last updated: 29th january 2004


PJ from Darker Than The Bat interviews Lee Chaos

PJ : Describe the music you make for people who have never heard of you.

L : We've always described ourselves as 'aggressive pop' and I'm still going for that - disturbed industrial but with annoyingly catchy songs. The new album was designed to sound like Ministry covering Covenant . or was it the other way around.?

PJ : Where did you get the name of the band?

L : It was the first rude thing ever said about the first ever computer.

PJ : Where do you get your ideas for the songs on Escape Ferocity and what are they about?

L : Either personal experiences or by being informed by the work of others, be they authors, film-makers, fictional characters or serial-killers... I use these as starting points and then allow the lyrics free rein to explore the extremes of these subjects. On this album the songs are mostly about the destruction of everything you believe in and the birth of something new by the channelling of aggression. That's not to say it's a concept album, it's just that all the songs are about pushing outside of accepted norms and the strength that comes from challenging your beliefs.

PJ : What's your favourite song and why?

L : On Escape Ferocity I like the hardest and most gentle tracks the most - Jesus Christ V2.0 has some of the best lyrics I've written so far but still kicks ass on the dancefloor and Naphephilia is one of the most atmospheric and engaging things we've done to date. I'm also really proud of some of the shorter musical sections on the album too.

PJ : In what way has the addition of a second guitarist to the bands line-up changed the sound?

L : We go chug-chug-chug a lot more now... we can keep the power of the songs going whilst Huw concentrates on making filthy noise and it means we're a lot less reliant on the backing synths than we were. We even did an all-acoustic set to launch the album to prove the point.

PJ : Can you tell us more about the first guitar solo on a Chaos Engine album ever?

L : It just seemed appropriate for the song... I was listening to a lot of old Pop Will Eat Itself and on the 'this is the day...' album there's a lot of way-out guitar, so I thought we'd give it a go, and on that track (Broken Children) it just seemed to fit perfectly. We've always had a 'never say never' attitude to what goes into the finished track - if the sound of a man playing a ukelele in a dustbin works, we'll sample it and add it to the mix...

PJ : What is the idea behind all the different little pieces between the tracks?

L : I hate people who put CDs on random play.

PJ : What makes Escape Ferocity the next step in the history of The Chaos Engine?

L : It's getting closer to the ideal we had for the band, and on this album we got to explore a lot more of the sonic territory that was out of our grasp before. I still want things to be more extreme and unexpected in the music and I'm looking forward to moving on with new material already.

PJ : Can you tell us something more about the songs Escape Ferocity and Jesus Christ V2.0.

L : Jesus Christ V2.0 was written after I read the Unabomber's Manifesto. You should go hunt it down... I was surprised by how much of his treatise makes sense. And who else overturned the money-lender's temples? So it's just written from a viewpoint where whether someone does good and evil just depends on whose side you're on. Escape Ferocity is about becoming the ubermensch through deviant sexual behaviour. It may or may not be semi-autobiographical.

PJ : Are you already thinking about a follow up?

L : Absolutely. There were a lot of tracks that didn't suit the mood for this album that got abandoned and I want to explore those fully - it'll either be an EP / single following on from the album with more experimental work or it may be a full album, but it should be ready for release this time next year.

PJ : When and where are you touring to promote the album?

L : We've got a UK tour going on from September-October 2002 and we're planning US and European dates for early 2003.

PJ : What do you do besides making music?

L : All my activities are music-based. Aside from the band I run the label Wasp Factory Recordings, DJ and sound engineer. To unwind I like to blow stuff up and shoot things. Sometimes on a computer, sometimes not...

PJ : Could you give a reaction on the following? Beer.

L : My drug of choice...

PJ : Concerts.

L : My pressure-valve...

PJ : Wasp Factory.

L : My family...