Chiodos are post-hardcore kingpins, but it hasn’t been an easy ride. Their revolving door of members has hailed in troubling times for the band, but they’re carrying on to wrap up their tour for latest LP ‘Devil’. We spoke to frontman Craig Owens about their recent run of shows in Australia, what lies ahead and who he’s tipping to win the NBA Championship.
Hey Craig, thank you for doing the interview today.
How’s it going?
Good, we flew in from Bangkok this morning so I’m a bit tired.
Bad jet lag?
Yeah, it’s been kinda crazy travel. You know, I flew from LA to Singapore – well, Tokyo then Singapore – then Singapore to Bangkok – Bangkok back to Singapore and then here. That’s all the last week, so.
That does sound quite exhausting; how were the fans in Tokyo? I’ve heard that shows get pretty crazy there.
Yeah, they’re pretty amazing. You know, they definitely appreciate what we do there. It’s pretty cool.
You guys are doing meet and greets on this [Australian] tour and last year there were some bands speaking out against it….I’m just interested to hear about why you guys are offering it.
I really don’t know. I wasn’t even aware that we are.
There’s a VIP package for some of the shows.
Oh, okay. I think people just complain to complain. People just need to stop bitching. I don’t think there’s anything wrong – if you don’t like it, don’t buy it and don’t come. I think it’s cool that you have the opportunity to give a special allotted amount of time to people that want more than just the show itself. I think it’s a cool thing.
Especially in places like Australia, where bands coming out is obviously less frequent.
Yeah and we’re definitely less likely to stick around and sign and stuff like that, because of, for instance, our schedules. We got in from Bangkok this morning so we’re all exhausted. And we leave for Sydney, we leave the hotel at like 8am tomorrow morning. We probably won’t be back until like 1am. With crazy schedules like that, I think it’s a good thing to have kind of an allotted time, to put it into our structure and our schedule a bit more than the casual after-show hang.
That makes sense. Speaking of having a crazy schedule, you guys have also had a bit of turbulence with members in and out of Chiodos. How has it been with the changing lineup?
I mean it fucking sucks. It sucks. We obviously didn’t like it, and it’s definitely put a big damper on what we’re doing. At this point, we’re the only ones that cared enough to follow through with our responsibilities, these shows have been booked for a long time so we’re gonna see them through. It’s funny how much shit we get for it, but we didn’t want to cancel, we didn’t want to let people down. We signed up for a record cycle when we got back together so we’re here, we’re gonna do these shows, and luckily we have cool enough friends that were willing to come and hang out, and not view what we do as a burden but enjoy it. So it sucks, it’s been pretty awful for us in the band, you know, having to teach new people.
It definitely has sucked the fun out of it for us, and having to endure the criticism of fans from it. It’s definitely turned us off from even wanting to do the band very much, to be honest. But we’re here and we’re gonna try and make the best of it.
It’s really interesting that fans would criticise you for it – it’s not your fault that other people have left.
Yeah, but it never seems that way. When you’re attached to something like that it’s very misplaced, you know. Because of all of the politics behind the scene, a lot of the time we don’t come out and like…. Like for instance, you know this Tom DeLonge thing that’s just happened?
It’s very rare that a band will come out and just be as completely candid as that. There’s so many little politics behind the scene. We haven’t done that – we haven’t come out with everything. We’ve chosen to stay silent until we figure out what’s best for us, so from the outside perspective it’s just a lot different than it is from actually living it.
What do you actually think of the Tom DeLonge thing? Do you respect Blink’s – I guess – honesty – or do you actually want to keep it behind closed doors?
I think they’re grown adults so whatever they want to do. I don’t walk around saying a band should do this, a band should be that. I like the honesty, but sometimes it’s difficult to come across honest and have it be attractive. Do you know what I mean? I feel like their honesty was kind of endearing. Sometimes it can be difficult to make it come across that way.
Definitely – the line between it turning into ‘beef’ with members and ‘endearing’ is quite thin. Do you think that the member changes will affect plans for a new album?
We’re not talking about a new album, to be honest. We’re writing some songs, but we’re just here to finish up these shows and then we’re gonna see what happens. It’s difficult to even talk about because, that’s why… I was like ‘interviews, great.’ (Laughs.) I don’t even wanna do interviews. The three people that really put any sort of effort into this new record are still here. Everybody else literally just phoned it in and it seemed like they just wanted a paycheck, and they kind of just waited for us to do the work and then they got paid. And then the moment things got a little weird at all, they kind of bailed. So, like I said, it’s thrown off our passion for this right now, dealing with that has been unbelievable. We’ve had really bad luck with that, and we’ve been really taken advantage of and hurt. So we’re gonna take a minute to be figure out what’s next, I guess.
With your other projects, like your solo project, do you think you’re going to head off and work on one of those?
I have something that I’m doing right now but I’m not willing to talk about it yet – not until it develops more, you know. So right now I’m just like cleansing from everything, pretty much. I’m off of social media, and off of everything, really. I’m trying to be a human being for a little bit. It’s really easy to get caught up in what it is that you do when you’re out here. So you know, you forget to be a person for a while.
So that’s what I’m doing right now – I’m just working on myself – hanging out – spending time with my family and growing as an individual and not worrying about my social media presence or things that just don’t really matter at the end of the day. I love interacting with fans, I love hearing what they have to say but you can get really consumed in it and it kind of leads you astray from what you originally set out to do. So I’m just kind of detached from everything at this point and doing what I want to do. When I come back, I’ll be more willing, I guess, to talk about all that stuff.
I understand – especially on social media, everyone has an opinion whether they like you or not and it can be pretty powerful.
Yeah it is. It’s counterproductive for who I am and what I’m doing, so I’m just focusing on things that really matter to me and that’s art and making music and making sure that I’m happy, and my family, and growing as a person.
Looking way ahead, do D.R.U.G.S. or Isles & Glaciers have a future?
I don’t know, you never say never about that kind of stuff. I’m not really sure, to be honest. I don’t really know what to expect. I never thought I’d even do another Chiodos record. So yeah, I’m not really sure.
Fair enough. Just to wrap up, you’re a huge basketball fan, right?
Who are you tipping to win the championship?
Oh man…I have no idea at this point. I’m hoping the Chicago Bulls, I guess.
They probably have a good chance. Did you see that game where Klay Thompson scored like 37 points in the third quarter?
That’s awesome, I didn’t even get to see it, that sucks! We’ve been travelling so much. TV’s like not even an option.
Did you see the new Star Wars trailer?
I have not, J.J. Abrams did it right?
Right. You have a song called R2me2, you have to see the trailer!
Yeah, that’s awesome, I’d love to scope that.
When you get home you can catch up.
For sure, looking forward to it.
Thanks so much for doing the interview today and for being so honest.
Absolutely, hopefully it comes across as endearing and not whiney.
Chiodos are currently touring down under. You can scope the full tour details here.