Interview: Chris Korblein

Dan McAvinchey: Chris, what were some of the things that influenced your musical tastes and led to your interest in the guitar?

Chris Korblein: Those are obviously two different things. I wanted to be a guitar player to meet girls, and be a rock star as my career goal. It's pathetic, but isn't that why most kids are starting to pick up the guitar? My musical was always
about feelings. That's how it always was. If a musical piece touched me or I could see how it touches other people I would consider it "real music". It always was my goal to be a "real musician" in the sense that I am touching people with my work.

Dan McAvinchey: What guitars and other equipment are you currently using to get your sound?

Chris Korblein: I am playing a Custom made RIST Guitar, built for me by Roman Rist, a big time luthier in Hollywood. It has huge frets, a maple neck and a swamp-ash body. I am using ELIXIR strings exclusively and EMG pickups. The Roland Corporation was nice enough to provide me with a Roland Blues Cube amp which I have used on my CD. It sounds spectacular. After going through the refrigerator-sized MIDI rack nightmare of the eighties, I am exclusively using combo amps for my studio work. I have combos
from Fender, Roland and Rivera.

Dan McAvinchey: What are you hoping to achieve musically?

Chris Korblein: As I described earlier, I want to bring across the essence of what I like in other people's music and touch people. Lately, I have stopped using a pick, which has
changed my tone and playing technique radically.

Dan McAvinchey: What are your most recently completed projects and are you touring at all?

Chris Korblein: Right now I am scoring for various TV projects including a documentation on lifeguards. It's a great experience to put aside your normal artistic approach and just try to touch people by making the pictures more intense.

Dan McAvinchey: How do you compose your music?

Chris Korblein: If there's nine songs on a CD, there were nine different approaches to writing them. When it happens, it happens. Whether it's in the shower, in the car or while I'm asleep. All I need is Cubase VST (sequencing software) to put the idea straight to hard disk. When I'm out, a cellular phone and an answering machine will do.

interview pic

Dan McAvinchey: You balance your recording between your home studio and a commercial facility, right?

Chris Korblein: I record at home with VST and then take files to the studio to complete the sessions.

Dan McAvinchey: Why did you decide to form your own record label and release an independent record?

Chris Korblein: For Europe my music is not aggressive enough and in the US I didn't have anybody to present it to. So rather than making so-called industry contacts and "wait until it happens" I decided to do it myself, which turned out to be much faster and got me and my music much more respect. I highly recommend a musical statement such as this to all musicians who intend to be a part of this complex industry.

interview picture
German-born guitarist Chris Korblein started playing guitar at the age of twelve and soon became excited about the idea of becoming a rock star. For three years this dream was the main engine for propelling him up the steep learning curve of musicianship. He would later discover the early years are the best time to live this illusion, rather than for a lifetime. As Korblein grew older he rejected the temptation to play too many notes at dizzying speeds, preferring to concentrate on songwriting, arranging and film scoring. 1998 brought the release of his first CD, "Pacific Serenade", a new age album featuring some great electric guitar work.

Dan McAvinchey asked Korblein to talk about his reasons for getting into the music business and his experiences to date.