Zan Clan, 17, Animal guitarist / Producer, Engineer, Songwriter
Chris Laney

FIBM:   What's new, what have you been up to lately and what's in the future?

Chris:  well news...Just been recording some tracks for Tigertailz, Steevi Jamez was here a week ago and will come back soon to finish some more. I'm also involved with Crucified Barbara, a swedish all female rock act that will do their followup soon and I'm writing for the next ZAN CLAN album, working title "Bakk 2 raise sum hell".

FIBM:   Please give us a brief history of how you got started in the music business and how you got started playing music.

Chris:  It was just there, ya know...My Sis is a singer and I just went along to her gigs n stuff. When she started taking piano classes I was the one playing them when she gave up hahahaha. Then I started playing in different bands.

FIBM:   You were just a kid when you were in a band called “17”. What did you play in that band? Did you guys tour?

Chris:  I was 16 when I started that band with my old time friend Nick Draglor, I started as a guitarist and we didnt have a we all tried out for that, and I sucked the least hahaha So I was the rhythm guitarist and Lead Singer. We did some smaller tours in Sweden with that first original Lineup.

FIBM:   Why hasn't 17 had an official release on cd? Who owns the rights to the recordings and will it ever be released on cd?

Chris:  We released 2 7" singles and later with the second lineup a 5 track cd, they were never released, just for promo and to have something to sell on the venues we played. But there is actualy ONE track that got released, "Good Girl Gone Bad" on "Swedish Hard Rock and Heavy Metal" released in Sweden and Japan back in 93, i think. I own the rights for that CD...But I have no plans on releasing it, maybe will put it out on my site someday, Just for fun.

FIBM:  Was 17 very popular?

Chris:  We had a following, but we never got the big break ya know

FIBM:   What was a typical 17 show like?

Chris:  Party!! Pyros, booze and Rock n roll.

FIBM:  How many people would come to the shows.

Chris:  We sold out lots of shows and some weren't that good. But I'd say the average was around 400+. But we did shows for a couple of thousands and some shows for the bartenders hahahahaha

Chris Laney's first gig

FIBM:  Describe a typical day in the life of Chris Laney during your days in 17. From the time you woke up to the time you fell asleep.

Chris:  Hmm. Tough...I had no job, So most of the time me and Alec Ferrarra sat in the rehearsal room writing and trying to get gigs n stuff. Then around night time we'd go to the pub and get drunk outta our heads..True, Nothin I'd do today

FIBM:  Why did the band break up? What did you do afterward?

Chris:  The band broke up when the Grunge scene exploded...I couldn't take it and wouldn't I packed my bags and moved to Stockholm where the music industry is. I just went there to start over, I wanted to try my wings


FIBM:  3 most fond memories from your days in 17.

Chris:  I didnt exspect our first single to go gold, all I wanted was for it to go vinyl and it did!!!
2. The friendship, things was so innocent backwhen, just friends having a blast
3. Our tour in Finland, Fukkin WILD times....We had an opening act that we saw every night because they boosted our egos, they sucked soooo bad!!!!!!!

FIBM:   Tell us about how you met Marc Ferrari and what was your experience like with him.

Chris:   well, It was a friend of mine going to LA, she met him and gave him a cd or something, then he contacted me. We started sending stuff via snailmail (before the net), we ended up co-writing one track that was meant to be on the 17 album, that never was recorded. we also meet up in Amsterdam....

FIBM:   How did you become interested in producing?

   Early on, since all demos I've done with my old bands sucked and sounded terrible I wanted to know WHY they ended up that I started to be a pain in the ass for all the guys we recorded with, asking about everything they did etc... hehehe... I just KNEW it could be done better

FIBM:   What role does a producer play? What are the things a producer brings to the table?

  It's different from act to act, some acts you become Producer, shrink, brother, everything!!! And some just go easy. Im trying to be the best I can to make the act the best they can be. I dont settle for less, It NEEDS to move me. I rehearse with the bands, arrange, do drums, practicing with the bands, go thru all bass n guitar parts, who's playing what etc. Then I have a clear vision on what and HOW to record it. I also always say SONG IS KING, If you dont have the songs it doesnt matter how good the production gets. So, briefly, my job is to make one hell of a disc!

FIBM:   You actually got a publishing deal with Universal. How did that come about?

Chris:   I had written some songs, looking for a record deal, and actualy got 3 major labels interested until they heard I was 23....TOO OLD?!!!! So all of them asked if I was interested in signing a publishing deal instead...I said fukk em!!!! BUT, then I met Lasse Sahlin, who worked at Universal, we hit off directly and he gave me the cash to build my studio and I signed the deal.

FIBM:   If someone has put together a demo of several songs, how does someone go about getting a publishing deal? How do you submit it? Who do you submit it to? What is the process? Your best advice.

Chris:   Hunt em down, dont send it..Book a meeting, make sure they listen!!! If you send stuff, make sure you dont send too many, and always just send the best you have!! They maybe listen for 30sec so make sure your songs are catchy as hell directly!
FIBM:   It seems that only pop & country artists use songs that have been written by other people. Do you mostly write pop songs?

Chris:   Ive done it all....But since 3 years back we have only done rock n pop, when I say we, I mean me and my studio partner and partner in crime Anders Ringman. But we usually say, we are happy as long as music comes out from the speakers hehehehe

FIBM:   What other genre's do you write in, when you are trying to sell the songs?

Chris:   We write songs when we get an order...Its easier to write when you know who you are writing for.

FIBM:   Who are some of the people / shows that have used your songs?

Chris:   Oh man....TV shows= Fame Factory, BingoLotto, and all the other shows has been artists singing our songs. People= Mostly Swedes dunno if youd know them...But here's a few. Barbados, EMMA, Karl Martindahl, The Wallstones, Martin Stenmarck and a whole lot more

Gene Simmons and Chris Laney
FIBM:   How does a publishing deal work? Do you get paid per record sold? Typically, how much is that? Do you receive an advance?

Chris:   Well...I can only tell how much I get here in Sweden, it's different in the states, i know that. You can get an advance, but since i paid mine back I don't need more in advance. Yes, you get paid per record, I think its like 1 dollar that will be equally split by all the songwriters on the album. A publisher will work for you, they are the once trying to get your songs on albums and so on, they also make sure everyone whos "using " your song as, TV, Radio etc pays for it.

FIBM:   Do you also get paid when those songs get played on the radio?

Chris:   Hell yeah!!! Thats where the cash is!!

FIBM:  Who are some of the artists you have produced? Which ones are the most successful?

Chris:   Crashdiet, ZanClan, Animal, Tigertailz and more Zan Clan has gotten great reviews and so have Candlemass and Crashdiet

FIBM:  Tell us about the KISS tribute band that you are in.

Chris:   Hahahaha KYSS!!!! Im Paul!! Ive been doing it for 10 years...oh Jesus,, 10 fukkin years!!! Never been in a normal band for that long hahahahaha We do a "Best Off" set live, with the blood and fire etc, Its great fun!!!

FIBM:  Tell us a little about the WASP tribute band. I think it is great that the tribute is for the first record, which in my opinion was one of the great albums from that era. I remember being a kid…I loved Motley Crue, Shout at the Devil, then WASP came out and I thought they were the greatest, especially after Motley released that shit-piece disaster Theatre of Pain. Do you play any songs from the other WASP records? How often do you play out?

Chris as Blackie Sawless

Chris:   RAW!!! We don't play anymore...Randy Piper...Or CANDY DIAPER as our guy is called is working with KING KONG now, doing all the graphics in New Zealand so he is quite buzy...Me n Anders are buzy with producing and I'm doin' ZanClan as well...But It was a great laugh!!! I LOVE the first album so we just do songs from that. We also do the meat and Chick and all the stuff you want when you see a WASP show. We didnt do that many shows since Sweden isn't big enough for a band like that hahahaha

FIBM:   You actually recorded the self-titled Candlemass record. Any memories stand above the rest during those recording sessions? Any funny, cool, sucked, or great moments stand out? Feel free to share more than one.

Chris:   Yes I did, the last record ever recorded in POLAR studios, stockholm. Funny hahahaha, when Messiah got really sick while trying to do the vocals,, he had a bad he was doing like 3 vocal lines then barfed like a pig, went in again, did 3 lines..barf-time hahahaha A REAL TROOPER, but i was laughing soooo hard. It was a cool time all-thru, so much expectations and will in the studio rubbing off on me, we all just wanted it to deliver the goods. So we went all over stockholm to pick up the best amps around, trying everything til we got the doom sound we wanted.

FIBM:  How did you end up working with Bruce Kulick?

Chris:   KISS Army Sweden called me up and asked me to send a demo of me singing to Bruce since he was looking for a singer who could do the High Pitch Stanley stuff live. I sent a demo and he called me the same day!!! Woohoo

FIBM:   Where did you tour with Bruce? How long? Any memories stand out from that tour?

Chris:   We toured Sweden and Norway only 5 shows. The best memory was just hanging with Bruce in his hotel room just chatting and hanging out, he is a great guy!

FIBM:  Did the two of you ever record anything together?

Chris:   We set up everything to record the show in stockholm for a Live cd thing but the engineer fukked it up....Bastard!!!!! We haven't done any recordings together, but we might co-write in the future, we still keep in touch.

FIBM:  You are in a band called Animal, which features Randy Piper of WASP. The band has actually featured Chris Holmes and Tony Richards at some point. Why are they no longer in the band? What happened to Chris Holmes?

Chris:  Yeah...Here it comes hahahaha Nah, Tony was just in the band for a short period, the thing was Animal was based in Cinci, oh, and Tony was living his life with wife n kids somewhere else, he just didn't wanna move and stuff, so no hard feelings and it had nothing to do with his playing or so. He was still great according to Pipes. Chris Holmes on the otherside has some issues...He is back in California, dunno what he is up to but he is probably as he says in The decline of western Civilization, Ha ha happy hahahaha. But they just didn't get along...too much drugs n shit ya know, and Piper doesnt do any.

FIBM:  How did you come in contact with Randy Piper? What has it been like to work with him? How would you describe him?

Chris:   I love Randys playing always have. So when we did the RAW thing, I contacted ANIMAL to see if Randy would give the blessing to the band. It went off real well with their manager at the time, she wondered what I was doing in my studio and stuff so I sent over some tracks I just did with my then band called CRANK feat Mappe from Candlemass on guitar. She played it for Piper and the guys and they called me up and wondered if I could do the tour for Holmes, he couldn't leave California because of legal problems...I turned it down...but we kept in touch and when the timing was right we hooked up and started working! Working with Randy?! Just a great time, it was like we've known each other for ages, we had a blast. I'd describe randy as a man with a heart of gold, He is just a sweetheart.

FIBM:  Do you think Randy will ever finish his interview that we sent him 4 months ago?

Chris:  Hahahaha, If he learns how to operate a computer he might hahahaha, He just moved to Florida, dunno man...He might SOMEDAY?!

FIBM:  What was it like recording the Animal record. Any memories stand above the rest during those recording sessions? Any funny, cool, sucked, or great moments stand out? Feel free to share more than one.

Chris:   It was cool, We had written most of the songs over the internet before I went to Cinci. So when I got there i brought all of my equipment and we started recording right away. There are many cool things to tell...As a WASP fan it was cool sitting watching old WASP videos and Sister vids, man they rocked!!!! Also...I got the flu when I was there...last 2 days I was dying.....Randy had some old fuckin medecine they used to take while on tour so they wouldn't get sick...I took that, and next thing I remember was Randy carrying me to bed hahahahaha. We had those moments of just complete joy, listening to the rough mixes in the studio drinkin some beers..It was insane

FIBM:  Have you guys toured at all?

Chris:   Nope

FIBM:  The guy who is singing with Animal, sounds almost identical to Blackie Lawless. Since you sing in the WASP tribute band.... Which one of you does the best Blackie impression?

Chris:   Man, Rich is an AMAZING singer, I must say, he is one of the best i have had the chance to record EVER. I'd say He sings too good to do Blackie justice, So Id win that race;)

FIBM:  How did you end up working with Zan Clan?

Chris:   Im a Shotgun Messiah fan!!! I found him thru an Shotgun Messiah site, one of they guys hooked us up. Zinny and I just hitoff and looked at each other saying, This has to be done !!! hahahaha

FIBM:  Any memories come to mind from the “Who the Fuck is Zan Clan” recording sessions? Any cool, sucked , or brilliant moments?

Chris:   Brilliant moments...When Zinny sang the first line on Cant Get U Out...Amazing having him sing on one of MY songs..goozebumps The thing that sucked was when we recorded Mess Ya Up, we just couldn't get the verses right...Zinny called me back saying, I have to redo the vocals I have a new melody...And BAM, The song was done!!

FIBM:  The album has received some really rave reviews. I have even heard that if there was ever a chance for 80’s rock to return, Zan Clan would be leading the way. Tell us about some of the highlights from the record.

Chris:   I love big harmonies, so I had a blast doing the Bvox on that disc...Hundreds of voices hehehehe..... The thing is, That album is MY first "Real" record, I realy put my soul into it. If it was to be released 15 years ago it would have sold millions, now adays we are glad just playing live and be able to release a disc ya know. But I love ZanClan, Its my Heart N Soul, and Zinny is my HERO!

FIBM:  Doesn’t Zan Clan have some major label affiliation?

Chris:   Oh man...We are on a pretty small label in Sweden called GMR, Perris released it in the US and I think Sony/BMG released it in Germany

FIBM:  What is it like working with Zinny J Zan? How would you describe him?

Chris:  Zinny! THE BEST!!!! My brother!!! Must say, you have not seen a rockstar until you see Zinny on stage!!! He is a funny bastard, always just a laugh away....He is ROKK
FIBM:  What is your process when writing a song? Do you come up with the music first, melody, or words? Do you have a favorite key? How do you keep your ideas fresh?

Chris:  I just go in there starting with the guitar, see if anything comes up, then the lyrics comes quite easy, almost at the same time. I always record a demo right away, don't want to loose the vibe you get when you just wrote the song.

FIBM:  Chris Laney is transported back to the year 1985. Is there anything you would do differently?

Chris:   nah......I have a great life


FIBM:  What is your most disgusting habit?

Chris:  Taking my powerbook with me, reading mails while taking my dump

FIBM:  What is the most feminine thing you do?

Chris:  passion for Strawberry Daiquiri

FIBM:  If there is a God, what is the first question you would ask God when you arrive?

Chris:  Where's Eric Carr?!!!

FIBM:  Greatest Rock band of all time?

Chris:  KISS

FIBM:  What were you doing 40 minutes before you sat down to do this interview?

Chris:  Working out at the Gym