Post-hardcore band Chiodos
first came together back in 2001 at a small venue in downtown Flint, Michigan. Four years later their debut album, All's Well That Ends Well
saw release. Since then, the band has gone from strength to strength. They've appeared on the cover of Alternative Press to a supporting slot on Linkin Park
's 2008 North American arena tour and has toured the United States many times over with such bands as Linkin Park
, My Chemical Romance
, The Used
and Every Time I Die
by their sides.
finally knocked the music world on its collective ear with the arrival of Bone Palace Ballet
their follow-up to All's Well That Ends Well
. Originally released in September of 2007, the album debuted at #5 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart and has since surpassed sales of over 186,000 copies in the United States alone. The album was re-issued in October 2008 as Bone Palace Ballet: Grand Coda
and included four unreleased songs, two acoustic versions, a 30-minute bonus DVD, and three music videos. And recently Equal Vision & Sire Records partnered together to release in the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, and Japan. On the band's recent tour of Australia to play at the nation's annual Soundwave festival, Joe Matera
sat down with Chiodos
' guitar masters Pat McManaman
and Jason Hale
for this interview.
UG: You were actually scheduled to join the Soundwave line up last year, but had to pull out to play with Linkin Park on a US tour.
Yeah the Linkin Park tour was awesome. The guys were fantastic. And on one of the flights, me and Brad [Bell, keys] were flying from Germany to London and when we got to Heathrow Airport, I got kicked off the plane. And when you get kicked off, you have to go and get, all your luggage out. And as I was taking out my guitar, it had its neck broken! So I had to go and buy a new guitar in Japan. It was just a Les Paul rip off but a good guitar.
What caused you to get kicked off the flight?
I had been drinking a little bitwell a lot.
But it was a super early flight!
So did you get to hang out with the Linkin Park guys?
"During our rehearsals we like to jam and try and work things out."
No. But Coheed and Cambria were on it also and since we're mates with them, it was cool hangin' out with those guys.
And how has the Australian tour going so far?
It's going really good. It is fully not what we expected, its fuckin' awesome.
Have you started writing for the next album?
We have some stuff
You are not going reveal anything?
We wrote for two weeks in January and got together like six songs and a bunch of parts. So the process has started. We hope to begin recording the album some time in the coming Fall.
Will it be an extension of where Bone Palace Ballet left off?
I don't think we are going to use as many strings this time. There is going to be a lot more bests and a lot more of the old styled stuff guitar wise.
The diversity in the band's individual musicians' backgrounds obviously is a bonus in the creative sphere?
Yeah it gives us a wider palette to work with.
And it is pretty balanced too because though we are all so different, it eventually sorts each other out.
Is it hard getting a compromise during the songwriting process then?
At first it was but now we've become accustomed to each other's ideas.
(Turning to Pat) Tell me about your guitar influences on the guitar?
"I'm always looking for pink guitars on Ebay."
I don't have any.
You don't have any?
(Turning to Jason) Yours are mostly metal based?
Yeah man. But there is nothing in particular.
Do you sit down and jam together on material?
During our rehearsals we like to jam and try and work things out.
You recently covered Harvey Danger's Flagpole Sitta for the Pop Goes Punk 2 compilation?
Yeah Craig [Owens] our singer chose the song and we recorded in just one day. It was fun to mess around with and record. It turned out a lot better than I thought it would.
What gear do you use live and in the studio?
I had a Gibson SG and JCM 2000 and a Marshall cab in the studio. And a Line 6.
I had a Soldano and an Engl cab and a Marshall amp from the 1960s. Effects were a Boss Chorus, a Super Shifter for those octave parts and a modified the Boss SD Super Overdrive. And Guitar wise, it was a Gibson Les Paul.
And for this Australian tour, what are you using?
On this tour we're hiring gear. As for guitars, I have only two now since I broke one and that happened to be a Les Paul!
I have a Gibson Les Paul and a ESP Lamb of God signature series and a sparkling pink Ibanez RG Prestige. I'm always looking for pink guitars on Ebay and found this one recently.
How do you each go about approaching each other guitar parts?
The parts are already written before we go into the studio. All the songs are written before we even start working on them.
What do you hope to accomplish in 2009?
We are going to do a Warped tour and then probably something else in the Fall, I don't know just yet. I also have another band too that I'm working with.
Casey Bates (Forgive Durden, This Providence) produced Bone Palace Ballet. What did he bring to the process?
"We write and play what we like and if some one hears it and likes it then that's good."
We had like parts that were like sections of songs that we wanted to make a song out off, but we couldn't quite figure it out. And so he helped us out like with two or three songs and actually turned them into songs. And he was really good with structuring things in songs. So we went in with like three or four songs[sic] and he forced us to write three songs a week before we started recording. So he gave us a good push in helping us to get it all done.
So are you going to use him again for the next album?
I don't know.
What provides the inspiration behind the dark imagery aside from Craig's lyrics?
A lot of it comes from the artist, Paul Romano. He is a pretty dark dude. And I don't mean in like the skin color context.
Having a major distributor now, has that helped raise the band's profile and push it more towards mainstream acceptance?
I haven't seen any major change. I mean it's out
With the rock & roll acrobatics of your live show, obviously each gig becomes a dangerous predicament that could end in injury?
Yeah, like I've fallen once or twice. I have also taken my shoes off and slipped on stage due to my socks.
Stage diving is pretty dangerous.
And I have also hit Jason in the face with my guitar and cut his face open.
So it's like a war zone, at times then?
The band's greatest asset is in its appeal to fans of differing genres from Emo to Punk to even the Metal kids. Is that something you are conscious about?
No we just write and play what we like and if some one hears it and likes it then that's good.
We don't try and cater for anybody specifically
Interview by Joe Matera