Lost talent: Chains
I was on the phone with a friend the other day,talking about the local music scene in our home town. Two years ago there were a bunch of promising bands around here, but god knows what happened to them. Maybe they’re doing something but you never hear from them anymore or see them playing anywhere.
It’s a shame when the only way you get to hear something from local bands is if you’re subscribing to their Facebook-pages, which is pretty stupid as that’s like preaching for the choir.
My friend sighed and went: I miss CHAINS… That was a great band.
Yeah. That really was a great band. Probably one of the best I’ve seen in Malmo in many, many years. They were so young when I first heard them, not sure if they had even hit 18 at that point. I remember their drummer Martin walking over to me at the annual Sin City-party (a music party/event with invited guests and bands, run by Hasty Haze-singer Stellan). He said he was also working in Copenhagen and thought it would be cool to meet up someday.
Said and done. Went to Hard Rock Cafe and talked music for a few hours. Quite honestly, I was convinced that he only wanted to promote his band, so I was waiting for that. Well, you know… The “oh by the way, here’s our demo“-thing. Much to my surprise, he didn’t even mention the band until I brought it up and he hadn’t even brought a demo.
Shortly thereafter, I got their brand new demo-CD and figured I’d give it a listen. My jaw dropped to the floor like a rock. The song “Fool For Love” was this Def Leppard-ballad knockoff, but geeez, it was so well played, nice harmonies, unbelievably well arranged and produced for a local amateur band.I was used to the crappy home-made demos from bands who had recorded their shit on a home computer (without knowing how to use the “home studio”-equpiment) – godawful, terrible demos where nothing was good, meaningless songs, bad vocals, bad everything. The demo by Chains blew me away.
I asked Sweden Rock if I could review it (cause it hadn’t been sent to the office first, which would be standard procedure…) and got an OK. I wrote it was the demo of the year, cause in my book, it sure as hell was.
The wheels started rolling for the guys after that. They were offered a management deal only two days after the magazine with the review came out and a few months later, they won a slot at Sweden Rock Festival – a contest where people could vote for which unsigned band they would most like to see at the festival.
We’re still laughing at how they had Kip Winger opening for them at The Rock in Copenhagen. The reason being that Kip was doing an acoustic set and it would sound strange if he went on after Chains. But still – he DID “open” for Chains. ;)
They also opened for Gotthard, which was a perfect combination. It was in the middle of the winter and I was a temporary “tour-van-driver” to the first gig in Gothenburg. People loved them. The guys couldn’t even leave after the show cause there were so many people wanting to talk to them and find out about more shows and where they could get the demo. It was a fun road trip.
I was a bummer when I heard that they were going separate ways. Drummer Martin called me before they went public with it to tell me the news. Maybe it shouldn’t have been a shock. The rythm guitarist was the first to leave cause he felt they were rehearsing too often and too long and he wasn’t willing to make that sacrifice. Then the singer left, I think probably for the same reason. A singer is always difficult to replace and so…. one day there was an announcement on MySpace that they had decided to call it a day.
That was a pretty sad day. Such a talented band – they were so young and I could see the enormous potential in them, they could have made it if they had only stuck it through. If they were able to do the things they did before they had even hit 20, just imagine where they could have been at 25 or 30. They already had a talent for songwriting. They just needed more experience.
And apparently I’m not the only one who misses them. They still get mentioned in conversations every now and then, different people who have seen them during the short but intense period that they were around.
The last time I saw them live was at my big birthday-party bash two years ago, and we did “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake together. Not only were they a great band, they are awesome guys as well. Such a waste that a good band like that split up. I guess it happens every day out in the world – lots of talent goes to waste. Guess we all have to enjoy what we’ve got while we’ve still got it.
[Chains and me performing “Here I Go Again” at my birthday party}
[Sound check, Gothenburg]
[Opening for Gotthard at the Brewhouse in Gothenburg]