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by Debbie Seagle


RNW:  Are you all from Vancouver, or did you just kind of congregate there?

Chad:  No, we’re actually from Alberta.

RNW:  Oh really?   My favorite hockey player is from Alberta.

Chad:  Who’s that.

RNW:  He’s a goalie actually, I’m a goalie girl.  Chris Osgood of the Detroit Red Wings.  Actually I think he’s from Medicine Hat.

Chad:  Is he?  Our drummer looks exactly like Chris Osgood.

RNW:  No way.  You’re lying.

Chad:  No, I’m not.  Its really funny because when we walk around in Detroit, everyone comes up to him right away and goes "Dude, you look just like Osgood."  I mean, you can tell its not him,  but he looks like him.

RNW:  Okay, maybe you’re not messing with me. 

I read in your bio that you blew through six drummers before you settled on Ryan.

Chad:  Not true.

RNW:  The bio’s not true?

Chad:  No, the bio is false in a lot of ways.

RNW:  Is it stretched a bit?  Were there, maybe four?

Chad:  I don’t know who came up with that, no, there were three drummers.

RNW:  Three?  Three’s a lot better than six!

Chad:  My cousin was the first drummer.  He found his replacement when he left the band.

RNW:  He just wasn’t into it?

Chad:  He just wanted to do the family thing.  He didn’t want to pursue the whole rock and roll dream and then we knew the replacement was just a replacement.  He wasn’t going to be blowing anybody’s mind.   But he was a good drummer and he was really dedicated to us, a really great guy, but you can’t win the super bowl if you don’t stack your team, so we had to let him go and we found Ryan Vikedal.  Its not like we found him . . .

RNW:  The one who looks like Chris Osgood?

Chad:  Yeah.

RNW:  Outrageous.   Yeah, six drummers, I thought, are these guys hard to get along with?  What’s the story there?

How much different do you think the music scene is in Canada than in the US?  Do you think there’s a big difference?

Chad:  There is.  There’s a huge difference.  The music scene in the US is far ahead here.  We don’t have Slipknot and Seven Dust and Coal Chamber and all these others, Papa Roach.  They don’t get played on the radio.  We are one of the heavier bands in Canada.

RNW:  Really?

Chad:  Yeah, there’s not too many heavier than us that get played on the radio.  Um, and that’s strange cause we come down here and we’re one of the lighter bands down here. 

RNW:  Well, in a sea of thrash and death metal, yeah, I would say you are, but I do think that you have a really hard rock sound.

Chad:  Just because you’ve seen a couple songs.  You know, the record isn’t as heavy as we are live. 

RNW:  Yeah, I would agree with that.  Definitely, because I did think that you sounded, not a lot different, but different than you do on the CD.  Its interesting that you say that some stuff doesn’t get put on the radio in Canada.  I understand that there are some laws in Canada that make sure that Canadian musicians have fair advantages on the radio.  Can you tell me a little bit about that?  I don’t really know the details.

Chad:  Its called Canadian Content.  Thirty five percent of everything you hear on the radio or see on television has to be Canadian born, Canadian made.  If it wasn’t, we would pretty much have to call ourselves America, because we’d be so overrun.  I mean, we’re already overrun with the music and the television and the movies and Hollywood.  If we didn’t have that, we would have no culture of our own.  So that’s a good thing.  A lot of music directors at radio stations disagree with it because they hate being told what to play.  They hate being told that they have to play something, you know?  But I definitely think its a good idea that somebody’s trying to preserve the culture of the country.  If it wasn’t for that Can Con law, there would be hardly any music scene in Canada. 

RNW:  It would give a lot of bands who were really trying to break in a lot harder time doing it.  Probably a lot of them would never get radio play.

Chad:  Exactly.  If it wasn’t for that we wouldn’t be here because we broke in Canada and we sold a ton of records.  We sold 10,000 records on our own and then that’s when the sharks start swimming around. 

RNW:  The good kind of sharks though . . . the ones with wallets and buses and all the other accouterments, so to speak.

Chad:  There ya go.

RNW:  You’ve been compared to Creed and Collective Soul . . .

Chad:  Only in our bio.

RNW:  No, I’ve heard some people say that too . . .

Chad:  Well, you’ve seen us live, what do you think?

RNW:  I don’t think so.  So apparently you don’t either?

Chad:  Nope.  Well, we’ve been around longer than Creed, so anyone that says we sound like Creed, that’s silly. 

RNW:  So, for the record, Creed sounds like you?

Chad:  No, not at all (laughter from Debbie).  Its hard to say that somebody sounds like someone else when they were there first, you know?  We don’t sound like Creed.  We have the same sort of influence that almost all the bands that are on the radio sell.  There’s this huge backlash right now of a lot of bands stemming from Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Sound Garden, Nirvana, Alice in Chains.  Those five.  I mean, if you look at what’s on the radio these days, its like, a lot of bands sound very similar, and we are one of those bands that sound a lot alike.  And its not until you actually get the record or come see us live and go, okay, now they’re a little bit different.  In the same breath, we’re not reinventing the wheel.  We’re just a rock and roll band.

RNW:  Well, and everybody is pretty much driven by what they’ve heard growing up, what they’ve kind of latched on to.  You know, "I kind of like that sound," and they get influenced by that when they are writing their own things.

Chad:  Sure.

RNW:  Tell me a little bit about your song writing process, your band’s dynamic for writing songs.

Chad:  I come up with the riff, the main structure of the song.  I come up with the melody, I write the lyrics and then I bring it to the guys and they throw their spice into the spaghetti sauce and what you hear is what you get.

RNW:  So the music is first, or some piece of it?

Chad:  Yeah, the music will come first, just from me jamming out a couple of riffs on a guitar.  Then I’ll hum some things and find the melody that I want and then I’ll start spitting out a few sentences here and there and it all starts to come together and then I find the direction of the song.  I don’t usually write the song, the song kind of writes itself, I guess.  Cause I’ll just sort of be mumbling things and humming stuff and a couple of words will pop out here and there . . . and hey, that sounds kind of good . . . and I’ll jot that down.  Then I’ll say something else and then I’ll have a couple of sentences and then the song just starts to take a direction and then I look at that and I’ll go, oh, I know what the song’s about!  I totally know what the song’s about.

RNW:  Then you can really fill in the pieces?

Chad:  Yeah!  Its like, the sculptor, you know?  He just starts chipping away and its starts to form itself and then he looks at it and says "I know what this is!"  And he just chips it all away and there it is.  That’s the way I sort of do it.

RNW:  Well, I’m about ready to tear up your bio and throw it out but . . .

Chad:  Its terrible.

RNW:  You know, I hear more people say that, I’m telling you.  Everybody I interview says "No, that’s not true.  No, where did you hear that?"  And I’m like, dude, its on your bio.  Your record company is sending it out to everybody.

Chad:  You’ve got to take about 60% of what’s in there and know that, okay, that’s probably correct and the rest of it is, you know . . .

RNW:  I’m curious about one of your songs, "Not Leaving Yet."  What was the inspiration behind that song?

Chad:  Um, when I heard from my mother that my grandma wasn’t going to be with us too much longer, I was just like God, right away, I just felt really hollow.  And I just went downstairs and probably in 15 minutes, that one just came right out.  When you hear the lines, "Come lie next to me Jesus Christ . . ."

RNW:  That was the particular line that I was interested in, yeah.

Chad:  "Hands where a cross used to fit just right,"  that sort of refers to her on her death bed.  And "In the hall the family’s grieving, I’m the one who stays, I’m not leaving yet," that’s sort of me staying by my grandmother’s side and wanting to hold on to sort of like, the last of it.

RNW:  I’ve been there, so definitely, when I hear that song again, it will have a lot more special meaning for me there.

How is "Curb" (their first indie release in Canada) different than "The State?"  I haven’t gotten to hear that yet.

Chad:  "Curb" is raw Nickelback.  Its raw.

RNW:  That sounds interesting!

Chad:  It is interesting.  There ‘s a lot of good songs on there and . . .

RNW:  Are you going to play some tonight?

Chad:  No.

RNW:  How long of a set do you have tonight?

Chad:  Half an hour.  When we get the full meal deal, we grab a couple off there and play them, but when we’re out with these guys, we just don’t have the time.

RNW:  That’s a bummer, I’d like to hear some of that. 

Chad:  Its heavier.  Its a little edgier and on this record, the producer we used was definitely worried about getting us on the radio so he toned it down a lot.  You can hear it in songs like "Diggin This" where it kicks into the heavy riff (Chad imitates the guitar riff), where I would have been really screaming, it was more like . . .

RNW:  Do you do the primal screaming stuff?

Chad:  Oh yeah, not primal . . .

RNW:  I’m talking like, Staind, Korn . . .

Chad:  No, nothing like that.  No, I’m talking notes, but aggressive notes.

RNW:  Oh, okay, notes.

Chad:  I don’t do the other.


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