Chris Holmes, the guitarist who rose to fame with W.A.S.P. in the 1980s with his wild hair, leather-clad appearance, and commanding presence on stage, returns to the UK next month for his Mean Man tour, this time celebrating his 65th birthday. Joining Chris for the celebration is Kaine.
“Obviously, we are aware of Chris Holmes’ legacy in rock and Metal,” Kaine guitarist/vocalist Rage Sadler told MetalTalk. “As a fundamental part of W.A.S.P’s classic and best records, with his guitar playing and riffs being essential to that band’s DNA, it’s an honour to support him on this tour. He has for many years been one of the genre’s icons, and his rock and roll reputation is a legend amongst the wider audience. It feels special to be supporting someone with that legacy and history on tour.”
Preparations for the tour are well underway and Rage says we can expect to hear mostly songs from the recent album After Extinction with a couple from Reforge The Steel thrown in.
“Going forward we would like to do more regular touring and supporting more established acts,” Rage says. “However, a lot of these come with buy-ons (for the slots) on top of the regular touring costs so it is not always financially possible. We are very thankful to SD Entertainment for allowing us to tour again after we jumped on as a support for their Lillian Axe/Riot Act tour last year. It shows a lot of faith in our ability to deliver both on/off stage.”
Rage tells us he has his post-tour plans lined up, although sadly, these involve a health issue. “I am due in for some serious shoulder surgery as soon as the tour ends,” he says. “I will have a three-month recovery period where I won’t be able to play guitar. I may not be able to play again after the surgery, but assuming I can, we will start working on a new record once I am recovered.
“If I am unable to continue then we will have to decide on getting a new guitar player in, although for me I am a guitarist, not a singer, first and foremost, so it will be devastating not to play again! I am going to treat this tour like my last either way, as if I am going to go out, at least it will be on a high!”
The tour looks an interesting one. Alongside Kaine, Holmes’ set will consist of a mix of W.A.S.P classics as well as original material from his latest album, Unbearable Influence. There are very special VIP tickets available for an exclusive pre-show birthday party for the show in Northampton on 25 June.
“We are looking forward to playing in some new and familiar venues,” Rage says. “The A Crisis of Faith line-up played The Patriot a few times, but this will be the first time this incarnation of Kaine will have played there. The Tivoli is a new venue to us, Bannermans is one of our favourites, as is Trillian’s, and the Black Prince is a new venue.
“The Waystone line-up played the Boston Arms a couple of times back in the day, but again, it is new for this lineup and we’ve never played The Waterloo either, so we are excited to be going there for the first time also.”
And Chris is looking forward to coming back too. “Man, I had such a great time in the UK last November, and the fans are amazing,” Chris said. “They love me, and I love them, so I wanna celebrate my birthday by giving back to them and celebrating with them. See you on the road.”