Richard Christy was born April 1, 1974 in Fort Scott, Kansas. He grew up in nearby Redfield, Kansas, a tiny town of about fifty people. Richard started out like many other drummers playing on 5 gallon cow feed buckets with dowel rods. When Richard turned ten years old, he began to play drums in the Uniontown, Kansas elementary school band. He played snare drum for a year until his parents bought him a three piece Gretsch drum set from an antiques dealer in Arcadia, Kansas. After school, Richard would practice to Van Halen, Twisted Sister, Kiss and Quiet Riot records. One of the first drum beats that he ever learned was the beginning of Cum On Feel The Noize by Quiet Riot. One of Richard’s first introductions to extreme drumming was the song Iron Maiden by Iron Maiden. “ I remember having a lot of trouble playing along to that one, and I remember freaking out when I heard Kill ‘em All my Metallica. I couldn’t believe that someone could actually play that fast, then soon after that I heard Reign in Blood by Slayer and I was totally blown away.” Richard continued to play in the school band througout grade school and high school. “I really enjoyed marching band in high school, the rudiments that I learned then was the foundation of everything that I do today. I still practice rudiments and snare drum solos daily, and I incorporate that into what I play on the drumset.
In 1989 Richard joined his first band, Syzygy. The band was based in Fort Scott, Kansas and included guitar player, singer John Pyne and bass player John Bennett. They were a cover band that played Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Metallica and many other bands’ songs. They frequently played a bar in Fort Scott called the Silver Spur and also put together massive ten keg parties at nearby Elm Creek Lake.
Richard also formed a comedy band in 1990 called Bung Dizeez with his high school friends Paul Brewer and Gary White. The songs were lighthearted and reflected Richard’s enormous interest in comedy. A funny sidenote is that Bung Dizeez would sometime practice in Paul Brewer’s family’s hog barn in Hiattville, Kansas. Their first show was at a birthday party on the back of a hay truck.
In September of 1990 Richard bought his first new drumset after saving money all summer from hauling hay. It was a red wood grain Mapex set that he bought at a drumshop in Kansas City. Richard graduated high school in 1992 and soon after heard a demo from the band Public Assassin. He became a fan of the band and in August of 1992 found out that they needed a drummer. He contacted the band and set up an audition at a friend’s house in Bronson, Kansas. The audition went great and Richard decided to move to Springfield, Missouri to join Public Assassin alongside guitarist, singer Greg Ponder; guitarist Steve Childers; and bassist Joe Morton.
After moving to Springfield it was time to find a job. In October of 1992, with help from Greg Ponder, Richard got a job at Branson Electric as a residential electrician. He still works as an electrician when he is not on tour, although now he does commercial electrical work for Phillips Electrical Contracting in Orlando.
In October of 1994 Richard discovered another one of his passions, making movies. With a miniscule budget and the help of a few friends, Richard filmed the low budget thirty minute horror-comedy Evil Ned 2 (there never was an Evil Ned 1???). After positive feedback from that film, Richard decided to remake it as a full length in 1995 resulting in Evil Ned 3: The Return of Evil Ned 2, Electric Boogaloo. He premiered the film on Saturday October 14, 1995 at the Hampton Inn on Chesnutt Expressway in Springfield Missouri and to this day Richard remembers that night as being one of the proudest nights of his life. In 1995 Pulic Assassin disbanded and Richard and guitarist Steve Childers decided to carry on and form Burning Inside with local Springfield musicians Jamie Prim and Glenn Hickey. In December of 1995 Glenn Hickey left the band and Burning Inside recorded their first demo as a three piece. The cost of the demo was a twelve pack of Natural Light which was given to engineer Bill Bruce.
In January of 1996 Michael Estes was introduced to the band by longtime friend Jamie Prim. Soon after their first rehearsal together, Richard, Steve and Jamie decided that Michael was the perfect person to add to the group. They also decided that a move to Orlando, Florida would be in the band’s best interest. In late February of 1996 Burning Inside moved to Orlando, Florida. They began playing numerous shows in the Tampa and Orlando area. In March of 1996 Richard and Michael joined the band Acheron. Michael is still a member of Acheron.
In July of 1997, through the help of friends Rick Renstrom and B.C. Richards, Richard arranges an audition with Chuck Schuldiner, resulting in Richard joining the influential metal band Death. Richard had been a fan since high school so he already new many of Death’s songs when he auditioned. In April of 1998 Richard recorded the drums for the Death album, The Sound Of Perseverance. Richard’s first trip to Europe with the band followed in May of 1998, highlighted by an appearance at the Dynamo festival in front of 35,000 people.
In August of 1998 Burning Inside signed a record deal with Stilldead Productions in Poland and recorded their first full length album The Eve of The Entities, which was released in 2000.Richard toured with Death throughout much of the last half of 1998. In September of 1998 Richard released his second full length comedy movie T-BACK. In February of 1999 Richard recorded the drums for Chuck Schuldiner’s band Control Denied. The album is titled The Fragile Art of Existence. In April of 1999 Richard released his third full length comedy movie Legend Of The Black Eye.
In May of 1999 Richard receives a heartbreaking call from Chuck, revealing that he has cancer. Richard continues to talk to and see Chuck regularly throughout 1999 and is inspired by his courage and strength. In Summer of 2000, Chuck and Richard begin rehearsing material for a second Control Denied album. The material is some of the most complex and melodic that Chuck has written and it pushes Richard to new limits within his technical style of drumming.
In October of 1999 Richard had the first of many of his comedic voice mail messages played on The Howard Stern Show. Richard is a huge fan and to this day his voice mail messages have been played on the show over two hundred times and many of his comedy songs have also been played on the show.
In January of 2000 Richard received a call from his friend Andrew Sample of Century Media records and Jim Morris from Morrisound recording saying that Iced Earth is looking for a drummer and they had both mentioned his name to Iced Earth founder Jon Schaffer. Richard was also a big fan of Iced Earth so he called Jon and arranged an audition in February of 2000. The audition went extremely well and Richard joined Iced Earth and Jon’s project with Hansi Kursch of Blind Guardian, Demons and Wizards.
In March 2000 Richard got a call from longtime friends Rob Yench and John McEntee of Incantation, asking him to do a US tour with them. Richard happily agreed and in April and May of 2000 Richard toured with Incantation. Richard remembers this tour as being one of his favorites, one of the many reasons being the chance to see some of his favorite horror movie sites, including the Dawn of the Dead Mall, the house and ghost town from John Carpenter’s Vampires, The lighthouse from John Carpenter’s The Fog and the two houses from the finale of John Carpenter’s masterpiece and Richard’s favorite movie Halloween.
In June of 2000 Richard toured Europe with Demons and Wizards playing mostly festival shows with up to 20,000 people at each show! In August of 2000 Richard played his first show with Iced Earth at the Wacken festival in Germany in front of 30,000 people. In September of 2000 Richard recorded the drums for the second Burning Inside album Apparition at his good friend Jason “Noodles” Suecof’s studio Audiohammer Recording in Sanford, Florida.
In December of 2000 Richard recorded the drums for the second Control Denied album at Morrisound studios in Tampa and one week later recorded the drums for the Iced Earth album Horror Show also at Morrisound studios.
In April of 2001 one of Richard’s dreams came true when he premiered his fourth comedy film Leaving Grunion County on the big screen at The Enzian Theater in Orlando, Florida.
In June of 2001 Richard rejoined his friends in Acheron for a short tour of Mexico with Dark Funeral. In October of 2001 Richard began touring with Iced Earth in support of the Horror Show album.
In December of 2001 Richard was devastated to hear that his dear friend and bandmate Chuck Schuldiner had passed away. Richard is honored to have been a close friend and bandmate to the legendary Chuck Schuldiner and he remains close friends with Chuck’s family to this day.
Richard spent the first half of 2002 touring with Iced Earth in Europe and the United States. Much of the last half of 2002 was spent writing new material with Burning Inside and doing session work. In April of 2003 Richard recorded the drums for the new Iced Earth album The Glorious Burden.
On April 23, 2003 one of Richard’s biggest dreams came true when he appeared on The Howard Stern Show at The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. He was very surprised and flattered when he mentioned his voice mail messages to Howard on the air and Howard new who he was and began to imitate his messages in Richard’s thick Kansan accent. In October of 2003 Richard recorded drums for the band Leash Law’s debut album. The band features Wade Black, Emo Mowery, Rick Renstrom and Steve Elder.
In April and May of 2004 Richard toured the United States with Iced Earth in support of The Glorious Burden album. During this time Richard received the news that he would have the chance to make his dreams come true by being offered an audition on The Howard Stern Show. When Stuttering John left the Stern Show to join The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Howard auditioned 10 people for Stuttering John's job from April to June 2004. After Richard's week long audition in June 2004, Howard's audience voted, and Richard won his dream job. Since July 2004 Richard has resided in New York City and continues to work on the greatest radio and TV show in the history of the world-The Howard Stern Show. Richard still plays drums every day and continues to write and record music.
Richard continues to stay extremely busy with various projects and has many plans for the future.
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