Chaol Revolution Theory (Ryan, James, Nick)
Being from a town like Madison, Wisconsin, it’s hard to stick out from the crowd, considering Madison just so happens to be one of the best cities in the nation for local, undiscovered music. The city is so diverse in the type of music that comes out is all over the map, and you’re bound to find mixtures of music blended into one. So when I came across the band Chaos Revolution Theory, I thought to myself, “This is definitely Madison music!” Chaos Revolution Theory is the perfect mix of groove, funk and progressive rock all concocted together to make music that seems like it could fit on the iPod playlist or record shelf of anyone who simply enjoys music. Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue sat down with the Madison natives to talk about their music and where it all started.
Maximum Ink: How long have you guys been a band and how did you guys come about being a band?
Nick “Shaggy” Stanecki: (Vocalist and Guitar): Two years on September 9th. Ryan and I met through our respective bands that played with each other in the Madison scene here a few years ago. When our bands ended around the same time, we joined forces, intent on starting a new sound all together. Ryan and I truly started from the bottom. Acoustic radio performances were some of our first shows because we had no songs and couldn’t even consider playing a full set at a club. We pretty much hid out in the studio, and did a lot of experimentation. We really wanted to make a unique, but very real -to us- sound. We had been using reggae and ska type parts for years, mashed with surfy west coast riffing.
We never wanted to do the indie sound. It had to be rock and roll at the core. But it wasn’t until we started over so to speak, and I took on a more serious role as vocalist that things started to take a shape that was our own creation. That’s the way it felt to me. And singing was a totally new thing for me. There were times that the adrenaline rush from nervousness at a performance was extremely intense. I’m struggling to remember a time when it was more in my life. In the end, we found a sound that could be acoustic or electric, but most of all, we could improvise extensively and not ruin the flow of the tunes.
This made it even more “us” to the bone. If I was in a bad mood, I can play hard and get it out. If you’re in a good mood, you can gel with the band and really rock out. On September 9th, 2009 (9-9-09), no shit, just a coincidence, we formed Chaos Revolution Theory. We had a few different bassists, and eventually Ryan met James, our current bassist and bassist since basically the beginning of CRT. James brought some serious chops to the table and some solid ideas. We’ve been writing tunes together, as a band non-stop since then.
MI: For someone who has never heard your music before, describe your music.
Ryan “The Beast” Bestul (Drummer): It is that music that makes your legs, arms, and body move for seemingly no reason.
James Giesen (Bassist): It’s been coined “Wisconsin Stomp Rock” for its driving and stomping style!
MI: Tell me about your Sounds Like Hello EP?
Nick: We took a week to write and record a few tunes acoustically. That’s it. From conception to recording, one week. We wrote and rehearsed for the week and went out to a cabin in Dodgeville to record the tracks that weekend. Personally, I wanted to make something with similar mojo to Alice in Chains, Sap, Neil Young and Harvest.
MI: Where do you draw inspiration from for your music as a band?
Nick: Things that happen to us, Things we notice. Things we didn’t notice. Musicians and bands we like. Sometimes people we meet, and places we’ve been and stayed, for sure.
MI: Tell me what it was like to be nominated for a MAMA this spring? That is a very nice honor for any band to have.
Nick: We love Madison and are proud to say it’s our home wherever we go. Madison has heart. Madison has guts and soul. That being said, it’s really too cool to be accepted by the music community on that level; which makes it feel even more like home.
James: I’m from Madison, so I’ve been hearing about the MAMA’s ever since I became a musician. It’s always been a goal of mine and we feel very honored to have achieved that kind of recognition in the scene.
MI: There’s a lot of talk about how the music industry is crumbling as we speak. What do you think the music scene is like these days?
Ryan: The music industry is crumbling much like musicians thought the music industry was crumbling in the 60s, 70, and 80s, it is relative prospective. In my eyes it isn’t so much a crumble. It’s more like a rearranging of barriers due to technology. Now anyone can make music on a computer and become a star, and all the more power to them. For me to get anything to sound good on the computer is a non-point in my life. When I got into the music industry my (as well as my buddies) bands would make their demos on a tape deck, dub it onto ten, twenty, thirty tapes, hand draw and color the art on for the tape case, and hand them out to everyone. This was very time consuming, which meant that if a band had time to practice enough to put together a demo, you must be good.
A record company would hopefully pick you up and let the band naturally mold into something that would sell records. Sometimes this would take two, three, four albums. Now, with all the independently produced music available with a button click, longevity is being left at the wayside, (as well as the drummer!). The challenge as a band is to use the new technology to your advantage while standing by your core beliefs. In Chaos, we use what we see as the best from the music industry, old and new school. We like to record on analog format for sound as well as that’s how we learned coming up. But, if you Google us, you find pages of info about us on the web. This is because we know that people don’t go down to their corner record store to get the latest hit, they download it. If we want to get the music out you have to put it where the ears are, it doesn’t matter how it is made.
MI: If you could tour with anyone out there today, who would it be and why?
Nick: A Deadbolt tour would be crazy. We met them and partied down when we were on tour in Seattle this June. They were some cool dudes, man. Pearl Jam would be an ultimate dream tour, or a Guns n’ Roses reunion tour! Yea, how nuts would that be? Don’t answer that.
James: We’re really looking for west coast bands to hook up with too. That’s an area of the country that we all just love to explore and of course Europe, but that goes without saying
Check out Chaos Revolution Theory’s new album “Brainwash”, out now, available at shows only. Hear it on “The Bastard Den” on Max Ink Radio. They also have a free acoustic EP “Sounds Like Hello” available at reverbnation.com/chaosrevolutiontheory. Their next performance is a free one at Mr. Roberts with Subatomic on September 16th.(9833) Page Views Chaos Revolution Theory Online:
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