Bringing some fresh energy to the stoner rock genre, Canada’s wickedly rocking Chron Goblin are invading US soil for the first time. Having honed in on their smoky, beer stained blend of rock, punk, and metal over the past five years, Chron Goblin will without a doubt be earning some new fans in the heavy music haven that is the great Pacific Northwest. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to ask them some questions, I suggest checking out their latest effort Life For The Living over at http://chrongoblin.bandcamp.
Chron Goblin Is:
Seattle Passive Aggressive: How and when did Chron Goblin come together? How did you all meet?
Darty: We all lived in the same residence building in university and our mutual love for cheap beer and stinky herb unified us. Although we didn’t start playing music together formally until about 4 or 5 years later, we put in some solid years of partying to establish a foundation of a friendship that’s allowed us to create music and keep our aspirations supported.
SPA: Your music is probably within a certain range of being classified as stoner rock/metal, but there’s quite a bit of diversity as well. What is your writing process like? What would you say is the goal or motivation behind your music? Have things changed over the span of your three records?
Brett: Initially, when we formed the band we didn’t have any aspirations aside from wanting to write music that would fit in the rock and roll vein. Typically our writing process involves Darty suggesting a few riffs/passages and he’ll work with me to do some basic arranging. Then Josh and Richard jump in and support in reworking the parts or phrasing with the whole group. Josh writes all his own lyrics and melodies and will usually incorporate his parts into a framework that Darty, Richard and myself establish. We work songs over and over again until we’re all happy with them. The process is very collaborative and we try to leave space for each other to express what each of us are diggin’ for a particular song. We like to have a blend of heavy, attacking songs while also writing pieces that have more mood and groove to them. We try to always create lots of dynamics, sometimes within one song, but particularly over the course of an album.
I don’t think we’ve had a conscious change of direction while writing any of the three records we’ve put out – we pretty much try to write songs that we would want to listen to, all the while trying not to repeat ourselves. Our EP is fairly innocent as we were all finding our voices on our particular instruments, defining our own style of music that we had never explored before. Our next two records were recorded in a more established studio, so I think the production capture our goals more effectively. I think our latest album (Life for the Living) is our most concise effort yet; it contains some of our most heavy outputs to date and overall I think the songwriting is stronger and more defined.
SPA: I’m sure for many of our local readers, the music scene up north is a bit of a mystery. What’s it like being in a band and playing in Calgary? What’s the scene like for heavy music?
Darty: Calgary is a rad town with a thriving music scene for all genres! Sure we have to load gear in two feet of snow for 8 months of the year but that’s where the warming power of beer comes in. The heavy music scene here is very strong with killer shows happening week. We also have great venues that really support the scene and lots of local bands with amazing talent. Touring in the winter can be sketchy as it’s quite a distance from city to city, especially in a hazy van pummeling down the snow packed highway, however fans really appreciate touring Canadian bands as they know how challenging it can be.
SPA: All your records thus far have been released by Chron Goblin Entertainment, can you tell me about how Chron Goblin Entertainment works to your advantage? Does CGE do anything other than release your records?
Darty: When we first started this we educated ourselves on the legalities of music rights and ownership. We decided the best move for us at the time was to register ourselves as a business called “Chron Goblin Entertainment” in order to maintain all of our music rights, creative freedom, and set up our business. This has allowed us to maintain our creative freedom and financial independence to make decisions that are best for us. CGE hasn’t released anything other than our own records, however starting our own record label has certainly been something we’ve been considering. That being said, for our next album we really want to find the right studio, producer, and the right label to take us to the next level.
SPA: I’ve read that your upcoming tour of the Pacific Northwest will be your first trek into the United States. Is playing the US been a new goal for you as a band, or something you’ve wanted to do for a while? Was it difficult to get the tour booked at all?
Darty: We’ve wanted to play the US for years but the right opportunity hadn’t come up yet. Stumpfest worked as a perfect festival to anchor a tour around. It was fairly difficult to arrange as we still book our shows independently but with the help of some rad people and bands (you know who you are) we managed to make it all work. As always it was a good learning experience for us as it is more difficult than one might think to play music across borders. Rumor has it that the Pacific Northwest knows how to party so that’s an added bonus of this tour.
SPA: Do you guys have any plans for more touring, either locally or internationally?
Brett: We are currently exploring returning to the UK and venturing to for the first time Europe for fall 2014. We had such an amazing experience playing Desertfest in London last year – everyone from the fans to the other bands and the festival organizers were so welcoming and supportive, it made for such an incredible debut in the UK. It’s given us a huge desire to return and explore more of the great rock and roll culture that is so ingrained in the UK and Europe. We also plan to return for another leg of touring in the US as we’ve learned a lot about the process for legitimately crossing the border and we want to make the most of opportunities that are coming our way down south.
SPA: Your guys last music video was pretty crazy and awesome, and I saw that you guys just completed filming a new video. Can you tell us anything about it?
Brett: The video for Bring Your Idols was a blast to make! Josh’s video production company Ramble did a superb job of filming, editing and managing the project in general and it contained a good mix of live performance, party scenes with all of our homies, and a fun plot to tie it all together. It was great experience for us as our first professionally shot music vid and we are blown away by the final product that was created.
Brett: The video we just finished filming two weeks ago is for the track Blood Flow off our latest album. Ramble has again taken on the project and it’s expected to be released before we head to the States for our Pacific Northwest tour. This video is all action scenes, no live performance, so it was hilarious to attempt some of the “acting” that we were required to do. The basic plot is that we’re four shitty criminals for hire tasked with stealing a fancy beer stein from a 93 year old woman. Let’s just say it’ll be a showcase of our terribly awful comedy-acting and some super HD slow-motion footage of us smashing shit. It was probably one of the funniest weekends I have had in a long time and we are all stoked to see the final result!
SPA: You guys seem to put out new material pretty consistently, what’s the scoop on the next release?
Brett: We’re currently in the process of writing new material and we plan to hit the studio again in early 2015 after recording some demos late this summer. We’ve also recently had our track Deserter featured on a western Canadian compilation album called House of Burners, released by our pals in Shooting Guns (killer instrumental psych-rockers from Saskatoon). For our next release we’d really like to find a studio that has a history of recording some great rock/stoner rock albums. We’ve never worked with a producer before, but we are contemplating this and have a few people in mind that we’d like to approach. Our last two full length’s have allowed us to accomplish some great things and taken us places we never thought we’d play. With our next album, we want to continue our progression, both as musicians and songwriters, but also as a recognized performing and recording artist.
SPA: Any other big news or plans in the works for Chron Goblin?
Darty: By the time this goes to print our new music video will be out and we are hyped on that! We are in the works of planning a return to the UK and hopefully Europe for the first time this fall. We have been featured in the upcoming issue of Rolling Heavy which is a killer magazine based around vans that should be coming out shortly. We have also booked some studio time at the end of August to record some demos of the next album to shop around for the right studio, producer, and label. This summer we will be playing various music festivals in Canada and the US and continuing to smoke beers and write the next album.