Craig Owens was “frustrated and angry” when he parted ways with Chiodos in 2009.
But now the Rochester resident says that “what happened is definitely a blessing in disguise” and led him to his current group — Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows, also known as D.R.U.G.S.
Owens says he was surprised by the dismissal from Chiodos, which he co-founded in 2001 in Davison and recorded two albums with — including “Bone Palace Ballet,” which debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 in 2007. After some acknowledged battles with substance abuse and also suffering a romantic break-up, he took a year to spend time “fixing” himself but never doubted he’d get back into a music-making situation.
“It was hard for me to think about moving on,” Owens, 26, acknowledges, “but I’m a planner. My career is my life. Obviously I knew I had to get up at some point. We basically schemed up an idea to surround me with the biggest and best band I possibly could, full of seasoned veterans who were really very stable, mentally, and would step to the plate.”
The D.R.U.G.S. lineup includes guitarists Matt Good (From First to Last) and Nick Martin (Underminded), bassist Andy Russell (Story of the Year) and drummer Aaron Stern (Matchbook Romance). Its self-titled debut album — released by Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz’s Decaydance label — came out in February and debuted at No. 29 on the Billboard 200 and at No. 1 on the Hard Rock chart, while the group has been releasing singles since November, including “If You Think This Song Is About You, It Probably Is,” “Mr. Owl Ate My Metal Worm” and “My Swagger Has a First Name.”
But while those song titles bear a resemblance to the convoluted material Owens sang in Chiodos, D.R.U.G.S. has a markedly different and more direct musical approach.
“That was the intent,” explains Owens, who’s denied rumors that he’s involved with Ashlee Simpson, Wentz’s estranged wife. “I really wanted to create something that wasn’t full of metaphors because I was going through something serious, and the last thing I wanted to do was fancy it up so no one could relate to it. I owe honesty to my fans and people who have supported me throughout my career.
“What I wanted to deliver was something that was pure, honest and genuine, that came across very literally and very seriously. While it may be heavy for some, I believe my fans understand and relate to it. The best part about this thing is there’s fans I’ve had for a very long time, and I feel like they’ve gone with me on this new adventure.”
D.R.U.G.S. performs as part of the AP Tour with Black Veil Brides, I See Stars, VersaEmerge and Conditions on Saturday, April 9, at St. Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call 313-961-8137 or visit www.livenation.com.
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