The VonBartheld Interview Pt. 2
Thu., Jan. 2. 2014 9:17am EST
Last week, we published part one in our multi-part interview with new ApologetiX keyboardist, Chris VonBartheld, who joined the band officially last June. This week, we give you part two:
Was it hard to learn so many songs so quickly as Todd's successor?
At first it was a little overwhelming for several reasons. Not the least of them, I haven't done this in a while. But, as time went on, it started to occur to me that being a "parody" band, I've played most of the original versions of the songs before. The hardest part was going back to the actual recorded versions of the songs and not what I and my memory have morphed them into over time. There are some big shoes to fill between Hubie and Todd. Two totally different approaches to playing, but both just as valid as the other.
What other hobbies and outside interests do you have?
I guess I'm a history buff. Watergate, Gettysburg, and the Kennedy assassination are my favorites. But really I'll watch any of those documentaries on the HIstory Channel. I think my favorite is the Decoded series by Brad Meltzer.
Can you tell us the names of some bands you've been in before?
The J.D Rebel Band, Fizzbin, Lipsi Stew, The Elements of Sound, Kornerstone, and, most recently, The Renegades 4 God.
You grew up in Long Island, New York. What was that like?
When I was a kid, it seemed perfect. Quiet small towns, school yard, backyards -- everything a kid wanted to either be active or get in trouble (I did both). As I got older I had the beach on one side and NYC on the other. I didn't think it would ever get any better then that. No matter how much I traveled, Long Island was always "home."
Are you excited about playing in a nationally touring Christian band?
You know, when I did this in the 80's I fell prey to all the desires and temptations that we're available to me. And even though I didn't realize it, God's hand was protecting me because, as bad as I was, I still came out of it relatively unharmed -- unlike some of the people I ran with at that time. But we serve a generous God, and He is a God of second chances, and He gave me another chance to get out and travel, perform, and do it for the right reasons this time -- to bring Glory and Honor to His Kingdom.
One of your previous bands did a national tour back in the 1980's. What was that like, and what other secular bands did you tour with?
Lets see, The Outfield, The Hooters, I believe we did a stint for Molly Hatchet, I think it was Molly Hatchet, we did a quick go-round with Grinderswitch. It's hard to remember; there were some very hazy years. We never reached that level, so the band's we toured with tended not be "A list." Oh, we went round and round with Zebra. They were Long Island based but had some national flavor.
You have other experience in music (i.e. recording, music stores, etc.). Can you tell us more about that and about how you wanted to learn all aspects of the music industry?
I worked in every aspect at one time. From retail to recording to imports -- you name it, I did it. I wanted to learn about everywhere my money could wind up. I didn't want to be a statistic; I tried to be very business minded. As an artist that's not always easy to do. When the bands stopped, I did a lot of session work, commercials, etc. Looking back, the sad truth is I didn't know how to do anything else.
What are you favorite foods?
Depends on where I am. But I can tell you I'd rather be having the steak at the Texas Roadhouse then anywhere else.
Who were the first groups and/or musical performers you ever liked?
Elton John, Kiss, The Marshall Tucker Band.
What was the first album you ever owned?
Besides the Partridge Family albums? (laughs) It was One of These Nights by the Eagles.
What was the first 45 rpm single you ever bought for yourself?
Wow! I don't remember if it was the first one, but I have the most vivid memory of buying "Rock and Roll All Nite" at a small local record store. I also remember having "Smoke on the Water" and "Eight Days a Week." I know I didn't buy it for myself, but I remember having "The Flying Saucer" by Buchanan and Goodman. That was the first novelty record I ever heard.
What was the first album you ever bought for yourself?
Not to sound redundant but I think It was Kiss Alive.