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A timely 10 Q's if ever there was one as Chris George has replaced fellow guitarist Paul Chapman in Waysted, who have just released their comeback album featuting original vocalist Fin via Majestic Rock.

Big thanks to Batttttty for sending the Q's.

1. What are you currently up to?

I'm just about to finish an arena tour of Austria with the band I'm with out there for an artist called Christina Sturmer. It's been totally cool, she's massive out there, the biggest selling artist in 20 years. They've sold 11,000 tickets for the last show this weekend and the cool thing is it's more of a band vibe than just her, so we have a lot of fun on stage.

I've also been playing at various shows/clinics with Marshall amps as always, I've been doing that with them for around 6 years now. And obviously the Waysted thing too, I did my parts in the studio in the summer and we're all really psyched about getting out on the road.

2. Summary of your career to date and the style of music you play.

I started playing when I was 7 and it all kind of stemmed from there, playing locally then winning the Young Guitarist Of The Year thing in '97, from that I got the gig with Marshall amps and other stuff came out of that.

I'm pretty much just a straight down the line rock n' roll guitarist, a lot of other guitarists kind of overplay a lot of stuff, trying to be the next Joe Satriani or Steve Vai, but that don't interest me, I don't want to be a front man or show off how many notes I can play, just play from the heart you know?

3. Who was/is/are the biggest influences on your playing style?

Obviously, a lot of guitarists have really influenced my playing, Angus Young, Joe Perry, Zakk Wylde etc., all the classic rock players but if there's one guy that's always stuck out for me since I was a kid, it's Slash. I think maybe that shows a bit too much in my playing sometimes, but hey, who cares.

I saw Peter Frampton play the other night and he blew me away, especially when he did 'Do you feel like we do'.

4. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoint(s) of your career to date?

One of the highlights was this year with Christina and the band headlining festivals in Austria and the biggest there was 50,000 people there, totally cool feeling. Also, just knowing some of the people I know now who play in bands I've always been into, like Nicko from Maiden.

The first time I played with him I was a bit nervous maybe but now it's just like, Nicko's Nicko. You always know when he's in the room!

And obviously now being a part of the whole Waysted machine. I don't think there's really been any lowpoints, I just learnt early on to play my cards quite close to my chest, and if there's a possibility you might do this or that, don't tell anyone until your actually doing it.

A high and low point was playing with Greg Ridley from Humble Pie, he was a great guy and to be doing the old Pie stuff was fuckin' great. We did a few shows, which sadly turned out to be his last before he died.

5. What would you like to achieve within the next twelve months?

Just to keep doing what I've been doing the last few years. I hope the Waysted thing goes well, it'll be really cool touring on home soil and not having to get on a plane to get to a gig.

6. How did you get the Waysted gig?

I've known Fin and Paul (Haslin) for a few years, and then met Pete last year.

I remember speaking to Fin when he was recording his vocals for Back From The Dead in Florida, 'cos I was out there at the same time. Then just before the summer, they got me down to the studio in Buckingham to see what I could do with the guitar parts 'cos they weren't that keen on what Chapman had done. I spent a few days there learning and recording my own versions and the rest is history.

7. How important do you feel the internet is for promoting your music?

The net is a great way of promoting anything, especially music. It's the way of the future in terms of buying music, I just got an ipod and it's amazing that you can fit the best of your CD collection on one small machine, plus buy whatever music you want from the net, have it in seconds and you don't have to leave the house.

8. What has been the live highlight(s) for the band? How easy/hard is it to get gigs and promotion for gigs?

The live highlight for Waysted involving me was probably last year when we did a one-off secret type show to test the water. The crowd's reaction was great and more importantly the chemistry between the band on stage was amazing. We all kind of looked at each other and said "Yeah, there's something special here."

In terms of getting gigs and promotion, Waysted isn't one of the thousands of new bands trying to make it, they already have a reputation and I know there are a lot of fans crying out for live shows.

9. What's the most rock 'n' roll moment you've had so far?

There's been quite a few but one that sticks out was doing some clinics for Marshall in Italy.

One particular place, the guy who had organised the show took us back to his house in the middle of nowhere. He didn't speak a word of english and through the translator (after much drinking) told us he'd like to show us his gun collection.

It wasn't until we were in this bunker outside of his place that we realised the scale of his collection, hundreds of pump actions, rifles, pistols, the guy even had a fuckin uzi in it's case.

Fast forward 10 minutes and we're taking it in turns firing these guns out of the door. How we got out of there unharmed, I don't know.

10. Message to your fans?

My message to the Waysted fans is this: I know a lot of you expected Paul Chapman to be doing this record and the tour, but it's nothing to do with me that it didn't work out with him.

Don't expect the album to sound like Chapman's playing on it, 'cos I'm not him and I'm not going to copy his stuff line for line. I've done what I would in any recording situation and have just played what's natural to me, and in doing that and the lack of time I had it's given the album a great feel, everyone connected with the band are a lot happier with things this way.

If Chapman would have carried on working at the pace he was, this album would never have surfaced. And what you hear him saying, about the songs not sounding like Waysted, you have to remember he even wrote some of these songs, and him saying about this whole thing 'taking the piss out of the Waysted fans', well, if you're a fan of the band, then you're a fan of the BAND.

A similar thing happened with Pete's other band UFO with Vinnie Moore replacing Michael Schenker, and in Deep Purple with Steve Morse replacing Richie Blackmore. Do people still go and see these bands? Yes. Are Vinnie and Steve trying to be Schenker and Blackmore? No, they're just putting their style on the songs, bringing a fresh sound, and that's exactly what I've done and will be doing on the tour. I promise you won't be dissapointed!

Interview © 2004 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

All rights reserved.

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