Chris is a Seattle native, vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter who toiled in an array of Seattle rock, indie, and punk bands through the 1990's and 2000's, as leader and sideman. He got his live wings schlepping his battered gear across a cross-section of Seattle stages of today and yore—The Sunset Tavern, The Crocodile Cafe, The Fun House, Chop Suey, El Corazon, and defunct but fondly remembered 206 dives like The Lobo and Sit 'n Spin.
A few years into the “oughts”, several things collided in Chris’ mind: A childhood spent listening to 1970’s Seattle radio stations like KJR and KZOK—the bright AM radio shimmer of KJR’s top 40, the lysergic and obscure KZOK FM hard rock playlists of that decade. And then there was the stamp (scar?) left from a brief, hair-raising time gigging in Hollywood, California in the late 1980’s. And finally, contemporary life in Seattle.
All was clear: Less than five years to 2020, what better time to embrace the majesty of rock, the pageantry of roll—a bit of pomp to go with current circumstances. Whatever. Against odds and good sense, Chris Mess was born.
Chris Niccoli writes songs and sings, Brooks Clark plays guitar, Steve Page survived the New York City club scene to hold down the bass, Andy Olson plays drums. The band that is Chris Mess has a sound rooted in and inspired by original era glam, indie, rock ‘n roll, and power pop aesthetics: A bit of loud Cheap Trick strut, with a smattering of absurdity and vocal craziness a la Queen, The Darkness, Ziggy-era David Bowie, The Sweet—striving to move that needle forward, not back. Chris Mess has received airplay on Seattle indie KEXP 90.3 FM. The Chris Mess 2016 EP is available in all of the usual places--with a fantastically absurdist companion music video, inspired by the 1974 cult film "Zardoz", and live dates to support.
- “Song for Zed” revisits and reshapes surreal dialog “Zardoz” into a belated—and utterly unsolicited—glam-rock theme song, replete with 13-part “bohemian” voice harmonies.
- “Bong for Your Mom” takes a look at Seattle’s cannabis legalization landscape, through a musical filter The Sweet might employ.
- “Vitamin D” paints the ceiling of an insomniac’s bedroom with vivid hallucinations.
- A revved up “Suffragette City” tips the hat to the man with the snow white tan.