Little Legg and the Lasala bros, pre-internet days.
Christopher Adam Lasala (a.k.a. Chris Legg, Xxiou - pronounced Zoo) was born September 8, 1975, in New Haven, Ct. He was the youngest of three brothers, with me (Dave) in the middle and older brother Mike leading the way. There is too much to say for this to be an exhaustive biography of Chris, so I will focus on key details about him.
I will start with something Xxiou-related. If you didn't know, Xxiou was Chris' online persona in the No Man's Sky gaming community. However, the origin of the name goes all the way back to Chris' Everquest Days. But in terms of a chronology of his passions, I bring Xxiou up first because Chris' love for video games started early, with mid-80s Nintendo. And even then, he liked company while playing.
Mike and I watched him play as much as our important teenage schedules allowed. I remember he was especially partial to games with secrets and discovery, like Super Mario Brothers and The Legend of Zelda. But as much as he loved Nintendo, he switched to a Sega console when Nintendo released Mortal Kombat without its controversial blood. Given that one of his other passions was Kiss, a classic rock band featuring a blood-spitting "demon" on bass, I'm not surprised. It made sense he became a game streamer, entertaining an enthused community. Not just for his love for video games but because he had also done it years earlier as a musician.
In mid-1990s New Haven, there was a pretty decent music scene. Well, "pretty decent" generally, but for Hardcore Punk, it was epic. Chris took to Hardcore music effortlessly. Not just because it was an extension of the skateboard culture he was into, but Hardcore was a beautiful outlet for anger and frustration, and music was the Lasala brothers' favorite way to express those things.
Chris Legg playing some Hardcore gig in the early 1990's
Chris's first original music was a short cassette called System. I think our mutual friend Glenn Maryansky had his band play the instruments as Chris screamed his lyrics. I vaguely remember helping with the recording and the cassette sleeve; the cover used the famous 1963 photo of the Buddhist monk Thích Quang Duc burning himself in protest BEFORE Rage Against the Machine used it. Then after Chris learned to play guitar, his next band was Breakfaith, who I think I saw play their first show at the Tune Inn in New Haven. After that, probably around 1994, Chris had a band called Robot, though I don't know if they ever played a show. In fact, the only reason I remember them now is they were supposed to open at the one and only blow-out that Mike and I had at our Daggett Street loft to showcase our band, Dysfunctional. Robot didn't make it, so someone else opened, possibly Major Biscuit. I think that show was also an early gig for Bug before they changed their name to The Butterflies of Love.
Robot wasn't meant to be, but the next band sure was, being near-legendary from the jump. Trouble Is A Girl was a pop-punk powerhouse with a great sound, incredible energy, and an interesting twist in that Chris wasn't the frontman, but he actually was. By this, I mean they had a fine singer, but Chris was the one who commanded the crowd. Between catchy songs, he was comedian-level hilarious.
Legg practicing, possibly during the TIAG days.
I remember one gig where beloved New Haven promoter Dave Lewis booked Trouble Is A Girl for a show at a club with a brooding emo-ish audience. The crowd was stationary and quietly profound when TIAG took the stage. They started playing, and Chris enthused, "Hey, what's up! We're Trouble Is A Girl!" When the audience didn't loosen their weighty facade, Chris said, "Oh," then put his index finger to his lips and ironically shushed them. And he often told hilarious anecdotes that had nothing to do with the songs. At Toads Place, he asked the audience, "Did you ever drive on a highway and notice random kid's toys, like Bigwheels and kiddy pools dumped down a hill next to it? Why are they there?" People loved it.
Trouble Is A Girl was special, but bands are like relationships. In fact, they're worse. In a typical relationship, two people must learn to live together. In a band, it's three, four, five, etc. And when you're young, especially "twenties-young," you don't always recognize what you should work to keep.
Sometime before, during, or after Trouble Is A Girl broke up, Chris got the nickname Legg, but I don't know exactly where it came from. There were two legends I heard. The first claimed the nickname came from how Chris lept when playing on stage (group leaping was standard in Hardcore). The second had something to do with a ridiculous anecdote he told on the Willoughby's bench in New Haven, which had something to do with anatomy. I wasn't there, but I wish I had been because if that was the one that got him the nickname, it must have been hilarious.
Legg doing the Hardcore Leap at some gig in the 90's.
Chris' next band was a clear evolution of TIAG called Model Chaser, a three-piece with Chris on lead vocals and guitar. Several of their songs were carried over from TIAG, but Model Chaser was more mature in every way. Oddly, that maturity may have worked against them gaining the quick popularity TIAG did. But this is not some Rolling Stone article, so I won't digress into a music culture analysis.
Legg at Best Video teaching Michael Albert how to assist demanding customers.
In the late 1990s, Chris worked at Best Video in the pre-streaming movie rental days. He was a movie enthusiast (some of his favorites included The Warriors, Escape from New York, and The Big Lebowski), and if you loved movies working at Best Video was an embarrassment of riches. And for a while, they had video games. Chris' access let us discover hidden gems like Mister Domino, but the one we were obsessed with was Golden Eye on the Nintendo 64. We put many hours into that game's multiplayer when Chris was free-floating, waiting for the next thing, be it love or a new band.
Each of those came and went in a wash of events that carried Chris into the 2000s. For bands, there was Rocket West, Fastbreak, and The Distance. Somewhere in there, during a good phase, his special lady friend gave him a Sega Dreamcast for his birthday. It was a pretty exciting game console featuring next-gen graphics and early online gaming. After the break up with that gal, Chris stayed with me at Daggett Street, and I watched him play and beat the epic game Shenmue. Of course, he wouldn't be Chris without sarcastic humor, so he made sure to joke about the bizarre Seaman (look it up) and mouse-compatible games. Years later, he withdrew his condemnation of mouse compatibility.
In the early 2010s (07 ish), I finally left Dagget Street after fifteen years and moved into a house rental in Hamden. Chris moved in with me, which was very convenient for him because he still worked at Best Video, and it was walkable. That was when he transitioned into PC gaming, especially MMORPGs, with Everquest being his favorite.
Around 2008 Chris left the rental house to go on tour (I can't remember which band it was). In the fifteen years that followed, we landed in different states with different lives. I became a father, he got married, so did Mike, and all three of us worked full-time jobs. It's noteworthy that Chris worked for Iran Human Rights Documentation Center and Animal Outlook because he was incredibly kindhearted and cared about people's and animals' suffering, even before landing those jobs. But it was sometimes tricky to see within the sarcasm.
2012-ish Legg is thrilled to meet his niece.
During this time, Chris' health issues grew. Eventually, he was diagnosed with fibromyalgia (the same condition as our mother), a chronic disorder that causes pain and tenderness throughout the body, as well as fatigue and trouble sleeping. This impacted Chris' life in every way and compelled him to invest his energy in pursuing methods to help with the pain. He tried many things, but the pain persisted. Despite his discomfort, Chris built a thriving online community celebrating the game No Man's Sky. Since launching his Xxiou Games YouTube channel in 2020, Chris uploaded 613 videos, had over 13,000 subscribers, and amassed 1,928,717 views. Many of his videos focused on supporting new players that wanted to get into the game, and it was common for him to hand out billions in fictional game money to give them a leg up. Or, a Legg up.
One of the last photos of Chris. With Mike.
On June 26, 2023, a household accident ended Chris' life.
Also, the chronic pain he lived with ended. And although I'm sure he would have continued gritting through that constant discomfort, being funny, working, and creating content, I take some solace in knowing that his pain is over. I know I may never feel the same with him gone, but in measure with that, while I'm still here, I choose to celebrate everything Chris did. His death reminds me to cherish the beauty until I catch up with him.
He wrote a Model Chaser song called 'Beautiful,' and surprising no one, it is about a girl. I've heard it a lot this week because I'm remastering the EP for the memorial, and it's taken on a different meaning for me. The song is about him, and now that he's gone, anyone close to Chris will hear that too.
You're so beautiful.