CHAPEL "Haunting The Chapel"

By: Lord Randall

Think back to the early days of Canadian metal. RAZOR, EXCITER, KICK AXE… Okay, maybe not the latter so much, but it’s the spirit of the former we’re speaking of here. Straight from the only major city on the continent to span the border of two countries comes CHAPEL, a trident of unholiness set to light fires with their self-titled full-length, recently come to light through Invictus Productions. On a moonlit night in a graveyard, Lord Randall drunkenly stumbles across the equally inebriated Desolator…

Wormwood Chronicles: Vancouver, 2008: The 3 instigators wake up on a piss-stained floor after a night of BC bud and malt liquor going “Hey, let’s start a band!”? Is that pretty much how things went down, or was there a higher goal in order?

Desolator: A higher goal? Ha. Not exactly. The band actually started around 2007 with myself and Devastator wanting to start a kind of studio side project apart from the band we were playing in together at the time. The original plan was to write and record as just a two piece with myself handling drums as well as guitar and vocals. Incinerator offered his services, and after a couple of jams he became a permanent addition to the lineup.

WC: Obviously, Vancouver has a strong musical history. Had you 3 played together in other bands prior?

D: Yes. Devastator and I had played in crust/death metal band LIMB FROM LIMB since about 2005, and Incinerator had filled in on drums for a brief stint while our drummer was in China.

WC: What was the metal scene like there back when you first started out? Did you think it needed a good boot up the arse? Did the sound of CHAPEL develop, or was it something that just naturally came out when the 3 of you got together?

D: The scene in Vancouver had been shit for a long time and definitely needed a kick in the ass, but we never play for the sake of the city or to boost the status of the Vancouver scene. We play for ourselves and the fucking hordes that give a shit about real metal. Our sound definitely developed over time and a lot of new influences have seeped in since our demo days, but we will always sound like CHAPEL.

WC: Using the same tried ‘n’ true VENOM/MOTORHEAD formula of the bassist/vocalist, drummer and guitarist worked pretty well for them, wouldn’t you say? Were they clear influences, and do you see CHAPEL “progressing” beyond this, or are you intentionally leaving the band a primal as fuck trio in order to keep things more insular?

D: MOTORHEAD is certainly a huge influence on my writing.VENOM, too, to some extent. I mean, you can't really play black metal without them. CHAPEL "progresses" in its own way. Our songs are becoming more simple, more savage and more evil as we explore the very depths of primal rock 'n' roll and bestial metal. We shall remain a trio because that is what CHAPEL is: three priests of the stage. Nothing more, nothing less.

WC: You had the demo that came out the year you formed, so the songs had to have come together pretty quickly. Was that the same situation with what would become "Satan’s Rock ‘N’ Roll"? I mean it’s been 4 years, so…

D: The demo came together pretty fast. I had written the song "Satan's Rock 'N' Roll" the year before and the others just wrote themselves. The lyrics for "Chapel" were written in the studio while the vocal mic was being set up! The album actually came together fairly easily, too. The reason for the delay was that I had been living in another town and CHAPEL had broken up for awhile. I was approached by Reinig Records wanting to do an album for us, so i contacted the others and we got back together and started writing again.

WC: A couple of the songs from the demo make an appearance on the new album, obviously slightly reworked. Any chance of the others resurfacing on the 20th Anniversary box set?

D: Never. We'll probably never play them ever again, either.

WC: How did you come into contact with Darragh and Invictus Productions over in Ireland? At the time, were you actively trying to get signed, or your paths just kind of crossed through the underground?

D: Our intent has never been to get "signed" or "make it". As I said before, we play because we live for rock 'n' roll and not for shallow, trite bullshit reasons like money, etc. Our music is for the heathen hordes and true supporters of Satan's rock 'n' roll! I came into contact with Darragh trying to find a label to do a repress of a LIMB FROM LIMB EP. He told he liked the band, we did a few trades and I sent him the CHAPEL demo. We were actually discussing working together on a release for one of my other projects. I had also sent him the unmastered tracks for the album, and when our deal with Reinig Records dissolved, Darragh stepped up to the plate and offered to release it. Darragh and Invictus has been nothing but great and supportive of the Chapel of Satan and myself and the boys salute him for all he's done for us and any band he works with. FUCKING HAILS, YA CUNT!

WC: What was it like, getting that first box of the first finished copies of SR’n’R in the post? Obviously you didn’t just shrug and go on with your day.

D: It felt amazing, of course. The album looks fucking terrific and sounds savage as hell. Also, it's great to see the Invictus logo on something that I've done. One of my favorite labels, hands down.

WC: Even from the first song, there’s something happening that differentiates CHAPEL from much of the d-beat, speed/rock/bm stuff of the past 5-odd years. Solos! Not the noodling, wankeriffic shit, but short, sharp shocks that stab out from the rumble. In a genre that’s built on admittedly a simplistic foundation, how difficult is it for a band like CHAPEL to write songs that not only rock but stand out from the pack? Does it even give a fuck either way?

D: We're not trying to reinvent the wheel, but of course we want to be somewhat original, too. It's a fine line to walk, but I think we get by. We'll continue to do our thing, the hordes can decide if we stand out or not and we will stand in defiance and scorn any judgment against us.

WC: In ‘Trashed’ I noticed a little of the old (well, eternal) MOTORHEAD sound, that boogie rock style Lemmy is so into. You think maybe Ol’ Moleface possessed you a bit during that particular number?

D: You're fucking god damned right.

WC: Okay, the name. CHAPEL…a reference toSLAYER’s Haunting The Chapel, or just a nifty name people could actually read and pronounce?

D: No reference, just a great name. A mockery and inversion of holiness and morality. A battle standard of impious desecration against the sanctimonious swine.

WC: How would you describe a CHAPEL live show?

D: Blackness. Beers. Sweat. Hoods. Bullets. Bodies shaking. Shoes shuffling. Headbanging hordes. Loud and Leather

WC: Upcoming plans? World tours opening for Black Dahlia Murder?

D: Possible tour in Europe next summer. New songs, new album. HELL BREAKS LOOSE AND BLOOD SHALL STAIN THE EARTH!