An Interview with
Lead Vocalist of Resurrection Kings & The Moby Dicks
with former Groups including The Jason Bonham Band,
The Hollywood Allstars and many more...
which took place on February 10th, 2016.
Interviewed By Glenn Milligan.
Glenn: Hi Chas, how are you doing?
Chas: Hi Glenn! How are you mate?
Glenn: I’m doing good.
Chas: It’s good to hear it. I’m playing the Monsters Of Rock Cruise. The Moby Dicks are playing it this time. I did it a few years ago in the all-star Zeppelin thing that I do.
Glenn: I remember seeing you guys a couple of years ago with Brian Tichy on Drums at The Viper Room with Amy Rae Yard.
Chas: Yeah that must have been about three years ago.
Glenn: It was yeah.
Chas: We’re doing that and also the Moody Blues Cruise also – we’re doing two in a row.
Glenn: That’s cool.
Chas: It’ll be fun. I’m looking forward to it. It’s just a little bit of work and a lot of fun. Four days and you’ve got to play once or twice and that’s about it so it’s great.
Glenn: That’s brilliant. How’s the temperature there, I heard it’s really cold all over America. They are moaning about the temperature down in Florida they aren’t used it it so low.
Chas: It’s beautiful here. It was 90 degrees here yesterday. Even for Southern California that’s ridiculously warm. I am going to enjoy it while it’s here.
Glenn: Anyway, what originally led you to wanting to be a singer?
Chas: I started when I was young. I started playing guitar in junior high school. I could still play some but I just wasn’t that good. I was okay but I was the only guy who could sing. You are trying to form a band when you are 14 and they said, “Hey, who can sing?”, and I was the only one who could sing. That’s how I became a singer. Basically it just went from that point to, “Oh you know, why don’t you just sing? You’re good at that!” That kind of thing. Deep down I’m frustrated guitar player.
Glenn: When you first started singing, what songs sorts of songs were you singing and when did you think, ‘Wow, I can sing this amazing’ or was it other people that said that to you?
Chas: I started with the Classic Rock stuff when I was a kid. Then it moved on from there. I started with songs by The Rolling Stones and David Bowie and then into Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Van Halen. Then it progressed. My range got better and I could do some Led Zeppelin and more than that. I could sing Judas Priest. Then I thought, ‘Let’s try Rush!’. Then Whitesnake. It developed a bit. This was before I had any training. I could do it.
Even when I was little boy I could sing on key before my voice changed. My Mum knew right from there that I had it. I obviously had a natural gift. Then I saw my first Rock Concert. I saw The Who. I got tickets for me and my older sister who took me. That blew me away. I saw Roger Daltrey and I said, “Yeah! I wanna do that!” (Laughs) I could see myself doing it. That was pretty cool. As I went on it stuck with me. I did that and I did acting too in this theatre. I was doing it and then I had to choose where I was going to concentrate more. I went more for the musician because I felt that I was more passionate about that. That’s why I went more in that area.
Glenn: What were your first bands called?
Chas: ‘Casino’ and ‘Nasty Lash’ and ‘Barracuda’. They were the early, early ones. That’s before I did anything major. We were just playing covers. In one of them we started to write a couple of originals. We’d just started but mostly it was just covers. You are talking about when I was about 13 or 14 years old – maybe 12 – somewhere around there. My mom failed to kick me out onto the street (to play). She’d rather have me rehearsing in her basement than out on the street. She kept me out of trouble. We were still naughty boys but at least I wasn’t out in a gang. I wasn’t in a gang robbing a liquor store.
Glenn: No jail time!
Chas: Right! No jail! The worst part was getting stoned or drinking some beers.
Glenn: Oh that’s minor stuff so no problem. How did you go from your young cover bands and a bit further up and run into Jason Bonham?
Chas: That was interesting. I met him at a party years by but we never really connected. What happened was I got a call. I was living in Los Angeles already and had a local band. I was doing like many other musicians here, I moved out here from the east coast. I had an offer as someone saw me play at a club on the east coast of New Jersey. He said he had this band that was close to being signed and I was interested in making a move. I was thinking, ‘Where do I sign up, I want to go to L.A. – Hell Yes!’. It was one of those. Of course, when I got out here the whole thing fell through in about a week or so. It turned out to be a different situation to what I was told and I didn’t know what I was going to do.
I could have gone back east but nothing much was really happening. I got a job at The Troubador Nightclub. I worked there and basically I met musicians from that so I ended up staying here. I got a day job. I did what so many other local musicians do, I worked a day job and I had a local band and I was playing around. I had done a few things. I got a couple of production deals and demo deals because I’d been in L.A. for few years. Then all of a sudden, I got a call from person that said, “Hey Jason Bonham’s looking for a new vocalist. I went, “Really?” and he said, “Yeah, you’ve got the kind of voice he might be looking for”. So like many other guys I sent in a tape, or should I say a DVD, a CD a picture and everything.
I didn’t hear anything back for a few months and then this one day all of a sudden, just out of the clear blue, it was the first day of either October of November of the year. I called as I had the number of the manager because I was of a personal referral so I didn’t have to just go through the ad. I called and it turned out to be later to be my Manager, Phil Carson. He said, “Oh, you know it’s so strange, I was just about ready to call you, what’s your name again?”, and I told him Charles.
He said, “Oh yeah, by the way, Jason and the guys are coming into town and we’ve got a couple of songs, they’ve putting together some originals and we’re going to have you and a couple of other guys. See what you come up with, write something and then do one or two Zeppelin songs because we want to include Zeppelin songs in the set list”. I said, “Okay”. He said, “Why don’t you come up and meet with me?”. So I did and I went and that was Phil Carson first. The rest is history as they say.
I went back and I wrote. I was immediately inspired. I remember hearing this stuff at Phil Carson’s and right away I had melody ideas and lyrics. I said I was excited. I immediately went back and I had it done within a couple of days. It was about three or four songs and one or two Zeppelin songs. He was like, “Wow you’ve already done!”, I said, “Yeah!”. He said, “I tell you what..” because obviously I’d passed the audition as far as checking me out and I had presented my self okay. He said, “I feel comfortable with what I hear. Here’s the number for where Jason’s at. So why don’t you give him a ring and see if you can get together with him and go from there”.
That’s true! It took a couple of weeks but I finally did and I actually met the guitar player first. He was in charge of making sure and weeding out anybody who was going to be a waste of time. He was very impressed and we got on really well. He’s from New York. Then we ended up hanging out that night. We went and jammed somewhere. We worked on jamming all night long. Then a few days later it was the proper audition and it was like, ‘that was it’, two days later they said, “You’re in, here’s your itinerary” and my whole life changed within a two week period for the next five years.
I lived a lot of my dreams and goals after struggling for years. Playing local bands and worked a day job, doing whatever I had to do to make ends meet. I paid my dues, let’s put it that way over and over. So that was pretty much as here we say. Persistence does pay off with bands. It’s just being in the right place at the right time but you’ve got to be ready. That was the one thing. Had I not been impressive nothing would have ever happened. But I was always ready and when I got that call I got through. That’s how it happens.
Glenn: I think things like that are a ‘chance of a lifetime’. You never know if you are going to get another chance like that so you’ve just got to go for it and make sure you are always spot on and ready for that to happen.
Chas: Exactly. That’s what I’m saying, you’ve always got to be ready. Persistence pays off and you never know. They say it’s all timing and it’s true. It happens sometimes when you least expect it. So had I not called in that day, I still might have heared from them. It was just out of clear blue. I remember specifically.
It was in January and I thought, ‘I haven’t heard anything back from that, why don’t I just give a call? What have I got to lose and see what’s going on? It just happened to be like that day which was like during the week like a Tuesday or something. It was like, “Yeah I was just going to call you. We figured out we wanted to check out you and a couple of other guys and we’re going to have to work on these songs”. I found out later there was over 700 singers they had looked at.
Glenn: Holy Hell! That’s a lot!
Chas: Yeah. That’s what I found out. Both here and in the UK. They weeded it down to about 10 or so and I was one of them. So yeah!
Glenn: That’s pretty amazing. Did you guys record much because I know he had the band ‘Bonham’?
Chas: Yeah I did. We did two records. We had to change it because of legalities of other labels. It was a new label and we went from ‘Bonham’ to ‘The Jason Bonham Band’. We did one live at Electric Ladyland Studios in New York City – Jimi Hendrix’s old studio. It was called ‘The Zep Set’. It was all Zeppelin live – all completely live – no overdubs, no nothing at the end of a tour. We donated and we had a charity that that went to that was the big brothers and sisters of America in Los Angeles. So it all went to charity but it was more of a promotional thing and in a good cause.
Right after that within about less than a year and the last record Bonham band ever released. It was called ‘When You See The Sun’. It came out on Sony in ’97 and that was the last record we ever did. We toured on and off a little bit longer for another couple of years. We reunited again in 2004 or 2005 and that was pretty much it because the music climate had changed so radically and everybody was busy doing other things.
Glenn: Yeah. Then of course he went out a bit later and did the Reunion show with Led Zeppelin as well.
Chas: Right. We’d already done that. It was the same guitarist that Jason used to play with – Tony Catonia. Just different people – a different bassist and different vocalist and everything else But they never did that… we did original stuff too so it wasn’t just a tribute. We combined the two. We did a little of both. Obviously who see Jason Bonham are always going to want to hear some Zeppelin. I’m being honest to God honest here – Jason was sat next to Jimmy Page and Jimmy said, “You guys really captured the jamming of it that we had.” To me, that was just an amazing compliment.
Chas: So we’d do that to please the fans and carry on Jason’s Dad’s bands legacy but we also had out own material that we worked very hard on and I was very proud of a lot of it. Basically the whole bottom fell out of the music as far as the labels. Before I entered the picture it was right prior to that. Things were already changing but it was before everything did a complete 180 and the bottom fell out. The music business as we know it…
Glenn: Yeah! It all went downhill. Many of the record company people seemed to changed and it all went a bit weird.
Chas: Labels went through. They basically folded. This was just right prior to that but you could already see that times were changing. I could already see this. Things were already like this in the late 90’s. This was a big old metamorphosis to what it is right now.
Glenn: So because you did the Led Zeppelin material with Jason Bonham, did that lead you onto working with other tribute bands that played Led Zeppelin songs or did it simply evolve from that?
Chas: Well it’s something that’s always been my heart and soul ever since then and I love it. If it’s done right and I do it with people I enjoy it with I’ll do it. The Moby Dicks came out because we were all friends. We were all musicians, we were all professionals and they’re all ‘Zep Heads’ like me. So if I can’t do it with Jason I want to do it with guys that are great and feel a passion for it also and I am mates with.
Not a bunch of strangers. I’m not gonna do that. I’m not going to be silly and try and dress like they did in the 70’s and all that crap because I don’t want anything to do with any of that. It’s only with friends if they do it right. It’s not strictly my whole career but if it’s done right I will do it.
Glenn: Which would you say are your favourite Led Zeppelin songs to sing and which do you find the most demanding songs and why?
Chas: It depends nightly. I love ‘Kashmir’ – I always have. I love that song! It’s not that it’s demanding at all. I just love the feel of it. I love how it goes up and down and it’s the waves – the waves of an ocean. It builds! It just builds on guitar. I love doing like more the obscure stuff – ‘In My Time Of Dying’, ‘The Rover’ or stuff like that. As opposed to just the regular songs. I mean, I love all Zeppelin. There’s not one Zeppelin song I don’t. There’s some that I love a lot more and I appreciate more.
As far as demanding, as a tough one I remember ‘Out On The Tiles’ for some reason being a tough one to sing. I don’t know why. That was a little more demanding. At the Bonzo Bash I have done 4 to 6 hour of Zeppelin straight. So we’ve pretty much covered just about every Led Zeppelin song that you could think of and I was able to get through them all. There’s some that are definitely less demanding and more enjoyable and I just kind of feel a bit more than others but I love ‘m all.
Glenn: Yeah that’s awesome. How did ‘In The Led’ come to be?
Chas: Oh that’s another side thing I do with some friends. I’ve known the guitar player 20 something years. Before I even got the Bonham gig I was in a band with him. Then he played with ‘Led Zepagain’ after that. So we’ve been friends and I’ve know the bass player for a few years too. So that’s how that came about. That’s a thing I do on the side. The Moby Dicks is my main Zeppelin thing because that’s an All-Stars Zeppelin tribute. Everybody – Brian Tichy, Brent Woods, Michael Devin. We’re all named guys who have made it from a professional position. So that’s a little different.
Glenn: I must ask you about ‘Jake E. Lee’s ‘Red Dragon Cartel’. What’s your low-down of what happened there because that was such a weird, revolving door occurrence when it came to Frontman especially?
Chas: It was like Karioke after that. I got in because I knew the Manager from doing the Bonzo Bashes and Jake knew who I was because we had met. We did the Monsters of Rock Cruise about two years ago. We hung out. I like him. He’s a phenomenal guitar player. He’s a great guy. I just don’t think he’s a very smart businessman. After me, I don’t know, it became like the ‘Singer Of The Week Club’. It became unfortunate for him because he is so talented and Badlands are one of my favourite bands. I liked the record he put out about a year ago on Frontiers. I don’t know what he was thinking to be quite honest with you.
I guess he came to his senses and he got the original singer back, Darren, but I even sent him a text saying that was the smartest thing he had done since hiring me because it really was becoming silly. It was becoming like a karaoke singer. It was like, “Can I have someone from the audience next?” Everyone asked what happened. I said, “Nothing happened. Everything was great. I thought everything was going fine and it was all going to carry on”. All of a sudden, he decided he wanted to make a change and then it became a change again and a change again. At that point, there had been so many so now it’s loads better. But it was a different singer one after another.
Glenn: It was ridiculous.
Chas: For a man who was so absolutely talented… like I said, he’s an amazing guitarist, he’s a great guy to hang with… just doesn’t make the smartest business decisions – that’s all.
Glenn: It just got embarrassing with a particular internet site with yet another singer named.
Chas: Oh yeah. I know. I know.
Glenn: Amy said to me at the time, “Look Chas has got the position in the band”. I checked the material and I thought ‘Holy Sh*t, Jake’s struck gold – just stick with Chas. You’ve got the best vocalist you could ever get’. Then I thought after Jake let you go, ‘What are you doin’ Jake?!?’
Chas: I appreciate that. Thank you.
Glenn: No Problem. You were spot on!
Chas: Like I said, I thought I was doing great. I was kinda thrown in. We only had one rehearsal. But it was going good and it was getting better and better and the Manager was thrilled. It seemed like it was going to carry on. Then all of a sudden this came down. He decides he wants to do this with his next run and that lasted about a week or so. There was the guy who sang the wrong lyrics to a different song. I don’t know. It just became a fiasco! But I wish him nothing but the best. I enjoyed singing the stuff and I had a good time while I was doing it. I never say never. That’s how you go. If they say, “Are you going to do it again?”, I’ll say, “Yay”. Never say never. I’ll keep the door open.
Glenn: Exactly. The best way.
Chas: There’s no hard feelings.
Glenn: Can you tell us about some of the various bands you’ve had the joy of playing in over the years as there have been many like the Hollywood Allstars for example?
Chas: I’ve done quite a bit. Hollywood Allstars – that was many years ago. That’s how ‘Three Legged Dog’ came about – we did one record. That was with Vinny Appice, Carlos Cavazo and Jimmy Bain – God rest his soul. So that’s how that came about. We did one record. Before that of course, I was with Lynch Mob and Lynch Mob again. I did Lynch Mob twice – years apart. I’ve toured with The Sweet. I toured with Diamond Head and they are from the UK. I toured with them in 2013 – the US Tour.
A band called ‘Tribe of Gypsies’ with my friend (Guitarist) Roy Z and (Drummer) Dave Moreno. Roy Z who produced Judas Priest and Bruce Dickinson & Rob Halford. We did a record. That came out and it was only released in Japan and the Asian countries but we went and toured on that in Japan. I try to keep myself busy. Now of course, Resurrection Kings. That’s going to get me back on the map.
Glenn: How did Resurrection Kings come to be and how did you become a part of that band?
Chas: Well actually, it was Craig Goldy and I that started it. It wasn’t a furthered event. We just started writing together about 5 or 6 years ago after Hollywood Allstars because Carlos got busy with Ratt. We did some shows and we got on really well and he loved my vocals. I loved his playing so he said, “Why don’t we get together and write?” I said, “Okay”. So he was in San Diego and I was in LA and he said, “ Well I’ll just come up to you”. I said, “Oh great. I got a spare room. You can stay at my house”. So that’s what we did. We hung out and we wrote some songs and the plan was to form a band. This was about a year after Ronnie (James Dio) passed.
It went really well and that was the plan but of course of how this in industry is, everyone gets busy and you’ve got to make a living doing other things. So he got busy with Dio Disciples and then I did Lynch Mob again on the second time around so it never really transpired. We talked about it but there was always something else so we put it on the back burner. Like, we’d like to do something with this so these songs are not just sitting around collecting dust. So eventually, fast forward a few years later, Serafino (Perugino at Frontiers Records in Italy) got to hear them because he wanted to do something with Craig and form a project around him.
He liked this one song in particular. He said, “Wow – this is great”. He liked the song, he liked me but he never really knew who I was. They were going to have another singer and another drummer instead of Vinny and myself. Then that didn’t work out so that’s basically how I came in the picture. Then years later again because he found out who I was and loved my vocals. He said, “Hey, I think I got something happening with at least one of those songs we wrote years ago”. Then of course, we got Vinny on board. Sean McNabb – that was Serafino who suggested him.
The great things is, is that we’ve all known each together on and off for years. None of us were strangers. I think even Sean did Hollywood Allstars at one point – just filling in for something. The music industry in the Hard Rock/Heavy Metal genre on the west coast is a very small incestuous world. Everybody knows each other and plays with each other. It’s like, “Hey, I’m not available, can you do this? I’m doing this instead, can you fill in for me?”. So it was very comfortable. It was like, “Yeah Okay”. Then they got this Producer involved. So that’s how it became a band. A project which is now a band. Frontiers gave us the opportunity and the offer. Now we are going to take it to the next level and take it on the road and take it on tour. We’ve already broken the ice.
Glenn: I noticed you have done a show. How was that?
Chas: We did a CD release at a place called the Rockbar Theatre in San Jose which is an amazing venue. It went over really well. We did some of the originals and then of course we also did some songs of bands that were connected with throughout our careers like Black Sabbath and some Dio. Play some songs that people want to hear because this is a brand new band and a brand new record. But it was amazing and the thing I loved is that there were a few people that knew the original songs. They’d already got the album. I remember a couple saying, “Hey man, I love that song ‘Livin’ Out Loud’! Are you going to do ‘Path Of Love’? I said “Wow, you guys do know some of these songs already!” That was very refreshing.
Glenn: It’s a good feeling.
Chas: It was good feeling. It really was. Then of course, they loved it when we played songs like ‘Heaven And Hell’, ‘Neon Nights’ and ‘We Rock’ and a couple of Zeppelin songs. Just to give the crowd pleasers. So it went really well. We got a Manager and a couple of Agents. So we are going to take this a lot further this year. This year and next so we might even be over there in the UK.
Glenn: It sounds good because they will love you across here. You ought to come over to Sheffield because we have a great venue here in the Corporation!
Chas: We’ll be in Europe.
Glenn: The rock scene in the UK and Europe is very healthy right now for this genre. It’s great.
Chas: For this genre of music it’s probably the biggest all over Europe – Scandinavian countries. I know it’s big there in Finland.
Glenn: And it’s about time again!
Chas: It is!
Glenn: We’ve had enough Pop Idol, American Idol, X Factor sh*t. We want proper bands coming across and playing.
Chas: Right. I agree. Exactly. Enough of this hip-hop sampling crap which unfortunately is still big here in America.
Glenn: I know. It sucks!
Chas: That’s why I’m really looking forward to Europe. In the USA, there is a rock market here – a hard rock market and a metal market but it’s not as big as Europe’s right now and it’s only certain areas. I notice that. But it looks like we are going to be over there in Europe in the fall - late Summer. It might be a festival here and there possibly but before that we are looking at doing a run in the fall. We’ll do some shows in the States here – Spring/Summer. It looks like we are going to go to South America in late Spring and then be over your way!
Glenn: Awesome! How long did it take to record the album?
Chas: Well we all did it separately. We all live in California but two of the guys were down near San Diego way and then myself and Sean in Los Angeles. So we all did it separately and originally there was another drummer. That didn’t work out so Vinny came in so that delayed things even longer. Originally we signed a deal back in late December 2013. It would have probably been out around 2014 but then it got delayed because we had to replace the drummer, re-do all the tracks. It was a long tedious process because of that. I was even wondering for a bit if it was going to transpire. If and when but they never gave up. Of course, Frontiers brought in Alessanoro (Del Vechhio) who was a Producer and Co-writer. He really helped pull the whole thing together.
Glenn: It sounds well!
Chas: Yeah. Thank you. He’s a good keyboard player and singer also. Eventually, it happened quickly when they got all that worked out and got Vinny in and he did his tracks. We all did them separately. In fact, we played together like I said for the first time just a little over a week ago (February, 2nd, 2016). I mean as far as this band, Resurrection Kings, it was the first time we’d played together.
Glenn: How was that? That must have been weird?
Chas: Well yeah but we’d already done a video together, we’d done a photo session together but like I said, we’re not strangers. It’s weird when strangers meet but we’d known each other for years.
Glenn: Yeah! The chemistry is there.
Chas: I’ve known Craig Goldy for over 10. I met Vinny him when I was in Bonham in South America when he was playing with Ronnie Dio and we were on tour together. I’ve known Sean longer than that. I mean, since we were kids when I first moved out here. We all go way back. There has been many, many bands and many parties that we’ve hung out at over the years.
Glenn: That comes across in the music as well because everything just envelopes around everything else. It all fits together like a musical jigsaw. There’s nothing that stands out of place and it just flows. It sounds so professional. Everything’s there that should be there.
Chas: Yeah, thanks man! The next one will hopefully be better if we want to do a follow up. We’ll have more songs on there that we’re involved in the writing with even more. Of course, we’ll be out there touring so people will even know who we are by that point. So that’s the plan – hopefully we’ll do a follow-up.
Glenn: Nice! What songs mean the most to you and why on the album?
Chas: Well ‘Livin’ Out Loud’ is what started everything off. So that means a lot to me. That was the one that started five or six years ago that (Craig) Goldy and I first got together. It was the one that Serafino picked. There were about half a dozen to a dozen songs that we had written and recorded. That was the one he pick that he really liked. So that one definitely stands out. I think there’s a lot of good ones oddly enough. I like ‘Who Do You Run To’, ‘Path Of Love’ – as far as a power ballad goes, the ladies love that one – ‘Never Say Goodbye’ – there’s some good ones. It’s good and all the reviews have been very favourable.
Glenn: I bet it’s great for you to be out there singing original material as opposed to Zeppelin songs. It’s fresh and it’s part of you more isn’t it?
Chas: Right! It’s part of me. You’ve got it mate. Exactly. I mean, I love doing Zeppelin believe me. I could say, even with this we are doing one or two Zeppelin. We came out the other night and did ‘Whole Lotta Love’ as an encore and they went crazy. And why not you know? But yeah, it’s something you’ve got creative input in and I’m showing I’m part of something original too. (Laughs) That’s how I started. I wasn’t just the cover guy or the tribute guy. Unfortunately with the music industry, it’s been extremely hard the last 10 years or so and a lot of guys have to do what they had to do.
But at least what I was doing even though I was doing covers there was something that really was in my heart and soul that I felt passionate about and it was something that connected with my resume – my career resume. It wasn’t like I was just going up there and just singing anything just to make a buck. Then you are just whoring yourself. I am not like that. But yeah, it’s great. I love it and I’m very grateful, very grateful (emphasises it). I got a shot again. We’re a little bit older and a little bit…. A lot wiser – we’re not over the hill yet!
Glenn: What I was thinking today is that it’s great that you are now firmly part of that Black Sabbath/Deep Purple/Rainbow/Dio/Whitesnake enormous family tree because you are now a recorded artist with some of those guys which is like… you can’t wish for any more than that can you?
Chas: No not really. You are right. It’s fate. It’s like the universe brought us together and it kind of works the way it works. Of course, like I said, we all know each other. We’re not strangers. Maybe Ronnie and my Mum are working their magic. Somewhere someone made this all work out because here we are five or six years later. Something that (Craig) Goldy and I originally put together and we weren’t sure what was going to happen or if it was going to happen and here we are now. So it’s a great feeling to do that and finally something came about it.
Glenn: I was thinking earlier that it would be cool, that’s if Vinny had the stamina to be able to do such a show, would be to have Resurrection Kings do headline tour with ‘Last In Line’.
Chas: I know. It’s funny. You’re not the only one who mentioned that. You never know. I’m open to it. We all know all those guys too. Of course, Jimmy (Bain) was a band mate and a close friend. So yeah. I’m not opposed to that. But of course, it would have to be the right deal. I don’t know if that’ll work. I doubt that would happen now but I’m always open to ideas.
Glenn: How do you keep your voice in such good working order? Keeping it as trim as it is and not to fault because you are singing such high stuff it must be so demanding? Do you have certain things you eat or drink to keep it in good condition?
Chas: It’s all about balance. I don’t live the life of a monk. I’m not a teetotaller. But I don’t smoke cigarettes, I don’t do any drugs and I’ll have a few drinks here and there but I’m not going out and getting hammered every night anymore. I don’t get legless every night. Those are the old days. I do eat healthy and I drink a lot of water and I work out so I exercise. I mean, really, it’s all about balance. I’ve got to tell you that hydrating is really important. To be a singer you need to drink a lot of water. Especially if you drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes you’ve got to double that – double-triple that because the worst thing is to dry out the chords.
I was smart enough years ago to take some vocal training. I had a great vocal coach. His name was Ron Anderson. He worked with Chris Cornell and many people. What I loved about him is that he didn’t try to change my voice. He knew I already had this big hard rock type of voice – a big powerful voice with an edge with a bluesy rasp on it. He didn’t try to change that. He just showed me how to do it properly so I don’t destroy myself. That’s what was great about him. It was all just basically technique. It was all diaphragm breathing, using your head voice, place voice, place voice. That’s what it was all about.
Thankfully I’ve retained that and I do that. I do little warm-ups before I go on and I still have my old cassette and every once (in a while) I’ll listen to it. I still have things on CD’s. That’s really helped a lot because for years I was pushing, pushing and I didn’t understand why I wouldn’t get headaches and thing. I was told my voice was so powerful but I didn’t have the proper movements but I was very young. Before I’d done anything major you don’t have the proper technique. You’re pushing – so that really helps me out. So it’s a combination of everything to be able to continue to do what I do and do it to the best of my ability.
Glenn: So future and immediate plans must be in regard to Resurrection Kings?
Chas: For now, yeah. Definitely. There are a couple of other things too that I can’t talk about right now. I’m digging the Resurrection Kings and I’m really happy about the reflection we’ve got from the fans. I’m looking forward to really taking this out on the road and taking it out on tour Worldwide. I really want to concentrate on Europe to be honest with you. We’ll play the United States too but I want to concentrate on Europe. I am also looking forward to going back to South America again. I haven’t been there in years. That’s where Vinny and I met. We were playing Stadiums and he was playing with Dio and I was with Jason Bonham playing to 70,000 people. I’m looking forward to doing that again.
Basically, I want to show them that it’s not just a recording project – it’s a real band. That’s the one thing with Frontiers – they have a projects. A lot of people that were writing in on social media were asking, “Is this going to be another recording project? I said, “No – this a real band, we’re gonna go and tour, we’re gonna take this out”. Obviously, everybody has other things too but everybody’s into it especially after we shattered the ice, I should say (we laugh). Now that we’ve got a Manager and a couple of agents that want to work with us. That’s my main concern!
Glenn: No doubt the thing that keeps you going is that you love it so much and you have so much passion for it. I can hear it in your voice.
Chas: Oh yeah, I do! You are right about that. It is my passion. It’s my life blood. I’ve got to be creative. I’ve got to be constructive because if not I get very frustrated. (Laughs). If you’re not constructive, you get destructive. I’ve been like that since I was a kid. I’m really, really excited about this and especially to play with my friends that I’ve know for many years. That’s something that’s been there since the get-go when we conceived the whole thing. Whereas I was stepping in as a hired singer before in some of the other bands that I’ve been with over the years ten years.
Glenn: You are so involved in music but do you have any hobbies outside of music or is it just music, music, music, music, music – this is my love, hobby and everything else?
Chas: Well nothing really serious. I love to watch football – American and English – European Football. I love it. I used to play it actually. I used to play soccer. What they call soccer here – your football – proper football. Apart from that I love to go to the beach. Nothing serious but I like I said, I did acting too in the past and I still love that and movies. I did some theatre.
I can always keep my eye open for young talent as far as producing and developing so they can carry on when I’m in my hoveround I don’t want to be in the front row.. (Laughs). I get hope when I see kids. When I see them and they’ve got it gives me hope for the future to be in the front row. Thank god. I always look to that to try and nurture and develop and maybe produce. Besides that, it’s pretty musically based.
Glenn: With regard to acting, I remember when we lost David Bowie and you said on facebook, “I remember meeting him and being in a certain film with him”. That’s pretty incredible. How was that?
Chas: That’s so funny. It was a moment. It was weird. It was great. He was so, so polite and so kind. This was before I’d done anything major. I’d just moved down here and I was doing background extra work. I had an agency here I worked through and they said, “We got you this”. It was just a crowd scene in a nightclub. It was supposed to be in New York. I didn’t know anything about David Bowie until I got the screenplay and it said he played the bartender. I was like, “Oh my god!”. I wanted to go up to him the whole time but I was like, ‘Oh…’ I was nervous and of course they have rules about that.
So eventually at lunchtime I saw an opportunity and I just went over and introduced myself. He was so kind and cordial. I said, “God nice to meet you”, “Oh Great” he said. Then I told him I had a band. This was when I still had a local band in L.A. This was before cell phones and selfies. You couldn’t do that. You couldn’t take a picture. It’s just imbedded in my memory. That’s it. It was like a minute or two. A couple of minutes, that was about it over a lunch table but it made a lasting impression. Especially the fact that he was so kind and cordial and engaged in conversation with me for a couple of minutes.
Glenn: Well you can say you’ve had your Bowie moment and that means a lot!
Chas: Oh absolutely mate! Yeah of course. Then of course years later when I was playing with Jason, Me and Robert, Jason and Jimmy, hanging out with Rod Stewart, Chris Squire – it was mind-blowing. Also, when I met Roger Daltrey – it was my first concert and I told him that. It was mind-blowing! Wow!
Glenn: It was the second one for me. I saw The Who at the NEC, Birmingham in October of 1989. I would have been about 11 or 12. He was amazing. It was mind-blowing.
Chas: Exactly. I was a kid. That’s when I saw them. At Madison Square Garden. My older sister took me and it made a lasting impression! I was like, “That’s what I wanna do!”
Glenn: Yeah exactly.
Chas: I go, “Well you are going to get the credit or the blame”. He would get the blame but then of course when I had the success and he got to see me play in front of a stadium with girls that are chatting him up. It was like he’d get the credit for getting me the ticket.
Glenn: What would you say you are most proud of so far?
Chas: There are a lot of things. Obviously, ‘The Jason Bonham Band’ because I went from complete obscurity – just a local struggling kid in a local band to that being my first break. He gave me my first break and I will always be forever grateful to him for that. It wasn’t like I had something on my resume that really meant anything. Then now! It’s kind of a second time around and I’m involved from the get-go. So Three Legged Dogg due unfortunately through Geffen never got its justs do – the record. The company folded but that was something I was involved. But Resurrection Kings – onwards and upwards as they say.
Glenn: So are there any good tour stories you are allowed to tell?
Chas: Oh yeah. Since my old friend, Jimmy Bain recently passed, I can remember when we were out with the Hollywood Allstars and we were doing fly-out dates. So it wasn’t a bus. We’d go to the airport, we’d rent a big minivan and we were travelling because it was no more than a couple of hours drive. It was a night drive. It was very late – in the wee hours of the morning and we stop at a truck stop. Everybody got out, relieved themselves or to get something to eat or whatever.
Jimmy got out at a separate time. We got out earlier and he got out later. He woke up as I guess he fell asleep. He got out and he went out into the truck stop to do what he had to do. So we were all back in the van waiting for him. We noticed all of a sudden this other had van pulled up next to us and it’s exactly the same type of van. It’s an Asian family. (We start laughing). This was four in the morning. You can imagine right?
Chas: So Jimmy comes out looking like something the cat dragged in. This being Jimmy, he basically goes to the wrong van. You should have seen the shrieking! Me and Carlos were dying, Vinny was dying. If you had heard the screaming and shrieks of these people when he opened up the van. It was as though they thought they were being Carjacked by Keith Richards or something. That was a funny moment. I remember that. He realised right away. It was kind of like “Arrghh!!” from this family. They must have been thinking,‘Who is this guy getting in…”, then he realised. We’re all just dying. He looks over and we’re all just bursting out laughing. Just busting up! Just dying! We saw the whole scenario from the window. That was a good one.
Glenn: You can’t make that sh*t up can you?
Chas: No, no. Exactly! I can remember that one off the top of my head.
Glenn: That’s awesome! What’s Encino like for music or do you have to go to other parts of Los Angeles to get more of a scene?
Chas: There’s a rock club down the street called Paladinos. It’s not far. That’s in Tarzana. That’s right next door. Okay, it’s maybe a couple of miles away. Mainly they have tribute bands. They have some original stuff. I’ve played there before. There was another place called Harpers. That closed down. We used to go and jam there a lot. It was always just a fun place to go and jam. Hollywood Allstars played there. There’s a place called Skinnys in North Hollywood.
Glenn: Yeah Where Skum Love has his nights on Wednesdays. A really good guy.
Chas: It’s a fun place. Unfortunately they are few and far between and of course The Canyon Club. That’s not too far in Agoura Hills. That has international acts. Besides that, it’s mainly smaller places that mainly do tribute bands. Some local originals and some jams. Sometimes some all star jams for benefits – things like that. Apart from that it’s pretty much Hollywood and unfortunately we’ve lost two venues there. We lost ‘The Key Club’, we lost ‘The House Of Blues’.
Glenn: And The Cat Club went as well. What a great spot that was that Happening Harry used to all the bands on at!
Chas: That bar was nice. I’d be there all night long. I used to love that place. I had a lot of fun there.
Glenn: I always remember the sliding toilet door – crazy sh*t man!
Chas: Oh yeah! People used to walk in. I used to say, “I don’t care, I’m not shy! Whatever!” (We laugh). I know. I do remember that and that outside area was great!
Glenn: It was!
Chas: They had that patio outside. That was a fun place. We used to go when I was in The Jason Bonham Band to a place called ‘The Red Rock’ – now it’s called The State Social House’.
Glenn: It is Yeah. I was there last time. There’s an upstairs part and they have acoustic stuff on.
Chas: Yeah they do have that upstairs. They do a lot of that upstairs. Definitely.
Glenn: Have you been in Lucky Strike on a Wednesday night as well?
Chas: Lucky Strike yeah! I’m doing it tonight actually. I’m doing a song with Roy Z and Dave Moreno - ‘Comfortable Numb’. Oh it’s great. It’s happening there! It’s fantastic. They pack it out.
Glenn: You just don’t know who is going to turn up do you? It would have been cool to have been there when David Lee Roth was meant to play!
Chas: Yeah then they shut it down. He was ready backstage. Ralph Saenz from Steel Panther was there. David showed up and he was just going to do a couple of songs. I was standing right next to him and they shut it down. He was in a great mood. He was all up for it.
Glenn: A nice guy?
Chas: He is yes! Very intelligent!
Chas: Anyway, I’m glad you like the record and hopefully we’ll be over there in the UK some time in the fall.
Glenn: Cool, anyway I’ll be over in the US from 10th March. I will be down to Fort Myers, Florida first and will see my buddy Stet Howland there. One of our mutual friends. He’s a good guy.
Chas: He is a good guy. I like Stet. I’ve known him for many years since I got here. There was this nightclub called ‘FM Station’. We all used to play there. It’s been closed for years. ‘Filthy McNasty’s’. He lived right at the back of it. I was in a local band called ‘Hard Knocks’. He lived right back so when FM would close, we’d go right to his house and we’d party all night long… all night long… all night long…
Glenn: I can believe it with Stet!
Chas: We would raise hell! He was right off the parking lot. He was like right there. You’d walk across the parking lot, make a left and his house was right there. We’d party all night long.
Glenn: Awesome. Right I’ll let you get off but it’s been great chatting away with you tonight. I appreciate it brother!
Chas: Cheers! Have a good evening.
Glenn: Thanks and I’ll see you later.
Chas: Take Care!
A big thank you to Chas for a really in-depth exciting Interview!