90's Era Hard Rock Revival by Recwall
September 25, 2019
Article in the September 2019 issue of Lifoti Magazine:
"I'm really stuck in the 90's", Chris admits, "I was a child of the 70's and was really into all the great classic rock of the time like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Who, and Queen. I really loved bands that were driven by great melody and powerful guitar sounds. The 80's left me wanting for something else. I wasn't into hair band metal, and other than U2 and The Clash I didn't like much. So when bands like, Guns N' Roses, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana came blasting out it definitely resonated heavily with me. I had been in bands since high school in the 80's, but the 90's Hard Rock made me want to take my efforts as a musician to the next level".
Chris and drummer Alex Hamilton, guitarist John Wanamaker, and bassist John Helwig formed the band Zen Bender in 1992, and were signed to a contract with Wild Justice management in 1993, who recorded and released their debut album. In 1994 Wild Justice, who also signed the band Days Of The New, turned their full attention towards that band when they were signed to Outpost Records, a division of Geffen/Universal Music Group. Zen Bender called it quits in 1996, but their debut album and the their follow up EP are both available today on Spotify and Apple Music.
Chris and Zen Bender drummer, Alex Hamilton, went on to form the band As It Iz in 1998, with Trace Davis on guitar and James Osterhout on Bass. As It Iz recorded one album with Canadian record label Attack Records in 2000, but it was not released at the time. The roughly mastered sessions from that album were released in 2016. "It felt really tragic that we never properly finished that album, but that is too long a story to tell here", says Chris, "the stuff we wrote and recorded back then still holds up with anything being released these days in the Hard Rock genre. It's stuff that I am still extremely proud of. It was some of the best musicianship I ever been a part of". The As It Iz sessions from 2000 are also now available on Spotify and Apple Music.
"After that I took a long break from music", says Chris, "I wanted to have a family - and a career in music was not taking shape for me." Chris had worked freelance in the broadcast news business over the years when he was not in the studio or playing gigs, and in 2002 it became his full time focus. "Other than the fact that It's actually really hard to keep a band together as you get older if you aren't all doing it full time, I gave up because I was just tired of it all, I was really struggling, it was a way of life that I was starting to feel I was just not cut out for...and I felt an almost visceral need to 'settle down' - as they say."
Chris now lives in New Jersey and has a 15 year old Daughter, and a 12 year son, and after 13 years of dedication to a career in Television, a marriage, a divorce, Chris has returned to freelance work in the TV business, his musical roots, and since 2016 Recwall albums have been the result. "It's been like a flood gate opening", says Chris, "I am a musician and a song writer, this is who I am. I really tried hard to assimilate, I did the 9 to 5 corporate thing for as long as I could, there was no time for music and I think I died a little bit more inside with each day that I wasn't true to myself ... I will never let that happen again, but we live and learn hopefully..."