What's in Your Fridge: Chris Osterman of Iron Kingdom

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      What’s In Your Fridge is where the Straight asks interesting Vancouverites about their life-changing concerts, favourite albums, and, most importantly, what’s sitting beside the Heinz ketchup in their custom-made Big Chill Retropolitan 20.6-cubic-foot refrigerators.

      On the grill

      Chris Osterman of Iron Kingdom.

      Who are you

      I play lead guitar and handle lead vocals in Vancouver’s own Iron Kingdom.  We’re coming out with our fourth studio album titled On The Hunt with an epic show set up at Red Room in Vancouver on October 3 for its release! This, right before we head on tour to play 43 shows across North America! We play traditional Heavy Metal like it was done in 1982, the way we think it should be played! Fast and exhilarating, with soaring vocals, killer solos and driving drums!  What else could one possibly desire?!

      First concert

      I went to see my friend's band—they were called LSD, were local, and the acroynm stood for ‘Last Suicidal Decision’. They played at the Croatian Cultural Centre, back in, oh probably 2006. I knew the guitar player because he was the cool dude who had his guitar lessons immediately after me. He had a sweet black-and-white-striped Les Paul guitar and he played metal, so I was always trying to impress him when he showed up for his lesson, haha. He was also five years older so I was always a little behind. Back to the show, I only remember a little bit from the night, mostly that their singer came on stage by a coffin. The band members carried him on stage then he came out of it during the intro of the first song. I think it was also their last show. I guess he drove the nail in after the gig, Haha! I definitely appreciated the theatrics of it all, and my friend, Brad, played a great set. Years later he actually married my sister (Amanda, our ex-drummer) and filled in on guitar for one of Iron Kingdom’s tours of Western Canada—pretty cool how it all went down in the end.

      Life-changing concert

      This has to be when I saw the Scorpions play back in 2008 at the PNE Forum. My friends and I were deciding between seeing ZZ Top or the Scorpions, but I already knew the Scorps were what I wanted, so I sorta persuaded them, haha. The concert was amazing from beginning to end—the stage show was especially exciting and the music was played and sung flawlessly. I still remember the shirtless dude behind me, sweating all over my long hair—I think it got stuck in his armpits a few times! Since then I’ve been absolutely obsessed with being in a band with huge stage shows and accurately synchronized stage moves. You would probably notice a few Scorpions moves when or if you ever catch an Iron Kingdom show.

      Top three records

      Deep Purple Machine Head  I was given this album from my uncle when I was seven years old. The solos that Ritchie Blackmore played literally got me into playing the guitar—I wanted so badly to play solos like Ritchie. I listened to the album over and over in the car on the way to guitar lessons. That’s where my mom kept the CD—I never knew the CD was actually mine until I was about 15 and I was going to go buy a copy for myself. My mom then told me it was mine all along, and that was surely a moment I won’t forget—to realize I could have listened to it a thousand more times but didn’t because I didn’t want to take my mom's copy!

      Iron Maiden The Number of the Beast  I was raised Catholic, so as you probably can guess the topic of Hell was serious, haha, so The Number of the Beast was quite the title and album cover to get me going. I remember I used to go to HMV and stare at the cover, thinking, 'Oh man, this looks so cool! But what if it’s something I shouldn’t own? What if it’s somehow evil?' Well around age 14 I decided the cool outweighed the evil and bought the album! I listened to it for three months straight, practically non-stop. I was completely sold immediately. I think I only put the album down because I bought another Maiden album Somewhere in Time, and kept on my journey diving into the band.

      Judas Priest Screaming For Vengeance  This album I found while on a camping adventure with my family when I was also around 14 or 15 years old. I remember I played it on my Walkman for the entire drive (which was about eight hours through the Rocky Mountains.) The mountains and rivers seemed so much cooler with these tunes roaring through my earbuds. It quickly became my favourite roadtrip album, and I rarely travel without listening to it at least once.

      All-time favourite video:

      The Scorpions “Rock you like a Hurricane”  It took me years to figure out who played this incredible song when I was a kid—I used to literally watch MTV for hours on end after school, just hoping the video might so happen to play that evening, and if it did, I needed to be ready to pay attention to the name of the band. When it finally came on, I’d watch it and be so mesmerized that I’d forget to check who played the song—this happened at least four times before I forced myself to have a pen and paper and write down the name when it popped up at the beginning or end of the video. After I finally found the name I went to HMV and got myself their World Wide Live album, simply because it was the only CD on the shelf that had “Rock You Like A Hurricane” on the track-listing on the back. Funny, because although that song did rock me, I found the rest of the album to really be the disaster to take me into a whirlwind of heavy metal madness.

      What’s in your fridge

      An opened and mostly eaten sleeve of mini pre-made pie crusts.  The previous renter at my place left it in the fridge most likely by accident. I thought they might ask for it back... not exactly sure why they’d want it... it’s only been a year since I moved in.

      Four sweet buns from an Asian market.  Simply because we thought they were normal buns. They don’t really work with burgers though, and we don’t like wasting food, so they’re still in the fridge.

      Maple syrup.  Because we’re Canadian, eh?!  It’s an important and valuable substance hence why it’s in the fridge!

      Iron Kingdom plays the Red Room on Thursday (October 3). To check out On the Hunt, go here