Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Peverett Phile Interviews: Chris Hirons From Going After Zen

Welcome to the Phile again for a Tuesday. So, do you all have Obama Fever? Anyway, we'll talk about that on Friday. Today we have an interview with Chris Hirons from Going with Zen, a very cool band. So, here's Chris.

Me: Hello, Chris, welcome to the Phile. How did you know what I was going to look like in five years? Who is that fat dude?

Chris: A friend did that from a pic of me only my head though I'm not that fat. 

Me: I have to ask you who is Zen, and why are you going after him or her? LOL.

Chris: Zen is a form of Buddhism.

Me: Seriously, where did you come up with the name?

Chris: When G.A.Z. was formed there was originally two members, me and a friend Garry, I asked him 'what are we going to call this project GAZ?' and he said that's it GAZ so we came up with Going After Zen nothing spiritual just a bit of fun. (Gary only played guitar on "Meltdown" & "Turn the Page").

Me: Your music is listed as Alternative, Electronica and Experimental. All I can say is you can say that again. Tell me more about your music.

Chris: I like to experiment with sounds, nothing to out of the box but nothing to mainstream I like the freedom to be able to record what I like.

Me: Where do you record, and how many instruments are actually played. You seem to have a lot.

Chris: I record at home on a purpose built audio computer, a Carillon AC1, I have had it for six years and it has just been respeced to keep it up to date, I use Cubase SX with an Edirol DA2496 8in 8out audio/midi interface, I play bass guitar, guitar, keyboard with various soft synths and use a drum machine and drum samples, anything that works really, but 90% of the music is played in real time.

Me: Okay, I am gonna be honest, I never liked Pink Floyd and your music is very Pink Floydish. Are they your number one band?

Chris: I dont think my music sounds very Floydish although people have said this, I did the "Think Lloyd" track in tribute to Rick Wright and that is Floyd influenced and yes they have always been my favorite band.

Me: I put in an interview request to Roger Waters, Chris. Would you help me with the questions if I get it?

Chris: I'll give it a go

Me: You are from the UK, right? I am originally from London and lived in Oxford. Whereabouts are you?

Chris: I live in Rugby, Warwicksire home of the game. And Holography in fact.

Me: Apart from Floyd, what other bands do you listen to?

Chris: Alsorts really I was brought up on rock, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbeth, the usual, then got into prog rock, King Crimson, Yes, ELP, Fripp & Eno Gong, Hawkwind etc
then jazz fusion with bands like Weather Report, Jaco Pastorius is my fave bass player, John Mclaughlin, Stanley Clarke,the list is endless, these days I listen to anything. I like browsing on myspace there is a lot of great stuff out there. 

Me: Chris, who else is in the band?

Chris: There is just me after Gary left a couple of years ago.

Me: Do you play live? And if you do, do you have flying pigs?

Chris: I play bass in a punk band (www.myspace.com/thejellyheads) a quick plug there, which is great fun. But at the moment with Going after Zen I dont play live. But if I did I would have a couple of flying Buddhas. LOL.

Me: How many times have you seen Pink Floyd in concert? Are they aware of your music? I would think they would be impressed.

Chris: I went to see them perform "The Wall" at Earls court in 1979 we got front row seats, I also went to Berlin to see The Wall that was only Roger Waters and friends, amazing experience.

Me: I looked for a picture of you for this interview but instead all I found was a bunch of crazy art work. Do you do all that as well? It is very zen like.

Chris: Most of it is done by an artist friend Barry Beecher. He did the background painting on my profile page. 

Me: This question is asked to all my interviewees... what is your favorite Foghat song?

Chris: Is that Foghat digs holes in space? Dont really know any off hand.

Me: What was the first instrument you learned to play?

Chris: The bass guitar.

Me: When you're not making music, Chris, what do you do?

Chris: Go fishing, watch football, I support Chelsea. 

Me: I saw you are a friend of bass player Tal Wilkenfeld. Do you know her very well, or just through Myspace? I put in an interview request to her as well.

Chris: I wish I did know her well, I know her through Myspace. She plays with Jeff Beck, awesome.

Me: Is your music going to be put on iTunes?

Chris: I have one track on iTunes, "Tantric Templars" it is on a compilation album called "Tour de Force" ( there is a link on my page) it has also been released as a CD worldwide by Matchbox recordings. Hopefully I will be releasing more tracks with them in the near future.

Me: Did you come up with the quote "Without the stream stepping stones are useless"? If so, that's pretty deep, man. If not, who came up with it? It's pretty deep no matter who said it.

Chris: Yes I did after a couple of spliffs and a bottle of brandy.

Me: Thanks for taking part in this interview, Chris. Can you leave the Phile phans with another deep quote?

Chris: What you are now, so once were we what we are now so shall you be.

Me: Thanks, Chris, take care.

Chris: Thanks for taking an interest in my music.

And I thought spread the word, not the turd was deep. You can hear Chris's music at Myspace.com/goingafterzen. Tomorrow the Phile will be back with Andy from The Parish Music Box, a very cool band out of London, then on Friday the regular weekly entry of the Phile. On Saturday it's singer Jeremy Rowe, Sunday it's Bryan Eden from Tribe of Eden. So, once again, spread the word, not the turd. 

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