INTERVIEW AND PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJALA
Born in 1958 in Glendale, California, Chris Holmes is a heavy metal guitarist who started his musical career in the Pasadena, California, area in the late 1970s. Holmes is best known as the lead guitarist and one of the founding members of the heavy-metal band W.A.S.P. Holmes was a W.A.S.P. first from 1982 to 1990. During that period, the band released their most successful albums: W.A.S.P, THE LAST COMMAND. INSIDE THE ELECTRIC CIRCUS and HEADLESS CHILDREN. Holmes left the band in 1990 but was asked to rejoin in 1996. The band released its cult-classic album KILL FUCK DIE, followed by a live album and HELLDORADO (1999). Holmes and W.A.S.P disbanded again in 2001, and that Holmes has been a part of many different projects, including his former bandmate Randy Piper’s Animal and Where Angels Suffer. In 2012, Holmes released his first album, solo NOTHIN TO LOSE, produced, managed, and distributed by himself and his wife, Sarah. At the beginning of 2014, Holmes left behind his life in California and moved to Europe with Sarah. Currently, he’s living in France, and he’s putting the final touches on his upcoming sophomore album titled SHITTING BRICKS. I met “the Mean Man” last May in Finland, and then we went through Holmes’s life, career, and his opinions about a variety of topics, such as his former bandmates. Read on!
MORE BLASTS FROM THE PAST
Metal-Rules.com: The next guy on my list is Steve Riley.
Chris Holmes: Steve Riley. Riley is Riley, you know. He’s a drummer. “Laughs”
Metal-Rules.com: He’s been doing his own thing with L.A. Guns like forever.
Chris Holmes: It’s what he likes to do. I also played with L.A. Guns, you know?
Metal-Rules.com: I know.
Chris Holmes: They’re like, nuts.
Metal-Rules.com: Do you remember the time when Steve joined the band? You did the first European tour, and then you played several concerts in Finland.
Chris Holmes: How many did we do in Finland?
Metal-Rules.com: Five or six, I think?
Chris Holmes: I remember that probably but that was a long time ago. That’s 30 years ago. There are a lot of things about touring. I remember that I was here with Blackie Lawless and a lot of things; most of the things around him are not rememberable, they were not happy moments…to be around the guy. If you’re around somebody, and they got the thumb on you, for you just being you, you’re not going to like that. It’s like touring with your parents. You’d enjoy that?
Metal-Rules.com: I don’t think so…
Chris Holmes: No, and you’re going to forget it every time you can. You’re like, what the fuck?! It’s not that you’re not going to forget it. It’s just, you know.
Metal-Rules.com: How about the promo tour you did with Blackie in Finland for the LAST COMMAND? You visited a big school in Helsinki to tell the kids how it is to be a rock star and stuff like that. 😉
Chris Holmes: We went to a school? What did we do in school?
Metal-Rules.com: You were basically promoting the album, but you were telling kids how not to live when you’re a rock star or something like that. It was big news here in Finland.
Chris Holmes: If I had to be with Blackie, I didn’t enjoy it, and I just took it as a job and had to do this. I do it, and I’m going to mind my business. I’ll tell you about getting fucked up somewhere in the gutter. I REMEMBER something I remember like you’re going to Edinburgh Castle or something, but if it was me with him, on like a promo tour…… it’s just, let me tell you something, it’s really depressing being around somebody like him, having to be his entourage or be around his entourage. Even being his sidekick is a bummer because everybody hates him so much. How much of an asshole is he? You’re considered an asshole, you know? That’s why I, fucking every time, and I’m kind of glad I forgot most of the shit. Well, what did I say, some mean things to kids? “Laughs”
Metal-Rules.com: No, no, no, you both were really friendly, and people just loved it.
Chris Holmes: You know, there’s a reason why I drank so much, it is that was the only friend I had. Do you want to sit in the same seat and flabbier with that fucking guy? I mean, would you? Would you want to sit next to Blackie Lawless? Think about it. Sleep in the same bus with him and listen to his bullshit—that bottle. I’m your friend. Fuck yeah, man, I’m going to drink, you know? I’d get home, and then I’d have a good time and enjoy myself. I love playing. I love traveling and meeting people. I just don’t; when you have to work and sit next to somebody like that, it’s really depressing. It’s not fun to do. When Van Halen took off on the road in ’76, that’s how I thought life would be touring, how they do it. You got to do – so that’s a lot of things I don’t remember or something that was – I didn’t really give a fuck about. I might have gone to some school, me promoting, not drinking, that’s kind of stupid really. Why would I do that when I drink? I remember Blackie told me when we – it was somewhere in London, and MTV was there, and it was – he told me because a lot of the times I wouldn’t say shit, you know. I would just sit there and look in the camera because they’d ask a question, and he’d jump in because he knew everything. He’d say, “I want you to be yourself, Chris. If something is asked, don’t be scared to jump in.” So this lady said something, this blonde-haired broad said something about drugs, did I do drugs. Wait, wait, wait, wait wacko I’d like to tell everybody in TV land that I do not personally I do not do drugs. I do narcotics. I tell it to them. I really didn’t give a fuck, man. He didn’t say anything to me about that. I do not do drugs. I just want to tell you that I do narcotics. “Laughs”
JOHNNY ROD AND UNHOLY TERROR
Metal-Rules.com: How about Johnny Rod. Many people have said that he was the hardest party animal in the band?
Chris Holmes: Funny, I just talked to him over Skype. Johnny was great to tour with. I love him because he causes so much trouble with his entourage. I look like the flying nun man. I mean, I could do no wrong. He’d take all the bullshit I did in one year and put it in one spot you could – Johnny made me look like I wasn’t even in trouble at all. He was always causing shit on top of shit, lying, just causing shit, you know? He was the guy causing most of the trouble. Even all the years, like in one year, Johnny about did everything I ever did and causing trouble, as in just trouble in Blackie’s life, and his entourage as causing trouble as just being on the road. That’s just normal shit with Johnny. He didn’t do anything different than anybody else you know. Johnny’s problem is he likes – he wants people to like him so much he goes out of his way, and he’s a nuisance. He’s really loud and aggressive, and I like being around him. I like Johnny. He’s fucking great. He cracks me up. He’s also – he’s a thief. He’s a pretty badass thief. I don’t know what he stole from me, but it doesn’t fucking matter. I heard he stole $1,000 out of tour managers, but that’s cool, man. Fuck it. At least he got paid some money.
Chris Holmes: It’s $1,000 more than I got. So I give him credit for that, really. I think it’s kind of cool—Johnny’s smart. Johnny got $1,000 more than I got.
Metal-Rules.com: So maybe stealing was the reason why he got kicked out at some point?
Chris Holmes: Yeah. Firstly, I say fuck Sanctuary and Blackie Lawless and that whole entourage. They can go fuck off, man, and again when Chris is in London soon, in two months, I’m going to go in and do my best to be nice. When I go in there, I will find out why my name is on the records, and I haven’t gotten paid a penny. Why? Why is it on there? Why is my name on the records, and I haven’t gotten paid? We haven’t got a penny in publishing.
Metal-Rules.com: When UNHOLY TERROR came out Blackie came to Finland for the first time in 20 years to promote the album. I did interview him then, and when I asked about your status in the band, he said that you’re temporary out, but you will be back once the actual tour starts.
Chris Holmes: Well, the last time I ever saw him, he owed me some money. I didn’t play on that album because I had to work a job and pay for what I did at home. He wouldn’t even give me a retainer. I last come up with the solo, and I’ve been doing concrete for the last week, and I don’t know if you’ve ever worked with concrete. Have you? I’m not real clean, so it’s all over me. What happens to your hands? You can’t play. It dries them up like this really bad. He asked me to come and do a solo to his house. I said, “Look, man. It’s going to take about a week for my hands”. “Oh, you need to get a better job.” He owed me some money. I called him up. I said, “Hey, I need the money now.” He says meet me at Stet’s place. So I go down to Stet’s, the drum dude, for rehearsal. I’m in a good mood. He walks in, and he says, “you fucking say this to my face,” in a real bad mood. I mean it. I’ll tell you if I said it, you know, and this kid in Detroit says W.A.S.P.’s the best band, blah, blah, all this shit and goes can I have his autograph except Blackie. The bus started up. Everybody was leaving. Blackie came out. Security guard pushed everybody away, ran on the bus. Sat down. My cushion is blocking. I’m the last one getting on the bus. I asked Chris for Blackie’s autograph. If I get back, Chris said no. I ask why. He says he’s a fucking asshole. All right. Gave it back to him. Yeah. He asked me, yeah, I called you a fucking asshole. He goes I thought we had a better understanding about each other. I go, “well, you’re going to have to sit down and listen to why I called you an asshole, so I’m not such an asshole so you guys can understand this more.” Sitting there. I go “he had my back up against the wall, so I called him an asshole.” I go, “remember my wife Lita? She had tits, blonde hair. She played on the record.” No emotion. I go, “I know you know.” I go, “ever since the night at the music awards when you made sure I couldn’t go, in fact, you did everything in your power to keep me from going.” So I didn’t go. Ever since that night, I went, “Fuck you! Fuck off! You’re a fucking asshole! We’re not friends. We’ll never be friends.” Ever since that night, I go “you’re a fucking asshole. Okay. Do you understand that?” I looked right in his eyes. I say, “if it’s the last thing you ever say to me is I’d just like to know why somebody would do that. Why would you do that to a so-called friend? Why?” He says, “I’m going to tell you the truth.” He got something, and he’s walking and mumbles “I was jealous.” It’s the radical man. Everything that over 20 years, and I couldn’t figure out why it all made sense. It all fell into place. Boom. Wow, that time in Italy. Why that was like that. Why that happened, or why this happened this one time. It all made sense, man. Everything made sense because he’s jealous. It blew my mind, and Lita always told me that 24/7. She’d come out on the road, and she’d just say how jealous he was. I never saw it. I’m not that kind of – I’m not jealous towards people. I mean, the Van Halen guy smokes me playing, but I’m not jealous of it. I mean, I’m fucking I’m great. I know the guy. Fast Zakk Wylde or Jimi Hendrix, you know. I’m not jealous of Blackie Lawless, who’s a singer, but I’m not going to keep somebody down. But he – it doesn’t make sense to me. It’s the last time I ever saw him, and so UNHOLY TERROR, fuck I don’t know, I was – he wanted me to go fuck you and get in a fight with him that night that day and walk out of the band which I never did. Didn’t walk out, you know? Well, he goes, so he was jealous. He turns around and goes, “I don’t want to tour with somebody that has animosities (I remember seeing this tour), towards me as you do.” I remember going, “dude, in this organization you’ve made, I’m not the only one that hates your guts, but I’m the only one that’ll tell it to you.”
Metal-Rules.com: Was he surprised when you said those things to his face to face?
Chris Holmes: I said, “I’m the only one that’ll tell you the facts to your face. You ought to at least appreciate that,” and I never saw him again. Well, everybody gets that W.A.S.P. isn’t W.A.S.P. It’s Blackie Lawless. He just uses the name, you know? You know it’s like the bus driver that took us to this last show. He drove W.A.S.P., and he knows Blackie. Before we played, I go “Have you never seen me play?” and he goes “No.” I go, “Do you want to see why W.A.S.P. made it? Do you want to go see why W.A.S.P. is where they are today? When you see me play, you’ll understand that. That’s all I can tell you,” and he didn’t know until after. And I’m not saying that better than anybody else. It’s just a different personality, the way you shine. It’s just everybody’s different the way they play. I was telling him if I wasn’t in that band from Day 1, in the beginning, Blackie would still be trying to beat his head against the wall. And that kind of hurts when I got to go work a shitty job just to survive, but that’s the way. Actually, what do I got to complain about? It could have been much worse, you know? It could always be worse.
FRANKIE BANALI AND THE HEADLESS CHILDREN
Metal-Rules.com: Let’s go ahead and talk next about Frankie Banali. He joined the band in 1989.
Chris Holmes: He’s the best drummer that probably – I’m not saying he’s the best drummer I’ve ever played with. There’s a guy named Brian Tichy that I played with. Brian never played in W.A.S.P., but as being a heart-to-heart friend, he’s way cool to work with. Frankie always treated me like a roadie, but he’s probably one of the best drummers I ever played with, Frankie Banali. I never noticed that – I went to a choir gig after W.A.S.P., after Frankie and all that shit ’89, and I was sitting somewhere and just – I wasn’t even in the venue but when I heard him hit his first drums “tom, tom” I knew it was him. I just could tell his drum sound, so I never knew drummers have that much of a different sound, but Frankie was a professional in what he does. I mean, he plays it one way, right he’s right on top of things. I will say that about him. I’ve had a few bad things about him, but his girlfriend and Lita came back to us fighting on the road, and but I look up to the guy as a drummer; that’s really good. Tichy, Brian’s right up there. He’s as good as Frankie. If I was going to use somebody, I’d use Tichy because Tichy, he’s more of a human being. He’s easier to get along with.
Metal-Rules.com: But I was thinking, you know, he had that successful past with Quiet Riot. So was he now kind of big star to come down to play with W.A.S.P. back then?
Chris Holmes: Yeah. He always treated me like I was a roadie all the time, and if we got in a fight, he always went “I had a No. 1 album,” which he did. So he was the guy Blackie was with when I came back to play with him in ’95 until ’97 until I went back to what I was doing.
Metal-Rules.com: Frankie also had problems with Blackie later on, and I remember that his name was removed from NEON GOD albums credits and stuff like that.
Chris Holmes: Really?
Metal-Rules.com: Frankie played most songs on those albums. Stet made some tracks, but Blackie took off Frankie’s name because they had some financial issues.
Chris Holmes: Well, I was only getting — on the road, I only made $500. Frankie got $1,800 a week. That kind of treated me wrong. I always said you get this at the end of the tunnel. It’s all about money. I got $500. He got $1,800. But hey, when you’re standing there out in the audience, who’s more important? Frankie Banali or Chis Holmes? At the time, Frankie didn’t really matter. Fuck, we could have had any drummer up there. He ruined that from the beginning, and he’s done a few shitty things. Banali’s done a few shitty things to me, which I don’t really want to talk about, but he’s — I’d rather play with Brian Tichy any day. Fuck yeah. Brian smokes him.
Metal-Rules.com: In my opinion, HEADLESS CHILDREN is probably the strongest W.A.S.P. album to date. How do you like that album?
Chris Holmes: I agree, and that’s because everybody got to do what they do, you know? I wouldn’t have somebody sitting here. I got to play guitar the way I really play, the way I play guitar, l lead. So whatever the fuck. Yeah. It’s a little bit too precise. Every note’s perfect, but I like the record. No, I don’t. I never got paid a penny for it, so should I like it, should I not? I don’t know. It’s hard for me to sign records for people when you don’t make money. I never knew W.A.S.P. did as many records, different records, compilations that they did. Because I was here. I’m going to fuck this Sanctuary. I wonder if Andy Taylor still works there. I don’t know. Somebody’s going to have to pay the price. Maybe someone will get the fuck out of the office. I’ll go down to the front desk and say, “Get the fuck out of your fucking office, mother fucker, or I’ll burn it down.” “Laughs”
Metal-Rules.com: Alright, but going back to the HEADLESS CHILDREN thing… After the album was out, you did a tour with Accept in the States. I interviewed Wolf Hoffmann some years ago, and he then mentioned that the tour was a pure nightmare…
Chris Holmes: Yeah, it was.
Metal-Rules.com: Do you remember what happened then?
Chris Holmes: I don’t know. I learned to know Accept for what, they the way they played, and I didn’t really talk to Wolf that much, you know? I look up to the guy because he’s a few years older than me, and Accept came out way before W.A.S.P. did. Yeah. They’re just like not giving him any soundtracks and shit like that. On that tour, they had Dave, the other singer.
Metal-Rules.com: Yeah. David Reece.
Chris Holmes: Dave came in soundcheck one day, and when the bass player just about punched him, boom.
Metal-Rules.com: Peter Baltes?
Chris Holmes: Peter punched him, knocked him. Because I guess Dave was telling Peter was telling his wife about road stories, and it was getting back to Dave’s old lady, whatever. What goes on the road should stay on the road. And who was opening for that… Saxon? Just the way they were treated. Blackie’s entourage. I saw — I was in a restaurant the other night. Billy Gibbons came in, and we were in the corner ordering takeout. I wanted to say something to him. It was a Mexican restaurant. I was going to go pork — he has a song called “Pork Chop Sandwich.” I was going to go buy a pork chop sandwich and say hello to him. If he knew who I was, where I was from, he’d probably be really rude to me, Billy Gibbons. So I didn’t want to say anything. I just wanted to say hi to him, But since “Blind in Texas,” ZZ Top, they hate us. They hate W.A.S.P., but that’s not my idea. That was Blackie’s, you know? There was me living up to the bullshit that went on, but Billy Gibbons, you had one of these talks to say hi to him, but I didn’t say anything. I should have said hi. The guy’s cool. Really small fucker, too, man. He had his beard and weird hat on. It was cool. I admire the guy, but I couldn’t say hi to him because of W.A.S.P. I didn’t want to go, hey, and piss him off. He had a big old security guy with him too.
LIFE AFTER W.A.S.P.
Metal-Rules.com: You split with the band after the “Headless Children” tour. Why did you quit with the band back then?
Chris Holmes: With W.A.S.P.? No. No. I was forced out. I never quit. I never quite once. He’d always get rid of me. That’s his gig, you know.
Metal-Rules.com: At the time, he said that you were just a lazy guy who wanted to stay off the road and spend all time with Lita Ford at home.
Chris Holmes: No. Yeah, she’s the one that kept telling me I was getting ripped off. That’s why I left. Did I leave? I don’t know if I left or not. I didn’t want to ride on the same plane with Blackie. I didn’t want to be around him. I just wanted to separate myself from Blackie Lawless as far as I could. I hate the guy. I need to print that on paper too. I would pour salt on his wounds, and I’d watch him drown if I could, and I would enjoy it. It’s sad to say that. I hate saying that because people love him, love the guy, but they don’t know. They don’t know. They don’t know the people that he’s burnt. Randy will tell you this too, Blackie always said, “I don’t have to be nice to anybody.” The old saying that everybody says is you got to be nice to everybody when you’re going up because you’re going to see them coming down. Blackie said this is what he told Randy and me. I don’t have to be nice to anybody because I’m never coming down. It’s hard to work around somebody like that. That’s why I started my new song up, “What goes up must come down. Looks like you’re finally on your way”. So it’s on. “Laughs”
Metal-Rules.com: Following the split with W.A.S.P., you kind of disappeared from the scene for years. I know you had that band Psycho Squad at some point, but what were you up to between 1991–1996?
Chris Holmes: Surviving. I had a place where I could live in LA where I didn’t have to pay rent. It was a room behind a garage—a girlfriend, not a girlfriend but a friend of mine that let me live there free. I parked my car in the driveway. And I didn’t have to pay rent. I didn’t have to fucking do a nigger job. I searched for a musician to play with. I couldn’t find any. I mean, just right there goes back to my height. It’s hard to find people who are tall to play with. And then… I, God, I don’t even know what year I ran into Phil Taylor at. He wanted me to come up. In ’91, I met him through Lemmy. When we run into each other in town here and there, and he’s really cool. I look up to him because he has a heart of gold, and I don’t know what year it was. He came and saw me in probably 2005, 2007. I couldn’t tell you what year it was, and he needed me to help him do something. So I went to his house and years before somebody stole his car, his Corvette. They had parts somewhere, and he didn’t know Chevrolet parts versus Ford. I’ve worked with Chevrolet my whole life, worked on cars. He called me. He goes Chris can you tell the difference between this, what goes in my Corvette and what doesn’t? I go, yeah, man. I saw the part. So I went down, and I told him this is not, but that’s GM, GM, GM.
Then I didn’t see him for a long time, and he needed something. I went to his house, and he had — oh when I did that for his car, he had a computer, and he asked me to play guitar on it. He’s the first guy to have a computer that I knew. This was ’94 or ’93, probably ’93, and I went and played guitar. He asked me to come up and play so he could do his recording. It was weird. I can remember the singer Trey from the band Lee. I’d left and then came back, and Trey and I split, and Trey goes, man. He goes, “You know I asked Phil about playing music.” What did you ask him? He goes, Trey goes, “Why don’t you start a band with Chris?” and I go, “What did he say?” He goes he looked at me, and he says, “The will to play is gone.” Phil. I kind of thought about it. I asked him about playing, you know. I could understand that. All of a sudden, he asked me at home, and I see he had a drum set up with electronics in his room, and I play it sometimes. Whoa, Phil, what are you doing? Why do you have it set up? It’s like I thought you weren’t playing anymore, Phil, and then he says he just got a Mac. Okay. He played me some of his music. I go fuck. That guitar player is horrible. It was Whitey, his buddy, you know. You can do any better? I go fuck yeah mean. I’m a sound freak. I brought some equipment over, and we just started recording from that. It actually started out being learning to use the computer more the ins and outs for recording.
Metal-Rules.com: Have you used any of those recordings later on?
Chris Holmes: Yeah. That’s what this… SHITTING BRICKS, not SHITTING BRICKS but NOTHIN TO LOSE; that’s what became of all that. What was sad was when Phil got sick, and it was decided that he’d go home, I had like four days to get all that information off the hard drives off the computer. Man, I didn’t know anything about it then. I’m trying to hook a hard drive up, you know. I didn’t know you don’t hook — I was hooking it up between the interface and the computer. I didn’t know anything about it, you know, and I’m trying to get the songs off, and there were over 60 songs. They were almost all songs. There wasn’t any singing on those, but they were just fucking cool shit. I’m going to go to London soon to see Phil. Maybe he’ll have them on the hard drives. I don’t know. I don’t know if — his memory is shot.
Metal-Rules.com: I know about Phil’s health problems, but isn’t he doing a bit better now??
Chris Holmes: He had a brain aneurism, but he’s alive. I ran into him. That’s what I was doing for a few years. I was recording, and then I had another old G4 at a place, Lockets Studio, and this girl Shawna would let me keep my stuff there if I’d help her record. And I’d go from Phil’s to there, back and forth making music. I like to record something and then put bass on and shit together, and then I’d listen back to it to see what it sounds like because you can’t do that, just you can do that in your head and dream about it. How do you think Mozart and those guys when they wrote tunes, you know, sitting down and they wrote all that shit for everybody. Man, it must have been bitching hearing it all at once. What was that Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony or whatever? What do you think that guy went through the first time he heard all that after putting it all together in his mind? Because in those days… God, how else could you do it except getting all the fucking people together and hope that it all works. When the computer came in, that’s when it was cool, the recording and I sat. I liked doing it. Nowadays I can do the thing everything myself. I got drum machines going. Do you know what that did? It made me create it all on drums as a regular drummer would.
Metal-Rules.com: That’s a cheaper way to work, right?
Chris Holmes: Well, it’s not cheaper. It’s just, put it this way, if you have a drummer play, you’re going to wind everything up to the grid anyway, right? Everything’s going to go on the grid anyway. So why fucking — I mean, I can have them play, but you’re still going to have everything, you’re going to fucking go put it to the computer anyway, you know?
KILL FUCK DIE
Metal-Rules.com: Let’s go back in time when you returned to W.A.S.P in 1995. What made you change your mind back then?
Chris Holmes: Well, I was promised that thing why I left in ’89 or whatever… I got a call. Like, in fact, he didn’t call me, a roadie did, and I go, “what’s up to Russ?” “Well, Blackie wanted me to call you.” “What the fuck would he want?” “He wants to know if you want to go on the road,” and I go, “Russ, that’s the last furthest thing from my mind ever right now. You have to know I am not even playing music. I don’t give a fuck about playing music.” So I called Blackie. He said he needed to know if I wanted to play. I said, “Give me a week. I can’t make a decision right now. If you want to know my decision right now, it’s no. If you need it now. Let me think about it.” So I sat and thought about it, and I went, “you know what, I probably never, ever will travel again, and what else do I need to travel for?” Chris, let’s go on vacation. Where do you want to go? I’d like to go to fucking Mexico. Well, let’s go to Germany. I wouldn’t do that. I wouldn’t go to see other things. So I thought about it. “Well, man, I’d like to travel, and then I quit drinking. I got another DUI.” I quit drinking, and that was a way different situation. I was still an asshole to deal with, I guess with Blackie, but I was a sober asshole, which is I guess., I don’t know. You know what? When we went out on tour, I just stuck to myself. I didn’t hang with Stet. Every night I’d just sat with the bus driver most of the time. This guy Dugan was cool. I’d sit and drive with him. Duda was just too much, Mike Duda. He’s stuck up his ass to hang around with Blackie. Stet instead, I’d go every night I’d get up, go downstairs oh no matter what, and can of beer, pipe, and this funny ass pipe like this every night. Every night man. Then he’d have to get his pipe. I’d just put a blanket over the guy, you know.
Metal-Rules.com: That’s when you and Stet became really good friends.
Chris Holmes: Oh yes. That’s cool. Every night though. I remember one time somewhere, like in Copenhagen, people gave me hash, and I would smoke it. So the next person, hey man, want some hash? Yeah, yeah. So I am stoked about it. I had a big thick watchband—the big old thing of hash. And I’d give it to Stet. I remember we were on the bus one night, and I had a double bunk high because I would always take the plywood out from under the guy. Nobody’s above me. Take the plywood out. Put it underneath mine. I’d have two mattresses, and I have a bunk set up. Bought us a pipe, this hash pipe. So I went in my bunk, took about ten hits. Fuck man, I was hallucinating. I was fucking higher than shit. It was like I was on LSD and something. The next morning I went to say something, and I couldn’t even talk. My throat was fucked. I couldn’t even talk, man. I stuck to myself. I didn’t hang around Blackie. I do remember being in Italy, and I had stolen a bike up in Switzerland. Well, I didn’t steal it. It wasn’t locked. It was in the middle of a field. I don’t know if somebody parked it there. It wasn’t locked, so I don’t think it was stolen. I didn’t steal it. I’m not going to steal somebody’s bike if that’s their means of transportation, but it was just sitting there. I threw it into the bunk. Now I got something. I go riding around now. I remember riding around in Italy, somewhere I don’t know, Rome. I get back, and we played the show, and I can remember this person I’ve done interviews with probably eight times before over the years. They came up to me and goes hey Chris, how long you’re doing today about four. I go like this. He rolls his jacket off. I was riding the bike up through this town checking things out, and he goes, “well, we requested you personally for the interview, and they said you had other obligations.” I couldn’t figure that out, man, until I heard that. So I heard Blackie say that until I heard he was jealous. That’s just that one day, that one guy telling me that. That’s when I went; it all made sense—all that shit.
Metal-Rules.com: Oh. That’s a bad thing.
Chris Holmes: Yeah. He was the one keeping me from doing interviews or whatever you know. That’s the way people are, you know.
Metal-Rules.com: How did you like the band’s new sound and direction of KILL FUCK DIE?
Chris Holmes: I didn’t have any input on it. I didn’t have any say on it so they can kiss my ass. Well, we still went back to the old sound after that one album. It still went back to the same old shit.
Metal-Rules.com: The album was already mostly done of it when you joined?
Chris Holmes: It was done digitally. It wasn’t done as an analog recording. It was done digitally, and I thought it sucked big time. The only reason why the album came about is because of Marilyn Manson. If Marilyn Manson wasn’t on it, that album wouldn’t have come out. Marilyn Manson, Blackie was all paranoid. He was thinking that Marilyn Manson was stealing his place in rock and roll. So he tried to outdo Marilyn Manson. That’s the only reason that record even came about. He was scared of Marilyn Manson taking over his little spot, Blackie’s idea of his life. He always thinks that he’s there right in between Gene Simmons and Alice Cooper. That’s what he thinks his whole career and life is. Now Marilyn Manson was taking his spot right then. Hey, you know where my spot is? My spot ain’t nowhere between all those suckers. Your spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or rock and roll hall of dickheads. They ought to have that at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They should. A room Rock and Roll Hall of Dickheads. That’d be great. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame of Assholes. They have one of the poor people. Randy Piper’s girlfriend is doing the best she can to get W.A.S.P. into the Hall of Fame because Randy owes her so much money, and once you get in there, everything you do after that is double time money, but if W.A.S.P. played there, I wouldn’t play with them. No way. Fuck them.
Metal-Rules.com: One more thing about the KILL FUCK DIE thing. The sound was different, and the line-up had changed, but what was great was that the stage show went back to the early days’ style, blood, and stuff.
Chris Holmes: Just for here in Europe, and then they quit it.
Metal-Rules.com: How did you like the things like Blackie raping a nun?
Chris Holmes: That was great! That was a great man. I think it should have been worse, you know? Fuck yeah. Just showing — I even get really pissed at people, Christianity people. They’re all fucked anyway. Anybody believes the Bible is a fucking idiot.
Metal-Rules.com: Well, Blackie does now.
Chris Holmes: He does now. I can’t believe it. That’s what he says. You know, if you’re going to be a Christian, you should really go and study more about Christianity and the Bible and what Jesus Christ is and all the bullshit. It’s just too much shit, the religion crap. I mean, look, religion is what most of the wars are over, really. I don’t know when Hitler’s war about religion was? I guess Jews. I don’t know if it was about religion. But about Blackie being… what happened was we were somewhere, and Blackie got everybody in the band, Stet, Mike, Chris us four and he goes the label, it’s all about money. The labels will not release our album in the states if we do this show in the states. Let’s vote on it. So, Duda stuck his head up Blackie’s ass. So did Stet. They went with Blackie. I said, no, man. Let’s still do this show. We started out to do this, and now you’re telling everybody to see something, and they’re not doing it. What a bunch of pussies. That’s the way I felt, but they started doing the nun thing and all that shit, and we get back in the States and what happened. The record label disbanded. We shouldn’t have done that.
Metal-Rules.com: As we spoke earlier, the band went back to basics with HELLDORADO, which is really…
Chris Holmes: Well, he did. He did—nobody else. There was nobody else deciding anything. He was the main guy.
Metal-Rules.com: What’s the main thing that comes first to mind from HELLDORADO are the song titles and lyrics: “Cocaine Cowboys,” “Dirty Balls,”…etc.
Chris Holmes: Those are all just old sayings, “Don’t Cry You Suck.” Those are just old sayings from sayings from people. It’s an embarrassing album, if you ask me. It’s a piece of the shit album and everything after that sucked. It’s all Blackie Lawless. It is. It is. “Desolation Angels” is a cool song. Basically, when I came back, I just stuck to myself. I was told after HELLDORADO we went out for a little bit before the thing, and he had an album called BEST OF THE BEST. Who in the fuck would put on an Elton John song? Any song Elton John. He gives me a tape and says, “here, learn this. We’re going to do it at the encore.” I go “what?!”. So I went home and listened to it. “You can’t be serious. You want to play “Saturday night All right.” Fine.” “It’s going to be a big hit,” he said. I said, “you’re out of your fucking mind. How do you know? If I want to one of my favorite bands like Sabbath or Johnny Winter playing that song, I’d throw a rock at them. I would fucking. You don’t kill a gay guy’s song knowing to be gay of what he does,” and he goes he said I was crazy. Sure enough. We only played it twice, and people would be doing this, and they were — if you can’t see that at the end, it’s plus I didn’t even play on that song. My name’s on it. Should that be against the law? Should that? He just puts my name on it even I didn’t play on it.
Metal-Rules.com: Now we have to finish this marathon. What is Chris Holmes doing next?
Chris Holmes: Next? We’re going to find a place to live here. Tomorrow night is going to be special when I’m going to sing. I haven’t been singing in months. But tomorrow I’m going to sing. Sing songs. I do sing, so…I mean, hey. Listen, I can’t sing as bad as Blackie plays guitar. Okay. I mean, you know what I mean? I could never sing as well as Blackie, but in comparison to his voice and mine, I can’t be that bad on guitar as he plays guitar.
Metal-Rules.com: So, do you think that he should have stayed on bass instead?
Chris Holmes: Oh no. He’s worse on bass. He’s horrible on bass. He’s the worst there is on bass. I just, nowadays, he didn’t age very well. People get older. Everybody’s different. I mean, have you ever been to your class reunions? Your 20th class reunion? I’ve been to my 10th and 20th. Man, some people age well, and some don’t. Blackie didn’t age well. There isn’t enough plastic surgery to fix that fucker. Okay. That’s too bad. Plus, when I was in Sister, I know that him and Nikki Sixx used to do black magic. Okay. The pentagram stuff. They used to worship the — they used to do that shit I’d go fuck off I’m going to drink. You guys can fucking whatever, but when you do that, you create a negative void in yourself. That you can’t stop. I didn’t know this until about a year or two years ago. It creates a negative void when you do it towards things to get whatever riches to make. Look at that guy Razzle who died. I’m not saying that’s because of black magic. It creates a negative void, and it eats you from the inside out, and that’s what’s happening to Blackie right now. It’s all the black magic he used to do. Me, I was born a Mormon. I don’t give a fuck what kind of broomstick he’s going to ride in on, whatever dude. I’m not saying stay away from me. I’m not scared of it. I don’t give a fuck. It ain’t going to fuck with me, but when you do that and worship on that shit, it just creates a real negative void that you can’t get rid of it later on when you want to, and that’s what he can’t get rid of. That’s what’s eating him from the inside out, and it’s, oh yeah. What would you give a fuck about this, Chris? I’d be like this fuck I don’t give a fuck. I’ll worry about it when I get there. That’s the way it is.
Metal-Rules.com: The last words Chris?
Chris Holmes: My best motto is to kids is that to treat other people how you want to be treated. Oh. That’s the best thing. A lot of people ask me, well, you got one quote? Treat people how you want to be treated. Most people don’t. Oh, God. ”Laughs.”
CHRIS HOLMES INTERVIEW PART 1