Once the foundation for what would become “Thermacare” was created, Chiodos knocked out the instrumentals (with drums by Brian Southall of Boys Night Out and the Receiving End Of Sirens) at rehearsals before Warped kicked off. “Brad and I were the only ones that went to Feldmann’s studio to record it. That was the only song I said ‘Okay’ to [record],’ recalls Owens. “I wouldn’t work on any other songs.”
Bell remembers the demo as being a loose idea that needed tightening and the structure was a complete mess. “It’s not like we ever had a chance to really work on that song for, like, a month while we were writing an album, where we could keep adding to it. We just took the stems we had already done that were kind of just there and restructured it all with Feldmann. He turned it into what it became. That was all in one day’s work.”
(The original Chiodos demo produced by John Feldmann)
With the demo now pocketed, the band would proudly play it to fellow musicians during that last Warped Tour. Later on though, Owens and the rest of the band would fight over the song while working through the details of Owens firing from the band. Credit for “Thermacare” would eventually be split evenly between the two camps with Chiodos retaining the rights to the music and Owens owning the publishing to the lyrics and the melody. With Brandon Bolmer now installed as frontman, Chiodos would eventually turn their version of “Thermacare” into “Stratovolcano Mouth” for their next record, 2010’s Illuminaudio. The new singer admitted to AP at the time that he purposely chose not to listen to the original “Thermacare” demo before working on the new adaptation.
“This is a song about anger—hitting a boiling point, the last straw, shit hitting the fan, whatever you want to call it,” said Bolmer. “Some people don't deal with anger much; it's easy for them to stay calm and collected. I’ve dealt with this negative energy in my life—it's nothing to be proud of, and it's something I continue to work at with each passing day. This was a challenging song to write to, as I knew that there was a version with Craig floating around. I chose to never listen to his version as I thought it would affect my writing and melodies.”
The next year, Owens’ new group, Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows, went in the direction that Owens-era Chiodos had intended to take, with Feldmann producing, Owens signing with Warner Bros. and aligning with the high-powered Crush Management. Their 2011 self-titled record would end up taking Owens’ half of the song and, with Feldmann’s production help, turning it into the band’s wall-busting set opener, “The Only Thing You Talk About (Thermacare),” retaining the original demo’s chant-worthy opening line: “We all know, We all know by now/That you’re the only thing you talk about.”
(D.R.U.G.S.- “The Only Thing You Talk About (Thermacare)”)
Now, a year-and-a-half later and reunited with the original members of Chiodos, Owens laughs. “It was amazing, because my original idea was to open our new show with ‘Thermacare.’ I think right now, the most important thing is to play that song first,” he says, reflecting back on the three-year journey that each of the members have taken, experiencing the highs, the many lows and the maturity they feel they have acquired through it all. “I think that’s where we left off. We never played it live together, ever—not even at a practice with all of us together. I think it’s a great place to pick it back up and move forward, as opposed to living in the past. I think fans will be surprised and overwhelmed, but I think we’re going to do it for us.” alt