Who’s ready to have their face melted again by Chris Drapeau? Last week our good friends at Horns Up Rocks premiered the first single off of his “Zetetic” solo album, and “A Trace Of Fire” delivered on all levels! As I said in our post, Chris has flawlessly pieced together technical riffs with amazing solos, and the track was the perfect introduction to what you can expect from the rest of the album! It’s an absolute rager from start to finish!
Today Chris has honored us by letting us premiere the play through video for the title track, but that’s not all! I got to speak with Chris about the upcoming release, where it came from, his passion for the guitar and songwriting, and much, much more! Enjoy the chat below, and if you dig what you hear, pre-order “Zetetic” today!
Metal Mark: Chris, thanks for taking the time out today! Congrats on the amazing new solo record my friend! When did this all start coming together?
Chris Drapeau: Thanks a lot dude. Glad ya dig it! This is actually just material I’ve been working on for the past two months. It was like a “Holy fuck I got to writing something” experience man (laughs). When I got back from the doing the record with the Aggressive Dogs, I did a one off show with Thy Will Be Done, so I knew I had to get my solo chops back up to where they were ya know. I couldn’t go out there sounding like shit. Once I started relearning those songs, more ideas popped into my head, and I kind of went crazy with it (laughs). I honestly forgot how fun it was I think. So after that show was done, I just started recording parts here and there, just to see what I can come up with. After the first song came together man, I just couldn’t stop.
MM: Well I’m glad you didn’t stop, because this music is incredible! Did you always want to record an instrumental album, or did this just kind of happen once things started falling in place?
CD: I’m going to be honest and say that an instrumental metal album never really crossed my mind until this all starting coming together like it did. I’ve wanted to do an instrumental album before, but I was thinking of doing a more bluesy or classic rock instrumental record ya know, just to completely change it up. “Zetetic” really started to come together after two or three songs were done, and once I realized that I had so much material, I figured why the hell not? Let’s do a full record. Other than paying for the copyright for the cover song, I barely had any money tied into this thing either, which ruled. I could write it by myself, record it by myself, and release it by myself, so that’s exactly what I decided to do. I don’t have the fanciest recording gear, or the fanciest guitars, but that’s fine with me. I’ve always done well with what I got, and I pride myself on it, so I just went for it with this album, and I’m stoked with how it came out.
MM: Last time we spoke about your departure from Thy Will Be Done, and how you kind of put the guitar away for a bit. Once the Aggressive Dogs opportunity came up, it seems like it re-energized you, and just from the passion in your voice, it sounds like you’re more in love with the instrument than ever!
CD: I think I am, but I think that’s because I’m kind of a free agent right now, and I have the freedom to do whatever I want. I’m more than honored to be a member of Aggressive Dogs, but they don’t tour as often as most bands, so I can still be able to do this solo stuff when I want, and I can write however I want ya know. I can play any style of music I want right now, and I’ve never been able to say that before. The way I feel about these songs is the way I felt about the stuff on Thy Will Be Done‘s “In Ancient Of Days” man. I haven’t been this excited, or in love with songs I wrote since 2007. I seriously can’t stop listening to them, and that’s such a good feeling. That’s in no way saying the rest of the material I wrote with Thy Will Be Done was bad, or I didn’t love it, cuz I did and I still do. That band was my heart, and those guys were and still are my brothers ya know. We had a blast, but I haven’t felt this freedom in a long time, and it shows in the songwriting. I’m pretty fucking jazzed on this stuff man!
MM: You should be jazzed! Every song is absolutely stellar, and I know you’ve sent it out to some of your friends, so I was wondering if they’re digging it as well?
CD: Fuck yes they are dude. I’ve sent this shit to anyone and everyone I ever toured with, just to get feedback, and it’s all been so positive. These are friends that would tell me if it sucked too (laughs). I heard through the years how much people enjoying my solos and my playing, but I don’t think it ever really clicked. Even with you screaming solos at me all the time (laughs).
MM: I did do that quite often.
CD: Yes you did, and now I understand it. I was a fan who loved the solos as well, but it may not have registered in my mind as it should have, but from what others have told me over the past few years, I now get it. Throughout my years of playing I’ve created my own signature style without even knowing it, but now that I’ve got a grasp on it, I can hear it, and I’m rolling with it man. I’m getting better and better every day, finding new techniques, studying basic guitar knowledge I never learned, and it’s completly opened my world as a guitar player. When you listen to the record, you’ll hear the riffs and solos people expect, but there’s a lot on there that I’ve never really done before, or just not as much, and it’s pretty cool to listen back to for me. It’s like, oh shit, I’m evolving! As a guitar player you always want to get better, and now that I have that passion and drive back, there is no limit in my mind to what I can come up with. I’m already thinking about another solo album, once I hear the full response to this one ya know. My mind is racing, and my fingers are flying, and it feels fucking good man.
MM: That’s so awesome to hear my friend! With the total freedom and knowledge you’ve gained, you’ve really taken on the “Zetetic” title. Can you explain a little more about why you chose that for the album?
CD: The world itself, “Zetetic“, basically means a skeptic. Someone who seeks more than what they’ve been given. They are always open to anything really, which is how the whole concept of the record came together. I’m a big reader, but for the first time I was being inspired by what I was reading. A lot of what I was reading was based on the Zetetic concept, and I would literally read a book, go write riffs, and repeat. It’s how a lot of the album came together at the beginning. Something about that word just hit home with me, and so I ran with it. I’ve been inspired by other artists and bands before, of course, but this whole “seeking” concept really hit home, and so I knew that would be the perfect title. I incorporated that with the cover as well. It’s got the warped globe, the many lines, the window, and it basically represents that no matter what you’re looking at, there’s always something else out there. There’s always something to seek.
MM: Well said. So with all this new passion and drive for the music, and with the knowledge of how to put it out there, we can expect a new solo album in a few months right?
CD: That’s the Mark I know (laughs). Who knows man? I wasn’t expecting this to be as much fun as it was, but it’s definitely a possibility. I can’t stop writing right now, and with the knowledge I’ve gained, it’s definitely a possibility. I’ve got the freedom, as I said, to write whenever and whatever I want, so let’s see how this album does, and that’ll help me decide if I do another one. If people love it, I may get a real producer to produce it (laughs). Either way, I’m definitely open to it, because as I said before, I can’t put my guitar down right now, and it’s an awesome feeling. I don’t know about in the next few months though. That might be pushing it (laughs).
MM: Very cool man. It’s always great to hear from you, and congrats again on the album! It’s out October 9th, and do you have anything else you’d like to speak on?
CD: I think we’ve covered it all man! I appreciate the interview and your support as always man. For those that don’t know me, or what to expect on the album, expect a ton of riffs, a ton of solos, and some other insanity mixed in. I had a blast putting it together, and I hope you have a blast listening to it! Cheers!
And now without further ado, here is the playthrough video for the title track! See, he IS human!