Metal Sludge recently conducted an interview with former MACHINE HEAD/TESTAMENT drummer Chris Kontos as part of their regularly weekly "20 Questions With?" feature. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Metal Sludge: What are you currently up to? This is your one and only chance to plug your shit.
Chris Kontos: "Well, right now I'm working on a new metal band, and I'm fucking fired up about it big time!!! I have been out on rock n' roll island for far too long now. My last band, THE SERVANTS, were cool, but in the end it was a total letdown. I was sick of trying make it all happen by myself. I need to be doing metal again anyhow. That is my path in life, when the whole nu-rap-metal went down, I ran from it like the plague. With the death of that....I want back in. It was nice to make the music we did in THE SERVANTS, and do all the killer shows, but it was just a pain in the ass so, now it's back to the 'dark side.' I working with some real killer players right now, so look out for us soon. I'm also playing with HOT FOR TEACHER — VAN HALEN tribute. It is a blast doing this band for fun and the love of the music! Next I will be doing a really cool thing.... Motowars!!!!! It is a full-on battle front mixing 'Road Warrior' meets WWF with cars, bikes, stunts, fire, bombs, girls, and the battle band!!!!!! My friend Coy Jorden founded this whole thing, Fox Sports Net did a one-hour show on the making of Motowars two months ago. He went out with The Crusty Demons motocross tour. Now, it is being picked up for 13 shows on Spike TV. I'm fuckin' stoked about this job and hope it does well. Look out in the next few months for Motowars on Spike TV."
Metal Sludge: Alright, everyone knows you had a big falling out with MACHINE HEAD. We know you don't want to talk about it, but fuck it, this is Metal Sludge, so we'll ask anyway. What happened?
Chris Kontos: "Really, that is fuckin' 11 years ago people. But I will say this about it all. I was sick of the tough-guy shit and working for nothing but one guy's dream [referring to MACHINE HEAD mainman Robert Flynn — Ed.]. I have got in so much beef over telling this whole story online before. I work with and I am still friends with the manager and his girlfriend, so I try not to go into that story much. After so long in the same town, I have seen all the guys, and had long talks with them, it just does not bug me that much any more. MACHINE HEAD have had a real rough time over the years, and I think all that shit speaks for itself. I love the 'Burn My Eyes' CD I'm on, if that makes any difference. And I meet people all the time that say it was the best thing MACHINE HEAD ever did."
Metal Sludge: Rank the following drummers on a scale of 10-1, 1 being a hack, and 10 being a God of Thunder.
Chris Kontos: "Lars Ulrich = 1. He's a full-on fuckface. This guy has bugged me for years now.
"Steven Adler = 7. Steve gets points just for being so sweet to me, and always rockin' out no matter what. He played my drum kit the last time we opened for him... He looked so small behind my huge set of Yamahas! I got a cool photo of us hanging out with my drums.
"Vinnie Paul = 10. Vinnie Paul is one of my all-time fave drummers, hands down. This guy has it all worked out. And it was one of the coolest things to be able to meet and party with him over the years.
"The retarded drummer chick from THE WHITE STRIPES = GET A HELMET FOR THIS LITTLE BUS DRUMMER! My friends know her and they told me the she belts down TWO bottles of Makers Mark whisky a DAY!!!!! And that she won't ever show her teeth 'cuz they are all gray/black from years of drinking and not brushing.
"Dave McClain = 6. He can play. Plays my old drum parts from MACHINE HEAD a bit strange at times. I think sometimes he goes for the Hot Topic looks, and showing off moves more than just playing the drums at times. He was a nice guy when I met him.
"Neil Peart = 10. My wife won tickets to RUSH last year and we got to watch him play within 30 feet....I was trippin' out on how he still plays with fire and all the moves are played hard and fast. If you get the chance to see the 'Rush In Rio' DVD, do it!!!!
"Per M. Jensen = 10. Per took my place in the Danish band I was in back in '97, KONKHRA. He is now in THE HAUNTED. I just hung out all day at Ozzfest with THE HAUNTED boys and had a blast. They went on at 11:00 a.m. and it hurt my head to take in all the metal at that time of the day. Per and I love to smoke weed and choop it up about drummers, so when we get in the same room it is like a smoke machine. Went crazy on the bus. Plus with Chuck Billy with us too... it was nuts!!!!
"Tommy Lee = 10, He bugs me with all the media hype now, but he rocks, for sure, and he was always a big part of my playing over the years. I have to say, I was so happy to play Crüefest and play 'Dr. Feelgood' and 'Primal Scream' at the Whisky A Go Go, the home of the CRÜE. I got to hang with Tommy a few times, once in a tattoo shop in L.A. I was getting work done at. He was with Bobbi Brown, she was all over him like some drunk fuckdoll, she was a mess. And then once in Denmark in '97 after playing on the same fest with MÖTLEY CRÜE on the Swine Tour. He was hella nice to my wife and myself. We walked around the streets talking about drumers, and bands we went and got some food at Tex-Mex, my fave Danish food/bar. I went to buy Tommy a drink.... and OOOoopppssss, he was not drinking at the time... My bad, Tommy! He was like, 'Shit, thanks, Chris.... you seem like the kind of people I could just have a few drinks with... but I just can't do it bro, but I'll take an OJ!' Damn... I meet the party animal of the world, and he can't party, just my luck.... It still was a cool time chillin' out with him that night. I have to say he looks a bit haggard right now. My friend is out with Tommy's band right now with that guy T-Low rappin', he is out as the tour manager.
"Nicko McBrain = 10, I got to meet him in '94 when MACHINE HEAD played the Concrete Management Foundations forum in LA. He was so cool to everyone then, And just the other day at Ozzfest we met again. UP THE IRONS!!!!! He is always pushing the songs limits and doing new stuff with them. I just love his playing and his attitude with life. I did an IRON MAIDEN tribute band a while back called IRON VEGAN with some local punk rockers here in Oakland. It was so fun!!!!
"Alex Van Halen = 10, I have been watching him play ever since '78!!!! I never thought I would have to play all of his stuff, but now that I'm doing HOT FOR TEACHER, I have to say it is some of the toughest drumming I have ever played."
Read the entire interview at MetalSludge.tv.