I have done a lot of interviews on here and a lot of reputable ones to say the least. Entheos has been one of the most improved bands and are only getting better. They’ve been one of my favorites since the second full length, and my love has only grown since then. Chaney is one of the best vocalists in death metal right now and Entheos constantly pushes the envelope with every release. One of the nicest people in the genre I have come across and consider myself lucky. It’s one of my favorite interviews in the handful of years I have had this site online. Fanboying aside, I asked a lot of questions and got some heart felt responses. Enjoy this feature and keep supporting our Entheos pals!
TMR: Congratulations on getting signed! Explain the move on being a signed band and why you guys thought it was the right move.
Chaney: Thank you! We’d spent a lot of time before signing to Metal Blade thinking about whether or not we wanted to release our upcoming album as an independent band or signed to a label. Both of our previous full lengths were released through labels, but we didn’t really feel as if either of them were the ‘perfect’ fit for our band. We released a single independently in early 2020 and after doing that, it became clear to us that there were certain aspects of being signed to the right label that we felt we may prefer to being an independent band. When we talked about labels and which one we thought would be the right fit for our band the answer was always Metal Blade.
TMR: In comparison, please tell how our followers how tough it is/was to be an independent band. Entheos did that for a while until recently and I don’t think everyone knows how much work REALLY goes into that.
Chaney: Being a band in any capacity is a tough undertaking and there are positives and negatives to both sides of the ‘signed vs. independent’ band debate. There are so many aspects of music distribution that are left for you as an artist to figure out if you take the independent route, while those things are a part of the built-in structure of a label. Labels have the ability to advance money for studio time, music videos, promotion, etc., whereas independent bands have to find ways to generate income in order to produce those things – on top of the money that it costs to print & press merchandise and tour. On the other hand, while being an independent band and learning all of the ins & outs may take a longer time, a huge advantage is that you own all of the masters to your music- and beyond that, you develop a deep understanding of the music business through your trials and tribulations. That understanding of the business side of music can assist you greatly throughout your career, even if you’ve made the decision to sign to a label. In all reality, no matter which way you spin it, a ton of work goes into being a band in any form.
TMR: You recently released a ripper called “Absolute Zero” which turned into one of my favorites in your band’s library. Explain the meaning behind that song.
Chaney; I was in a pretty horrible motorized scooter accident in 2021, in which my nose was split open, part of my bottom lip was torn from my gums and my upper lip was split in two. The end result was surgery and about 100+ stitches in my face. As a result of the accident I had no feeling in my lips or nose – some of which I still haven’t regained. My actual voice stayed in tact, but the act of doing vocals is incredibly reliant on mouth and lip movement, both of which I simply did not have. Whether or not I’d be able to return to doing vocals in the capacity I had prior to my accident was an uncertainty and because of this and my injuries I experienced quite a bit of darkness.
Absolute Zero is the first song that I wrote after my accident and it deals with the despair and uncertainty that I experienced at the time. What I know now is that this sense of sadness that I experienced at the moment was necessary for me to progress as an individual and have even more gratitude for life. Absolute Zero is the beginning of a journey of personal growth.
TMR: You’ve also gone back out on tours, which is always great to see. Everyone is doing their thing with covid lightening up. What are some potential Entheos tour plans for 2023?
Chaney: We’ll be heading to Europe at the beginning of the year and have a lot of really exciting plans for 2023.
TMR: What piece of music are you guys most proud of and enjoy the most? Name your favorite song you have written and your favorite album.
Chaney: It’s always been true for me at this point in my life that the thing I’ve most currently worked on is what I’m most proud of and my answer now is no different. I’m most excited about the material that we’ve yet to put out. It will be out in early 2023.
TMR: Entheos has had a few different lineup changes and recently decided it was you and Navene ultimately as band members. He recently took up guitar and is doing a great job I must say. What factors led into the decision in being a two person band rather than a whole group?
Chaney: The decision to move forward with the two of us as the band’s main members was born from the idea of maintaining a sense of continuity in the band. As the pandemic hit, the touring life ended and Navene and I began writing our third album. We were in a transitional phase – Travis (Levrier) had left the band and we were the only two members left, so we decided to continue on as that for the time being. Navene has always written a majority of the band’s music, so it was pretty natural for him to write the guitar, drums and produce the album on his own. We were incredibly inspired and weren’t in a rush to add new people into the band. Initially we weren’t sure that Evan [Brewer] would be able to play on the album, but after my accident prolonged the tracking of it, he was able to find the time to play bass for us in the studio.
Brian James and Robert Brown joined our live lineup on guitars earlier this year and we’re completely open to whatever the future may bring with their involvement in contributing music, etc. We really just wanted to solidify that Entheos will be Entheos as long as Navene and I are involved in the band.
TMR: What got you into death metal and what vocalists and bands inspired you the most?
Chaney: I went to a lot of local shows when I was younger and through that I discovered my love for all kinds of metal. I’ve been a singer my entire life, and when I discovered heavy vocals I fell in love. The passion and aggression behind them drew me in right away and I’ve been pursuing them ever since. I’ve been inspired by so many bands and vocalists over the years, but in metal specifically some of my favorite vocalists are Jacob Bannon, Corpsegrinder, Alex Erian, Loïc Rossetti, Greg Puciato, Jonny Davy, James Lee, Trevor Strnad, Phil Bozeman, Karyn Crisis and whoever did the vocals on Sol Niger Within by Fredrick Thordendahl’s Special Defects. I also love vocalists in all kinds of other genres, some of my biggest influences are Marissa Nadler, Karen O, Anthony Green, Emma Ruth Rundle, Chelsea Wolfe.. I could name so many. I really am inspired by a plethora of bands and artists.
TMR: I’ve always admired your band that experiments a bit and you have found your own sound. How tough is it to keep things fresh and not always write the same set of lyrics or music?
Chaney: Thank you for the kind words. Honestly, it’s something that comes fairly easily to us. We’re inspired by a myriad of genres outside of metal and it all influences our writing within the band. I love being the vocalist of this band because I truly feel like nothing is off limits for us musically, and I feel like that’s even more apparent on our upcoming album.
Lyrically I’ve always focused on what is happening in my life – I draw the most influence from the human experience and because of the different ‘seasons’ that life brings I feel like there’s always something to write about.
TMR: Now for the heavy hitter: explain to our followers what it’s like to be a female, especially a vocalist fronting a band. The vocalist is usually the face and image of a band. We all know metal is a male dominated genre of music, but death metal is even more male dominated. I definitely understand men can be intimidating or jerks, unnecessarily. Does it negativity effect you, or does it motivate you to work harder to be your best?
Chaney: This is an interesting question to answer because I can only speak on my experience being a woman in a band.. it’s not different to me, because it’s what I’ve always been. I’ve always felt welcomed by the people who I’ve been close to in music. I like to surround myself with people who inspire me to be a better version of myself and if that isn’t the vibe that I’m getting from someone then I move on. There are good and bad people everywhere, some of them are men and some of them are women.
What I can say is that I’m always excited to see more women attending shows and pursuing heavy music. There are so many incredible women playing music and working behind the scenes in the touring and music industry who I’m inspired by and that’s amazing to see.
TMR: In my opinion you are one of the most underrated death metal vocalists out there right now. Can you share some tips on how you improved vocally over the years? What helped you further your career as a death metal vocalist? I can appreciate vocalists as I can only play guitar and write music. It’s so flawless how you go from really low growls to really high pitched sections. You have definitely become one of my favorites and it absolutely floors me every time I have Entheos on the speakers.
Chaney: Thank you for the kind words, it means a lot. I’ve found many ways to improve my understanding of vocals and the things that I am able to do vocally over the years and it all comes from practice. From breathing exercises, to finding new tonalities in my voice through imitating other singers or seeking out new screaming techniques, to practicing songs and sets to make transitions in my singing and screaming feel even more natural – it’s been incredibly important and helpful to me to spend time honing my voice and I’m always seeking out new things to learn. I have a hunger to know how to do any vocal that I think is cool so that when the time comes on a song I’m able to add any kind of technique that I can think of. It’s truly an endless process of learning new things and practicing and that’s something that I never want to stop doing. I try to spend a couple of hours a day working on vocals in some capacity.
TMR: What are some of your favorite albums of this year? You can also include non metal albums.
Chaney: Some of my favorite albums from this year are
Psycroptic – Divine Council
Domi & JD Beck – Not Tight
Soreption – Jord
Brutus – Unison Life
TMR: You and Navene have recently built a home studio. Do you two plan on recording future releases there as well as videos and rehearsals? What are your plans for that?
Chaney: Yes we did! We actually tracked the vocals for our upcoming release in our new studio before it was complete. I think we’ll probably still track drums in a different studio but Navene has always tracked his own guitars. We’ll definitely end up tracking demo drums here – but I’d never say never.
TMR: What can we expect from the new album? Any cool twists or turns? You guys always deliver an awesome release every time. I’m beyond excited!
Chaney: There are a ton of twists and turns on the album – we explore all kind of musical moments, I’m singing for the first time on an Entheos record, and we’re really excited about it. We touch all kinds of areas from prog to death metal to rock to hardcore.. there is a lot on the record and we’re really proud of it. You can expect the Entheos that you know and love pushing all of our past albums in a further direction.
TMR: Is Evan officially back in the band on bass? That’s a question a lot of people probably have.
Chaney: Evan is a studio member but cannot tour full-time with the band.
TMR: Another venture I love, is your podcast with Navene. It’s a great thing to listen to while relaxing after work having dinner, for me at least. It’s cool to see how it’s slowly blossomed over the years. Why did you two want to start your podcast? And are there any cool guests you are lining up for future episodes?
Chaney: Thank you! We love doing the podcast – it was an idea that I had which stemmed from my love of comedy podcasts. I thought it would be awesome for Navene and I to bring friends who inspired us on the show and share our love of music, metal, art, philosophy, etc. with other people. It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience for both of us and we’re excited for what the future may bring. We have a ton of exciting guests lined up!
TMR: What else do you do or interested in outside of metal and Entheos?
Chaney: Outside of metal and Entheos I’m also an artist – I primarily work with dot work and pens but venture into painting, pyrography, etc. I spend a lot of time doing that along with writing – writing was my first love, I love writing poetry and I try to write a new poem every couple of days. I’ll probably end up publishing some of my work at some point. I also play drums and guitar and spend quite a bit of time doing both of those things.
TMR: What’s your favorite show you have ever played?
Chaney: I can honestly say that there are so many shows that have been my favorite that I couldn’t pick one.
TMR: What’s on your bucket list you want to do in your life or something you’ve always wanted to do?
Chaney: I just want to keep living – life is so full of surprises, I couldn’t have anticipated even two years ago what life would look like for me now and I have no idea what’s ahead. The biggest item on my bucket list is to do my best at living in the moment.
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