Saturday, May 11, 2013

Pioneering band Chrome to perform rare show in Chicago

Photo by Angie Skulls


Long before there was Sonic Youth or Nine Inch Nails, there was San Francisco experimental band Chrome.

Chrome will perform a rare show May 18 at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave., Chicago, as part of the HoZac Blackout Fest. More information is at

I had the chance to talk to Chrome guitarist Helios Creed,, about the show and Creed's upcoming album of unreleased material, "Half Machine from the Sun, the Lost Chrome Tracks from '79 to '80."

Q - Great to be able to talk to you. Will you be performing any of your unreleased tracks at the May 18 Chicago show? What should people expect from the show?

Hi. Yeah, we are performing some of the Lost Chrome Tracks, which are something like 35 years old, but haven’t been released yet. And we are performing our new single, " Prophecy," from our upcoming album of 2012 and 2013 material. 

"Prophecy" is on our site for pledgers if you want to hear it. Expect a great show, what else!

Q - I understand the "Lost Chrome Tracks" were actually lost. When you heard them again, what were your thoughts? Do you regret not using the material on "Half Machine Lip Moves" and "Red Exposure?"

When I heard them, my thoughts were about how good the songs were and wondering why we didn’t release them.

It took a while to remember all the head trips of why. Yeah sometimes I regret it, but if I did they wouldn’t be able to be released now, so there wouldn’t be anything new from that era to hear now years later.

It's interesting to release all this time later, we’ll see what happens.

Q - In forming Chrome, what were your goals? Did you think you were pioneers at the time?

No, not really, we were trying to make cool music.

Q - Chrome is credited for influencing a number of bands, including Sonic Youth, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and others. Do you see that as a compliment that so many bands would credit you for influencing them? What do you think about what those bands have created?

If they’ve credited Chrome, that's kind of cool, it's cool to inspire artists to find a new sound of their own, everyone feeds off everyone. I don’t find them very Chromish, though.

Q - After Damon Edge passed away in 1997, you continued with the band. What made you want to continue Chrome?

Because he didn’t do any live shows and I thought people deserved good live shows after supporting the band all these years.

Q - "Angel of the Clouds" was re-released this year. Do you see the album gaining new fans with its re-release?

Hopefully, it did really good in Germany I hope it does really good here.

Q - The music business has changed drastically since you first started. Do you think it's easier or harder to be a musician these days? What advice would you give to an up-and-coming guitarist?

Get a job.

Q - Are there any musicians today that you admire what they are doing? What do you think of the music scene in general these days?

I think its a good music scene, there is a lot of good music out there and a lot of good musicians to go see and support, there will always be that, support your local good bands.

Q - After the album is released in June, what's next for you and Chrome? Do you have any dream projects or collaborations?

After the release "Half Machine from the Sun the Lost Tracks from ‘79-80," we will finish our album of new material that is almost done also. Then more live shows, and hopefully a world tour.