Chris Holston, guitarist from American rock band ‘The Fieros’ takes time to chat to Rock the Tribes about music, creativity and the cultures influencing it. Hailing from Texas USA ‘Los Fieros’ made their journey to Brooklyn, New York before setting out on the road as part of MTV’s ‘Hype Music’. He talks to Louise Leverett about life on the road as a musician and all the cultures influencing him along the way.
LL: So at what moment in your life did you decide that you wanted to be an artist?
CH: As cliché as it may sound, in 8th grade I remember my best friends from across the street getting a squire electric guitar, and inviting me over to watch them play the first 4 chords to smells like teen spirit…I then annoyed them for two months straight, going directly to their house after school to try and master that song…I never stopped after that!
LL: Has there been a person or particular influence on you which has made an impact on your creativity?
CH: So so many! Through traveling, I have learned music itself is the greatest language of all. I have been many places where I don’t speak one word of the countries language, and have formed a magical bond with many people through a few simple chords. In those moments, there is complete bliss, and I live for that.
LL: In terms of creativity what surprises you in the world today?
CH: The lack of creativity is what surprises me. We have everything at our fingertips and can’t do anything with it.
LL: How important do you see culture as a way of defining creativity?
CH: I consider the cultures I have experienced very important, and it is the main influence on what I do creatively. Every culture strikes emotions within you, and I channel those through the music I make.
LL: Do you use music as a point of reference for your work and if so, what pieces inspire you most?
CH: All of these questions are related to music, from my perspective. I am always searching for something new, and lately have been listening to psychedelic Cumbia’s from Peru, check out a record called “the Roots of Chicha” It is a good example of how culture influences each other. These guys were listening to surf guitar from America, and found a way to incorporate it into the cumbia they were playing. Cool Stuff!
LL: What scares you as an artist in the world today?
CH: Giving up on art because of the pressures of “making it”, and struggling with what the actual definition of that is.
LL: Is there another culture in particular which your curiosity is drawn to?
CH: India, Africa, Brazil…deeply rooted in music, and I would love to go there and learn from them.
LL: How does your own culture or place in the world influence you and your work?
CH: Well, Texas is a place that many people don’t know anything about, but due to media, think they understand. I’m pretty proud to be from there, and have carried a lot of what I grew up with there as an influence.
LL: As an artist, what terrifies you?
CH: The one thing that really scared me in relation to art was Hurricane Katrina. This took place in New Orleans, one of the most musically influential and unique places in the world. Thousands of the people which made that city what it was were displaced to other cities, many of them amazing cooks, painters, musicians, singers, all stranded without the things that made them who they were. There was a time when no improvements were being made, and it looked like these people would never be able to go back to New Orleans, which almost knocked New Orleans off the map for what we all know of it. Luckily, the community was strong enough to rise up and rebuild their city, but it was scary to think that such an artistically unique and important place could easily be destroyed and forgotten.
LL: If you are the centre of your world, what makes your world turn?
CH: The people around me, there’s always something to learn from them.