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Chelsea Grin’s Alex Koehler on ‘Ashes to Ashes,’ Warped Tour, Unlocking the Truth + More

Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

Chelsea Grin have been spending the summer on the Vans Warped Tour in support of their latest album ‘Ashes to Ashes.’ Loudwire recently caught up with vocalist Alex Koehler, who spoke about his time on Warped, the band’s upcoming tours and their brand new disc. Koehler also expressed his thoughts on his friends in the young band Unlocking the Truth. Check out our interview with Chelsea Grin’s Alex Koehler:

What are some survival tips that you live by when it comes to Warped?

I think the most important thing is sunscreen for sure. You’ll be running around in the sun all day. So just bring your water and keep hydrated. I usually drink eight to 10 waters a day.

What does the title ‘Ashes to Ashes’ mean to you personally? The tracks ‘Ashes’ and ‘…to Ashes’ are both instrumental but very different from each other.

It was just one of those lightbulb things and we had most of the album done already. With just the lyrical content of the album ‘Ashes to Ashes’ fit perfectly with everything so we went with it.

How have you grown as a vocalist and person through the recording and creative process of this new disc?

We haven’t really made a full length album in probably three years so it’s definitely a huge jump as far as experiences and real life things whether it is positive or negative. I just wanted to write about real life and stuff that people can relate to and put it towards their personal life and use it as sort of an escape. I think that’s what music is there for. It’s supposed to be your escape from reality.

Warped Tour appeals and influences many kids. Was there a specific concert that influenced you to want to pursue live music?

I wasn’t really allowed to go concerts and stuff when I was younger but one in particular, it was just a local hardcore show. During the summer they used to have it in this parking lot of this pizza joint and they’d have people come in and close the gate off. That was kind of the first time I saw a live show. I was in seventh grade and that made me want to do that.

It seems like Chelsea Grin know how to reach so many people. What do you think it is about the music of Chelsea Grin that causes so many to gravitate towards it?

It’s brutal, aggressive metal music. With shows it’s an easy outlet to let go of any problems you’ve had during the week and it’s a lot of energy and we use shows as a positive outlet.

One of your fellow Warped Tour acts has gravitated towards your music. The young trio Unlocking the Truth have cited your band as an influence. Can you talk about your relationship with them?

Yeah, it’s funny because the video of them playing the end of our song in Times Square went viral. We’ve met those kids a few times and they’re really cool and you can tell that they really want to do this. I’ve had the pleasure of watching their set on tour. It seems like they’re on their way. There’s definitely a really big future for those guys.

They’ve made huge news with this record deal with Sony. What are your thoughts on this?

I think it’s awesome, it’s just one of those things. It’s like a dream come true. It’s cool to see a young band that looks up to us be able to succeed like that.

After Warped Tour, what does the rest of 2014 hold in store for you and the rest of the band?

We’ve got a couple of really solid fall tours but they’re not out there yet so I’m not allowed to talk about it. As soon as Warped Tour is over, tours will get announced so it doesn’t get lost in the wind. The one in September, October-ish is going to be one of the most metal tours we’ve done in a while. It’s bands that our fans have wanted to see us tour with so I think it’s going to be really big.

With all of this forthcoming touring what is one thing you must bring on tour with you? It cannot be electronic.

[Laughs] That’s such a funny question because my life revolves around electronics while I’m on tour. I don’t think I can answer that. [Laughs] I always have a pair of stretchy work out bands in my backpack because when I’m on tour any muscle gain I had before the tour I end up losing. That’s about the extent of my physical activities.

Thanks to Chelsea Grin’s Alex Koehler for the interview. The band’s ‘Ashes to Ashes’ disc is currently available via iTunes

Watch Chelsea Grin’s Video for Their New Track ‘Clockwork’

Check Out Photos of Warped Tour 2014

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