Keep up with Chris here:
Sulaco can be seen as an evolution from guitarist Erik Burke’s previous band, Lethargy, who played a seminal role in shaping the musical climate of Rochester’s underground metal scene. Lethargy was legendary in the Rochester area during the mid 90s for crafting an often imitated but never duplicated style of ridiculously intricate carnivalesque metal that showcased cross-eyed guitar antics and blistering jazz-fusion rhythms over 10 years before it became popular in the underground.
With three demos, an album (It’s Hard To Write With A Little Hand, 1996) and their final EP (Discography, 1999) recorded, 1999 marked the demise of Lethargy with drummer Brann Dailor and guitarist Bill Kelliher moving on to enlist in Today Is The Day and later form Mastodon. Wasting no time to regroup, the multi-talented Erik Burke assumed drumming duties in Kalibas until 2002, when he parted ways with Kalibas and recruited Chris Golding and Lon Hackett to form Sulaco.
Like Lethargy, Sulaco’s musical base takes its most significant cues from bands north of the Mason-Dixon line, citing Ripping Corpse, Damonacy, Breadwinner, and Human Remains as a few of their key influences. However, Sulaco improves upon Lethargy’s haphazard sense of structure and instead integrates the mesmerizing quirkiness into a devious songwriting regimen that is as spasmodically progressive as it is abrasively visceral. Sulaco’s ability to seamlessly employ an explosively direct approach to such technical material is rare when most bands of this nature would rather noodle indiscriminately, consequently sacrificing memorable songwriting for aimless masturbation. Such intrinsic fluidity defines Sulaco as a shining example of world-class forward-thinking metal.
Chris Golding Interview:
SDM: How old were you when you started playing?
Chris Golding: I was a little tot when I broke all my mom’s tupperware bowls with spoons. But I think it wasn’t until I was 10 or 11 when I got my first kit.
SDM: Did you play in a school band or any drum corps?
Chris Golding: Yes, when I was in fourth grade I wanted to be in band. I remember the teacher was trying to talk me into flute because everyone wanted to play drums. Once in a while MTV would play the Aqua Lung video by Jethro Tull. I thought that was cool…almost cool enough for me to take up flute, almost. I was really into school band until I got to high school and stopped paying attention. I stayed in band until my senior year. I’m surprised I didn’t get kicked out, my friend John and I would just talk about girls in the back of the class the whole time. Now it’s probably my biggest regret. Although it was important for me to learn the female anatomy from John, I could really be a much better drummer now if I took it more seriously then
SDM: Ever take any lessons?
Chris Golding: Just school band stuff. It’s always nice to get out of class to learn how to play “Kokomo” on the timpani but I lucked out at getting some drum kit lessons.
SDM: Who are your top 5 influences?
Chris Golding: In chronological order, I would have to say, Phil Collins, Nicko Mcbrain, Charlie Benante, Brann Dailor, then Dave Witte
SDM: Assuming that influences don’t mean favorites, who are your favorites?
Chris Golding: Those five guys I just mentioned plus: Brandon Thomas, Chris Pennie, Kenneth Shalk, Ben Koller, Bill Bruford, Derek Roddy, Dave Lombardo, William Goldsmith, Andrew Gormley, Chester Thompson, Stewart Copeland, Keith Moon…and probably a bunch more that I’ll think of later. All those guys are pretty influential too, one way or another.
SDM: Let us know 5 CD’s that are in your current rotation
Fallguy – From This Pyre We Rise
Mogwai – Happy Songs For Happy People
Sigor Ros – Tak
Carcass – Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious
Muse – Black Holes and Revelations
SDM: Can you remember a night you think was your best playing ever? If yes, when and where?
Chris Golding: I think it’s very rare that I am happy with a performance.There are nights where I totally bomb, (you can ask Erik or Lon from Sulaco about that) my nerves get the best of me or my mind goes blank and the train de-rails. But there are those times where it feels like you’re glowing like Bruce Leroy just before he beats Shonuff’s ass. When you’re just on. It’s a beautiful feeling. I know I’ve felt it when Sulaco has played locally once, maybe twice. It’s kind of like everything is one, one fluid consciousness, not a bunch of riffs or changes, everything is united. Instead of thinking about what you’re playing and what part is coming up next, you just feel it. Everything else vanishes around you and what you feel is just pure. The last few nights of our last tour I got close to feeling that. I was pretty confident, which is a change for me.
SDM: Do you have a favorite brand of drums or cymbals?
Chris Golding: I love my Pearl Maple kit. It’s over twenty years old now but when I put new heads on it, it sounds great. They are the loudest drums I’ve heard other than a “Trick” drumset (Those things are LOUD). It’s important to be able to cut through the rest of the band and to be heard. I would love to own an Ayotte kit just to play with at home and to record with. I’m pretty happy with Sabian cymbals and you can’t beat the sound of a Wuhan china.
SDM: Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Chris Golding: I used to eat nothing but high carb food the day before and nothing but fruit the day of a show. I’d always have to shit while I was playing, though. Now I just try not to get drunk. Oh and I learned not to eat Burger King just before I play. We played a house show in Little Rock, Arkansas just after I ate some Burger King. After we were done, I proceeded outside and puked in the bushes. Ha! Warming up is for pussies….just kidding.
SDM: If you could give one piece of advice to young drummers, it would be…
Chris Golding: Don’t give up. It always sucks at first playing for the first time by yourself, it always sounds shitty. I was lucky enough to play with my buddy Jay who just started playing guitar. That way we could both suck together and have fun at it…..damn, that doesn’t sound right at all….oh well. But yeah, stick with it.
SDM: Who gave the best live performance you’ve ever seen?
Chris Golding: I saw Radiohead live, nothing will ever top that. As for a drummer’s performance, Brann Dailor and Dave Witte are phenomenal live anytime that you see them.
SDM: If you had to stop drumming, what would you want to do with your life?
Chris Golding: It’s always been a balancing act with me. I love my wife and my kids, I love the time we spend but I’ll get grumpy if I haven’t played drums in a while. It’s like yin and yang, without yang I’m a total prick. If I had to quit I’d probably sit on my front lawn all day and spray children with my garden hose, or go to a pet store and yell at puppies or feed AlkaSeltzer to Seagulls. Something of the sort.