(This interview was originally published in 2018)
Can you tell us about the beginnings of how Stabbing Westward started?
Walter and I were both in local cover bands. I was a bassist and he was a drummer and guitarist. we mostly played new wave and alternative covers. we were both very into writing our music but neither band we were in had any interest in playing our stuff so we ended up forming stabbing westward as a way to play our own songs.
What was it like at your first show ever?
we went way overboard on the set design. we hung plastic chain from a huge fishnet and attached it to the ceiling so the stage looked like something out of hellraiser. we had a projector and a sheet hanging from the backdrop and I spray painted on it as we played. we had a rusty kids swingset with drums and random pieces of metal hanging from it that we beat on while we played. I hindsight perhaps a bit more attention to the songs instead of the props might have helped.
What has your audience been like over the years through each decade? Has it changed?
we've always had a bit of a misfit crowd. stabbing has always been a misfit band. never industrial enough to be accepted by hardcore rivetheads but never mainstream alternative enough for Alt radio scene. so our fans have always been those kids that loved music for what it is and not how it looks if that makes any sense. I think a lot of our fans connected with the lyrics which tended to be more personal and reflective than your average industrial band and that connection seems to have lasted over the years. I see the same intensity on the faces of our fans now that I remember seeing when they were in high school.
What have been your biggest challenges through the years as a band?
going through the napster downloading decade was really hard. prior to that bands and labels were doing pretty good and after it was a much leaner time. SW broke up and our other band grew out of those darker times. but it taught us how to prioritize. how to put the music and the fans first.
What was it like having several of your songs on movie soundtracks?
1992 "dawn" featured on the "Escape LA"
1998 "So wrong" on "the bride of chucky" soundtrack?
2001 "Not another teen movie" and various others. Can you tell us how this happened?Our members are very interested in how you guys got these gigs, it is a huge accomplishment for a band to get on any movie soundtrack, but you guys have been featured on many.
I think we had really great people working for us at our label and I think our music has always pretty cinematic. I still love hearing our songs in movies at unexpected times. Mortal Combat is one of my favorites. each character had a theme song and most of them were from our ungod album.
What was it like getting the back together after your hiatus and doing a reunion tour in 2017?
it's been really fun. none of the pressure from the old days. just show up and play. we really enjoy the chance to hang out with our fans and catch up and swap stories from back in the day
So, you guys are playing Vampirefreaks "Darkside of the con III" in 2019, are you guys excited about that?
super excited!! I would be stoked to go to the con even if we weren't playing but with 2 little kids at home I doubt that would happen. so this way I have a valid excuse to go and hang out with beautiful people for 3 days and do what I love most at the same time. win win.
What was it like sharing the stage with "The Sex pistols" when they reunited?
one of the best memories of my life. I've met many rockstars in my life and was generally disappointed but Johnny Lydon was one of the exceptions (along with Martin Gore from Depeche Mode) Johnny was the most charming man I've ever met. after the shows he would share these amazing stories with us about the early days of punk and Public Image Limited. it was awesome.
Chris with all the bands that you have played with through the years, what bands gave you the feeling of "OMG is this real?
Depeche Mode. I grew up worshipping them and every night we got to play with them and eventually become friends with them was like a dream. martin is my man crush for sure.
What’s it like being a family man with kids now and how does being a rockstar affect your role as a parent?
I have to assume so but I'm not sure how. I did name my oldest Gibson Marshall Hall which is possibly the most rock name ever.
We’ve talked about how Stabbing Westward was such a huge success in the 90s, being on a major record label with 2 gold records and getting tons of radio play and MTV play. If you could go back and do it all again, would you do anything differently?
I'm always asking myself that. and yes of course but hindsight is 20/20
I would try to enjoy it more. care less about the petty Game of Thrones band politics and live in the moment. I often felt like I had fallen into a raging river and couldn't swim constantly being swept downstream barely able to keep my head above water and then one day it was over. a lot of my memories are hazy nd not just from drugs and alcohol but because my mind was unable to absorb that much that quickly.
What’s in the future for Stabbing Westward and The Dreaming?
Walter and I just finished recreating our 1989 EP and it's getting pressed to vinyl. We have been working on new music for a coupe of years now and I'm very anxious to get it released. We are talking about doing a 25th anniversary Ungod tour. maybe even debut it at DarkCon.
What is your advice to younger bands, and bands forming?
my advice is simple. it's all about the songs. don't get distracted by all the shiny things. remember it's you sharing your deepest fears and hopes.
Anything you would like to leave us with?
Can't wait to get there!! thanks