An Interview With Musician KALEN CHASE On His Latest Track ‘Good Things,’ Launching His Solo Career and More!
“Good Things” is the latest single from the songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Kalen Chase. He has previously worked with Vimic and Korn. Released early this summer, this new song features Brian Viglione of The Dresden Dolls on drums. Though it’s a departure from his metal roots, the track serves as a crossover to his singer/songwriter project and will cater to both dedicated fans and new fans of the novel sound.
In 2006, Chase joined Korn on tour, primarily on backing vocals, and can be heard and seen in the MTV Unplugged: Korn, released in 2007, where he was featured playing an exotic array of instruments. He remained with Korn – often seen as The White Rabbit – until 2008. Additionally, he has worked extensively in the studio providing backing vocals for artists including 10 Years, Pop Evil, Dragonforce and singing on the Lego Batman movie soundtrack.
While working with Korn, Chase fronted the band The Changing, where he collaborated again with Jonathan Davis on single Jerry Bruckheimer. His career in metal would continue as the lead vocalist for the band Superfix, before joining forces with Joey Jordison (formerly of Slipknot) as the lead vocalist for Vimic in 2016.
Learn more about Kalen Chase in the following All Access interview:
Thank you for your time. Given these unusual Covid-19 times, what does a typical day look like for you? How have you adjusted to these times?
Well, I start my mornings waking to the sounds of my own screams. After that, I twitch in a catatonic state, wrestling with the introspective nightmare of our new existence. Then, I work out and eat breakfast. So, no change really.
What has been the hardest/most challenging part about being quarantined? Is your city starting to open up more now?
Being in close proximity to the people I love and not getting to leave has been difficult. But, I’m blessed with a couple of great people (my wife and our roommate) who respect each other’s space. Oh yeah, and not being able to frigging play live music! Los Angeles is slowly opening, but not sure when concerts will be allowed.
How have you been able to use social media during these unprecedented times? Are you finding that you use it even more now to stay connected to fans and other musicians?
Before this, I was a proud troglodyte. But the need to connect with friends, family, and fans has forced my hand. I have played live shows online, rekindled professional friendships, and collaborated on several projects these past 6 months. I reluctantly admit that social media is helping me in a massive way. I have never used it more.
What has it been like having to reschedule all your shows this year? What shows in 2021 are you are already excited for?
It has been a hellish nightmare. As this year was the launch of my solo project, I had planned extensive touring to support the release of my new material. But, that’s now the plan for 2021 and I’m giddy with anticipation.
Since we are all desperately missing live music, can you recall a favorite show of yours from the past? What do you think ultimately makes for a great show for you? What about a favorite show of someone else?
While playing in front of 90,000 people in Germany at the Rock Am Ring festival was a life altering experience, my all time favorite show was with my old band, Crucifix Doll. We were playing somewhere like The Dragonfly or another ubiquitous Hollywood club and we decided to do a cover of Throbbing Gristles’ Discipline. We had a spoken word poet named Cinnamon Sticks (who was a Vietnam vet) reciting psychedelic poetry while a fire eater performed and an exotic dancer pulled me around the club on a Radio Flyer wagon while I waved at the stupefied crowd like Jackie Kennedy. It doesn’t get more rock and roll than that. A great show is simple: as long as you can kind of play your instrument, all you need is 100% commitment to what you’re doing. That makes for a great show, whatever the genre. As for a favorite show of someone else… seeing Muse play in South Africa was outstanding and I’ll never forget it.
Let’s talk about your solo effort. What was the inspiration for your new single, “Good Things”? What was it like having The Dresden Dolls drummer Brian Viglione on the song? How creatively involved with the making of the music video for the track were you?
Good Things was living in my brain for a long time before it became a song. I’m a grouchy little man and my wife is a beacon of positivity. While in one of my tantrums, she reminded me of all the good things that were happening in our lives and the world. I grumbled that they just aren’t happening here today and had a Dewey Cox moment: looking up at the sky and repeating dramatically, “they’re just not happening here today…”, and there you have it.
Brian Viglione has been one of the most enthusiastic, professional and supportive collaborators I’ve ever worked with. I’ve been a fan of his playing since 2003 and now I’m a fan of him as a human. I can only take credit for the concept. I wanted a throwback behind the scenes music video. My director and editor Connor Wryn and Gavin Leighton, respectively, made it happen. My brother and writing partner (Nick Morris) along with my wife (Elysia Skye) helped with getting certain shots and keeping things moving. It’s good to be married to a producer, kids!
How exactly does this new music compare to the sound you were creating as part of the band, The Changing?
Even though the styles are very different, the two comparable aspects between my solo work and The Changing are the melodic and the philosophical. I have always had a love for grand cinematic compositions and I try to make grand cinematic music. But the philosophy of not taking yourself or your “art” too seriously is the bedrock of everything I do.
How do you think future music is going to be influenced by this incredible and absolutely necessary Black Lives Matter movement that the US has been going through? How exactly is it inspiring you and your music?
As someone who grew up with the humor of the 90’s, I had to do a big 180. Comedy and music were irreverent in every way and I didn’t think about it beyond the social commentary. I thought if you were making fun of something awful you are taking the power away from it. But there’s a time to put away certain aspects of entertainment and focus on a bigger issue that needs to be resolved in a dramatic and intense way. My music is not overly political, but there is a message and combating ignorance and hate in a non-judgmental way is the only avenue I can take to be part of the solution and not the problem.
If you could get into the studio with any artist today and collaborate on a new song for you, who would it be and why?
Tom Waits. Because he is my hero.
What would your dream music video look like right now?
I’m hoping the next video for my new single, Let Them Come, will be my dream video. We used a green screen studio and are attempting some pretty wild visuals. Monty Python meets that 70s show. I want to get real weird with it.
If you could go back in time and tell your younger self anything about your music or how your career would progress, what would you say?
First, I would strike myself vigorously about the head and face for that awful bowl cut! Then, I would say to keep your head down, don’t compromise, never apologize, and never explain! I regret nothing.