[With a new album already in the shops, Chrysalis used some of their “thank feck the hard work’s done on that one” time to answer a few questions – thanks, guys!]
The new album’s out today (as I’m writing this) and it’s the first release in seven years. Why the long delay?
Billy: We were kids when we put out the first album. Since then our lives became much more complicated with school, jobs, relationships etc. We didn’t have the resources or the time to focus on the band full-time. We were only able to work on new material sporadically.
And what have you been doing these last seven years? I keep seeing the words “semi-hiatus” which seem rather oxymoronic! Were you on a break, not on a break, just taking things slow…?
Billy: Growing up.
Yessi: We had to restructure our lives to get behind the band full time. It wasn’t easy, and it took a very long time. We don’t have any kind of label support, so trying to record, play shows, and do promotion all while trying to hold down day jobs takes up a lot of time.
Jared: We just recently quit our day jobs haha. It’s all or nothing now.
You have a very distinct sound! Without me naming genres, how would you pigeonhole yourselves if you had to put a label on yourselves?
Yessi: Everyone seems to call it something different. We’ve called it rhythmic-metal, post-metal and jokingly described out music as new nu-metal.
Billy: Reviewers have called it “post-hardcore” which I don’t agree with at all.
Jared: It gets even harder to categorize if you take into account our first album. It had a lot of symphonic gothic sounding stuff.
Gabe: We’re a fucken rock band.
The band’s been together since 2003, yet you’re all still annoyingly young! How did you meet and start out?
Billy: I guess we started out the same way most bands do; by jamming and then playing a bunch of lame shows.
Yessi: Me and Billy (the drummer), used to play together when we were just kids. I think we met at another bands’ local show. Everyone in our small town knew Jared Sturgis was the best bass player around, so we plucked him from another group. That’s basically the nucleus of Chrysalis that’s still together to this very day. We recently added Gabe (guitar player) to fill out the lineup. He’s another local musician that we’ve always known. We’ve also collaborated with other local musicians on a regular basis; Chris Norris (guitarist, and Billy’s younger brother), Arsenio Otero (Lyrics) & Noel Castillo (Keyboards).
“Instant Silence” has a poignant story behind it…?
Billy: It’s dedicated to our friend Jeff that passed away recently. We played a lot of shows with his band Lindbergh Skies. We had some good times together. We released the song on the anniversary of his passing.
Is there an overall theme to the album? Or are these songs which have come together over the last few years?
Yessi: Both. The songs did come together over a very long period of time, but the title Focus On The Center is in reference to keeping balance in one’s life. Mostly in regards to religion, atheism, philosophy and ideology. I think various belief systems all offer something of value, but taking any of them to an extreme is dangerous.
Who is the band member with the glorious pointy moustache? Would you care to try and score some free hair care products by telling us what you use to shape that beauty?
Gabe: That would be Yessi.
Yessi: I’m not going to say what product I use unless I get some sponsorship money from them first!
What’s next for Chrysalis? Hopefully not another long gap…?
Yessi: No the gap won’t be anywhere near as long. We’re already doing pre-production on new material.
Billy: Right now we’re mostly focused on supporting our current release through touring. We’re doing a regional tour right now, and we’ll be doing a full U.S. tour this Summer.
Yessi: Our plan is complete new material, and start shopping it to labels. For the new material we’ll be working with ex-Periphery vocalist Casey Sabol on some of it.
- Band of the Day: Chrysalis (moshville.co.uk)
- Review: Chrysalis – Focus On The Center [Album] (hangout.altsounds.com)
- Review: CHRYSALIS’ Focus On The Center (pittsburghmusicmagazine.com)