Editor’s Note: “Music is either in your blood, or it’s not”, is a common phrase that Christian “Opus” Lawrence usually states when it comes to music as a whole. He’s performed at Woodstock ’99 for Gargantua Soul, and that UNSIGNED BAND appeared on VH1’s Farm Club, the Howard Stern Show and on ESPN. In 2005, him and his cousins created Dead By Wednesday and he would become the touring drummer for Marc Rizzo and Bullet Boys. His band has shared the stage with Rage Against The Machine, Flotsam & Jetsam, Shadows Fall and Hatebreed. Now, he’s creating acoustic music to help him cope with the Covid-19 pandemic and creating “The Corona Covers”. In this interview with Madness To Creation, Christian “Opus” Lawrence discusses mental health awareness, “The Corona Covers” and life on the road. Fans can find Opus at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: You’re releasing a series called “The Corona Covers”, how is your mindset different from when you pick up an acoustic guitar as opposed to stepping into the studio as a drummer?
Opus: I really have no mindset when I pick up the guitar or any instrument. I just “do it” and whatever I’m feeling comes out. Whether an original riff, entire song that comes to me, or I start jamming on a cover song that might be in my head. There’s usually never any formula but with this pandemic happening, I’ve noticed myself doing a lot of things that I normally do not have the time to do when I’m out touring like for example, learning cool or weird covers I dig for no reason. I figured why not try to record and do something with them.. When I’m not playing drums, I dig the mellowness and vibe of the acoustic guitar, especially being the basis meat and potatoes for a lot of song writing. It’s also a challenge for me to learn recording and try to replicate and remake or do something different and unique with cover songs.
Check out Opus covering “Rooster” by Alice In Chains below:
Madness To Creation: It looks like this pandemic has fueled your creativity, what else fuels your creativity?
Opus: Well I went from a lot of confusion, to depression, to anger, to this and I truly think it sometimes takes a very serious situation in your life to push you to get fired up. I’m fired up a lot anyway but when I’m home and can’t tour, I need to not only feel and be creative but I want to make content for others to stay relevant and stay out in the public eye. There’s a lot of different things that fuel my creativity, usually it has to do with an emotional event. A loss, break up, revenge, a pandemic, being quarantined, or good things as well. At first, I wasn’t sure what to do or what I wanted to do but just knew I needed to eventually do something but wasn’t feeling it, but all of a sudden it was like a switch got turned on in me and now I can’t stop! So many things are happening all behind the scenes from making new cover albums, playing drums on other people’s music, updating all our online web stores, writing new material with Dead By Wednesday, homeschooling my boy Orion, home & studio improvement stuff, etc. it really keeps me busy which I enjoy!
Check out “You & Die” by Dead By Wednesday below:
Madness To Creation: What’s the first thing you want to do when this pandemic is all over and things are reopened?
Opus: In all honestly one of the first things I would like to do is go get some real good yummy fresh sushi! Lol… I’m jonzing!
Madness To Creation: What do you miss about the road right now?
Opus: Well I miss the connection with the fans and people of course but there’s also great qualities of staying home.. like I said, getting closer and more connected with my boy and family as well as catching up on things online and around the house and studio that I never seem to have the time to do normally BUT the main thing I miss is when the stage lights hit and go dark or out and it’s about time to take the stage then you hear the people… nothing beats that live energy from the live shows! The driving, traveling, loading, eating crappy, no sleep, etc. I can live with out but all legit jobs have small consequences even rock-n-roll.
Madness To Creation: We cover mental health awareness at Madness To Creation, what helps you get through the tough times and stresses of life and what makes you happy and excited?
Opus: Well I’m not going to lie, with all the crazy news and fear in the media, different theories, & social distancing, for a bit I thought I needed to talk to someone in therapy but never did. There is nothing wrong with wanting to do that and I encourage anyone who needs it to do so. Now, I don’t pay attention to any news, any politics or anything of that nature and not to sound naive but life is in a better place when you cut all that drama and worry out of your life. There are things bigger then us that is out of our control, so you need to let it go and just let it be. Your plan is already laid out. Also, I do a lot of self awareness practices now like yoga, running, stretching, karate, and meditation which helps as well.
Madness To Creation: You’ve shared the stage with David Ellefson, Sevendust(unplugged) and with Zac of Shinedown, greatest memories that you have playing live sharing the stage with them?
Opus: Well beside performing at Woodstock ‘99 with my old band Gargantua Soul amongst many other amazing festivals, I gotta say last year playing drums for David Ellefson of Megadeth on the Megacruise & playing classic Megadeth songs was pretty fucking rad!! Also, I got to jam with half of Megadeth a couple of times when the original guitarist Chris Poland & Ellefson jammed together and has me play drums for it… I’ve also jammed with guys like Bumblefoot, John Bush, Frank Bello, DMC, and many others as of late which was nothing short of an honor. Felt pretty surreal, almost like the movie “Rockstar”. “I grew up with posters of these guys on my walls, and now I’m one of them!” Pretty dope!
Madness To Creation: What’s next for Dead By Wednesday?
Opus: Well like I said prior to all this crap. we actually had a lot of stuff planned for 2020, in fact it was supposed to be on of my biggest years to-date but apparently it wasn’t in the cards so what we will do for now is focus on writing and demoing new material while we work on stocking and revamping all our online merchandise pages and outlets to be current and again stay relevant. We do so also by all of us putting out weekly or bi-weekly play through videos for our songs & practicing as well.
Madness To Creation: What would you like to plug in terms of any social media live performances?
Opus: Well most of my stuff whether it being acoustic solo stuff or my drum play through videos are all Usually posted up on my personal YouTube page at: www.youtube.com/meopusthedopest music, or find me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Bandcamp, etc. at: OpusTheDopest
- Photo Credit: Michael Alago
Follow Opus’s social media accounts to check out “The Corona Covers” and other latest news and happenings regarding him or Dead By Wednesday!