Thursday, February 14, 2013

Signs of Chaos Interview

Canada's Signs of Chaos are one of those bands that defy any sort of simple description. Well, other then "HEAVY"! While they are an extreme metal band they also indulge in groove-oriented thrash. When mixed with their brutal, and above all else HEAVY (yep, they are HEAVY folks!), death/thrash style it's a lethal combination. Recently I sat down to find out what makes them tick and what the future has in store for this 5-piece. If you have not yet had a chance to read my review of their latest album, the almighty "Rise", you can click on the link below.

Andy-Could you introduce the band and give us a quick run-down on how Signs Of Chaos came about?

Matt-Sure, Signs of  Chaos is Matt MacIvor and Dave McCann on guitars, Nick Bedard on vocals, Tom Hansen on bass and Taylor Calderone on drums. Originally Dave and I had been playing in another band called Bioencrypt. When that band ended up disbanding we had some riffs and songs we had been working on so, Dave and I decided to start a new band to play that material. We had a different line-up originally and the style was a little different, but when Nick and Taylor came on boards things really solidified.

Andy-There's probably no real story behind the band's name other then "it sounded cool" right?

Matt-Yeah, that's pretty accurate. We had a hard time agreeing on a name for the band at first (which I think is the case for most new bands). I think we had a sheet of paper with like 20 different name suggestions at one point. We used to have this song called "Last Minute Chaos" and thought about naming the after that at one point. Dave was the one who suggested Signs Of Chaos and that was the only one that we all liked and could agree on. Also, I'm a big Testament fan and they have a song called "Sign of Chaos" so I always like that connection.

Andy-Very good. The name certainly fits your sound and style to a tee! Now, could you tell me how it is that "Rise" sounds so freaking AWESOME?

Matt-Excellent question! We recorded the album with Matt Bond at Pebble Studios here in Ottawa. Mike's kind of become the go to guy for metal bands in the city. Our drummer Taylor had worked with him before in his other band Dissentient (an awesome Ottawa progressive death metal band!) and their album sounded amazing. As soon as I heard that album I decided I wanted to work with Mike for our album as well. We're pretty happy with how it turned out!

Andy-I'd say it was a good call. OK, another routine question, but let's just roll with it. Who influenced the band?

Matt-As a band we're influenced by a lot of different stuff. I think you can hear aspects of bands like Gojira, Lamb of God, Machine Head, Testament, Nevermore, Opeth, Arch Enemy, Megadeth and stuff like that.

Tom-I'll second the Opeth again as well as Megadeth, Lamb of God, etc. Maybe some Scar Symmetry?

Dave-Back in the day I was into Vai, Santriani, Skolnick, and Friedman. These days Jeff Loomis and Chris Broderick are at the top of my list.

Taylor-My drummer influences are Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree, Tom Hake of Meshuggah and Mike Portnoy (ex Dream Theater).

Nick-Corey Taylor and Chad Grey inspired me to proceed in music and to scream my fucking lungs out!

Matt-When I first started out I was into guys like Tony Iommi and Dave Murray/Adrian Smith. Now, like Dave, I'm pretty influenced by Jeff Loomis and Michael Amott and probably lots of other guys I can't think of right now!

Andy-So, like I was saying, above all else I just found "Rise" to be "HEAVY". I've got to assume that when you guys bring it in a live setting that things get crazy. Lots of moshing I'm guessing right?

Matt-Yeah! Thanks! "Heavy" is definitely what we were going for! We usually get a good response to our live shows. Nick's really good at getting the crowd going. Sometimes, when it's a new crowd who are not really familiar with us already, it takes a few songs to win them over, but in the end there's typically lots of moshing and headbanging going on!

                                                   Guitarist Matt doing what he does best!

Andy-Any shows that stand out?

Matt-First show that springs to mind is when we opened for Eluveitie here in Ottawa. The show was completely sold out, packed house, and most of the people, I'd say 90%, I'd never seen at a show before (and I go to a lot of local shows!). The crowd was super pumped though and as soon we got on stage they went nuts! Even thought they had no idea who we were the pits were nuts throughout our whole set! Another time we played in Nick's home town, Limoges, which is a small little town. Even so a ton of people came out to see Nick. All I remember about the show was how the stage was shaking from people crashing into it, some guy with blood all over his face, beers getting spilled on my pedals, etc. I remember thinking "This is fucking awesome!".

Andy-Let's stay in that general ballpark. Who are some of the bands you've played with?

Matt-Our most recent show we played with Alestorm and Insomnium. We've also played with Arsis, Nightrage, Firewind, Unexpect, Necronomicon and all these other great local bands like Dissentient, Re-Animator, Insurrection, Crimson Shadows, Bolero and Aggressor. There's also been bills we've been on with Joe Thrasher, Accursed Spawn, My Shadow, ...From The Deep and probably tons of other bands I'm forgetting. We had a bit of bad luck with a couple of bigger shows getting canceled. We were scheduled to open for Nevermore and then later Scar Symmetry, but both of those shows got cancelled. We were super bummed Since we're big fans of both of those bands.

Andy-Yeah, that sucks. Other then those two bands who else would you love to play with if you could? What's a dream bill like for Signs of Chaos?

Dave-Other then those two shows we had cancelled I'd love to share the stage with Lamb of God, Arch Enemy, Opeth and/or Gojira!

Tom-Wintersun or Devin Townsend.


Matt-I'm going to steal some of Tom and Dave's answers. I think a pretty sweet lineup would be
Signs of Chaos, Jeff Loomis, Devin Townsend, and Gojira.

Andy-So, what does 2013 have in store for you guys? Any big plans?

Matt-Well, we had a pretty good 2012, got the album recorded and played some good shows in Ottawa. This year we'll be working on lots of new material and looking to start playing some out of town shows. Also, maybe a small tour. We definitely want to get some more exposure and get the band out there.

Andy-Before we wrap things up are there any other local bands that you think deserve mention?

Matt-Well, I should take the opportunity to promote some of our other bands. Tom and I both play in a local death metal band called Fumigation. We have our first album, "Integrated Pest Management", coming out pretty soon. Taylor also plays in Dissentient. They released an amazing album back in 2011 called "Black Hole Machine". The Ottawa scene scene has really picked up in the last few years though. There are some great bands right now. Some of my favorites are: Insurrection, Collider, Joe Thrasher, Accursed Spawn, ...From The Deep, Obduracy, Placentophagia and Deformatory. Oh, also Mortor are another great band! I could name a bunch more, but I'd still be leaving people out. Those are some of the ones that spring to mind right away.

Andy-That's a lot of names there! Its good to see that the metal scene continues to strive all over the world! Anything else you'd like to add Matt? I'll give you guys the final word.

Matt-I just want to say thanks to you for taking the time to check out our stuff and the time to write about it. We really appreciate it!

Well, there you have it folks. Be sure to check this band and if you're into groove-based (Pantera/Exhorder) heavy thrash/extreme death metal then "Rise" will satisfy your cravings!

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