Dystopia? No, Utopia! An Interview with CHAOSBAY

Zur deutschen Version gehts hier.

As you know, after the concert report is before the interview and therefore you should not have to wait any longer out there! In the run-up to their concert in Leipzig, Jan from CHAOSBAY took the time to answer a few of my questions. As it turned out, I didn’t understand a few things in 2222 the way they were meant… You can find out below what exactly that was and why it shows that you can infer your world view from your taste in music.

Huge thanks again to lightinmirror.de for the awesome pictures!

Pic by lightinmirror.de (c) 2023

Shieldmaiden’s Voice: What is the first thing people should think of when they hear CHAOSBAY?

Jan: Our most famous song! But also our melodies, because we identify ourselves mainly through our songs. Therefore you should have them in your ears when you hear our band name. Think of a nice chorus, that feels good to you. That would be a nice association!

SV: What about your music brings you the most joy?

Jan: The greatest joy for us is playing our music live. That’s also a bit funny, because we never write the songs in such a way that we try them out in the rehearsal room. That always comes just before the tour [laughs]. That’s when we always find out if the songs work and so far it’s always worked out. So it’s really fun to put the pieces of the puzzle together and see what the final picture is. Playing the songs live is an important part of the whole picture.

SV: It’s not the first time that we’re sitting together and each time that we met the locations became bigger and grander, which, in my view, is a testament to your growing fan community. What does it mean to you to be steadily growing like this?

Jan: Everything! It means an incredible amount to us. Just this tour has shown us that people, although it is financially difficult and Covid brings a lot of uncertainty, despite everything invest money and time to see us. This time there are at least twice as many as on the last tour. This shows us that it is really worth it.

Jan/CHAOSBAY; Pic by lightinmirror.de (c) 2023

SV: In I you looked into the future and what the world could look like then. Are there still some overlapping points with what you did in Asylum?

Jan: No, actually not at all. That is also the goal, that the completely opposite world is created. A world that is also completely different from the one with the problems and the xenophobia that is described in Asylum. That is no longer there in 2222. In this respect, there is, fortunately, no overlap.

SV: The world you’re describing in 2222 is quite dystopian, I think. One could almost think that you’re pessimistically looking into the future…

Jan: The world in 2222 is not dystopian, it is utopian in a positive sense. It is not meant to be dystopian at all. There is indeed a thought play at the end, that even a perfect world, as it is described on the album, is not the goal, but that the goal always remains unattainable. But that is also the only negative thing there. Everything else that is described is completely positive.

SV: I probably looked at this way to critical. Maybe I was already geared towards looking at it like it was meant to be dystopian!

Jan: That’s really interesting that you say that, because that’s exactly what we didn’t want to do with the album! We wanted to break with the fact that metalheads always associate the future with dystopia and aliens. It’s very interesting that maybe the music genre alone makes you look at the album that way.

It’s definitely the complete opposite. The album is very optimistic. We wanted to bring the we have while playing on stage into the world.

SV: The messages you want to spread always have a political connotation in one way or another. Normally the metal scene is rather apolitical, or at least tries to be. Why is it so important for you to make a statement under these circumstances?

Jan: I always realize, when I’m writing, that there are so many issues out there that need to be processed and that I’m also just very personally preoccupied with. Every time I write something that is autobiographical or that involves my feelings, I realize my own privilege. I actually have very few real problems that can be processed, so it would seem wrong to me to address that. No one would really be interested in that either, I think, because I’m just a normal guy. That’s why I prefer to talk about what really concerns everyone. That’s absolutely necessary, especially when you also say that the metal scene is rather apolitical. From this alone then a necessity arises. But we also don’t want to do this with a moralistic forefinger. As political or critical as our songs may be, you can still start a circle pit to all of them and just party. It’s cool that both is possible!

SV: Was 2222 a bigger milestone to you than Asylum was?

Jan: Definitely! But maybe that’s also because Asylum came out during the height of Covid and since we couldn’t play live, the step we took wasn’t really noticeable. It was a big step, but 2222 was a step that has just now led to this tour. It’s just a significant step up. To me, it also feels like both albums are part of one big unit that moves us forward. When we play the songs together, it doesn’t feel like „the old“ and „the new“. It’s been a really awesome time making these albums and it’s totally pushing us right now!

Pic by lightinmirror.de (c) 2023

SV: Which goals were you able to achieve with 2222 that seemed unattainable with Asylum?

Jan: We were able to release 2222 on a proper record label, and the EP Boxes as well, by the way. That was an important milestone. Meanwhile, we also have a booking agency and a real business team in the background. In addition, we can now finally play our own headlining tour, where a lot of people come. When you see that people come to the concerts that you don’t know, that’s a step that you wish for as a band!

SV: Which goals are next for you?

Jan: We will play internationally several times this year, that alone is very cool! Our goal is to present ourselves even more to the outside world and perhaps to collaborate more with international artists. Furthermore we want to release one or two singles this year. A concrete goal is to tour internationally with a bigger band. Unfortunately that is not so much in our hands, fate has to be kind to us. Otherwise we love how it just grows and it may go on with pleasure in such a way!

SV: What is something you wouldn’t ever change about this band?

Jan: The line-up! The line-up is fantastic, we’ve all known each other forever and it’s like going on a school trip with friends and it gets cooler and cooler because you become a more and more well-rehearsed team. It’s really cool!

SV: What is something that people, who are not seeing you in Leipzig, are going to miss out on?

Jan: They definitely miss an incredibly fun evening and not only if you are a metal fan, but also if you like handmade music. I think it’s a lot of fun to celebrate and party with us for one evening! Also we have three of our famous colorful pants with us today, which Alex printed on his own and which he always wears on stage. Of course we don’t sell the worn pants, but they were very well received on tour and I’m afraid we’ll sell the last three today as well. So that’s the worst thing you can miss here! [laughs]

To my shame, I must confess that I have not checked whether the pants were actually all sold… But let that be quietly left uncertain! If you also have the opportunity to see CHAOSBAY live, then definitely take the chance! If not, then check out their merch store!

Jan/CHAOSBAY; Pic by lightinmirror.de (c) 2023

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