To quote a recent press release regarding Chris Green’s new material: “Best known as the guitarist for metal veterans Tyketto and Rubicon Cross, Chris Green will be showcasing his six-string skills on an all-instrumental five-song EP, Unveil (for which a teaser video can be viewed here). The release comes hot on the heels of Tyketto’s latest offering, ‘Reach,’ which was released via Frontier Records on October 14th. With so many oars in the proverbial water, we were happy to nail down 10 Quickies with Chris Green.
1. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?
My father was a successful musician, i grew up seeing him on TV and being around live music. There were always musicians around the house, parties with live music and even holidays in Europe while his band played residencies at clubs. So ultimately it seemed a no brainer that i would be drawn to an instrument. My dad kept an acoustic guitar in his office, i’d go in there and just strum the strings even though i had no idea what i was doing. In the end he caved in and taught me a few chords. From there i was hooked and just ran with it, i love playing guitar, it’s the only thing i do that completely makes sense.
2. Who would be your main five musical influences?
There so many, so here we go, let’s try and narrow it down to 5.
- Mark Knopfler – Dire Straights – Brothers in arms was one of the 1st albums i heard that had guitar solos in it. The tones were so rich i was just drawn to the sound. The actual song Brothers in Arms is still one of my favorite tunes.
- Paul Gilbert – Mr Big – When i 1st heard the Lean Into It album in the early 90’s i knew that’s how i wanted to able to play. It was fast, technical, but so so so clean and tight. You could hear every note and the the feel was just so raw. Later in my career i got a chance to play the band Scrap Metal with Mr Big’s singer ‘Eric Martin’ and played the 1st 2 tracks off that album that inspired me so much. It was an honor.
- Marty Friedman – Megadeth – Although i loved his role n Megadeth it was Marty’s solo album ‘Scenes’ that really got me into his playing. His bending was so odd, he’d through such strange notes in his phrases and then bend into the right note just before you thought it was a wrong note. His phrasings of odd patterns, like playing in groupings of 5’s and 7’s was mind boggling. And ultimately, he was the person that taught me to use arpeggios to accent chord changes, especially dominant arpeggios and Mixolydian mode, he made me realize that playing over major chords could actually sound awesome. That’s a HUGE part of my playing and all down to him.
- John Petrucci – Dream Theater – When I 1st heard the Images & Words album i was stunned at the production, and John’s guitar playing was just breathtaking. It wasn’t just that it was accurate and well thought out. It was really outside the box from anything i’d heard before. I decided to change my playing up from a legato based style to picking most of my notes. 3 note per string patterns, MUCH more thought in modes, and refining my technique so that my picking was equally as good as my legato, sweep picking, tapping. He taught me that if you’re gonna do something, try to be the absolute best you can possibly be.
- Vito Bratta – White Lion – Probably one of the most underrated players in the rock genre. What i took from Vito was that the solo section didn’t just have to be a bunch of shredding over the verse or chorus pattern, you could take that section to a different place. He’d write different chord progressions and the solo became a ‘song within a song’. I started experimenting with solo sections being complete departures from the rest of the track and that melody was incredibly important. The solo has to be able to sing just as vibrantly as the main vocal melody. I would say he is the most influential part of my playing.
3. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?
Probably John Sykes, i mean, he wouldn’t even need me around as he sings and plays his ass off, but it’d just be an excuse to sit and jam with one of my favorite players of all time.
4. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?
I would say its Technical Melodic Progressive Instrumental music, yea i think that would be an accurate description.
5. What’s the best thing about being a musician?
Not every having to grow up – hahahahaha. No it has to be that i get see the world and get paid doing it. Not to mention playing in front of thousands of people, it’s a little narcissistic i suppose, but you need a little bit of that to pull the job of properly i think haha.
6. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?
Ok, so with Tyketto we all cook, actually we all love to cook so we take turns. It’s definitely me that gets the drinks in as 3 of the band don’t drink, me and the bass player always hit the meet n greet double fisting a couple of beers.
7. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?
I don’t know, really my dream job would be that my band was at a stadium level. That absolutely IS my dream job, it’s all i’ve ever dreamed about. But if i HAVE to choose something else, maybe an archeologist, but more Indiana Jones than Time Team haha.
8. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?
This is a hard one, because i’m in such a happy place with my family that none of tat would have happened if I hadn’t walked this exact path. There are 1,000 things i could have done differently in my career, and yes i think about it sometimes when i see bands up there in front of 70,000 people, i think “what didn’t i do right to have that success”, but thinking like that leads to a very negative headspace. And i don’t wanna be that bitter musician slagging off musicians just because they’re more successful.
9. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?
Probably the Whitesnake ’87’ album. It has so much energy and (in my opinion) the best incarnation of the band. Just to be a fly on the wall and see the takes, the chemistry, an arguments haha. Just the whole thing. I would loved to see that record take shape.
10. What, for you, is the meaning of life??
Apart from 42??? It’s happiness, it’s the only thing that matters. When you’re happy nothing else really matters anyway. I’d take true happiness over absolutely anything.
11. BONUS – tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?
Well my instrumental album UNVEIL came out last December, it’s my 1st instrumental release and i’m so happy with it. All the song on there are emotionally driven, i believe that instrumental music is a bit of a lost art form. To be able to move somebody with music alone and no lyrics, i think that’s a great achievement. It’s easy to move someone with lyrics as everything is laid out for you, you can easily relate to a story. But instrumental music (especially classical) has the chance to let you use your imagination to feel whatever you want, let the music just take you where it wants. It’s been a great experimentation and i think it’s a very inspirational body of work that i’m incredibly proud of. Thanks very much for the opportunity to talk about it.
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