Interview: RICHARD CHRISTY, January 21st, 2010
Duff's Brooklyn: OK, Richard...aka ...
Richard Christy: Ernie Anastos.
DB: Better know as Rusty ... First of all Rusty, I'd like to say thanks for doing the first, hopefully useable interview that we're gonna do here at the new place. Now that we're settled in here, we can get to doin' some of the stuff we were doin' before... let me put this down over here ...
RC: Well, let me just say that the new bar is incredible, the atmosphere is perfect, it's the most metal place that I could ever think of hanging out in. There's Manmosas flowing freely with Grand Marnier (Manmosa : A 16 ounce mimosa with Grand Marnier), there's Rush Subdivisions on the jukebox, Amon Amarth, just like at the old bar. There's our buddy Tomas Pasquale falling asleep at the bar. Which we won't mention...
You know, it's just amazing. If you're a metal head and you come to New York, you have to come to Duff's Brooklyn, there's no question and there's no excuse, you have to come here. And when you watch That Metal Show on VH1 Classic, in the audience, you see 99 percent of the people hang out at Duff's Brooklyn, which is awesome. Every time I watch That Metal Show, I'm like, I know them from Duff's! I know that guy from Duff's, I know her from Duff's, it's awesome. Because everyone who is into metal, and that knows metal, and comes to New York, comes to Duff's Brooklyn, and that's, ah, basically my statement.
DB: Thank you, thank you very much indeed. What can I say ?
RC: Thank you Jimmy! I mean, really, I freakin' love this place.
DB: And that's that. That's what Ernie Anastos would say.
DB: With his amazing hair, Ernie would be all about Duff's.
RC: When he's not talking about fucking chickens, he's talking about how awesome Duff's is.
DB: Well, let's see ... where do we start ? You were one of the first interviews we did, maybe the first? At least 2 years ago, I'd have to double check ... over at North 3rd Street (It was 11/10/07). A lot has changed since then, for both of us really, so I guess we'll pick it up from there...
RC: Can I tell you real quick some of my favorite memories of the old Duff's location?
RC: On North 3rd and Kent... I remember one night, it musta been in January, staying to the wee hours of the morning at Duff's doing Jager bombs and just having the greatest time ever while it was snowing outside.
DB: It was like 3 feet of snow outside.
RC: Yep, it was right out of the freakin' Rudolph the Red nosed reindeer Christmas special, except with heavy metal thrown in. And really, it was one of the greatest nights of my life. I remember us listening to Pantera, Rush, and the Death Human album, and Immortal In the Heart of Winter, and that's one of my greatest memories ever. Really some of my best memories of living in New York were spent at Duff's.
DB: Awesome, awesome. That's actually one of my best memories from over there as well.
RC: And I remember the very first time I went to Duff's, at the very old location at 9th ...
DB: And, ah, 39th.
RC: It was after the Iced Earth show, in 2004, and we stayed till the bar closed, and you gave us a ride back to BB Kings, in your hearse, and they were filming a movie in front of BB Kings, and you went right around the barricades, right onto the movie set, right in front of the camera and dropped us off, and you didn't give a shit. (Laughs). And I remember all these production assistants goin' What are you doing?! You cant drive around the barricades! And I remember laughing my ass off that you drove a hearse right onto a film set to drop us off at our tour bus. And that was, that was awesome.
DB: What I remember the most was startin' out on Tenth avenue so we could see how fast we get it going, and getting it up to 80 miles an hour on 42nd Street.
I've got Iced Earth and Children of Bodom in the back of the car...
RC: Yep, I remember you floored it and I think I flew into Tim "Ripper" Owens arms,
which isn't very metal, but you drove so fast I had no choice!
DB: It's like, I shudder to think, I mean, I don't drive like that anymore... but you know , I was a younger guy back then.
RC: We were all young.
DB: And stupid.
DB: If we wrecked the fuckin' car or fuckin' rolled it on 42nd street, I would've gone down in history as being the guy that killed Children of Bodom and Iced Earth , that footnote in metal history,(both laugh)
knock on wood, all we got is a good war story, and some brain damage.
DB: Well, speakin' of Tim, we of course gotta talk about Charred Walls of the Damned, your new band with Tim singing... and I can say having heard it, and thanks very much for the promo copy, that its not a novelty or a one off, or just kinda whatever. Its a true metal record, and it's old school, and its got a lot of the elements you wanna hear, musicianship, you lockin' with Steve is awesome, and Tim's vocals are amazing too. It's just a grand slammer. No flattery intended, but I think it's gonna be in a lot of top ten lists across the board for 2010.
RC: Well thank you Jimmy. Well, one of my ultimate honors would be if the Charred Walls of the Damned cd made it onto the Duff's jukebox.
DB: I think I can make that happen.
DB: The day it is officially released, we'll have it on the jukebox.
RC: I'd really appreciate that. I'm really proud of the album. You know, we had a lot of fun making it. Tim, as you can attest...
DB: A powerhouse.
RC: From partying with him, not only a powerhouse, but really just a funny, funny guy, and a cool guy to hang out with, and to me, you know what it all boils down to, you want to make a killer metal album, but you also just wanna have a freakin blast doin' it. And you know, life is so short that you just gotta think about havin' fun. To me, when I put this band together and when I decided to go into the studio, my first thought was that I was gonna have alotta fun in the studio, and when you have fun in the studio, it really shows in the music.You know what, we're only living for a short amount of time, and you gotta laugh as much as you can, and you gotta laugh at everything you do, but you also gotta take it seriously. This album I take with the utmost seriousness. I wanna make a serious metal record about things that I feel really personal about, as far as lyrics go. At the same time, while we're recording I want it to be loose and not have anybody stressin' out over anything, because, you know, life is too short to stress out over anything.
DB: Definitely. Ya know, that's part of what's missing a lot these days in metal music, the fun factor.
RC: Yep. I remember going to keg parties in Kansas, and listening to Wrathchild America's Climbing the Walls, which is a legendary thrash album, but it's also a fun album. It's just lighthearted and so much fun to listen to. And bands like, I don't know if you remember the band Love Hate?
DB: Yeah, yeah, (laughs)
RC: Why do you think they call it dope ? Blackout in the red room... That was so much fun to listen to, and I remember listening to that stuff at keg parties in Kansas and just havin' fun, and that's really what its all about. And you know, you and I both love Amon Amarth, and as heavy and as brutal as they are, they're also fun to listen to. They're brutal, the riffs are killer, the songs are amazing, the vocals are totally brutal but it's fun.
DB: It makes ya wanna crack a beer and bang your fuckin' head and have a good time.
RC: It makes you wanna pour a Pabst Blue Ribbon into a Viking horn and chug it and sing the lyrics to fuckin' Prediction of Warfare.
That's how I feel when I listen to that music. I can't even describe the feeling I that I get when I hear that song Prediction of Warfare... You know the first 3 riffs of that are really some of the most legendary riffs ever written, and I defy anybody to not to bang their head while listening to those riffs. You have to, it's a thing you have to do when you listen to that song.
DB: That whole album, it's an instant classic.
RC: Of course, with Oden On Our Side to me is the number two metal album of the 2000's. Number one, just edging that album, to me, is Nevermore's Dead Heart in a Dead World. And that album to me really was the most innovative and just groundbreaking and incredible metal album of the 2000's.
DB: Yeah, Nevermore is very under rated.
RC: They are. You know, when I heard songs like the Heart Collector...
DB: The Heart Collector is awesome.
RC: Yeah, that song starts with the heaviest riff of all time, and there's no question that the beginning riff of the Heart Collector by Nevermore, really is probably the heaviest riff of all time, and, when I heard that, I was like, this band is, everyone is gonna know this band. And you know what? Everyone should know that band, because that album is incredible, and I listen to it every day, and I'm just... I can't even fathom the genius that it took to make that album. They're the greatest guys in the world. I'm friends with the band, they love playing music and they're true metal heads and they've definitely left their mark as amazing musicians and amazing songwriters, and ah, I'll listen to them till the day I die, that's for sure.
DB: Who is your favorite drummer, would you say ?
RC: You know... it's impossible to choose ...
DB: Let say who influenced you the most.
RC: If I had to choose 5 favorite drummers ...
DB: I would venture to guess it would be Neil Peart.
RC: Nope. I love Neil Peart and he's an influence, but the biggest influences on me - Sean Reiner, from Death. Alex Marquez from Malevolent Creation, Bobby Jarzombek, who played on Riot's Thundersteel, which I heard when I was a freshman in high school and it blew my mind. Alex Van Halen who I heard when I first heard the 1984 album, and that's what made me want to play drums. And Mikkey D from King Diamond. When I heard the intro to Welcome Home from the album Them, I was hooked and to this day I'm a massive King Diamond fan. I love not only the drumming but also the singing, the guitar playing, the songwriting, everything about King Diamond.
DB: How about the mustache with make-up?
RC: The mustache with the make-up I love. You know (laughs), I love it all. The Grandma references, I love it all.
My first introduction to King Diamond was when I was watching Headbanger's Ball in 1987, I was 13 years old, and all of a sudden the Family Ghost video came on (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UUJmp0DIoM). And, it scared the living shit outta me. But I loved it. I thought King Diamond sounded like what a ghost would sound like if they sing, or if Satan sang. And, I loved it. I was blown away by it. I knew, I had read about King Diamond in magazines, but I had never heard his music, and I knew he was a Satanist and that scared the shit outta me, but I loved it. I have no religious preferences, but you know what? I loved the fact that King Diamond sounded so evil, and that his music sounded evil, and I've been a big fan ever since.
DB: Ok, I guess we gotta talk about the Stern show a little bit... I mean, the last time we did an interview, it was a couple years ago, things are different now, Stern is in the last year of his contract.
RC: Hopefully not the last year.
DB: Technically speaking, it's the last year.
RC: Hopefully not for my sake its not the last year, I'm really bankin' on that he re- signs, I love working there and I wanna keep working there.
DB: Well, worst case scenario, if the show ends next year, you've got this band, and I think Sirius would give you your own show.
RC: I really don't know what the future holds, I try not to think about it too much, because I don't like to get stressed out about stuff, but you know...music, honestly, music is really hard to make a living at, and I know that from experience because I toured with bands all over the world, and played on albums that were in all the stores and still lived in a storage unit in Florida, so ... especially these days with the Internet and downloading, music is really tough to make a living at. Really, the reason I'm doing Charred Walls of the Damned, and putting out this album, is because I love heavy metal, and I love music. I'm not expecting any monetary compensation out of it at all. I'm just doing it because I love it, and fortunately I'm able to have a day job now where I can make a living off that, and do music on the side. You know, if Howard retires, I would still love to do music, but I would also love to do acting and do as much as I can to try to make a living, because honestly, living in New York City is really, really expensive. I'm gonna hafta do what I can to afford to live here.
You never know. I'm hoping Howard re-signs because really, it's the greatest job that I could of ever dreamed of having. Howard is a great boss and I love all my coworkers, and I basically get paid to go to work and have fun. If Howard retires, I'll just have to figure something else out. Right now I'm just living in the moment.
DB: How about some live dates with "CWOTD"?
RC: We will definitely be doin' some live shows. We just gotta work around everyone's schedule cause myself, with the Howard Stern show, we get a limited amount of time off, and you know...
DB: Best bet would be to plan it around when Howard is off.
RC: And that's fine with me. I love my day job, and we want to do some festivals, we wanna do some stuff in Europe, South America, hopefully U.S. and Canada. I'd love to go to Japan, if we had a week off on the Stern show we could go to Japan for a few days. So, um, we're definitely gonna work it out. I'm gonna talk to Jason Tim and Steve and work out their schedules, as long as we have 3 or 4 months in advance, we'll be able to work it out. I wanna get out on stage and play these songs.
DB: OK, we'll do a little rapid fire to finish things up I guess ... Top favorite bands of all time, not necessarily metal, in no particular order.
RC: Iron Maiden, Wrathchild America, Coheed and Cambria, King Diamond, Amon Amarth.
DB: Five favorite horror movies.
RC: Halloween, The Fog, The Thing, Prince of Darkness, Night of the Demons.
DB: Top 5 albums ever?
RC: Live After Death (Iron Maiden). Climbing the Walls (Wrathchild America). In Keeping the Secrets of Silent Earth 3 (Coheed and Cambria). With Oden On Our Side (Amon Amarth). 1984 (Van Halen).
DB: How about prank calls, of all the ones you've done, what are the one's that make you laugh the most, the top 5?
RC: Russell from public access with Pink Positive, that. Riley Martin clips, calls a guy named Shulie.
DB: Which one was that?
RC: That was the one we talked about earlier.
DB: The real emotional guy (laughs) " Why you lousy motherfucker!!"
RC: Yep. Ah, the scooter call... The very first Tradio call... with Sal calling to sell Milton Berle's urine... also the first Tradio when I called as Ethel and tried to sell my grandson's motorbike, and of course Sal and Shulie are in the studio and they're laughin', and of course I'm laughin' and that's part of the call. And really, probably our most famous prank call, shoo-shoo retarded flu, where we call Gary the retard and I said I was the flu.
DB: Top 5 place to eat in New York City
RC: Shi, in Long Island City. Asian place with an amazing view of the city, and an incredible bar.
44 Southwest - 9th ave & 44th St.
Poppa Johns, any location, I love their pizza. I'm sorry, I know New York has the best pizza but Poppa Johns is very sentimental to me.
Bella Via in Long Island City, amazing Italian place that I love.
And Whym on 58th and 8th I believe, and that is the restaurant where I discovered the flirtini. And they also have a dish they call the sexy mushrooms, and it's mushrooms in his sauce, I cant even describe how amazing it is.
DB: OK, we'll wrap it up back with music - Best 5 concerts you've seen in New York City since you moved here in 2004.
RC: Definitely Iron Maiden when the power went out on stage during Powerslave. And they played soccer onstage, that was amazing. Amon Amarth at Irving Plaza, where you were. And they were drinking out of Viking horns on stage, which was awesome.
Stryper at Irving Plaza. It was really incredible, they sounded great. Metallica, Volbeat, and Lamb of God at Madison Square Garden.
How many is that?
DB: That's four.
RC: And number one, has to be Slipknot, Trivium, and Coheed and Cambria at Madison Square Garden because I was lucky enough to introduce Coheed and Cambria. And that was really one of the highlights of my life, to go up on stage at Madison Square Garden in front of 15,000 people and tell a story about how I pissed in a diaper at a Coheed and Cambria concert. And to have people cheer for that, it was really incredible (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af7JUakme78). Definitely a highlight of my concert going experience in New York City.
DB: Well, there you go, that's the topper of toppers right there.