Chelsea Grin

Chelsea Grin having been slogging it out in the metal scene for almost seven years now. The band’s latest album is arguably their best work to date. It’s a far more varied release and reflective of a band on their way up through the ranks of modern metal. We spoke with vocalist Alex Koehler about the ‘Ashes to Ashes’, playing at the Alternative Press Music Awards and what’s next for the sextet.

Last year you guys made the trip down under for Soundwave and for the Amity Affliction tour, what’s the best aspect of touring Australia and what were some of your favourite things to do while you were over here?

Honestly, the best thing about touring over there is that it’s such a beautiful country and it’s one of those places that I’ve always wanted to go to, let alone tour there. The first time was for Soundwave and the second time was with The Amity Affliction, as you said, and we just couldn’t have asked for anything better really.

I’ve heard a few rumours that you guys are keen to be heading back over here soon, is there any truth to that?

Our new album just came out so we’re trying to do as much as possible and we’ve been talking about doing a headliner in Australia for a while now. We’ll definitely be there in the not too distant future for sure.

Ashes To Ashes’ was produced by Diego Farias (Volumes), how did that come about and what was it like to work with him?

It came about because we’ve been friends for a really long time and he really got what we were trying to do with the records and the direction we wanted to take with it. If we went with another producer we could tell them where we wanted to go, but Diego just really got it out for this record.

The new album is more varied this time round, what was the idea to go in that direction?

Basically, we were trying to write a metal record that was based on the pop structure, like Paramore for example. The way their songs go, it’s all based on choruses, we wanted to take metal and push it into that category with choruses and hooky vocal parts and stuff like that.

It’s also the longest album you’ve written, with fifteen tracks and an hour long running time, what was the process behind making it a lengthy release?

It definitely wasn’t a goal from the start to have a long album, that’s just how it happened. We were writing songs for months and months, we even cut a few songs out. We had about eighteen and nineteen songs instead of the fifteen, so we trimmed the fat and just stuck with the best songs we had. That was just how it happened [laughs].

How have you been finding the reception for the album so far?

It’s been great! We’ve been on Warped Tour about a month and half now and when the tour started we were playing two new songs live. As the tour has progressed, and with the album coming out, kids are starting to catch onto the songs and sing along and just get more amped about it all. I couldn’t ask for a better reaction!

Bands like Whitechapel & Thy Art Is Murder seem to be distancing themselves from deathcore bands, do you still associate your band with that style?

When people ask me what kind of band I’m in, I just say metal. All those sub-genres are just based on people’s opinion really. We just consider ourselves a metal band, especially with this album we brought in more elements to make it a bit of this, and a little bit of that.

The endless amount of sub-genres does get a bit silly sometimes…

Yeah, exactly! There’s just so many now. [laughs].

Chelsea Grin were also apart of the AP music awards show, and you played alongside a lot of other bands, what was that experience like?

It was great. We’ve actually toured with Pierce The Veil like three times and are good friends with them. It was more like a family get-together, we already knew a lot of the bands playing and we met a lot of new people. It was awesome, it was great fun for sure.

Before a wrap this up, what’s next for Chelsea Grin once Warped Tour is done and dusted?

We have a few tours lined up in the fall, and we’re not allowed to announce it yet, but the tour we have after Warped is the first really metal tour we’ve done in a while. It’s with some bands a lot of our fans have wanted to see us with for a while now. I can’t say anymore otherwise I’ll be shot [laughs].

Well thank for your time Alex and I wish you the best for the rest of Warped Tour.

Sure thing, and thanks brother, bye.

‘Ashes To Ashes’ is out now via Razor & Tie / Cooking Vinyl Australia.

Read our review here.

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