Chrysalis Vocalist Yessi Burton Discusses ‘Reminder’ Album, ‘My Eternity’ Video + Quitting In-N-Out Burger
One of the new bands seeking to make a breakout in 2017 is Chrysalis, who recently got a jump on the year by debuting their new video for "My Eternity" right here at Loudwire. We recently had a chance to chat with Chrysalis vocalist Yessi Burton about the band's new album, Reminder, what it was like to shoot their first video for "My Eternity" and what fans can expect from the new disc when it comes to standout tracks and playing live. Check out the chat in full below.
The third album is often the one where the band comes into their own and you get a group who has found their sound. Going into the Reminder album, did you have an idea of what you wanted to do and how close did you come after recording to achieving that initial vision for the record?
The word Chrysalis is a metaphor for this band in that we’re in a constant state of growth and development. It’s hard to say that we’ve “found our sound” because our sound is always changing. I think if we ever started repeating a certain sound song after song, we would just get bored and miserable!
We went into the studio with 15 ideas for songs that were all different from each other. Ulrich Wild actually said this was the most diverse sounding record he’s ever worked on, which means a lot coming from him. The challenge became creating a cohesive body of work that flowed nicely from song to song rather than a bunch of random pieces. With the help of Ulrich, I believe we accomplished that with Reminder.
We’re also proud of the collection of songs we wrote here. There’s no filler material on it. We really took the time to hone each song till we felt it was worthy of being put on the album. We tweaked everything until we brought out the full potential of each song.
You had a chance to work with Ulrich Wild on your new album? What made him the right producer for this album and what can you share what you picked up from working with him?
From a production standpoint, we wanted our recording to have a more natural sound. Most rock and metal recordings these days have sample replaced drums, and use amp simulators for guitars. We wanted to use real instruments on everything. When we talked to Ulrich about this, he was down for it. Plus he had familiarized himself with our previous material and was digging it, so he was obviously the guy.
Anytime you’re trying to come up with enough songs to put on an album there’s a lot of pressure and even some self-doubt. Like, are we going to be able to do this? Ulrich has a “just get it done” type attitude and emphasizes not to over think things. This really helped relieve some of that pressure, and helped keep the forward momentum going in the sessions.
He also has a lot of experience and knows when to push hard, and when to just chill out. A lot of times we would just end up hanging out and talking with him about life and music. It was cool to hear his stories about working with so many different artists. In his studio he has gold records hanging on the wall from Pantera, White Zombie, etc. In the bathroom, there’s a gold record hanging over the toilet from the Deftones' Around The Fur album. You’re staring at it while you’re taking a piss. How could you not be inspired by that?
We had a chance to premiere the "My Eternity" video here at Loudwire and we always love it when we get a story. How fun was it to shoot that video and can you discuss your thoughts on the treatment as it relates to the song and what you thought of seeing the final product?
Thanks a lot for premiering our first video! We had a blast shooting "My Eternity." It was our first “real” production. Everything else we had done up to that point video-wise was more DIY. This was definitely a new experience. When we showed up on location, we saw that they had built this really cool set and there was a whole crew there. It was kind of like, “Whoa, this is for us???” We also stuck around after we were done with our part and watched the actors do their thing. It was cool.
With this video we knew we wanted to do something that would stick out. We didn’t want it to be five guys in an abandoned warehouse somewhere like every other metal video out there. We liked the idea of doing something cinematic.
We chose director Jonathan Martin after being blown away by the quality of his previous work. His short film An Evening With My Comatose Mother is currently the most awarded horror short on YouTube.
Jonathan has an evil mind and interpreted the lyrics of "My Eternity" in the darkest way possible. A woman gets murdered and is brought back from the dead during a satanic ritual. She then takes revenge upon her assailants. When Jonathan shared the idea, I was reminded of 90s horror films like Scream or I Know What You Did Last Summer. I love this era of horror because of its blatant disregard of being cheesy. The final cut of "My Eternity" turned out much more dark than I imagined, while still being sort of cheesy fun at the same time.
Because of Jonathan, we now get hate mail from Christians who tell us we’re Satanists and are doomed for an eternity of hellfire… Thanks, bro!
Take me into the sessions a bit on "My Eternity." How did the song start and where was it in the process of putting the album together? Where did the lyrical idea come from?
Whenever you’re trying to put a collection of songs together there’s always songs that come together quickly and are obviously going to make the cut. Other songs are a struggle to craft. "My Eternity" was definitely the former. Once we had the guitar riff and the drums working together, we knew it was a keeper.
It started as a bluesy little rock jam. I wrote a few parts and my ex wrote the lyrics. She chanted “I’m comin’ back” along with the rhythm. When the chorus hit, she sang “Don’t be afraid / I’m not coming for you.” I liked how she was channeling a character outside of herself. I remember the book The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo being part of what inspired the lyrics.
I can’t remember specifically where in the album process "My Eternity" came about. We always have song ideas laying around. The album is a combination of those ideas, plus new spur of the moment songs like “My Eternity.”
Though "My Eternity" is the track that's getting the focus right now, do you have other songs that you view as top cuts on the album and can you discuss why these favorite tracks stand out to you?
I think an artist’s favorite songs on their own album are usually different than what’s going to be most popular with the general public. I feel "Up the Stairs" and "Out of My Hands" show that we’re more than just a heavy band, so I like those. They’re deep, emotional and go places that you might not expect. I think "Atlas" will probably be the most popular song with the masses because of the catchy chorus. At the end of the day, we’re experimental musicians. We like heavy music but metal is not the sum of what we do. Our music is for metal fans who want to hear diversity, and not just the heaviest thing out there… I mean, doesn’t that get a little repetitive sometimes?
You have dates coming up here in January. Getting out on the road, which songs off the new disc are you most excited to see the audience response to?
I’m looking forward to playing "Borrowing Distance" because it drastically changes the mood after "My Eternity." When people hear Billy drumming that fast paced tom beat in the beginning of the song, they know that something heavy is about to happen and they start punching and elbowing each other in the face.
Looking at the band's Facebook page and I saw the anniversary of your final day at In-N-Out. Simply put, awesome. Way to quit like a boss! But I was just curious about the aftermath. Are you welcome back to visit? Was there any response from the burger franchise after you posted the video? What was the fan response like?
In-N-Out is weird. They’re kind of like a cult and are very sensitive about their image. Their corporate office actually contacted us and asked us to take the video down. It was funny because on the phone they were trying to be friendly to us. They were like, “Hey guys how are things going with the album?” As if they actually gave a f--k. We told them we would take it down, but didn’t. We were kind of worried that they were going to do some weird scientology s--t and track us down or sue us or something, but they never did.
I tried to go and get my job back shortly after and they told me to f--k off. I then ordered a grilled cheese sandwich, animal style, with two orders of French fries. I f--kin’ love In-N-Out french fries! I don’t eat meat, but I’m told by the rest of the guys in the band that Five Guys makes better burgers anyways!
Our thanks to Chrysalis' Yessi Burton for the interview. The band's 'Reminder' album arrives this Friday (Jan. 13) and is available to pre-order via Amazon, iTunes, GooglePlay and Bandcamp. As stated, the group is hitting the road in support of the disc. You can find all of their tour dates here. And stay up to date with the band via their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Watch Chrysalis' 'My Eternity' Video