Charred Walls of the Damned’s Richard Christy on Touring in a Van and Visiting Horror Landmarks
Last week Charred Walls of the Damned released ‘Cold Winds on Timeless Days,’ their sophomore album. Lead by drummer-songwriter Richard Christy, the band also features vocalist Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens (ex-Judas Priest), bass ace Steve DiGiorgio (ex-Death) and producer Jason Seucof on guitars.
The general public knows Christy from his hilarious work as one of the writers and on-air personalities of ‘The Howard Stern Show,’ but metalheads first learned about him through his stints in bands like Iced Earth and Death. ‘Cold Winds on Timeless Days’ not only showcases Christy’s dexterous drumming style, it also shines a spotlight on his forward-thinking songwriting skills. Even though these days both his comedy and musical careers are flourishing, it wasn’t always so easy for Christy.
“Back before I got the job on the ‘The Howard Stern Show,’ I went wherever the gig was,” Christy tells Noisecreep. “I know that’s the case with a lot of other drummers too. Even when I was a member of Death and Iced Earth, I was also playing drums on tours with Incantation, Demons and Wizards, and my own band, Burning Inside. The reason was if I wasn’t on tour that means I would have to go back to my day job. So when another band offered me a fill-in spot on a tour, I would always take it,” says the Charred Walls of the Damned mastermind.
All this talk of his earlier days slugging it out on the road reminds Christy of someone that he holds dear to his heart, Incantation guitarist John McEntee. If you aren’t familiar with the band, Incantation is one of the longest-running American death metal bands around today. To date, they’ve released eight studio albums and been on countless tours.
“John is probably in the top five most metal people of all time. He’s still out there doing it, traveling in a van and playing shows. Not only that, they’ve never released a bad record in their career. He’s just so purely metal. I’m in awe of him any time we hang out. John plays some of the heaviest, most brutal music in the world, but he’s also the nicest guy you’ll ever meet in this scene. I guess he gets all of his anger out in Incantation’s evil songwriting,” laughs Christy.
Watch Richard Christy Track Drums for ‘Zerospan’ From Charred Walls of the Damned
McEntee secured Christy for an Incantation tour in the summer of 2000. “That was some of the most fun I’ve ever had on any tour I’ve been on. I had mapped out all these horror movie sites that I wanted to visit on the road. That’s the cool part about touring in a van as opposed to a bus. You can hit all these little towns without worrying about traveling around in a huge bus, spending tons of money on gas. It costs like $1000 a day to be on one of those buses.”
Noisecreep asked the drummer what horror locations he visited on the tour. “I got to check out the ‘Dawn of the Dead‘ mall – the lighthouse from ‘The Fog.’ Let’s see… the house from ‘Halloween‘ and the ghost town from ‘John Carpenter’s Vampires.’ We did so many cool day trips like that. That tour was such a blast!”
Before getting off the phone, Christy shares the kind of trivia tidbit only a horror nerd could truly appreciate. “The house they used for ‘Halloween’ is in Pasadena, Calif. It’s being used as a private practice office these days and they actually moved the entire house about a half-a-block away. It still looks exactly the same. But anyway, there’s something cool you should check out in the first ‘Halloween’ movie.
“In the scene where Dr. Loomis first meets Sheriff Brackett, if you look in the background of one shot, you can see palm trees through a window. If you remember, ‘Halloween’ is supposed to take place in Illinois. I’m always looking for errors like that in movies I love. Yes, I guess it’s nerdy stuff [laughs].”
Charred Walls of the Damned’s ‘Cold Winds on Timeless Days’ is available now via Metal Blade.