Influenced by Merauder, Neglect and Madball with one of the most pissed off vocalists in recent hardcore, MH CHAOS has won over fans sharing stages with the likes of Knocked Loose, Queensway, Death Before Dishonor and Sanction, and now they are dropping their self-titled debut via Fast Break! Records. The official street date is October 29th, but today we’re pleased to give you a heavy teaser with their track “Natural Born Killer”, featuring Luke Gray and Shane Merrill of fellow Chicago band THE KILLER, and a full interview with MH CHAOS, who sat down with us to discuss their local hardcore scene, the COVID era, live shows, their message, and a lot more! Launch the new banger and read the full interview below!
“”Natural Born Killer” is a song that shows no matter what hand you’ve been dealt in life, no matter what upbringing you’ve been given, no matter what odds are stacked against you… there’s always a way to find that fire inside of you to overcome and become someone stronger than you were before.” – comments the band.
For fans of pissed off, raw hardcore in the vein of Neglect, Trapped Under Ice, Easy Money and early Madball.
Hey guys, thanks a lot for joining us here and congrats for the new release! It’s so great to get some quality old school energy, recalling many many greats from the past. Before we get into the details of your new release, please take us back to 2018 and tell us how it all started for you guys. What backgrounds have you come from?
Thank you for the kind words, it means a lot to us. Thank you for having us and premiering the track. We started this band for our love of the style of hardcore we play and to ultimately represent Chicago hardcore. We draw inspiration from bands from the New York Hardcore scene and beyond but bring what we’ve experienced in our own lives and our experiences from growing up in Chicago hardcore to the forefront of what we create.
We all come from various backgrounds and areas of the world. Davey was going to shows around Chicago hardcore a bit before a few of us started to. TJ, Alex and I played in a band together called Bitter Thoughts with our friend Tyler. Those three grew up together and would go to shows together as well as playing in various bands. I started a band when I was around 14 years old. We were pretty bad at first, but got better as the years went on and people in the hardcore scene took notice we were kids who continued to come around. That band would link up with the boys I mentioned later down the road and we all fully submerged ourselves into Chicago Hardcore. This is Davey’s first band. He would take the mic at shows and do spots on records. We always thought he would be a great front man. We looked up to him growing up in the scene. He even filled in for Bitter Thoughts. Evan is a Binghamton, NY transplant and was our boy from the start so it made sense for all of us to be in a band together.
What shifts and evolution in your local hardcore scene have you seen since you got involved?
Different bands have come and gone, a lot of the same people remained, some moved on. The essence of Chicago hardcore and what it was from the start will always carry on in ways but it definitely evolves with newer bands starting while bringing new styles to the table and different kids coming around and contributing to the growth and bringing their own flare to all of this.
How has the COVID pandemic impacted the band and your closest ones?
We’ve had members in the band directly impacted with jobs being lost/paychecks being cut and friends losing family members. Family of mine in India were also impacted. As far as the band goes, we did what we could during the pandemic. We wrote and recorded a song called “My Kind of Hate” that Taylor Young mixed & reamped at the Pit Recording Studio. Carter at From Within Records put it on the One Scene Unity compilation. We tried to stay busy with writing and recording the new record as well during that time, focus on ourselves as much as possible, staying motivated and inspired where we could. I think the pandemic left a lot of people unmotivated and uncertain but now that things are popping back up hopefully things start to change for people.
What have you learned through this crisis?
To step back, analyze what’s going on and think for yourself before saying or doing anything. At the end of the day the government isn’t going to bail anyone out and trusting what any source of media, political party, or a social media post says is out of the question. We’re better off doing what we can to help our communities around us and those who aren’t able to help themselves.
What inspired the name Multiple Homefront Chaos?
Operation MH/CHAOS was a CIA operation meant to uncover acts of treason going on in the United States as the government saw it. The “MH” part showed that they operated around the whole world. The way we apply it to our band is we are our own government. We all come different backgrounds and walks of life and are united to represent the chaos of Chicago hardcore around the whole world.
How important is the message your lyrics send to the listeners?
It’s definitely the most important part of this band. If we had nothing to say, we wouldn’t be doing this. We often write about what we feel in our personal lives. Like many others, I’m not sure where we would be at if we didn’t have this outlet, so being able to speak our mind and connect with people who we can relate to makes life a little more tolerable.
Ok, so what was the creative process behind the new material and content wise, what issues are you trying to raise this time?
We wanted to continue on our style that we began with, but take it to a level that we haven’t been at before and make something memorable to represent Chicago hardcore for years to come.
On this record we speak about the thoughts we have inside ourselves and the experiences we’ve gone through that make us create the music that we do. We speak about how it is to be a brown kid in this world and how people of our kind have been treated for generations. We talk about dealing with depression and the loss of friends and family due to suicide and overdose. We talk about losing our minds. We talk about using the strength of your friends and community to overcome anything that comes your way. I would like to think the way the record is written and the and the order of what is being said in the lyrics is like a continuous story and journey of chaos.
How did you end up releasing it on Fast Break! Records?
When we got done playing FYA Fest in Florida, Joe came up to us and said that he wanted to work with us and help put out a record for us. We didn’t really know what that entailed at the time. We could tell he was into the music. He had a broken hand but was still moshing during the set. Joe was our intro into Fast Break! and Richie Krutch. Richie, Tim, Jerry, Chris, Joe and all involved with Fast Break! are all top-tier people.
While we were out at FYA, I also met Carter who does From Within Records. He is also putting out the record for us on vinyl. He’s an awesome dude who undoubtedly loves hardcore to the fulleset and is just down to help out bands. When we got back from Florida, he was down to put out my other band’s release on tape. We kept in touch, did the One scene Unity comp, and all the plans for him to release the MH Chaos record on vinyl fell into place.
Long answer short, if we never made it to FYA, we wouldn’t have met any of these people. Thank you to Bob Wilson for giving some random kids from the midwest a chance to show what we are about. Thank you to Joe Hardcore for believing in us since the day we met.
Another new track, the new album’s opener “Chaos Returns”, has been made available for streaming below:
Will there be some live shows in support of the record?
We have a record release show on Saturday November 6th, 2021 at Cobra Lounge in Chicago with Section H8 from LA, Queensway from Baltimore, One on One from PA, Desmadre from LA and Sector from Chicago. Section H8 recently put out an amazing record, first time in Chicago, amazing band. Queensway is one of the best hardcore bands of our generation in my opinion. One on One’s second show. Someone will get hurt. Desmadre’s first show. I think this band is awesome just by the one song they’ve put out and a lot of people are going to be into it. Sector from Chicago is another band I’m in. I love the people in that band and wanted them to play this show.
A couple days after that, we’re playing with Terror in Milwaukee. That’s insane to us, because that’s one of the main bands we would see all the time in Chicago growing up. We’re playing LA and the Bay Area in the middle of November with a lot of friends and bands we love. Playing with Gulch in Chicago in the beginning of December, Sweat Fest in Michigan, Holiday Jam 2021 in Reading, PA, FYA Fest in Tampa, Florida at the beginning of next year. We’re lucky and grateful to play these shows with these bands while also putting out a record.
By the way, how’s the post-COVID reality in terms of live shows in your area?
It’s been awesome. In a way even better pre-COVID. There has been a show at least once or twice a week. A lot of different styles and some mix genre shows which is cool to see with many familiar and also unfamiliar faces. I think it will only continue to get better and more shows will be popping off around here with more people getting involved.
Can you give us some local bands tips, and perhaps labels or zines worth a check? What sources of hardcore punk news would you recommend for us to follow?
Current bands from Chicago to check out if you haven’t already would be The Killer, Grounds of Execution, LURK, Decline, Kharma, Bovice, TR3Y5IVE, Break The Cycle, Sarin, Like Rats, Payasa, Buggin, Porcupine & Thieves.
Shout out to Fast Break!, From Within, Daze, Nuclear Family, Death Farm, 1648, Streets of Hate, Dead Sky, Hardknock, Retribution.
I recently ran into Unite Asia and found a lot of harder bands from India I was unaware of. Being born in India was, learning about bands from there is insane so shout to them. Shout out Marked For Life, an awesome hardcore radio show. There are a lot of awesome podcasts out there in relation to hardcore now too. TIHC podcast, Jamie Orque podcast, Angel & Z, Scoped Exposure, Terror Zone, Post America podcast, Axe 2 Grind, and the list goes on.
Great! Thanks so much for your time and feel free to share your final thoughts. Cheers from Warsaw!
Thank YOU and IDIOTEQ.com for premiering our track and asking these questions. Much love to Shane Merrill and Luke Gray of The Killer for hopping on the track with us and being a constant source of inspiration, motivation and always being there for us from the start. Shout out to Patric Gardner of Queensway for the phone vox on the intro, peace.