An Interview With The California-Based Indie-Metal/Rock Band, CHRYSALIS!
Posted On 26 Jan 2017
Chrysalis has been a staple of the underground indie-metal/rock community for over a decade. In that time they’ve toured the entire U.S. & have been featured in numerous media outlets (ESPN X-Games, Metal Hammer, Revolver Magazine, among others).
The bands’ diverse sound has allowed them to tour with a wide array of established acts including Letlive, A Day to Remember, Agent Orange, As Blood Runs Black, Ill Nino, Orgy, & Otep.
With the release of new single “My Eternity”, the band is poised for unprecedented growth. The Barstow, CA based band self-released their first full length album, “Chrysalis” while members of the band were still in high school – it became one of CDBaby.com’s all-time best selling in its genre, & landed them a stint on the Vans Warped Tour. The bands’ second album, “Focus On The Center”, was praised by critics & received heavy rotation on college
radio across the country. (The album was the 3rd most added in the Loud Rock category nationwide in its 1st week of availability.)
Supported by fans via a successful crowd funding campaign, Chrysalis toured the entire United States in 2014 & continued on in 2015/16 playing 175+ dates nationwide. In early 2016, the band headed into the studio with Grammy nominated producer Ulrich Wild (Deftones, Pantera, Incubus) to begin work on new material. The resulting album was just released on January 13th.
Keep in touch with Chrysalis:
Official Website: http://ChrysalisBand.Com
Learn more about Chrysalis in the following All Access interview:
So, now that 2016 is over, what are some words you would use to describe the year for you?
Busy, turbulent, but ultimately amazing. We’ve been working really hard the past few years and we feel this is the year we move up to new heights.
What have been some of the highlights for the band?
I think shooting the “My Eternity” video was the funnest thing we did in 2016. It was like being on the set of a horror film. We also did a month long tour with Trapt. That was the first tour we did with a big band. It was awesome to finally play in front of bigger audiences.
Link to the “My Eternity” video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DVhNJ1sBOQ
What are you most excited about for 2017 – Did you any of you make New Year’s Resolutions?
We just released our latest album “Reminder” and we’re excited to see the reaction that it gets. It was the result of 2 years of hard work, so we’re happy to finally have it out there. We don’t have any real resolutions other than to continue to work hard and not kill each other. We just take things day by day.
iTunes Link to the “Reminder” album: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/reminder/id1190202867
Growing up, did you all always want to be musicians?
I think most of us did. I know I did. It hit me at my step dad’s work party. They were doing karaoke. I sang songs I didn’t know since I could just read them on the prompter. Performing came so naturally for me and the idea that I could do this for the rest of my life was exciting.
Can you recall some of your earliest musical memories?
My earliest memory is being a little kid sitting in front of my uncle’s guitar amp while he played. It was so loud and awesome. Now my ears ring constantly so it probably wasn’t a good idea to do that.
How did Chrysalis first come to be a band, and how did you come up with your name? Was it hard to choose the name?
I met Billy and his brother at the local community pool in 2002. There was a band playing and I started singing along with them. I’m pretty sure it was awful but it caught Billy’s attention. He gave me his number and told me to come jam with him and his brother. The rest of the story gets long, but that’s where it all started.
Billy’s girlfriend at the time suggested the name. She found it in some book about fairies. We liked the way it sounded… when pronounced correctly of course which we find few are actually able to do.
Why do you think you all get along so well together?
We don’t… I’m surprised I haven’t murdered these guys in their sleep yet. I don’t know what keeps me from doing it. I guess it’s because I know I won’t find anyone to play music with this at point in my life. Love for music, that’s what keeps us going.
I understand that because your sound is so diverse, you’ve been able to tour with many different kinds of bands. Was this a conscious choice that you all made as a band together?
No. We just play what’s in our hearts. There are times conscious choices are made when approaching musical ideas, but that’s rare. I find when the process becomes mental, it loses the unpredictably that’s so important in keeping things fresh. Otherwise, it can start getting too formulaic.
You just released your 3rd album, “Reminder”. Can you talk about how this collection came together with the help of Grammy-nominated producer Ulrich Wild? What was the inspiration for this album?
We put together a list of all the songs we liked the most from our catalogue of ideas. Some of the ideas were old so we reworked them. Some ideas were new and needed more work while in the studio. This is just the kind of thing that goes into making a full length album. It’s an art in of itself.
Our last album’s inspiration was religion and spirituality. “Reminder” touches more on the things we experience as humans moving through the passage of time. Love, life, loss and the human condition.
Let’s talk about the album’s lead single, “My Eternity.” What was the inspiration for this song?
I wrote a few parts and my ex wrote the lyrics. She chanted “I’m comin’ back” along with the rhythm. When the chorus hit, she sang “Don’t be afraid / I’m not coming for you.” I liked how she was channeling a character outside of herself. I remember the book The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo being part of what inspired the lyrics.
Originally the track started out as a bluesy little rock jam. As we began dialing in the drums, bass, distorted guitar and synth, it developed into this dark heavy track with a nice grove. We started playing it at our live shows and could see the positive reactions it was getting, so we knew it was a keeper.
You are just about to start a long month of touring through the U.S. Where are you most excited to play at? Will it be the first time you’ve played at many of these venues?
We love playing the entire midwest because people seem to be more open to different kinds of music. We find the closer we get to the metropolitan areas, the more saturated the market is with bands who, whether they realize it or not, do the same things in order to appeal to an audience that’s just over the local music scene.
What do you think is the best and most challenging parts about life on the road?
Life on the road is challenging in almost every imaginable way. It’s taxing physically, mentally and financially. That’s why it’s so important to support artists and not just download their work. Artists really do sacrifice their own well being to bring us art. The best part of being on the road is taking the stage and playing in front of crowds all over the country. It’s what we face the challenges for.
What’s been the most surprising thing about the music industry to you? How do you think it’s changing for rock music?
Digital downloading decimated the music industry. When sites like Spotify came out, it looked promising because it would put money back into the pockets of the artists who deserve it. The problem now is the artists on these sites aren’t making a fair share of the profit made from subscribers. I believe this is going to change as big artists stop featuring their music on these sites. They’ll have to eventually come to terms with the fact that the service they provide relies on the artists they feature.
Who are some of your favorite artists and what bands continue to inspire the band’s music? Who would you all love to work with in the future?
I’ve been listening to nothing but Schpongle lately. Holy shit! It’s so good. I’ve never heard anything like it. If you haven’t heard of him, go get Schpongled. Also, Meg Myers because her music has so much heart. I’m surprised Meg Myers isn’t bigger than Adele or Florence and the Machine. I was always really inspired by Lacuna Coil growing up. We hope to have their singer, Christina Scabbia feature on our next release. I think it would be an amazing experience because I used to follow them around during their California tours when I was 16. It just makes sense to work with the woman whose voice was the soundtrack of some of my most important memories.
When you aren’t performing or working in the studio, what do you like to do for fun? How do you all unwind from it all?
I like to spend time with my dogs. They’re like my kids and I miss them when I’m out on tour, so I try to spend as much time with them as I can when I’m not doing music.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
I hope that people relate to the music in their own way. We’re not trying to make this bold statement with our music; we just sing about life experiences and the feelings that go with them. The music might mean something to us, but that has little significance to what it might mean to others. Art truly belongs to the spectator.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
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