Chris Szkup – Pieces Of Chris (Interview)
1. How does it feel to finally have “Pieces Of Eternity” completed ?
FANTASTIC!!! Ya know, it honestly looked for a while there like it may not happen at all,
so to be sitting here reflecting on it’s completion is really something!!
2. You first mooted the title for this album years ago, did you stick
to the same set of songs all these years ?
No, although there are a few songs that would have been on that earlier version.
Some of the stuff was written as late as 2007.
3. What made you decide to record a solo album as opposed to getting together
in a band situation ?
Really just from being burned too many times I think. Eventually enough was going to be
enough, and although there’s definitely something special about being in a band and having
all guys on the same page and equally involved and into it, actually finding that situation
is quite a tricky thing as well.
Having said that, doing some of the earlier sessions for the album we’d lay down the bass
and drums with me singing / playing along, and some of the mateship from those sessions
really reminded me of the earlier days when we used to have a steady band going. Good times!!
4. What lead to you taking on the singing role ?
Again, just relying on people, but being let down. I’m definitely not the most able
vocalist on the block, but at least I’m going to turn up!!
And also, because a lot of the lyrics are pretty personal stuff, who better to convey them than
me I figure.
5. Besides playing guitar and singing, what other instruments did you play on this album ?
Let’s see….bass on “October 22” and “First Blood”, keys and piano on several tracks, and
some extra drum smacks on “Magical Occurence”.
6. Who would you describe as some of your main influences as a songwriter ?
There are soooooooo many really, but in recent times, I suppose Glenn Hughes,
Bumblefoot, George Harrison, Megadeth, Cheap Trick and Queen.
7. You’ve previously been in the band Melodic Candy and Jigsore, did anyof those
experiences of being in those bands have an influence in the songs on “Pieces
Of Eternity” ?
Not at all aside from me knowing right away that some of the stuff I was writing
wasn’t really gonna fit in as far as what Jigsore was doing at the time.
8. Your brother Matt plays on “Pieces Of Eternity”, it must be something pretty
cool to have a family member to bounce ideas off of, what did Matt bring to
the fold for this album ?
What DIDN’T he bring? Haha. First and foremost, he’s the guy that is responsible
for it even existing. I’ll explain. Since moving from Tasmania in 2004, once in a
while I’d send him some stuff I had demoed. Just “check this out, wrote it the
other day” kinda stuff. There was one song he heard this way called “Innate
Self Destruct”, and he was right into it. Pretty much said that we have to get it
recorded, he knows the perfect place to do it, and he’ll even pay for it if I’m
short of a quid!!!!! What a guy!!!!!!!
So aside from being responsible for the whole thing starting at all, he also brings
enthusiasm (which is pretty much essential), great drumming, guitar playing and
singing, and not a bad set of co-producers ears either.
9. Did you have any other people contribute to the recording of the album ?
Well aside from Stew Long who handled the controls for us at Red Planet,
we have Dale Brewer on bass for 7 of the 10 songs.
10. What is your expectation with regards “Pieces Of Eternity” ?
No expectations really, other than hopefully some people our there somewhere
getting some enjoyment from it and hearing what fun we had making it.
11. Will you be shooting any video’s for this album ?
It is definitely something that is on my mind, and we’ve spoken about this a little bit. I have
to check it out some more, but if all goes well there will be some videos in some shape or form
in the future.
12. Will you be getting a live unit together to play these songs in concert ?
It isn’t something that’s planned at the moment unfortunately. Maybe that will change. Sure
would be fun.
13. Previously you had recorded with Jigsore, what happened there, why was an
album never officially released ?
That was such a long time ago now, I’m not sure I really know the answer to that!! Haha.
I guess it just wasn’t meant to be – as cheesy as that may sound.
We definitely did some cool things though – cut our teeth playing live together, learned a lot
in the studio, and drank enough alcohol together for a couple of life times. Some fun stuff for
14. Aside from your solo projects, have you played on any other albums ?
As far as released stuff goes, my mates in GONE WILD from New Zealand were kind enough to have
me onboard for 3 songs on their latest album, and one song on their first, which is always a good fun experience.
Aside from that, there is an album from a chap from the USA called Rick Bone, who is donating the proceeds of his album to MS Research, being a sufferer of the disease himself. To be able to in any way at all contribute to something like that which is so important is definitely a cool thing for a postman from down under I can tell you!!
15. What’s the biggest buzz out of playing on other people’s albums ?
Just everything about it. Hopefully at the end of the process you read that your parts added to the song and the person is happy, which is what it’s really all about – making music together and being happy, so I guess that’s the biggest thrill for me!!
16. Do you plan on doing more writing/guest apperances on other peoples albums in the future ?
Sure if things come up and I’m available. I pretty much take things as they come, but wouldn’t rule anything out!!
17. It’s now been well documented that you have a side-project on the go – along with writing and recording your 2nd solo album, how easy is it for you to keep The Feckers and Chris Szkup seperated musically ?
I don’t really think about it a whole heap to be honest with you. It’s a matter of just doing what you do. With The Feckers, it seems like we’ll definitely be going to some places musically that my album doesn’t, but it wasn’t really a concious decision on my part. Maybe the lyrics Richard sends me can inspire some different ways of thinking in regards to the music, but in general, I have so much music in my head, that I can spread them nicely between the two monkiers and make it seem like some grand plan when in reality it isn’t haha!
18. Who designed the “Pieces Of Eternity” artwork ? It looks great and conjurs up all sorts of
visuals, without being anything too over the top or cheesy!
Yeah how cool is that artwork!!! Mr Dan Verkys, who is also from Melbourne. He was a total breeze to work with. Everyone should check out his stuff at: http://www.gardenofbadthings.com/
19. Will you have him do any design work for you in the future ?
If he’s available I’d definitely want to keep things rolling there. I couldn’t imagine going to anyone else at the moment!!
20. Lastly, for those that aren’t too sure on how to pronounce your surname, could you
ellaborate on what might be the best way to say it correctly ?
HAHAHA!!!! I’m always misunderstood, so even if I were to type it out in this reply, it more than likely isn’t going to come across the right way! Maybe I can make a video down the track haha.