“It’s more about helping other people out than yourself.” Brad Bell on the next phase of Chiodos

September 25, 2013 by Jason Pettigrew

“It’s more about helping other people out than yourself.” Brad Bell on the next phase of Chiodos

The previous records are all well-defined in their certain strengths. I don’t want to ask if the new music is, “more like Bone Palace or Illuminaudio?”
I’d say it’s touching back toward the Bone Palace roots, but Thomas kind of brings us an All’s Well That Ends Well vibe with his playing. And then, there’s a new frontier that we’re exploring, as well.

What is that new frontier? Is it more of an aggressive rock thing?
I don’t think any of us are listening to too much metal these days. When you grow up, less becomes more. And I think we’re all challenging ourselves to accept that and make music that is a little easier for ourselves to listen to. Making sense of songs; making them complete thoughts; making sure our chords work together instead of fighting each other. When we first started, it seemed like we were going out of our way to not make sense. At this point, it’s more cohesive.

So we can expect a cohesive rock album with Thomas bringing it and Craig doing his “Craig thing.”
Craig is challenging himself on this record to sing in different ways. He’s been working on using his actual falsetto a lot instead of screaming his high notes just to bring it to a new dimension. He’s even singing lower on a lot of stuff than he has in the past.

Is it going to be a situation where people are going to say, “That’s not Craig. Who else is singing?”
Yeah, there have been moments when I’ve played some demos for people and they’ve been like, “Is that Craig singing?” So, he’s definitely going out of his normal comfort box, as well. But he likes it; he’s embracing it. He says he doesn’t want to be defined by a high voice. He wants to be defined by his voice, in general. So, he’s going out of his way to not be up in that area too much, to not make it redundant and to use it more tastefully.

At this point in time, does Chiodos have a mission statement? Because it seems like what the band wants to do may or may not fall in step with what the fans want the band to do. What is Chiodos’ purpose in 2014? Are you feeling like you can do anything you want to and still maintain your own personal integrity?
Personally, in this band, there are no rules to what we do. We need to play the music we want to listen to, and not cater to what the fans want necessarily, because if were doing it right for ourselves then hopefully they’ll come along with us and enjoy it with an open mind. If you’re going to try and please everybody, you’re going to fail. Not everybody liked the Beatles. You can’t please everybody; please yourself. That’s always what we’ve tried to do first.

When we decided to write this record, I mean, we didn’t even know we were going to make a new record. We were just getting back together to play shows, put a period on the story. That period turned into a comma. It took us a minute to catch our chemistry: Craig and I did an acoustic tour, and that is really where we started to get each other again. It was important for us to do other things outside of Chiodos, and be able get back into the headspace that we needed to be to do this again, together. We were trying to write some songs acoustically at first, then, at the beginning of this year, we all got together and started writing for two months. You can’t just walk into a room and expect things to be perfect again just because you’ve reunited. There’s always a tug-of-war going on when you have six people trying to control one thing. We’ve learned that. And I think we’ve gotten all of this to a spot where we’re extremely proud of it. We’re not panicking; we’re just ready to prove who we are again to new fans that we’ve gained over the years who haven’t been able to see us—and the old fans that have come along this ride with us.

You are working with David Bottrill. His vibe seems a lot more art-metal than any kind of “scene” thing.
That’s kind of what I was looking at when I was going through this [selection process]. When we were talking about producers, he was one of the first ones who stuck out to me. It’s about bands who have stood out from the packs they ran with. If he could help define the personality and individuality of those acts in the past, then he’d be a good fit for us because we don’t wanna be lumped in with any genre in particular. >>>

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