Destination: West Bound with Chas West
Destination: West Bound with Chas West
Chas West is best known for his dynamic lead vocalist work with the legendary Jason Bonham as well as with the almighty Resurrection Kings. Now along with famed producer Roy Z, Chas West has unleashed West Bound! Their debut album Volume 1 has been issued via Frontiers Music Srl, and the auditory adventures found within will rock your world! Highwire Daze caught up with Chas West recently to discuss the happenings of West Bound. Read on…
First of all, how did the West Bound band come about?
Well Serafino, who is the President of Frontiers Music, contacted me. Because I had done a record called Resurrection Kings with Vinnie Appice, Craig Goldy and Sean McNaab. He loved the record and he said he loved my voice – and he said “I want to do something just with you.” But he said “I want you to work with a producer / songwriter. Do you have somebody in mind?” And I said “Yes!” So I got back to him with Roy Z, and he said “Oh, that would be great!” And I said we worked together in Tribe Of Gypsies and I knew him well. He was a friend. And I asked “Is it a go?” and he said “absolutely!”
You recently played a West Bound show at the notorious Viper Room. How did it go?
It was great. I mean 10:00 on a Thursday night and it was packed! And it was thrilling for me because it’s my home and I know how things are in LA – people are kind of spoiled like “Aww, I wanna be on the guest list.” Everybody except for maybe 20-25 people paid a minimum of $10 – cuz I tried to make it reasonable. And I’m telling you – I walked onstage – the curtain was opened – and the place was packed! It was really a great feeling and it was a great show. It went really well. It was like my hometown show.
For people who missed it, what could one expect from a live West Bound show?
We’re doing some originals obviously – we gotta promote the record. Besides that, it’s some of my career path with the Jason Bonham Band – the two records and a lot of world tours. So we’re going to do some Zeppelin because of the tie-in there. I also did a record back in 1996 called In The Name Of My Father –The Zep Set Live at Electric Lady Studios in New York and that was all Zeppelin. It was a charity thing, so obviously there’s a tie-in there. And maybe one or two Bonham songs. We’ve done three shows so far and it’s gone over really well. We’ve got an East Coast Tour coming up next month and I’m looking forward to it.
Select two songs from the West Bound album and what inspired the lyrics.
The first song on the record Never Surrender – I can really relate to that because it’s kind of like I lived it! The ups and the downs of the music industry and even your personal life. You just pick yourself up, you dust yourself off and you keep on. It’s tough, but believe in your dreams and your goals – even dealing with life’s challenges – that’s where that song comes from. So maybe that’s my personal story, but I think a lot of people could relate to that in their own lives.
And Dance Of Life was actually the first song we wrote. It was actually Roy Z, myself and Dave. And without being religious, it’s a little bit of a spiritual message and looking to the light – because things are hard and I’ve seen it throughout the country and throughout the world. There’s so much divisiveness and everything else. It’s just looking inside yourself and look to the light and believe in yourself. Everybody goes through their own Dance Of Life – whatever that may be – and it’s don’t give up on that dance! Do you own dance of life and do it the best you can, and don’t let everybody tell you that you can’t do it.
Will Resurrection Kings be doing anything else?
Well it’s funny you mentioned that, because actually Frontiers wants us to do another record. We’ve already started working on it. Craig’s busy with Dio Disciples and I’m doing West Bound, but there is probably going to be another Resurrection Kings in about a year or year and a half.
Would Resurrection Kings and West Bound ever want to tour or do a show together?
It would be a lot on me! It would be double duty for me! But you know me – I’m a glutton for punishment so I probably would do it – a least for a few shows anyway – a mini tour. I would do it. Absolutely! I mean Resurrection Kings, when we play live, we play some originals and we play some Dio and some Rainbow songs – and I think we did one Zeppelin song just like as an encore or something like that. So that would focus on the Dio side and West Bound would focus more on the Zeppelin / Bonham side – so absolutely! People would get their monies worth!
(Interview by Ken Morton – Photo by William Hames)
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