Free Reign is a heavy metal quartet consisting of three NFL football players (Dallas Cowboys right tackle Marc Colombo on vocals, right guard Leonard Davis on bass and Miami Dolphin center/guard Cory Procter on drums), and accomplished Texas guitarist Justin Chapman.
The band has followed up last year’s five-song release, “Tragedy,” with the release of an all-new single, “One Step Away” on their own label, DC Rightside Music; and a new, full-length studio album is soon to follow in April 2011.
Colombo, Davis and Chapman recently gave Goldmine their 10 Albums that changed their lives.
Metallica – Kill ‘Em All
Marc Colombo: It was so raw. “Ride the Lightning,” “Master of Puppets,” “… And Justice for All” … they’re not commercial albums but when you listen to “Kill ‘Em All,” in respect to those albums, it’s just so raw. It just seemed like a time when they just said ‘Screw You!’ They were just writing some unbelievable songs. It was fast, and it wasn’t polished. The only way to describe it was that it was amazing.
Slayer – Reign in Blood
Marc Colombo: Probably my second favorite album of all time. From “Angel of Death” to the end, it’s all out. There isn’t an album in the ’80s that can touch it from a thrash standpoint. I’ll put the album against any thrash album.
Pantera – Vulgar Display of Power
Justin Chapman: Pantera is a big influence. Darrell’s guitar playing is so incredibly hard to do. I had a lot of trouble with his guitar solos. It inspired me to play better but I never really learned his solos very well to build off that. It was inspiration just because it was so beyond what I could do and it inspired me to be better.
Alice in Chains – Dirt
Marc Colombo: That’s one of my favorite albums ever. To this day I’m like … it’s unbelievable. Growing up, every single album by them (Alice in Chains), I was eating it up. And “Dirt” was probably start to finish their best album, I believe. It was one of those albums that, when I was younger, where if you are in any mood, you could listen to it. It had every single emotion in there. It was so personal, that entire album. It was versatile, it had everything and it was much different than anybody. You could consider them (Alice in Chains) one of the heaviest bands of all time, just in the way they play, but also the harmonies they had, no one can touch that. That album was really influential in what I wanted to do, songwriting-wise.
Metallica – Master of Puppets
Justin Chapman: That’s probably the biggest, for me. As soon as I heard “Master of Puppets,” I said I have to play that song, and I worked on that song for months and months. And the result of it is my right hand, the speed of it. People are always surprised on how fast I can pick and its because of that song, you know.
AC/DC – Back in Black
Justin Chapman: That was a big one. You can’t really hear AC/DC in our music but it was a big influence. When I heard Angus Young play — and his showmanship onstage — it was another big influence that made me want to play guitar. He’s influential in my guitar abilities.
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble – Texas Flood
Leonard Davis: It’s the combination of that voice and how he could play the guitar. It’s everything that goes into it that makes it the right sound.
Justin Chapman: His tone is such where he could play the guitar in so many different ways. Not many people can do that and not many people have a tone that is so recognizable.
Iron Maiden – Powerslave
Marc Colombo: One of my favorite Iron Maiden albums ever. Instrumentally, “Somewhere in Time” is one of the coolest ones but “Powerslave” was somewhere in between “Somewhere in Time” and “Number of the Beast.” It was their most polished album and from start to finish it blows your mind on just how talented they are.
Megadeth – Countdown to Extinction
Marc Colombo: That was one of the first albums that got me into metal. I saw Megadeth on the Countdown to Extinction tour and it was one of the coolest things. Overall, the album … it just kills it. I think on Megadeth’s earlier albums, some of the songs were strong but as whole entire albums it wasn’t ever like Metallica. You know Metallica albums would from start to finish blow your mind. I think David Mustaine’s ability to play guitar and sing with those riffs… bar none. He’s the best. But as a band I think “Countdown to Extinction” was where they really put it together for the first time.
Ozzy – Blizzard of Ozz
Justin Chapman: “Blizzard of Ozz was probably one of the best albums ever made. Randy Rhoads was just incredible. At the time he was like a genus. No one was really playing like that. There was no telling what would have happened if he had lived. And he really got Ozzy going again. “Crazy Train” and “Mr. Crowley” … just those two songs there were big for me, guitar-wise.