Chemical Refugee's newest video is a two-fisted response to all things mundane. Don't believe it, look for yourself.
MW: In viewing your video, I was surprised at the turn it took when this bearded punk-rocker turned out to be a transvestite. With the lyrics declaring “I don’t need no therapy,” there seems to be more than just a little bit of a social statement going on. What is it you hope the viewer/listener will walk away with?
Doc: That there is nothing wrong with being who you are, whatever that is. No matter who says otherwise.
MW: The auto-tune quality creates for a very schizophrenic sound, in a good way I mean, is this representative of your other works?
Doc: Rad man, getting dirty with auto-tune was sic. With the general approach we take definitely, we actualy have a song about Schozophrenia bing released soon, The red light district.”
MW: You mention approaching the song and video like a “method actor,” is in line with the way you usually create your art, or was it something new for you?
Doc: This is the first time I’ve hunted down and become the subject matter for our own art. Instead of reflecting on personal past experiences. Creating the concept album by injecting myself into the concept.
MW: I would love it if you could explain your name; “Chemical Refugee.”
Doc: A Chemical Refugee is someone who uses chemicals to escape the harsh realities of whatever they are running from. It doesn’t have to be a drug, it’s the feeling me and Nick get when making music together, when I hit that first chord and he kicks in on drums… That effect… Like a shot, that ‘ping’ at the back of ya’ head. Everything that is fucked up in our lives just begins disappearing. The feeling our music creates and our chemistry is our drug to seek refuge within. Music is like that for so many people, it’s their drug that takes the pain and suffering away for a little while.
MW: There seems to be quite a lot of musical influence in what is an incredible tapestry of sound – could you tell us about some of your influences?
Doc: We like pushing the boundaries, John Frusiciante, Billy Corgan, Jimi Hendrix, Geoff Lynn, Butch Vig and also artists like Marcel Duchamp and Ron English kick our ass into creative mode. Stuff like, reversing the sound of nick breaking his beer bottle and overdubbing a cardboard snare.
MW: Many readers are interested in the creative process of creating and recording tracks, do you record yourself or do you work with a producer?
Doc: We record at Mainstreeet Studios with our producer Adam Jordan. He is basically the 5th member of Chemical Refugee, I’ve been recording with him since I was like 19 or someshit. We all have a fuckrad vibe together and he just knows exactly what we want to create.
MW: The ending of the song, with the vocal runs on “fuck yea” seems almost like an audio middle finger – am I totally off on that?
Doc: Hell yeh, hold those audio fingers up!
MW: Would you rather be in the studio or be performing live?
Doc: Live man, that’s what the band is about. I go through temporary phases of preferring each, but live performance is our home. It’s a one time only deal at a live gig and that’s wildrad, like it can’t be re-done. It’s art.
MW: What’s next for Chemical Refugee?
Doc: We are filming the music video for our next single ‘Decimated Days’ this week, so shit will be getting wild!
MW: Thank you so much for spending your time with us today!