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Interview with Chaz Bond of Biogenesis

hybrid/hybrid/ ·a. of mixed character, composed of mixed parts.

heavy metal/heavy metal/ ·n. a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness.

Dayton, Ohio based Biogenesis has been performing its unique brand of ‘hybrid metal’ since the 2001 release of its widely acclaimed Rowe Productions debut full length The Mark Bleeds Though and every bit well received 2012 Soundmass Records sophomore effort The Rise, The Fall, The Rebirth.  The brainchild of founding member and vocalist Chaz Bond, Biogenesis specializes in combining multiple styles of metal - thrash, power, progressive, Gothic, modern, extreme and all things in between – to form its diverse ‘hybrid metal’ sound.  Angelic Warlord had the recent opportunity to interview Bond, who goes into detail about the reformed Biogenesis line up, its upcoming new album (May 26, 2017 release) on Roxx Records, A Decadence Divine, and his new project with guitarist John Berry (Jacobs Dream), Black Iron Crown.

Biogenesis promo pic

Five years passed between the release of the Biogenesis sophomore album The Rise, The Fall, The Rebirth and its third, A Decadence Divine. What were the circumstances behind such an extended break between albums? What challenges did you face along the way?
Following the last album, we had a new lineup for about two years. We were actually writing for a new album at that point. We played some shows in Puerto Rico, which was the first overseas for BioGenesis. Shortly after we returned home, one of the new members left the band and asked that we do not use the material that we had written together up to that point. It ended up being the second time in our history that an album was announced but never completed.

I was pretty fed up. Mostly for the fans. I was done with the band. I broke up the band and at that time, I wasn't looking back. For one reason or another, recording albums always seemed to be very difficult for Bio and that wasn't fair to the fans. As founder of the band, I always felt that I was letting our fans down. So I decided at that point to just move on with a new band.

What were you doing musically during the time between albums?
I was in a new band called Letters To The Blind. We actually released two EPs. One was self titled and the other was called Bow To The Machine. We actually opened for several national acts, All That Remains, Soul Fly, Mushroom Head, Scar Symmetry among several others but recently I have moved on from the band.

What factors contributed to Biogenesis reforming its line-up?
To be truly honest, I really felt that God was calling me back to the ministry that He originally placed in my hands. Biogenesis was that ministry and vision, and I tried to walk away and do things my way but God was not done with Bio. As soon as I acknowledged and accepted that, everything fell in place almost overnight. It was absolutely incredible, and for me it confirmed everything and so I went for it full on.

What can you tell me about the group’s new members?
There are six of us now. Original guitarist James Riggs is back. The other four members are related. New Guitarist Luke Nealeigh and our new drummer Majennica Nealeigh were playing together in a band called Right Way To Nowhere. I formed a mutual respect for their talents but also a close friendship. Rounding out the new lineup is Bassist Dan and Keyboard pheenom Sam who are also from the talent laden Nealeigh tree. This lineup has now been together for two years, and the chemistry on and off the stage has never been better in our entire history.

How would you categorize the music of Biogenesis?
I usually just call it ‘hybrid metal, which has always been the vision since the very beginning. I enjoy to many styles of metal to simply choose just one. Some get it, and some never will and that's ok. We combine anything and everything that we like, (and) as long as it sounds good to us we really don't care what people choose to call it. Good music is good music to us.

Biogenesis - A Decadence Divine

How and why did Biogenesis sign with Roxx Records?
We were planning to stay with our previous label Soundmass, but when Roxx Records heard the news that we were back, they offered us a contract, and Soundmass actually gave us their blessing to move forward with a new label. It's been a great experience and we are very proud to be on the Roxx Records roster.

What is the meaning behind the A Decadence Divine title?
I feel that the world as a whole continues to walk further away from God as time marches on. The new generations are being born into a hyper-atheistic society like never before. So therefore, what is viewed as progress is actually a slow moral devolution. So the world is in slow decay, but they are deceived into believing it is good or divine.

Please go into detail about the lyrics to A Decadence Divine. Is there a concept tying the songs together?
There is no script or story but you could say that the album has an overall theme based on what I explained following your previous question. There are a few that definitely tie in together in that way.

How did the writing and recording process for A Decadence Divine go?
It was pretty amazing really. This album came together very smoothly and quickly when compared to our previous albums. Our new guitarist Luke Nealeigh actually has his own studio and happens to be a great producer, which has been a blessing from God. He worked very hard on this album and he went a long way to make this what I believe to be our best album to date. I had a blast through the entire process. It was great to just record stress free and just love what you’re doing.

What are you thoughts in regards to A Decadence Divine? Are you happy with the way the album turned out? What are some of your favorite songs off the album and why?
Yes, I am very thrilled with both the songs and the production. This truly is the follow up to the last album that I was really hoping for. The fans deserve it. They deserve our very best, and I believe that we have accomplished that here.

I really am proud of the entire album, but if I have to pick out favorites, I'd go with the title track.  It's like a bat out of hell, Bio is reborn and in your face with some harsh truth in the words being said. “Inside The Beast” is about the lies in your head that often cause depression and at times can lead to suicide. Luke contributed the song and I love how it really shows our Gothic side. “Bet Your Soul” is heavy and powerful. I play the devil sitting across the table from an atheist who is willing to bet his soul that God doesn't exist. “The Pain You Left Behind” is a true story about a friend of mine who sadly committed suicide in 2005. It was written to make people stop and think before giving into the suicide lie. “Tears Of God” is very epic as a musical journey of styles and emotions. “Brood Of Vipers” is about the tragedy of the Salem Witch Trials. The song is heavy and dark yet sad and full of emotion. A very personal favorite of mine is a piano ballad that was brilliantly composed by Sam our keyboardist. It's called “Silence”, and it is about my daughter Zariah. She is autistic and does not converse. It was difficult to write about and difficult to record. My hope is that families with children who have disabilities will find some sort of comfort in the song.

Biogenesis promo pic

What was behind the decision to record the Genesis cover, “Land Of Confusion”?
I was always a fan of the song growing up. I actually wanted Bio to cover the tune many years ago even before Disturbed came out with a version of the song. For me I really felt that the lyrics are very meaningful and still resonate today. Musically I just thought it would sound great as a metal song.

What does the future hold for Biogenesis?
We are locked and loaded. We have our own studio, our own in house producer. Hard to stop us now. We are excited for a rebirth of Biogenesis. We are excited for our old fans and we are excited for gaining a ton of new fans as well. Once we get settled with this album we are on to the next one.

What led to your departure from Jacobs Dream?
Everyone has a goal and a blueprint for how they want to get there. Honestly, I just think that in the end we just didn't see things in the same way. I think that they wanted to go back to their more traditional roots, and maybe I was a bit to radical for them. I am always that guy that wants to be original and find some way to standout from the expected norm. There is nothing wrong with either path; they are just different. I cherish all the memories. It was hard to leave, but it is all in God's time.

I understand that you have formed a new project with Jacobs Dream guitarist John Berry, Black Iron Crown.  What led you to work with John Berry again? Also, is an album in the works?
Luke from Bio has also joined us. John reached out to me about the idea about a year and a half ago. We started playing shows doing acoustic Jacobs Dream covers. He missed working with me and the feeling was mutual. I'm still a huge fan of JDs sound, and so I'm really excited about it. We are planning to do an album of all new material. The album will be produced by Luke. Stay tuned on that.

I would like to close by thanking you for honoring Angelic Warlord with this interview. Do you have any last words you would like to offer our readers?
Well first I would like to thank you for all you have done for our great scene. All your hard work over the years is much appreciated. To the old fans, thank you so much for sticking with us through all the good times and the unexpected failures...this album is for you! To the new fans...welcome aboard, you've discovered us at the right time! God bless you all in the name of Christ!

BIOGENESIS online: www.facebook.com/BiogenesisProgressiveMetal

Interview by Andrew Rockwell

 

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