Written and directed by French filmmakers Antoine De Montremy and Laurent Hart (whose music production career includes televised interviews with SCORPIONS, DEEP PURPLE, SLAYER, GUNS N’ ROSES and more), “Mean Man: The Story Of Chris Holmes” was a project that was born in 2014 after they had an opportunity to meet and direct Holmes in a music video for the Holmes-penned song “Let It Roar” in Cannes, France. At that time, the former W.A.S.P. guitarist had more or less disappeared from the music scene, leaving his home in the U.S. to seek a new beginning with his wife Sarah in France. Not content with merely directing a music video for the reborn Holmes, De Montremy pursued his bigger dream of writing and directing a documentary film about this iconic metal guitar legend, and for the next several years shadowed him throughout Europe while filming everything from band rehearsals, to recording sessions to live performances.
By creatively combining archival footage, interviews with past and present band members and musical peers, family members and childhood friends — interspersed with beautifully filmed concert performances of Holmes‘s current solo band — De Montremy skillfully portrays the story of an iconic guitar player who has lived a life of extreme highs and lows. After losing the publishing rights of his own songs and combatting dangerous addictions, the legendary W.A.S.P. guitarist is shown starting over from scratch while living at his mother-in-law’s in Cannes, France as he puts together, with his wife, a brand new band and a brand new musical role as not only the main guitarist, but now as the actual lead singer of this newly born musical project aptly named MEAN MAN.
Says De Montremy: “Over the last five years, I’ve had the privilege to establish a true relationship with Chris Holmes and to follow him throughout Europe. I was impressed by his charisma, his approach towards life, his multiple experiences and taste for simplicity which have actually altered my own vision of existence. In fact, he has almost become a spiritual father to me, in the way that he inspired me in many of my own decisions.”
Holmes joined W.A.S.P. in 1982 and remained with the group until 1990. In 1996, the guitarist returned to W.A.S.P. and stayed with the band until 2001. Chris has not played with W.A.S.P. since.
During a November 2017 press conference in Moscow, Russia, W.A.S.P. leader Blackie Lawless was asked what he would say to those fans who continue to call for the band to reunite with Holmes. He responded: “People get divorced for certain reasons, and there’s times when the kids want the parents to get back together, but sometimes it never happens. And this is one of those [times]. Sorry.”