummer even though most people don't know it," you know?

JT: Yeah.

CB: That kind of thing. But if you read those lyrics, he has a twisted mind.

JT: Yeah.

CB: And the fact that he sings it so nonchalantly makes it even more twisted, and I'm not just talking about a song like "Mama." What comes to my mind is like, oh, what's the one? Is it "Abacab" or is it? um, oh, "Turn it On Again." That's the one. I was just thinking about this the other day. "Turn it On Again" sounds like a happy little "up" [song], you know, sounds great live, getting the crowd into it. It's about a stalker.

JT: Oh, really? [Reminds me of The Police's "Every Breath You Take"]

CB: The song is about a guy who is obsessed with a woman on television, and he's a stalker. It's that sort of stuff. I wanted that kind of vibe with it, you know what I mean?

JT: Yeah?. [I say this in an unsure manner.]

CB: So, the original idea just didn't pan out. So, I just thought, you know, it was the last song that needed lyrics. I just kind of looked at the themes of the rest of the album. I went at it from the perspective of why don't we, instead of that, why don't we sing it about basically the same kind of theme. We'll talk about the kind of person that starts out very meager, gains some success, and then becomes basically a pastor. Okay, 'cause the song moved in three stages. Alright, you have the really, really soft part at the beginning, and then you've got the part where it sort of builds. Not only does it build musically, you know, overall, it builds kind of in confidence as the song goes, and then at the end, when I come in with the crazy guitar stuff, with the metal stuff, then it just sort of implodes, and you know, it goes haywire. So, I thought, why not take that, and put it in the stages of a person like that's life. Start off with an individual who is sort of a very meager kind of person, you know, very unsure of himself, feels that his best days are behind him, but then he gets a little confidence and sort of goes into, he figures he needs to do something about himself. So, then we go onto the second phase where he's kind of overcoming that. [Hmm, sounds a lot like Testimony up to this point.] He starts to get a little bit more like things going for him kind of thing, and then we get to the last stage where he's actually gotten his success, but unfortunately it all backfires on him, and he's become? he stepped on everybody that, you know, was helping him before and ignores everyone that has come before him, just trounces on people. He becomes very withdrawn.

JT: Is that what that line, "Climbing so high to fall so low"? Is that what that epitomizes?

CB: Yeah, that's it. That's why I end it with that.

JT: Okay.

CB: And not only that, I wanted to sing it in character. That's why I've taken a lot of ribbing from people, every time that they play it. Most people seem to really like that song, but when they hear the first part, they say, "Did you remember to give Phil Collin's his voice style back?"

JT: Ha, ha, ha, yeah.

CB: But, I wanted to sing it from that kind of meager way. Then gain a little confidence. So, I did a layered vocal thing on the second one, and then go full-on, balls-out, sort of James Hetfield-ish Metal sort of thing at the end. You know, just a complete bastard. So, [he laughs] that's it. I mean, that's the way that song sort of evolved from being a Steven King-esque horror thing all the way up to being the credibly classy Genesis rip-off that it is now.

JT: Yeah, it's kind of the funny, the story that you tell me about, how they had warped ideas and stuff, because I did get the opportunity one time to talk with Steve Hackett, and I remember him talking about that song "Blood On The Rooftops." And it was a weird explanation I remember.

CB: Yeah.

JT: But--

CB: But the kind of stuff that starts off as one thing and becomes another.

JT: Exactly, yeah.

CB: Aha.

JT: Now I would probably say my favorite song on the album is that, "Trick Of The Light." Which song would you say is your favorite or makes you the most proud or just was the most work?

CB: I don't have one.

JT: It's hard to choose one?

CB: I mean, honest, the closest you could come to it, the "Mass Suggestion" stuff, just because I think that's more the direction that we're going to be going in.

JT: Oh, okay.

CB: As far as song length and stuff like that. We caught a little bit of flack from people for things not being, for not having necessarily overly long songs on there. Some people are saying, "Well, the song quit just when you were getting going."

JT: Yeah.

CB: Well, we wanted to balance that out. We want to balance that out. You've got your longer pieces and you've got your shorter pieces. Think about Rush, okay?

JT: Right.

CB: Look at Rush and you look back on their career. Yeah, they're Progheads, the first thing that pops in their mind is "2112." Alright, that's it.

JT: Right.

CB: Alright, but most people, ask most people, when you say Rush, and for people who have actually heard them, the first thing that comes to their mind is "Tom Sawyer."

JT: Right, that's what I was thinking.

CB: A cute little four minute song.

JT: Right.

CB: You know, I'm all for going for a combination of both. On the next one, I can guarantee you, because we're in the middle of writing it. There will be a 25-minute-plus epic on the next one.

JT: Oh, really?

CB: Yes.

JT: I kind of like that too, because for me, when a song ends and there's that pause, and then you have to start all over again, and then you've got to build momentum. I mean, I actually like the longer songs cause then you can kind of just stay immersed in them for, like you said, 25 minutes or so.

CB: Yeah.

JT: For me, 25 minutes is the proper length of a song, but if you ask most people, they say 4 minutes.

CB: Right, well, it just depends on the style of song that you're really trying to write. You know, we wanted to bring a sort of, god I hate to say this term, it's like a pop sensibility to Prog-type music

JT: Right.

CB: Which a lot of our influences did, only modernize it. You know, don't just tread over the same old ground. Same with Pink Floyd. I mean, let's face it, Dark Side Of The Moon really is meant to be listened to as one piece.

JT: Right.

CB: And Wish You Were Here, Animals, all those are meant to be listened to as one piece, but people take little bits and pieces of it. That's why the only Floyd song that everybody on earth knows is "Another Brick In The Wall," which is really, if you look at it as an individual song, it's one of their weakest. [I don't know if I would agree with this statement, but I think we all get the point.] You look at Enchant. I've yet to see Enchant do, you know cause you mention them, I've yet to see them do any long epic or anything.

JT: Right.

CB: Same with one of my favorite Prog bands that nobody ever talks about, Everon. Do you ever listen to Everon?

JT: You know, I know a lot of bands. I don't know if I'm familiar with that one.

CB: Aw, look ?em up. They've got, I think, six albums out now. They're from Germany, and they are one of the most unique bands out there as far as their overall sound. I think they're wonderful. The only problem they have is they are insanely one-dimensional on their lyrics. They have six albums. They're all about failed relationships.

JT: Oh, they are?

CB: I'm not shitting you at all. [I laugh] They're about failed relationships.

JT: Well, that's like Top 40 music or whatever.

CB: No, this is like, let's take a bad love song, you know as far as? I don't mean a bad love song, you know, something about love gone bad.

JT: It's like a Country song almost.

CB: Yeah, and make an entire album about it. [He laughs.]

JT: Well, maybe that's Country.

CB: Yeaaah, it's something like that.

JT: Progressive Country.

CB: Only it gets into the microcosmic little details of what goes wrong in a relationship. [I laugh]

JT: Stole my toothbrush or something?

CB: Oh god, it's down to that level, it really does, and it gets a little unnerving, and it's great if you're in one of those spaces. I've not been in one of those spaces in a long time. So, I'm a fortunate man. I've not been in one of those spaces in awhile.

JT: That's good.

CB: But yeah, they're worth checking out. I mean, just to hear their music.

JT: It's like the Dr. Phil of Progressive Rock.

CB: I highly recommend the album Venus. Venus is the one.

JT: Venus is the one?

CB: Venus is the name of the album that you need to listen to.

JT: Okay, I'll check that out.

[Talking with the band, they recommend their later albums and say a new one, their best to be, is currently in the works. - JT]

CB: But, anyways, we've gone over "Trick Of The Light," um, what other songs?

JT: I was just about to say, as a matter of symmetry, we haven't talked about "Accelerate" really.

CB: Mmm? "Accelerate" is really based on the American experience. It really is. If you sit down and read the lyrics to the chorus, I literally tried to take all those words, and put them in chronological order for the way that a life tends to go in this country and as it's shaping in this world nowadays. Everything is going at a faster pace, and it's all in order to repeat the same old things and to basically live your life trying to get a bigger SUV than your neighbor has.

JT: Right. [This makes me think of Borat competing with his neighbor for social stature. For some, I guess it's a concrete step, a pane of glass, a clock radio, or an iPod Mini that differentiates the classes.]

CB: It's that kind of thing, and as you get into it, that's why I do it so cold. It's sort of a cold way that I come across in the chorus. It's because, um, so much of it is: yeah, great, you got married and you had kids and all that stuff, but you only had kids because, you know, it's what's they expected of you, and you know, you had three kids because the guy down the street had two, you know. And you're just going to raise them to be little bastards like yourself.

JT: I see, yeah.

CB: It's the whole consumerism thing. As you can tell, I don't really fall into? I'm not a socialist by any stretch of the imagination. I'm all for capitalism. Capitalism is wonderful, but all things in moderation, and we have lost all sense of moderation.

JT: Yeah.

CB: Because of advertising. Because of competition. The one thing that capitalism breeds is how far does the competition go? How far, how much is enough until you stop? And, we're getting into this thing. I hate to bring this up, but you wouldn't happen to be a fan of wrestling, would ya? Pro-wrestling?

JT: Well, I'm not a fan of pro-wrestling, but I'm a fan of Olympic-style wrestling.

CB: Okay, I'm a fan of pro-wrestling. [He laughs.] I'm into it from the business end of stuff. I follow it, because it's like following the entertainment industry, but in a microcosm.

JT: Yeah.

CB: It's like everything that can possibly happen, but it happens a lot faster, and on a daily basis there in that business.

JT: Right.

CB: It's cutthroat and very ugly, but I'm one of those people that I know the storylines and go ahead of it. So, I just watch in order to see how well people execute it. But, there's one thing that Vince McMahon was talking about once with ECW. I don't know if you know what ECW was. ECW came about in the mid-nineties. They were a wrestling federation out of Philadelphia, and whereas all the others were still doing, you know, the basic bumps, you know. Everybody would do suplexes and simple wrestling moves and all that, these guys were really getting in there and cutting each other open with cheese graters, and jumping off of, you know, jumping through tables and hitting each other with chairs in the head, and this is on a nightly basis, and that really caught on, that kind of hardcore wrestling. They do it over in Japan, only they do it a little bit different. It's a little more extreme in Japan. [That's hard to believe]

People really do get hurt in this stuff. It's not uncommon for people to get really messed up.

JT: Yeah.

CB: And, it got popular. The WWF started, which they're WWE now, but at the time they were WWF. They started to have their own hardcore division. They kind of had to put a cap on it. 'Cause it's like Vince said, alright, you've seen the match with somebody jumping off a 20-ft ladder going through four tables, landing on people, yada, yada. What's next? A 40-ft ladder.

JT: Right.

CB: What's next after that? Okay, what you want somebody to jump off the Empire State Building. How far do you go with it?

And I think that we're really at that point where we need to stop and question ourselves and say, how much further do we take this? How much more competition can we really handle and that's? so much of it is what "Accelerate" is all about, because we just seem to be spiraling down faster and faster, faster into the abyss of it, and I don't see any real signs of stopping.

JT: Yeah.

CB: You know, as media becomes bigger, as it becomes more saturated in people's lives, we're practically to the point where you can wear media all-around, which means that they can push advertising constantly.

JT: True, yeah.

CB: And that's all that they do. Everything anymore is just an advertisement for something else.

JT: Did you see Talladega Nights?

CB: No.

JT: 'Cause there is a joke in there where he's sold all the space on his car for advertisement. He then sells the windshield. So, he's driving with a Fig Newton sticker on his windshield. [Chris laughs] He says, "I can't see too well, but boy do I love these Fig Newtons."

CB: Exactly. [We both laugh] Well, that's perfect. That's a perfect analogy. NASCAR is a great analogy for it. 'Cause, I mean, they have done everything. Being an old southerner myself, I was born -- I may not sound like it, but I am -- I was born in Georgia. I've lived in the south all my life. I'm from Savannah, Georgia, so that's about as real-south as you can get. The whole NASCAR thing, it used to be rednecks driving fast and turning left and smoking cigarettes. Alright, that really is all that it was.

JT: Right.

CB: But they found out that the more you take away the redneck element, your entire basic fan base, some more people want to come out and see it. And that's what they've done. They have sanitized [it]. They've taken something that once upon a time was fun to watch and sanitized it, and it's no fun at all.

JT: Right.

CB: Hockey is getting that way. The NHL is getting that way.

JT: All sports basically.

CB: Well, no, football keeps getting worse, and basketball. Everybody's carrying guns in basketball. Did you see where David Stern actually put out a memo to people, to the players to not carry their guns with them to games?

JT: Oh my lord. Are you serious?

CB: I'm very serious.

JT: Wow, that's strange.

[Whatever was issued, memo or just a statement, it was in response to Steven Jackson reportedly firing shots outside a strip club? -ed.]

CB: Every other sport, it's like they, it's funny, because all the sports that everybody thought of as the clean, pure sport: baseball and football, all of a sudden, they ride high on people getting arrested, on people doing steroids. Come on! Let's face it. They put all that stuff on TV so much that it becomes a part of the game, and people come out to and buy tickets, just to come to a baseball game, so they can boo a pitcher that's on steroids. Either way, they've bought a freaking ticket, okay.

JT: Aha.

CB: It's advertising. It's all advertising. There's no such thing as bad press.

JT: Well, you know what's weird about you saying that is that it's turning out that one of the cleanest sports is actually like no-holds-barred ultimate-fighting.

CB: Yeah.

JT: Those are actually the nicest people.

CB: Very true.

JT: That's the funniest thing about it now at this point.

CB: Very true. Pro-wrestling is getting that way, too. Pro-wrestling is actually turning around. After the Eddie Guerrero incident when he died in his hotel room. It finally took somebody on-the-road dying for them to wizen up and say, hey, maybe we should have a wellness policy, and maybe people shouldn't be doing all these steroids.

JT: Right. Right.

CB: You know, and that's gotten them cleaned up, and what's been funny is you've gotten to watch people shrink.

JT: Yeah.

CB: It's incredible. There's a guy named Chris Masters, and his whole gimmick was he was "The Masterpiece," because he had this bodybuilder physique, and he had this really little head. Okay, I mean, his head is really small. [I laugh] He would come out, and he got suspended because of a wellness violation.

JT: Huh.

CB: This didn't say what it was, but he was gone for five weeks. Came back, had to have lost at least 30-lbs of muscle.

JT: Oh wow.

CB: I shit you not. His head hadn't fit his body. So, that's proof that, yes they are doing something, and those guys really, some of them are assholes, but a lot of them are really decent human beings in regular life, especially the bigger guys. The bigger they are, usually the nicer they are.

JT: Who was that guy who used to wear that mask? He was the animal or the manimal. What was the guy?

CB: Which one?

JT: He was more of a play off that Hannibal Lector thing?

CB: Oh, Mankind, you're talking about Mick Foley.

JT: Yeah.

CB: Mick has done a few more matches. When I was talking about hardcore, Mick is the king of that stuff. Mick was the man who put that stuff on the map for America. Originally, you go back to the seventies and you had Rick Flair and Terry Funk and those guys kind of did it a little bit, and did it in the eighties. The Japanese caught on to it, and first they started imitating Lucha Libre out of Mexico with the High-Flyers, but the Japanese culture being what it is, um, they took it in a more extreme direction. They started having stuff like the barbed wire matches and stuff like that where in Japan they would actually string the ring up with barbed wire instead of rope.

JT: Wow.

CB: You would have boards that had barbed wire and broken glass all over them, and your entire point was to bodyslam your opponent into that. Mick Foley did all that stuff. He got his entire arm, he got second-degree burns on his entire left arm. In fact, there are photos of it. If you ever get his book, Have A Nice Day, it's really worth the read. And he burnt his entire arm because they had what they called exploding C4 matches. And do you remember when Metallica had that incident where James Hetfield was too close to a pyro thing and it went off and it burned his arm?

JT: Yeah, I remember that, yeah.

CB: Same thing happened to Mick, but it happened in a match. He still worked that night. Okay, that's the kind of person that Mankind really was. I don't think he ever missed anything, and he has had more injuries than anybody that I can think of. [How about Jackie Chan?] [Or Evil Knievel? -ed] Honestly, even more than Terry Funk, but yeah, I can go on forever about wrestling?

JT: [I'm thinking of a polite way to get this back on track.] You know, it's kind of funny. It's just occurred to me that we're conducting an interview here. [I laugh] About music. [He laughs] Now we're talking about sports and wrestling and this and that, and I try to kind of like see, like when I'm talking to an artist, where some of their influences are coming from. I let them kind of go off in different directions, and I kind of try to bring things back. At the same time, you're such a good conversationalist; it's easy to talk about this stuff. Just to kind of get back on track, just a little bit, let's talk a little bit more about some of your music and stuff, and then we can kind of wrap up. Later on if you want to keep talking, we can kind of keep the communication channels open if you want to tell me about your new albums or just shoot the breeze or whatever.

Part Two of this interview can be found at USA Progressive Music and Part Three [used to be] at [but is no longer because Prog4You is no longer -ed.]

Cycles (2006)
Across The Line (2008)

Added: May 6th 2007
Interviewer: Joshua "Prawg Dawg" Turner

Artist website:
Hits: 4271
Language: english

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