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10 Quick Ones with CHRIS LEWIS from PHEAR – June 2017

According to a recent press release: “If you long for the sounds of vintage power and thrash metal with a prog twist, then there is a fast-rising band that perfectly fits this description – Phear. Comprised of Patrick Mulock – Lead Vocals, Graham Stirrett – Guitar / Backing Vocals, Tyson Emanuel – Guitar / Backing Vocals, Chris Boshis – Bass Guitar / Backing Vocals, Chris Lewis – Drums / Percussion / Backing Vocals, the band is gearing up to issue a five-track EP, ‘The Curse Lives On’ (release date Friday, June 30th, 2017), which follows their debut full-length, ‘Insanitarium.’” We get drummer Chris Lewis to answer our 10 Quick Ones about the new release, their influences, and more…

1. 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?

This latest album is actually the band’s second release. The EP contains three live songs (from our previous album Insanitarium) as well as a new studio song and an epic cover version of the Iron Maiden classic “Rime Of The Ancient Mariner”.  If one listens closely during the bass guitar section of “Rime”, they might be able to hear a certain marine mammal.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I am sure each member of PHEAR has his own story, but for me, I knew at a pretty young age that I wanted to play drums. As a child, I kept hitting on things around the house and trying to play patterns and such.  I would arrange a makeshift drum-kit out of pots, pans, and Frisbees and bang on them with wooden kitchen spoons.  The tipping point for me came when I discovered KISS Alive!.  That album blew my mind when I first saw and heard it.  I wanted to be Peter Criss.   I knew then that drums would be my instrument of choice.

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

For me personally, the list is varied.  When I was younger, my parents listened to a lot of R&B and soul music (Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Earth Wind & Fire, The O’Jays, etc.) and I developed a love for groove & harmonies.   From a hard rock perspective, I grew up listening to such bands such as KISS, Rush, Triumph, Aerosmith, Queen, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, UFO, & Thin Lizzy.    My drumming style developed from all of these sources.   From a band perspective however, I would say the five metal bands that have influenced us collectively the most would be Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Metallica, & Pantera.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

That is a great question and one that is almost impossible for me to answer.  Since KISS was the first band that I fell in love with, I guess I would have to say Paul Stanley.  I’ve always admired his song-writing abilities and his vocals.  But again, from a band perspective, I think we’d all be happy to collaborate with any members of those five bands I mentioned above.  Such an incredible honor and experience that would be for the band.

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

Well….firstly, I would use the word ‘heavy’.   I would also use the words ‘powerful’ and ‘melodic’ as well.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

The ability to express oneself through a medium other than one’s own voice.   For me, I get to do so through drums, as well as through my other band-mates.  Collectively, we are able to create music and then share it with the outside world.  I think the creative process is important for all musicians.  Recordings and live performances are the tangible rewards for us musicians.

7. 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?

We order food in usually because it’s easier that way.   Pat (vocalist) usually is the provider of the libations.   We’re not much of a sing-a-long band actually.  We do however love going to see live bands together and when we do, you can typically hear Pat & I singing and harmonizing at the top of our lungs to the music!

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I often thought about this very question.   I love football so my dream job would be playing defensive end, preferably for my favorite team, The Philadelphia Eagles.  Another dream job would be working with or caring for animals in some form or fashion.

9. 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”?  If so, please tell us about that.

Personally, I try very hard not to live my life with regrets.  I think all experiences – both positive and negative – are important lessons in life and shape who we are and who we become.  With regards to PHEAR, I can’t say that there have been any blatant missteps.  The only issues that we’ve really had in the past are finding and keeping bass players.  We’ve gone through a lot of them over the years. We found our guy now – Bosh, as we like to call him, and he’s been a wonderful fit for us.

10. 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?

Wow – what a question!  I am not sure that I can pick just one.  There have been a handful of albums that have impacted me profoundly.  As mentioned before, KISS Alive! was the impetus for me wanting become a drummer.  The first Van Halen album was so different than any music that was out at the time.  The first Iron Maiden record stopped me in my tracks.  Thin Lizzy’s Live & Dangerous as well as UFO’s Strangers In The Night both kicked my ass and still do to this day.   But I’d have to say the second KING’S X album Gretchen Goes To Nebraska.   For me, that album is a masterpiece.   I would have loved to be a fly-on-the-wall during the recording of that album.  To this day, this is my all-time favorite recording.

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10 Quick Ones with CHRIS LEWIS from PHEAR - June 2017

Filed Under: Interviews

About the Author: ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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