APRIL 22nd, 2014
CHRON GOBLIN EXCLUSIVE
Welcome to Metaltitans, Guardians of Metal entertainment worldwide. We are here with CHRON GOBLIN. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us.
1. You became a band in 2009, what was the deciding factor to push you toward that decision ?
DP: Brett and myself had been playing in a heavy metal act called “Teitan” when we decided to pursue a project more aligned with our influences of Sabbath, Kyuss, QOTSA, Orange Goblin, and other riff orientated hard rock bands. We approached long time university friend Josh Sandulak who had expressed interest in singing in a band for the first time and we really clicked as a cohesive musical force. As a bassless three-piece we wrote 5 initial songs before picking up another longtime university friend; Richard Hepp. One month later we were in a basement studio recording our first EP and ready to take our band to the next level.
2. How did you pick the name CHRON GOBLIN ?
JS: A Chron Goblin is a mythical beast. It lives in the bowels of the skatepark, surviving off the blood of fallen children and failed tricks. A gatekeeper for the God's of rock, the Chron Goblin only comes out at night - seeking herbal offerings to keep the rock spirits at bay. The Chron Goblin is everywhere, and nowhere at all. Hahaha - but seriously. It's just something one of our friends called Darty at the skate park and we always thought that would be a great name for a band and a hilarious reference to one of our favourite past times.
3. Tell us how each of the members came to be in the band ?
Josh Sandulak (vocals) - I came to be in the band pretty organically. While listening to Brett and Darti play some riffs one evening, they convinced me to try singing with them. After a few drinks of liquid courage I decided to step up to the mic and try singing and I guess that’s really how it all began. Beforehand I had always been involved in music and did more formal music training from when I was 11 till about 19, playing the saxophone etc. But for me, really nothing compares to playing rock n’ roll
Devin “Darty” Purdy (guitarist) -
After playing in heavy metal outfit Teitan for 5 years I was ready for a more rock type band based on my passion of Sabbath and Kyuss which led Brett and myself to start this band with Josh.
Richard Hepp (bass) -
I started playing guitar when I was about 15, while I was living in England. I was pretty heavy into punk rock and had an overwhelming urge to learn what I was hearing and loving. As I delved further into the 6-string, I found I was much more fascinated with really complicated rhythms and time signature than with solos. Fast forward half a decade and I was finishing up my degree at the U of C with a couple rad dudes who asked if I would come jam with them. So I borrowed Brett’s bass (to complete the classic line-up of a rock and roll quartet) and the rest is history.
Brett Whittingham (drummer) -
I played bass in a metal band along with Darty, but I’ve always had a passion for the drums. Starting a more rock-oriented project seemed a good opportunity to transition to drums. As Darty mentioned, we all met attending university and lived in the same residence building. A solid background in partying established a great friendship which laid the groundwork for a great musical relationship
4. Why did you lean towards the Rock n' Roll/Heavy Groove, instead of the more metal genre ?
DP: As much as we all love metal, and we do, we really wanted to create music that was based off of the “Heavy Groove”. The feeling when a large crowd is simultaneously headbanging to a your heavy groove is second to none. Personally Black Sabbath, Kyuss, and Orange Goblin were a huge part of my teenage years and really shaped my passion for music so it was a very natural choice.
BW: Of course we all love metal and you can hear those influences (some more transparent than others) in our music. In my opinion, rock n’ roll has a much broader spectrum of musical diversity which can be less constraining when it comes to writing and recording. I think we didn’t want to limit ourselves to only playing heavy music. We like to try and balance (or juxtapose) heaviness with more melodic and groove elements. It keeps writing and performing fun for us, but I don’t think we’ll ever not be influenced by metal and have hints of that in our music.
JS: From a singing standpoint - I’ve always thought music should come from a place of honesty. To try and sing in some sort of set “metal” style just wouldn’t represent us as a band. We’re a really diverse group of guys and our musical tastes are representative of that. I think there is so much more freedom and mobility when playing rock n’ roll, in terms of being able to go heavy if we want to or lighten things up - we don’t really feel constrained or that we have to satisfy a set sound.
5. When did you know that being in a band was something that you needed to do ?
DP: I knew I was destined to play music around 13 years old. Skateboarding led me to punk rock, which led me to Sabbath and Kyuss. I was constantly going to all ages shows and decided I needed to be onstage, rather than watching the stage. I played sax in Jr. High band and then finally picked up a guitar when I was 16 and formed a band within the first week. I couldn’t play the damn thing, but I knew I need a band of my own. I have been playing consistently in various bands for the past 11 years, and Chron Goblin for the past 5. When we formed Chron Goblin I knew it was the band for me. Four solid bros who share a passion for living to the fullest and creating very original music.
BW: Music has always been a part of growing up for me. My dad loves The Beatles and Clapton, as well as a lot of folk music, and his favorite tunes were always playing in the car on the many road trips we took. My mom has always been into percussion and drumming (she plays steel pans in a Calypso band and has also played in African drumming groups). I played trumpet in jr. high band and started to pick up guitar and bass when I was 15. I think around my late teens I really began to get passionate about taking music seriously and felt the desire to perform live and record as a goal I wanted to accomplish. Listening to punk rock, classic rock, hardcore, metal etc. really fired up the passion that music could be exciting and so much more than what was on the radio or TV. I think it was the pursuit of that music that affected me in that way pushed me to want to learn more and perform. It wasn’t until I moved to Calgary from a small town in BC and met more serious musicians that I had the chance to be a part of writing original compositions and performing and recording.
RH: I remember the exact moment when I realized I wanted to play music. I was playing junior hockey in rural Saskatchewan and remember sitting on the bench and thinking, ‘I would rather have my music playing on the sound system than my name being announced on the pa.’ I was already spending my weekends immersed in the ‘scene’ in Regina with my cousin and his friends, and knew then, that writing music was what I wanted to do. I had started a couple bands prior to this one; even one with me and Brett (drummer) splitting guitar duty, but none of them felt as natural as Chron Goblin.
JS: Being in a band is something I had always wanted to do and I even use to have dreams where I would be playing in a rock band - kind of like I would see it in my “minds eye” type of thing. But in all honesty though, I really never knew if it was going to be a reality. When I was young I had gone the formal music route for so long that I was pretty turned off the whole thing, I kind of stepped back from it for a few years and fell heavily into photography and video. For a while, I was all set to pursue a career in conflict photography. But when the band stuff started up, it was just one of those things that felt right. We had this natural chemistry as a band and it was undeniable that we needed to pursue this and fortunately, we did. It’s allowed us to connect with so many people which has brought along with it all these incredible memories. And then to be able to share all of that with three of your best friends and to have people be a fan of all that - it’s pretty humbling to think of all the good things music has brought to our lives.
6. When you were a kid growing up, did you play those wonderful imaginary instruments?
DP: At Christmas this past year my mom brought out an old video of me playing an inflatable guitar….so I’d have to answer yes to that question.
BW: I think that’s a given for any music lover - when you can’t actually play, might as well rock out!
RH: I always played air drums strangely enough. I still do whenever I’m listening to my favourite tunes. Never had the urge to play air guitar.
JS: My parents have a ton of photos of me sitting in the middle of the kitchen with all the pots and pans pulled out, playing the drums. I was a big fan of kitchen drumming. I also used to put olives on the ends of my fingers so it was more like a drum stick. I think my youth is telling me something...
7. Also when you were growing up, what music did you really enjoy, music that got you excited ?
DP: My home was filled with a ton of classic rock, reggae, and classical music. It was a very diverse mix. I remember hearing White Zombie for the first time, as my older brother had some albums, and being so stoked on the heaviness. As I became a teenager I immersed myself in punk rock, heavy metal, and stoner rock.
BW: The stuff in my teenage years that helped shaped my identity and musical future would have been bands like Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, as well as Alexisonfire, Brand New, Thrice . . . a lot of the early 2000 punk/hardcore stuff for sure.
RH: I was super stoked on Blink 182, New Found Glory and Less Than Jake when I was an adolescent. My favourites in early adulthood remain some of my favourites to this day; Comeback Kid, Protest the Hero and August Burns Red but I have developed a much more diverse range of musical enjoyment since. Oh and I still hit up Losing Streak (LTJ) every now and then.
JS: I remember when I was really young being super pumped on rap music, like NWA and Wu-Tang haha and even Criss Cross… I guess it was just so different to anything else I had heard, it really turned me on. But I’ll never forget when I was like 9/10 riding my bike down to the record store to trade in all my rap tapes for this new technology “CD’s”. I remember I traded in Coolio and got the Weezer Blue Album and my life just changed. I couldn’t get enough of it and then that really propelled me into discovering more rock music and punk and eventually jazz. For a while in high school Propaghandi got stuck in my car, so I would listen to “Less Talk, More rock” every single day for like a year. I just loved the energy and the statement of punk. It was intelligent people (for the most part) with something to say, and I loved that.
8. You have played with some heavy hitters like Vista Chino, Orange Goblin, 3 Inches of Blood, Bison BC, The Devin Townsend Project, impressive, is there a band that you would really like to tour with ?
DP: We would really like the opportunity to play/tour with Orange Goblin again as they are the nicest, most genuine men in the industry. As for band that we haven’t played with we would love the opportunity to tour with The Sword or Clutch as we feel their fans would really appreciate our music and because we feel we share a similar work ethic as those bands. Plus they are fucking amazing!
BW: Definitely would love the opportunity to tour with Clutch, Orange Goblin, The Sword, Red Fang, QOTSA. All these guys have been a major inspiration to me and it would be amazing to learn more from them. Have to say we’ve been really fortunate with the bands that we’ve had the opportunity to open for in Calgary and abroad, and especially have to give Orange Goblin a shout out for being great blokes and genuine guys - it was fantastic to have some beers with them and hear tour stories.
RH: I third the Sword remark. They have unbelievable songs. It would be grand to have a massive tour with our buddies We Hunt Buffalo who have to be some of the best dudes to grace the earth. Love playing and partying with those guys.
JS: Would love to play with Red Fang or QOTSA for sure and Orange Goblin we’re a lovely bunch of gents, so that’d be fun as well.
9. In the spring of 2013, you won a spot at the Desertfest London, making you the first ever Canadian to grace the stage, how did that feel for you ?
DP: Desertfest was fucking amazing! It was the highlight of our career to date. All of the promoters (especially Reece Tee, Emma and Griz) treated us amazing. We got to meet such amazing people and see sights we never thought possible. We played twice, once at The Underworld and once at the Vans store on Camden High Street. The Vans store show was hilarious as it was supposed to be acoustic but when we showed up there was a full kit and amps...so we said fuck it and played our regular heavy set! We made so many fans in the UK as a result and have shipped a ton of records there since then. It was a real honor to carry the Canadian Stoner Rock torch across the pond.
BW: It’s definitely been one of the highlights of our career so far. Darty and I went to Desertfest in 2012 to see some great UK and Euro bands that rarely make it over to Canada, and it was also our first time in London. We had such a blast enjoying the festival as fans that when we got the nod to come back in play in 2013 it was a bit like returning to an old friend, but this time we had the fortune of being on the other side of the stage. We met so many great bands and music lovers there and had such a great blurry blast of a time partying in Camden. The whole experience still seems a bit surreal. Our first gig outside of Canada was in London, UK performing at The Underworld - the same stage where we saw Orange Goblin, Karma to Burn, and Corrosion of Conformity play in 2012. Holy fuck.
RH: It was so amazing to play where I had seen huge bands play a decade before as a fan. I spent some time looking through the maze of a green room in the back of The Underworld and reading some of the stickers and engravings in the wall. So many huge artists had played there and it was unbelievable to roll out of the back and have a near full house waiting for us to rock, especially since many of them hadn’t heard our stuff besides the video that was posted on the web page a month before. It was so awesome talking to everyone and making connections with people that hopefully will be able to see us again on the British Isles.
10. In early 2013, you released a debut video for “Bring Your Idols”, what made you release this ?
JS: We really just wanted to get a song out to people that had a good energy and got people moving. It has a really great pacing for a video and it’s also a song with something to say. When we started to storyboard ideas for a potential video, Bring Your Idols just seemed to fit our concept perfectly. And really once that got locked in, it was full steam ahead.
11. In September 2013 “Life For the Living” first single was released, called “Deserter”, what kind of response have you had so far ?
DP: The response for that track and the album as a whole has been mind blowing. We’ve shipped orders all over the world including Australia, Ukraine, Sweden, Germany, UK, United States and more. Our record sales have been constant since the release and we’ve received such great feedback from our fans. We also released this album for the first time on vinyl which has been quite popular. We are currently in production for a music video for a track off of the album.
12. How did you choose Deserter to be your first release ?
DP: Deserter was a great choice as that particular song showcases so many different styles within the same song. It has killer riffs, thundering drums, heavy ass bass tones, and soaring vocals roaring over the top. It has been a favorite song of ours to play live and always gets a great reception from the crowd so we knew it would be a hit.
13. Where did you record the album ? Who did the mixing and mastering ?
DP: We had a great deal of inspiration for this record as we literally had three weeks to finish writing after returning from London’s Desertfest before we entered the studio for 13 days. Pun intended, we were on such a high from Desertfest that it really hyped us up to record the next album. As stressful as recording can be we tried our best to keep the spirits high and the mood light in the studio. We had the privilege of working with Casey Lewis of Echo Base Studio (who recorded, mixed, and mastered) again so we had a good idea of his approach to recording since we worked with him for One Million from the Top.
14. Who in the band writes your lyrics ? And where does the inspiration come from ?
JS: I write all of the lyrics for the band. My inspiration for the lyrics come from the world around me and the politics and changes that I see happening as well as personal relationships and kind of the struggles I go through and that we all go through.
15. Are you planning to tour to promote your new album “Life For The Living” ?
DP: In the Fall of 2013 we completed a 10 day Canadian tour to promote the album which was a great success. We will be continuing to tour this album with our first USA tour this spring with a Pacific Northwest tour including Stumpfest in Portland (http://southerncrosspr.com/stumpfest) and dates in Seattle, Spokane, and many more TBA. We also have our mind set on returning to the UK in late 2014.
16. The cover artwork, who did the design for it ?
DP: Logan Morrison out of Vancouver has been responsible for about 75% of all our artwork including the covers for “One Million from the Top” and “Life for the Living”. He is a rad dude and we really enjoy working with him.
17. I notice that you don’t have a label, are you currently seeking one ?
DP: When we first started this band I was just finishing up my commerce degree from the University of Calgary and I was reading up a lot 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 (bank account, paypal, webstore, SOCAN etc). This has allowed us to maintain our creative freedom and financial independence to make decisions that are best for us.
That being said, if the right label were to make us an offer that suits our needs and aspirations, we wouldn’t be opposed to working with someone. We’ve never let the lack of a record label hinder or slow us down from moving forward. We’ve managed to put out an EP, two LP’s and a music video on our own. We have also managed to get some distribution in Sweden via Ozium Records and in the United States via Ripple Music which has been fantastic. We sell the majority of our records and merch at our gigs as well as via our webstore and we continue to ship orders worldwide every week. It is a very organic approach that has really worked for us as we have complete control of our band.
18. Where do you picture yourself in , let’s say 5 years ?
BW: I would love to have released at least two more full length albums with a handful of accompanying music videos, be touring full time and have our business more established in terms of distribution and merchandise deals. Awhile ago I think I would have said that I would have wanted to be picked up by a label (major or otherwise), however I know we are on the right path to continued success. I’d like to get to the point where our musical careers don’t need to be supplemented by regular day-jobs (as I know is the dream of thousands of musicians in similar situations).
JS: 10 pounds heavier, twice as good looking and somewhere tropical with my bros.
19. Fun question for you, finish this sentence … I really wish I knew how to _________
DP: Shred the axe like Joe Hoare and smith grind like John Cardiel
BW: Surf, sing, skydive, and…… space travel.
RH: Speak every language on the face of the earth...and time travel.
JS: Weld orrrr Hunt.
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us here at Metaltitans.