In an industry where the spirit of real rock and roll seem to be getting pushed to the backburner by corporate regurgitated fluff pop and meaningless rap, a band based out of San Diego, California is looking to shake things up. Rock music seems to have gotten a bit sanitized over the last few years and The Suicide Chords are looking to shake things up a bit. If you haven’t heard of these guys yet, then here is your introduction to what possibly could be the next big thing. Now remember, when they blow up big, don’t forget it was RockRevolt Magazine who told you about them.
The Suicide Chords consists of Jay Edwards on vocals, Jai Luna on guitar, Clay Hackett on drums and Dylan Willis on bass. The guys have been perfecting their unique sound of romance metal since their beginnings in 2009. With two EPs and a brand new full length album under their belts, these guys are hungry to take their game to the next level. It’s a struggle to do so as an indie band, but they’re not backing down from the challenge. I caught up with drummer Clay Hackett recently and he gave me the low down on the band.
Hey Clay, I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us today. The music geek in me is always curious when I run across a band with an unusual name such as The Suicide Chords. What’s the story behind that name or is there even a story?
It actually started out as somewhat of a joke. I don’t know if you are familiar with the story of The Brown Note? You can Google it because there is a story behind it. People have talked about for some time as if there is a note out there that if it’s played, it will make humans lose their bowels. It really is this ridiculous notion, but they even tested it on Myth Busters. We were just messing around with it and we thought what if there was a suicide chord? It was really just mentioned as a joke, but it ended up being a bit on the catchy side, even though it’s a bit on that controversial edge as well.
Controversy and rock and roll go hand in hand.
Absolutely; I have no problem with it whatsoever. I actually think there is a lack of controversy in rock these days. If we can bring a little bit to the table, then that’s a good thing.
Rock and roll could stand a bit of that bad boy element to come back because it’s definitely become a bit sanitized. Do you have any good road stories that might support bringing back that missing element?
We were playing a gig in San Diego and the venue decided that we went over our time by a couple of minutes and they decided to actually shut our power off. Jai turns around and tells the stage manager to fuck off, so they actually had all of their security escort us off stage while we were trying to make them look like fools. We got kicked of there for good, but we plan on making a comeback when they don’t have too much choice in the matter and they have to ask us to come play.
There you go, rock and roll karma! When you guys blow up big, that manager is going to have to humble himself and swallow his pride and ask you to come play then.
Yeah, that’s what we are hoping for! (laughs)
You guys definitely have a very polished sound that’s beyond the years that you’ve been together. The riffs are hot, the rhythm section is tight, it’s catchy yet crushing and Jay’s voice has such a unique quality to it. Can you tell me how all of you guys came together?
Thanks man, we appreciate that! Jai and Jay were in a band called Born Tonight and they actually lasted a really long time and they were friends with Dylan and myself. We were in a band called Take Over Turn and when that band broke up I was kind of doing my own thing with other bands for a while, as Dylan was also. Those three guys got in touch with me in late 2009 because they had started getting together and jamming and they needed a good drummer to round it all out. They had been playing with someone and it just wasn’t working out, so they got the bright idea to call me.
Now, you seem to have been pretty busy as a band because you’ve been together less than four years you have released two EPs and a full length album. The Willshire EP came out in 2010, followed by 11:11 (The Prelude) in 2011 and now your full length album A Process of Self Worth was released in April of this year. I noticed you worked with Dan Whittemore on The Prelude EP and the full length album. Something must have clicked with him to go back and use him again?
Yeah, we realized that he understood where our music direction was going and he helped us get through some of the parts that may have been a little too over the top or technical. He helped us to channel our energy into making the song really adjustable and we realized that on Prelude. Once we took his lead and ran with it, we started writing the songs that ended up on Process of Self Worth and we wrote them somewhat differently. We wrote them with the expectation that we were trying to keep on going in the direction that Dan helped us to figure out. Our music was originally a little bit on the bi-polar side and helped us to find our direction, so it was a natural choice to go back and work with him on the full length album.
IS there a method to the madness as far as how a song comes together in your camp?
Usually what happens is that we will go in with the idea that we’re going to write a song. If anyone has a riff or a drumbeat that they want to use or if Jay throws out a lyric that he has, then we start there and we build around it. If anyone has anything to bring to the table, then we start there and we work on it until something just clicks.
Can you throw out a few names of bands or artists who have influenced the band?
Oh yeah, some of them would include the Deftones, Isis and Ocean 5. I’m a big fan of Rush and classic rock and 80s music. We’re really all across the board as far as what we like going all the way back to the 50s.
As far as your influences go, what are two or three albums that helped to mold you into the musician that you are today?
I would have to go with Rush Permanent Waves, Undertow from Tool and Adrenaline from the Deftones.
I think the one that we are always contending with would be our geographic location; we’re in San Diego which tends to have a lighter music crowd. You don’t have that many people who tend to be into the heavy stuff. We tend to ride that line where some people think we’re heavy and some people don’t think we’re heavy enough. It’s hard to find that one venue where it seems like everybody tends to go; it’s a tough nut to crack.
Let’s talk a little bit about the video released for the song “These Leather Hands” from the new album. That is what first drew me to the band and it definitely doesn’t look like something put together by a band in its early stages. First off, it’s a kick-ass song, but the video is also pretty intense and looks better than what a lot of established bands are putting out.
We have some amazing friends who worked with Jai. A guy named Moshe Lopez is the director and he got together with some of his colleagues from school and they offered to do the video for us. To be truthful, we really didn’t know what to expect, but we knew we needed one so we decided to give them a shot. Once the process started rolling, we soon realized that it was going to be a lot more serious than what we first anticipated. When the actual filming process started, we knew it was going to turn into something really cool and some serious eye candy for some people to watch. Mo really came through for us on this one.
Watch “These Leather Hands”
We will definitely include the link in this story so that readers can check it out because it’s definitely a top notch video. I guess we need to wrap this up Clay. Is there anything that you would like to close out with?
Hey man, thank you and thanks to RockRevolt for wanting to talk with us. We encourage the readers to check us out on Facebook and on Reverbnation as well. If you like what you hear and see, our new album, A Process of Self Worth is available as a digital download from just about everywhere; iTunes, Google Play, etc. If they want a physical copy, we can definitely meet that need as well by emailing us at email@example.com.
Connect with The Suicide Chords at the links below: