Christopher John Holmes grew up in La Canada, California. Together with Blackie Lawless and Randy Piper, he was one the founding members of the heavy metal band W.A.S.P. Chris is a heavy metal guitarist and songwriter who started his musical career in the Pasadena, California area in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He is best known as the lead guitarist of W.A.S.P.. Prior to meeting Blackie Lawless and Randy Piper, and joining W.A.S.P., Holmes played guitar with L.A. bands Buster Savage, LAX, and Slave. Holmes was a member of W.A.S.P. first from 1983 to 1990, and again from 1996 to 2001.
While a member of W.A.S.P., Holmes participated in the filming of the documentary film, The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years. The film included interviews with many well-known heavy metal personalities of the era discussing their lifestyle and the metal scene in late 1980s Los Angeles.
Holmes’ contribution to the 1988 documentary is perhaps the most memorable, as he was interviewed while floating in a swimming pool, fully clothed and visibly quite intoxicated while his mother sat poolside. The interview stood out in stark contrast to the more light-hearted and humorous interviews conducted by director Penelope Spheeris, which mostly portrayed rockers as good-natured, though often dimwitted or deluded, party animals. During the interview, Holmes smiled drunkenly at the camera, deeming himself “a full-blown alcoholic” and “a piece of crap” despite his band’s success, and punctuated his remarks by guzzling from three bottles of vodka. At the end of the interview, Holmes upends a full bottle of Smirnoff over his head as he rolls out of his inflatable chair and into the water.