These days, Zach Blair can be heard playing lead guitar in the world-renowned punk outfit Rise Against as well as Drakulas, his excellent side project. Before he was part of those bands, the guitarist was sporting formal wear as a member of Hagfish, touring overseas with a punk supergroup called Only Crime, and wearing 60 pounds of prosthetics to play the part of “Flattus Maximus” in GWAR. And prior to any of that, Blair was a kid in Sherman, Texas who was listening to his dad’s record collection and learning to play guitar.

Recently, My First Band host Tyler Maas got a chance to speak with Blair and hear some amazing stories for his 30-plus-years in music. Over the course of the hour-long discussion, they discussed the guitarist’s lengthy tenure in Hagfish with his brother Doni, the unexpected circumstances that led to him joining GWAR (and the tragedy that brought him back to the band for a short time), memorable stints in Armstrong and Only Crime, and how he wound up joining Rise Against. Along the way, Blair also talked about ways he’s keeping busy during a rare span of time in which he’s not touring, all the amazing experiences he’s been able to have with Rise Against, and Drakulas’ great new record entitled Terminal Amusements.

My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. Music used in this show comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and Drakulas (“Dark Black”).