The Whipping Post presents...
Biogenesis Interview - Added 03/17/03
A few years ago, a somewhat unknown band named Biogenesis unleashed a new album that turned a bunch of heads in the metal scene. Combining elements from various styles of metal, Biogenesis crafted a sound all their own that received praise far and wide. Now in 2003, they have a new record label, a somewhat different lineup, and they are set to release a brand new full length in a few months. Read along as vocalist Chaz Bond brings us up to date on the band's past, present, and future.
The Whipping Post: Well, despite having only released one full-length album, the history of Biogenesis up to this point is quite full. Bring everyone up to date on the history of the band.
Chaz Bond: In early 1997, my last band had just split up. I had been growing weary of playing one style all of the time. You either played hard rock, thrash, power metal or what ever style that your band had decided to play. My tastes were so vast it was hard for me to be fully satisfied with just one rigid style. I began to work on a solo project that would combine all the different sounds that I enjoyed to create a sound of my own. I enjoyed the making of this project so much that I had decided to form a band based on these ideas. I was reading a book and I came across the word Biogenesis and its definition of life can only come from pre-existing life and I was hooked immediately. After the name was chosen I began to look at musicians to complete the roster. Our original drummer and myself went into the studio to record the first Biogenesis project called Tunnel Vision. This project was then used as a demo to shop the idea of musical diversity to musicians. Over the next few years several line-ups came and went. Then in March of 2000, our guitarist James Riggs and I went into the studio with our first drummer to record a new demo to shop to labels. Just as we were finishing the project bassist Randy Walton joined the band. A short time later we ran into a representative of Rowe Productions and presented our demo. One week later we signed our first record deal. We released our first album The Mark Bleeds Through in June of 2001 but the label lost its distribution deal just prior to the release, which forced us to rely on the internet for record sales. For this reason we decided to start looking at labels again. After looking at a few possibilities we found Symmetry Media to be an attractive opportunity after sitting down with its founder Jimmy P. Brown. The past year was very hard on us. We lost our bass player and our drummer, which slowed us down tremendously. After a long fiasco of searching for replacements we eventually re-evolved into our current roster with Randy Walton returning to the band as bassist, Matt Rivera on drums, Blaine Gordon as a second guitarist, James Riggs on guitar, and myself on vocals.
WP: You guys had a drummer for a very short time named Shannon Frye, who is a good friend of mine. What happened to allow him to join the band and why was the departure so quick?
CB: We had released our drummer Nevin Cline due to personal differences and we immediately launched a replacement search. The main candidates were former Jacob's Dream drummer Billy Queen and former Vengeance Rising drummer Shannon Frye. Shannon had an impressive personality and profile and was known as a speed double bass fanatic, which is one of the things we were looking to up the irons on. Shannon joined the band shortly after his try out. During that time I would have to say that it was the lowest point in our band history. Things were falling apart. Randy had just left the band and we had lost our rehearsal space all at once. Some time went on and our former drummer Nevin Cline was expressing some very high interest in returning and getting another shot. Shannon met Nevin and after giving it a lot of thought Shannon approached me about stepping down to allow Nevin to return. It was a very humble and kind gesture and one we won't forget. There were no hard feelings between Shannon and us. In fact, he still helps us in different ways to this day. Shannon is a hard worker and deserves an opportunity in the music business. Shannon Frye is a good bro.
WP: What has been some of the responses (both good and bad) to your album The Mark Bleeds Through?
CB: Most of what I have seen and heard have been very good. Some reviewers have called us "The Deliverance of the new Millennium" and one of the best new bands and so on. The fans have responded very well too. As far as negative responses, I have not seen a lot of bad return so that is something to be proud of. I have seen a few reviewers say that our influences are too obvious and then when they say what those influences are they are actually way off. People are going to say what they think they hear and thats ok. That's life.
WP: Is there anything you would've done differently if you had a chance to do the recording of The Mark Bleeds Through all over again?
CB: Absolutely. First, now that we know Jimmy P. Brown, I would ask him to produce it. Then we would tune to my natural range instead of the low Type O Negative vibe that the record has. We would replace all the leads that the producer erased at mix down and we would take our time until we are satisfied. The last thing I would do is take a week to track vocals instead of being forced to cram it all in one grueling day.
WP: What ended up being your favorite song off of your debut and why?
CB: It is very difficult to pick one without choosing one or two more, but if I have to pick one I would have to say "Inner Child". That song is very personal to me and is close to my heart. I also like it because I think it's a great balled. However, it sounds much better live because the band is tuned higher and it sounds much better vocally.
WP: Did you guys have many chances to play live in support of The Mark Bleeds Through, and how did those concerts go?
CB: We were playing every weekend for more than a year straight after signing with Rowe. By the time our record was finally released we had developed a large local secular following and were headlining on a regular basis. We have seen a lot of crazy things, mosh pits, broken bottles, and lots of crowd surfing. Some shows left something to be desired but most of our shows were great. In the summer of 2001 we went out on tour with Mortification. So far that was the best time in my life.
WP: Describe your new relationship with Symmetry Media? How did that all come about?
CB: Jimmy P. Brown and I are very close friends. Jimmy wants to do for his bands what he felt should have been done for his band when he was in Deliverance. Working with Jimmy has been nothing short of fantastic and we are all very excited about the future. Shortly after the release of our first album Jimmy had the opportunity to hear us and was impressed. After chatting through e-mail, e-mail turned into phone conversations and then we finally met up with him when we performed with Deliverance at the Texas Rock Fest. Jimmy offered us a deal after finding out that we were unhappy with the unexpected shortcomings of our current label at the time.
WP: So, how is the recording process going with your new album Peace, Love, & Hypocrisy?
CB: We are planning for production kick off sometime next month. Our rehearsal time for this new record has been very exciting for all of us. We plan to take our time and put every detail in its place with Jimmy's production abilities and I will be flying down to Nevada to track vocals and I will be taking my time so it should turn out great.
WP: What are you guys doing differently on this album, both musically and lyrically? What can we expect?
CB: I would have to say that this album is heavier than the first one. Its more aggressive and intense. Our first album was basically classic Metal with a modern vibe. This album is modern Metal with a classic vibe. Modern in the sense of massive slamming groove with unexpected flashes from Metal's past occasionally sneaking its way in with a melodic flair in the midst. The drumming on this album is much more technical which allows us to expand even further and on this record we do. Expect the double bass work to be much faster at times and much more technical. The one thing that remains is diversity. Diversity was and still is our sound. Lyrically this album has gone from issues of atheism, abortion, and the occult on the first album to the deeper and more personal issues of the human spirit within. I have grown very tired of watching people and especially Christians point fingers at one another in judgment when we simply have no right. Every believer has something to hide from man. No one is blameless in this life so it is ludicrous to think we have the right to tell someone else that they are in sin when we are all born with it and Christians live their lives as a pardoned imperfect soul. Issues such as hatred, racism and malice are among the issues discussed in the lyrics of this album. One thing that has really effected the lyrics of this album are many of the hard times we had faced over the past two years as a band. In a sense this is our way of venting and letting our fans know that we have been through a good portion of Hell in a short period of time.
WP: Do you guys have a definitely release date yet for the new album?
CB: At this time we are hoping to have the record out by July 2003. If everything goes, as it should we will be ready to display our new onslaught very soon.
WP: Do you or your label has any specific plans as of yet to promote the new release?
CB: Symmetry Media is working on getting Brutal Planet Distribution, which I am told is very good and should get our product out in regular stores.
WP: What have you been listening to lately besides your own stuff youre recording?
CB: Lately I have been listening to bands like Soil Work, Fates Warning and Iced Earth. Soil Work is a great band and in some ways they remind me of Biogenesis at times and in some ways so does Iced Earth. Another incredible band. Also, although I do not own it, I have really enjoyed much of Disturbed's new album. Much better than their last one.
WP: What are some big releases that you are looking out for this year?
CB: Hm?? Not much really. If Soil Work or Iced Earth are releasing albums this year then I suppose I would be looking out for that. There are just not a lot of bands that I'm really into nowadays.
WP: What do you see as the future for Biogenesis?
CB: Well what we all hope to see is a long future in the industry. We want to sell enough records and do enough touring to make a living so we can last even longer for us and for our fans. I see a band striving and challenging themselves to continue to create a unique and diverse form of music. To go down in history as a popular band who made its mark with a long history and discography. We will continue to strive to stay signed and to continue making albums as long as we can. Our goal? To be quite honest, we want to gain as much attention as we possibly can in the music industry. This is what we love. It's who we are and what we have been called to do since childhood. Now I've told you what we would like to see, but ultimately its up to the fans. It all comes down to the record buyer. Only time will tell.
WP: Any final comments youd like to make to the readers of The Whipping Post?
CB: We want to let all the fans know that this album is for you! You are the reason we are making another album and we truly cherish that. I don't understand bands that are arrogant and think they're too good to talk to their fans or return fan mail. Without you we are nothing. We appreciate and care about each and every one of you! To all the fans, "thank you and here's to the future". Biogenesis dedicates this new album to the fans! To those of you who have not heard us yet you can check out our new site at http://www.biogenesismusic.com