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Biogenesis

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Two years ago the world saw the emerging of a promising band featuring singer Chaz Bond: Biogenesis. Their album The Mark Bleeds Through came out through Rowe Productions. However, when Rowe Productions decided to move from the USA to Australia this American band seemed to disappear. Now, Chaz Bond is re-emerging with a new line-up and a deal with Symmetry Media of Jimmy P. Brown II (Deliverance, Fearful Symmetry) under his belt. As they get ready for a new record Chaz Bond popped up on the Art For The Ears message-boards to request for a forum interview. Here is what came forth!

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Discography: The Mark Bleeds Through.  Available through: Biogenesis. Official website: Biogenesis. Interview by: Daphne, mpomusic, Flex187, AndreJC, Exo, Stelers, Unclewileyco, Szand0rz, Neil D Lister Edge, Wigeon, Oldpath, Disembodied, Jimmy, Trashcanman5 & Deadsoullvomit. Article work-out Daphne. Date: April 11th-18th 2003.

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Daphne: The first question is of course: Can you introduce Biogenesis to us? What kind of metal is it and how did you guys start?

Chaz: Style? Our style is artistic diversity. We wish to never be limited to one sound. Take Deliverance, Fear Factory, Queensryche, Soilwork, Iced Earth, Death and a touch of Cannibal Corpse with killer ballads thrown in the mix, and then you get Biogenesis. I founded the band in 1996 but it didn’t really start to form until early 97. Several line up changes came and went until we signed our first record deal with Rowe Productions in March of 2000.

mpomusic: You're back again. What actually happened after Rowe decided to take their company to Australia again?

Chaz: We had decided even before that happened that it was time to move on. The people of Rowe productions are fabulous and God bless them. But to be frank we thought we deserved more than what they could offer us. We looked briefly into Metal Blade records and Indie Dream and then we accepted an offer from S.Media. S. Media is a brand new label owned by Jimmy P. Brown from Deliverance. The label will target the secular market and our new album will be out in regular stores at least throughout America. After Rowe returned to Australia we lost our drummer and our bass player. Times were very difficult. But James (guitarist) and I were determined to keep it alive. After a long search we finally became a full band again. Now we have two guitarists in James Riggs and Blaine Gordon, Randy Walton has returned on Bass and we have a new AMAZING drummer in Matt Rivera.

Flex187: Greetings!!! I never heard of your band so, well, I'd like to ask a couple of questions but uhm... well, sounds stupid but do you guys have a website with a couple of mp3's and other information so I know what to ask?

Chaz: mp3.com has some material from our first album.

Daphne: I heard you guys are working on a new album lately. What's to be expected and how different/alike will it be compared to your first album "The Mark Bleeds Through"?

Chaz: Our new album will be called "Peace, Love and Hypocrisy". The main difference I would say is that the new record is more intense and a little bit heavier than the first album. As far as the similarities, well we are still blending emotions and styles to continue to sound like Biogenesis instead of a cardboard copy of some popular band. You will hear extremely heavy adventures with unexpected melodic breakdowns that can bring a person to tears. All I can say is diversity, diversity. That’s what we are all about and we are like a movie that keeps you guessing until the end.

AndreJC: The title "Peace, Love and Hypocrisy" sounds cool to me. Chaz, somewhere here I did read you write the (most of the) lyrics. How did you come to this title?

Chaz: Actually I’m the only lyricist in the band. I chose the title because of a lot of personal things that happened with the band over the past two years or so. It’s about Christians who sin (we all do) and point fingers and condemn others for falling. It’s also about Christians who hate. Since when did the God of great mercy and forgiveness give us the right to hate?

Daphne: How far does your vocal gymnastics go? And did you have singing lessons, now or in the past or whatever?

Chaz: I can go higher than C and lower than the first album. The first record does not show my natural range because of the low tuning. Yep I sang in the school choir and later studied with an opera instructor.

Exo: Chaz, you've said in the past that a good number of harmony guitar parts were cut from the original recordings by the producer, and that the band was not entirely happy with the end product. Who owns the masters? The band? Rowe? The studio? What are the chances of possibly re-mixing and re-mastering TMBT, should this be a viable option?

Also, you've mentioned that James surprised you by tuning down so low to record his parts, and you didn't have time to adjust to it.... have you thought about ever re-recording any of the older material in a more natural key for your singing voice?

Chaz: We bought out the rights from Rowe but we actually recorded the record twice. The label rejected the first one because they wanted a better production. We just look back at the whole thing like a learning experience. I don’t think any of us really want to go through that record again. We will concentrate our (fixing) methods on future releases if you know what I mean. I’m sure that lots of bands have things that make them cringe about their first album. However I have a live album for the future in the back of my mind and that would be a good time to hear the better versions of some of those songs.

Stelers: Is the recording completed yet for the new album? How does it compare to the first?

Chaz: Actually we should be starting any time now. This album is heavier. More groove oriented; a lot of heavy vocals but in a better range than TMBT. Still very diverse, still very Biogenesis.

Unclewileyco: What’s it like to work with Jimmy P. Brown? 

Chaz: I started listening to Deliverance when I was 15. Deliverance still is one of my favourite bands of all times so working with him now it goes without saying. It’s a dream come true for me to have one of my favourite vocalists of all time producing my voice and one of my favourite guitarist of all time producing our guitars and being Jimmy’s friend is awesome.

SzanD0rz: I have one of your songs and I like the song very much! Keep on this work and are you going to have a concert in Holland sometimes?

Chaz: I tell you what. If any promoter wishes to bring us to Holland we will be there! I would love to play there!

Daphne: One of the most remarkable things about Biogenesis, beside the music, are the lyrics. Chaz, I suppose you wrote them for The Mark Bleeds Through, they are confronting and subjects which are very much of this time, like atheism, abortion and so on. How did you get inspired to write lyrics like these?

Chaz: I take a look around me and I can’t help myself. I feel that somebody has to stand up for the truth even when the truth hurts so why not me? I realize that some people will be offended but M. Manson is offensive to me and does he care? I look at it as freedom of speech. When it comes to TMBT I once nearly fell into atheism and lost my faith. I got to see what it felt like to not know what to believe and you know what? I felt worthless and everything I had ever achieved or loved became worthless. That would be the case if we are just an accident. I felt that Atheism is on the rise and I didn’t think that Christians were doing enough to combat the issue. This is also the reason for our name. Biogenesis "Life only comes from pre-existing life". For this to be true someone had to create us to begin the circle of life.

Neil D Lister Edge: You guys got a new drummer, who is he, where'd he come from, how'd you hook up with him, did you know him previously etc. 

Chaz: New drummers name is Matt Rivera. He lives in Columus Ohio about an hour and a half away from us. We hooked up with him by chance. I was discussing by telephone with an unsigned band that wanted my advice about striking a deal. I was telling them that we were struggling to find a drummer who could play our material and the guy said, "Hey my brother is the best drummer I’ve ever seen". So of course I wanted to hear him play. He came down for a try out and our mouths dropped to the floor so hard it took us a week to pick them back up. Matt is an awesome blessing to this band in every way. In fact I’ll let him introduce himself because he will be joining us in here soon. 

Matt: Hello everyone this is Matt, bio's new drummer. Just now finally getting to this interview. Yeah, like what Chaz said, we met through my brother, who is currently working on a black/death metal project with his wife. I've been playing the drums for about 7 years now and I never plan to stop either. I never actually knew bio until Chaz called me and asked me to play for them, but I did see them in concert about 2.5 years ago with Extol in Dayton. Other than that I have never known of Biogenesis until I joined them.

Daphne: Can you tell something about you and the other band members? Their names, instruments, where they come from, hobbies etc. 

Blaine: Hello everyone, my name is Blaine Gordon. I am 16 years old and I am from a place called Dayton located in southern Ohio in the US. I play rhythm guitar for Biogenesis. I play a B.C. Rich platinum Warlock guitar and I play though crate amps for the time being until I get rid of them. Mine are about what any 16 year olds should be. I like riding Dirt bikes, skateboarding, drawing, MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!, hanging out with friends and biogenesis. Well this about sums it up. If you have any questions feel free to ask!

Matt: I live all the way in Gahanna, suburb of Columbus, but I don't mind driving to Dayton for practice usually. I'm 19 and have been playing the drums for about 7 years now. I'm one of those rare left-handed drummers. I play a nice red Pearl Export series drumset. It is a 7 piece. It's only got one bass drum, but I use Tama Iron Cobra double bass pedals and hi-hat as well. I have a mix of cymbal brands, but I think that I like Paiste the best. I've got a Zildjian China-Trash 22inch I think, Zildjian A Custom crash 16 inch, Zildjian Z Custom rock crash 16 inch, Sabian B8Ride 22inch I think, Sabian HHX Evolution Series O-Zone crash 16 inch (it's got holes in it), Paiste Signature series full crash 18 inch, Paiste Alfa power hi-hats 15 inch I think, and I just bought a cheap Wuhan 12 inch china. I mostly have Pearl hardware, and I use exclusively ProMark Japanese 747b nylon tip drumsticks. I work full time for my dad's construction business. My main hobby is music, music, and music, making it as well as listening to it. I love music. I love all kinds of heavy metal, as well as industrial, techno, rock, old school rock, classical, and some country. Tourniquet is my favorite band and my main influence. I also do woodworking, I like hiking, riding my bike, rollerblading, skateboarding, indoor rock climbing, hanging with friends, sleeping, eating (I’m not fat though). I am on the youth leadership team at my church for the youth group, and I play drums there every Wednesday for the praise band. My favorite thing to do most of all is being with the love of my life of 4 and a half years so far, Noelle. We met in high school and have been together since 10th grade. We plan on getting married sometime; we just need to get engaged first. So, all that is pretty much me.

Chaz: James and Randy just left for Las Vegas so they will not be able to participate unfortunately.

Guitarist James Riggs-James is an amazing guitar player and he holds band seniority (not age) over everyone in the band but me. James enjoys spending time with his family. Wife, Shanna, sons Jamie and Tylor and daughters Kaytla and Kelly. Yeah that’s a lot! James plays his guitar every single day of his life. He likes to collect CDs, play video games and has taken lessons in the martial arts.

Bassist Randy Walton-Randy too is very talented. He enjoys spending time with his wife Karen and son Tony as well as his daughter Tarra. Randy is an accomplished dirt bike racer and also loves to race remote control cars.

Me - My name is Chaz Bond and I am the vocalist. I am a Martial arts instructor. I have studied Ninjutsu since I was 4 years old. I enjoy spending time with my wife Beth and our two children who are actually ferrets. I enjoy taking late night walks while listening to some of my favorite music.

Daphne: And what would your favorite music be, Chaz?

Chaz: Right now I’ve been listening to Iced Earth and Soilwork a lot. I’ll always be a big Deliverance fan. I like heavy music but to me nothing beats melodic music because it has the power to speak to your soul and is a universal language.

Exo: With Blaine being 16 and a minor, how do you expect that to impact Biogenesis from a live aspect? Can you still go out and play the bar shows you used to? What about recording the new album? Last I'd heard, the band was thinking of heading out to Vegas to record...Has that changed? Is Blaine going to be involved in the recording, or will James handle all the parts? What about touring? Will you be limited to summer tours for awhile due to schooling and such?

Matt: Right now the fact that Blaine is only 16 doesn't have any affect on us at all. We have played 2 shows so far, both at clubs, and there was no problem at all. He gets in no problem because he is in the band. I'm not sure about recording; you will have to wait for Chaz or James to answer that. We don't have a tour scheduled right now, buy there are a few shows for this summer so far, plus we have some prospects for the fall as well. We aren't really sure what our touring will be like so far, so we aren't really concerned about Blaine being in school. I think that it is awesome that Blaine is in Biogenesis. For one thing, I am only 19 so it is nice to have another teenager in with me, no offence to the other guys, you know what I mean. Also, Blaine is an incredibly awesome guitarist. He can play all the parts awesome, and has helped write some awesome new parts for Peace Love and Hypocrisy as well. He brings a great sense of humor to the band, and is a great friend.   

Blaine: Yes I am a minor but that should not cause a problem. I live with my parents BUT! They support everything that I do 100 percent. The schooling thing, that is very important but there are plenty of other alternatives such as home schooling etc. And so far this has had no effect on biogenesis playing out. And I look forward to the upcoming shows.

Neil D Lister Edge: You guys seemed to get involved with Rowe Productions at what appeared from the fans perspective an unstable time. Do you feel you were treated all right or do you feel (like I kinda felt) that you got back burned and that TMBT was not marketed and distributed like it should have been?

Chaz: Absolutely. It was a terrible time as far as Distribution. I can’t say we were thrown on the back burner by the label because they really wanted to push us because they thought that they could sell us quite well with good marketing. But we had just finished our album and their distribution company dropped them because previous Rowe releases were not selling. After that they did what little they could on the internet and it was enough to start a following but believe me we are ready for so much more.

mpomusic: At some point your old website disappeared as well. How come?

Chaz: Our bassist who has now returned a year later left the band and with him went our rehearsal space, PA and web site. We had a temporary site for a while and now we have Biogenesismusic.com

Wigeon: Was Rowe responsible for the different sound on TMBT? Like the omission of the acoustic intros/outros, some leads, and the down-tuned guitars and such? Or did the band decide to scrap some of that stuff as well?

Chaz: They made us remove Beans and Cornbread but all the other stuff was the producer.

Oldpath: What is the state of the Midwestern/Ohio Extreme Metal Scene?

Chaz: If I understand your question correctly you are asking what is the metal scene like where we live? If not, hit me on the head and I’ll answer your question correctly. The Metal scene is OK here. It’s not fantastic. Mostly alternative, Punk and Nu Metal but we are actually quite popular here.

mpomusic: What about a band like Antithesis? I think Biogenesis may have played with them... And what about Jacobs Dream? Mortal Immunity. Aren't they all from Ohio? At least I thought so!

Chaz: Yeah, those bands are from here and we are close friends with Jacobs Dream but sadly they are not very well known in there own home town. Metal for the most part is pretty underground in Ohio. There are however some good bands here such as the ones you mentioned.

mpomusic: Do you know the other bands I mentioned? 

Chaz: We’ve met them both yes.

Wigeon:    Seems like the home state of the Rock N Roll Hall of fame would have a pretty good metal scene. But I guess it's mostly just Rock N Roll, eh?

Chaz: Precisely.  

Biogenesis

Disembodied: What was it like having Shannon in the band? Why was he only in for such a short time? Was he a good drummer?

Chaz: What was it like? It was like hanging out on the road mostly with a lot of Blue Moo Cookie dough ice cream and Melo Yello soda with Metal CDs. James and I really enjoyed his company. He was fun to be around and we had some really good laughs that were greatly needed at that time.

It was a really bad time for us then. We had just released our drummer and as soon as Shannon arrived here our bassist left the band. When he left our PA and rehearsal space went with him. Here we were with Shannon staying with my wife and I and the band had no place to rehearse. During that time I was still hurting over the loss of Nevin (First drummer) because I wasn’t totally for getting rid of him in the first place and I was feeling really bad about it because Nevin and I were so close. Well Nevin started begging for his position back and that only made it worse. Shannon was trapped in the middle of a lot of heartbreak and trying times. After Shannon met Nevin he approached me about stepping down so Nevin could return. It was the right thing for that time. Yes he was a very good and fast drummer.

Daphne: The front cover of Peace, Love and Hypocrisy… Who created that? Would that be Rex?

Chaz: That is correct. See if you can tell what it means.

Daphne: Would that be the hand of God and a part of God's face, and that woman below, is that probably Eve??????

Chaz:    Interesting observation Daph. But """X"""sorry you lose the game. (Laughs) Here is the truth about the cover. The man in the corner represents a religious leader who preaches the doctrine of peace and love but inside he struggles with condemnation and points his finger when he sees others fall of track. The woman represents his own hypocrisy. Representing the fact that we are ALL forgiven sinners and NO ONE has the right to judge but God.

Jimmy: Chaz...If you are the leader of Biogenesis, why then are you not in Las Vegas with your band discussing plans about your new album???

Chaz: Wish I were. Randy and James made the plans very quickly and both tickets were purchased by Randy (who has a lot more money than any of us) and I was not offered one. Yep. I want to be there more than anything right now!

Stelers: Jimmy does not sound happy. Maybe he will use the aggression to make the album faster and heavier.

Jimmy: This record WILL be HEAVY as stink!!! You can COUNT ON THAT!!!

Chaz: Yep dude although it was the best album Deliverance ever put out, this new Bio record is not River Disturbance. This album is very HEAVY!!!!! Still very depressed I’m not in Vegas.

Stelers: Awesome! Any idea when it will be released (rough date)?

Chaz: Hoping for a summer release.

Trashcanman5: Do you prefer Mello Yello over Sprite?

Chaz: The Mello gets you Mello. Know what I mean?

Matt: I'd have to say mellow yellow.

Deadsoullvomit: If you were to cover a song-what would it be???

Chaz: Honestly I would take the irony of covering "Land of Confusion" by Genesis and make it really heavy and insane! The other guys would all have their own ideas for covers though. I wouldn’t mind "Master of Puppets" by Metallica.

Stelers: What about a Deliverance cover? There could not be a better time to do it with Jimmy producing it. Master would be insane as well! That would definitely stir up a little controversy.

Chaz: Yeah but Master is about drugs controlling people which is really no different than our song "Fall Back". As for a D cover I would be all for it.

Exo: Well, if you were to do a Metallica cover, I'd go fro Leper Messiah, as it fits with the theme of the new album.... Seriously though, how realistic is it that you will record a cover? I know when there was talk of a Christian Thrash tribute (I suggested covering Betrayal's "As I turned Away”) over at CMR, you guys were ready to get on board....

Chaz: We seriously considered doing "Land of Confusion" on this record but James dropped the ball on it.

Daphne: Thank you Biogenesis for taking the time to participate in this interview. That's really appreciated!!!  I want to thank everyone who took time to ask the questions as well. Thanks again!

Chaz: I would like to thank our friends Daph and mpomusic for holding this event! You guys are awesome! Thank you to everyone who has participated! For those wishing to continue questions like these go to our message board at pub59.ezboard.com/bbiogenesis

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