Proof That History Repeating Itself Can Be A Good Thing: A Conversation with Chad Ackerman of Chapter 14

Proof That History Repeating Itself Can Be A Good Thing: A Conversation with Chad Ackerman of Chapter 14

From Chapter 14 to As I Lay Dying to Austrian Death Machine to Destroy the Runner, and now back again, Chad Ackerman and the newly reformed Chapter 14 are proof positive that history will in fact repeat itself. And for those that don’t know, yes, Ackerman helmed Chapter 14 before he went onto make a name for himself in all of those other bands. Following the dissolution of Destroy the Runner, Ackerman teamed with ex-DTR bassist Tanner Sparks and set sights on allowing C14 to again see the light of day, and see the light of day they have, beginning with the band’s debut EP, Like Trees in November.

Sporting a sleek combination of the Deftones post-everything atmospherics and Every Time I Die’s caustic spasticity, Chapter 14’s debut EP Like Trees in November, hits like an atom bomb, deftly weaving between melodic histrionics and heavier bombastic aplomb. Sure, the EP may just be five tracks in length, but it effectively leaves a lasting impact on listeners involved, though Ackerman’s melodic bravado might just leave the deepest impact. Who would have known that a guy who has shredded in voice in years past could have such a good signing voice? Perhaps you really do learn something new every day.

Speaking of the lead-throated journeyman, Ackerman took some time to sit down with me and provide answers to a number of questions, including a retelling of the end of DTR and reformation of C14, how the recording of Like Trees went, and when we might expect a full length from the band.

Get eXposed Music: First off, let’s talk about Destroy the Runner if you don’t mind. Tell me about the final days of that band and how the end came about? Why the decision to put that band to bed?
Chad Ackerman: Duane (Reed) and Maldy (Nick Maldonado) were the original guitarists and founders of DTR. They told Tanner and me that they wanted to quit the band because they were over it. They also asked that we not release any of the album that we had been working on, and that we could not keep the band going. Tanner and I were both shocked, but there was nothing that we could do. We decided to move on and start up Chapter 14 again.

GE: Why the decision to bring Chapter 14 back to light, this time with ex-DTR bassist Tanner Sparks in tow?
CA: Chapter 14 best represents the music that we love and listen to. We have always wanted to do Chapter 14, but never had the resources until now. Tanner was Chapter 14’s guitarist before we joined DTR.

GE: You’ve reported extended invites to former C14 members to rejoin the bands ranks. What’s the status of that, and have you heard anything from anyone?
CA: Yes, they are all stoked on how Like Trees in November came out. They all are just waiting for a phone call or text that we are touring with Deftones.

GE: Tell me about the recording process of Like Trees in November.
CA: We had written the songs years ago, but had never put them out. We picked 5 songs out of about 20 that were the most diverse from each other. Tanner recorded the bass, guitars, and drums. I just yelled into a microphone.

GE: What influenced writing the EP? Does it have a central theme or a message?
CA: Mostly situations in my life. Relationships, family, and growing up. I tend to write about my life stories. My favorite book, Watership Down also influenced the E.P. Pay attention to the 14th Chapter.

GE: Were these songs holdovers from the initial run of Chapter 14, were they originally Destroy the Runner tunes, or are they just new recordings?
CA: There are new parts that we added to the songs, but they are pretty much from our old live set with Chapter 14. We did not do any DTR tunes in respect for Maldy and Duane.

GE: Did the EP turn out how you wanted it to now that it has been on store shelves for a few months?
CA: A lot better than we thought it would. I did not even imagine that it would be as good as what I heard when I first listened. I honestly did not want to be in the band when I heard it because I want to see us live.

GE: Were you excited that with Like Trees in November you got the chance to flex your golden pipes a little more and actually utilize your singing voice? Because I have to say, it’s pretty damn good.
CA: Haha! Thank you very much. I am very critical when it comes to my voice, but some people seem to like it. So, I will keep trying it out for a while. Thank you again.

GE: At the sake of sounding premature, when can we expect a full length from C14?
CA: We were just talking about that the other day, and I think we want to shoot for October or November.

GE: How’re things looking on a record label front? Are you close to any deals currently, are you even shopping around, or are you intent on going it alone for now? Honestly, it would be hard to imagine that with an excellent release like Like Trees in November that you’d stay unsigned for long.
CA: Well, the problem is that Tanner and I are both broke musicians. We fund everything ourselves with Chapter 14…everything. We did not have enough cash for any ads or advertising in general. I am not sure exactly if any record labels know that it is even out. Haha, but really. We are kind of just waiting, working, and watching. We would love for everyone to at least get a chance to know about Chapter 14 and choose whether or not they like it. A label would be a great way of helping two broke ass musicians accomplish just that. Keep an eye and ear out for us, burn a copy for your friends, and bang your head to it…that is all we ask.

GE: What does 2011 have in store for Chapter 14?
CA: Hopefully a full length, a tour or three, and a music video. Thank you so much for this interview. It has been a pleasure.