"Nothing great happens without taking risks," says Chris Volz. And while this comment can apply to almost anything in life, he means it in relation to his forthcoming album, "Redemption," his first as a solo artist. As someone who has always performed in a band scenario (formerly with FLAW and the recently-disbanded Five Bolt Main), the solo thing has been a leap for him, yet one he was ready to make. And his lyrics, while always deep and introspective in the past, seem to plumb new depths here, opening Volz wide to listeners and fans. "The lyrics on this record are very personal," he says. "I don't sing about anything I haven't felt or don't mean."
Volz embraced the opportunity to make music in a different way than he ever has before. "Personally, this record was my turn to grab the reins. This album is, with no offense meant to any of my former bandmates, the chance to do everything I've always wanted to do." While past studio time with his bands may have taken considerably longer and was likely rife with a number of strong, artistic personalities coming together, sometimes clashing, sometimes making musical magic, the recording process on "Redemption" took two weeks, the fastest recording experience of Volz's career. "I have never recorded that expediently. The musicians we worked with were extremely professional and productive. It all flowed very well and everything fell right into place."
Volz's label, Rock Ridge Music, gathered a who's who of rock to work on the album: Matt Chiaravalle (Kittie, Crossbreed, Warren Zevon) and Jason Spiewak (Five.Bolt.Main) worked in both a production capacity and as players on the record. Also performing on the record were: Danny Schuler (Biohazard), Chris Vitali (Orange 9mm), Johnny Pisano (Ryan Adams, Marky Ramone, Jesse Malin), and Rich Smalley (The NightRats, Looker). The album was mastered by Geoff Ott (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains) at London Bridge Studio in Seattle.
Says Schuler of the recording process: "I've done a lot of session work, and really enjoyed playing on this record. Chris and the guys were great, made me feel comfortable. The songs came together so quickly, the music basically wrote itself. All I had to do was listen. Being involved was a pleasure." Adds Spiewak: "Our goal from a production standpoint was to deliver on Chris's vision."
Volz, who is based in Louisville, Kentucky, began his rock career in the band FLAW, which was signed to Republic/Universal Records. As part of FLAW, he released two albums that sold almost half a million copies, before being unceremoniously dropped in late 2004. Picking up the pieces with former FLAW drummer Ivan Arnold, Volz continued to rock with Five.Bolt.Main, which came together in 2005 and released a studio album ("Venting", which sold over 22,000 copies) and a live record on Rock Ridge Music before calling it quits in early 2007. In a sort of band flashback, between the time spent recording "Redemption" and its release, Volz's first band FLAW has gotten back together, and he's been on the road with them throughout the Midwest this spring and summer.
"The greatest gift I have in this world is the ability to express myself through music," he says. "I wish for nothing else but the ability to continue with that. It is my life." Volz is very excited about the new material. "We had a great team working on the record, and it's giving me a chance to fully express myself in a solo capacity," he says. "I've put a lot of time and effort into the material for this album, and it's based on stuff I've worked on for years. The songs are somewhat of a growth process for me as an artist, but I'm looking forward to getting it out there for people to hear it."
Artist descriptions on Last.fm are editable by everyone. Feel free to contribute!
All user-contributed text on this page is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.