Christopher John Holmes, born June 23, 1958 in Glendale, California, is a heavy metal guitarist and songwriter who grew up in La Canada, California. Holmes started his musical career in the Pasadena, California area in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He is best known as the lead guitarist of heavy-metal band W.A.S.P. Together with Blackie Lawless and Randy Piper, he was one of the founding members of the band. Holmes was a member of W.A.S.P. first from 1982 to 1990, and again from 1996 to 2001.
Prior to meeting Blackie Lawless and Randy Piper, and joining W.A.S.P., Holmes played guitar with Los Angeles bands Buster Savage, LAX, and Slave. Holmes joined W.A.S.P. in 1982, and remained with the group until 1990. In 1996 Holmes rejoined W.A.S.P., and remained lead guitarist until 2001. Holmes has not played with W.A.S.P. since.
Randy Piper’s Animal
Holmes was contacted by friend and former bandmate Randy Piper to join Piper’s new project, Animal. Holmes quickly relocated to Ohio to prepare for Animal’s upcoming “900 lb Steam” tour. The tour was considered successful, and after its conclusion, Animal recorded tracks for a new album.
After Holmes returned to Los Angeles in late 2003, he began working with several Southern California-based metal groups, producing and contributing guitar tracks. In 2007, Holmes was involved with the filming of a Randy Rhoads documentary directed by Peter M. Margolis, which has yet to be released. Holmes appears briefly in a 2009 episode of VH1’s Rock Docs, “Do It For The Band: The Women of Sunset Strip.” In the Summer of 2009 Holmes released Secret Society’s “Death by Misadventure.”
Where Angels Suffer and solo career
In 2010, he joined Where Angels Suffer with Randy Piper on guitar, Steve Unger (Metal Church) on bass, Rich Lewis (Animal), on vocals, and Stet Howland on drums (Blackfoot, Lita Ford, Killing Machine, Belladonna, Impellitteri, Sister and W.A.S.P.). Ira Black has since replaced Piper. The band toured Europe for the first time in 2011.
On November 26, 2012, Chris released his first solo album Nothing to Lose and decided to produce, manage and distribute it himself along with his wife. After the success of his first album, Chris started recording his second solo album, Shitting Bricks. On May 2nd, 2015, Chris Holmes released his second album worldwide and had his first concert in Nantes, France with his new band ‘Mean Man’ which consists of Thomas Cesario Guitar, Pascal Bei Bass and Folkert Beukers on the drums . They are touring actually in Europe .Two of the songs were filmed live, and uploaded to his YouTube channel.
“The Metal Years” Interview
While a member of W.A.S.P., Holmes participated in the filming of the documentary film, The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years. The film included interviews with many well known heavy metal personalities of the era discussing their lifestyle and the metal scene in late 1980s Los Angeles.
Chris Holmes has been married three times. First to Kaylen Rodgers in the late 1980s, then briefly to Lita Ford in the early 1990s. He is now married to Catherine Sarah Holmes, whom he wed in 2012. The couple currently resides in Cannes, France.