Chris Anderson is the guitarist/vocalist for Concord, CA-based metal band 40 Grit. The band just released their second Metal Blade CD, entitled "Nothing to Remember," and Chris was nice enough to answer a bunch of interview questions that I emailed to him. My questions are in bold print and his answers are in plain text.
What really struck me immediately about "Nothing to Remember" are all the beautiful chiming high-pitched arpeggios underneath the massive, thunderous chords. Having been told that this CD is more melodic than your last - and not having HEARD your last one as of yet - I'm just curious whether your debut was more of a straight nu- metal album? Or have you always been into the emotional arpeggios thing?
Well, I think we have always had that dark high-pitched melodic overtones going on. It's just with this album we focused a lot more on were and how would use them. But I feel we just stepped it up to get the best feel for "Nothing to Remember."
What does the band name mean?
40 Grit is a grade of sand paper in the US. It was also used as party slang back in the days of drinking until the morning hours. We referred to the last sip left in your 40oz of being 40 Grit.
Is "Nothing To Remember" a concept album at all? It seems like a lot of the lyrics revolve around losing a friend or lover, and the feelings of anger, depression and. more anger that come with it! Are these lyrics autobiographical?
Well, I don't know if it was set out to make a concept album but all the lyrics in this song has to do with our lives within the past 3 years. It has to do with look forward to the future and not dwelling on the bad past cause there's "Nothing to Remember."
What is "A Part of Me" about? What happened on "that day"?
Well when I wrote those lyrics I was really at wits end with Drinking and the music biz. I have been doing the same thing for the past 15 years and that was getting wasted day after day on this endless music war. I was becoming very negative on why I even continue to play music or drink my self to sleep night after night. So when I refer to "that day" that day is when I was a 12 year old kid looking at the guitar in the music store dreaming of the day I could be like the rock stars on my bedroom wall. So since I have written those lyrics I haven't had 1 drop of alcohol.
Who do you consider to be the best bands out there right now? Not just metal, but all-around? Is there anybody out there who just makes you go "wow" when you hear what they're coming up with?
Anything by Pink Floyd. They have always been my idols!
Having never recorded in a studio, I'm curious whether you find it to be conducive to creativity and energy, or an unfamiliar, cold, sterile environment from which you have to pull together your group energy to make the songs sound good?
I really love being in the studio. It's a place were you can really find yourself and let go. But I think you have to be surrounded by people that make you feel that way rather you're in a studio are driving around in a car!
This may seem like a wiseass question, but I swear it's not. I'm just very curious about little things sometimes. The band photo on your site shows three of you with short spikey hair and goatees - a very chiseled, mean look that has become predominant among metal bands during the last 10 years or so. Do you have any insight as to why the long- hair metal fashion went so "out" after being THE metal look for a good three decades? Like, at what point did the look start to appeal to you guys?
To be honest I cut my hair after I started touring (it was cut off before our first album was released!) I had long hair (and I mean long) for about 12 years. So when we started touring I watch my hair get shorter and shorter everyday! It was the most annoying thing to deal with to me. That and I just wanted a change it had nothing to do with music. That's my reasoning and I don't know about everyone else.
Do you intend to continue along the melodic route? Have you written any new songs since finishing "Nothing To Remember"?
Well yes, when we were writing the songs for nothing to remember these were only 12 out of 25 that we picked for this record. And since then we have wrote probably another 10. So we are really going to try some new stuff on the next record.
What's your opinion of the Bay Area punk scene past and present? Have you followed it at all?
Punk? You mean like Attitude Adjustment? Or RKL? I grew up listening to that everyday along with my dose of Slayer and Metallica, Death Angel and Possessed! But I haven't been to involved in the present punk scene.
What would you want to say to the readers to help convince them to buy your new CD? What do you feel makes you unique? And can folks check your music out online first?
I think the album has a lot of feeling and energy! If you are open-minded and like to hear a variety of songs I think you should pick up the CD. Also if you would like to know more info come to www.40grit.com or we'll see you on tour!
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