Chris

Before playing drums, Chris began playing acoustic guitar at age 11. His interest quickly switched to the drums, and he built himself a makeshift drum kit. “I started playing on a kit I had made myself from pretty much anything I could use that made sound, like plastic containers for drums and skill saw blades for cymbals. The sound was horrible and the kit a bit dangerous for the fingers, but it was a basic drum kit to learn on.” He had also made some basic but working pedals for a bass drum and hi-hat. “This period was quite important because this is how I learned and practiced the basics of coordination,” he says about these memories.

In the meantime, he had the opportunity to play on a friend’s real kit once in a while, and he knew that this could be serious. In 1993, he got himself his first drum kit, and rapidly started practicing covers from his favorite bands. “Contrary to the mood of the moment, I was not really into alternative or grunge rock - I definitely preferred the older classic rock and progressive bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Rush, Yes or King Crimson. But when playing this kind of music, I quickly realized that my drum skills were still limited and that I needed to work a lot more on my technique. This is what got me into taking drum lessons.” Chris started taking private drum and percussion lessons and was lucky to have an excellent teacher.

During high school, Christian continued wanting to improve, and started playing in the school’s Stage Band, with which he played his first concert, in 1994. There, he also met guitar player Patrick Mercier. “We had a few projects through and after high school, where we played some pretty diverse music and some good old rock that we both liked.” Chris lost touch with Pat, until he was invited to join Plum Shark a few years later.

“These formative years playing with the Stage Band and with other side projects were a turning point - I was so passionate about playing the drums that I knew I wanted to do this professionally.” As a result, Chris pursued his learning of the drums through CEGEP, where, in 1997 he began studying percussions and popular music. There, he had the chance to concentrate on playing, while meeting other musicians, joining several bands, and giving numerous shows in bars and concert halls. This helped shape his playing into what it is now.

In 2002, Chris joined the band Zoopsie, with which he gave a couple of concerts and recorded some music. “This band really pushed me farther musically. Even though it was a rock band, it gave me the opportunity to explore a jazzier, funkier side than what I used to play. It gave me the chance to vary different rhythms and learn how to arrange compositions. Unfortunately, the band split in 2006, which left me looking for a new outfit.”

In November 2006, Christian responded to the ‘Plum Shark looking for drummer’ ad. “When I joined the band, the first album had already been written and recorded, but even though I hadn’t composed any of the songs, I loved playing them. I really liked the 70s vibe and the infectious melodies. With time, I started to re-arrange some rhythmic passages to make them my own, and we rapidly got to work on recording the second album, Soul Device. Since then, I think the band has kept getting better and better, and I feel that the best is yet to come.”

Quick Facts

All-Time Favorite Albums
Moving Pictures, by Rush, is probably the album I’ve listened to the most in my life. Most recently, I’ve enjoyed Steven Wilson’s The Raven that Refused to Sing.

Favorite Soul Device Song
I think that would be Mr. Morganfield’s Dream, for its melodies and because it is simple, linear, but efficient. I would also choose Read Between the Lines, for its intensity and dynamics.

Most Memorable Concert You've Seen
I saw a Phil Collins concert in 1997, and though it was a long time ago, I’ve never seen anything quite as spectacular. I also saw Dream Theater play in 2006; the musicians are simply excellent.