| 1. What are you currently up
Just finished recording a song with American vocalist Mark Boals (ex
Yngwie Malmsteen, Ring Of Fire). His album is called "Edge Of The
World" and comes out October 23. In March I released my debut album,
but it's already time to start thinking about the next one!
| 2. Who were your
My instincts are the biggest influence in terms of decision making and
career planning, but as far as creative influences go, I would say
guitarists like Steve Vai, Brett Garsed, Vinnie Moore, as well as
bands like Dream Theater and Planet X.
| 3. Brief history of the band plus the style of music you play.
I play instrumental progressive metal/rock fusion. There are lots of
guitars but it's not necessarily for guitarists only. My debut
album "The Master Plan" was released in March through my own label,
Progmatic Music. I play all the instruments, but on the next CD I
may have a special guest or two to help me out.
| 4. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoint(s) of your career to
The low point was not getting my CD out sooner because of a tendonitis
injury that prevented me from playing guitar for a long time. The
high point is getting the great responses from people who shelled out
money for the CD.
| 5. How easy is it to gets gigs? What is the live music scene like?
It depends on what kind of gig you're after. For my music in
Australia there are very few opportunities to play live, but if you
want to get live work there are plenty of cover bands concept shows
that pay well. For the record I don't do any of those! I'm just
plugging away selling my CD and thankfully making ends meet.
What do you think of the state of rock music at the moment? Do you
listen to radio much at all? Has the Internet helped music grow or
The state of the scene for me is that one has to make their own
opportunities and be an industry unto themselves. Starting a rather
modest little label setup was the right choice for me because what
I'm doing is such a niche market anyway. Opportunities lost due to
not being on an established label are balanced out by the more
profitable (albeit risky and time consuming) aspects of being the
artist, label, PR guy etc. I think where a lot of labels in my genre
are gonna come unstuck is in their unwillingness to grow new talent.
They want established artists but don't want to be the ones to
establish them. It's a short term strategy in my opinion. They're
waiting until there's no food left before bothering to learn how to
Radio is fine if you're playing what's hip (ie not what I do), but I
think radio in general has been given too much influence and tried to
become a maker of tastes rather than a servant of what many people
want to hear. A classic demonstration of this in Australia is the
fact that when people are on the air making a request, they are told
what to request beforehand in order to go on the air! Since I also
teach guitar, I listen to radio just to know what the kids are into,
but that's about it.
The Internet has been a godsend for me in terms of marketing. Sure,
there is the whole file-sharing debate which I have conflicting views
on, but in general the net has provided a lot of promotional
opportunities that would not have been there otherwise. I would
estimate that 70-80% of my sales have been online purchases made
through my website or at places like Guitar Nine Records.
What do you enjoy getting up to in your spare time (eg hobbies,
I have no time for hobbies unfortunately. Playing guitar was always
my biggest hobby anyway, so I don't mind being so busy with it.
| 8. If you could create a fantasy band - what would be the line-up and
My ideal band would probably consist of some of the great players that
appeared on the Mark Boals album I just did: Mark Boals on vocals
(because he is not only a fantastic singer, but one of the nicest
guys in the industry), Erik Norlander on keyboards (I like his style
and he has cool tones), Virgil Donati on drums (he's Aussie too and
is the #1 drummer out there in my mind), and maybe a fusion bassist
like Ric Fierabracci or Randy Coven just to make things different. I
could be selfish and do all the guitars myself. Yes, that's a good
idea. I don't need anyone showing me up!
| 9. What CD's do you currently have available and where can they be
"The Master Plan" is my debut release. That's available at
http://chrisbrooks.net and http://guitar9.com/themasterplan, and Mark
Boals' "Edge Of The World" is out October 23 in Japan and later in Europe
and the US. That will be available everywhere.
| 10. Message for your
I'd feel like I'm being a rock star if I used the word "fans", since
I think of them as more like supporters and friends, but what I'd
like to say to anyone enjoying my music is that I sincerely
appreciate it, and for those yet to hear me, I hope you can give me a