Interview: OWL’s Chris Wyse!
Chris Wyse’s resume is rather impressive, to say the least. He’s performed alongwise Ace Frehley, The Cult, Ozzy Osbourne and Mick Jagger… to name a few. He’s also the vocalist and bassist for OWL because sleep clearly isn’t in his vocabulary. We recently got to chat with Chris during his tour with Ace to talk all about his various endeavors and what it’s like working with one of his influences.
Stage Right Secrets: You’re currently on tour with Ace Frehley who you’ve toured with many times. Has anything changed since you first started playing together?
Chris Wyse: I started playing with Ace as a guest on his “Space Invader” record. I was on a couple of tracks on that and I had also met him a few years back on his “Behind the Players” DVD. I was the bass player for the day and was in a mish mosh of different players, like different drummers and guitar players and I was the only bass player. That’s how we met and we hit it off so it kind of evolved that way. I was in The Cult at the time and it developed into touring with [Ace]. And that was on The Cult off time so I was actually in OWL, The Cult and Ace all at once. When we worked on “Origins”, which is the record out now with Paul Stanley as a guest and Slash, that kind of developed into a full-time job.
SRS: You’ve cited Kiss as one of your influences growing up, who Ace is a founding member of. What was your initial reaction to getting to work with him?
CW: Oh, it was great; it was exciting. I got a call from a producer looking to assemble band members like Matt [Sorum] from The Cult and Guns n Roses and John 5 from Rob Zombie and [Marilyn] Manson… so all these different people were put together and they didn’t have a bass player, so I was thrilled because I was bass player for the whole day. I watched different rock stars come in and out and be guests all day but I was the single bass player. It was extra cool because it gave Ace and I a chance to vibe and get to know each other a little bit. So I was really excited to spend the whole day there.
SRS: How did you maintain working in multiple bands at the same time?
CW: I think essentially it became inevitable that I did have to make a choice or there was going to be conflicts. Ace asked me to join the band and I had to make a decision. But while it was all going on, I was also guesting and doing studio work and sometimes there’s jam nights in Hollywood where I’d be a guest. Staying active is kind of my thing anyway, but it did get very hectic. It took a lot of focus; sometimes when one band was coming home from touring and recuperating I wasn’t really getting much of a chance to do anything like that. I was in interviews and promoting OWL and it was a really busy time. It came to making a choice about what I had to do and just brace that new opportunity with Ace. It’s’ been a really wonderful, new opportunity for me in general to be a little more focused on Ace’s band and OWL. You either get it or you don’t and missed seizing that opportunity. I realized it was all happening and I was trying to be convenient about it but that wasn’t very rock and roll and the opportunities might not be there. You just need to seize it when it happens. Sometimes you’re sitting around wishing you were a little busier and the next thing you know…
SRS: What has happened for the album “Things You Can’t See” since you released it?
CW: As far as the material goes, it was released last year but because of the situation of being in multi bands and obviously I can’t dedicate an entire year to OWL being in Ace’s band, so there’s a challenge to that. What we decided to do was release an EP and put videos up for the songs. We still have two videos coming out that aren’t released yet. So we’re doing things a little different! Obviously times have changed and… the format has changed so we’re having fun with that and getting to unfold videos for this record.
SRS: Let’s talk about the song “Lake Ego” as it’s one of the songs that a video has not yet been released.
CW: It’s a relationship song of sorts. It could be an intimate relationship going on or it could just be a friendship; it could be anything. When you’re looking at the video it’s kind of a scenario in a lot of relationships that I touch base on this concept a lot of the time. We often are fooling ourselves or fooling the other person with the deem of control. That’s kind of what the ego’s all about, you know? Lake Ego is the concept of the song where you can drown in your own ego. You can fool yourself and then who’s in control? Sometimes we’ve all had the switched turns where you had something really good and now it’s not. Very simply playing on those kinds of emotions where you can get the rug pulled out from under you if you’re not careful.
SRS: What is your favorite part about creating a music video?
CW: To be honest, videos are more of a conceptual experience for me. For the actual video shoot you have to have a lot of patience and if you’re sitting around for a couple days shooting, it’s a long and drawn out process to a certain degree. I like to see it unfold in the editing process once I know we’ve got the content that we needed. That’s pretty cool to me. Dan [Dinsmore, OWL drummer and OverIt Media owner] took the reins on this video and we actually recorded in his church. He’s got a converted Catholic church into an amazing recording studio and music company in Albany, NY. This band concept with Dan and I getting back together from our high school years is what this band story started as and a continuation of all my years being in New York and Hollywood and having my own vision. And with Jason, of course, it feels like a genuine band and not a project. Not “some guy wants to make some music and got his friends together.” We’ve been at this for many years and it’s our third release. It’s interesting to see things like this develop. This record was an amazing record to make and it’s still unfolding into this year because of the fact that we’re still supporting it and by the end of the year maybe doing some shows before the holidays. Plus two of these videos haven’t even been seen yet. Heavy on the content!
Be sure to check out OWL and keep an eye out for their upcoming music videos!