Interview: With Chad Ellis from From Crisis To Collapse

From Crisis To Collapse are Byron Bays Extreme Metal Kings with an extremely passionate approach to their music, their performances and the meaning and message behind them as a band. They have had an epic year packed full of gigs and working on their new EP. They are about to headline Wallaprelooza this Friday night. GC Live had a chat to guitarist Chad Ellis about the bands amazing year, the upcoming gigs, the new EP and so much more.

From Crisis To Collapse formed back in 2015, how did the band first get together?

Angus and Marco, our singer and drummer, they both work in hospitality and they were working together at a café in Byron when they had both just moved to town. Gus is from Sydney and Marco is from Italy and was living on the South Coast. They were working together and they realized that they were both into music and that they wanted to form a band. Then they started looking for other band mates. The same time Ian, the other guitarist who used to be in another Brissy band called Tria Mera, he had just moved down to Byron as well. So he put some ads out on Gumtree and in other places and he and Marco answered each other’s ads. Then very soon after Unai joined the band as well, he was fresh from Spain and moved to Byron. It is a very multilingual band. So they were a four piece and they started writing songs in late 2015. They always wanted to be a five piece so they had a few other guitarists come through who for whatever reason moved on. One moved away, another guy Mark, who is a really good friend of ours, who is still really tight with the band.

I was actually in another band at the time called Collision.  I wasn’t happy in the band so I started looking for other bands. I answered Ian’s original ad on musicians classified and then he started flicking me demos. This was early 2017 maybe around January some time. I started learning some songs then I kept putting it off, I made up excuses because was thinking I am not up to speed with this band at all! *laughs* Then they ended up playing their first gig in Lismore supporting an Irish Thrash band called Abbadon Incarnate. I heard so many good things around town that they just went off!  So I went to the next jam. I had learnt a song, so I went to the jam and I said hey if we click then I will put more time into the music and if not, we will just leave it. I met the guys and it was just unreal. Friendships blossomed straight away. They rang me the next day and Marco was like “we want you to join the band!” and I was like “Cool I’ll see you next Monday night!” Then I think I learnt two songs that week. I asked the guys if they wanted to start playing gigs because I had some ready to go and we played a gig in Byron for a mate who is a promoter about 3 weeks later. That was in March 2017. It just felt so good playing with these guys, the chemistry was unreal. Then we were on the hunt, we played almost every weekend for the rest of the year, we did some recordings and released some songs and went next year we are going to go bigger! That was the target!

Where did the name From Crisis To Collapse come from?

So one of the first songs the band wrote before I joined was called From Crisis To Collapse. There was no band name and they were prepping for their first gig. From Crisis To Collapse was one of their key songs. Then as a last minute call they went hey that’s a really good band name!  Let’s take that and rename the song. So the song got called Crisis. And it is sort of like our song which is our flag I suppose, Crisis. The lyric content stands for a lot of what our band stands for. Quite political, standing up for people, standing up for rights. And Crisis is one of the songs we independently released last year with Chris from Pulpitation Studios.

On your website I read that your mission as a band is to “write and perform art that displays high level musicianship with confronting subject matter that is relevant to the trials that humanity and the world at large encounter…” I absolutely love that, do you think the band has fulfilled that mission?

Yeah definitely. Everything we do is 100% genuine and it is never to appease anybody except us and to represent our thoughts and feelings. Every individual in this band which makes up the unit which is the band, we all have very strong political views. It is not left wing, right wing, it is just human rights. The way that decisions can be made for people who have to ultimately feed the beast is the machine. So a lot of our songs are about that type of sentiment. It is about distrust and being deceived by whoever the metaphor is, it can be the government, it can be a relationship, and it can be whatever you want to adapt it to. It is very topical matters.

For us it is like our way of empowering people, every person in our band is actually a legitimate fan of our band, we love what it stands for we love how it sounds and we love what we say and do and when we listen to our songs we get Goosebumps. We definitely want to empower people through our songs and that’s not just the usual token call, we want to empower people, we want to try to encourage people to unlock their creativity and unlock their own potential and pursue it .F**k repression and all that sort of stuff, empower yourself and just go and do it!

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You guys have played with some awesome bands such as Sepultura, Suicidal Tendencies and King Parrot, all of those gigs must have been an amazing experience?

It has been such an incredible 18 months. The first gig was in March last year. We have played so many gigs since then. It has just been incredible, we have been so fortunate to click with some of these bands and to be selected by promoters. In Hearts Wake, Black Rheno, American Thrash band called Lich King and Hidden Intent from Adelaide. We’ve played a few gigs with King Parrot and have another one coming up in October, Halloween Hysteria. Now that is jam packed with incredible bands!  That’s a bill I would pay money to go see so I am stoked to be a part of it. The caliber of bands is great; they have got a really good mix of locals and interstate bands. The Bennies will bring the party. King Parrot are just unbelievable to play with and hang out with. When you watch them it’s like you are being violated but you are totally engaged with it *laughs* Black Reno from Sydney, we are good friends with them, they are incredible band, they were at Dead Of Winter this year. The lineup is incredible. So yeah we played with them and we played with Suicidal Tendencies. When I first had my first rehearsal with Crisis, I walked in wearing my Suicidal hat and I look over and Ian is wearing his Suicidal Tendencies hoodie. It was like heyyy connected!  They are my favourite band and one of his all time favourite bands. To be selected to play with them was just absolutely mind blowing. So that experience was incredible. Soon after we were selected to play with Sepultura and with Death Angel as well. What a line up Sepultura and Death Angel! So we were going to play with them in Byron but they realized the venue was quite small and so they said would you guys be happy to play in Brisbane at Eatons Hill? And it was like F***ing oath we would! *laughs* We were sharing a green room with Death Angel and the green room was as big as some houses I’ve lived in. We were fortunate enough to play I think three gigs with King Parrot on their Regional Rampage tour in April. We were really stoked about that. It has just been a really good year! It has been one of those years where we will look back at the end of the year and just be like holy shit boys how did we manage that?! It has been transcending.

So let’s talk about Wallapalooza! WallaPRElooza is the night before the big event, it’s like a warm up for Wallpalooza, it must be an honor to be headlining Wallaprelooza?

Oh absolutely. Actually it was a bit of a shock, because Wallapalooza is one of these things that you just admire. Every year you see the line up and you see the crowds and you hear all the excellent feedback from bands and punters and you just think Wow! What an incredible testament to Andy and the crew and what an incredible thing to be a part of one day! So to get the offer to headline Wallaprelooza is just an absolute honor for us. We had a bit if a hiatus recently because we have been focusing on recording. We just recently played in Byron at our little record store which is always a fun place to play. So that dusted off the cobwebs, but we are certainly going to be unleashing all the energy we have on the Wallaprelooza stage on Friday!

FCTC Live - May 2018

You have a gig coming up at a new live music venue on the Gold Coast, Vinnie’s Dive. The gig is being put on by Mandalic Events which is your booking agency? Can you tell me some more about that?

It is a 100 capacity punk bar which has been under construction for a while; really excited about it. Months and months ago we were planning to release our EP which is currently under construction, but it has had some delays. So I have been talking to Vinnie’s Dive for about 5 months, the place is only getting fitted out now. We had some other shows lined up as part of an East Coast tour for our EP release, we scrapped them all but we kept the Vinnie’s Dive gig, we want to be a part of this venue because it is going to be the sort of place the Gold Coast needs in relation to a vibe and an energy. It is going to really match the gigs that we look for, the gigs that we often look for are the ones where you almost feel like you’re in someone’s lounge room, like a bit of an underground theme and that’s how this is going to feel. So it is going to be the opening weekend and we are putting on an afternoon session and we are also going to be launching Mandalic Events.

Mandalic Events has been a bit of an idea of our bands for a few months. We have worked with lots of local promoters and event organizers and there are heaps of bands and promoters out there doing their best but sometimes you feel like not enough thought has gone into events in regards to line up decisions and venue suitability and all that sort of stuff. We have been approached over the last few months by a lot of traveling bands coming through who wanted to tour through Byron asking is they could play with us or if we could help them out trying to source bands for them and we were like you know what? We are basically already doing this; we are doing a pretty good job here. We are just trying to help them out. We are being super honest about it we are giving them super honest information about suitable bands, not just bands to fill a line up and things like that. This is what the industry needs, rather than over saturate it with promoters and bands; it is sort of about lifting the standard back up and sticking to a few rules.  Line ups will be hand selected, and asked to play rather than just a call out. All bands will be receiving agreed performance fees, all venues and promoters will have an expectation that what they provide and what they resource will be of a high standard, but also in return the musicians there will be an expectation of a high level of professionalism , things like conduct, sticking to times. In return, the punters, the bands, everyone has a great experience. So we are really excited about Mandalic Events. We will properly launch the agency in the coming weeks.

So tell me more about the upcoming EP, you guys are currently working on that?

Currently working on it, we have gone back to record with Chris Ross from Pulpitations Studios in Brissy who also fronts Kold Creature. We were so impressed with the way he made the product sound last time and working with him was unreal. He really pushes you to have a higher level of performance and you know you are just sweating balls and you look up hoping you’ll get the nod from him and generally I get the shake of the head when I am guitar tracking and he is like come on you can do it better! *laughs* So it is really good to have that push and we are super impressed with the sound. We have gone back and recorded a few more songs, so we are looking too early next year release a six track EP. It is all recorded and it is being mixed now with Chris. The mixes we are receiving we are really impressed with and this recording is going to be next level .We are in no rush to release it but we want everyone to know that we are going to have new music out early next year and it is going to be well worth the wait! In the interim we are going to pop back into the studio in October and smash out a single, which we will release independently later on this year, we are hoping maybe the end of October.

Chad and I also discussed band management briefly during our interview because Chad manages From Crisis To Collapse. I simply had to include this quote from Chad on band management:

“Don’t be an asshole, be appreciative of everything you get and be easy to work with and honestly enjoy it! Not just the throwaway line of “Just enjoy yourself and have fun” but actually be conscious about it, actually enjoy it. If you are really genuine with yourself and you’re acting with really good faith, you will succeed.”

From Crisis To Collapse have a heap of awesome gigs coming up kicking off this Friday night for Wallaprelooza. For more information and to follow the band, check out their Facebook page and website.

To follow From Crisis To Collapse on Facebook click HERE.

To check out their website click HERE.

To follow the Wallapalooza Facebook page click HERE.

Check out the Hysteria Facebook page HERE.

Photo Credits: Feature image: Hunt Image. Band photo: Just Wieb. Live photo: Asagai Images.

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