In recent months a band from Georgia that goes by the name The Chariot” inked a deal with Solid State Records. It is a band that has garnered listenership inside of the hardcore music movement and debuted themselves in the underground with a home recorded demo done in three days with one microphone and three songs. What resulted was a kick butt home recording and people soon started to notice. It doesn’t hurt to have former Norma Jean vocalist Joshua Scogin but don’t be fooled. Norma Jean and The Chariot are two different breeds. In this interview Len Nash sat down minutes after The Chariot’s Encore 2 stage performance at Cornerstone Illinois 2004 and chatted with guitarist Keller and drummer Jeff. What resulted was some laughs seriousness in-depth talk in a relaxed manner and a surprise right off of the bat.
Nash: What’s the history behind The Chariot?
Keller: It started probably a year and a half ago. It was real mellow and it was just me Josh Joey and this guy named Brian. The line-up kept changing and we didn’t really have a goal we were going after. We were just rocking out praying about stuff we felt like there was a certain direction we needed to be going But we didn’t care if we were playing by ourselves or if we were playing for thousands. We went through a line-up change played a few shows Joey our drummer quit. Then we got Jeff and Biser. Then we started touring we’ve been doing this tour for about a month now. it’s always been about ministry that’s the reason why we’ve done so many changes. We want to please God first and foremost whatever his will is. it’s just become the beginning though. We’re on Solid State Records now and starting with recording the last three weeks of August. The CD comes out November 16th. it’s called __Everything is Alive Everything is Breathing Nothing is Dead because Nothing is Bleeding__. We’re looking forward to that.
Nash: Any comments from you Jeff?
Jeff: I just think it’s a real honor to be in this band. I wasn’t always in it from the start they had the band going for a while. Basically Joey pretty much felt his ministry was elsewhere. We all prayed about it felt his time was up and he felt like it too. So he left to be a youth pastor and I took over drumming.
Nash: How is it being signed to Solid State? They can promote you guys
how do you feel about that?
Keller: I like it. I used to want to be on it back when I was in no name bands I sat in my room playing guitar all day. it’s really good label they’re doing a lot for us they’ve been awesome so far I really like the staff @ tooth and nail its a pleasure working with them.
Nash: As a band all of you guys are Christians correct?
Keller: Yes! Every single one of us. We all go to church in Douglasville Georgia. it’s called LifePoint Ministries. Not that going to church makes a person a Christian but yeah we’re all Christians that’s first and foremost.
Nash: With all of the guys being Christians. What is your one goal as a band besides ministry anything in the “scene” you want to see kind of go away or improve?
Jeff: I think that everybody in the band wants to see the unity that was there a couple of years ago in the scene. You see all of these kids they have the whole hardcore dancing thing and that’s all cool. We support that we support moshing it doesn’t really matter. Whenever there are fights breaking out it’s totally not right no one wants to go fight and stuff and if you do we just want to kind of speak out against that because its wrong. I think that even if no one in this band was Christian we’d still be annoyed by the fighting that goes on at shows it’s just a lot of negativity that needs to be fixed.
Keller: Don’t get naked. (laughs) I think a lot of things need to be changed in the scene. We want to break this mold of everything has to be death or dead or dying kids afraid not to wear a black shirt. Kids that only Express themselves through hardcore music or through a hardcore scene.We would like to see you Express yourself because oh I have this dream I have this idea in my head I want to see lived out not I can’t do that because it’s not black or I can’t do that because it’s not metal or it’s not dead. Which is a lot of the reason our album is named the way it is because it’s totally against the whole “living up to everyone else’s expectations” more of a positive message.
Nash: You guys respect what the kids are doing moshing and all that type of stuff?
Jeff: Yeah if they are having fun and not hurting each other.
Keller: … yeah if it’s not like beating each other up…
Jeff: As long as it’s not throwing punches and intentionally trying to hurt people we’re all about it.
Nash: For the Christians in the hardcore scene that don’t know where to walk right now what do you encourage them to practice in their walk and kind of start doing a little bit more?
Keller: The smartest thing they could do is pick up their Bible off of the shelf dust it off and read it. The Bible says that God has given us everything we need for life and that comes through hearing and receiving his word.
Jeff: Read more of God’s word just study everyday; we’re called to be in his likeness. The best way to be in his likeness is to listen to his word so of course as a band we would want to bring that point forth. Just study God’s word cause that’s what he wanted us to do in the first place that’s the reason he put us here on earth.
Nash: That’s very cool. Going back to the CD name. What is it named again and why is it named that?
Keller: it’s called; _Everything is Alive Everything is Breathing Nothing is Dead because Nothing is Bleeding_. It is named that because so far every single band has a name that has to do with dying or death or murder or something along those lines. We’re not really into the whole dying thing too much; it’s not all that cool. I don’t want to die in the next few days. I know the scene promotes that a whole whole lot. Among other things just trying to be tough it’s cool to say death death die die die whatever… it’s a way to show kids that you can be positive and have tough music still have hardcore music and still be positive still have a good time and be happy.
Jeff: The thing is we’re definitely not taking a direct stab at any of the bands that use that. it’s more like poking fun it’s there you can clearly see that there are a lot of bands out there now that include death in the name and all this other stuff. there’s no band that made us strive to get this album name We’re just here to have fun.
Nash: To close it out what will you say to all of the people who may be reading this?
Keller: Thank you for taking the time to listen to our music on hxcmp3 and purevolume. It means so much that you’d take the time out of your day to come to one of our shows pay money come talk to us tell us whatever hang out with us. Please continue to do so we love you thank you so much.
Jeff: Metal’s good Fruity Pebbles rule just as much.