Hello everyone! Chris will be joining us at 1 p.m. ET! Keep those questions coming!
Hello everyone! I'm ready for your questions!
how long have you been doing fantasy football and who has been the MVP of your team so far?
To be honest, I hadn't played fantasy at all before Jerry Cantrell invited me to participate. I might be the novice of the whole league. But it has been fun. I've gotten schooled really quick. Jerry was pretty helpful in describing what he was getting me into. With that help, I was able to get the hang of it pretty quick.
whos your favorite football player and do you miss playing live shows ?
My favorite player is probably my starting quarterback Tony Romo! At least when he is healthy! I do miss it some. Occassionaly I've jumped out to do something but not recently. That's something that can't be duplicated very easily. But yeah, I do miss it.
Surely you've heard of God-given talent and how we're expected to share that gift with the world. Your fantasy football success not withstanding, are you ever haunted by a feeling of obligation to resume creating music for the masses, either with Queensryche or as a solo artist?
Kind words, Chris. Well, I don't know that even in the beginning I felt an obligation other than to myself to love music and write music. I still do both of those. I love music and listen to music all the time. I still write as well. As far as it being shared, that is more complex. I've continued to write a bunch of music and I have a personal obligation to my creative self that hasn't changed. Whether it will ever see the light of day in a listenable form for others ... that remains a question mark. I'd like it to happen though. I'm sure someone would appreciate a listen. It's not out of the questions.
Are you still flying, and who do I talk to about chartering a flight?
Hahaha! I am. That's my full-time gig these days. I fly a Learjet. I'd be happy to fly you! I've been to Salinas a couple times. I'm in that neck of the woods a lot.
I think many fans know you're a private pilot. Any further aspirations to get some higher ratings and fly airliners, ala Bruce Dickinson?
Yeah, I'm interested in the latest in aerospace. There are some really interesting high performance and technologically advanced aircrafts in the design and development stages right now. I'll take as new and as large as they can make them. Flying on that level has some parallels to performance. It's similar to being in a group which sounds weird I know. Writing, recording, playing live .. we set a high personal standard of perfomance for ourselves .. not meaning it had to be perfect but we prided ourselves on the effort and the technical production involved. That transfers into what I do now. There is a certain performance aspect everytime and a standard of excellence expected. It's a fulfilling experience in that sense. I get that from it. They are very polar opposite in many ways, but there is a performance aspect I always enjoy.
judas priest or iron maiden?
Wow. That's tough. I like both, a lot. I'd hate to have to choose! The world is a richer place with both in it. I could put one over the other at various time periods, but both are excellent bands and part of the evolution of Queensryche on some level. We wouldn't have been what we were without them.
What bands/artists are you listening to these days?
I really would say that my musical palette has probably expanded much wider now than ever before. I listened to a lot when I was in the band, but even more now. It's the full scope really. I listen to satellite radio a lot just because you can find such a broad range of music and it's not edited as much. I really cruise through those channels a lot and sit on a genre for some time that maybe I wouldn't hear as much otherwise. I'm listening to indie, underground, rock, you name it.
Not to just plug the Alice In Chains guys but that last record they did was really impressive. Production, sonic value, lyrics, perfomance, everything. Just incredible.
Well you ever rejoin Queensryche? They need and us the fans of heavy metal need you back BAD.
Well, I'll never say never. I don't know how likely it is though. I'm still on good terms with anyone. I didn't leave on any bad terms. We're still connected and communicating. I don't know. If we could figure it out together how to create a really great album, maybe. I wouldn't do it just to be doing it. We've gotten together a few times so I know we have the chemistry. That's not an issue. We all know we work well togethter.
Since this is fantasy football, lets go fantasy music. Name a singer, another guitarist, bassist and drummer that you'd love to be in a fantasy band with. All choices need to be people still with us today. :)
Maybe Stewart Copeland and Chris Cornell! And Geddy Lee! That would be a band!
And Chris Walla from Death Cab for Cutie! That's a great band right there.
I'd love to know what your philosophy is that came through so many of your lyrics...how would you describe your beliefs?
I think there is a cynicism in some of my music and I mean that in a good way. Trying to find a personal path of success and not allowing your destiny to be defined by others. You have to stay close to your personal compass when trying to write music. A broad answer I know. I wanted to challenge convention as well. We live in times where everyone is trying to be herded into one way of thinking. In Queensryche we were always trying to get people to challenge an advertised mode of thought. Challenge the systemic mode of thought to try and find that personal path. That's a hard thing to convey in tunes and I'm not sure we were successful or not but that was the goal.
Have you tried Geoff Tate's wine or Michael Wilton's beer?
I don't believe I've had the wine yet. I've had the beer. I do need to get some of that wine though! I would imagine he has something that would impress!
Neil Peart has written a few books. Have you thought of giving that a try too?
It hasn't popped into my mind yet. I'm not sure about that. I should read Neil's book though. I'm a real fan of that band and I know he has had some real challenges. An interesting read I'm sure. He's such an intresting guy.
where is your facebook page? lol
Don't have one, don't want on. I think there are some that have my name attached though that I have nothing to do with. I'm survived without but I do realize why it is popular. Looks like a good networking opportunity so I see why people would enjoy it. Just not for me.
Hoenstly, how do you feel about the direction Q-ryche has taken since your departure? What do they need to do to re-establish themselves as one of rock's innovators?
I would answer that my saying if they are doing what they want to do then that is great. I wouldn't agree with some of the decision-making but I don't have to make those decisions or participate.
Out of all the songs you've written, which is your favorite and why?
I really don't have a favorite. There are high points for sure. But there are many. I can find something on every release we did that was what I felt a step forward. It's hard to pick a favorite. I know people don't always believe that but it is true. Songs connect with people on a broader scale but some of that is the exposure and personal connection to the song. But I really think the full color is everything you have done. I can like a song that is 2/3 of the way done but I can't seem to finish sometimes even more than a song that worked out perfectly. From the creative side of things it is a great thing to be that excited about something that is so elusive.
Bridge took a lifetime to create ... but then all of a sudden came together quickly. It was a hard song to write because I had to live the life first to get to the song. Lucidity was like that. It didn't take long to actually write down on paper but it took a long time to get to that point. Jet City Woman was a song that took a little more time. It went through a couple forms before landing at its final spot. I'm trying to thing of the song that just didn't want to be written and was a total pain in the ass but I really don't remember any like that.
As an aside to that ... You have to have conflict in a creative group to have success ... I truly believe that. If everyone gets along too well and don't challenge each other, you don't get the same results. The conflict is really what creates the magic.
I assume you have kids. Do they like your music from back in the day or do they say "sure dad, thats really great. can I go to my room now?"
They do like it! My kids are a bit older now. We have a huge music collection so they have a lot to choose from. My daughter listens to Ella Fitzgerald and Billy Holiday. My son also listens to a wide range of music. My daughter was old enough to see some shows when I was still in the group. She was young but old enough to understand it.
How did you become interested in aviation? Have you ever been to the EEA in Appleton, WI?
I got interested in it originally from my grandfather. He flew me around in small Cessnas as a kid. But later when the band was doing lots of international travel and flying all the time, that's when I really got into it. Back in the days whe you could go in the cockpit and talk to the pilots. Can't do that now after 9-11. But it helped me to relax if I knew how these massive machines could fly. The fact I didn't understand it made it hard for me to travel that much without some stress. Some of it was just wanting to understand it all. At the time, walking into the cockpit of a 747 it looked like a recording studio! It looked so cool. I was really impressed. It reminded me of a high-tech studio just in a different way. I always really liked the high performance nature of it and just flying in general is Peter Pan type stuff.
Do you have a favorite flying destination?
Sunny, warm, tropical places. We get to those from time to time. But most of all I like flying home.
will you be coming out with your own line of guitars... signed Fan Of Degarmo
I've been approached on that. I might! I've had a couple people who make custom guitars inquire about that. I suppose if the right entity came along it would be fun to do. That's something I will put on my To Do list.
Thanks for the questions and thanks for the continued interest in what I'm up to. It's been fun. Wish me luck the rest of the way in the Fantasy Football league!