Dave: Hi Mike. I appreciate the chat. Let's look at the album. I have had it now for about a couple of months. There is a review up for it.
Mike: Yeah, I think we used something from you in one of our press sheets.
D: Yeah, it was actually a quote from the Ultrasound coverage I did for the 2001 convention. I was curious when the album was released.
M: It came out February 15th of this year.
D: So it has been out for a while.... about 6 or 7 months now. I was wondering with this album how far back the album goes from a writing standpoint. The band has been together since 1999. Did you start the writing for it at that time??
M: Well, the way we actually got together was that I ran into Jimi, the other guitar player/singer at a Megadeth concert. We had known each other from around town and it just so happened that both of our bands had disbanded right before that. I have a studio about a block away from the concert hall that Megadeth was playing and I brought Jimi over to the studio after the Megadeth show and we just started writing. We wrote a tune and recorded a pre-production tape of it. From there we have been writing ever since.
D: So did that first track make the album??
M: Yeah, it did. It was 'Even now'.
D: That's really cool. A lot of bands write material early on that eventually gets scrapped. That's great that it made the disc.
M: Yeah, we actually did scrap a couple of things.
D: Something about the band that everyone has a hard time figuring out is who the influences are or even better yet, who you guys sound closest to. What do you think??
M: Well, as far as influences go, Jimi and T.C., the bass player are big into UFO and Michael Schenker. I am kind of like the Angus Young and AC/DC type of thing. The drummer is a jazz guy. He likes progressive jazz. We all like Dream Theater type of stuff. Not that you hear it in our stuff though.
D: I guess what I am really looking for is who you think you sound like from a style standpoint. Your influences are definitely cool and I'm sure in some form or another they are there even if not as evident.
M: That's a tough one. We really like everything. Everyone in the band except for me is at the Rush concert tonight. I would say Rush is a big influence. We like bands like Boston, UFO, the Scorpions, Michael Schenker... actually everything he ever did.
D: When I listened to it I thought of bands like Arcade, Stephen Pearcy of Ratt's second major project. Some people may of said Ratt, but I don't necessarily see that in it. Arcade is a bit different than Ratt and a bit better fit in my opinion. I also hear a track or two that has a bit of Nugent's guitar sound which is cool. There is also some obvious Aerosmith in there as well.
M: Yeah, we all love Aerosmith.
D: Aerosmith really have become legendary for sure. I really think there are a lot of sounds in there which is why you guys are really hard to nail down in comparisons. I was looking at the website recently and apparently the disc is selling relatively well. Where can the fans find the release from a distribution perspective??
M: Right now Tower Records, you can get it online right off of our website. With Tower we have local distribution. I'm not sure about anything outside of Pheonix with them. We are also trying to get into Best Buy as well. Overall, it's online for national and we have a localized distribution going on around Phoenix.
D: Talk a bit about the scene in Phoenix right now.
M: There are alot of bands here right now. There are also alot of clubs. What I like about Phoenix is that you get paid to play here. You may not get much, but you still get something. For a while we were doing shows that were actually costing us to play. We had to bring the sound in. By the time your done you get the door but you make just enough to pay the sound guys. The scene is actualy pretty good. I run a studio here and you see all kinds of stuff coming and going from Hip Hop to Hardcore an everything in between.
D: I think Dave (Tedder) said something about you running a studio.
M: Yeah, we actually did the record here.
D: Now isn't the studio online??
D: I wanted to ask a kind of two part question. The first part is what do you think of the current music industry??
M: I like the independent end of the industry. The whole being able to do everything yourself, put out your own record, sell your own record. It's a wonderful thing not reaaly needing any backing from a major label or record company. I like being able to record the music ourselves and sell it ourselves.
D: I agree on the freedom of your own creativity for sure. That really does bring me to the second part in a way. So at this point what would it take then for a band like Chain Link Faith to impact the current scene.
M: That is a tough question. We would like to definitely spread past the Phoenix area here. What we would definitely need is some commerical money (laughs). There goes the first part of the question (laughs). You would definitely need some promotional money to get some distribution in the areas we plan on touring. We would like to do the Western United States, California, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, that kind of thing.
D: Speaking of touring, I would guess that you are just doing a lot of local touring. How far out are you gigging right now??
M: Well, the farthest we have gone out right now is Ultrasound.
D: Okay, so basically Los Angeles.
D: I think Dave will probably be doing Ultrasound again in 2003. I guess you would be in for that??
M: Yeah, we're definitely in for that.
D: So where would you like to see the record go??
M: Right now I would like to sell out of it and order a couple of thousand more and sell out of those (laughs).
D: Okay, so I guess that qualifies as the easy question. Kind of a no brainer.
M: We have maybe one box left of the record right now.
D: How many did you initally press??
M: We pressed a thousand and there might be fifty or sixty left.
D: You guys really are doing pretty good then.
M: Yeah, it's not doing too bad. We sold most of them at the shows and stuff like that. We do have a local distribution thing going on through like most of the record stores in town. They sell moderately through there. We are getting ready to do another pressing. We are actually working on the second album right now. We just wrote two songs for it over the last weekend.
D: So what kind of a projection would you have for releasing the second album then??
M: Probably February of next year. We are gonna try to keep them about one a year.
D: You know, that's how it used to be. Bands would release an album a year. Since then things have gradually spaced farther apart. Now you wonder if some bands will ever release.
M: We really have a plethora of songwriters in the band so there is no shortage of songs. It's who has the best song gets to do it next.
D: Now that you mention that, I would like to point out the diversity in songwriting on the album. You can here the wealth of various songwriters in the music and that adds an extra dimension. Bands like AC/DC have there groove going in one area of writing and you can always tell who the band is, but this was a bit different. I would like to say that I am a big AC/DC fan as well and I am only pointing this out for comparison in song structure. Out of curiosity, who are you listening to now??
M: Right now I have Megadeth in the car. Where I run a recording studio, I listen to everyone that comes through more than anything else. As far as the bands in my cd player, there is Megadeth and Dream Theater. Dave Tedder actually turned me on to Towne Cryer XXI.
D:Those guys are good!
M: Their production just rocks!
D: Now you are talking about Pandemic right. The new disc is under Pandemic, but they used to go by Towne Cryer XXI.
M: Yeah, I'm sure that is what this is. That album is dynamite as is the production. I remember seeing them at the first Ultrasound and they were dynamite!
D: Well, I think we're ready to wrap up. How about some parting thoughts for the fans.
M: You mean we have some?? (laughing)
D: I sure hope so! (laughs) You guys should, you're pretty good!
M: Okay, keep buying the record! (laughs) Really, thanks to everyone that is buying the record and supporting the band. Look for the next one 'cause it's coming out soon.
D: It's been fun Mike, thanks again!
M: Thanks Dave!