By Georgi Bomb
When the line-up of supergroup Charred Walls of the Damned was first announced in 2009, everyone excitedly awaited the self-titled debut from vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest, Iced Earth), bassist Steve DiGiorgio ( Iced Earth, Testament), guitarist and well-known producer Jason Suecof and brainchild behind the whole project, former Iced-Earth drummer, Richard Christy.
After the well-received debut, it emerged Christy had already been working on the follow up, titled Cold Winds on Timeless Days; an album which progresses naturally from the first and lyrically looks at Christy‘s daily observations of living and working in New York. Parts of the album are left open to interpretation which includes the album title itself. An intriguing reason to really investigate the album.
Founding member Richard Christy reveals to Miss Bomb about the latest recording process, a third album and can we pencil any tour dates into our diaries?
Miss Bomb: Hello Richard! So how are things with the release of Cold Winds on Timeless Days?
Richard Christy: Things are great! The reviews have been amazing and the album did well on the Billboard charts the first week so I’m very happy and very proud of this album! It usually takes about a year and a half to write and record and release an album and the most exciting thing about the whole process is the release date when everyone can finally hear the music that you’ve been working so hard on for so long. To know that there’s people out there right now listening to music that I wrote is a very exciting thing and I’m so proud of this album and so psyched that people are digging it!
MB: What kind of feedback have you been getting?
RC: Great feedback! I get a lot of fan emails at my website and people are loving the album which makes me very happy. The reviews have been really great too so I’m really pumped. All of the people at Metal Blade Records have been very supportive and excited about this album too which is great, it’s so amazing to work with a label who’s so supportive and also are huge fans of metal.
MB: There seems to have been a great attention to detail on this album, writing songs that cater to individuals in the band as well as guitarist/producer Suecof, how was that process?
RC: Yes that’s true. I learned a lot from writing and recording our first album. The first album turned out amazing but it was also a learning process. The demo tapes for the first album that I wrote and recorded were a very rough blueprint of what finally ended up on the album and Jason had a lot to say in the songwriting and arranging for the first album so I really was able to learn what he liked in my songs and I was able to think about that when I was writing songs for the second album. The demo tapes for the second album were very streamlined and we didn’t have to change much from the demo process to the final album because I knew what Jason would want to hear as a producer and I knew what to write to cater to Jason, Steve, and Tim.
MB: As the writing process for Cold Winds started during the production process of the self-titled album, has work began already on the third?
RC: Yes definitely! I’ve been writing songs for the new album since August 2011. I have about two songs so far and the new stuff is sounding amazing! Every album is a learning process and I learned alot about songwriting from recording this second album and I think each album we’ll keep improving. The new songs are keeping with our sound but also I want to improve with each album.
MB: With album production advancing constantly, what is your view on heavily produced albums compared to say, an album with more of a “rawer” sound?
RC: I like a combination of both. I’m so proud of the production and sound of the new Charred Walls album but I also wanted our album to have a raw and live sound and I think we were able to achieve that. We recorded this album fairly quickly and were able to get a very live sound but it’s also a very clean production and you can hear everything perfectly. For the drums I wanted to get a very real and live sound like the drum sounds on albums from the 1970’s and we recorded at an amazing drum room in Miami, FL at The Hit Factory studio. Since we only had a short time in the studio we had to record the 12 songs fairly quickly so we didn’t overthink anything and it sounds very fresh and live I think.
MB: How important is audience interpretation to the band?
RC: I think the audience opinion of this band is the most important thing, the reason I write music for this band is so that fans listen to it and hopefully enjoy it! A lot of the lyrics on this new album are also open to interpretation, they don’t have a specific meaning, and I wanted to leave them open to interpretation so that each fan could get something different out of the lyrics. Songs like Cold Winds have a very open meaning to the lyrics so when fans listen they can interpret them any way they want.
MB: What is the plan now that the album has been released?
RC: The plan is to release a music video for the song Zerospan, we filmed it in September and it’s going to be AMAZING! It’s like a 5 minute short horror film and I can’t wait for people to see it. We’re also planning on playing live shows next year which we’re setting up right now, I can’t wait to take this band back on the road, we did a tour in the US and Canada in 2010 and it was so much fun and the shows were amazing. Now that we have two albums we have a lot of great material to choose from and I can’t wait to play these new songs live!