''This isn’t the same band it was before, this is a new Chiodos'' - hmv.com gets real with the reunited rockers
Michigan post-hardcore troupe Chiodos have packed more trials and turbulence into their 12-year history as a band then most groups get through in a lifetime.
Formed in 2001, the band quickly developed a devoted fanbase and after relentless touring were soon signed to Equal Vision Records.
Their debut album All’s Well That Ends Well came in 2005, followed by 2007’s hugely acclaimed Bone Palace Ballet. The band toured hard, including several stints on the Warped Tour and were building a huge fanbase. But, in September 2009, that all seemed like it would come to nothing when it was announced the singer Craig Owens had been let go.
The band soon regrouped with former Yesterday’s Rising Brandon Bolmer, while Owens went off and formed new outfit D.R.U.G.S and that seemed to be that.
But then in March, Chiodos revealed that Bolmer had departed the band and then, less than a month later, they shocked fans by announcing that Owens was back and they’ve been back on tour ever since.
Earlier this year, the band entered the studio with producer David Bottrill (a man who counts Tool, Muse and Stone Sour among his previous credits) and have now completed work on their new album, their first since 2010’s Illuminaudio and their first with Owens since 2007.
We caught up with Owens and keyboard player Bradley Bell to talk about their reunion and what fans can expect from their new record:
You’ve thrown yourselves back into touring, how are you finding it?
Bradley: We’ve enjoying it again. Obviously we had a little break, but we’ve been able to get back into it. We’re feeling comfortable and we’re having more fun than we’ve ever had before I think.
Has it been easy being back together again? Did you quickly slip into the old routine?
Craig: Here’s my thing right. I know it sounds better to say ‘It’s all cool, it’s just like old times, there’s no difference’, but it’s not true. We’re not in the same place we were before, we’re not. This isn’t the same band it was before, this is a new Chiodos. We needed time to get used to each other again, but we’re in much much better place now.
You decided to tour first rather than go away and make a new record and then tour, why do it that way round?
Craig: Basically, we started out to play shows and with this, we wanted to get closure. We decided to do a record after a while, but it was important for us to slowly get into it. Everybody wants to win so badly that they forget why they do this. For us, this had to be organic, it had to be.
It would have been smarter to make a record and then tour on it, but the chances are, we’d have ended up in exactly the same place we were before. We needed to work on our relationships and really feel comfortable. We could have gone straight into the studio, but we wouldn’t have ended up with a record that was as good.
Bradley: I agree, it gave us more time to figure out how we worked best and the kind of record we wanted to make.
Craig: This way, everybody got to contribute too, in a really meaningful way. We were so much better prepared than we would have been.
So is the record done? Is it ready to go?
Bradley: It’s done, but it’s not ready to go. It’s being mixed right now, we’ve had a few mixes back already and we’re going back and forth with those.
Do you have a title for it yet?
Craig: We’re still undecided on that. We’ve got a couple of names we’re throwing around. We need to sit down and figure it out. We finished the record, we had four days off and then we flew over here, so we need to sit down, get some perspective on the record and then give it a title.
How would you say the record moves on from your previous efforts? Does it show a progression?
Craig: Oh yeah, I think it’s perfect. Not the record, but the progression.
Bradley: Absolutely, it keeps all the elements that were on our previous records and brings them together. But I think it shows we’re all pulling the same direction, obviously we’ve been apart and come back together and we’ve able to bring everything we’ve learned to the table.
Finally, what have been your favourite records of 2013?
Craig: Wow, I’d have to say Jon Connor and his record Unconscious State. He’s this rapper from Flint, Michigan and he’s just signed to Dr Dre’s Aftermath label. It’s such a great record.
Chiodos’ as yet untitled fourth album will come out in 2014. You can check out the rest of their back catalogue here.