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A Dirty Dozen with CHAINS OVER RAZORS – April 2022

According to a recent press release: “Chains Over Razors has just dropped their self-titled sophomore release, and the first single “Behind These Eyes” landed itself as the #2 most added spot on the Billboard (BDS) Mainstream Rock Indicator chart and the #1 most added spot on the Foundations chart on the first week of release. Crossing paths in a recording studio talking about music, twin brothers Mikey V & Andy V along with vocalist, William Mullen, set to re-write the rules of heavy metal as a 3-piece by twisting arrangements, melodies, and grooves in ways thought to be impossible, creating and defining the sound of Chains Over Razors.  This caught the attention of legendary rocker, Carmine Appice (Ozzy Osbourne, Vanilla Fudge, etc…), to executive produce the group’s latest self-titled album and guide their career to new heights.” We get the band to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

William: The last song on the album happens to be a nod to one of my favorite video games, because of said games storyline. So why not make a song about it?! If you can figure it out, YOU WIN AT LIFE!

Mikey: There are cool trippy/ethereal sounds in parts of songs most won’t notice. Just throw on some headphones and send your mind to trippy town, or if you have a sub in your car be prepared to have moments where your ears might feel as if their gonna pop from low frequency pressure.

Andy: I have many drum fills that are a shout-out to Carmine Appice and his influence in rock n’ roll drumming. Also, many parts of the drum compositions I carefully made sure to float over the time signature changes. That way, no one will notice that it took place.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

William: My Dad got me into music. I was listening to C&C Music Factory, Milli Vanilli, Kris Kross, Mc Hammer, and Vanilla Ice (All great musicians in their own right). I wasn’t sold on them, but I listened and still go back and listen to them to this day. My Dad stepped in and showed me his collection of classic rock vinyl. That’s where my mind started expanding. Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Robin Trower, Bill Withers, etc., etc. These bands are what really got me into music. Hendrix made me want to be a guitarist. Cocker made me want to be a singer, but further down the line I would find the band and singer who would seal the deal.

Mikey: My brother and I were always into music as kids, whether it was the Beatles, Elvis, Kiss, or the oldies radio station. It wasn’t until we saw musicians play at an event and we gravitated to the instruments themselves as the first inspiration.

Andy: I was hooked on the Beatles when I was younger and listened to lots of classic oldies. I was at an event with my brother watching musicians perform.  I was fascinated with the drum set and the art of it.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

William: When I heard James Lynn Strait and his band SNOT for the first time, it knocked me on my ass. They had this style to them that was unmatched and irreplaceable. I immediately put down the guitar and picked up the mic. I have never looked back since.

Mikey: It was hearing “Master of Puppets” for the first time with the opening riff that just pulled me right in. The ferocity of that sound was evil. I couldn’t get enough of it.

Andy: For me it was listening to Metallica’s “Battery.” The momentum of the song was killer.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

William: I’d have to say Tatiana Shmayluk of Jinjer. I know we would blow minds with a duet. Heavy of course, but with soaring harmonies and even scream harmonies…cause that’s a thing, right?

Mikey: Anyone in the Dr. Dre camp would be a very cool adventure to collaborate with.

Andy: I would love to do a song from the ground up with composer John Williams and us. It would be EPIC. He gave us iconic scores from Jaws to Indiana Jones and Star Wars.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

William: Put a grill in front of me with my seasonings and some food to cook and I’m in heaven.

Mikey: I like to eye the stock market. It’s fascinating.

Andy: I’m usually doing physical training in the gym or playing video games. I’m also a fan of combat sports. I have several subscriptions just so I can watch Muay Thai, kickboxing, boxing, Jiu-jitsu, Karate, Judo, etc. from around the globe.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

William: I would describe us as epic melody groove metal. I just thought of that right now. And no one has made a comparison to us yet…I don’t know if I should be scared or grateful.

Mikey: Heavy Rock/ metal. Any comparison to a well-known influential artist would always be a compliment as inspiration can come from all places.

Andy: Heavy Rock/Metal. No one has ever brought up a comparison or mentioned anything to me. If they do have a comparison, I would take it as a compliment.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

William: Remember when I said I grill…? We all get the drinks in, and I am always the first to break out the acoustic.

Mikey: I love to grill and throw quite a few adult beverages back, but I wouldn’t attempt to try and play hammered. I’ve tried it a few times and it never sounds as good as you think. Hahahaha!!

Andy: I’m a terrible cook and I will have an occasional alcoholic drink.  Alcohol really is not my thing though.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

William: I’ve never been star struck, I might point out someone famous, but I’ll talk to them like I talk to my friends.

Mikey: Our executive Producer Carmine Appice. It always took some time to soak up the fact I’m working with a Rock Legend before I can settle in and focus on work and not be intimidated.  After that moment, I can chill and talk to him as a best friend. But the initial shock always gets to ya.

Andy: When I began working with our Executive producer, Carmine Appice. Not only was I starstruck, but I was nervous. The only thing that kept on repeating in my head was “don’t screw up.” Carmine is a musical, drumming legend. He set the standard for rock drumming extremely high. After the initial shock factor, we jammed together for a bit before we started recording. He rocked out on his kit, and I rocked out on Vinny Appice’s drum set. I still have my starstruck moments, but I have a great time speaking and chilling with him.  He is my mentor, my professor, and friend.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

William: Taking the stage and getting the crowd going is my absolute favorite. And it would be nice to be an actor.

Mikey: Writing songs and creating an atmosphere or story that takes you away for a few minutes. If I wasn’t a musician, I would want to be an astronaut hahahaha. Both professions send ya to the moon!

Andy: I love the creating process and expressing emotion through sound. If I could no longer be a musician, I don’t know what I would do.  Playing music has always been a dream job of mine.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

William: Who is my idol? My Mother and Father, because I have put them through some shit, and they still love me. And questions do not bother me in the slightest.

Mikey: I’ve never had a bad question. All of them have been excellent. I just wonder if I talk too damn much because I like to get into the science of gear or song writing & production. Hahahaha!

Andy: I really don’t have a question that I’ve always wanted an interviewer to ask. I also don’t get tired of answering any questions because I am always having fun.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

William: Wouldn’t change a thing. It all had to happen to get me here.

Mikey: Not for second, it took that experience that led me to where I’m at or made me smarter on handling situations.

Andy: Nothing to change on my end. I wouldn’t be the person who I am today if it wasn’t for missteps. It made me more efficient and better at my craft.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

William: SNOT recording GET SOME. That album has and will always get me out of a funk.

Mikey: That’s a tough question, so many great records to choose from, I don’t even know where I would start.

Andy: Beatles: Revolver album. I love the song “Eleanor Rigby.”  Just to sit in the studio to listen to the writing process and storytelling and spatial use of the recording for that song. Something about that song just resonates.

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Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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