Interview © Rock Until Death
“Being haif-German, half-Italian,“ smiles singer-songwriter Chris Goss of the acclaimed band Masters of Reality, “1 can’t decide whether to conquer the world or cook for it.
“ He grunts a wicked laugh most radio deejays spend a career trying to perfect, then offers a humble observation of his new home, Hollywood: “I‘ve never seen so many fucked-up people in my life.“
For a generation rediscovering the bluesy side of metal, Masters of Reality’s self-titled 1 989 debut (Def American Recordings) is a must-hear. lt‘s got the loud guitars and ass-kicking drums you expect from the genre, but something else most badass bands lost long ago—authenticity.
In songs like “Sleepwalkin‘ “ and “Kill the King,“ there‘s a genuine hey-man-I‘ve-been-down-before feeling. You get the idea that Goss has stretched many a bus ticket by napping through his stop or perhaps supplemented his wardrobe by plucking a shirt from the wrong dryer while some poor hayseed left the laundromat for coffee. This is an excellent first album, honed to perfection by Rick Rubin.
“The second album will make Black Sabbath sound like ABBA,“ Chris beams, looking for a split second like a giant kindergartner with stubble and a Marlboro.
Asked when Rubin will release the followup, Chris‘ face assumes an expression between amusement and agony, and he spills what may be the unlikeliest beans of the year, deal-wise: He‘s being signed to Delicious Vinyl. Yup, the blazing-hot rap label run by Michael Ross and Matt Dike.
“What can I say?“ Chris smirks, quickly adding that Rick Rubin remains a pal. He wants to talk about this strange turn of events, but hesitates. 1 relieve his anxiety by asking the question all music lovers dread—describe, could you, what music is to you.
He thinks hard. He tosses back what’s left ofhis cold coffee and vows to get some Medaglia D‘Oro espresso.
He shifts his weight in his chair and gestures with one hand while running the other over bis smooth head. He stares at a rack of cassettes on the wall, as if one might jump out and supply an answer. He says he wrote the song “Domino“ after a dream about being chased by a tarot deck. He changes the subject, talking about bis favorite band, ZZ Top, then discusses headwear (“1 like cowboy hats ‘cause 1 look stupid in a fez“), then praises linguine for its ability to hold a watery sauce better than spaghetti, then points out that “medaglia d‘oro“ in Italian means gold medal. He’s stalling. He has no answer for the dread
question. Yet. All right, what‘s your hometown like?
“Syracuse,“ he leans forward and overenunciates, “is a paradise. Everyone who lives there is a genius.“ He exhales deeply and appears to relive an incident or two.
And then, just as dread ferments into annoyance, he finds an answer.
“Music is a chew toy, and I‘m a hungry dog.“