Interview With Crispy
(Christopher Jay, Cougrr)
Shannon W - How did you get into rock music?
Crispy - “I grew up in a household where there was a lot of rock and metal being played. My parents both listened to a lot of 80’s metal because they grew up in that era. That shaped my music taste as well as bands like Green Day and Sum 41 which were popular when I was growing up in the early 2000’s. So pop punk and 80’s bands made me want to be a musician.”
Shannon - What is the story behind your name Crispy?
Crispy - “Around the end of 2011, I joined the School Of Rock. For those who don’t know, my real name is Christopher Borell and I was going by Chris at the time, as you would if your name is Christopher. So there was another guy named Christopher there and he was Chris L and I was Chris B. There’s no real pun you can make on the name Chris L, so from there I became Crispy because I was Chris B. Originally it was kind of their way of making fun of me but I just embraced it and now that’s what everyone calls me. Even my grandma calls me that from time to time.”
Shannon - For those who don’t know, tell a little about each of the bands you currently play with?
Crispy - “I am currently in two bands. The band I’ve been in the longest is called Christopher Jay, named after our singer. They currently have one album and one EP out that I did not play on because I wasn’t in the band at that time. Chris and I have been writing a lot of material that is very 2000’s rock inspired. Hopefully once this quarantine is over, we can get out and start recording that. The other band I’m in is called Cougrr. For any Steel Panther fans out there, we’re basically a female-fronted Steel Panther. The whole gimmick is that the whole band is made up of younger guys and the singer is an older woman and she is a cougar. So she sings about being with young guys and partying… it’s very 80’s, very fun.”
Shannon - You’re currently working on solo music. Could you talk a little bit about what to expect from that?
Crispy - “Lately I’ve been really inspired by the New Wave of Hair Metal… bands like Shiraz Lane and Reckless Love. It will be a mixture of that and my pop punk influences. I’m going to be singing on it, so that will be fun. I sing, but I don’t consider myself a singer. Every band I’m in I sing backing vocals but I’ve never sang lead so it will be interesting. It might be a pain in the ass to record but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. I’m trying to take the raw, aggressiveness of the punk and the showmanship and look of the hair metal.”
Shannon - How has your musical style changed over the years?
Crispy - “When I first started playing, I was listening to the music that was out at that time: Green Day, Sum 41, My Chemical Romance. I was playing mostly pop punk music. I was also listening to 80’s hair metal and I guess it was subconsciously getting into my style but it didn’t really show through until I was probably around 16. That is when I started developing a more 80’s-influenced sound. When I was around 13 or 14, I discovered an artist named Richie Kotzen. He has a very eclectic sound, he goes from playing rock to playing blues to playing soul over the course of one album. That has really inspired me. I’ve actually become very good friends with him recently. He has definitely inspired my musical style and sound.”
Shannon - What are your favorite bands?
Crispy - “It changes almost everyday. Bands I’ve been listening to recently have been Lost Society, from Finland, and Dragged Under. For anybody that’s a fan of Jared Dines or Fluff on Youtube, their old band Rest, Repose turned into Dragged Under. I don’t think Jared Dines is actually in Dragged Under but he was in Rest, Repose. They’re like hardcore mixed with pop punk. If you asked me that again tomorrow I would honestly have different answers.”
Shannon - Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Crispy - “Ideally, I’d be touring, playing the biggest venues possible, putting out records that sell well. I know that will be difficult to do in just 5 years but I’m willing to work my butt off to get where I want to be.”
Shannon - Anything else you want to include?
Crispy - “My social media is @crispyborell on every platform. I appreciate you doing this interview and I look forward to any future projects we have together.”