By Carl Begai
When Trans-Siberian Orchestra / Savatage guitarist Chris Caffery refers to Tears Of The Sun, he’s not talking about a new sadboy love song he’s just written, or taking a shot at launching a Broadway play. Nope. Tears Of The Sun is, in fact, a Caffery-created hot sauce that has gone from his kitchen to the stores through a series of fortunate coincidences. And unlike a lot of “celebrity” marketed products – which usually feature little or no actual input from the star in question even though his/her name is slapped on the label – Caffery can lay claim to having created Tears Of The Sun hot sauce from scratch.
“All of it is my recipe, actually, because I’ve been cooking my entire life,” says Caffery. “Steve Seabury at High River Sauces is responsible for getting it out there. The whole idea of making the hot sauce company that he has came about while he was managing some of my solo stuff and dipping his feet into the food business at the same time. I gave him some of the hot sauce I’d made at a business meeting, and he really liked it. From there Steve eventually got into doing it as a business, but this recipe is 100% mine. I measured the ingredients and sent it to the guy that was making it; they cooked it off of that. I had them tweak it a little bit because I wasn’t completely happy with the way it came out, and we ended up with the hot sauce we have now.”
“It’s not like I’m just stamping my name on a bottle,” he continues. “In fact, I didn’t put my name on it at all because I didn’t want it to be presented as ‘Here, a musician put his name on some salsa.’ I wanted to make something that would actually get taken seriously, and it won two really big national hot sauce awards since it hit the market; Best New Hot Sauce Of The Year and Best Fruit-Based Habanero Sauce. I think that if we would have said it’s Chris Caffery’s Hot Sauce, that wouldn’t have happened.”
In a separate interview, Seabury offered some additional details as to how he and Caffery came to work together on Tears Of The Sun.
“Chris and I have known each other for a long time. He was looking to release his solo records, so I helped him out with getting a digital deal. When I was putting together the Mosh Potatoes Cookbook I asked him to be part of it. We’re both very much metal heads and food junkies. I met him up in the city to catch up with him and he pulled out a mason jar full of hot sauce. It was an amazing sauce. We both discussed or passion for hot sauces. About a year later, after making my own hot sauces and with the cookbook doing really well, my friends and family were pushing me to go commercial with my sauces. So one day I decided to do just that.”
“I’m one of the owners of the Metal Alliance Tour and I decided that it would be awesome to sell my sauces on the tour and see what people thought. It just took off from there. The next thing I knew I was getting my sauces sold on the Mayhem Tour, Vans Warped Tour and the Throwdown Tour. Chris and I were speaking about making his sauce. We traded notes, samples and other ideas and I finally released Tears Of The Sun. We’re now discussing about working together on some other stuff because Chris as a real talent for making some great sauces.”
Caffery, who only has small windows of time to take care of hot sauce business due to a rigorous touring schedule, credits Seabury for turning Tears Of The Sun into a talked-about product. At press time it was only available in the US due to high (therefore prohibitive) international shipping costs, but Seabury confirmed that he’s looking for ways to service the worldwide market. He has also launched the new Top Fuel Verde Sauce in collaboration with Ratt frontman Stephen Pearcy and Food Network chef Chris Santos.
“Steve’s a real go-getter,” he warns. “Just watch, he’s going to do something huge with this company. He’s extremely motivated, and I’m so proud of what this dude has done with it. He’s taken something that was just an idea and ran with it. He had a High River Sauces party in New Jersey a while ago and it was crazy to see the buzz he has going. He’s got a lot of good things going on, and the foodie world is a booming little business.”
“People need to eat,” Caffery adds, “and the advantage it has over the music industry is that if somebody likes your hot sauce and they finish it, they’ll go any buy another one. You can’t download hot sauce (laughs).”
Go to this location to check out what High River Sauces has to offer. US residents can purchase their products via the site.
It’s recommended that folks outside the US find some American friends and suck up to their inherently good natures in order score the hot sauces while Seabury solves the international distribution situation.
Show Caffery and High River Sauces some love here.