[sic] Magazine

Interview – Beauty In Chaos, by Klammer.

Leeds band Klammer and Los Angeles outfit Beauty in Chaos have more links and common ground than most golf courses. They also happen to know each other. As part of a unique and exciting feature idea the two bands have agreed to interview one another.

This is the first of two featurette interviews. For this first round Beauty In Chaos’s >Michael Ciravolo is interviewed by Klammer’s Steve Whitfield. Beauty In Chaos comprise members of The Cure, The Mission and Ministry working with guests and luminaries from the scene while Steve from Klammer has produced both The Cure and The Mission. The interview touches upon the wider post-punk scene as well as the two respective bands and will likely thrill fans of all the aforementioned artists.

Enjoy the interview and watch for part two in the coming days.

Hi Michael and hello from England. I love the album by the way!

Well thank you very much! I really means a lot to me coming from a fellow artist.

1. How did this project come about and when did it start? Was it always going to be an album?

We had begun to record a new Human Drama record in mid 2017 with all the original band members. It was to be the band’s first album since 2003’s “Cause and Effect”. Very quickly it became clear that I was not really on the same page musically with the guys. My long time friend, Michael Rozon was recording my guitar parts and recognized my growing frustration. He simply said “Why don’t you do your own record?” And that’s what we did. We started the first four songs for Beauty In Chaos while simultaneously working on Human Drama’s “Broken Songs For Broken People’. Obviously from the first moment we started recording I knew this would be an album, a REAL vinyl album.

2. What were the problems you encountered using so many talented guests, and what did you have to do to give the record a unified album sound.

There were no difficult technical problems in the process of making this record. Most of the singers recorded their tracks in their own studios which they were certainly proficient in. Rozon and I wanted this to be a cohesive album, something the flowed naturally from song to song without coming off as some odd compilation record. I think the music is the common thread throughout the album. I think it benefited from having me be the only guitarist and using the guitar to create the textures as opposed to using synths. I’m not totally sure of how but I do think we succeeded in the end to make this a sonic journey of sorts. Then some bastard comes along and hits shuffle and blows it all to hell! ☺

3. You’ve called yourself the ‘curator’ of the album. Did all the contributors have autonomy to do what they wanted or were you and Michael Rozon the guiding hand for all their ideas/parts.

The curator moniker came about hopefully to prevent this from being called my solo album, as most solo records by guitarists are god-awful how-many-notes-can-I-play ego strokes. That is not what this record is. I set out to create layered cinematic beds for these amazing, great lyricists to add their own art to. Other than giving each a quick synopsis of what ‘finding beauty in chaos’ meant to me, each had the freedom to express how that track moved them. Some took it more literal than others, but I think we found a nice cohesive thread to tie this all together.

4. What song are you most proud of from the album and why?

That’s a tad difficult to pin down in a way. I’m certainly proud of having Wayne and Simon’s first foray together be on ‘Man Of Faith’. I think ‘Storm’ will always be special to me since this was the song that proved to myself that I could do this album. It started a great friendship and working relationship with Ashton Nyte that I am sure will continue in the evolution of BIC. I do still get goosebumps when I hear ‘I Will Follow You’. I think there is certainly magic between Evi’s voice and the beautiful soundscape we created. Really proud of that track on all levels. My current fav at this moment is “Look Up’, which features my wife, Tish on voices. I guess you asked for one right? ☺

5. If you do another Beauty In Chaos album, who would you most like to collaborate with that you didn’t get to work with on this one?

Well I definitely plan on doing another! I hope this record is received well enough that it opens doors that may not have been open before. As for singers? Wow, I do have my wish list right here… Robert Smith and Richard Butler would be amazing. I did ask Robert to sing on this one but he was in the midst of writing lyrics for that long awaited new Cure record, so I completely understand ☺ Hopefully he’ll consider it again. We have three beautiful ladies on FBIC, so I’d love to continue with Shirley Manson and Leslie Rankine (RUBY) topping my list.
I’m also planning to change the self-imposed limitations I had placed on this record with me being the only guitarist and the “no synth” clause. That will open things up a bit. But, there will be some other restraints placed since I feel that limitations can be creative.

6. Any plans to go out and play it live?

Wow, that was certainly not in the cards when we started this. I would never try to do this without the original singer performing the song, and it would be hard to get most or all of the artists together. That being said, I am honestly thinking about a ‘what if’ scenario more than I thought I would be.

7. What band/gig made you think I have to form my first band?

Not one in particular .. just this great time when I was 13 and 14 watching a late night music show called Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert and seeing Slade, Alice Cooper, T. Rex, Kiss and the NY Dolls.
I knew this was what I wanted to be when I grew up.

8. Have you still got your first guitar?

Oh hell no! It was a $50 piece of shit that I could barely play. And not knowing that the strings being an inch off the neck made it more difficult, I just thought I sucked. Sometimes I still think that ☺

9. In the past guitarists were banned from playing ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and ‘Smoke on the Water’ in some UK guitar shops. If you still worked in one, which songs(s) would do your head if they were continually being played in gear shops?

Metallica, any Metallica … just not my cup of tea at all!

10. Would it have been easier or harder to get this album together and released in the past? What are the pros and cons of the music industry in 2018 against the way the older record labels used to run things? How important is it to have good PR in place?

Ok, I’ll answer the last part of this question first. In doing an ‘indie’ or DIY record, promotion is paramount. I was blessed to be introduced to Shameless Promotion PR by a friend. Since I have been working with them we have been noticed more by a lot of mags, blogs, podcasts, etc, that I’m sure would be overlooked by any ‘major’ label. Shameless has proven to be both knowledgeable and passionate about music.

I’m honestly not sure if a label would have had any interest in BIC in the past, and even a few I approached in the genesis stage seemed to be apprehensive and would only consider doing a digital version to ‘see where it went’, which was a deal breaker to me.
I think there has always been issues in this industry. In the past, it was certainly about ‘creative control’, but recording technology as advanced to the point that you don’t need a label’s money to make a record, as it usually comes with a degree of ‘soul selling’. That said, without promotion and tour support, it makes getting your music out to an audience much more difficult.
I have a strong opinion of how some consumers choose to listen to music now and how that has eroded the perceived ‘value’ of the art of music. I think it is hard for an artist to voice a concern in this area without sounding like you are bitching and complaining but that is probably straying from your question anyway.

11. What’s your thoughts on the situation that UK bands have to spend thousands of dollars to get work permits to play in the US, yet it only costs US bands about a $100 to come to the UK. It’s stopping a lot of interesting independent UK bands getting over to the US now.

Well that definitely sucks and is really unfair. We could do with a good injection of interesting bands here. Whether people would go out and support those bands might be a different story. Far too many other distractions here that seem far too important to get people off their asses and out their house. 500+ movie channels, Call of Duty and Post Mates (a food delivery service) and it might take pulling a fire alarm to get people off their sofas and out the door.

12. Do you think there are any differences in the way US and UK bands approach music?

I’m not sure if it is the approach or not, but I have always gravitated to English bands, especially in my late teens … loved the Clash and the Pistols, and certainly the darker post-punk stuff had a big impact on me. Maybe UK bands take more risks and seem to set trends instead of following them.

13. The album features two very talented people I’ve been lucky to record in the studio.
Is Simon Gallup the best bassist in the world!
In my humble opinion I’d say yes!
And despite an amazingly successful career, do you think Wayne Hussey doesn’t quite get the recognition he deserves? Again in my opinion a fantastic singer and guitarist.

Yeah… to me Simon is the best. His bass lines are so melodic and recognizable. When I sent him ‘Man Of Faith’ and to have his reply say ‘Im working on a moving line like ‘love song’, what do you think?’ What do you say to that ????? Having these two icons on the same song for the first time, on a song that I wrote is still pretty surreal. It seems to have sparked some talk about Wayne and Simon doing more together, picking up a conversation they had in the mid ‘80s. And I am officially throwing my hat into the ring if they want another guitarist!
I think Wayne has a brilliant voice and is a gifted lyricist. He’s also an extremely underrated guitarist and songwriter. And I really don’t know why, he really deserves the recognition. It always seems like there’s a shadow hanging over the Sisters, which I don’t get.

14. I found a quote from you saying, “If You Don’t Try Different Things You’ll Become a One-Trick Pony”. So what’s next for Michael Ciravolo and what’s next for B.I.C.?

Ah .. you’re a cyber stalker! ☺ Seriously, it is something I have been thinking about well before we finished this record. Actually, we started working on a ‘remix’ record called ‘beauty re-envisioned’, with some great mixes by Tim Palmer, John Fryer and Mark Gemini Thwaite. And now it is evolving to more than your basic remix album .. there are some very different versions of the songs, including a beautiful piano/orchestra version of ‘The Long Goodbye’. Wayne Hussey sings it beautifully.
There are also plans for a rousing glam injected cover song that Mr. Gallup may join us on.
We have about half of the mixes in and are hoping for a late March 2019 release.
I’ve put together a small home studio and have started to formulate some song ideas that seem to be falling between The Cure’s Pornography and ‘Pussy’s Dead’ by Autolux. A wide net is cast, I know. ☺

[sic] Magazine wishes to thank Beauty In Chaos, Klammer and Shameless Promotion for the interview. Photography with kind permission and not for re-use. Michael Ciravolo photos by Eloisa Limon. With Al Jourgensen by Anabel DFlux. Banner by Vicky Carroll.

Beauty In Chaos website

Klammer website

Artists Picks of 2018 – BIC