The Journey Of Chase Stain


I left California at the end of the summer and was once again living with my father. The next two years were mentally exhausting for me, as I attempted to survive Junior High School. I felt awkward and out of place throughout seventh and eighth grade. I was bullied by other students, and didn’t have many friends. I spent my time playing video games, skateboarding and listening to music in order to escape my social awkwardness. I enjoyed a variety of music, including Was Not Was, Ghetto Boys, Faith No More, Prince, Slick Rick, The Misfits, and Guns N’ Roses.

I had finally created a relationship with my father, and was also able to meet my older half brother, Brent. My father had Brent with his first wife, but I had never known him previous to my moving to live with my father. Brent was a Senior in high school while I was in seventh grade, and he played guitar in a band with his friends. I had began to idolize my older brother, and soon wanted to learn how to play guitar.

At the end of seventh grade, my mother explained to both my younger brother and I that she was in a transition period and we could only visit her for two weeks, instead of the ten weeks they had planned on. My younger brother, David, and I had hoped to spend much more time together, but made due with the two weeks and then my brother and I returned to our homes.

Chase Stain Sleeping Hard in 2002

I spent the rest of my summer on the road with my father. My dad owned a wholesale distribution company that sold Native American jewelry and southwestern gifts and decor. He was frequently on the road, selling merchandise to various gift shops across the Western U.S. That summer, I went to Texas, California, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Washington, Idaho, and eventually ended up in Jackson Hole, Wyoming where my dad owned a retail gift shop with one of his good friends. I spent much of the time in the back of a van, wearing headphones and listening to my favorite music. I would go off and explore the towns that we stopped at while my dad sold merchandise to customers. I would grab my skateboard and skate to various stores, and find certain spots where he could practice doing various tricks that I was trying to learn. The experience was refreshing and new, and was an adventure to me. It was during that summer that I realized that I knew what I wanted to do for a living. I realized that I wanted to create music like the bands that I was listening to while in the back of the van. I wanted to create something that could reach out and effect someone in the same way that the music I loved was effecting me. I decided that when I returned to Phoenix, I would start to learn how to play guitar.

As I started my last year of Junior High School, I started teaching myself how to play guitar on a very of generic acoustic guitar that my dad owned. To this very day, I have never held another guitar with worse action. The strings were so far away from the frets that I could barely keep them from buzzing unless I gripped the neck as hard as I could. I'm glad that I learned on that guitar, because it built up such a powerful grip in my fingers, that when I finally played a different guitar for the first time, it seemed much easier to play.

Chase Stain Performing Live at a House Party in 2002

I practiced guitar for several hours every day during eighth grade, and eventually even stopped riding my skateboard so I could devote more time to learning the instrument. In late 1991, my older brother, Brent, and his girlfriend, Tiffany, introduced me to Billy Jacoby, who was Tiffany’s younger brother. Billy was a year younger than me and in seventh grade. He was also teaching himself guitar, and I was excited to meet someone who had the same goals and dreams that I had. We quickly became friends and started hanging out on weekends, playing guitar, and listening to our new favorite band, Mr. Bungle. My taste in music was changing, and I found myself listening to more alternative and grunge bands like Mother Love Bone, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana. Although my favorite band was Mr. Bungle, a chaotic alternative metal funk band that incorporated carnival and circus music into their sound.

As 1991 came to an end, I had no clue what the future would bring, but I did have a list of things I wanted to do in 1992. I had never been to a live concert, and promised myself I would go see a live band perform in 1992. I also was determined to get my first tattoo, and started saving money to get something done. My older brother Brent played in a band with his friends called Dr. Divine, and it made me desire to be in a band as well. So I also decided I would form a band in 92. Of course, I would need to keep learning guitar for that to happen.

In January of 1992, I was invited to a local show by my brothers girlfriend, Tiffany. Tiffany made original hand made jewelry and frequently had a merch booth at several local events where she would sell her creations.