In this brief interview, we discuss everything from how Chris' solo material varies from his main gig, to producer Matt Allison's charming ways, to Vanilla Ice's acting career.
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Please start by telling the kids who you are, what you do, and why you are here answering questions.
My name is Chris, I'm thirty years old, I'm unemployed and I just moved out of my parents house about eight months ago. At times you'll find me traveling around our fine nation in a van full of stuffed animals and playing with a band called The Lawrence Arms. I just put out an acoustic record under the name Sundowner. Those assholes at Red Scare must be pretty well connected to land me this interview.
So, your new solo album Four One Five Two via the moniker Sundowner comes out this week, anything you'd like to tell me before it drops?
For some reason, when I drink too much I develop these massive hangovers. I like spicy bloody mary's too.
You released the album via Red Scare Industries, a label run by a couple of functioning alcoholics, are you out of your mind?
Yeah, basically. They got me stinking like a hobo in paradise drunk one night on greyhounds and tequila shots and convinced me to sign a record deal with them. I don't remember a lick of it. The next day they showed me the contract. I've been on the Red Scare roster ever since.
Matt Allison produced this thing, is he as slick in person as his production work?
Well, actually it was Neil Hennessy and myself that mainly produced it, along with Jenny Choi. We made the album at Atlas and Matt helped out a lot though. In answer to your question, Matt Alison is one of the slickest dudes I know. He's all black leather jackets and snakeskin boots. Don't leave him alone in a room with your sister.
Matt Alison is one of the slickest dudes I know. He's all black leather jackets and snakeskin boots. Don't leave him alone with your sister.
How many shows will it take of kids constantly hassling you and Bren to play a few Sundowner/Falcon songs at Lawrence Arms shows before you either give in or stab someone?
If I stab one more person they're gonna lock me up for a long ass time.
Word on the street is that people think the material on Sundowner sounds like tracks that could have easily been TLA songs, any truth to said accusations, or do you just have a style of songwriting that you stick to?
I'm not necessarily trying to maintain some continuity of style but the fact is that currently these are the types of songs I've been writing and inevitably comparisons are gonna get drawn to my work in TLA. But if there's some kind of distinct tone to my songs that kids are pickin' up on I think that's great . Do I think this is just a bunch of TLA b-sides? No. I think there's some material on Four One Five Two that's a lot different than songs I wrote for Oh!Calcutta!. But, ya know, you can't please everybody and if I lived my life caring about what other people thought I'd be a pretty miserable guy.
If Sundowner went totally Dashboard Confessional, and young girls were screaming for a lock of your hair, and MTV was knocking at the door for an Unplugged special, would you get on board?
Is there a deli tray and free top shelf booze involved?
Was the moon landing a total hoax, or do nerds not getting any just have too much free time?
Umm. . . if you claimed the moon landing was a hoax made in some Hollywood studio to Buzz Aldren he'd punch you in the face. I've heard some arguments and they're interesting and provocative but I'm not much of a conspiracy theorist. What it boils down to, it seems to me, is that there's not really too much actually on the moon except for a bunch of rocks. So if those guys in fact did walk on the moon they probably know that and if they didn't, well, it seems like a pretty safe bet there ain't shit up there anyway and no one's planning on going back any time soon(except maybe to live in some sort of moon colony). So who really gives a shit. As far as moon landing nerds are concerned, I think they keep pretty occupied by being remarkably interested in things, where as I've got plenty of free time on my hands.
New TMNT movie, "cowabunga!" or "bummer"?
"Cowabummer dude". You can't make the turtles cool again just by shortening the title to an acronym. Yeah, I know, it's supposed to be darker like the comics and the animation is sweet and all that, but unless Vanilla Ice is somewhere in this movie chanting "Go Ninja, Go Ninja Go!" I'm not interested.
Yeah, I know, it's supposed to be darker like the comics and the animation is sweet and all that, but unless Vanilla Ice is somewhere in this movie chanting "Go Ninja, Go Ninja Go!" I'm not interested.
Would you ever allow Verizon Wireless to use a Sundowner/TLA song in a commercial with some buff dude working out in a gym talking about how having it on his new cell phone gets him "pumped"?
Absolutely. Who wouldn't want to be on television? What would be even better though is if I was the buff dude. And I'm working out at the gym and talking about how the new TLA or U2 or Good Charlotte gets me to "feel the burn" and "push it to the max." Yeah, that's right, I put the Arms in the same sentence as U2 and Good Charlotte.
Any final thoughts, words of wisdom, threats?
The moon landing, ninja turtles, verizon wireless commercials. . . isn't this what life's really all about.