Chiodos’ great escape

By Janice Tran

Sex life getting a little boring? Spice it up by dressing up like a friendly woodland creature and nailing a swinger! ‘Furries’ are topping the list of new, ultra-weird fetishes that have recently caught the world’s attention with their strange, adorable, attire.

“I saw an MTV True Life on Furries,” says Matt Goddard, basist of Chiodos. “People are really fucking weird, I’ll tell you that. They dress up in animal costumes and they have dicks and shit. They have a hole that you can have sex through… and then they have sex in these costumes.”

It is not hard for any of Chiodos’ sex-crazed fans to distinguish a connection between the band and the furry fetish. The band’s attraction to animal costumes is fairly obvious, albeit in a much more innocent way.

Take, for instance, Chiodos’ latest video, which features two people in a rat and bird costume, battling each other by a dumpster. During their live performances, their guitar tech dresses up in an animal costume and runs around on stage. Even their band name is related in some sense, taken from the Chiodos Brothers, who directed the film Critters, amongst other cheesy horror flicks. Of course, the members of the band will quickly deny any sexual attraction to anthropomorphic animals.

“There’s really no relation to costumes,” Goddard laughs. “And we really don’t have any fetishes or anything.”

Spending even five minutes with the guys in Chiodos will make it painfully obvious they don’t take themselves too seriously. But this isn’t a surprise considering they spend their time surrounded by a myriad of 15-year-olds that may care more about their hair and tight jeans than the music, not to mention being lumped with a music scene where every part of it is injected with commercialism. Altogether, there really is no reason why Chiodos shouldn’t take everything with a certain amount of sarcasm and humour.

“We have our serious moments here and there, but it’s very rare, almost like steak,” keyboardist Bradley Bell jokes. “People don’t know how to take it either. They think we’re assholes but the only thing we’re trying to do is have a good time.”

“[Having a good time] is my life goal,” adds Goddard. “If it’s not fun I don’t do it. I get people on my ass about doing the dishes when I’m home. They’ll say, ‘Clean stuff, do the bed, you’re home all day sitting in your underwear.’ But I don’t want any part of it. Doing stuff you don’t want to do, like cook and clean, any of that non-fun stuff, I just don’t do.”

The band’s desire to be obnoxious and immature likely stems from where the members grew up. To them, home is a small rural town called Davidson, Michigan, with a population of less than 5,000 people. For Chiodos, the rustic environment was not exactly a breeding ground for ingenuity or musical tolerance.

“I love the hicktown!” says Goddard. “I love going to this bar called the Davidson Hotel. You know, walking in and getting called an emo faggot, it’s like my favourite thing. It’s what I look forward to when I go home. Just going there and being made fun of.”

“[Growing up in Davidson] pushed us a little bit harder to get out of there,” comments Bell. “Plus we didn’t have the utilities that other bands have, like being able to open up shows all over the place. We definitely had to work from the ground up, and that took a long time, but now things seem to be working out okay.”

In 2004, the band inked a deal with New York-based indie label Equal Vision Records. Since then, Chiodos released a debut album, All’s Well That Ends Well, that has gathered a strong underground following and is recently gaining some mainstream exposure.

“It’s weird going on tour and being in all these big cities,” says Bell. “Seeing how the rest of the country works compared to our hicktown Davidson, where everyone drives a truck.”

More recently, the band has been on the Taste of Chaos Tour, opening for bands like The Used and 30 Seconds to Mars. The tour has dragged the band across the U.S. and Canada in a period of two months, nearly non-stop. The Calgary show marks the end of the grueling tour.

“[The] last day of tour is like the last day of school,” says Goddard. “You know how you like, get your notebook and you’re like, ‘Wazooo, I’m going to drive off in my shitty car and take off and go home!’ Yeah, that’s us.”

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