Our newest exclusive GLFF Q&A session is with drummer Chas Stumbo. Chas was the drummer "The Lynch That Stole Riffness", the Lynch Mob "REvolution" tour and the "REvolution Live" CD/DVD. His other impressive body of work includes Earshot, Vent, and the Zoe Bonham Band. And while Chas has been a regular around the board, we are certain there are some answers that you would not expect. So, in the latest of the members from Lynch Land that have the balls to handle our questions, here is Chas Stumbo:
Q: Who were some of your early influences for getting into your line of work? Who still influences you to this day?
A: I find myself influenced by so many different things that change on a day to day basis. If you ever stop and just take the time to listen there's rhythm all around. Whether it be a car driving by or a dog barking down the street. There's rhythm of some sort. That is inspiring to me. As for early influences Steve Smith was and is my biggest influence when it comes to wanting to play. John Bonham is right up there as well. There's not a day that goes by where I don't take at least 10mins to listen to John Bonham. My suggestion to everyone is to seek out the June 21st, 1977 Los Angeles recording of Led Zeppelin live. That recording tells exactly how important he was and continues to be to this day.
Q: One of your early influences is Journey's Steve Smith. Will you be looking for an opportunity to play "air drums" in a video? (re: Journey's "Separate Ways")
A: I wish I had thought of that first. What A brilliant idea. I think the next rage on YouTube will be people copying the Danzig "knock out" video. That is by far the greatest video ever. I can think of a few other so-called "rock stars" who could stand to be deflated a bit. Remember kids, YouTube's The Devil!!!
Q: You've worked with Zoe Bonham (LZ drummer John Bonham's daughter). What can you tell us about your experience with the Bonham family?
A: Where do I begin? The first night I met Zoe I had the honor of meeting Robert Plant as well. Jimmy and Robert had just finished playing Irvine Meadows and Robert came into Hollywood to hang out with Zoe and her mother. He was a nice guy and was very down to earth. For being a member of the biggest band ever he was a complete gentleman. There was one gig we played where Zoe's family flew over to England to see. Zoe's mother Pat, her grandmother (Bonzo's Mom), and her Aunt Debbie (Bonzo's sister) were in the the audience. Debbie got up on stage and we played "Rock And Roll". That was definitely one of the highlights was playing one of Bonzo's signature tunes in front of his family. It's like playing the solo from "The End" in front of Ringo. It doesn't get much better than that. I guess that answers part of the next question.
Q: What are the 3 'high points' in your career so far?
A: There have been so many that i'm finding it hard to narrow down but here goes. #1 was playing in front of the Bonham family and hanging out with Jason Bonham and Lemmy at the Rainbow. #2 was being asked to play on the "Revolution Tour". #3 was hearing "Earshot - Wait" on the radio for the first time and then seeing the video on Headbangers Ball. What a rush... I have to throw in a #4 because it the greatest thing ever. There are a couple of bands on YouTube covering Earshot songs and it is the greatest form of flattery. You haven't made it until a bar band covers your song and/or you see a girl in a strip club work the pole and shed clothing dancing to your tune. Ask Macabre Ent about the Silver Bullet!!!
Q: Your MySpace says you re currently a member of 5 different Las Vegas based bands. What should we be keeping an ear open for?
A: I'm currently working with a band called "Super Martian Robots". Make sure you check them out. It's good time party music with tons of innuendos thrown in for good measure. "Vent" is another band to check out. I believe Vent is going through an evolution so to speak. We're taking it in a different direction so I'll be sure to keep everyone posted on the progress.
Q: In your readings on the paranormal, can you tell us if the truth is really out there?
A: Nothing is as it seems. I'm not a conspiracy theorist but I do believe that we have no clue what is really out there. Can you honestly sit there and say the government is telling us the truth. It has been proven numerous times that the truth has been greatly manipulated. Just read the news section on the official GL board. Need I say more.
Q: You cite Caddyshack, Blues Brothers, Clerks, Porky's, and Fletch as favorites. How do the sequels match up for you?
A: The only sequels of the bunch that hold up are Fletch and Porky's. Why try to reinvent the wheel when it's perfectly round already. Sequels are good when all of the original cast members are back and Caddyshack II suffered because there was no Rodney, Ted Knight and Bill Murray. Chevy Chase was back as Ty Webb and they brought in Dan Akroyd as the idiot character. I love Dan as a comedian but he doesn't belong in Caddyshack II. Besides it was a poorly written movie. Jackie Mason kicked ass though. Blues Brothers II is not worth the 2 hours of film it was printed on. Sorry Jim B.
Q: How did you get involved with George Lynch on the "Lynch That Stole Riffness" project?
A: A good friend of mine in L.A. was going to be the head engineer on that project and George needed someone to play drums on the tracks. My friend Rob called me and I went down, met George and received rough demos of the songs. I spent all weekend listening to the tracks and first thing Monday I went in and recorded the drum tracks. I'm proud of being a part of that E.P. But I honestly can look back and say that my tracks were really below my standards. It was only the 2ndtime I had ever been in a real recording studio so the nerves were definitely on high alert that day. It was a lot of fun and it taught me a lot about how to play in the studio. The next time was when we went back into Henson at the end of the West Coast Revolution tour and rerecorded all of the music for the Live DVD/CD. The only original tracks from the live recordings are Robert's vocals. That right there proves how amazing he is as a singer. The rest of us sucked...lol Just kidding.....I don't want any calls from Ant....
Q: George is known to work out a bit. When you worked with George on the REvolution tour was it Jamba Juice or the other juice?
A: I never saw anything that led me to believe George was juicing up. George and I roomed together on that tour so if he was juicing then I would have seen it or come across the bag of goodies.
Q: How would you define "business as usual" in the George Lynch organization?
A: I was always taken care of and had a blast. My checks always cleared. As for all the stories of people getting fucked over I don't know the deal. Macabre Ent has always been straight with me and is one of my closest friends. If he says he got fucked over then I'm going to believe him. Hell, he put his job on the line to stick by me during a tour we were on together. I would absolutely do the same for him anytime he needed me to.
Q: At what point did you get involved with the REvolution tour? What was your take on giving a new spin to Wild Mick's beats?
A: I had just left Earshot and I called up George and his then Manager Ron Rutledge. I believe Fro was on his way down for NoCal to do the tour but George decided to use me instead. For what reason I don't know but I was excited to say the least. Fro had already done a lot of the legwork for me by recorded the tunes for the Revo Record. He baked the cake and I threw the icing on the top. My main job was just to hold down the bottom with Ant. I wasn't getting paid to go chop crazy. That's what George is for. Ant and I took a lot of time to work out some of the rhythm things and I think it paid off. I wish that project had been handled a lot differently musically. I remember hearing quite a few people say they didn't even recognize "Kiss Of Death" until the chorus came in. That seemed odd to me but hey you never get anywhere new without the journey there.
Q: Wild Mick Brown, Bill Ward and Keith Moon get into a cage match. All things being equal, who wins?
A: Keith Moon of course. Mooney is the only one of the three who brought anything new to music. I can sit down and play Mick and Bill's parts but hell if I can cop Mooney's feel. No offense to Mick and Bill. They're great but Mooney hands down......
Q: What is the most memorable gig you've worked?
A: Halloween 2004 opening for Velvet Revolver in front of 20,000 people. Slashed came out dressed like Buckethead and Scott came out as Axl. That was priceless.. Dodging change flying at me on the Megadeth tour was always a blast as well. Macabre Ent and I made our laundry money for the week on the first gig alone...
Q: If you had time on your schedule and George Lynch called you up to work his tour, what would you think and would you do it?
A: Funny story, he did. Actually Oni hit me up on Myspace so I gave him a shout. Apparently when Tom blew out his voice and the tour fell through Tommy Aldridge jumped ship. Oni knew that I was more than capable of jumping right in and nailing the gig. When I talked to George on it he played like he hadn't even thought of using me. I call "Shananigans". Anyways we worked out of the details but they had to get management involved. They're management felt that using Fred Coury was better since he has a "Name" and people know who he is. I'd like to know when the last time Fred Coury sold 100,000 copies of anything. When was the last time either Fred or Tommy was on a major Video Game release "Madden '05"? Nothing against these guys at all but the reasons given to me for not using me are completely stupid. I understand George needs management and could be in a tough position but to go on stage with a drummer than doesn't even fit the overall style of Lynch Mob makes no sense. I saw that first hand when I heard Vinny Appice play the tunes. Vinnie's a great drummer but his style doesn't lend itself to the Lynch Mob tunes very well. That's my opinion. I guess I can look forward to playing in Lynch mob again when I time travel back to the late 80's, grow my hair out and sell 5 million records. Don't forget the Aquanet.
Q: Who are some musicians that you'd still like to work with?
A: The one person I'd really love to work with is Steve Perry. His music has been the soundtrack to my life. That last Journey record "Trial By Fire" is brilliant. One thing that Steve does that I haven't heard a lot of other singers do is keep the breathing on the vocal tracks. This adds so much emotion to his tracks and takes them to the next level. He may not be able to hit the really high notes anymore but I'll put him up against any singer anyday. His voice has gained so much body and soul as he's aged. Hey Steve give me a call........
Q: When you were around Disturbed, did anyone have the balls to make a "monkey sound" ("Down With The Sickness") joke around David Draiman?
A: Unfortunately I never had the pleasure of talking to David. I was too busy hanging out with Dimebag and Vinnie. As for the monkey sounds I don't think any of us even thought about it. Mike (drummer) was a great guy though.
Q: Can you tell us more about Earshot leaving the Megadeth tour?
A: We just didn't fit the bill. They had us sandwiched between Exodus and Megadeth. I did like fucking with the audience though. When someone threw change at me they got a drum stick thrown back at them. I remember sitting on the bus in Denver, looking out the window and seeing all of the Megadeth fans blasting Rust in Peace through their 6x9's in the truck of their camaros. One thing's for sure Megadeth kicked ass every night and the few times I talked to Dave he seemed really mellow and cool. They really tried to accommodate us and make things work but it just wasn't the right tour for us.
Q: What up-and-coming drummers (or for that matter, bands in general) are you into these days?
A: The Reverand from Avenged Sevenfold kicks ass.
Q: For the aspiring musicians and drummers out there, what do you think are some of the most important things to work on before getting into the band scene?
A: Get your chops together. Make sure you can handle playing your parts with confidence. For drummers I always suggest to take everything off of the kit except the kick drum, snare and hi-hat. Practice playing straight solid beats and grooves. Once you can do that then bring in the other pieces of the kit. Walk before running!!!
Q: What gear are you using these days and how has your rig progressed from when you 1st started playing 'pro'? For all the gearheads on our board, can you tell us about your rig?
A: I'm currently playing a Mapex Saturn Kit (24", 12", 16", 18") w/ a Mapex 6x14 Black Panther Snare. All the cymbals are Sabians. I switch up cymbals periodically but always stay with Sabian. They treat their endorsees like members of the family. One of the greatest companies ever... My first pro kit was a Drum Workshop Kit (22", 10", 12", 14", 16"). My Mapex kit is the loudest kit I've ever played. Need I say more.
Q: Your endorsements include Mapex drums & hardware and Sabian cymbals. Did George share any insights with you on handling endorsement deals (non-ebay related, of course)?
A: George never mentioned anything about endorsements. I landed the Sabian deal on my own and I owe Macabre Ent. for the Mapex Deal. Vater Drumsticks has been very good to me as well.
Q: Who has the best drum sound you've ever heard? Who has the worst?
A: Obviously John Bonham is at the top of the list but Chad Smith's (Red Hot Chili Peppers) snare drum sound is amazing. For an overall sound Jimmy Chamberlain (Smashing Pumpkins) has the sound I'd like to have.
Q: What's your take on the direction the music industry will go in the future?
A: I think it's gone back to the street level. We as musicians and artists now more than ever are responsible for our careers and fortunes. It will be what we individually make of it.
Q: For those interested in getting into the music industry, what would you tell them?
A: Definitely learn the ins and outs of the business side and most importantly always ask questions about everything. Make sure you understand what you are signing.
Q: How does working a tour for George Lynch differ from some of your other projects?
A: The tour(s) I've done with George were a piece of cake. Always a bus full of laughter, pita bread and Soy Milk.
Q: What's the most outrageous thing you've asked for on a tour rider?
A: I asked for Socks but never got them. My two items on the rider for both Earshot & lynch Mob were Honey nut Cheereos and Red Vines. Everything else was fine by me.
Q: How much does Earshot charge fans to meet them on the bus after the show?
A: We never charged fans anything for something like that. After every show we made it a point to head straight to the merch booth to sign whatever the fans had for us. We even threw out a few free tour shirts during our sets. Charging fans to hang out with you is one of the biggest "Bullshit" moves ever. I think if you're doing that then the fans don't mean anything to you other than dollar signs. It's no wonder that it came back to bite George's ass. I don't know the full details since I was not there and it wasn't happening on any tours I've done. I'll tell you one thing, that would be something I would fight tooth and nail "No Pun Intended" against. If it was going to be done in any band I was or will be a part of then I'll take the hit in money and go stand out with the fans. It's morally wrong to charge for something like that. BIG TIME BULLSHIT MOVE!!!!
Q: Is it common for bands to stock the bus with consumables from the gigs?
A: Define consumables? Food, Beer---Yes, Drugs---Not on any tour I've been on.
Q: Earshot has shared the stage with Velvet Revolver. Could you see VR's recent situation coming from back then? Did you get any interesting stories about Axl from the GNR alumni?
A: Everything always seemed hunky doory from where I was standing. Unfortunately I didn't really get to hang out with any of them other than being introduced. If you want sotries read Slash's new book. I heard he dishes some deep stuff in there.
Q: What is your most outrageous story from being on the road with George Lynch?
A: Meeting Joe Perry Illegitimate daughter and her friend...lol This weathered woman pulled up in a 1980's era Firebird claiming to be Joe Perry's daughter. She was obviously full of it. She had a friend with her who had the biggest bolt-ons you've ever seen. We kicked them off of the bus after a few hours I think. Funny thing is 2 years later I walk onto the Earshot bus after a gig and the girl with the bolt-ons is sitting there. I said "Hey I know You". Macabre was right behind me and said to her "Didn't I kick you off of the Lynch Mob Bus? Well guess what? I'm kicking you off this bus too". I guess you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Once on a bus, always on a bus.
Q: Any words of wisdom for Oni or Marco?
A: Best of luck and I hope more things happen in the future.
Q: Is there anything you can tell us about Winnemucca?
A: Yeah, Lynch Mob opened up for Ladies Night...lol Hey George, I guess we were both no bigger than Winnemucca on that night.
Q: When George told you he'd be going with someone else because the current Lynch Mob tour is going to be bigger than anything else you've achieved, how did you feel?
A: I was never in the running for the tour up until recently. I think the fact that Earshot - Two has sold close to 100,000 copies since it came out speaks volumes for what I've done. I may not have a "name" so to speak and tons of people may not know who I am but I can walk up on that stage and play what's right for the tunes every night. My style lends itself to music such as Lynch Mob. It's really too bad that it didn't happen and I really would have done the shows but things happen for a reason. Maybe it's a good thing to sit at home and play my steady gigs here in Vegas. I'm making more money staying at home than I would be out on the road.
Q: To follow up on that, did you get a call from George when drummer Tommy Aldridge jumped ship (when Cinderella vocalist Tom Kiefer has vocal issues)?
A: Oni actually hit me up on Myspace. George didn't call me, I called him. For the rest refer to the previous questions.
Q: What's an interesting revelation about Macabre Ent that he'd never admit to?
A: There's nothing like walking into a hotel room and seeing a hot chick doing a rail off of Macabre's schmekle. He's my idol... I think I remember him singing the chorus to "Mone, Mone".
Q: What's the smallest crowd and the largest crowd you've played in front of? Do either affect your playing style?
A: I've played to 4 people to upwards of 20,000 people. There's no difference in 4 people paying to see you or 20,000 paying to see you. You still have to perform and give them their money's worth.
Q: What's your take on the 80s revival and reunion tours that have attacked us from out of nowhere?
A: God Bless Them!
Q: Macabre Ent says George Lynch still owes him an ESP M1 Tiger that was promised. Does George still owe you anything?
A: Northing I would care to collect. Honestly George was always cool to me when he needed me for something. When he didn't then the phone never rang. This still holds true.
Q: When you see "George Lynch" on your Caller ID, do you think about buying him a Rolodex for Christmas?
A: I wonder why he hasn't saved Ant's number in his phone yet.
Q: What was your largest music-related check and how did you blow it?
A: $3,700 and I used it to pay my rent for 3 months.
Q: What's a revelation about being part of the Lynch organization that you've never shared with anyone before?
A: Sea Hags are not off limits. It's a funny thing to have to kick the same chick off the bus twice on two different tours in two different bands. All I know is that I didn't hit it.
Q: Finally, what can we be expecting to see from Chas Stumbo over the next year?
A: I never know what the future holds. I'm going to continue playing gigs every week and keep having fun. As soon as it feels like work again is when I have to step back for a bit and regroup. Hopefully that doesn't happen anytime soon. Thanks again for the questions. I answered them as honestly as I could without stepping on too many toes. If there are any more questions anyone has feel free to ask me on the board and I'll do my best to answer them.
Are those some amazing responses or what? Will we ever be able to look at Macabre Ent the same way again? Please take notice that Chas is also open to more questions directly from the members, so ask away and don't forget to give it up to Chas for sharing him time with us all! And before you head out to pickup some of Chas' work on CD, be sure to stop by his MySpace pages here and here. Thanks again to Chas from the GLFF staff for stepping up the plate!