Mike Bolenbach - Chain Link Faith

July 25, 2002

When did you guys get together?

In October of 1999.

How did you guys get together?

The drummer and the guitar player, the guitar player is my singer, having been playing together in bands for about 20 some years. The bass player and I have been playing in bands together for about 10 years. Both of our respective bands had broken up and we just ran in to each other at a Megadeth concert and said "hey!"

All right! Megadeth! You guys have been musicians for a while.

Yeah.

That's a shame about Megadeth breaking up. I couldn't believe that.

Yeah, it is. I know. Dave Mustaine having a stroke or something like that?

He apparently screwed up his hand and I think he also had a drug relapse. He seemed to have checked into a drug rehab center here in Texas. Where did the name Chain Link Faith come from?

That is a long story there. See, we were looking for a name and we were driving right by the jail in downtown. There was a dude standing inside the jail fence and he was looking out at us through the jail fence and my buddy who was riding with me in the truck said "hey man look. Chain link face." I looked over there at this guy and he's standing there at the chain link and I thought that was a great name for a band so I called the guys in the band and I said "what do you think of Chain Link Face?" I left it on their message machine. Everybody thought I was saying Chain Link Faith.. I don't have a lisp or anything like that but they all thought I said Chain Link Faith and they thought "wow thatís really cool." So they came to practice the next time and I'm like "what do you think of that Chain Link Face?" "Face? What the hell is face? Chain Link Faith. That's cool. Chain Link Face doesn't make any sense." So that's how we arrived at that.

Who are some of your musical influences?

We like everything actually. Phil and Jimi, the drummer and guitar player, came out really heavy into UFO, Michael Schenker, everything up to Megadeth and Black Sabbath. If it's heavy and has guitars in it, we like it.

You guys are really into heavy guitars on your album.

Yeah, we like the heavy guitar sound. Lots.of dirty guitars.

Tell me a little about your debut album.

We started writing the songs when we first got together there in 1999 and we finished writing the songs right about the time that we went off and did that Ultrasound Music Festival, Dave Tedder's music festival in California. That was October of 2000 or 2001. We finished writing all the stuff and we had started recording it before the Ultrasound Music Festival and when we got back we spent October until at least late February just polishing up and making it rock.

Tell me about some of the tracks on the album.

All of them stand out to me. My dog Chopper is the inspiration behind "Don't Kick The Dog".

Is that the dog on the cover?

Actually she looks just like that one except she's black. She's the one that's growling at the beginning of the song. That's her growling. I brought her down and if I grab her back legs and say "are these my damn turkey legs?" she starts growling like crazy on cue. I had to put her down by the microphone and squeezed her back legs. If you listen really close to the record you can hear me going "are these my damn turkey legs?" into the microphone. I'm whispering in her ear as I squeeze her legs to get her to act on command.

So who's dog is this?

On the back cover? That's the dog of a friend of ours. He looks just like Chopper except he's a boy. He's about 30 pounds heavier than she is. She's only about 80 pounds. That dog is about 110. He's big and a nice dog. "Chances" is actually an older song written by Jimi and Phil back in one of their other bands and we just remade it our way. "Droppin' Like Flies", the instrumental, is our all instrumental boogie song where we get to flash the guitars. "Realize" is kind of an anti-drug song. We've all been through that and we don't want to do that anymore. Been there, done that. No more of that. We pretty much co-wrote most everything on there except for "Crazy Window" which is written by the other singer who is no longer with the band anymore. Pretty much everything else, we just got together and we'd start with a guitar riff or a melody line and we'd just throw it out to the band. Everybody just beats it around until it turns into a song.

Did you get a new singer?

Actually Jimi, the guitar player, is the main singer. We had hired this other guy, Fred, to do harmonies. Basically he's a songwriter and a guitar player and we ended up working him into doing a couple of lead vocals. He actually does the lead vocals on two songs on the record. "Crazy Window" which was his song and "Voice Of Reason". Fred just kind of butted heads with everybody so we just let him go. No hard feelings but he needs to be a front man for his own band. Too many front men spoil the group. We were together for years before. He actually just came in right at the time we were getting ready to release the album and we just threw that song on there.

Tell me about the label you're with.

Full Well Records is my label. It's my own label. I run a recording studio is what I do for a living here in Phoenix. A real popular recording studio. I stay booked all the time. I just basically from my own studio started a publishing company and a record label. There's just a couple of bands on the label. Very low promotional. We wish we had the millions.

That's kind of hard to come by. Gotta start somewhere.

Right, we're working on that.

Have you guys been doing gigs around town?

Yeah, we've been doing some gigs around town. We've been doing Alice's Cooperstown. The Bash on Ash. Of course we did the Ultrasound Music Festival with Dave. Chasers and the normal stuff throughout town here. We're trying to get together enough to go touring around regionally. Just enough capital to go do it.

Chain Link Faith