Music Was All I Ever Cared About. Then My Voice Went Silent.
--A Note from Christopher Mars
I grew up worshipping bands like Sepultura and Napalm Death and joined my first band when I was 15. It was a death metal band and we had loads of fun. But I dealt with vocal issues from the start because I was doing everything wrong.
When I was 17, I realized I was losing the high notes out of my voice. We had just signed a record deal and were getting ready to go on tour, but my voice was going downhill. I begged the record label and the guys in the band to cancel our next show, but they said it was all in my head. I’d be fine.
The Night the Music Died
Two songs into our 45-minute set, I completely lost my voice. I had to play guitar for the rest of the show. The feeling of humiliation and hopelessness I felt that night is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
Music isn’t just my passion. It’s all I ever cared about. And my voice was shot.
A vocal doctor diagnosed me with some condition that caused my vocal cords to swell and blood vessels to grow where they shouldn’t be growing. I sounded like an old lady who had been smoking two packs a day for 40 years.
I created so much trauma on my vocal cords that the only way to heal was to be completely silent for 30 days. Not even a whisper. I was told that if I ever start singing the way I did before, I’d be back in the same position, maybe with permanent damage.
I went from about to go on tour to complete silence, with no other choice but to sing differently. I couldn’t find a metal vocal coach who could teach me how to sing the right way, so I learned on my own.
The Road Back
I eventually learned that singing lighter is the key to sounding aggressive. You have to relax and not push, which seemed totally counterintuitive. After four years of trial and error, combining the methods of about a dozen metal vocal coaches, I came up with a method that worked. I knew there were other metal singers dealing with the same issues, so I decided to share what I’d learned and help people sing the right way.
I started vocal coaching in 2005 in North Carolina before moving to Colorado. I mostly taught on weekends. One night after a performance, I was approached by a friend, who said, “Do you want to do that for a living? Because you can.”
My friend became my business manager and I quit my job six months later to become a full-time metal vocal coach. Today, Mars Vocal works with metal vocalists around the world, helping them do things with their voice that blow their minds. They sing, scream, growl and shriek, but they do it without damaging their voice.
Instead of struggling to survive, they have the confidence to own the stage. Because when it comes to metal, hardcore and extreme music, it’s not just about survival. It’s about domination. Let us help you dominate.
Founder, Mars Vocal