Chris Green of Tyketto and The Auditory Adventures of Unveil
Best known for his remarkable work in Tyketto and Rubicon Cross, guitar virtuoso Chris Green somehow took a break from his solid schedule just long enough to record a solo endeavor. Unveil is the name of this masterwork, and even at less than 25 minutes in length, the EP is an epic auditory adventure that should thoroughly enrapture all types of music enthusiasts. Green’s guitar work truly speaks volumes, and in this interview with Highwire Daze Online, we discuss the stories behind Unveil and a few of the deeply personal songs as well as his participation with Tyketto, Rubicon Cross and so much more. Read on…
Is there any story or concept behind the EP title Unveil?
I remember sitting with my dad talking about band democracy and how I always found it difficult to write efficiently with multiple people as there were always tangents and distractions. He said to me “why don’t you just do a record by yourself then you don’t have to deal with all that”. It was that simple, the thought of getting my own way 100% was all I needed to start the writing process hahaha
Select two songs from the EP and what inspired you to write the music?
Once Forgotten was a track I wrote completely without a guitar in my hands, I took my laptop on the plane for a flight from London to Chicago and tried a whole new process. When you hit ‘caps lock’ on the Mac Book you get a keyboard pop up and can use the typing keyboard as a music keyboard, I literally played in all the notes I wanted that way. Note by note, slowly but surely 8 hours later I had the main structure for the song. Of course when I tried to learn it on guitar it was a nightmare as some licks were just not possible for me, but it’s almost everything up played in on that plane. Interesting way to write actually, it makes you think out the box.
Welcome for a Soldier is actually a cover of a track by my late father’s band Deep Feeling. They were an awesome 70s prog rock band that I grew up listening too. After my dad’s passing, I thought it would be a great tribute to him and the rest of the band that had passed away. There were originally 4 part harmonies and counter vocal melodies all over that track, so I just mimicked all of the vocal parts with multiple lead lines on the guitar. It’s actually really close to the original, I only added one section of music. If you ever have a chance to hear the original, it’s interesting to compare it to my version.
Do you plan on doing any solo performances in support of the EP?
It has crossed my mind and I’ve been talking with some musicians about the logistics. There’s a lot of strings on this album and many many guitar parts, so I guess it boils down to whether we can do the album justice with only a handful of musicians. I’d really like to play it live.
Who are some of the guitarists that have inspired you over the years?
Ooooooh, I started off listening to bands like The Shadows, Dire Straits, The Kinks and loads of 60’s music. I didn’t really discover guitar gods until I heard Mr Big. I bought the song Addicted to that Rush and almost soiled myself. I had never heard playing like that before, and from there I discovered Nuno, Andy Timmons, Steve Vai, John Petrucci, Satriani, Eric Johnson etc. As well as all the Shrapnel records guys like Vinnie Moore, Marty Freidman, Jason Becker, Tony MacAlpine and many others. But as far as the biggest influence it would probably be Vito Bratta from White Lion, I still think he’s one of the most underrated guitarists of all time.
What is your favorite guitar to play in concert and why?
My Charcoal Black PRS 20th anniversary in Satin with gold hardware, why? Because it practically plays itself. It’s great for all those acrobatics.
Do you plan to go to The NAMM Show in January, and if so, what are you looking forward to seeing there the most?
I have been to NAMM every year for ages now, but unfortunately the one in 2017 I’ll be on tour with Tyketto in Europe. I love NAMM, great for the soul, bad for the wallet.
How did you become involved with Tyketto and where was your first show with them?
I’d known Danny for a few year already, I’d played a few songs on stage with him at a show in UK called Firefest, and my UK band PRIDE had went on the road with Danny’s solo band in support of Firehouse in 2003. So we knew each other pretty well. I got a call late 2013 from him pretty much saying “Hey man, hope you’re well, I know you’re busy but would you consider being the guitarist in Tyketto”. I was quite taken back, I loved the music and it had been a while since I’d played in a melodic rock band. I just said “yea man let’s do it”. A few months later I was playing our 1st show in London (my home town) at the Garage. I haven’t looked back since, I love playing in that band.
What is your favorite new and then favorite older Tyketto song to play and why?
My favorite off the new album changes all the time, it depends what mood I’m in. I think that’s why I love the REACH album so much, not because I helped write it, but there seems to be a song for every mood or occasion. Right now it’s The Run, couldn’t tell you why, it just is. As far as older tunes, it’s Lay Your Body Down, it’s got an amazing groove and I get a chance to melt faces in it. haha
What are you looking forward to the most about the upcoming Tyketto tour in January?
Playing in Germany, i just love playing that country. There’s a lot of driving but the landscape is amazing, the people are super friendly, and the beer is AMAZING.
What is currently going on with Rubicon Cross?
Rubicon Cross was always a difficult band to get out live. It was effectively everyone’s side project so you’re trying to match 5 peoples schedules to get shows booked, and with CJ being in Firehouse, trying to work around their busy schedule proved difficult. We may do another album next year, and then we’ll be pushing to play live again I’m sure.
Would Tyketto and Rubicon Cross ever want to do a show or tour together? Or has that already happened?
Effectively the 2003 Firehouse, Vaughn, Pride tour had most of the musicians that would make up that tour haha. I’m not sure it’d work, I’d have to pull double duty and when I play live I like to commit to 1 show, 1 set, and put all I have into that. The way I play live, I wouldn’t have the energy for 2 shows in 1 night.
Are you involved with any other bands or projects at the moment outside of Tyketto, Rubicon Cross, or your solo project?
Yep i play (and sing) in a band from Chicago called Spacewolf. It’s kind of a stoner, proggy thing, not really sure how to explain it. Maybe if Mastodon and The Sword had a lovechild that’d be close. We should be going out live in the Mid West in 2017, stay tuned, that’s a REALLY fun band.
Outside of the January tour, any other future plans with your bands or solo project?
We’ll be releasing a Spacewolf album and backing that up with some shows, I’d like to get another instrumental album in the making, touring with Tyketto will happen later in the year, and who knows what else, it’s early days yet and I like to
Any final words of wisdom?
Don’t pick up soap from the shower floor unless you’re on your own 🙂
(Interview by Ken Morton – Live Photos from MORC 2016 by Joe Schaeffer)