Back in 1999, during the peak of his fame, Garth Brooks wanted to explore more genres and decided to do so through a rock persona. Thus, the character of Chris Gaines was born.
Under his alter-ego, he released Garth Brooks… In the Life of Chris Gaines, a ‘Greatest Hits’ alternative rock album framed as though it was amalgamated from Gaines’ five previous LPs. It was meant to serve as a companion album to a feature film called The Lamb, which featured Brooks in the fictional lead role of the troubled musician, however, the film never came to fruition.
During a recent interview with Billboard Country Live: In Conversation, Brooks spoke about his plans to don the black eyeliner again and bring Gaines back to life.
“The five albums have to come out," Brooks said. "Selfishly, I love the Chris Gaines record, so I want to do it for me. It challenged me as a vocalist. So, I don’t know when we’re going to get to it, but it’s on the list that we’re going to get done.”
He continued. “The Gaines project was a lot of time put in – because it’s not natural, you’re acting on a record – but I want to do it simply for people who love the Gaines project.”
In a video posted to YouTube, Brooks explained the character.
“Now maybe some of you are wondering what this cat, Chris, kind of looks like," he says. "You gotta know he was in a bad car wreck in 92. We got this young kid to play him from 1986 to 1992. It happens to be the same young kid that played young Brad Pitt in [the 1997 film] Seven Years In Tibet. I casted him myself, of course, because the kid's just gorgeous.”
He continues, “So, I’m supposed to take the character over from 92 on, so my loving brother, the first time he ever sees young Chris, he looks at his face and he looks at me and he goes, ‘that must have been a hell of a car wreck’.” He jokes that he threw his middle finger up at his brother before retracting, “No, I didn’t say that. Chris said that. It’s better.”
“So anyway, this guy comes out with this long hair, and he hides out for three or four years because he's really not happy with his face, which upset me… He kind of looked like Prince except this guy gained a lot of weight after the car accident.”
He then puts up an image of Gaines and continues. “I think that’s a damn good-looking man right there,” he admits before introducing his next song.
Furthermore, Brooks said he’s working on a duet’s album with his wife and fellow country artist, Trisha Yearwood, along with an additional duet’s album with other artists who he declined to name. Additionally, he’s set to open a bar and entertainment space in Nashville’s South Broadway District and launch a new radio network via TuneIn.
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