What’s up Metalheads and Hard Rockers!? If you’ve been tuned into the local Hard Rock & Metal scene in Nova Scotia for the past couple of years, you’ll have no doubt have heard their music or seen Chaos Theory live at a local club gig. Their self-titled release in the spring of 2012 has earned them several prestigious acclaims including Loud Recording of the year, as well as Faces Choice Awards fan voted categories for Best Rock Band and Best Music Video + Single. Chaos Theory is looking to continue building momentum and grow as a powerful force in the local heavy music scene by unleashing their follow up album ‘We Are Disaster’ upon the world very soon.
So April 27, 2012. Tell me what the past year has been like for Chaos Theory?
Rock: It’s been like… 365 days of work that seems to keep paying off! Seriously, we’ve had a lot of cool things to celebrate, but we stay very focused on the work load. We have been very fortunate and have met some amazing people in this two year journey that have supported us more than we could have ever imagined.
Lex: Yes, it’s been both exciting and busy! When the album was released last year we started really working on getting our sound out there with some marketing campaigns because we now have tangible music to promote. However, as if there was a delayed reaction to the official release, the album started gaining recognition months later and doors started opening for us. It’s a wonderful thing and we are so humble and grateful that our hard work and dedication is paying off.
You’re currently working on a new album, tell me a bit about the CT writing process, does one person handle that duty, or is it more of a collaboration effort? Also, what do you find works best to capture the vibe you’re looking to bookmark, and preferred recording methods when creating?
Rock: Well there are no set rules, we welcome all ideas from everyone. That being said Lex writes the bulk of the riffs and I write the bulk of the lyrics and melodies. On the first record there was already 4-5 songs that were written prior to when Tim, Scott, and I joined the band by both Craig and Lex. To their credit they gave me complete control to overhaul anything I felt would make it a better song, however, again to their credit there were a lot of things I left in place. It’s all about making music that we would enjoy listening to ourselves, anything else would feel very false. On the second record there is a lot more collaboration going on in the music side of things, the boys have scheduled “strings only” sessions just to work on the music, having each other there is helping the cream to rise to the top and thusly giving me a viable playground for me to work with. As far as recording goes, lets just say we have come leaps and bounds since the last album. I have spent the last year focusing my efforts in the roles of songwriter, engineer and producer and I think people will be pumped when they hear the results!
Lex: Rock pretty much took the words out of my mouth LOL. To reiterate a bit, I had some of the songs from the debut album written as far back as the band was conceived in 2008 (wow 5 years!) but like Rock said, I wanted to give him, Tim and Scott full creative control. What is exciting about the new album, and future albums for that matter, is that we have grown together as friends and artists and really painted a picture of what CT is all about. We bring our ideas together and together make new music.
How receptive or cooperative are the local venues to a heavier sound? My great idea would be a sort of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal spot who doesn’t just cater to the late night crowd, but perhaps from a 9 pm – 1 am time slot, much like ‘Gas Works’ from the movie Wayne’s World. Do you feel local venues are moving in the right direction for a greater acceptance for local heavy music?
Rock: Some venues understand that scene has to be built with consistency over time with marketing campaigns that are focused, some never will. You can’t be all things to all people, you end up being nothing to everyone. As far as your suggestion, I think earlier shows are a great idea, especially for fans who have to work or even those who are just at a point in their life when being at a club till 3 AM is not something they want to be doing. Honestly, I would say most of the venues we have played love what we are doing and support the scene well, and have supported other heavy rock/metal bands as well. There are always politics at play when it comes to any industry, we try to focus on what we do well and if that doesn’t get us in a venue or on a bill then it’s not a place we want to be anyway. We kind of straddle a line between heavy rock and metal that seems to have a wider appeal than some of the other heavy genres. We focus on writing melodies and hooks that stick with you, I have always been drawn to melodic music and there are a whole generation of people that grew up in a time when music was not a disposable commodity, and they want something new and something real. I think our fans are people like me, people who like to experience music in a very real primal form. Personally, I don’t like dividing genres, that’s just the type of fan I am. I am a fan of music. I am a fan of hard work. I am a fan of talent. I think that is something you gain with maturity. Venues who cater to these people are venues where you will find us.
Lex: Lately there seems to be a good vibe with trying to gain more heavy rock/metal awareness within east coast venues. As with every attempt to light up the scene, politics and genre wars seem to pop up. I would say though we have been very fortunate with the bands and shows we have been involved with the past few years. It’s nice to see many people pouring their hearts into revitalizing the heavier rock & metal scene.
Everyone always asks in interviews who your base line influences are, what started it all for you, but who, say from the past 10 years are currently on your radar?
Rock: For me, most of the new stuff I really enjoy is local to Canada’s East Coast. There are so many talented artists in every genre of music. I’ve been fortunate enough to get to hang out with a lot of my favorite bands and have become good friends with many of them. I love what 7 Mile Stare does, Armada Drive released one of my favourite east coast albums of all time. Oceans Will Rise blew me away with their debut album. Alert the Medic only write amazing rock songs. The boys in My Living Will and Brite VU are making great radio ready pop/rock. As far as more well known acts (sort of), I point to Trivium, and Sevendust, and my favorite artist is Richie Kotzen who continues to amaze me.
Lex: I have always been a fan of modern alternative metal/rock artists and although my roots come from bands like Metallica & Megadeth, bands that stick in my mind would be Avenged Sevenfold, Tool, Godsmack, Sevendust, Ear Shot and most recently Soil. I just love to be wowed by catchy heavy and epic sounds.
In this day of social media, where there are more and more ways for a band to get their material accessible to their fans, how is CT utilizing this form of ‘tape trading’ and have you found it useful?
Lex: I’m constantly fine tuning our social media efforts. The issues with social media promoting is that everyone can do it meaning there is a ton of bands trying to gain recognition. If you follow what everyone else is doing then you will get lost and buried in the shuffle. We are always trying to stand out and try different approaches. We seem to be doing well so I must be doing something right LOL.
Rock: Who knows what it does really. On the surface it seems to have done wonders, but it seems more and more that it is becoming too big, too disconnected, too saturated. I find myself using it less and less and getting similar results. Early on there is no question, it helped a lot, that’s how we got noticed initially. But now such a large percentage of your subscribers never see your postings, I’m more inclined to go back to relying mainly on our email list. Lex spends an unheard of amount of time marketing this band in every nook and cranny on the web, he’s doing something right, but for me I am less and less inclined to read my news feeds everyday.
I’m driving down the road and see a van with a CT decal in the back window, you look out at a crowd and see that your merch is selling well, apparent by the shirts worn by those in attendance etc. What to you is a sign of success, that things are going well, that you’re hard work, dedication, and sacrifices are being rewarded?
Rock: I already have been successful; my life is awesome in all facets! It’s not an accident, I made it this way, it took some time, hard work and a lot of lessons to finally get here, but I am 100 percent happy with my life, THAT is true success! As far as success in music, I don’t know… the widely accepted view of success is not something that is up to me. All I can do is make the music I want to make, make it to the best of my ability and stay honest within it. I do that every day whether it is with Chaos Theory, my solo project or one of my other acts, I am doing what I always wanted to do with my life. The fact that people are digging what we are doing, and supporting it with their hard earned dollars is very humbling to me and I want to squeeze everyone of them as tight as I can. I am my music, my music is me, without it I am as lost as everyone else in the world.
Lex: I think there is a great degree of success. I don’t think I would be where I am today without living and learning from the past. I would call that a success. I won’t lie to you, my dream has always been to wake up and make a living from making and performing music. I always wanted to be a quote “Rock star” since I first saw the “Paradise City” video at the age of 13. I have been told from family and friends that it’s a pipeline dream. Whatever dream it may be, I just love the fact I can keep doing this and have fun doing it. I know it’s a tough world in the music industry and that just fuels me to keep moving forward!
Rock: Yeah, that’s the sentiment you generally get from jaded people who have spent their lives dedicated to what makes them miserable. Resigning yourself to the mundane nature of the status quo, and pushing your passions to the sideline doesn’t somehow make you more grounded or give you an enlightened perspective on life. It’s a shame that so many people take the living out of life and replace it with responsibilities. I often wonder if people are living the lives they would want for their children. To each their own, but I’m willing to bet if people were truly honest with themselves they may not tuck their aspirations away so early. I’m not saying people should act irresponsibly, but make sure that the responsibilities you take on are truly worth what you have to give up.
Lex: Thank you Kirk for giving us this wonderful opportunity to share our love for music to music lovers like you! \m/\m/
Posted May 13, 2013 by By Kirk Moulaison of Atlantic Canada Rocks