When Chelsea Grin‘s recent UK and European tour rocked in to Cardiff, we were there to chat to lead vocalist Alex Koehler
So you’ve started the tour, how’s it been so far?
“Good, really good actually, better than expected so really stoked.”
You previously toured with Betraying the Martyr’s, has it been good to catch up with them?
“No, I hate them. Everyday I’m waking up and see their faces and it just sucks… nah I’m just kidding, their really good friends of ours and it’s really good to see them again.”
How’s it been meeting the guys from Void Of Vision and Make Them Suffer?
“It’s been great, we get along really well. We’re all on the same bus together so we’ve been able to chill.”
In July you released your newest album self inflicted, how’s it been seeing the fans reactions to the new material?
“It’s been great, the last time we were out here was in support for our Ashes To Ashes record and since then we really wanted to go back to our roots and be really heavy”
What’s your favourite song on the new album personally?
“We play a song called Strung Out and it’s the first time we’ve played it and that one has been one of my favourites since we wrote it and playing it live has been a lot of fun, it’s got a lot of energy.”
Is it quite personal?
“All the songs on this record are quite personal, I wrote the lyrics based on real life experiences. With ‘strung out’ there’s been someone in my family who’s dealt with severe drug addiction and had to over come it. So that’s what I kinda wrote the song about. It’s a lot of fun to play and really means something to me.”
Even though you’re still touring the Self Inflicted album, have you began any work on any new records or songs?
“We’re constantly writing, not necessarily for a new record, we’re all musicians and we all love what we do… We’re gonna buckle down and start writing a new album soon.”
Do you have any plans for 2017 you can tell us about?
“A lot of plans. There’s a lot of stuff I can’t tell you about actually, but I can tell you… We’re going to the US to do a headliner tour. We’re gonna keep really bust this year and try keep it strong.”
What’s your favourite horror film?
“Ooo, when I was younger… Younger than 7th grade I watched Jeepers Creepers for the 1st time and that used to scare the absolute sh*t out of me. Like now days I rewatch it and it’s kind of cheesy, that’s for nostalgia reasons my favourite film. Kinda creepy.”
What’s song or band made you wanna do music?
“When I was growing up the whole deathcore scene kinda happened like Whitechapel, Suicide Silence, and Impending Doom. I remember one of the 1st times I heard a vocalist do really high vocals and really low vocals was a really old Suicide Silence video they put out, even before they were big. You could tell it was a small venue, there wasn’t a lot of people there but I heard Mitch’s voice for the first time and I was like ‘yo I wanna do that’.Back in the day there was always one type of vocal and that being the first time I heard such an insane difference.”
If you could have a meal with any 3 people ever, dead or alive who would it be?
“Heath Ledger because after he played the joker he definitely had an interesting state of mind, so so that’d be cool. How about the dude that assassinated President Lincoln because that’s a whole conspiracy and it would be fun to pick his brain about and why. Scarlett Johansson because I think she’s beautiful, I’d probably pay more attention to her.”
What’s the best thing about touring?
“Living the dream… I used the idolise the bands that were doing it… I knew we could be something but I never knew we’d get to this point… It’s really just a dream come true.”
What do you think of ‘Suicide Silence’s’ new song?
I know they’re receiving a lot of interesting comments, but touring with those guys and knowing them, I respect it because their playing what they like. If you know the guys like I do then they put out something that they feel very strong about and love. What ever makes you happy.”
Do you think you’ll ever go lighter?
“We’ve done it a couple of times, our song ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is quite singy. We did a song on ‘Self Inflicted’ called ‘Never, Forever’ which is even kinda rappy. We like to experiment, obviously we’ll always keep playing heavy stuff but we’ve gone soft and received the same sort of backlash. Again as a musician you like to test your boundaries.”
Finally, what do you think about Donald Trump being president now?
” I try not to be very political or voice my opinion. Obviously I didn’t want him bit he is so we’ve got to deal with him for 4 years of him doing what he does and we’ll see I guess. See what kina sh*t he can stir up.”
On stage and in face to face Alex Koehler is an awesome guy who loves what he does and it there to please the fans as well as enjoying the whole thing himself with his band.