Thursday, July 29, 2010

Artist to watch....Helix Down

Helix Down

- Photo by Anne C. Ferguson

There are far more things going on in Staten Island than the Wu-Tang clan and a garbage heap you can see from space,

- Left, Fresh Kills in Staten Island; Right, Wu-Tang Clan emblem

Its also the home of a Alt-after-punk/hardcore Duo called Helix Down. Brothers Kairo and Chad Joseph have been on the scene for quite a while now, formally lead guitar/vox and drums, respectively, as a part of A New Shade Of Black, coined ANSOB by fans. After the break up of that band and a few solo projects the brothers resurfaced as Helix Down with support by none other than living Colour's own Vernon Reid. They appear to have taken their past lessons and formed them towards a new sound, as a plus Chad makes his vocal debut on their current set of track releases! I got in contact with Kairo for a little one on one interview to talk shop and brotherly love.

Kaos Blac: So I've known you and Chad for a long time, you where formally in ANSOB (A New Shade Of Black). What happened to that project?

- A New Shade Of Black - From Left: Jesse Joe, Kairo, Chad, Guy

Kairo: Chad and I were already experimenting with a harder, heavier, and more progressive kind of music than what ANSOB (A New Shade of Black) was doing. While we were in the studio recording ANSOB's EP, our musical differences were revealed. Vernon Reid, who lives nearby, came over and heard Chad and me rehearsing. He came up with the original idea of Kairo Vs. Chad, which would be like a hardcore White Stripes that showed more about us as brothers, as African Americans, as whatever. With the new direction of the music we both came to the decision to leave ANSOB, we're still really close with them because they are our family, but you know how it is. Had to keep moving forward.

Kaos Blac: What's it like working solely with Chad on the creation of music. Is there in-fighting, you are brothers so there is always that head butt your always around feeling or is it more at ease cause of the sibling nature of the project.

- Photo by Anne C. FergusonKairo: Chad and I have always been compatible together, even as brothers go we rarely fight. And we're both experimental when it comes to songwriting and music crafting. We always just let one another do their thing, and we can just put together. Naturally we argue about trivial things, because we're so different. The only ones we clash with on a daily basis are our parents. One of our songs starts with "Oh my f*cking Gods..." and our mother specifically did not approve.

Kaos Blac: You been working with the Legendary Vernon Reid of Living Colour fame. What sage like advice has he been imparting to you and Chad in ways of musical ethics and such.

- Vernon Reid, early picture

Kairo: Oh, Vernon Reid is a really cool dude! He's very open minded, free spirited, not pragmatic at all. So far, his advice has been about hooks and interludes, things that can catch the ear of many but will not have to compromise our sound or messages. And he's never a looming presence, but he's always watching, which makes us all the more comfortable.

Kaos Blac: Tell me about the music, what are you two trying to accomplish with the new material.

At first, the project's concept was about brotherhood, all things brotherhood: siblings, race, politics, differences and similarities to name a few. But we brought the concept to another level, writing songs in a way that makes it sounds like we're either complimenting each other on a topic, or arguing with each other. The aggressive side is the push and pull of brotherhood and such, and the melodic and experimental sides is the unity. At least I'd like to think so...

Kaos Blac
: Who do you think will get more babes when you go on tour you or Chad?

- Photo by Anne C. FergusonHahah! Chad, definitely! He's the hunk of the band, a real man, a social butterfly. While me, I'm just the quiet androgynous mysterious writer, the nightman, a social moth so to speak. Hence our title track, The Butterfly and the Moth. The song explains it all!

I just cant wait for whats coming up from these guys I'm sure it will be rawkous and great! You can find there demo on their myspace.

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