lunedì 4 ottobre 2010

CHUCK KELLER (english version)

Author: Morbosus

Hi Chuck, welcome on Aristocrazia Webzine. We are honored to have you here. May you tell us how did you start playing guitar? Which musicians influenced you most? And who influenced you in writing lyrics?

Thanks very much. I had formal training on piano and trumpet from an early age, and started playing guitar around 1985. I had been a metal freak for a few years already, but it was when I heard Yngwie Malmsteen that I realized I needed to be playing guitar.

How all started? How did you meet Mike and Pete, and what made you decide to give birth to Order From Chaos?

I have known Mike since 1973, when we started school together. I met Pete in September 1986 when I met his drummer after a phone call inquiring about a certain Metallica picture disc. Once they discovered I played guitar, they sacked their other two guitarists (that weren't thrash fans), and put me in their place. Pete and I played in that cover band for about a year, then left to form OFC with Mike.

What do you remember most of the Kansas City's metal scene from the end of the 80's and the first years of the '90? I know life hadn't been simple than.

Yeah, but life could have been much worse. We realized we weren't ever going to be welcomed or supported locally like some of the other area bands, so we created our own little world and ignored what went on around us.

I always thought OFC was not a "creature" from this planet, sure not a band for all tastes. Still now I believe what you created in those year is one of a kind. I see no other bands following the same musical path, except your own Ares Kingdom. What do you think about it?

I think you're absolutely correct. From the beginning we strove to be as original as we could while taking our obvious influences and mixing them with our own personalities and messages. Our approach in Ares Kingdom is exactly the same, except even more focused and serious.

Your guitar sound strongly contributes to create the "alien" feeling of your music. What kind of gear do you use?

I have a very traditional Heavy Metal rig consisting of three Jackson guitars (and one Washburn), two 1980's era Marshall JCM 800s - a 50w for recording and 100w for playing live, 1960A & B cabinets, and Boss effects - Metal Zone, Digital Delay, Stereo Chorus, Flange, and Compression/Sustain. In the OFC days my rig was a Marshall Mosfet 100w, a BC Rich Ironbird, and an old Washburn HM-5V. Boss effects - except I did use an Ibanez EQ for several years.

The name of OFC has been a pure cult in the more estreme wingt of the metal listeners, but for most people you were only a "sonic shock wave" (I think you can remember the review of that period), what do you think of those opinions considering that today you are seen as the leader of a certain way of playing metal?

History has a way of writing itself in ways you might never expect. In our own time we were never considered very extreme. Its interesting to us that now albums that may have been criticized in their own time are now well regarded.

Many considered you composition to be pure chaos, but if you listen better you can find a deep structure and the need to go further the "average" metal song. Were you still conscious of your final victory or you simply keep pushing over on you path without caring of what others may think?

Yes, if you strip away the sometimes gawd-awful and obscure production and examine the riffs and arrangements, you'll find they're often quite traditional. What others thought about us was never an issue.

Do you consider Ares Kingdom as a legacy of what you did with Order From Chaos?

Sure, Mike and I were 2/3 of OFC, so obviously AK will often be compared to OFC. Of course, anything any of us do may be considered part of the OFC legacy.

What can you tell me about the project called Vulpecula?

Vulpecula was a project I did with Nepenthe's drummer, Chris Overton, from 1995-1999. It explored more deeply the astronomical concepts I began with in OFC, but with a darker musical atmosphere than OFC was designed for. It was also the perfect outlet for me to reorganize my thoughts and energies after OFC concluded.

Which is the concept behind Ares Kingdom?

The basic concept behind AK is the acknowledgement that the world continues to be governed by the aggressive use of force, hence the band's name, Ares Kingdom. With this as our philosophical backdrop, the lyrics explore my applications of the CoF idea.

What has changed in you way of composing music through the years?

Not very much, frankly. I'm always looking for ways to expand and retool my composition process, but I still compose 99% of our stuff the same way I did in 1987.

I know you collaborated with Yasuyuki Suzuki, for a Barbatos' album. How did it started?

I had been writing lyrics for Abigail as far back as 1995, and we maintained our friendship through the years. Around 2004 YS asked me to write some lyrics for an upcoming Barbatos album, so I did. Eventually he asked if I would do vocals and lead guitar on those tracks, and I agreed. I also found the cover art and did the layout for "Fury And Fear, Flesh And Bone".

Have you red Pete's book? What do you think about it? Do you agree with his vision?

It wasn't a vision as much as it was a synthesis of other ideas and philosophies that, while not attempting a direct comparison between them, explored the common ideas that influenced the core of the Conqueror of Fear lyrics - ideas like independence, the Individual's eternal struggle for strength and wisdom - all set amid the societal stillbirth machine's seething, squalling masses.

Which OFC's album is the one you like the most?

"An Ending in Fire". It's the culmination of the band's original idea and vision and therefore represents us best.

How did the reunion's idea come out? Could we expect some new material from OFC?

The reunion shows have gone very well and we've all enjoyed doing them. There will not be new material from OFC and the reunion is not permanent.

What do you think about today's metal scene?

I think there are too many bands that allow themselves to be defined by a certain style tag - and therefore lack personality and originality.

Do you know some italian band?

My favorites are Necrodeath and Bulldozer, of course.

OK, it's over. The last line is up to you. Thanks a lot for be so kind. total respect to you and your music.

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