Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hi all at VENTS, thanks for having us. We’re really good. We are all so pumped to finally get the album out there. Been counting the days down ha.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Down The River”?
Yeah for sure. Myself (Nic), and Andy (guitarist) had not seen each other for 10 years due to life getting in the way. The last time we actually saw each other was when we played in a band called Sun Fungus together back in the 90’s. Ha. Catchy name I know.
We finally caught up at Sunny Boys concert 8 years ago on the Gold Coast in Australia. I said that I’m going to build a studio to which he said if you build it…..i will come ha. So I built it and sure enough he came over to jam and write. The first song we wrote was Down The River. It took 30 minutes flat. We were so happy to finally be writing together again that the music just flowed. The lyrics I had just fit so perfectly to it as well. We have tweaked it a bit over the years but the format is still pretty much the same as it was back then. Who knew it would one day be a single of our album?
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
The lyrics for Down The River were written in the U.S. in 2002/2003 believe it or not. It was a time of unrest and all I saw on the TV the world around were lying politicians and greed. Not only in the U.S but in Australia as well. I was so sick of it. As a kid I had a friend, who like me, was outspoken and always listened to music, (punk music) that had a deep message that spoke volumes. We always talked about how bad, bullies, liars, corruption and greed are and never, ever wanted to go down that path. He grew up and became a politician who later got into terrible trouble for corruption and I became a musician singing about people like him. The paths we take ay? Ha. Although the music video clip is more about changing places, the lyrics follow the story I just mentioned.
Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?
Yes. It was actually the first video we shot for the album last year, but we wanted to save the release for when we gained a bit of traction after the album launch as it is a high end video that looks really great. We are very proud of it. It also comes with a “behind the Scenes clip as well. They were both so much fun to shoot and we can’t wait to get them out there.
The single comes off your new album The Monster Stirs – what’s the story behind the title?
All my friends know we have been working so hard for the last 2/3 years getting all this together, but it wasn’t until we got ARIA award winner Anton Hagop on board to produce that things really took a massive turn. When we got the album back one of the boys said, and I quote “this is such a monster of an album”. As soon as he said it I knew the title would be, “The Monster Stirs”.
It so happens that at the very same time the “yellow vest movement” was happening all over the world and I believe that if we all stood together we could put an end to greed and corruption. I’ve always thought that the people of the world….us, are collectively one big monster, that if provoked long enough it will stir and be unleashed. Hence….The
Monster Stirs. After these two things happening there was simply no other name for the album.
How was the recording and writing process?
Andy (guitarist) and I (Nic, vocalist), wrote the whole album. We had been in many bands together but with me as the drummer. After a massive elbow injury that ended my drumming career, our band fell apart. We had so much music in us that we had to keep going no matter what, so I eventually built a recording studio at my house and became a self taught sound engineer. Now….i’m no Butch Big or Andrew Scheps but after three
years of recovery and determined to keep playing, I learnt enough to get drums, guitar, bass and vocals down to sound good enough to create some songs. After this, the flood gates were open. Every weekend Andy comes over and we write and record. The only time we print something is when we get the goose bump effect ha. Every day at work I might have had a tune or a lyric in my head so I would hum it into my phone and turn it into music when I got home and picked up a guitar. Andy would then come over on the weekend and put his magic to it. The songs on the album have taken many changes over the years because as I got better at mixing and producing, the better the songs became. We have kept the original tracks from when they were in their infancy and every now again we have a listen and a laugh…….so bad they are. Ha ha. But it humbles us and
gives us a real perspective of where we have come from and that we can achieve anything. The songs you now hear on the album are the real monsters inside of Andy and I that just had to come out.
What role does Australia play in your music?
Australian music has really played a massive role in our tunes. Andy is pure rock and roll all the way. He loves his AC/DC and The Angels, Midnight Oil etc. Where as I have always loved my Aussie punk music like Bored, Cosmic Psychos, Seminal Rats, etc. I also really love listening to INXS, The Hoodoo Gurus, Powder Finger etc. I think, as a kid or young adult growing up in Australia, these bands will always have an effect on you if you know it or not. It’s part of our heritage I guess. There is no way you can listen to an INXS track and not know the lyrics or at least tap your foot. It’s bred into you.
What is it about the 90s that you find so fascinating?
Wow, where to begin. The 90’s was finally a chance for me, specifically, to find who I really was. The whole feel of it all, the rebellious message that every song had in it. It was me. During the 90’s I was super young and drumming in many full on punk bands with Andy and gigging everywhere. It was awesome. You could do and say exactly what you were feeling and no one would bat an eye. People were real to your face, instead of mean behind your back. The grunge era was chance to be heard with music. Bands like Dead Kennedys and Suicidal Tendencies started the process in the late 80’s and really left a mark on music in such a good way. By the time the 90’s was hear it was all different but the message was still the same. I didn’t really agree with bands smashing up their gear though. Every time I saw it happen I would say to Andy……… noooooooooo………..i could have really used that drum kit. Hahaha. I was pretty broke back then, but hey….who wasn’t?? I had a $5000 drum kit that my mum and dad bought me, stollen from my house. So I had to use an old ass Rogers kit that I refurbished with some blue contact paper, glue and some extra nuts and bolts. Good times. Ha. When you listen to our music you can really hear the 90’s grunge and the 80’s rock that Andy and I mash together.
What aspect of the worse of humanity did you get to explore on this record?
Greed, narcissism, corruption, bullying, people having their civil rights taken from them, drug addiction, pretty much all the things humanity can do without. I know it sounds very political and we didn’t want to produce a typical 80’s/90’s political album so I tried to word things in a way that didn’t sound too winey but still got the message across.
What made you want to focus on these particular themes?
Throughout my career I have always found these themes to be the same problems people have no matter what. Although narcissism has taken a massive leap since social media. Bullying has, and always will be a massive problem. It will never go away. The same with greed. All of these things are forever in our lives, they just constantly take different forms.
How did you go on balancing the negative and bringing up some positive?
Thats a really great question and something I have thought about a lot when writing the lyrics. I didn’t want to bore people to death with a constant barrage of winey songs so when I had the idea for the topic, I would try to get my point across but put it back on the listener to find a common thread. It was also very important to write the songs so people really want to sing along to it regardless of the lyrics. By that I mean, if you want to just feel the energy of the music and sing along, you can. But if you want to understand it and really listen to it, then the message is right there for you also. If you want to write a song with a negative subject, then you need the music to be uplifting.
I think it’s so important to take people on a journey in a song. So writing a tune that builds you up and takes you down at key points is important. However, every song has a different message and meaning for everyone. As you listen to a song, what you hear in the music and the lyrics, is completely different from the person standing right next to you listening to the same song. And that in my opinion, is the beauty of music.
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
In a nut shell………personal experience. Feed My Ego was written after a friend of mine on Facebook would not stop posting selfies of herself. Everyday, all day, her selfies were all over my feed on Facebook. It got to a point where she just simply got no attention and she lost a lot of friends because of it. I don’t know why she started doing it but in the end her best friend rang her and told her to stop. Which she did I’m happy to say. She is a wonderful person and doesn’t need everybody’s approval to know it. I told her about the song and the music video and she loved it. The music video for the song is really funny. Ha.
Euthanasia is a pretty self explanatory song.
Stop Running is a great little story. It’s about me chasing success. With my music career, it’s always been just out of my reach. Forever chasing it but finally realising real success is always in the eyes of the beholder. As long as I’m writing music, I consider that success.
Making Zombies is about the ICE (meth) epidemic that is destroying peoples lives. It’s the biggest song on the album, with the biggest message in my opinion. There are a few friends from my past that have not survived their meth addiction. It was a song that had to be written.
I find the music and lyrics that come the easiest are the ones where I have been directly effected in some way. Be it physically or mentally. I try not to write empty lyrics for the sake of a song. I also try to match the music with the topic as well. We have many songs in the back log that are great musically but have no lyrics yet as I haven’t written the right ones for that particular track.
Any plans to hit the road?
Absolutely. We were planning to tour the album but unfortunately with the COVID 19 pandemic it is going to have to wait a while. We are all so devastated but it pales in comparison to the families who have lost loved ones. For now we will be as present as we can be on social media and perhaps do some on line gigs or something.
What else is happening next in My Kind of Chaos’ world?
I’m happy to say that Andy and I still write and recored every Sunday at 7am in my studio and we are 6 songs into the second album. After sitting in a studio with the likes of Anton Hagop as he produced our first album, we have a whole tonne of new ideas and writing skills. He is an incredible producer and musician. I am also happy to say that he has signed on for the second album as well. We also have 2 more video clips to release this year which both come with some amazing behind the scenes videos. But since the effect of COVID 19 is far from over we are thinking about releasing a single and video off the new album later in the year depending on how it all goes.
I just want to say how much we have love your questions. They have taken us and myself for a trip down memory lane. I think I’m going to go and listen to all the original recordings of the album again and have a laugh. Thank you so very much for listening.
All the best from us at My Kind Of Chaos.