Chris Volz Interview
Cactus Chris™ , 2011/02/07 23:36
Chris Volz of Flaw Interview.
Some would argue that the history of the band Flaw is sometimes more interesting than the actual music. Most would argue against it, as Flaw has some of the most loyal fan followings to grace a metal group in quite some time. Flaw broke out in 2001 with their first major release "Through The Eyes", which was moderately successful. They released the follow up "Endangered Species" in 2004 to lukewarm sales, ultimately being dropped by Universal in 2004. Since then and even before Flaw has been through multiple break ups, line ups, music festivals, albums, and stints of online trash talking. Despite this, however, there are two constants with the group: The music and Chris Volz, the groups front man.
In mid 2007 it was rumored that Flaw was reforming on their own (big label out of the picture) with original band members in tact. This reformation however, in typical Flaw fashion started going through line up and name changes in the early stages. Former group members each site their own reasons for departure, and there's enough trash talking and backstabbing going on there to be an article in itself.
Coming off a release and then demise of short lived band Five.Bolt.Main, Chris Volz announced that in addition to Flaw reforming he was working on a solo effort entitled "Redemption" with the same label that gave us his prior band's "Venting". With so much going on, a solo label release and a reformation and indy release, I thought that it would be a good idea to catch up with Chris Volz and see how both things would be playing out in the near future.
This interview was originally conducted and posted online in August of 2007.
Cactus Chris: You have both a solo record and a Flaw record in the works. What's it like scheduling both? Are you doing Flaw on weekends and the solo stuff the rest of the time?
Chris Volz: Its mixed its being mastered and all that fun. I actually started working on the solo stuff before Flaw got back together, so its been a bit of a balancing act to make sure neither one gets more attention and the other isn't being ignored. One is not really more important but they are both very important. And we have been working on a lot of new material. We have about 14 songs and another 14 are gonna be added.
Will we see a difference in vocal styles from your previous work?
Um I wouldn't really say different, I mean, the records gonna have mostly ballads and rest will rock just really rock out. I really got a chance to expand on a lot of the softer melodic stuff, but theres like 75% soft stuff also at least four thats just balls to the wall.
So we can expect some B sides from the next Flaw album?
Yea, but we're also making sure that when we get picked up we have a large enough catalog to choose from so that no matter what gets chosen for the album it's something that we love and are really into and so that no matter who listens to it they're going to hear something they like.
I read in an interview that when Universal signed you guys that they bought your entire catalog. How are you guys able to continue using the Flaw name?
Well basically they never bought the Flaw name, they bought our catalog. They released it back when they dropped us. Actually when they dropped us they released the second record back but kept the first one. The cat[alog number] from the first [album] they kept because it's still selling like 150 units a week or something like that, which is good because we have a bonus that we get when the record goes gold, and that never goes away. And its sitting above 350,000 which means we go into bonus at 500,000. Then the label will start paying us. But, as far as calling ourselves flaw, we never lost the ability to do that, but we lost the ability to release the first CD.
Is the new Flaw record being written In Studio or in someones house on your own time?
We been doing all the demo recording in the basement, were not gonna redo any old stuff, depending when it was made and released and signed. Using the Flaw name and bringing out new songs is not a problem. That doesn't mean that were not gonna try, but its not something that were really gonna push too hard before we know more about it. We have to make sure which songs we can use, we have a lawyer looking into that.
"Redemption" was released on 9/11/07
Any luck finding a label? Have you had some good offers?
We've gotten some deal memos right now, there not um, It's not really matching the standard that we feel that we need. We've all got family, people have full time jobs that they cant walk from without a long term incentive. Were in a feeling ground right now, checking things out. We want to show the industry that were gaining. Is it the right time for us to go in right now and record a record? No, because of the way things happened before, It makes more sense for us right now to prove that were back for one, getting along for two, and that we still haven't lost in the public view, and you know if we can do that for a couple months. We've entertained a few different offers. Were all older and wiser and want to make sure things go right. Right now things are going great and all the venues are back. We're happy to be back.
Will Rock Ridge be producing the new Flaw CD? Why?
No not at all actually. Rock Ridge is the sort of label that understands one hand washes the other. It can't hurt flaw that I have a solo album and it can't hurt my solo album to be in Flaw. Rock Ridge is one of the few labels that is concerned about artist's development over the long term. You know back in the day, and I'm talkin' the 80's, bands use to get signed and the labels wanted four records and now all they're concerned about is whats gonna push radio. Rock Ridge takes a different approach. Todays bands are disenfranchised. But yea, so far the label hasn't given me any flak, and has been totally supportive.
Do you plan on doing anything different this album cycle in terms of the bands image?
Ah, because I remember the blond hair the from the first album cycle
The blond hair was a team of people kind of that said “This might look good” so I gave it a shot. I've never been the kind of person to have a million costumes. We've always been the kind of band that goes on the stage in the same clothes we woke up in... which are usually the same clothes we wore the day before hahaha.
Yea, nowadays every band is a bunch of boys wearing suits.
We wanna try and stray from that. Music speaks to the ears and not the eyes.
I discovered Flaw by downloading a few songs, I was wondering what your views on music piracy were?
Actually I don't have a problem with it. At all. I think with the climate of the industry and online marketing has taken over you know, I think people complain but then use it to their advantage. Its a double negative. We probably reach as many people online and through downloads as we have through word of mouth. In this day in age if you know how to use the net then you gotta leg up and if you don't you're out.
Whats in your CD player right now?
36 Crazy fists. Snowcap Romance. They got 3 records right now, they're amazing dude! Damn! They're from Alaska. Definitely
When it comes down to actually drinking and If I'm gonna drink a lot, it's Miller Light, but if I'm gonna sit down I like a lot of micro brew. There's this stuff called Arrogant Bastard Ale. Its from NY and easier to find in Manhattan. I had just finished tracking the solo album in MH and use to stop off and get some all the time. It's so good that on the back of the bottle it says a little story about the beer and the first line is “Your probably not intelligent enough to understand why this beer tastes good” and goes on into a rant. It's awesome. Not too light and not too dark. It's like a cross between Sammy Adams and a Sierra Nevada
Any other vocalists you'd like to work with?
Faith No More's Mike Patton, but theres not a whole lot that I'd hands down drop everything for because Ive always kinda been focused on my own style and stuff, but I'm not against it. So who knows? I mean right off the bat I've always been a fan of Maynard of Tool, so that'd be pretty cool. Those 36 Crazy Fists guys are crazy too.
Any final shout out or plugs you'd like to get in?
Just that, you know, everybody stay tuned to ChrisVolz.com and check out all the information there. The [solo] album is due first week of September. Going to LA soon to shoot video for the solo record, and the Flaw record should be done by end of the year and hopefully we'll get out again once that's all wrapped up. I'd like to say what's up to the whole Flaw family, and we cant wait to see you guys again.
Thanks a lot Chris, you've been great.
Following the interview, Volz continued with promotion for his solo album "Redemption". His work with Flaw continued as well, however the group did not see the release of their long awaited third album until November of 2009 which was called "Homegrown Studio Sessions". Flaw continued to tour and support the album with a nationwide tour but in late 2010 they once again disbanded.
-- Cactus Chris™