The Whipping Post presents...
Jacob's Dream Interview - Added 07/19/04
Read along as I had the opportunity to talk with new Jacob's Dream lead vocalist Chaz Bond (also the lead singer of the band Biogenesis):
Whipping Post: Well Chaz, youíve been the current lead vocalist with Jacobís Dream for how long now?
Chaz Bond: I officially joined the band I believe in early October of 2003.
WP: How did the guys end up choosing you? Were there auditions or did they just call you up and ask you to join Ďem?
CB: The first time they contacted me was right after David Taylor announced he was leaving. They asked me then if I would be interested in trying out. At the time I told them that it was an honor for them to ask but I wasnít willing to dissolve Biogenesis. Some months went by and they had contacted me again. At that point I had decided to at least go and see how it feels and so on. So I went out and tried my hand at a couple of brand new songs that I had never heard, which was quite odd. At that particular time we didnít seem to find each other. It didnít seem right then. About six months went by and I was contacted yet again. They felt that it might work out if I had more time with the material. I went down and laid down some rehearsal tracks on some new material and the guys loved it. They were blown away. I guess the timing was right. It felt right on my end as well for some reason. At the time I was hoping to do a record as a guest vocalist to see how it works itself out but they were not interested in a guest appearance. After some serious thought on the matter I sent them a proposal. I would be willing to join if they were willing to allow me to be in both bands and to deal with the ins and outs that come with that. They had no problem with that as long as I gave my all in Jacobs Dream as well. They didnít just hand me the job. I was actually working with them for a few months before I really even knew if they were going to hire me. They knew what they were looking for and they were not going to settle for less. I really respected that. I think that was probably what attracted me the most about joining them. They were very professional.
WP: What is the current lineup of the band?
CB: Guitarist John Berry and Bassist James Evans are still right where they belong. Former Guitarist John Noble has returned and so has former Guitarist Gary Holtzman accept now he is the drummer. Now you throw me in the equation and we have the new Jacobs Dream.
WP: How are things going with Jacobís Dream these days?
CB: Things couldnít be better. Were all having a lot of fun and were very optimistic about the future.
WP: Howís the new album coming along?
CB: I guess you could say were still in pre-production. I am getting ready to start laying down some final vocal cuts really soon. So far everything sounds great and were all really excited to get this record out. The guys have been waiting a long time for this and so have the fans. I can sense some new life in some ways from everything that is happening now.
WP: So honestlyÖhow has it been so far being the vocalist for Jacobís Dream?
CB: I donít think there is any way I could be happier. The guys are great to work with. There is such a drama free atmosphere when we are working together. Everyone is professional and we all work very well together as a unit.
WP: Is it what you expected?
CB: I didnít really know what to expect. All I can say is that Iím very excited and proud to be a part of it.
WP: Have you and the rest of the guys warmed up to each other pretty good?
CB: At first I was a little uncomfortable because I would always wonder what the guys were thinking about my vocals. I really wasnít used to that at all. I was always used to writing all the melodies and never had to really worry about what others thought about it because that was my job. I had never in my life tried to sing songs that were all ready written by someone else before until joining Jacobs Dream. However as time went on I began to feel more and more like a member of the band instead of always feeling like the new guy. They have given me a lot of room to be myself and a lot of times they like some of the changes that I make and some little things I add here and there. That really makes me feel a lot more comfortable because I donít always have to wonder what they are thinking because I know they like what I do. We all got along really well right from the start. The camaraderie was already there.
WP: Whatís been the most challenging aspect of being the vocalist for Jacobís Dream?
CB: Learning melodies and lyrics that were already written by someone else. Sometimes it feels like Iím doing covers even though Iím not. Itís not at all what I was used to but Iím getting used to it now and Iím loving it.
WP: Youíve spent a lot of time being the lead vocalist for the metal band Biogenesis. Which lead vocal spot is the most demanding?
CB: Now that is a tough question. Biogenesis is harder on my voice because of the raspy screams that I do in a lot of those songs. Sometimes in Bio I sing really fast which can be quite challenging. In Jacobs Dream Iím singing a lot more high notes than what I am used to and that has called for a little bit of an adjustment.
WP: So, in what direction is the new Jacobís Dream album going to take?
CB: Itís still Jacobs Dream but a little more progressive. It sounds like the same band that did the first two records went out and found a new vocalist. To me it sounds like Jacobs Dream with a Bruce Dickinson meets Jimmy P. Brown II vocal range instead of the high pitch early Queensryche range of the first two albums but now there is a little more variety in the music. More time changes, more influences and more progression.
WP: What differences will we see in comparison with Theater of War?
CB: The only major difference is the vocals for obvious reasons. The music remains melodic as always with a good mix of heavy, moody, and emotion driven songs. One thing that stands out to differ from the first two records is the use of back up vocals. John Berry and John Noble are both very good back up singers and you will hear a lot of that on this album. Even James Evans does a couple of minor vocal spots here and there.
WP: Have you had any chance to play live with Jacobís Dream yet?
CB: Absolutely. So far I have performed four of many to come.
WP: What has been the fan reaction to you being the lead singer?
CB: Itís been phenomenal. That was one of my biggest concerns early on. I didnít know how the die hard fans would react to me as the new vocalist. The crowds have gone nuts. Especially when we perform songs from the first two records. I think the fans want to see what I sound like on the older material and thankfully Iíve been winning the crowds over so far.
WP: How have you been dealing with balancing two different bands? Is this something you plan on continuing, or will one band eventually have to be put to rest (as far as your contributions are concerned)?
CB: I realize that everyone is wandering about that. The Biogenesis fans are worried that I might dissolve Bio and the Jacobs Dream fans are wandering what would happen if Biogenesis takes off. The truth is Iím the only one whoís not worried. I have absolutely no plans of dissolving Bio and I have absolutely no plans of leaving Jacobís Dream. Right now I am in control of my own destiny when it comes to my music life. As long as I have that control both bands will continue to co-exist. Being in two bands is not as uncommon as people assume. A man named King Fowelly is the vocalist of October 31 and Deceased. The vocalist of Anthrax also fronts the band Armored Saint. It just takes a certain kind of individual to be able to handle it. I have no children. I live, eat, sleep, and breathe music. It would take a life-altering event to force me to make such a decision. I love being in both bands equally. The two bands sound absolutely nothing alike. I get something out of each band that I do not get out of the other, which makes my fulfillment as an artist more complete. I couldnít be happier.
WP: So, seeing as how youíre the new guy, how much input will you have in writing the songs for the new album, both musically and lyrically?
CB: Well were already using one of my songs that I had written top to bottom. They want to treat me as an equal which is really cool because technically they could give me the rookie treatment due to the fact that they have existed so long before my arrival but they choose not to and I really respect that. In the future I am hoping to create my own melodies for most of the songs as far as the vocals are concerned. Musically I will
throw in suggestions here and there and they can decide whether or not they wish to use them. Itís really an awesome environment to work in. No one walks around with an ego or anything like that. I see no problems with me getting involved in the writing process.
WP: When David Taylor left the band, they supposedly signed on a new vocalist to take his place. I heard that this other guy died in a car wreck. Is there any truth to that?
CB: Sadly yes. Itís true. I donít really know much about it. From what I understand the guys didnít know him that well but it appeared as though it was going to work out. I never met him but itís really sad.
WP: So, what are the other guys in Jacobís Dream like?
CB: There all a bunch of goof balls just like me. They joke a lot and pick on each other constantly but when itís time to work they are all very professional and they are always ready to get down to business.
WP: Whoís the funny guy?
CB: They all are but Iíd have to give that honor to James Evans and John Noble. I canít be in a room with either one of them for more than five minutes without getting picked on, but I always return the favor.
WP: Whoís the grumpiest?
CB: Oh wow your trying to get me into trouble now. I guess Iíd have to say Gary Holtzman but thatís because we all drive him crazy.
WP: Whoís easiest to get along with?
CB: Really all of them are very easy to get along with which is one of the reasons that I love being in this band. John Berry is probably the most quiet and mellow. James Evans loves conversation and wise cracking and so do I. John Noble loves to give you the evil eye and make fun of you. Heís a very cool guy. Gary Holtzman is probably the most serious guy in the band but even he loves to joke around. The guys are great. They are great to be around. Really when were all together it feels like were brothers. Everyone helps each other out when things are tough. I canít really put into words how much of a blessing it really is to be able to work with these guys. Itís truly one of the best group of guys Iíve ever had the privilege to work with in my life.
WP: Any final comments?
CB: Well I just want the fans to know that I am very honored to be considered by the band as a suitable replacement to well-loved vocalist David Taylor and I hope that most of you agree. There are some exciting times on the way for Jacobs Dream and I am very happy to be a part of it! I look forward to seeing many of you on the road. Until then God Bless and long live Jacobís Dream!