Derrick Frost & Pat McManaman of Chiodos
Chiodos, who’s name is derived from an obscure term used in 80s horror movies, isn’t scaring anyone – in fact fans can’t seem to get enough of them. Call them post-hardcore, call them metal-core, but when you get right down to it Chiodos pulls sounds and inspiration from all varieties of music and rocks them out like only Chiodos can. The six piece (Craig Owens on vocals, Bradley Bell on keyboards, Pat McManaman on guitar, Matt Goddard on bass, Jason Hale on guitar and Derrick Frost drums) first came together as a band when they were friends in high school in Flint, MI. They’ve come a long way from yearbooks and pop-warner though.
They essentially made a name for themselves by hitting the road and letting word of mouth take it’s course. This lead them to Equal Vision Records and their first album All’s Well That Ends Well. Spending the summer out on the WARPED tour the band is bringing their infectious live act to the masses and the kids are turning out in absurd numbers to check them out.
On September 4th Chiodos releases Bone Palace Ballet, the follow up to their debut disc. According to drummer Derrick Frost, Bone Palace Ballet, a name borrowed from a book of poems by Charles Bukowski, is Chiodos at a whole new level.
Derrick and Pat sat down with TWRY Lexi at Warped to talk about the new albums, trouble with the law, and all things Chiodos!
Interviewed by: Lexi Shapiro | August 2007
So let me preface this with “I’m sure that you get asked this question all the time,” so, I’m sorry. Who are Sandie Jenkins, Trixie, and the Reptile?
Derrick: We actually DON’T get asked that a lot, which, you’d be surprised. Sandie Jenkins…
Pat: That’s a woman that went to Brad’s church.
Derrick: Yeah. And then, Trixie and the Reptile are one of Brad and Craig’s old girlfriends.
So how does she feel about being referred to as ‘the Reptile,’ then?! Where did ‘Reptile’ come from?
Derrick: Well, she has, like, snake eyes.
Pat: Didn’t she have really cold skin all the time?
Derrick: Yeah, she had really cold skin. And a lot of them have really weird eyes, so…
Pat: And Trixie’s from, remember Problem Child 2? It was his sister, a female version of the kid. Her name was Trixie.
Derrick: Yeah, I don’t know. He knows better than me, ‘cause I didn’t know these chicks at all.
At what point did you guys decide to devote your lives to music?
Derrick: That’s a hard question to answer, because you always want to do it, but you can’t really say you’re going to devote…you’re either going to want to tour and not work or you’re going to try to do both, which usually doesn’t work out too well. It does for some people. But, probably, since I started playing drums, I always wanted to play in a band. So, that’s all I ever really wanted to do. I didn’t ever plan to go to college or anything. I didn’t even sign up. I took the SATs once and showed up late, so I didn’t even get to take it. So, I don’t know. School was never important to me, and music was always first in my eyes. And, I think the rest of the dudes in my band are like that, too, as well. So, I guess, always.
Was your brief incarceration after ‘ghost riding the whip’ enough to keep you on the straight and narrow for a while?
Derrick: I promised myself I wouldn’t get arrested THIS summer, if that’s what you mean. But, that’s really it. I mean, getting in trouble always sucks. It makes a good story. But, having people bail you out of jail is kind of a bummer.
What thoughts were running through your head during your few-hour-long stay in jail?
Derrick: “I wish I had more weed, man.”
Well, it’s probably good that you didn’t get caught on the car WITH that.
Derrick: Probably. That probably would have sucked. But if I knew I was getting in trouble, I would have thrown it on the ground or given it somebody. So, I had a pretty good point where I was just sitting in a security office, like, talking to people.
So, what happened to the short bus?
Derrick: The short bus? It broke down and had to get retired, y’know? There’s only so long you can tour in certain vehicles. We’ve gone through about three vehicles. There was a short bus, and then that broke down, and we got a smaller short bus. And then, after a while that just kind of broke down, and we got a van…that didn’t have AC. None of the vehicles have ever had AC. That broke down. Well, that didn’t break down. Actually, yeah, it had an oil leak or something. Then we bought another green van. The green van was before the blue van. The blue van was an ex-prison van that was used to transport Michigan prisoners. And then, after that broke down from an oil leak, we got our van that we have now. But then, we’ve been riding in a bus for Warped Tour and the last couple tours, because, it’s just a lot more fun that way. You don’t have to drive yourselves. Everyone can have a good time.
And a lot less cramped…
Derrick: Yeah, A LOT less cramped, AC, more living space.
Was it difficult at all to convert your songs into acoustic versions for the re-release of All’s Well That Ends Well?
Pat: Yeah, it was hard. You can’t really breakdown when you’re acoustic, but we did it.
So, what can we expect from the new album?
Derrick: There’s a lot of strings on the new album. It’s a lot bigger, I think, all-around. I’m really stoked for it. I guess it’s like Chiodos to another level, really. I mean, we’re always going to keep increasing our potential and trying to make the band the best we possibly can.
Bone Palace Ballet – In stores September 4th!
You guys have given explanations for the references made by several of your song titles, like that There’s No Penguins in Alaska was a Snapple fact…do you often find yourselves hearing random phrases and immediately thinking “SONG TITLE!”
Derrick: It depends. It really depends on the situation and environment you’re in. For example, one of our song titles from our…what’s the Wizard one?
Pat:” I Didn’t Say I Was Powerful, I Said I Was a Wizard?”
Derrick: Yeah, “I Didn’t Say I Was Powerful, I Said I Was a Wizard!” And, that comes from our guitar tech who was just stoned. And it was really funny at the time. And, I mean, it can come from anything, obviously, like Snapple facts, to random thoughts that someone says, to things you overhear, to combinations of words, to past experiences, like… we have a song called “Lexington (Joey Pea-Pot with a Monkey Face)”, ‘cause that was Pat’s dog’s first name. So, just random, really. We don’t want them to make sense, because then it’s boring. I don’t want a song name that’s “I’m Going Home” and the chorus us like, “I’m going hooooome. I’m going home.” It’s so overrated. It’s just done so much.
So, speaking of your guitar tech, how did the whole tradition with your guitar tech coming onstage in a costume before your set get started?
Derrick: That was our old guitar tech, Dave Arnold. He’s just kind of a character in and of himself, and he was always into doing things. And, we asked him to introduce us, and we put him in a costume, and started going to costume shops every tour to find a new outfit.
Pat: A wise man once said, “Dave Arnold was not born, he was given unto the earth.”
Derrick: *laugh* Yeah!
So, online, I saw a video where Craig was speaking of, on Warped Tour, young girls mauling one another to get to you. Would this be a true story? Is this something that often happens?
Derrick: It was more sarcasm, but everyone thought it was true, so it was kind of funny. ‘Cause, we’re all sitting there watching and everyone’s just like, “Man, these guys are dicks.” Then we’re like, this is funny, because we’re just playing a joke on everybody. We like to do that, and we often get in trouble for playing jokes, and people take it too literally. So, it’s not OUR fault. They just need to lighten up, I think. People are too tight.
You’ve referred to yourselves as a ‘party band’…So, what’s your drink of choice?
Derrick: I wouldn’t really say we’re a party band, I mean…
DIRECT QUOTE. DIRECT QUOTE.
Derrick: I mean, we like to party, yeah…
Derrick: I don’t consider us a party band, because I’m used to being around people that drink every day. I don’t know. Maybe that is a direct quote, but I don’t remember saying it. Drink of choice? It used to be whiskey until I got in trouble a lot with that. So, now, I just kind of drink beer.
Pat: I like rum and coke.
Derrick: Yeah, rum and coke’s good. I like Goldschlager. If I’m gonna have to take shots: shots of Goldschlager or Jager. See, it’s good, though, because this is the first tour I’ve only blacked out once. I’m taking it easy this summer. I can’t say this guy has been. *points to Pat and laughs* He was…“HEY PAT, want another beer?” *drunken slur* “I don’t think thassagood ideaaa.”
Pat: That was last night.
Derrick: That was last night, yeah. And this was at like 9:30. Then, he passed out after. So, it was a short day for Pat yesterday.
So, that leads to my final question. Everyone has that one story about the time that they were incredibly drunk and did something incredibly stupid… what’s yours?
Derrick: There are so many…*laughs* Let me think for a second…
Pat: One time I was really drunk at the house and kept throwing all of this stuff off the back porch, and I think I broke the vacuum.
Derrick: I used to live with Pat, and his mom had just bought this brand new vacuum cleaner and he broke it. Whatever, you know? OH! Here was a good idea that we had one time. It was at Pat’s mom’s house again. We’re like, “Yeah, we’re gonna have a vegetable oil wrestling match. We’re gonna get a big ol’ kiddie pool, and we’re gonna dump a bunch of vegetable oil in it, and have chicks wrestle, ” right? And so, we take everything out of the kitchen, put tarps on the walls and everything to protect the house a little bit. We put it all in there and people were over, and, he bought a keg, and then he just took off! So, I was just like, “Fuck it! I guess I’m in charge. Everyone, let’s get hammered!” So, we’re all partying, and then these two chicks just, like, I don’t know, they start wrestling, ‘cause they’re like “Yeah, I want to fight!” And so, there’s these half-naked chicks in this house and I’m like, “This is awesome. I don’t really know what to dooo…” But, there’s still oil on the floor that his mom’s still trying to clean up.
Pat: It still smells like oil.
Derrick: Yeah! It still smells like oil in the kitchen. Then, there was the time that Pat jumped on our trailer in California and was trying to climb on top of the bus. I think he was pretty drunk then, too.
So, we’ve heard about his dumb ideas. How about yours?
Derrick: Mine, I just always get in trouble for, and I’m not even that drunk. Like, the Ohio thing: got arrested for that. I did try to fight the owner of Bamboozle. That was fun.
So what’s the story behind that one?
Derrick: Way too much free vodka and Red Bull, WAY too much. Our last couple tours, like Taste of Chaos, we would go do Rock Star signing every day, and they drink, too. There wasn’t a lot of people partying or anything, but a few from each band. But, we would sit there and do a signing for an hour, or however long it took. But, they usually had a half gallon every day. And, I mean, everyone in the band, our tour manager, everybody would drink until it was GONE. So that tour was a total blur to me, because we would sign after we played, which was good. So…I don’t know. I can’t tell you the things I might have done, because I don’t remember it.
Pat: One time I puked on the computer and half the keyboard broke.
Derrick: That was pretty funny. I peed in some hotel hallway, once. OH! Here we go…REALLY good story: Matt and I were in a hotel computer room, and it was really late at night, and I was waiting for my laundry to dry.
Pat: You know how they have those labs…
Derrick: Yeah, the computer labs.
Derrick: And I was like, “Hey dude, let’s just go to the computer lab and wait for our laundry to dry.” And we’re just drinking, and we’re already, like, REALLY fucked up. And there had been some kids hanging out with us earlier, and one of the dudes had passed out, outside, on the pavement. And, at the time, we had these shirts that said, “I partied with Chiodos and all I did was puke.” So, I was like, “YEAAAAH! This dude totally needs a shirt!” So, I dug through our trailer and just threw it on him, and I was like, “There you go, man. Have a good night.” Matt and I went inside. We’re in the computer lab hanging out; Matt’s looking at porn, of course. We continued drinking. Next thing I know, I wake up and there’s a cop shaking me, yelling, “Get the fuck out of here! Get the fuck out of here, or I’m going to arrest you blah blah blah!” So, I wake up Matt, and I’m very disoriented, thinking “Oh my god, where am I?” But, I’m just like, “Let’s go!” And, we just run up these steps, and I just grab my dry laundry, and we run in his room. I guess the lady at the desk was shaking us and yelling at us, but we wouldn’t move, because we were so passed out. And so, she called the cops, because the whole room reeked of piss and beer. So, I guess we were just peeing everywhere. I just don’t really remember, so, I guess that’s the funniest, or dumbest, thing that’s happened.
And, that’s definitely a high note to end the interview on.
Derrick: Yeah, totally.
So, that’s what your legacy will be.
Derrick: Yeah, I guess so. This Warped Tour doesn’t have enough beer bongs. That’s all I have to say. I haven’t even done one beer bong this tour, only shot-gunned beers. It’s ridiculous. We haven’t really had enough time to make a beer bong, you know what I mean? So, that’s tour in a nutshell. It’s a lot of fun.
Any last words?
Derrick: Check out the new album, September 4th. That’s pretty much it. We’re really stoked for it. It’s gonna be a good time. Today will be a good day, as well, always.
And don’t drunkenly piss in hotel halls…
Derrick: Don’t drunkenly piss on anything! I’ve learned from friends to not piss your bunk in the bus, because it costs $500. So, don’t do that either.