In a world where most 19-year-olds are too busy on social media or riding out their last lazy years as a teenager on a couch in their parents’ basement lives a young man by the name of Christian Boles.

Christian is the drummer for the band Blacked Out World, a rock band from Des Moines, Iowa.

When he’s not working full-time for the family business, or at his part-time job on the weekends, you can usually find him brushing up on his drumming technique or at the nearest concert hall catching a show.

We got a chance to catch up with Christian recently – and crown him as the first interview ever here on The Concert Camera Squad.

Check out our chat below:

CCS: Before we get started with the questions, tell us a little bit about yourself, Christian.

CB: Well, I’ve been a musician for a little over 10 years.

I started playing guitar when I was 8. The idea to jump into music came to me while I was playing Guitar Hero – it’s sort of what got everything started.

My first guitar was a blue Fender with a white pickguard and a whammy bar. It wasn’t that bad to start out with, but I quickly upgraded to an LTD EC-CZ-11 which is easily my favorite guitar I own.

Anyways, as you know, I’m currently the drummer for Blacked Out World, so clearly there was a switch between instruments. It was a really smooth and, honestly, much-needed transition from guitar to drums.

I was never the greatest guitar player but one day my guitar teacher, who at the time was a guy named Ben Williams… He was an excellent guy and a perfect teacher to start out with, but one day he asked me if I would be interested in trying drums, and as someone who just loved to play music, I was like… Duh… Of course, I want to try the drums!

I was just eager to play music.

I admit I didn’t have faith in myself, but it turned out incredibly.

He taught me some basic rock beats and he showed me how they were transcribed, and for the first time, playing music made a lot more sense. And, from that point on, I’ve been working my ass off, traveling for lessons and practicing constantly. Whether I’m behind a drum kit or not, I’m always hitting something, I’m always practicing something.

But, that’s really how my start in music happened: Lots of hard work and not giving up when I felt I couldn’t do it.

There were plenty of times when I wanted to give up because I couldn’t play correctly, but I didn’t.

Not quitting has been the greatest thing I could have done. It’s given me the greatest opportunities.

One of my favorite things to come out of playing music is a friend I made. He’s actually the current drummer for the band Chicago and not only is he a phenomenal drummer, but he is an incredibly humble and down to earth guy.

He’s truly the nicest and most caring person I have ever met, and he’s taught me a lot, not just about music but about life.

Sorry for the long-winded response, but music has done so much for me and taught me so much that I couldn’t sum up 10 years of hard work and dedication in a few sentences.

Now, that was more of a music-based response about myself, but there’s not really a whole lot more to know about me.

I’m big into football and soccer. I’ve played soccer my whole life.

I’m also a skateboarder. It’s something I’m not great at, but that I enjoy very much.

I play a lot of video games, too. It’s one of those things that I do between practicing music and work. If I’m not practicing music or working, I’m probably playing video games.

CCS:  Video games, eh? What’s your current favorite? My kiddos are hooked on Fortnite, but I’m more of a GTA or Madden guy, myself.

CB: I’ve always been really big In to Call of Duty, GTA, The Last of Us – I love zombie games, so that last one is my favorite. I play a lot of different things.

CCS: The Last of Us is awesome! One of my favorite games of all time, actually.

You also mentioned work – what’s your job situation looking like?

CB: Well, I currently paint houses.

My dad owns his own business and I’ve recently started working for him.

I also have a second job. I work at Levi’s at the outlet mall in Altoona.

I mainly work with my dad, Monday-Friday and the weekend is open to Levi’s and band stuff, but band stuff can also be done throughout the week as well.

CCS:  When it comes to the instruments you play, where you self-taught, or did you take lessons?

CB: Guitar and piano is all lessons. Drums are a mix of both.

Drums are one of those things where you learn one thing and teach yourself how to apply it to the kit. So, I’ve been taught an insane amount of stuff such as rudiments and odd time signatures. Those can be tricky enough to learn on there own, but the next step is repetition – which you really learn on your own – and then you teach yourself to apply it all around the kit at different tempos with different techniques and in different styles.

None of it would have been possible without lessons though which I still take a decent amount of.

CCS: Can you tell me a little bit about your creative process when it comes to writing new music?

CB: It’s really just a lot of messing around until you find something you like, although sometimes you’ll find come up with the best ideas when you aren’t even around an instrument.

I really just come up with a lot of different drum beats or guitar riffs and then edit/change them to work together so that they sound tighter.

I like to have a groove and a beat in my music.

Something you can bang your head or move to.

CCS: That totally makes sense. Similar to building a house where you’d have a vision in your head before breaking ground. While we’re on the subject of creating – who do you consider to be your musical influences?

CB: I have a wide variety of musical influences but I’ll just name a few. Metallica, Chicago, Avenged Sevenfold, Led Zeppelin, Bullet For My Valentine. It’s really hard to pick influences because I listen to so much music and my music taste ranges from super heavy to super light.

CCS:  I can totally relate. And I would have to agree with your list, as well. Ironically, I’ve only seen two out of those three bands live.

Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold when they played at the Iowa Speedway a couple of years back.

We’ll talk more about shows in just a few, but I did have one more question for you about performing. Do you ever get stage anxiety? And if so, what do you do to overcome it?

CB: I don’t think you ever really get over stage anxiety. You just learn to push it away.

I think what really helps me overcome my stage anxiety is being alone with the band a few minutes before showtime.

We all start talking and laughing and by then you really forget you’re about to perform in front of a bunch of people. You still get pumped up and excited as well, so it just works for me.

Having a band with the right guys who have the same mentality also helps. It really helps to know that we get along and that we are all there with the same goal in mind. We all want to do music full-time someday, and we all put our whole heart into the music and the business of music.

CCS: Well, your hard work and dedication definitely shines through and will undoubtedly pay off.

I’ll stop drilling you now, and we’ll round things out with a few lighter questions.

What’s the first concert you attended?

CB: That’s a tough one.

I was probably too young to remember my first haha!

I’ve been going to concerts since I was really little.

I used to go to a lot of local shows for As For You and Calous. They are really nice guys and some damn good musicians.

As far as bigger bands, I would say probably either Five Finger Death Punch or Chicago.

It’s hard to keep track at this point – I live for concerts so I’ve been to hundreds of them.

I’ll never quit going.

CCS: You and I both, my man!!

This one should be a little easier.

What’s the LAST concert you went to?

CB: Toto at Hoyt Sherman.

I got to play drums with them before the show, too!

It was a pretty surreal experience.

The concert was great and so were the band as people.

Musicians are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met and they held up that way of thinking

CCS: That’s amazing!!

I can’t imagine how much pressure that must have been to jam with those guys. And they’re world class musicians, to boot!

The next one may be a bit more difficult.

Your dream show; you get to pick the 3 bands playing – all genres welcome.

Go!

CB: Metallica. They are legendary in the metal scene. Master of Puppets were some of the first songs I learned on drums – also the first song I learned through sight-reading on drums.

Avenged Sevenfold. Legendary for my era in my opinion. One of my all-time favorites.

Five Finger Death Punch. This band is really popular amongst my family and is another one of my all-time favorites to see live and listen to.

There are so many bands I would love to play with. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd. Stuff like that, but sadly they aren’t together. That concert can only happen in my literal dreams, unfortunately.

CCS: I’d totally buy tickets to that show! (And bug everyone I possibly could for a photo pass.)

What about a dream venue?

If you could play anywhere, where would it be and why?

CB: The Forum in California or Donnington Park in the UK during Download Fest.

I grew up seeing pictures and videos of performances from those venues.

Download Festival is the highest place to play on my bucket list.

The Surf Ballroom would be amazing to play one day, too. It just has so much history.

I never realized how much I truly want to make it in the music business before this interview. I’ve never thought about my dreams with music before.

CCS: Dude!!!! I’m so glad to hear that!! It may sound cheesy, but that truly makes my day.

One last question and I’ll quit buggin’ ya.

Any big plans with Blacked Out World for 2020?

CB: We definitely have some big plans.

Not sure the logistics of it, but our third album will be released next year. I believe we are gonna release it early next year but as I said, I’m not sure of all the logistics.

We have plenty of plans to play as many shows as we can. Like I have said before, we are all doing this to eventually play music full-time. We plan to practice harder and play more shows than ever before.

And the next album could be written faster than you think… You never know.

CCS: Well, I’m certainly looking forward to seeing your story unfold, my man!

I appreciate your taking the time to chat with me, and I look forward to hearing new music from Blacked Out World.

 

Here’s a video of Christian jamming with Toto – HOW FRIGGIN’ COOL IS THAT?!

 

Ok, I admit Christian Boles, didn't see this coming until I told him to get on stage. Christian loves Toto but has been…

Posted by Matthew Banks on Monday, September 30, 2019

 

Thanks again for taking the time to chat with us, Christian!

We can’t wait to see you continue to make the 515 proud.

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