Zur deutschen Version des Interviews geht es hier.
CHAOSBAY will present their new single Y on the 7th of October. That is a good opportunity to sound out singer and songwriter Jan Listing on why we’re getting so much new music, how the tour went and what it’s like to play a concert tour amidst the pandemic.
A big thanks, as always, goes out to the wonderful lightinmirror.de for the awesome live shots!
Shieldmaiden’s Voice: Let me start with the question that has bothered me ever since you released Lonely People: Don’t you have anything to do or what is the reason for you to have finished a new EP barely a year after the release of your last album?
Jan Listing: Well… You have to stay immensely active in order to remain on people’s radar. In addition, we really didn’t have anything to do, there were no concerts. The tours were cancelled and that left me with enough time to write. We can release it so soon because it’s only an EP and not a full-length album which means it was finished faster. It was interesting to to do something that wasn’t a full-length concept album which has to be finished as this big package, which always takes a long time, but to instead power through a handful of distinct songs. We never did that before. It’s amazing.
SV: What is the relation between the album Asylum and the EP Boxes for you? What changed in terms of the songwriting?
JL: There is a big difference. For the first time, I wrote songs that didn’t have to fit into a bigger concept. The intent in the writing was to have them express in the first minute, in the first second really, what they’re about. The listener will be completely enveloped in the song after a short while and the song will completely tumble them since the songs are more intense than anything we’ve done before. Since they are also more compressed, they will spit you right back out, a bit like after riding a rollercoaster. That is the major difference.
SV: Is it still important to you to critically reflect current events in your songs?
JL: Yes, absolutely. For this EP it would’ve been to early to position ourselves in relation to a new political topic because the music should still be the main focus. Naturally, the text is equally as important, but we don’t want to be a primarily political band, to put it like that. That is also why I picked a topic which is closer to the people and deals more withe the human psyche, as well as with social media, the exposure to it and the overall digitalization of the world.
SV: How has your message and your music appealed to live audiences so far?
JL: Very well! It has appealed to the people immensely, especially because the single [Lonely People; editor’s note] is quite in the spotlight and people receive it well and it has become, luckily for us, a small hit-moment
SV: What does it feel like to finally bring the album Asylum to the live stage a year after its release?
JL: It’s an amazing feeling. It’s also an exhausting feeling because it’s very hot on stage and we don’t have room for a break, not even to tune the guitars, not to mention to wipe down our faces occasionally. The whole thing is really exhausting, but every time we do that, it’s amazing and you’re able to feel why you even created this big arc in the first place. The people, and that doesn’t exclude us, tend to listen to single songs and when you play it live, you’re kind of forced to experience it from start to finish, a bit like a play, and that is the moment when it’s portraying its full power.
SV: Is it very exhausting for you to play a tour under the pandemic restrictions?
JL: No, it’s ok. Everything was on short notice, which is a bit annoying, but the promoters are very precise on what the local restrictions are and we and the fans can to that very well. The fans embraced this exceptionally well and we even had concerts where only recovered and vaccinated people were allowed to attend, which worried me a little, but it was packed nonetheless and the people were very happy. Everything slowly starts back up. Everyone, the viewers and the performers, can deal with the situation and have adjusted to it and can work with it.
SV: What are things that are lined up for the band?
JL: We will be releasing singles one by one until the EP, which will be released in the beginning of 2022. At the same time, we are working on a new album which will be released next year as well and which will also be a concept album. We are also going to play another, slightly bigger tour in January 2022.
SV: To whom would you recommend your music and this upcoming tour? What does your target audience look like?
JL: I would recommend to all the people that are into energetic music. We have opened ourselves so much and are seeing people from so many different backgrounds listening to our music. Which is why: People, if you are into loud, wicked and handmade music, then come to the tour! You won’t regret it! And you can always listen to the song. In our hearts though, we are naturally drawn to the metal fans.
SV: If you were allowed to dream a bit, where would like to be with the band in five years?
JL: I’d very much like to play a lot of festivals and to be on a European tour, preferably with one of our favorite bands. Or any major band really [laughs].
We’re gonna stay tuned with which bands we’re gonna see CHAOSBAY sharing the stages.If something happens, you’re going to hear about it here first!
If you have the urge to see CHAOSBAY live, you can do so the 16th of October in Leipzig in Werk 2. There, they will play as a opener to SOULSPLITTER’s album show case.
Alternatively, you can read my concert article about their most recent show in Leipzig here.
Jan Listing – vocals, guitar
Patrick Bernath – drums
Matthias Heising – bass
Alexander Langner – guitar