Friday, February 13, 2009
The Chaotic Tales of Kelsey and The Chaos
Kelsey and The Chaos. Never has a name been more appropriate than with this young, upstart group. Chaos is definitely an accurate word to describe the last year for this four member band originating from the New York/Tri-state area. More has happened to them in a little over a year than happens to most new bands in their entire careers.
Lead singer Kelsey Merritt spoke to me recently to fill me in on all that has happened. "Well, the band was created by myself and our drummer, Nick Rotunno. We met at the Berklee College of Music. Brian Pascoe and Justin Stabler entered the picture a short time later and we had found all our parts. That was in January of 08 and we played our first gig in March of 08."
The band has definitely had its share of exposure also. They were part of MTV2s Battle of The Bands. "We saw it on a website called Addicted To Noise, which is an interactive site. We entered the contest which was to see who would be crowned the top band in New York City. It was judged by Chris Carrabba from Dashboard Confessional and Brendon Urie and Ryan Ross from Panic At The Disco. We did really good and placed in the top 5 and got some amazing works of praise from the judges."
That wasn't the only national exposure obtained by the group. They performed several dates on last year's Vans Warped Tour and were picked to open for Bret Michaels on his Rock Of Love Tour. "Opening for Bret and being in front of that big of a crowd, that was the point that I knew in my mind that this was what I really wanted to do with my life. I've been singing since I was 12 and I always knew I wanted to be a performer, but that was the moment that solidified it for me," said Kelsey.
The band released it's EP, "Against The Wall", in late 2008 and it was picked up by Hot Topic for distribution. The group's inspirations range from Pat Benatar and Joan Jett to more modern artists as No Doubt. One obvious comparison, given the sound and having such a visually captivating female front person, is Paramore. Kelsey commented," Wow! The comparison is very flattering, I'm honored by it, but we do want to stand out. Yeah, there are some similarities but we are also alot different too."
The band is currently on the road touring and will be on this years Vans Warped Tour. So, what does Kelsey see as the best and worst parts of touring? "The best would be , of course, doing what we love to do and that's play our music in front of people. Also, meeting our fans is really cool. Worst part? It would have to be having no actual home. It is kinda hard to take care of yourself when you don't have a stable environment."
Kelsey was then subjected to my question about being stuck on a desert island with only one cd, what would her cd of choice be? "I have to pick two. One would be the Kaiser Chiefs "Off With Their Heads" and the other would be Michael Buble "Time". Two different styles but I love them both."
I encourage people to pick up their EP at Hot Topic or on their page on MySpace. It contains only six songs, but it gives you a small taste of what the band is capable of. Songs such as the "You Can't Stop" and "Wrapped Around Your Finger" are stand out tracks that really showcase how amazingly tight the band sounds to be so early in their career. Kelsey is an amazing front person. Visually, yes she is stunning, but this young lady has some serious chops. She's not just another "gimmick" in this cash cow industry more concerned about cashing in on your talent today and not producing an artist with staying power. This band will be around for many more Warped Tours and their own headlining tour is not too far off in the horizon.