AL: TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT HOW YOU GOT STARTED WITH MUSIC AND SOME OF YOUR EARLY INFLUENCES.
CP: My mother actually taught me how to play guitar when I was around 10 or 11. She used to teach me old blues-folk songs. I also took some piano lessons at the time from my aunt. I couldn’t read music, but was able to play things by ear. I did a couple of piano recitals and then ended up getting back into the guitar through influence from my Cousin Eddie. Eddie was a big blues rock guitar fan and listened to guys like Jeff Beck, BB King, and Eric Clapton. I remember jamming along to those records and learning the songs. I soon after ended up meeting Gar Samuelson by virtue of a cover band we played in together doing Allman Bros. and Santana stuff and the like. Gar turned me onto fusion and the rest as they say is history.
AL: I READ THAT YOU HAD A FINGER INJURY THAT FORCED YOU TO CHANGE YOUR STYLE. ELABORATE ON THAT AND HOW WAS IT PHYSICALLY CHALLENGING FOR YOU?
CP: I cannot bend the pointer finger on my left hand. Because of this there are a lot of chords I cannot play. However, it is advantageous because it forces me to play a guitar the correct way with my fingers in the textbook straight position.
AL: WHAT WAS INVOLVED IN YOUR DECISION TO JOIN MEGADETH ? HOW DID YOUR CONCEPTS OF MUSIC CHANGE AFTER THAT EXPERIENCE (I.E., PLAYING JAZZ TO PLAYING METAL/ROCK) ?
CP: Gar was my best friend and he was my main reason for joining Megadeth. I saw what he brought to the band and I felt I could offer something as well. My experience in Megadeth broadened my horizons of playing distorted guitar and opening my mind much more to this type of heavy music.
AL: TELL US ABOUT YOUR WRITING PROCESS. WHAT MOTIVATES YOUR MUSICAL IDEAS? HOW DO TONE AND TECHNIQUE PLAY A PART IN THAT?
CP: I often have no idea where my musical ideas come from. However, if I have an idea I know that I have to pick up a guitar and expand on it. When writing, any guitarist is limited by his technical ability. You have to know what you can get away with doing and what you can pull off. I write a lot on an acoustic, but once the song is electrified the tones in the song make that song what it is. Tone gives my songs their character.
AL: THE FUSION AUDIENCES CAN BE VERY CRITICAL AT TIMES. WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO GET FROM YOUR MUSIC?
CP: I just want people to take the time to hear my music all the way through with out skipping tracks. I hope that people can relate somehow to my music and that it gives them a good feeling when they listen to it.
AL: ARE THERE ANY PLANS FOR OHM TO TOUR AND WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN THE FUTURE?
CP: We will tentatively be touring with Marty Friedman and Alex Skolnick sometime this summer in the US. It should be a great tour and an opportunity for people to see what ? us former metal guys are up to nowadays.
AL: WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW AND WHAT INTERESTS YOU ABOUT THAT MUSIC? HOW DOES WHAT YOUR ARE DIRECTLY LISTENING TO INFLUENCE YOUR MUSIC?
CP: I have really been digging Jack Bruce’s “Out of the Storm”. I loved this record years ago and my bass player just bought me a copy as he is a huge Jack Bruce fan. I do get influenced by what I listen to, but never copy it. It comes out in my own way when I play. Again thanks for your time….if you have anything else you would like to add please feel free??. Thank you again for conducting this interview and listening to my music. Thanks also to all my fans for the support through the years. Check out the all new www.chrispoland.com and look for OHM: on tour soon with Alex Skolnick and Marty Friedman in the US. Peace!