“CHAOS INCEPTION continues to push the Floridian/Brazilian Death Metal paradigm even further into its own identifiable realm of extremity, while remaining heavily rooted in the traditional conception. Fans of Morbid Angel, Krisiun, Angelcorpse, Hate Eternal, Fleshtized and the likes should prepare for one real, Death Metal feasting. The Legacy of Extreme Death Metal Art continues and the Hellfire blasts will be unrelenting. Submit to incineration!”
You have to read, what Matt Barnes has to say, it´s going in the fucking depth!
Hi Matt, how are you. “Dedicated to the destruction and recreation of death metal paradigm.” That’s what I call a statement. What the hell makes you so unsatisfied with the today´s scene?
It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? I don’t get any feeling from most newer, popular death metal. It is too tight, too mechanical. I like some of the riffs and the new ideas and I can respect the musicianship, but it sounds like it was played by cyborg drummers and guitarists with music degrees in jazz. It is death metal though, and it should still sound like music made by psychos who cut themselves on stage and pukes in your face after the show, even though it is all an act. This current trend probably started with Death’s Human album, and I was never a fan of that direction they took there. To my ears, Death’s later albums sound terrible, with a really bad guitar tone, though other members of Chaos Inception are into it.
I think though we try to play well, we are still flesh and blood. The album is not faked. We had to do takes and edits but there are flubs and stuff on the album. We could’ve fixed them but we didn’t have the budget for it, nor the patience. Of course some of these bands have better musicians than we are, and they can play that well without cheating. But besides being too mechanical, there are a lot of bands that strive to be original for the sake of originality. I don’t think this is how the truly original bands were original. It is more of band chemistry and doing what feels right, rather than purposefully adding weird stuff or influences from other genres. Also, adding too many guitar parts can break things down to where someone listening just hears a bunch of jumbled shit, where the intention is to make it seem like you are a musical genius.
Ok, tell me something about the band and the guys in it!
The most difficult thing in the world is keeping an extreme metal band together, especially where it costs everyone money to keep it going. Maybe another thing is people into extreme metal are difficult to deal with? That’s an open question. But it’s one thing if everyone in the band got a paycheck. But no, I’m asking them for rehearsal room money, or money for stickers, or money for studio time. We do this for the love of the music. There is no other way possible for us. I would play with Gary if the whole thing fell apart, therefore I don’t think it ever could, unless he decides he doesn’t want to blast anymore. But in that case, Chaos Inception would just change our sound. So, that’s one thing about the band – Gary and I argue and go through some rough patches, but as far as I’m concerned he is the only drummer possible for Chaos Inception. But also, I don’t want to neglect the other guys. Successful bands stay together. Maybe they stay together first and are successful later, we’ll see about that in our case. I would like to do another album with ‘the boyz’ and I love them all like brothers.
Your label LAVADOME bombards us with massive name dropping to describe what you do. Morbid Angel, Krisiun, Hate Eternal, Origin, Deeds Of Flesh, Behemoth, Job For A Cowboy, Angelcorpse, Necrophagist or Gorgasm. Do you need that, or do we need guidance’s?
It’s just a recommendation. If you like Band X, give Chaos Inception a try. I can hear a guy whispering, “We’ve replaced their Morbid Angel CD (gourmet coffee) with Chaos Inception (Folger’s Crystals).” Most reviews are like that too, but I think it gets overdone. It’s a contest for people who want to prove they know more metal, like, “Dude that is a total ripoff of the 3rd riff on the second song of Cryptosy’s demo 7 inch!” I suppose we don’t sound like some of those bands, although a riff or two might recall them. I personally don’t think we sound like Angel Corpse, which has a more punk flavor. If you took the punk out of Angel Corpse and exchanged that for neo-classical, maybe it would be closer. We are in the genre, unashamedly, but also different. Maybe it takes a few listens. Please give it a shot with some headphones.
On the other hand, puff is part of the trade. How important is it being mouthy, having cogency and elbows nowadays?
I’m not sure yet. It’s only recently that we’ve had some interviews and maybe I say things that will offend, such as criticizing a band or a style of music. However, if I bought a CD and it sucks I feel like I have a right to say so. I bought the Ghost CD, and I feel like a total sucker. I was ripped off. So I’m saying things like that not as a peer of Ghost, or as a hater, but as a guy who bought an overhyped piece of shit CD and got ripped off out of $10. We’re fans of the music, not rock stars. I suppose if I was sharing the stage with Ghost it would be bad form to criticize them, but as I said, they ripped me off (or at least some reviewers did).
And how do you resist popular trends?
I just don’t listen to it on a regular basis, because I don’t like it. The vocal sounds have changed a lot – the production has changed a lot. I’ll listen to a new album a few times, and then it’s back to something older. I buy CDs all the time, but I do it as a kind of study and just to see what’s going on. We are old fucks. Our tastes will probably not change much from here on out. At the same time, I don’t understand all these CDs that sell for a lot of money now, because no one bought the album at the time, mostly because it was not good at the time. Like Demigod or Morbid Saint? It’s ok, I respect it, but it’s not better than Slayer or Dark Angel or Pestilence or Asphyx, or any of the better known bands. But things are so bad now, people will pay top dollar to hear 2nd rate, forgotten 80s and 90s stuff, because it is superior to 1st rate 2010s stuff. There is some good new stuff though. I thought Abysmal Dawn was very good, and had a great ‘old school’ sound. It’s about the riff! Having said all that, I still look for the more extreme experimental stuff with guitars, and that is where I stray from some band members into the realm of black metal. Maybe something new will come along that will be a viable influence for good songs?
How was it possible to create that bunch of high grade blast songs?
Gary White is the blast king in my opinion, so the blast is going to be tight and fast always. He is a great all-around drummer too, and doesn’t accept any sloppy playing. The band is full of assholes that will tell you that your riffs suck, so there is an overabundance of quality control. I think it’s about rejecting 10 riffs to keep 1. Everyone has to feel it.
The following is from your press sheet: “There is still a lot hidden behind the almost inhuman shredding and compositional mastery.” So tell my readers, what are the ominous mysteries behind your blasting brutality?
Gary practices like a demon, and I have to keep up. He played with a phenomenal guitarist in Fleshtized – Casey Roberston. He’s one of those guys that practiced for 12 hours a day, and was probably one of the best guitarists in underground death metal history. If that’s a bold statement, try this – I’d challenge anybody to cut heads with the guy and put it on youtube. You would be embarrassed. The guy’s sick. I have to get as close to that level as possible to be able to keep up with Gary. But I also recognize the point of diminishing returns, where once all the playing time is dedicated to chops, the songs go by the wayside. I won’t let that happen.
Do you play music that tends to the heart of Death Metal and hits the true core? What´s your philosophy?
If my former teenaged self thought something was not metal, it’s not going to be on the album. There was a time when I was a lunatic, who performed rituals, wore sleeveless Mayhem shirts, and combat fatigues everywhere – this was from the ages of 14-25. Now I might just wear that at home or at metal show, but I’d go to a job interview with something else on. Now I read the newspaper, rather than the Necronomicon. Anyways, if you can’t feel some sort of ominous dread, some kind of sickness, then it’s a failure. That’s why I am most influenced these days by really crappy kinds of music, totally unlike us (such as Von, Bestial Raids, Conqueror). It is direct and pure feeling. That needs to be in a more technical death metal context, which is mostly cold and mechanical. We haven’t fully integrated it yet, but that is coming soon hopefully.
Maybe you keep the spirit alive, that some of the (other) old fucks have lost, right?
Yes, because I still feel like a kid when it comes to metal. I am only as mature as I have to be to function in society as an adult, but my room at home is the same as it was when I was a kid – in fact, it’s even better because there’s more metal stuff, and skulls, and guitars. If you can for the most part stay off drugs and stay out of jail, it’s possible to do this in America we still have some freedom. A lot of people I know have given up, no doubt about it. They can probably convince your head to do the same, but not the heart. But at this point, I will die a metalhead. I can’t change it. In fact, I define it, and don’t have to live up to anyone else’s standard.
Your music sounds genuinely and mature. Are you afraid, that the fun could fall by the wayside? Or am I completely wrong?
Re-read the lyrics and you might catch it. Maturity is not something I try to achieve in metal. In fact, it’s lame. You can name 1000 bands who had a good first couple albums, then got mature, and now their music is crap. Hopefully we don’t give the impression of maturity. I don’t drink until I’m sick more than once a year anymore. If that’s maturity, ok. The lyrics and music - no. It’s not elevator music or something respectable. Like Motorhead, it has to have attitude – a middle finger to the face.
What’s the mystery behind your (almost) musically high pace? How is it possible that it not gets boring? Do you have a personal muse under the table who blows your cock permanently?
I wish! There are a number of things that you can do to stay interested. I am always tweaking my sound. New amps, new pickups, new guitars. This can keep the interest when it gets boring. If I don’t want to go rehearse, I simply get a new overdrive pedal, and am like, “Hooray! I’m going to rehearse and try out my new overdrive pedal!” Ebay is a godsend for this purpose. You can buy and sell without losing much money, except for fees. It’s a lot different from the time you had to pay retail price and then sell something you didn’t like at a pawn shop for 1/10th of the value. The other thing is sticking new influences into the music and seeing how it goes. I’ve been listening to a lot of Sonic Youth, and I would like to try to incorporate some of that into the solos, not the riffs. It’s quite a challenge.
But yes, it is tremendously boring sitting at home practicing tremolo picking. I hate it, but it pays off in the end. That’s probably how I got a gig in Monstrosity.
In the parts you curb the pace, you use dark parts, paired with grooves (sometimes). Is it the right mixture, that a band needs getting successful?
Probably, but maybe we use it to have a break or to make sure the songs don’t all sound the same. Each song should have something that makes it stand out from the others. Often this is a riff with a specific guitar technique, like a trill riff, or a riff with a strange chord. The songs should just flow, and sometimes when I ask myself, “What comes next?” something different happens. I don’t think we have hip breakdowns, but a headbanging groove is fair game. A song that is slow all the way through . . . I don’t see that in Chaos Inception’s future.
Is anything new, in musically regard, after your 2009 album “Collision With Oblivion”?
Improvised solo parts, a bluesy solo, a Vandenberg-esque solo. I love Adrian Vandenberg’s solos. It takes a few listens to get it, but the man is an artist. Also, less finger tapping. Gary said I was sounding like Azagthoth and limp-dicking, so I took out some tapping, and to Gary’s disappointment replaced it with Vandenberg! It’s not as if I take an influence and learn their stuff note for note and regurgitate it. Rather, to get through a part where I’m lacking inspiration I’ll ask, for example, “What would Uli Roth do here?” Listen to the lick before the chorus in Exterminatti. I almost took that off because it sounds too ‘fruity’. However, if you ask who influenced that – that is what I think Uli Roth would’ve done had he guested on the album. Besides the solos, the songs were more intense as every song was written as a potential album opener.
How important is it being catchy? What do you think about musically disharmonies and progressive streaming?
I think disharmonies are getting old. I believe there might be more of them on our first album. Everything must resolve in my mind before it becomes a good riff. One of the things that annoys me about a band like Gorguts, for instance, is they have a bunch of disharmonies, and while it’s interesting, there are virtually no good riffs on their album. What riff would you like to hear repeated on that? Go to the next one. A good riff should be repeated, so the stuff that goes by in a blur and doesn’t repeat – technically impressive, but not catchy and not a ‘song’. It’s not something you will listen to in your car. It’s also very easy to write disharmonic death metal, as opposed to death metal that is not disharmonic, yet doesn’t suck. Writing a catchy In Flames album is much easier than writing a catchy Krisiun album that the die-hard maniacs would like.
A bit FLESHTIZED (your former band) can be found in CHAOS INCEPTION too, right?
Gary’s drumming style has remained consistent. If you check the timeline, he is one of the originators of the perpetual blast. The only thing like it might have been “Panzer Division Marduk” at the time of “Here Among Thorns”. “King of All Kings” came after that. So Fleshtized doesn’t get the credit they deserve. Maybe 10 years from now, they will be popular in Snake Pit magazine, but that’s how it is for a band from Alabama that doesn’t tour and had lineup problems.
You play in some other bands, MONSTROSITY for example, where is your focus? Can you handle with the fact, to have so many irons in the fire?
It is very difficult to do a few music projects, work 50 hours a week, and be married and have to pay bills. But I enjoy it and I think it helps my playing more than anything. My focus is where it needs to be at the time it needs to be on it. I switch gears. The other bands I’m in are not ball-bustingly busy so it all evens out. We got the album done for Chaos Inception. Chaos Inception is my #1 priority as far as writing songs goes, but not necessarily for touring and shows. I remember waking up every day, at 4:30 am and writing solos until about 7, when I had to go to work. Plus I’d play about 8 hours a day on the weekend. I really busted my ass on the solos – not just the technical aspect, but what fit with the riff and the song, regardless of whether it was impressive from a technical standpoint. I don’t think I succeeded 100%, but I did the absolute best I could possibly do at the time, and I’m more satisfied than I was with the first album. With Monstrosity, I’ve written some material and played shows. I don’t call many shots so it’s not overly demanding. I do my part. For touring, Monstrosity is a priority, and recording the new Monstrosity album is currently the top priority in my life, aside from my family. It is a great honor to be in that band, and I will break my neck to make sure the album is one of their best.
With the experiences from the other bands … is CHAOS INCEPTION a real restart? I mean, with that background, musically partiality gets maybe lost?
Chaos Inception is the only band I’ve ever been in where I write 90% of what I want and play 90% of what I want. The other 10% is a concession to other members if they think what I’m playing is not good or is bad for the song. Every other band I’ve been in, I’ve been following someone else’s lead, or following a pattern established by former members. That is why Fleshtized had to break up. I didn’t want to write like Fleshtized. This was Chaos Inception. Also in this band, I trust my band mates and they can do what they want 90% of the time. I don’t need to tell them all what to do. I want to leave room for chemistry and happy accidents. Most other bands we’ve been in are not like this.
What about classical Metal – elements from the 70th and 80th? Can I find influences in your songwriting, if I make an effort?
Hell yes. Mostly in the solos. Robin Trower, Uli Roth, Joe Satriani, Vinnie Moore, Adrian Vandenberg. Distill all that down, fit it with the riff, and throw in a little Krisiun and Slayer and you have a Chaos Inception solo. If you want to reveal yourself as a noob, tell me I ripped off Eric Rutan or Azagthoth. No, we have the same influences from the past. Azagthoth is great, but he is not the first man to use a wah pedal or a Univibe pedal. Rutan is great, though he is not the first man to bend a string and use finger vibrato. As for the riffs, I don’t know, maybe not so much 70s and 80s influence. I love the Scorpions, UFO, Iggy Pop, Van Halen, almost anything from 1976-1982. I love the sound of that era. I have stated before that I want to do the Chaos Inception version of Somewhere in Time for the next album. I can’t reveal too much about my thoughts here, but it does not mean we’ll have keyboards. I only have a vague idea of what it means, but that’s my next challenge.
What about the decision to have a deal with a European label? Maybe you have realized that our market is crucial bigger than yours, haha.
Definitely! We sold our soul to Jan with a contract dipped in blood and swine feces under the fullmoon, Anno Mundo Goatanas. . . . Lavadome was a wise choice for us, because Jan gets our music. If I send out a promo CD and an email and you respond a month later, I really don’t want to deal with you, because that just portends what is to follow. Jan has been top notch and totally professional from the start. I hope to one day pick him up in a limo and take him to a soccer dome to one of our shows in Europe. He deserves it.
How long will/can you ride on the wings of “The Abrogation” until you must raise the ante? What comes next?
I love the album, however it is already old to us. We have listened to it thousands of times by now, and probably like all bands, are sick of the old songs. We have some new ideas now. I promise you it is not something so disharmonious, original, and critically acclaimed, that any real fan will be ripped off by a bunch of self-indulgent, bullshit wankery. As always, we will top the last album in all aspects, in all directions. Fast parts will be faster, slow parts slower, and where a turtle head appeared out of your anus last time, a full piece of shit will fall down your pant leg the next time!
Last spot is yours!
I enjoyed this interview. It gave me a chance to show a human side to the band, but I want people to remember that we feel that our music exists in a world of its own, apart from our personalities, our jobs, and our sense of humor. The music is very serious to us. It is my armor and my sword. I hope others can hear it and use it the same way we can.