Poot: First and foremost, we want to thank you and all the guys in Mass Punishment for your service to our great country! First question - metal comes in many different forms and has many different labels. How would you describe your style of metal?
Chris: Thank you so much for having me and supporting Mass Punishment. I greatly appreciate it. For a long time I would answer that question as "we are just metal". But our critics and fans have narrowed it down from that broad moniker to Thrash and Groove which I find is very fitting.
Poot: How did you get started as a band? Were any of you guys in bands prior to Mass Punishment?
Chris: The four of us are seasoned veterans in the music scene. I've been in "Guitar driven industrial bands in the past going back to '94. Erick was the singer in another metal act from '02-'08. Ferg has been in so many bands from the early '90's and presently plays guitar in another metal band as well. Brian is not only a natural at the drums but also schooled in Drum Corps where he played center snare. He too is also presently playing in another hard rock band. But I assembled this lineup over the past 6 years. My cause was due to what I experienced in service and more specific in combat.
Poot: We are huge fans of “Proving Grounds Vol. 1” What was the recording process like?
Chris: Thank you for the love and support,I'm very humbled by everyone's acceptance. Recording Proving Grounds Vol.1 was educational. Leading up to the final product you hear was a long hard road but a road we had to go down to build us up as better musicians and a tighter band personally and musically. Before the final album we self released two demos, "One Fails, Many Suffer" with our original drummer and "As Democracy Dies" after obtaining Brian. Those were painstaking but necessary. In the end we decided to make that later demo a professionally recorded full length. We brought our demo to the great Eric Rachel who recorded many many great bands over the last 30 years including Skid Row, God Forbid, Dillinger Escape Plan, Hatebreed, In This Moment and many others. He listened to a few tracks with us and said "I think we are going to have fun with this." Erick and I were overwhelmed by his love and commitment to us from the get go. He even brought in Mike Romeo of Symphony X to lend his talents to two of our tracks as well. Overall it was a great endeavor and I truly look forward to working with Eric Rachel in the future.
Poot: How has your touring schedule been like? Any crazy stories from the road you want to share?
Chris: We haven't done much extensive touring yet but we are definitely planning that in the near future. As of this past year we have progressed from the local bar with a stage scene to bigger and better clubs and events opening for Emmure, Upon A Burning Body, Texas In July, Unearth and Gwar to name a few. We're thankful and proud that we are moving up so to speak.
Poot: Who are your influences – both growing up and/or recent?
Chris: Influences heh.... There's so many but the whole reason I ever picked the guitar up in the first place I credit to Metallica and more specifically James Hetfield. Loved those riffs he'd write and how powerful the guitar sounded. The first metal albums I bought were Ride The Lightning and Master Of Puppets in 6th grade off a kid in the cafeteria. Back then they were cassette tapes! Hahaha! But shortly after that I was up to my ears in metal! Everything from Anthrax to Ozzy to Megadeth to Maiden and of course the almighty SLAYER. (Ultimately top 3 favorite) and so on. I'd say I've been molded in metal by the best the genre has to offer. As of late I enjoy all kinds of music to include some guilty pleasures that I will exclude from this interview but with metal in mind I love Lamb Of God, Fear Factory, Hatebreed, Devil Driver, Emmure, Job For A Cowboy....the list can go on for miles.
Poot: What’s on tap for Mass Punishment in 2015?
Chris: I'd like to see us back in the studio come fall/winter, win this Break Contest again, back on the stage for the Skate and Surf Festival, and just keep growing the love and support we have been receiving thus far. Our fans have been great and we love you for it! Thank you to Daniella and all at Dewar PR and thank you so much to everyone at Bro-Metal for the interview. I look forward to delivering you all another album soon! Grenades Up! \,,/ .. \,,/
Poot: A big thanks to you Chris for taking the time to talk to us, it is an honor to have you take part in our “Six Pack” with Bro-Metal!