Chiodos frontman Craig Owens speaks excitedly about the future -- a special reissue of the group's latest release, a new album for 2009, a couple of side projects.
"I'm doing tons of things, yeah," says the singer.
And these days Owens, as well as his family and friends, are glad he's doing anything.
On July 20, two days after Chiodos played the Detroit stop of the Vans Warped Tour at Comerica Park, Owens attempted to commit suicide by overdosing on prescription Xanax at his condo in Rochester. He was discovered and taken to the hospital, then went into rehab.
Owens, who's been under a therapist's care since the summer of 2007, says the episode was part of a long-term battle with bipolar disorder, manic depression and anxiety attacks. The trigger in July was "just some personal stuff," and -- acknowledging the subsequent support he received, including thousands of messages to his MySpace site -- Owens says he's "doing much better."
"I'm having a great time on the road, surrounded by my friends," says Owens, 24, who co-founded Chiodos in 2001 in Davison, Mich., with classmates Bradley Bell (keyboards), Matt Goddard (bass) and Pat McManaman (guitar), subsequently adding a pair of Texans, guitarist Jason Hale and drummer Derrick Frost. "I'm up on my feet, looking at the sky and not the ground anymore."
And there's work to be done in any direction he looks.
On Oct. 28, Chiodos will release "Bone Palace Ballet: Grand Coda," an expanded version of its sophomore national album, which came out 13 months ago and debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album has sold more than 180,000 copies so far, but Owens says that the new package, which weaves in several unreleased songs from the recording sessions as well as acoustic versions of "A Letter From Janelle" and "I Didn't Say I Was Powerful..." and a DVD of performance and behind-the-scenes footage, "represents more of a complete thought" and is closer to the group's original idea for "Bone Palace Ballet."
"This is how we wished the CD would've turned out," Owens explains. "Usually when you re-release something like this you add stuff on to the end. But we put the tracks in according to how we originally wanted them to be on the record.
"We just wanted to get these (songs) out to the world. Some people haven't bought 'Bone Palace' still, so we wanted to present them with the way we wanted it to be."
Owens other upcoming projects include a full-length album with Cinematic Sunrise, a side group he formed with Bell, as well as an unnamed "kind of supergroup" project with members of Circa Survive, Pierce The Veil, Amorosa and others which will record an album between Dec. 3-13 in Seattle.
The next Chiodos album, meanwhile, will come into focus in January, when Owens says the group is planning to head to Lexington, Ky., where it recorded "Bone Palace Ballet," to start working on new songs. "Everybody has their own ideas now," Owens says, "but we haven't combined them yet. The fusion process is the thing for us, in the room when everybody is playing their instruments."
Despite being courted by major labels, Chiodos plans to stay with the independent Equal Vision imprint. "They can step up as much as any major can," Owens says. But the new album, which is due in September of 2009, may have some big-league help via Grammy Award-winning producer Rick Rubin, who's credits run from Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys and Slayer to more recent work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond and Metallica.
"Rick is just a huge fan of the band -- he has been for a long time," Owens explains. "He's a great guy, so hopefully it'll work out depending on his schedule, and ours."
Owens will also be making several guest appearances on friends' albums amidst all the other work, but he says staying busy tends to keep him strong and focused -- and out of the head space that brought on July's near-tragedy.
"There's a center to all this; I don't think anything is that sporadic in my thought process," Owens says. "It's really just about different music in general. I'm such a fan of different music it isn't hard for me to separate myself and do 'em all."
Chiodos, Silverstein and Escape the Fate perform at 6:30 p.m. Friday (Oct. 10) at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Tickets are $25. Call (313) 961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.
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