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An Interview with Chaos Delivery Machine

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Chaos Delivery Machine are a punk band hailing from Hermosa Beach, California. After releasing their debut album in 2005 the band are back with their new full-length Burn Motherfucker Burn which is due for release on 05.05.15 through Hardline Entertainment. We interviewed the guys to find out more. 

HUNOW: So 10 years after the release of Manifesto, you are back with a new album titled Burn Motherfucker Burn. What would you say is the main aim of you releasing the new album?   

CDM: We do not really have a main aim, per se.  I guess you could say that we like playing and writing music together and we wanted to record it and see what happens.  Jason and I worked really hard on writing these songs and getting them to our satisfaction.  We are proud of the songs and so we wanted to record them and release them and create a good follow-up to our first album, Manifesto. Also, we want people to hear what we have to say and let them either love it or hate it.  Also, our aim is to do what we are very passionate about and love.

HUNOW: With Burn Motherfucker Burn being a follow up album, are you a little more nervous with how people would compare the new album to the previous one?    

CDM: Not really.  I don’t know if anybody really heard our first album, Manifesto.  We love both albums.  Each album stands on its own.  Some people might like our first one better, but I think the majority will like our new album more.  It is just more powerful and meaningful, in my opinion. We spent a lot of time to create what we personally liked.  Also, I took the lyrics on this album very seriously.  I researched history and did a lot of soul searching to write the lyrics for this album.  It is very, very personal to me. People will compare and contrast everything and praise things and hate things, etc…we don’t really care about all of that.   We did it because we love to do it and we would be lost without music.  I can’t live without music (either listening to it or recording it, etc…)

HUNOW: So far you’ve released a track off the new album titled The New Testament. What was the thought process when choosing this track as the track to release? 

CDM: To tell the truth, we did not really think about it.  About a year ago Hardline Ent. was putting out a sampler of all its bands.  So Ken (owner of Hardline) wanted to put one of our songs on it. We were not on his label yet, but we were cool with it because it would be a fun thing to be a part of.  So we gave him one of our songs to put on. At that time we only had about 4 or 5 songs that were completely done.  We were going to the studio to finish up all of our other songs later on.  So we thought The New Testament best reflected our sound out of the 4 or 5 songs that were done.  So that song went on the sampler.  So fast-forward a year later: We had a song to release and so we picked the same song because Ken already had that queued up on his website.  So there was no real big theory on what song to put out first.  We don’t really think that way. We really think of the album as a whole piece.  Not just one song here and there.

HUNOW: Have you got any interesting stories from the creation of the upcoming album Burn Motherfucker Burn?  

CDM: Just the whole experience was interesting.  It’s always crazy being in the studio and all the little details that you never knew existed.  Ian, our engineer, was just great at getting me to change a syllable here and there.  It’s crazy. Also, working with Fletch is just chaotic.  He was in the middle of selling some cars in the parking lot when we were in the middle of recording.  He would say,” Stop, I have to go outside because somebody answered my ad on Craigslist for this car I’m selling.”  There was always something.  He was working on this restaurant he was building and his phone didn’t work at the actual building, so he was hard to get a hold of.  If you know Fletcher, then you know it’s basically like being around a tornado.  Just craziness. But with that craziness comes a lot of laughs and good times.  Jason (the guitarist/songwriter) coming in with his little French Bulldog puppy pissing and shitting everywhere was pretty funny. And one night we had Fletch’s little niece, Avery, come in to sing that one line on the album.  It took forever.  She was not having it.  She was so funny and just would not repeat what Fletch told her to say.  He was trying everything. Ian, our engineer, taped the whole thing and it is about an hour long and hilarious. Other than that, it was just long days and some good times, some laughs, some arguments, some eating (Fletch did most of the eating), some sore throats, etc…

HUNOW: So the album will be available to purchase digitally, on CD and as a Vinyl. What are your views on streaming services like SoundCloud/ BandCamp? Would you ever think of putting future EPs/Full albums up on sites like these for free to get your material out to even more people?

CDM: I am totally for all of those sites.  You pretty much have to be.  It is the future, whether you like it or not.  So you have to switch your brain and just enjoy what it is doing: which is making it easier for people from all over the world to hear your music.  If you were a band years and years ago, the chance of anybody outside of your immediate area hearing your music was impossible.  With Soundcloud and Bandcamp now, some kids in Spain can hear a little tiny band in Iowa City.  How crazy is that?!   I do have issues with some things about it because artists do not get paid for their hard work.  But, like I said, you can’t fight the oncoming tide of the future and so you just have to roll with it and enjoy it.

HUNOW: Following on from this question, would you ever consider going on crowdfunding sites to gain funding for any future projects?

CDM: Sure, that seems like a great idea.  Again, that is the wave of the future I think.  I do not totally understand all of it, but I absolutely respect it and I am for it.  If you don’t get paid anymore for putting out music then it seems very logical that you would want some help in funding your musical project.  It’s a great idea, because it is friends and fans helping a band put out music.  A sort of community.  That is a good thing.

HUNOW: If you could choose to cover a song to play live/ release on any future albums, what would you choose?

CDM: I gotta say, you ask the best questions.  All your questions are not just typical interview questions.  You really put time and thought into your questions and that is very rare and very cool.  Now, to answer your question: There are a lot of songs that I’d like to cover and record and play live.  But to tell the truth, I could not do justice to all the old punk songs I’d love to cover.  Be it from Bad Brains, Gorilla Biscuits, Rudimentary Peni, Refused, Minor Threat, Blitz, Anti Nowhere League, Devo, etc… those songs and bands all had their place and time in history (and what a great history they are a part of.  The best of the best) and that sound and energy can never be duplicated.  How the fuck can you improve on Bad Brains Big Takeover or Banned In D.C. and Anti Nowhere League’s, We Are The League and Blitz’s Propaganda etc..?  But there is one song I always wanted to either play live or record.  I would really want to record it with all of our friends from our hometown and get bands like the Vandals, PW, Set On Right, Prop 13, Johnny Two Bags, etc… and that is Will The Circle Be Unbroken.  I know it’s an old spiritual song form the early 1900’s and has many different variations.  I like the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s interpretation of it the best.  It is so great, sad and yet uplifting, all at the same time.  It is not a punk song.  It’s more of a hymn. But we would turn it up a bit and make it a little heavier (but not faster, it’s at the perfect speed on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s version). I want to record it live with all of the bands/friends and do an extended version of it to include all of our loved ones that passed away and change the lyrics a bit here and there.  I would want a different singer (male and female) for every verse that was sung. And instead of violin/mandolin leads we would have guitar/bass leads from different guitarists(Warren, from the Vandals – I’m talking to you!). You would have to know the song/lyrics to know what I am talking about.  But when I always hear that song it puts a smile on my face, and a tear in my eye and just makes me want to record it.  If I just record one more song in my lifetime, I would want it to be that.

HUNOW: Would you say that there have been any learning curves throughout the making of Burn Motherfucker Burn? 

CDM: There are always learning curves in everything, including writing songs.  I think the learning process is key. It’s the learning and getting to know more about yourself and life around you that is the most important thing.  This album is very personal and emotional for Jason and I.  Be it from the loss of very close loved ones or very near death experiences, we have both grown and learned a lot.  If you quit trying to learn and stop being really introspective about yourself then you are not living life, you are merely existing.

HUNOW: You have mentioned before in a past interview that you do not like playing live because you think that you would “sorely disappoint people”, but on the other hand, you have also said that get your inspiration from the late 80’s/ early 90’s because how raw and pure the music is. As long as you have an aim and the passion, don’t you think that your fans would still enjoy the experience?

CDM: I just said that off the cuff and was joking around.  We don’t rule out playing live, but it is very hard for the 3 of us to all get together.  We all lead very different lives.  Also, we have thoughts in our heads that we would want it to be a crazy, weird show.  And right now we can’t put it all together.  We are a recording/friend project that loves the process of writing a song.  You are correct that there is juxtaposition in my statements. But seeing all those great, raw bands of the early 80’s really reminds me that we will never see that again.  And I know I cannot live up to that rawness and energy and I would not want to disappoint myself.  So if everything can come together then I would love to give it a go and see what happens live.

HUNOW: And if this album does turn out as a big success, would you think that this may convince you to play live much more regularly?

CDM: We really don’t think about that stuff.  With the kind of music we wrote and recorded for this album, it doesn’t really lend itself to us having a “big success” with it.  That didn’t really enter our minds.  In reality, we would do things in the studio that we thought would alienate people and make people hate our music.  We like that.  Since this is not a living for us, we didn’t have any rules to follow and so we did exactly what we wanted to.  It’s nice to have that freedom and not have to worry about if this album is gonna ‘make it’ or not. It would be great if people like it and I really hope they do.  But if people don’t, the world will still evolve around the sun and we will still continue living. Bottom line: It is about having fun and doing exactly what you want and writing exactly what you feel.  Anything else that happens after is all just icing on the cake I guess.

HUNOW: What advice would you give to the readers of HOLDUPNOW that would want to start writing and releasing their own music?

CDM: Easy: Just do it.  Write music and have fun, if it is your passion.  Don’t have any expectations about anything.  Just create songs and do what you want to do.  Don’t think about what other people might like or dislike. That will just muddle things up.  Do what you like.  Take inspiration from your favourite bands and try to expand on it.  It is very easy to get your music out there with sites like Bandcamp, etc…  You can record in your bedrooms nowadays with all the new technology and put music out there that people can hear that might be 15,000 miles away from you.  10 or 20 years ago, that was impossible.  So take advantage of the technology and the Internet and just try to get people to hear our music. Most important:  Make music because you want to and because it is your passion. That way, whether you make one dollar or a million dollars, it will be fun.  Making music is supposed to be enjoyable.  Don’t get caught up in all the other outside bullshit.  Just write and record music that you like.

HUNOW: Finally, where can we find out more about Chaos Delivery Machine?

CDM: On the Internet I guess.  When our album comes out we will have a really cool Tumblr page and we already have a Facebook site, Instagram site, etc… But to tell the truth, we don’t update too often.  We are very minimal and do not ‘hype’ our band too much.  We try to have friends tell their friends about us and we have good friends trying to help promote the record. Ken, from Hardline Ent. is putting out our album and is doing it as a friend.  It’s more of a community/grass roots sort of thing.  My friend and next-door neighbor, Mike from Earshot Media, is helping me just to help me because we are friends and he is cool.  He’s not asking for any money. But I will give him some. Ha!  Friends helping friends.  That’s the way we like it.  We are kind of out of our element when it comes to all of the hype and promotion and getting our name out there.  To tell the truth, we really rely on people like you and your HOLDUPNOW site/mag to help us.  We very much appreciate your interest in us.  And again, I liked your questions a lot.  They made me really think and contemplate about things.  So thank you for that.  I appreciate you taking the time and for giving me this forum to say some of my thoughts to whoever is interested. Cheers!

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21-year-old third year Computer Science student at the University of Hertfordshire that often gets mistaken for the Milkybar kid.

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