|Chuck Ransom - Chuck Norris Experiment - Uber Rock Interview Exclusive|
|Written by Dom Daley|
|Saturday, 26 April 2014 03:00|
With the release of the new album ‘Right Between The Eyes’ it’s fair to say that Sweden’s Chuck Norris Experiment have raised a few eyebrows around URHQ with a lot of people tipping it as a strong contender for the Uber Rock Album Of The Year, and that’s about the size of it really. What do you mean you’ve never heard of them? Well read on and learn something about truly great rock music this fine day.
You see Chuck Norris Experiment are now in their tenth year and the five piece (Chuck Ransom vocals, Chuck The Ripper guitar, Chuck Dakota bass, Chuck Buzz drums, and Chuck Rooster guitar) are sitting on the crest of a wave with a fantastic album to promote and their first live UK shows…EVER!!!! So as a result we thought it was about time we got the inside details on what it is that makes frontman and mainstay Chuck Ransom tick. Ladies and germs please be upstanding for the mighty Chuck Norris Experiment…..
Hi Chuck. I guess we might as well start in the here and now. I must admit having been a longtime fan of the band I could never understand how others got the column inches yet you guys remained underground and something of a "best kept secret". I do think that ‘Right Between The Eyes’ has that little X Factor and has been getting rave reviews across the board here at Uber Rock and it has really blown people away. Did you feel that was going to be the case when writing and recording?
Yes, I had the feeling that we were doing something special. The songs are all pretty “in your face” and we really tried to keep it simple this time. This was the first time we wrote the songs together as a band and you can feel that if you compare the album to our older ones, you can hear that each member is proud of the craftsmanship.
Was 'Black Leather' an easy choice for single off the new album?
I think that song is very representative for the album. It is the ambassador for the rest of the songs. In an old war that song would be the general on the horse holding the sable while screaming attack to the rest of the songs, leading them into rock ’n’ roll battle to conquer the world!
Is the album title a sign of intent?
The goal with this album was to make the listener feel like she or he just been hit RIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES. And hopefully we succeeded. I think we did!
You guys have been pretty prolific and have always offered value for money and looked after your fans with reasonably priced items, always offering something different like the acoustic album or excellent splits. Is this something you actively seek?
Yes, I have always loved bands and artists that try to do something extra for their fans. I don’t think it needs to be all that special, just bring something rare and extra on the road for the people that pay good money to come to a show, we always try to do that, and I hope we always will. And, the biggest reason for all these cool CNE releases is that I have an huge ego and hungry as a black hole in space, that just loves limited releases, singles, digipaks etc.
A few people have cottoned onto your bandcamp page and bought the lot for like 1 Euro a piece. Has there been a lot of interest with people digging back into your history? Oh and are you guys insane?!?! I mean 1 Euro for an album??
Yes I know, it seems crazy, but I rather see that a new fan can buy all our albums for 7 euros, than just one album for 10 euros, we make our music to be heard. And if they dig us, they will hopefully check out our merchandise page and get some sweet vinyl and CDs to support the band and the good cause of rock ’n’ roll!
Talking about your history take us back and give us a brief history of the band? When did it all start and who was involved?
We celebrate 10 years as a band this year, so if I got my facts straight it started back in 2004. The only two survivors since then is myself and Chuck Rooster who I also played with in stoner/action rock band Rickshaw before CNE happened.
We rehearsed 10 times and then we hit the studio to record some songs, that later turned out to be our debut album, we did not really try to make an album, it just happened and Devil Doll Records/ Scarey Records & Bad Attitude Records released the album on both CD & LP and suddenly we had a new baby to nurse.
Who came up with the name and why?
I did. When I was just a kid my dad took me to see the American blues legend Charles “Chuck” Norris who was playing at Frölunda Kulturhus in Göteborg. The power of that concert really got to me and I thought that if I ever was going to make music, it have to be as powerful as that. The band name is a good reminder to me that we should not slow down, get soft or never, never use a saxophone in a song.
Who would you say are your personal favorite bands? Is there anyone out there you'd like to do a split with next?
If I had to throw away my whole record collection and just keep the records from one band, I would keep my Motörhead albums, and I guess my Turbonegro albums would be next. We are doing splits with some of my favorite bands soon, Dwarves, Märvel & Bloodlights, so I am pretty happy. But a split with Turbonegro would be really awesome!
I always loved what you guys did with the acoustic album 'Chuckies'. Was that a daunting experience because it was right out of the comfort zone to what we all knew as CNE? I particularly loved the way you changed up 'The Roof Is About To Cave In' and 'Ugly Motherfucker' they worked superbly being quite a departure from the electric versions. Finally did you try any that didn't quite work out? Oh and really finally is it something you'd do again?
Thanks! I really don’t remember how we started doing the acoustic songs, my guess is that beer and backstage rooms have something to do about it, but it never felt awkward or strange, those songs are still our babies, in any format. Yes, we have tried many of the older songs, and we have arrangements ready for ‘Bullshit City’ and ‘Bastards’, and also some newly written songs ready for a new acoustic album. We just need to find the time and money to record it.
You've also always had great artwork on the records is this something you like to get involved with and have any ideas ever gone horribly wrong?
I always have an idea for the cover, but then I leave it for the artist. They are the artists and I don’t want to tell them how to do their job. We once had a Swedish guy doing the artwork for the ‘Volume Voltage’ album, and it turned out really well, so we asked him to do the artwork for a single, and after a few weeks we received the artwork which was supposed to be a comet on the way to crash into mother earth, and the tail of the cometh should be a CNE lightning and a lot of other cool stuff that was promised. The artwork looked like a wet football was thrown into the face of a midget, and it looked like a 3 year old did it. When the artist was approached about this, we got a “fuck you” and a lesson in art. It was obvious he did not do the ‘Volume Voltage’ artwork, I guess he just stole it from a buddy.
What are the plans for live dates? What can people expect from a CNE live experience?
We are doing a bunch of shows in Germany this year, and we have just confirmed some shows in the UK. That will be our first time playing live in your country, and we play London on 13th June, then Nottingham on the following night.
When you visit a CNE show, you can always expect a full action, honest, kickass rock ’n’ roll show. We take no prisoners, and we do not care if we play in front of 30 people or 3,000, we do what we love to do. Loud, sexy and fast.
You've always supported really cool labels, is this something you feel is important to the band?
Absolutely, the small labels are very important for rock bands like us, they are run by people that love their rock ’n’ roll as much as we do and we are very thankful for their work.
Small labels that are worth checking out: No Balls Records, Strange Magic Records, AM Records and Ghost Highway Records.
The new album ‘Right Between The Eyes’ is released on a really cool Swedish label called Transubstans Records, you kids should check them out, there’s lots of great stuff there.
There are some exciting bands around at the moment playing live and releasing great records. Is this something you’re also seeing?
Yes, there are a lot of new great bands out there, and I get a feeling that people are finding their way back to the rock clubs and real rock bands. Unfortunately there are not many young bands out there, what the fuck is wrong with the kids? I always said that I will stop playing in a band when it comes that a new young rock band from our part of Sweden that can blow us off stage, or even pull a draw. But.. It seems like we are here for a very long time.
OK going back to the new record, would you say this new album is the best work you've done to date?
Yes, without a doubt the best album we have done, I am very proud of it.
How much material was written for the record was there much left off?
We did choose the songs to the album from maybe 30 songs that were written during the last two years. Most of the songs that were not used on the album have been thrown away never to be picked up again, but I guess we will use two or three of them to some upcoming split singles and collections.
So do you go into the studio ready with the songs finished or is there room for change when recording?
When we hit the studio the songs are well rehearsed and written in stone, then some things might be changed during the process, but no biggies, we just mute as much bass guitar as possible.
All that’s left is to for me to wish you and the Chucks all the best and I hope to catch CNE soon on the road somewhere in the UK
Thanks for having me guys!
So there you have it folks the wise words of Chuck Ransom. If you’re new to Chuck Norris Experiment or you have lapsed of late then there really is no better time than now to pick up the new album and listen to a band right on top of their game. Check out the bandcamp page below for those aforementioned 1 Euro album bargains and the band’s website for where and when they’ll be on tour near you.
Thanks to Chuck for tolerating my ramblings in what was effectively a doubly foreign language and giving up his time for Uber Rock. All hail the Chuck Norris Experiment!
Oh and before I forget those UK dates for you once more are as follows;
June 13th, 2014 - The Pipeline, London w/The Hip Priests + Trigger McPoopshute + Role Models http://www.wegottickets.com/event/271446
Main band photo by Johannes Useem www.band-photography.com