Chris Traynor was born on June 22, 1973 and hails from Long Island in New York City.
He cut his teeth in the early 90’s post-hardcore scene. As a founding member of the highly influential band Orange 9mm, Traynor developed a unique style of guitar and bass in the studio. Along side of Chaka Malik, Chris went onto record 3 albums with the band including Orange 9mm, Driver Not Included and Tragic. Before the touring for their third album began Chris departed to play with another highly popular band Helmet.
Traynor moved on to become an official member of the seminal rock band Helmet on their third studio record, Aftertaste. He was was recruited for the supporting tour of Aftertaste which was recorded by their 3 remaining members prior to Chris’s arrival. He had worked on and off with the band for ten years through out the band’s breakup and reuniting before finally departing himself in 2006.
While on tour with Helmet, Chris was noticed by producer Dave Sardy, and recommended as replacement guitarist in 2001 for the multi-platinum selling rock band Bush. Bush’s guitartist at the time, Nigel Pulsford, had backed out of their current tour midstream. Traynor came on board to help finish out the rest of the tour. After the tour Bush was put on the back burner until some time later when it was announced that Bush was no more.
In between Helmet’s down time and the fall of Bush, Traynor joined up with Rival Schools. Rival Schools long time guitarist, Ian Love, had left the band in 2002 making way for Chris. They recorded a bunch of songs together, but never released an album. By September 2003 the band split and Chris along with fellow bandmate Cache Tolman headed off to do a new project with a familiar friend, Gavin Rossdale.
After a year as a touring member of the band Bush, Traynor and singer Gavin Rossdale began writing songs for a different project; which would later become Institute. Their first and only studio album titled Distort Yourself received only mild success on the airwaves. They toured throughout the United States as well as Europe before finally calling it quits in 2005.
The culmination of the time Traynor spent with Rossdale resulted in the release of Rossdale’s solo record WANDERlust, produced by Bob Rock and featuring the hit single “Love Remains The Same”. WANDERlust had nation wide success in the United States. Chris toured in support of WANDERlust in 2008 and 2009.
In June 2010, it was announced that Bush was back together. Since the original lead guitarist was not returning for the reunion Chris naturally stepped up to become a permanent member of Bush. While on tour in 2012, Chris joined up with Guitar World to keep an online journal from the road.
After Bush’s tour wrapped in early 2015, Chris would reveal that he had been working on a new project in a band called ‘High Desert Fires’. He made some new music of his own and recruited some of his close friends to help bring his sound to life.
“It’s really intimidating. Bush is doing a cover of “Come Together” where we altered the song a little and it’s been getting a great reaction but it’s always a little bit scary to take something you think is fairly sacred and play it because you’re not gonna be better than the Beatles. I don’t care who you are. Yeah, that stuff was a huge influence on me. When my daughter was born, I put down the guitar for a month and I would listen to Beatles’ records first on the left and then on the right to kind of hear all the parts. I got way deep into the Beatles.” – Chris Traynor