OK, here's Kevin Stewart-Panko's Terrorizer article that I promised:
FRET-FLAILING MENTALISTS SAVED FROM A LIFE OF DURST
Presently, when Rochester, NY's Psyopus get discussed, people immediately gravitate to one of three topics. One, the over-the-top tech-metal of their debut album, 'Ideas Of Reference', and two, the mathematician-in-a-blender eight-finger tapping technique of guitarist Christopher Arp, are obviously related. As for the third... you'll just have to keep reading. Psyopus is the brainchild of the previously unknown Arp, who searched two and a half years for musicians dedicated to a mix of perplexing dissonance, tension and tempo fuckology, and flash-handed technicality. While the focus has been on Arp's spasmodic style, he's quick to praise his bandmates, which include ex-members of Kalibas, Inertia and Hate Machine.
"Some reviews I've read have been saying that the other guys in the band are 'keeping up with me' or whatever, but this band would be nothing without them. This may be my first real band, but this isn't the first group of people I've played with and seldom does a day go by I don't appreciate the people I'm working with. Our drummer [Greg Herman] has only been playing for like, three years, although he's probably played guitar for as long as I have. He knows how to write songs and has a good analytical understanding of music. Our bass player [Fred Decoste] basically doubles everything I do. It's funny, I get all the recognition, but that kid is doing the same fucking thing on his bass. In the song 'Death, i...' there are some legato scale runs and he's doing them. I remember when we wrote that, I was saying to him, 'Dude, you can't be doing that, you're gonna hurt your hands!'"
Two-hand tapping is nothing new. Having eight fingers widdle along a fretboard is something that guitarist from all genres have embarked upon for ages. The difference here is that the technique is a large part of Arp's repertoire, not something confined to showy leads and solos. At least 50 per cent of his playing involves giving the plectrum a rest, and it's that much more astounding to witness his precision while flailing around on stage.
"The two-handed thing," explains Chris, "is a blend of different things: not having a guitar pick, constantly playing, even while watching TV and my different philosophies on creating music, one of which I call 'Being A Retard.' Sometimes, some of the coolest and most unorthodox things happen when you take a different perspective. So, I'll do something unexpected while playing and watching TV or I'll be like, 'I'm gonna start slapping the fretboard like a retard.' A lot of the unorthodox stuff comes from trying to develop a personality and be as individual as possible. I can tell you what I'm doing isn't Stanley Jordan or Eddie Van Halen."
The third point that terminally comes up in Psyopus-related conversations is how Arp was the regional winner during limpbizkit's nationwide open auditions for a guitarist a couple of years back. Please tell us you did this as a joke?
"At the time, I was having no luck starting a band and was working the graveyard shift in a factory, just getting by. Some guy at work asked if I was going to audition and I was like, 'Nah.' He said, 'Yeah, I can see why you'd blow that opportunity off, working graveyard in a factory.' That just kind of put it in perspective; it would have been a job change and straight up, those guys hang out at the Playboy mansion," he laughs. "I went and just played a bunch of unorthodox crap. I think that's what I had going for me."
Did he meet Fred Durst?
"No, the band wasn't even there. But they gave me a guitar for winning."