Interview: Howard Stern Show’s Richard Christy Talks ‘Emotional’ Moment With Metallica

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Although many know Richard Christy as a regular contributor on the Howard Stern Show, he is also a heavy metal drummer – having recorded with the likes of Death, Iced Earth, and with his own band, Charred Walls of the Damned. CWotD recently issued their third full-length overall, Creatures Watching Over the Dead, and Mr. Christy was up for answering a few questions for Alternative Nation.

The singer on Creatures Watching Over the Dead is Tim “Ripper” Owens, previously of Judas Priest and the same gentleman that the film Rock Star was loosely based on.

I first heard of Tim when he sang with Judas Priest in the 1990’s. I remember everybody thinking that how could somebody possibly replace Rob Halford, who’s such a legendary singer? Then Tim stepped up and did an incredible job with Judas Priest after Rob left. When Rob returned to Judas Priest in the early 2000’s Tim joined the band I was in at the time, Iced Earth. I remember being so excited cause I’m a huge fan of Tim’s singing. Tim turned out to be a super cool guy and we became very good friends and did a lot of touring together. When I decided to form Charred Walls of the Damned in 2009, Tim was the first singer I thought of and I’m so honored that he wanted to be in this band!

If you had to choose just one, what was your favorite Stern Show bit you were a part of?

That’s impossible to choose because there have been so many incredibly fun times that I’ve had on that show and I’m so lucky to have a job there, doing something that I love and going to work to laugh every day is something that I’m so thankful for. Something recent that was very memorable and amazing for me was getting to sit on the couch and watch Metallica in the studio. To be in a room with four of my co-workers getting a private show from Metallica was just something that I could have never dreamed would happen when I was a 12 year old kid practicing the drums to Kill ‘Em All. I’m so thankful to Howard and everybody at my work that made that happen, it was a metal head’s dream come true! Watching them perform “One” was so emotional for me because that song literally taught me how to play heal up double bass drumming by watching Lars Ulrich in the video. I used to play heal down until I saw that video in 1988 when I was 14 years old and it improved my drumming immensely, so to be able to see Lars, one of my drumming idols, playing that song 10 feet in front of me was absolutely incredible.

You remain a diehard fan of Kansas City sports teams. Was it tricky being in New York and rooting for the Royals against the Mets in last year’s World Series?

Go Royals!!!! Yes I’m a HUGE Royals fan and have been since I was born in Kansas. Last year’s series was a dream come true as a Royals fan living in NYC. I live in Queens and I couldn’t believe that the Royals were coming to play in the World Series IN QUEENS! I’m also super lucky because there’s actually a Kansas City BBQ place in Queens near where I live called John Brown Smokehouse and it’s where tons of KC Royals, KC Chiefs, and KU Jayhawks fans in the NYC are meet up to watch games! They have insanely delicious KC style BBQ and tons of craft beers too. I was there for probably about 75 Royals games last year, including every playoffs game.

I’m also so lucky because my co-worker Gary Dell’Abate and his wife Mary took my wife and I to Game 3 of the World Series at Citi Field. Mets fans were really nice to us and I was very respectful because Gary’s a big Mets fan so I didn’t cheer to loud when the Royals did good haha, although that totally changed the next night! On Halloween last year my friend Josh who owns John Brown Smokehouse had an extra ticket to Game 4 of the World Series and he invited me! Not only was it my favorite day of the year, but I was going to get to see my Kansas City Royals play in the World Series! It really was heaven for me. I put on blue and white makeup in the style of one of my favorite metal singers King Diamond, along with my Royals hat and Jersey, and I think I looked so insane that nobody gave me a hard time haha, plus the Royals won that night, it was the perfect Halloween for me! Josh and I had standing room tickets so we stood near the Royals fans section that night and just had such an amazing time. The next night the Royals won the World Series and the rest is history! I still have faith in the Royals this season, I’ve pretty much watched every game this year so my wife is definitely ready for baseball season to be over haha, but I’m hoping I get to watch the Royals on Halloween night again this year!

CWOTD composite photo by Martin Petra, Timmy Owens, and Mike Schiff.

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Bio: After having his articles posted from other outlets on Alternative Nation (and before that, Grunge Report) for years - heck, he was even interviewed by GR back in 2009! - Greg Prato finally began contributing articles to the site in 2014. He has written for various sites/mags over the years (Rolling Stone, All Music Guide, etc.), and is the author of quite a few books. And as evidenced by such titles as Grunge is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music, A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon, and Too High to Die: Meet the Meat Puppets, he also has a deep fondness for alternative rock n' roll music. You can check out info on all of Greg's books here, see what he's up to on his Twitter page here.
  • Sloppy Gonzales

    Hi Richard this is your dad