Chris Collins in 1986

Chris Collins is an American singer and musician, mostly known for being the first singer in "Majesty" the band that would later become Dream Theater. Although he never appeared on any of the band's albums, he is well known as their original singer and still continues to pursue a musical career.

The Majesty Days[edit | edit source]

Collins grew up in Long Island with fellow future Dream Theater members John Petrucci, John Myung and Kevin Moore. While those three went off to colleges to study music, Collins weighed his options and decided to join The United States Marine Corps. due to his interest and abilities in target shooting. His enlistment in the USMC never happened however, the very week that he was supposed to go to boot camp he received a phone call from John Petrucci stating that they would like to record an album and that he should audition for the band. Contrary to popular belief he was never in a Queensrÿche tribute band, and the tape of him singing a Queensrÿche song was recorded with Majesty themselves. However it did get alot of attention and there was a buzz going around that created enough notoriety for Collins to obtain the position in the band during the infant stages of Majesty.

The first audition happened in drummer Tony Mattassa's bedroom one weekend while the band where back from college in their home town of Kings Park. Collins performed without a PA system that afternoon, and John and John and Kevin were impressed with his ability to sing louder than amplified instruments and drums. However Collins was not a trained vocalist at the time, but realized his abilities during that era and decided to give it a shot nontheless. The will and drive of these individuals far exeeded Mr. Collins's and therefore was not a match at the time. It wasn't until many years as Mr. Collins matured that he had developed his skills as a writer and a classically trained performer.

Collins was invited to join the band, then called Majesty, and accepted writing and recording songs for them. Collins recorded vocals for six tracks that the band made into their first demo tape, The Majesty Demos. His later contributions included writing lyrics for two songs, Afterlife and Cry for Freedom though neither were ever recorded with his lyrics and Afterlife was later given new lyrics by his replacement, Charlie Dominici.

Collins wound up frustrating his bandmates with his poor vocal range, bad live performances and on-stage behavior, such as an incident in which he insulted John Myung which almost led to blows. Eventually the band let him go, citing that they would never be a success with him in the band.

Afterwards[edit | edit source]

In the dawn of 1994 Chris Collins set forth to create an original metal band he would call Winterspell. The name was derived from a poem that he had written in the early 90's that he had set to acoustic music off the album Supercalafragilistic Extreoverdosus. Most of that album was lost in a house fire but a raw version of "Winterspell" still exists. He also recreated two of the songs that he now calls the "Mourning Star" Project. Caught in a quagmire of cover bands and unoriginality, the local scene finally persuaded him to join forces with some local tributes such as "Snowblind", "Never Enough", "Scorched Earth", "Speak of the Devil", and "Live After Death". 

While continuing to write he tampered with the thought of being a cover band artist, but always the original Chris's heart was not prepared to follow the trend of recreating other people's music; and so he approached Guitarist Tommy Conforti from Snowblind about some of his original metal. Chris always felt strongly about Tommy's sound and demanded a disc of his material so that he could prepare some vocals for it and he did. Needing to establish a full band, he pieced together remnants of an already dissolving band called "Guardians of the Flame", adding Tony Mattassa and Joey Lycon to the mix and so Winterspell was born. Following his passion for unusual and different sounding music, Tommy was definitely the man for the job at the time, with a sound that seemed to come from someplace not of this world. Collins latched on to that energy and made it his own with songs like "Well of souls", "The Eucharist", "Seriokill" and "Dust Becomes my Home". Some definite progress was made but soon after the band dissipated due to personal differences.

Collins and drummer Tony Mattassa forged on to many and several line up changes. Things looked very bleak. But due to their persistence they stuck it out together and plugged the life support back in with guitarist Pete Maglia of "Savior" and bass player Chris Kelly. Pete was a definite team player and true brother and initiated by learning some of Collins's music and we seemed to have a definite kick start and a new revival to the band. Pete was the savior at the time in the spring of 2005. But it wasn't until Dennis Sadlo joined that "Winterspell" truly became a fully dynamic and progressive band that transcended into something very significant.

"That line up gave us a little flavor of what we could become but towards the end of that season just after our first show and just as the band was truly kicking it off we ran into some problems that no one could foresee. so we had to wait another two years to recover, and it wasn't until the spring of '08 that we could continue where we left off .So in the spring of '08 with the same line up from '05 we continued with a new and stronger determination to make up for the lost time. Pumping out a new breed of "Winterspell" with power metal roots and a touch of Death. Thus the title "Touch of Death" the new "Winterspell" album being released in 2011.""

Discography[edit | edit source]

  • 1989 - Lazarus - A Tale of Tomorrow - 3 Song EP
  • 2004 - The Majesty Demos with Dream Theater (as Majesty)
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