Interview with David T. Chastain, Chastain (August 17, 2004)

1. Hi, first off I just want to congratulate you on your new album. To new  fans could your please fill us in on the history behind it all?

David T. Chastain - Thanks! We spent a great deal of time making sure everything turned out just right on this one. In regards to the history of the band.....I was shopping demos of another one of my bands called CJSS and Mike Varney liked the songs but not the band. We put together a new band that included Leather on vocals and drummer Fred Coury who later played with Cinderella. The first 5 CDs, Leather and I used different bassist and drummers who themselves went on to play with King Diamond, Alice Cooper and others. Then in 1995 I started a whole new Chastain with vocalist Kate French. This is our third CD together. On this one we had x-Vicious Rumors bassist and drummer Dave Starr and Larry Howe join the band. This is the most metal line up Chastain has had to date.

2. How has your new album been received by the media?

David T. Chastain - Response has been very positive. Everyone says we have returned to our "Chastain roots" on this one. We are happy that everyone is into it. It makes our job a little easier. With that said however...our main critics are ourselves. I am not the greatest judge of a CD until a few years down the road. I think any true classic metalhead will love the CD.

3. I know artists are not happy to categorize their music, but how would you  describe your music to an outsider?

David T. Chastain - I would say that in today's world I would describe it as progressive traditional metal. Not that far removed from bands such as Maiden, Dio, Sabbath, Priest, etc but only slightly more progressive. And of course we have a great female vocalist who can not only sing incredibly she is very sexy.

4. Where does your inspiration come from, both musically and lyrically?

David T. Chastain - For me personally the music just happens. I don't have that much control over what I write or when. If I picked up a guitar this minute I could write a song. Now whether it would be metal, blues rock, instrumental or whatever I can't say until it happens. Kate's lyrics are inspired by what happens around her.

5. What topics do you deal with in your lyrics and why?

David T. Chastain - Kate's lyrics in Chastain seem to be more of a personal experience story. They are deeply moving for her.

6. Who has produced and mixed the album, and are you pleased with the end  result?

David T. Chastain - I am the producer and as I mentioned before Christian did the mix and mastering. I think he did a great job. I believe this is the best sounding Chastain CD to date. Very metal sounding for sure. There are not many engineers in the US who know how to really mix metal.

7. Who has done the artwork? And how important do you feel it is to have a  great cover?

David T. Chastain - Travis Smith did the artwork. He always seems to do things that are a little different and that is why I enjoy his work. I just told him the CD title and asked him what he could come up with. I think it is a pretty intense cover. In regards to importance, well I have never bought a CD because of the cover. However if it sucked it might have prevented me from buying it. So it is important but not near as important as the music. I would say about a 90/10 split.

8. Do you have any touring plans?

David T. Chastain - Hopefully we will get to do some dates around the world. A short tour anywhere in Europe would be gladly welcomed. We recently shot a video for the track "Bullet From A Gun" out in Oakland, California at 880 studios and I believe it turned out great. More of a performance type of thing instead of a bunch of nutty effects. Kate is totally rocking! With a little luck maybe we can place it on some of the bigger networks and that will help in getting some bigger tours.

9. How do you feel about the co-operation with your label, and are you satisfied?

David T. Chastain - Thomas Hertler of Massacre and myself have been friends since 1995 and I think he is one of the few you can trust in the business. I believe they do a good job with their bands. Some younger bands might complain but it is only because they don't understand the music business. It is a very hard business to get ahead.

10. The internet is a very important source for many metal fans - how do you  use the internet and how important is it for you and other bands?

David T. Chastain - It is very important for all bands. Of course we have numerous sites promoting the CD and a good one is We have ads on such search sites as Google and Yahoo. We hired a company to handle internet promotions also.

We actually sold the CD one month early to eager fans at our site. A special one time deal. It seemed to work very well. The internet sort of levels the playing field in many ways.

11. How do you see the metal scene at the moment?

David T. Chastain - For true traditional metal it is the best it has been in 10 years or so. Europe and Japan are still good metal territories. Unfortunately in the US, metal is still very underground. There is a new Headbanger's Ball on MTV so that might kick in the ass a little.

12. To finish things off - could you pls. make a all-time Top 5 or sort of the 5 most important albums in your opinion?

David T. Chastain - In no particular order:

  • Black Sabbath - Heaven And Hell

  • Iron Maiden - Somewhere In Time and Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son

  • AC/DC - Highway To Hell

  • Dio - Holy Diver

  • Dream Theater - Images And Words

  • Metallica - Masters Of Puppets

Of course if you asked me this question tomorrow it would be different.

A huge thanx to David for this very insightful interview, and all the best to him and Chastain. Once more I have say TAK to Claus (Intromental) - you rock brother ...

Chastain - In An Outrage

Album on Massacre Records.

Click on the album cover to see more info on Chastain.