Today we’ve done a very interesting interview with the band Chernobyl The Secret. Since 2013, Chernobyl The Secret has consistently climbed their way to the top of the local scene, in Austin, Texas. Since their debut EP in 2016, Chernobyl The Secret continues to battle the road to success. The band has taken every interstate opportunity to tour and grind out shows, building their dedicated fanbase. In October of 2017, Chernobyl The Secret released their new envelope pushing, head thrashing, follow-up EP, called ‘Shedding the Chrysalis’ available now on all digital retailers. The band’s biggest heavy-hitter single ‘Left in Ash’ was released spring of 2019. And the highly anticipated latest release, ‘In Search of Solace’ pushes the boundaries of what people can expect when listening to Chernobyl the Secret. New music coming Fall 2020.
Lisa: Can you tell us how “Chernobyl the Secret” came to be – but in a way that’s not boring like most band origin stories are?
Chernobyl The Secret: Chernobyl the Secret’s first line-up formed in early 2013 in Austin, TX. The original core of the group met by Craigslist ads and the annual South By Southwest festival. The line-up has changed drastically over the years with only one original member left today. This band could have thrown in the towel plenty of times throughout the years, but we still keep growing and pushing through the challenges that come our way.
Lisa: What is your mission?
Chernobyl The Secret: A cliche answer would be that we want to connect with people, which we do – but what we really want – is to provide a positive outlet for people to let go of reality for 3-4 minutes. Music has been that outlet for each one of us. If we can give people an opportunity to let go of what is going on in their life for a brief moment, then we can slowly change the world.
Lisa: Your songs are melodic, but also very heavy. What’s more important in your opinion? The song, or heaviness.
Chernobyl The Secret: The song will always be the most important. A truly good song will write itself, and the song will call for what it needs. For example, you can be a shred master and force a crazy solo into each song you write, and it might not always work. However, if you focus on what truly drives the song you can create a masterpiece, and if that masterpiece calls for a solo, by all means throw a solo in there. We try to focus on what WE would want to hear while writing a song, and so far it has worked out for us… we think.
Lisa: Describe the musical frameworks your ‘Shedding the Chrysalis’ EP explores.
Chernobyl The Secret: We really tried to showcase our true metalcore roots with the STC EP, and sort of perfect our metalcore sound we had at that time. We tried to showcase our growth as a band by making the songs more melodic and intense than our first self titled EP. The title “Shedding the Chrysalis” we felt fit the concept of what we were trying to do, which was to blossom into a better band with better songs. Our breakthrough song on that EP was the song Flux. We really threw the whole kitchen sink into that song from intensity, melody, harmonies, a guitar solo etc. The STC EP will forever hold close to our hearts, which had a great response from our fans, and that was the biggest motivator for us to keep going and evolving to where we are now.
Lisa: What ideas did inform “In Search of Solace” in particular?
Chernobyl The Secret: Not really ideas, but personal experience. The song is based on losing a loved one, and attempting to come to terms with that while still living your life the best you can.
Lisa: You were formed 7 years ago. Have you managed to make any new discoveries as the time passed during your creative process? Do you think that at some point of that process your writing approach changed much?
Chernobyl The Secret: We definitely didn’t know what we were doing 7 years ago vs. today. Technology is constantly changing so we’ve really learned to adapt to those changes as much as possible to better our sound and creative writing process overall. Our writing approach has changed throughout the various line-ups, but one thing we always stick true to, is to write what fits best for the song.
Lisa: Where do you think metal is now and where it’s heading?
Chernobyl The Secret: There’s always going to be the classics and foundations that we grew up and learned from. There’s also so many creative aspects to metal, and any heavy genre. Metal is very accepting about music, which makes it that much more unique. We’re always willing to incorporate various styles and sounds in order to grow and get better.
Lisa: Is there anything you’ve learned from this period of pandemic that you’ll take with you once the pandemic passes? And do you think, regarding these events that there will be a lot more inspiration for metal bands to write?
Chernobyl The Secret: We’ve done our best to stay together, consistently practice and write just like we had done before the pandemic. And without shows, we’ve learned to get better at creating ways to reach out to our audience and potential new fans.
Lisa: How did you document the music while it was being formulated?
Chernobyl The Secret: Usually we will send Dropbox links back and forth for a while before we will bring a song into the rehearsal space. From there, we will record takes from our rehearsals, and tinker until we are ready to take it into the studio.
Lisa: Describe your approach to recording.
Chernobyl The Secret: Nowadays, we like to pre-produce our new music as much as possible on our own to get the feel and overall mood on the song recorded. When we arrive at the studio to do final tracking, we just polish the song where necessary.
Lisa: What non-musical entities and ideas have impacted your music?
Chernobyl The Secret: We are inspired by movies and visuals that provoke emotion in people. We hope our music can make you feel some type of way, which is our biggest goal when writing music.
Lisa: What is your view on technology in music?
Chernobyl The Secret: Technology has come a very long way over recent years. The fact that one person can arrange an entire piece of music from their bedrooms is amazing. Also, the endless platforms to display your music to the masses has made it easier than ever to be heard. What a time to be alive!
Lisa: What are your plans for the future?
Chernobyl The Secret: Our plans for 2020, was to tour multiple times across the country. We were very grateful to get one tour before the global pandemic sidelined the rest. Our plan is to keep writing new music and keep pumping out new content for our fans. Hopefully we will be back on the road soon!
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