There is just no stopping Chris “The Professor” Black. With High Spirits and Dawnbringer he has created some of the best and most unconventional heavy metal music around today. And don't forget Aktor. What about Pharaoh, Superchrist and Nachmystium? Well, forget about all those. It's solo album time. Not one, not two but three. All issued simultaneously (on vinyl) via High Roller Records.
Along with »LVPVS« and »Sunrise«, »I Am the Rock« is the third of Professor Black's set of solo albums.
At first glance »I Am The Rock« is the one solo album that fulfills the listener's expectations 100%. It surely has this Motörhead feel about it. Was it the easiest of the three albums to write? “Actually, it was both easy and hard,” replies Chris Black. “This type of song comes to me very naturally, however, I did have a very exact concept to keep in mind. I couldn’t stray too far.”
Take a song like "Dance Of Death" for example, it's more Motörhead than Motörhead ever was since »Iron Fist« … “It’s one of my favorite songs,” beams Chris Black. “And maybe you’re right again, but make sure you check out 'Burner' or 'See Me Burning'! And the chorus harmonies are right off of ‘Sacrifice’. I love the 90s-era Motörhead just as much as the 70s and 80s stuff.”
Lyrically, did Professor Black also try to pay tribute to Motörhead? People
always say that Lemmy was an underrated lyricist. True or false? What's so underrated about a song like "Rock Out With Your Cock Out", probably Spinal Tap is underrated too … Chris Black: “Yes, and I think I did a pretty good job. I also think, yes, Lemmy gets his due as a lyricist. At least from me he always did, although I must admit he let himself go a bit on the last handful of albums. Still some great stuff along the way, of course, but would never point to 'Rock Out'.”
The guitar work on songs like "Shakedown", is it more Fast Eddie or
more Phil Campbell? Or maybe even Larry Wallis (just joking)? Chris Black: “For 'Shakedown' definitely Fast Eddie. That’s the most Bronze-era track on the album, I think, because the drums are a bit rougher and the guitar is quite bluesy. By the way, for »I Am the Rock«, almost all of the guitars were played by my colleague Mark Sugar. I did a handful of solos, but 'Shakedown' is Mark all the way. If we are being strict about the definition of a 'solo album', then »Sunrise« is the only one here where I played all of the instruments myself. For that matter, »LVPVS« was highly collaborative. Jussi’s keyboards and also to a great extent Jason’s bass provide the melodies. I really only made the foundations.”
Are there any definite plans to play any songs off the three solo albums in a live situation, with whichever band ...? Chris Black: “We will do a two-night stand with Professor Black in Chicago in September, different setlist each night. And we will play also at 'Hell Over Hammaburg' in 2019, including several tracks from these albums as well as my back-catalog. That said, I am still not sure how to translate everything to the stage. It will take some experimentation. Hopefully I have time for that.”