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Big Chris Flores: "Slash is just so nice and humble. It really is a pleasure to watch him work. You can really appreciate why people want to work with him, and people like him. I never heard anything negative come out of his mouth about anyone."

Added 13 May 2021, 8:33 PM
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Big Chris Flores is an American Mexican record producer & sound engineer who has worked with some amazing bands & artists over an impressive 22 years. Today he talks to Metal Temple magazine’s Co-Editor In Chief JojoRocket QueenHamilton.

Back in 1999, you started your career in music production. How did this happen? Talk me through how it all began please Big Chris

I started my own production label in 1999 in the corner of my apartment living room with artists that I would meet while I was working as an engineer with A label called King Pin Records. The artists would come over and write to tracks that I was producing on my off time. At that time, I was producing a track a day. Those were my Hip Hop days.

In 2002 you founded your own record label Moodswing Records. Was this any easy project or did you face any setbacks while getting up & running?

This was a natural way to evolve. I was producing various genres. Just depended on my moods so it was the logical thing to do. My only real set back was dealing with the late hours and loud noise coming from my apartment. Luckily all my neighbours were cool. The music was the easy part. The only real set back was how the hell to release music without just throwing it in the ocean and hoping it floats. This is where a label with $ comes in to play

Big Chris, you have produced a lot of work for Slash. I read an internet rumour that you also produced on a collaboration between Slash & the late Chester Bennington. Can you elaborate on this and tell me are there any plans on the song being released?

Ooooh good one! Yeah, back in 2010 I scored a movie with Slash called, “This Is Not A Movie. “Slash wrote a lot of cool instrumental ideas for that movie. when we finished with the movie he went back and decided which ideas he was going to turn into songs. He had a list of artists that he thought would work well with some of the songs. He reached out to a lot of different singers. For this one track he reached out to Chester. Later that month Chester came to the studio and recorded the demo called, “Crazy.” Well, it turned out that Linkin Park was releasing an album the same year Slash was and they did not want Chester to perform on any other album until their album was released. Later reached out to Lemmy from Motorhead and cut the song Dr. Alibi. That’s the one that made the album. I’m sure the song will be released sooner than later. We were just waiting for Linkin Park to do their thing with what they had recorded with Chester. We were also waiting for Chester‘s wife Talinda to decide when and how she wants to release the song . Slash got everybody he wanted on the album. The only issue was with Chester and the Linkin Park album being released at the same time.

You moved to Hollywood at the age of 22 to study at Hollywood’s Musicians Institute. How much of a learning experience was this for you?

That was a great experience. Being around peers that are doing the same thing is a great environment. Being in Hollywood and in the Mecca of entertainment is inspirational because shit is happening all around me. Everywhere I go I meet someone who’s in the industry. The only thing you don’t learn in school is how shady the music industry can be. To a combination of that school and real life events in Hollywood made the perfect climate for learning.

The Rehab Studio. Let’s talk about some of the famous faces who have walked through those doors. Who’s been in & out of Rehab?

The most interesting was Slash of course. After I started working with him, I changed the Moodswing Records to The Rehab Studio. That’s because everybody that came in either needed to be or had been in rehab. Haha so I’ve had some pretty crazy people in here. Charlie Sheen did a song here called “Be like Sheen” haha that was an experience to remember. I did a song here with Steven Adler, M Shadows from Avenged 7Fold, Bone Thugz n Harmony, JC and Jojo, Fergie, Billie Morrison, and one of my favourite people Cedric The Entertainer. Amongst others.

You’ve produced for some of the greats Big Chris. You’ve worked with everyone from Slash to The Rolling Stones. Who’s been your favourite artist to work with & why?

Slash by far. That dude is just so nice and humble. It really is a pleasure to watch him work. You can really appreciate why people want to work with him, and people like him. I never heard anything negative came out of his mouth about a fan nor anyone he’s ever worked with. There is a method to his madness, and he is just a very down to earth guy.

You entered into a career in the music industry at a young age. What kind of jobs did you take on to help raise funds for your companies? How did you get off the ground?

After school, being in Hollywood, I sent out resumes. I literally had to drive to 11 places a day and drop off resumes. This was before the Internet boom. I was working as an assistant engineer with Baby Face for a year and a half, then went on to Post Production Studios and worked at a few off and on. I didn’t make much money at all so most of what I bought was on credit. During that time, I produced an album for a poet that was my neighbour. Turns out that his cousin was Cedric The Entertainer. He heard the album and wanted to meet me. He came over to my apartment and asked me if I could do a reggae song. He went into the bathroom and sang a baseline. So, I did a Reggae song around his baseline. They used it for the original Kings Of Comedy movie. That was the highest grossing comedy tour at the time. It went so well that Cedric took me to guitar centre and spent $10,000 on me one day. That jumpstarted my career.

You’re a busy man Big Chris! Tell me, what do you enjoy doing to relax after a long day, do you actually have any spare time lol?

It’s funny but I will spend a few hours in the studio, then I’ll really like to go out to the backyard and clean the pool for 20 or 30 minutes, that clears my head for another three hour spurt in the studio. Haven’t taken a vacation in a couple of years so finally in June I’m out of here for a couple of weeks. In a nutshell, I have nothing to do with my spare time usually.

You’ve worked with so many artists over the years Big Chris. Is there anyone who you haven’t worked with yet that you would like to work with & why that person?

Let me think about that. I’ve not thought about that. I guess it’s not anyone in particular. I try to stay young with my music so I’m always researching young producers. I want to work with talented young artists that are new to the game and have that energy and drive to record. If I had to pick one person, I would say Travis Barker. I’d love to get him on drums. I love his thrashing rhythms with urban music.

You’ve produced for various artists & bands from Fergie to Chester Bennington. What’s your personal favourite genre of music? What gets your heart pumping musically?

I’ll start off by saying I love any type of music that’s done well. When I just throw paint at the canvas and see what comes out, it’s usually across between urban Rap/Hip-Hop and rock. I’ve loved rock and heavy-metal for as long as I can remember but as I grew up and learned how to perform other genres my love for other genres grew. Pop R&B/Soul I would say is my go to genre when I don’t have to think about anything else, these days anyway.

Big Chris, you’ve been in the business 22 years now, that’s quite a long time! What would you say has been the highlight of your career so far?

By far my relationship with Slash and Cedric The Entertainer. They were pivotal points in my career and opened quite a few doors for me. The song I did with Fergie and SlashBeautiful Dangerous” would be the highlight as of yet. Not to discount all of the other amazing acts I’ve worked with.

So, in some parts of the industry during the pandemic, works been slow due to social distancing & travel restrictions. In other ways, it’s given bands time to write new material. What have you been working on during these strange times?

Big Chris, we’ve has a look at the past & the present. Let’s take a look at the future to finish off, what do you see in the next few years for Moodswing Records?

A lot of tv and film placements. I’ve been getting into some country music with artist from Canada, Chris Micheal and doing some pop music with Rosita Stone, who Phil Taylor at Rock Solid Talent Entertainment introduced me to. That label is doing some cool stuff. Phil spins his webs and connects some great people together. So, as I build my library, I send the songs to music supervisors for tv and film. That’s where I can do any genre and not worry if it’s a “hit” or not. It just needs to fit. Tv and film is where it’s at. For me anyway.

Big Chris may I take this opportunity to say thank you very much for speaking to me today for Metal Temple magazine. Take care & keep rockin’!
 
Edited 19 October 2021
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