Helios Creed Interview
Flipside Magazine #65
Helios Creed became a hell of a lot more than an ex Chrome member the second I heard his "Nothing Wrong/The Sky" 7" It was while flipping the single over and over that I realized that this man was responsible for more than half of Chrome's legendary industrial rock mindwarp, or at least it seems that way. To my surprise the 7" was his second release and as you read this he is working on his fourth! There are no nude dancers, fancy light shows or upside down movies to be found when Helios is on stage. His 3 piece band is true psychedelic mutation. Don't get much more fucked up than this friends. With all that aside, I find myself inside a huge blue school bus with all the burners lit on the near by stove in hopes of warming up the situation.
Krk: First time you've played LA, that seems crazy.
Creed: Well, before I was doing my own booking. I didn't know who to hook up with, I was getting numbers from friends in bands.
Krk: But you have toured?
Creed: Yeah I'm touring now. I've tried to get a show in LA.... this was about 2 1/2 years ago. That was the last time I toured.
Krk: Under Helios Creed?
Creed: Yeah, right.
Krk: Tell me about your first record, I haven't seen it.
Creed: Well, after I broke up with Chrome I was writing. I spent like 3 years writing this record and couldn't really get anyone to release it. I did a couple of songs and tried to get a deal but no one was interested. Finally Steve from Subterranean was interested and I finished it. It sold only 1500 or something.
Krk: Is it still available?
Creed: Yeah, as a matter of fact with the release of my 2 new records, and they're doing really good, that one has been re-released and is selling better now.
Krk: Two new ones? "Last Laugh" and what?
Creed: I have "Last Laugh" (Amphetamine Reptile) and "Superior Catholic Figure" , that one just came out. It's like a 2 year old record that came out after "Last Laugh." It's kinda confusing. Actually the second one is the third one but it came out second. The second one, the one that came out third, is the second one, but they both new albums I guess.
Krk: Would you think of those records as a progression of what Chrome should have been?
Creed: I guess some of it would be, ya know. Then there's parts where I wanted to be different than Chrome. Stuff that I really wasn't able to do. Being in my own solo band I could do all these things that I couldn't do with a partner. But yeah, a lot of the stuff could have very well been a progression of what I was doing. Basically I'm doing the same thing except I don't have a synthesizer player/partner.
Krk: Does the synthesizer matter?
Creed: No, it's just that I wanted... I wasn't going to do Chrome anymore. I wanted to be a three piece - guitar, bass and drums, real basic. With effects on the guitar.
Krk: It seems more rock based.
Creed: Yeah it is. Being that it is a trio, you're limited but I'm also experimenting with vocal and guitar effects and I have a synthesizer that my guitar goes thru, that can give it a synthesizer sound.
Krk: One single, three albums...
Creed: Gonna start a new album in about a week at Razor's Edge in San Francisco with Ray Washam from Scratch Acid/Rapeman.
Krk: He was with you tonight?
Krk: Who is the bass player?
Creed: Mark Duran, the guy that played on "X Rated" and "Superior."
Krk: The album "Last Laugh" was the song on the single?
Creed: Yeah, that was a song on the "Shoot guns.." 7" comp. It's just a little thing we do, we release a single with the title song from the album. Which has nothing to do with that title. We did that with Chrome once. I don't know if it bugs people!
Krk: Your music seems to be compared to hallucinogens a lot, how do you feel about that?
Creed: Well, I like to think of it as a positive thing if someones going to take psychedelics and feel like the music sounds good. I feel that's a compliment. It doesn't bother me.
Krk: Do you want to portray that psychedelic feel?
Creed: All I know is I like to re-create music... if you want to say... psychedelic music to me is what I call 3-D. I guess what I want to do is make the music 3 dimensional instead of 2, which is flat - make it have depth and I guess that might be interpreted as psychedelic. When you create 3-D effects... that's what I like to do.
Krk: Do you have any musical influences that you think has that feel to it?
Creed: Let me see.... early Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix as far as early influences.... some of King Crimson's stuff. I don't know if you call any of that psychedelic, but it has that 3-D feel to it.
Krk: On "Last Laugh" there's no lyric sheet.
Creed: There was going to be a lyric sheet, I just finished it too late. It's kind of a drag.
Krk: I can't make 'em out...
Creed: A lot of the lyrics I don't even think about. I just do the first thing that comes to my head. Some I like, some I don't. Those I manipulate... think about it a little bit. A lot of my favorite lyrics are the ones that come to my head first. Just about all of "Last Laugh" lyrics just came to my head, sorta like talking in tongues.
Krk: Is the guitar playing like that too?
Creed: Some of it. I write down a lot of the rhythm parts before I lay it down. The lead is spontaneous, whatever happens.
Krk: Do you mind the band being called Helios Creed?
Creed: Well, at first I didn't want to do that. I needed a name for the band. I couldn't get a record deal unless I used my Chrome thing. They wanted to make sure they could sell records. That isn't true, I still don't sell records! Now I'm stuck with it. It did sort of bug me...
Krk: With so many bands doing reunion gigs, what are the chances of Chrome getting back together?
Creed: Well, I don't think that will ever happen just because I don't think Damons really into it. I suggested it once, do a couple of shows for the hell of it, for the money, ya know? But it didn't work out, maybe one day, in a year or two.
Krk: Do you play any Chrome songs live?
Creed: Yeah, we play 3 songs... "Abstract Nympho," "TV As Eyes" and "Turn Around." It sounds a little different than the record because that record was a studio record. It's fun never the less.
Krk: Do you think your band will make it as big as Chrome?
Creed: That would be nice. I would like to get even beyond that! Well, my partner Damon never really wanted to play that much. I feel Chrome just got known for its record sales, not for playing live. I plan to make well produced records and tour. Hopefully I can make a living off it someday!
Krk: In San Francisco what do you go home to? A job?
Creed: Well, I have ways of making money, but I'll be touring for the next couple of months. That should take care of me for now.
Krk: There doesn't seem to be a big Helios Creed type of sound happening now, just a lotta rock...
Creed: Maybe that's good, maybe we'll stand out. I always like to think that I'm doing something a little different. Maybe I'm not?!
Krk: Were you happy with your 7"?
Creed: Yeah for what it is. It was an experimental studio track. I was going to do the band thing, but I wanted to work with Steve Fisk. So we just did samples...effects...I guess I like it for that reason. It's different than the album
Krk: You like the sampling?
Creed: Yeah I do. I like doing that as well as having the fat acoustic trap sound. If you can program some unusual effects... make it sound bigger or something...
Krk: But you stuck with the guitar?
Creed: Sometimes I play synthesizers, samplers, bass guitar. I can't play keyboards but I can weasel around with them. I think I have a feel for what kind of tones to use more than maybe the notes. That's basically one of the things I'm searching for - new tones, a new sound, new effects I can put the guitar through.
Krk: After Chrome there was that lull. What was happening?
Creed: You mean the three years...not as much as I would have wanted to happen. I was trying to make a new band, get a record deal. I was having a hard time as a matter of fact. Just recently have I started to tour making albums... trying to make a buzz about my music.
Krk: What kept you going thru it all?
Creed: I love doing it for one thing... and the other is... I don't know what else I would do. I don't really have that many other talents. I can't go out and make money doing other things. Maybe it's an illusion but I always feel like I'm on the verge of making a living doing this. Doesn't really matter, I love doing it...it's how I get my kicks.
Krk: Chrome should have been doing ok?
Creed: It could have if we would have played live. That's why I quit.. I couldn't get my partner or the rhythm section to agree if they wanted to play or where I couldn't control any of that and it was very frustrating because when you're on that level you really don't make money selling records. You can make a little money playing live because people come and see you.
Krk: Together it works...
Creed: Yeah, if you release a good record, go out and play it. Eventually the name gets around. Of course you're only as good as your last record, so you've got to keep making your last record as good if not better than your last. Make a bad record... it's worse than starting over again.
Krk: Any last comments?
Creed: When I'm in your town, come check me out.... bring some effects... for the vocals.
All the material on this site has been compiled from other sources. Brent Marley has a site dedicated to chrome & helios creed (www.helioschrome
.com)he should be commended for painstakingly typing the interviews by hand and scanning alot of the pictures and photo's as well. The videos came from (www.youtube.com/user/HeliosChrome) a great you tube channel dedicated to the music of chrome and helios creed.In addition there is also a website (www.staticwhitesound.com) where you can purchase and/or learn more about the history of chrome and their music, another site alot of the information on here is culled from .Helios Creed also has a site on the internet I would advise everyone to look into ( www.helios-creed.com.). .