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17chrysalis 1— the genesis of Chrysalis

The band’s uptempo track “My Eternity” finds its way on the latest installment of StripJointsMusic
story by Eugenio Torrens of ED Publications

Vocalist Yessi Burton was visiting his hometown of Barstow, California in 2002 for a two-week trip. The day before he was due to fly back to Colorado, Burton happened to meet drummer Billy Norris at a community pool where there was a local band playing covers of bands like System of a Down and Pantera. Burton was singing along when Norris heard him.


“I think I was definitely trying to get his attention because I knew he was a drummer,” Burton says. “It worked. I caught his attention by singing the words to Pantera’s ‘Walk.’ He was impressed.”

Norris told Burton he had a good scream and a band-worthy voice, which was the exact reaction Burton was looking for. That led to a jam session at Norris’ house.

“The rest is pretty much history,” Burton says. “I do always emphasize how amazingly coincidental it was that we met each other. It was a very special thing for this group of guys to have come together in such a small town where opportunities are very limited. In our situation, you either get into drugs or you get into music. That’s the environment we grew up in.

“It’s even worse now,” Burton adds. “When I see the youth of Barstow it makes me sad, but equally it makes me feel even luckier to have met these guys. In today’s climate in
our small town, I don’t know if I ever would have met these guys.”

Fast forward 14 years and Chrysalis is now a five-piece band comprised of Burton (vocals), Norris (drums), Jared Sturgis (bass), Chris Norris (guitar, backing vocals) and Gabe Gallego (guitar, backing vocals). The band just released their third album, “Reminder,” which serves as a platform for material not released on earlier albums along with songs conceived in the studio.

“The creative process that goes into writing an album is its own artistic form,” Burton says. “You never really know how it’s going to come together, you just go for it. It’s kind of like having a child.”

It certainly helped Chrysalis to have producer Ulrich Wild (Deftones, Pantera) in their corner. Burton says Wild’s musical expertise was a teaching moment. In fact, it was Wild who led Chrysalis to singer Brigitte Roka, who provided the band’s first-ever guest vocals on the album’s opening track, “My Eternity,” which is featured on the latest installment of StripJoints, available exclusively to adult nightclub DJs (via The track was actually devised by Burton and ex-girlfriend Abby Sewell years before the record came out. Burton says it originally had a bluesy feel—despite its revenge motif—but that when it was presented to the rest of the band, they morphed it into something with a lot more energy reflective of Chrysalis.

17chrysalis 2“I think what we’re doing on ‘My Eternity’ is the bread and butter of the band,” Burton says. “Not necessarily metal, it’s more energetic.”

It’s that energy—or tempo, as Burton put it—that lends “My Eternity” to be played in an adult nightclub. While “My Eternity” may be perceived as a really dark song at a club, there’s a precedent for it with Meg Myers’ “Desire,” which Burton has been listening to and gained popularity in strip clubs for its provocative lyrics and tempo.

“I’ve seen ladies in the past dance to some pretty heavy songs, it just has to have the right tempo,” says Burton, who laments the band doesn’t quite have the latitude to see entertainers dance to their tunes.

“No, we don’t have that kind of money,” Burton says, half jokingly. “We’re trying to maximize profit and that just wouldn’t be the case if we were out living the nightlife.”

For more information on StripJoints for adult nightclub DJs, visit

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