By Heath Fenton
VANCOUVER — Metal music has always gotten a bad rap and has garnered a reputation as a bunch of angst-ridden, rowdy rebel rousers; it’s just noise played by a bunch of musicians who have one-track minds, right? Wrong.
Case in point, Kris Schulz. His metal resume speaks for itself; he is a well-respected axe slinger in local stalwarts Mechanism, West Of Hell, and Cocaine Moustache, but beyond that Schulz has just released a solo album full of acoustic wonderment. This album is a far cry from his previous power chord existence. It is one hundred percent of just him and the acoustic guitar: no drums, no vocals. It is an amazing journey and real eye opener to a soulful side that many metal musicians have and hold dear to their heart. Many just don’t have the guts to throw it all out there. The album is called While The City Sleeps and it is 13 songs of beauty. It is inspiring to hear these songs that are so obviously coming straight from a pure and passionate place.
“I had a major realization and it hit hard. I knew I needed to do this but I did not know how to play this kind of music that I had in my head,” Schulz explains. “All the songs were written way above my level. I struggled the whole way. I’ve never played anything more challenging.”
In saying that, Schulz is being a bit modest. A couple of year ago he took a few of these songs to the Canadian Fingerstyle Competition, a world renowned acoustic event that has players from around the globe competing, and placed fourth. Schulz is not the type of guy into competitions, but this impressive feet gained him connections to heady record label FretMonkey Records who released his album and ultimately culminated in back to back sold out release shows at The H.R. MacMillan Planetarium in Vancouver. Starting May 4 he will be embarking on a two-month cross-Canada tour. So guitar aficionados, this is a chance to see a true talent and another side to a multi talented intense individual.
“I am not a big fan of boxes. If I could change one thing about the way people perceive music it is to fuck off with boxes. You play music. You are a musician. Everyone has multiple influences coming in,” says a wistful Schulz.
Kris Schulz will be performing in New Westminster at the Heritage Grill on May 4.BC, British Columbia, Heritage Grill, Kris Schulz, New Westminster