The small town of Stratford, Ontario isn’t exactly renowned as a rock n roll town. That may be about to change as a four piece band calling themselves Chemical Burn are aiming to change all of that. I was introduced to Chemical Burn earlier this year courtesy of their most excellent Smoking Mirrors EP (see review click here) and on July 10th, I was fortunate enough to catch them live when they were support for 80’s legends Riot at Toronto’s Rockpile.
Comprised of Eddie Aresenic – Vocals, Alexander Rowe – Guitars/Vocals, Dylan Cassels – Bass/Vocals, Jesse Karu – Drums/Vocals, Chemical Burn have been busy sharing stages with the likes of Tracii Guns, Honeymoon Suite, Glorious Sons and the Cult. Next Friday, September 16th they once again returning to the Rockpile as direct support for the legendary Gilby Clarke. I recently caught up with guitar player Alexander Rowe as the band prepares for next Friday’s gig.
DBG: Ok for those readers that may be uninitiated, please share with us the history of how Chemical Burn came to be?
Alex: So Chemical Burn formed about three years ago, we used to play more punk rock and speed metal stuff and then we brought in our singer Eddie and it developed more into a rock and roll/hard rock sound. That is really the background to the formation of the band.
DBG: Your EP, Smoking Mirrors is certainly that, riff-driven hard rock n roll. With that in mind, who would you cite as your biggest influences as far as your guitar playing goes?
Alex: I have always said that growing up I had two of the greatest guitar teachers of all time, Eddie Van Halen and Angus Young.
DBG: Interesting, after watching you play I would have thought you might have mentioned Tony Iommi on that list.
Alex: Yeah, I love Black Sabbath but when I was jamming out and learning guitar it was very little Sabbath actually but it’s funny you are not the first person to mention that.
DBG: I understand that the song “Black Widow” has been now used in not one, but two different movie soundtracks? How did that happen?
Alex: Yes, it has been used for two independent films. Well essentially I spend a lot of time looking for ways to promote the band and our Manager Drew does as well and we just threw a whole bunch of stuff out there and those two companies got back to us saying they had listened to the “Black Widow” and wanted to use it. One is coming out of Saskatchewan that I think is actually finished now called Patient 62 and the other one is from Australia which is for a larger independent film company, it’s a horror movie and I believe the title for that one is Tarnation.
DBG: You have spent the last year sharing the stage and supporting some very cool acts. (The Cult, Honeymoon Suite etc) Any particular show that stands out for you and why?
Alex: Oh man it had to have been the Sound of Music Festival. That was an experience for us all that was, it was always a dream to play a giant stage like that with some bands that we grew up with. The Cult and the Headstones and also the Glorious Sons. I mean we grew up listening to these bands and you never think you will ever be sharing the stage with them and then it happens it was mind blowing. It was a ton of fun and we got to hang with them backstage, just a dream come true gig and we look forward to doing this more and more.
Alex: Yeah, we are saving up the funds to make the next CD happen. We are talking with one of the large studios in Toronto that have been eyeing us up for a bit now and as soon as we have the funds ready we will be heading in to record probably 5 or 6 of the new songs. Then release that as our first official top quality produced Chemical Burn record.
DBG: Alright, I have one more for you. Next Friday you will be warming up the stage for Gilby Clarke, what would you like to say for the people that might be considering heading to the Rockpile next week?
Alex: Oh you definitely gotta come down and check it out. Gilby is ex-Guns n Roses guitarist with his own solid hard rock catalogue behind him, that’s killer and be sure to come out and check us out. We intend to blow you away!
I concur, Chemical Burn will blow you away so get off the couch and support some live music!