Casey Chaos is standing alone, staring steely eyed into the light. He's driven by the sheer energy of it all and as his former band mates left Amen to join Nu-Metal bands and collect the pay cheques, Chaos remained determined to kick back harder after his band and label deserted him. He's not so much a band who dredges textbooks for political references as goes with his gut feelings of what is right and wrong and it's these feelings that have fuelled 50 songs for the bands forthcoming album as well as an exclusive Tour CD which feature the current live favourites "Gun Of A Preacher Man" and "The B***ard Sons". Designer Magazine caught up with Casey Chaos to find the truth about what's happening in the Amen camp right now.
Q: We hooked up with you on the first ever UK Tour for Amen and of course since then the band has dissolved around you and you're currently without a label at present. There's been so many rumours filtering through - what's the state of play at the moment?
A: It's great, it's better than ever actually. Nothing's changing with Amen. The only thing that has changed is the fact that there were other people who have other motives who you could judge the band by what other people are doing. If you see what the ex members are doing - Larkin is in Godsmack, Sonny played in some stupid nu-metal band - they're all in it for the money. Larkin has a child and I totally love Larkin forever and I'm grateful to all of them for where it took the band, but obviously as it developed when the business gave out so did their faith sorta.
The sound hasn't changed at all because I write everything and play everything on the records so it's the same. Except drums, Larkin was the hardest member to replace but we did it.
Q: With nothing to promote except the Tour CD which is only available at these UK Shows I guess it's giving something back to the fans who've stayed with you through the last 12 months. It must feel good just be able to play music for the sake of it rather than be shackled by a record label?
A: I want the kids to have a good time and I don't want to be someone who is telling them how to think. But I want them to feel they weren't ripped off and they didn't see a bunch of cons on stage going through a routine. Were going to play songs that were never going to play again after this tour and that's my of showing appreciation - now is the moment!!! I remember when I saw Black Flag as a kid and they did that and I know I'll never forget that. I saw Nirvana playing in front of 25 people.
There's a tour CD that were selling at the moment which is a compilation of new and old tracks which are all unreleased. "B***ard Sons", "Gun Of A Preacher Man", "Cracks Of Tomorrow", "Christian Criminal", "Die Diva Die", "Buy American" and some which were on the "Free Music" campaign but they've all been remixed.
We have over 50 songs recorded for the new album and that will be out in May. All I know is that it's definitely coming out in May because over the past year we've been signed to 2 Major record companies and with that being said I can't predict what these f**king slaves are going to do. I still have that total discontent with the American civilization and growing up in America. This year has been the worst year of my life so it's definitely heightened in that sense. I'm getting more and more angry and I'm not beat down by the man - it makes we want to kick the mans ass more. It doesn't make me want to join some Nu-Metal band or some band that's going to pay me a cheque.
Q: Amen have always taken a political stance, but I've always felt it was more a gut feeling about what is right and wrong rather that text book politics. Could you try and explain where you're coming from politically?
A: I have a weird thing about politics in a sense that I'm not politically motivated when it comes down to it. I'm here as an individual and I've got my views about how things f**ked are up, but I'm not really someone who studies politics. Like Serj knows all this stuff, and I know quite a bit, but what I want to do is try and strike people to think and to question it themselves...because some people just don't think and that's the most important thing. If you can get in a band and inspire people do something - write, paint or form their own bands - that will inspire other people.
For me American Politics is a no win battle. I really believe that we as the people obviously did not vote Bush as our president but he is anyway and that say's it all. I can't change it, but I can sing about it and make a statement about what I believe. At the end of the day I'm more of a humanist and try to be good to whoever and that's it.
Amen are expected to tour the UK in May to support the forthcoming album
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