HM’s Anthony Bryant caught up with Chad Paramore, singer from the band Messengers, about their upcoming EP, No Shelter.
“It started, at first, with a bunch of a guys who had no intentions of touring or making it big,” Paramore explained. “Something fun for us to do – a lot of us had personal lives. I just had a kid at the time, and I was working multiple jobs, putting my wife through college. We recorded an EP, and a friend of ours sent it to David Quiggle, and he responded very well to it. Suggested we do it for real and not just waste our talents. That was a big eye opener for us. That was when things changed.”
Paramore remembers the difference between what it was like writing the band’s first EP compared to No Shelter, and spoke about his Texas roots, growing up listening to bands like Pantera and Sepultura while being in a hardcore band. Unfortunately, as they grew, the hardcore scene took its toll spiritually on the guys.
“Being from Dallas area, thrash is so important here,” he said. “We wanted to bring that sound back, but with Christian lyrics, bring it to us. Shortly after we started, a few members were wrapped up in the hardcore scene – so much so, that we were putting our hardcore lifestyle before our spirituality. We were lost, and battling the rejection of being a Christian in the hardcore scene, fed up with the politics of the industry all together. Some of the members weren’t in a good spiritual place when we started the band in the first place.”
Paramore knew it was time to start questioning their actions. “Some of us hit bottom, and we sat down and talked. Asked ourselves, ‘What are we doing?’ If we are not doing this for God, then there is no reason for us to be doing this. I think once we talked about it, we realized we were trying to make a movement within hardcore, and all that trying became more about being somebody in hardcore than about being messengers of God.”
When they righted the ship, Paramore did his due diligence getting the band some studio time – but they had nothing to record. “I scheduled us a time to record two months out ahead of time. We had nothing written, and no music for it. We literally sat down and wrote out the album the weekend before we started recording. Not one riff, lyric – nothing until the weekend before. One of the songs was written in the studio. A lot of it was very spontaneous, giving ourselves to the music and to God.”
I asked Paramore if he could elaborate, what it meant to him when he gave himself and the music to God that weekend, recording the EP.
“A lot of my songs are dark, and might not be about a verse in the bible,” he explained. “My songs are about real life situations, and experiences I have encountered: The dark times, the hard times, and how my faith helped me pull through or guided me. Before I found God, the way I expressed how I was feeling or thinking was through lyrics or poetry. My wife and I will do poetry together, bounce lyrics off of each other. Once I get the experience on paper, I have thought it through and can move on. A lot of the band members were going through some rough times and I think that is why a lot of it comes off as dark.”
The band thought it was going to be very difficult. He is my brother, and he was our guitarist. He wrote all of the music, and when he left it, was hard for all of us.
With the honest lyrical direction, Paramore would back up the claim that the music his band wrote around it was just as dark. “Our new stuff is some of the hardest we have come out with to date,” he said about their latest release. “The passions and anger from those experiences can be felt in those songs. There are no bands that have vocals like Pantera used to have, and I think that is something missing from the genre. That is something that I want to bring back. I want people to feel what I am saying.”
The passion the band feels for their lyrics, for God and one another had to take a turn when former member Chance Paramore, Chad’s brother, left the band. I asked him how the band handled the difficulties of replacing him.
“The band thought it was going to be very difficult. He is my brother, and he was our guitarist. He wrote all of the music, and when he left it, was hard for all of us. However, I decided I wanted to play bass, our bassist said he wanted to play guitar, and so we switched members in the band around. TK (as he’s only known) really stepped up and wrote some great music, and everyone has seemed to really enjoy their new roles. We have all been positive – he left on good terms. We were worried at first, but TK showed up and has been great, and we never even considered searching for a new member.”
The new band arrangement gave them new life. “Our hopes are high right now. We want labels to see this, to see that we are serious about it,” Paramore said. “We have connected with (label) Blank Page Empire and they are going to put out our EP on vinyl.” Paramore knows the importance of touring, and would love the opportunity to play with a like-minded band, both in performance and thought. “A band like The Chariot would be a great band for us to play with or tour with,” he said. “The passion between what we do and what they do … I believe a lot of our fans are their fans as well. The fact that they have stuck it out and have always been true to themselves … They may have never been the ‘top band,’ but I believe that they have made the right decisions over the years, and time is going to pay off. Everybody has respect for them. … I look at them and say, ‘Yes that is what I want my career to be like.’”
Paramore started to really talk about what motivated them as a band, so I was curious about their ultimate goals.
“We are ready to start writing for an LP,” he said. “We want to move forward. We want 10-12 full songs; there is just so much we can do with a full-length, so many ideas and creative things we can do with it. We want to have it written by end of the summer. It may seem like we are setting our goals and dreams high, but, honestly, we are. We want to work towards achieving them.”
Messengers was posted on July 15, 2013 for HM Magazine and authored by Anthony Bryant.