interview by George Archibald; photos by Andrew Bastion
After the debut of their second album Dark Future, Entheos has been touring nonstop. The band is a group of high caliber musicians. The band consists of vocalist Chaney Crabb, who had many vocal videos on YouTube before Entheos and once tried out for Veil of Maya, bassist Even Brewer, formerly a member of The Faceless and Animosity, drummer Nevene Koperweis has worked with Animals as Leaders and Animosity, and guitarist Travis LeVrier is a former member of Scale the Summit and Into the Moat. Entheos is currently supporting Rings of Saturn on the Dank Memes Tour with fellow bands Nekrogoblikon, Allegaeon, Lorna Shore and Gloom. I was excited about the chance to speak to Chaney Crabb and learn more about Dark Future, and what the band has in store for 2018.
GA: First off, Entheos has a line-up of impeccable musicians with backgrounds from bands such as Animosity, Animals as Leaders, The Faceless, Into the Moat, and Scale the Summit. How did you all decide to work together?
CC: Nevene is my boyfriend, and we have worked together in the past. I have been doing vocals since I was thirteen, so sixteen years now. He tracked my old band Systems and engineered the whole record. Fast forward three years, he was doing a solo project called Nevene K. He was playing drums to electronic music that he programmed, and he went on tour with Animals as Leaders and Tesseract. At that time, he was itching to write a metal record. Nevene started talking to Frank (Costa), our old guitar player who was also in Animosity. Frank originally was going to work with Nevene to track Frank’s band Realms of Vision. This sparked the idea of “let’s all jam with Frank”. We threw around a few names of bass players. We originally were thinking of asking Frank’s brother who was one of the original bass players in Animosity.
Then we decided to ask Evan (Brewer) to join us. They (Evan and Nevene) had a history together with having played in Animosity, and Evan even played on a few Nevene K songs. Nevene also produced and played drums on Evan’s record Your Itinerary. The pitch to everyone was “let’s just write an EP and see what happens”, or possibly jam together someday. We wrote the Primal EP and became a band. Flash forward a year, Frank left the band and we got a guy named Malcolm (Pugh), who is an awesome guitarist and helped us write The Infinite Nothing.
Malcolm then left the band and we really wanted to get in contact with Travis (LeVrier), as he was in Into the Moat. Travis also listens to death metal but is also a prog guy and has that sensibility. We didn’t think he would join the band because he was in Scale the Summit. During a dinner one night we all confronted him; it was a good time talking, and then we brought up that we wanted him in the band. Suddenly, Travis became silent and slumped in his chair. He didn’t really talk for the rest of dinner. Two or three days later he sent us a video of him playing ‘Perpetual Miscalculations’ and slayed it. He must be one of the tightest rhythm guitarists I have ever seen. That is how Travis got in the band and how the band came to be. That was now two years ago.
GA: In November 2017, Entheos released Dark Future, which for me feels a bit more refined and expands on what the band did prior on The Infinite Nothing. Can you tell me a little bit about the writing process of this album? Who did you work with, and who did what on the album?
CC: Nevene and I have a studio apartment, and the 4 of us all kind of crammed in there for two weeks straight. Nevene, Evan, and Travis wrote all the instrumentals. Everyone came with their own ideas instrumentally, so they worked off each other and made skeletons for the songs’ structure. During all of this I would sit in the corner, write lyrics and give my input on how sick the riffs were. We all kind of jived to what each member was doing. Everyone is responsible for their own parts. After those two weeks, everyone went off to refine their own parts. I went all the way in on writing the vocal patterns and lyrics. Nevene was programming all the electronics. From there, we tracked the album.
GA: Can you tell me about the themes of the album? What was the inspiration behind going into the process?
CC: There are a lot of themes on the album; I talk a lot about anxiety and depression, getting caught in this existential crisis that you cannot control. I also talk about what the dark future is. It is not a strange sci-fi future which I think many people think it could be. When you hear dark future, people tend to want to think about some sort of dystopian future, but what it really stands for is the great unknown in this life. We are given birth, we are given death, that’s it, and the darkness is the what. It’s kind of like the what are you going to do next. That is kind of the basis of the whole album.
Right before the band went into writing my friend committed suicide and it kind of set the mood. He was in the army and had PTSD. He was someone who I thought would never leave. It affected me and set my mood personally for the writing of this album. I think lyrically this is the most personal I have ever gone. It sparked an existential crisis within me. We all work through these types of things in life, I just dealt with it by putting my focus into writing this album.
GA: Entheos just released a music video for “Pulse of a New Era”, and previously released the video for “The World Without Us”. Who came up with the idea of these videos? I really enjoy the feel of the songs along with the visual performances of the videos. What was the process like for making the video?
CC: We wanted the concepts for the videos to be abstract. On “Pulse of a New Era” we chose to do a trippy video. We looked at videos like ASAP Mob’s video for ‘Lamborghini High’, where it has this glitched out effect. We wanted to go for that, and that whole color scheme but put it in a dark place. With “The World Without Us” Evan picked out a video that he wanted to try and emulate the style of. We wanted “World…” to be a black and white video, that would switch out of focus, and be weird and abstract. We gave these ideas to directors, and they wrote the storylines and sent them back to us. We made our choices off the people that hit the nail on the head with what we wanted to do. It ended up being a collaboration between the band and the director.
GA: How has the Dank Memes Tour been going for the band? What has to be one of the better experiences of this tour for the band, do you have a special stop or show perhaps in mind?
CC: Pittsburgh which is tonight. New York City tomorrow, since it will be St. Patrick’s Day which will be crazy. I have been looking forward to these next few days. Philadelphia as well because of Black Bird pizza. It is fucking amazing, best vegan Philly cheese steak ever! If I see Voltage Lounge on a tour itinerary I’m like, ‘fuck yeah I am getting Black Bird.’ This tour has been amazing, Entheos just did a tour with Rings of Saturn supporting White Chapel and it was great, this one has been going just as well.
GA: What has to be one of the best moments from your musical career past, or present?
CC: There are a lot of moments… I don’t know. I would have to say people getting tattoos of our album covers. That is a new thing to me. It is surreal to me, we put stuff out and you never know how it affects other people. When someone shows up to a show with a tattoo of your album cover, it is a surreal feeling. People saying the way the music has affected them stands out to me. It is an insane feeling.
GA: Do you do any special techniques, drills or habits when getting ready for a show or for warm up?
CC: I am a creature of habit when it comes to this. First, I drink a Red Bull, then I will drink about a half of a bottle of water. Then follow that up with two shots of whiskey. I will drink water up until we perform at this point. This all happens about an hour before we play. I warm up for probably about ten minutes, just to get my voice ready. I scream, I don’t do any other types of warm-ups. This helps my voice get to where it needs to be for my live performance.
GA: What is next for Entheos after this tour?
CC: We have a sick tour that is coming up, we will be announcing soon.
GA: Where can people find the band, and keep up to date on all of you?
CC: You can Google us, we are on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/entheosband/ ), Instagram (@entheosband ), and Twitter (https://twitter.com/entheosofficial ). Big Cartel (http://entheosofficial.bigcartel.com/ ) is our merch store, I personally ship all the band’s merchandise from the online store.
GA: Anything you all want to add?
CC: Thank you to everyone for listening.