Craig Owens says the members of Chiodos aren't kidding as they sing "We're right back where we left off/It's our time to really do things right."
The hard-rocking Davison, Mich., group reunited with Owens and drummer Derrick Frost in 2012, after an acrimonious split in 2009. But even then, it took a minute before the sextet decided to make a new album -- "Devil," which came out in April.
"I'm stubborn-headed, and for a certain time I didn't want to admit it, but everyone around me was telling me it was inevitable," says keyboardist Bradley Bell, Owens' primary co-writer in Chiodos. "I wanted to just make sure that if it was the end of the story we put a period on it to make it feel good instead of an ellipses. But during that time the ellipses turned into a comma, and then we continued the story from there and it felt right.
"Everyone was feeling it again, and we knew that if we were going to continue our music efforts that this was the way it should go."
"Devil," recorded with producer David Bottrill in Woodstock. N.Y., blends Chiodos' penchant for complex arrangements with some of the most direct material the group has ever delivered, including "3 AM," "I'm Awkward and Unusual" and "Under Your Halo." "We wanted to be able to show people that, 'Hey, we can write abstract, crazy, weird things, but we know how to write a song, too,' " says Owens, who moved from Michigan to California last year. "We know what we want to hear, and through all of our experiences we know how to get there."
The full Chiodos band -- including new guitarist Thomas Erak -- also contributed to "Devil" in a manner different from previous albums, which both Owens and Bell feel made both the album and the band stronger.
"We ARE trying to do things right now," Owens says. "We had a lot of work to do, with ourselves and then with everyone, our relationships and all of that. It wasn't so much that, 'We're gonna wait a couple of years...' to make an album. It's just the way things worked out -- for the better, I think.
"I feel like I'm finally fitting back into the Chiodos puzzle and that the public perception of Chiodos is back to where it was before. That makes me happy, because I think that's the most genuine Chiodos there was."
Chiodos, Emarosa, Hands Like Houses, Our Last Night and '68 perform Sunday, May 18, at the Crofoot, Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $17.50 in advance, $20 day of show. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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