by Debbie Seagle
RNW: Are you all from Vancouver,
or did you just kind of congregate there?
Chad: No, we’re actually from
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
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?
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
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.
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
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
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
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,
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.
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?
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
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
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
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
Chad: Oh yeah, not primal
. . .
RNW: I’m talking like, Staind,
Korn . . .
Chad: No, nothing like that.
No, I’m talking notes, but aggressive
RNW: Oh, okay, notes.
Chad: I don’t do the other.