Sunday, November 8, 2020

Interview with Mike Paris of Kaotica and Stryctnyne by Dave Wolff

Interview with Mike Paris of Kaotica and Stryctnyne

When did your band Kaotica get together and start writing material? What core audience were you looking for when you started booking shows?
We got together about one year ago. I was playing with Stryctnyne at the time. To go back a little, Stryctnyne had finished the “Unfinished Business” CD release party and shortly after our bassist Vincent Carollo left the band. We picked up Chris Ciecirski, recorded another Stryctnyne CD and astonishingly never released it. The band basically imploded. I decided I had enough; John Scacco (the singer from Stryctnyne) and I decided to move on and we started Kaotica. We have basically the same core audience as Stryctnyne but I’d say the Kaotica stuff is heavier.

What were Vincent’s reasons for leaving Stryctnyne?
I’ll give my perspective on it. We finished the “Unfinished Business” CD release party and were having issues with time. One guy could only rehearse on Sunday and the other only on Monday, so basically we were rehearsing once every two or three months. It was the same issue with playing out. It was very frustrating. We also had a few songs in the mix for the next CD at this time. So Vincent calls a meeting together to discuss the direction of the band. I had a suspicion he was going to walk because he wasn’t answering my texts or saying he would contact me but never did. We’re there and he started berating us, telling us how useless we were and he did everything. Using his analogy: you have two softball teams; one plays for shits and giggles and the other plays for the trophy. I want to play for the trophy. He really went off on everyone, saying he doesn’t even want to play his bass anymore and he had a lot on his plate. I was pissed but the other guys were in shock and begging him to reconsider, offering to change the music saying basically anything to get him to reconsider. We finally went our separate ways that night. I knew those guys were going to be mad after all that sunk in. They were but they did want to give him some time. We gave him a few weeks and asked him by email if he would like to reconsider. We got the big Fuck You. Now the guys are not so empathetic and are pissed. We vowed not to play any of the new songs we were working on with him. We would write new material find a bass player and record. I found Chris Ciecirski through Facebook and we managed to record a bunch of songs. I was disappointed with Vin because he never talked to me about the issue at the time and we were friends from when we first started Stryctnyne. 

Why did you disband so soon after completing your latest album?
While the recording was still going on the issues with getting together was still there. The songs were mastered and ready to go; unfortunately I was the only willing to do the work. One night when we managed to get together to rehearse I told them I was starting another band and wasn’t going to stand around with my dick in my hand. The drummer basically laughed at me and I thought ‘game on’. I asked John Scacco if he wanted to do it and he said yes and that he had a drummer and another guitarist. We wound up taking Chris Ciecirski and starting Kaotica.

Will this recording ever be released or will it remain shelved indefinitely?
I’ll release it eventually. The whole Vincent thing drove us to do this and once it was over it sucked the life out of me, also being laughed at and told to do whatever I want. I was like ‘fuck this.’ I was coming home from the city on the train when Sabatino (drummer) contacted me and wanted to know why I started another band and didn’t consult with him first. He even asked me to block him and his family on all social media as he didn’t want them to know the band was done. I was happy to oblige. The whole Vincent thing was behind us and we proved we could write and record without him. He did start another band and was doing his own thing. I remember people asking me if I knew he recorded the songs we were working on before he left. I was like ‘more power to him’ as we had no intention using that material.

Can you name the songs recorded for the last Stryctnyne album and describe how you managed to make them sound?
The CD is entitled Nyne. There are some really good songs on this such as “Spinning”, “Creep”, “Broken Promises”, “Wasted Time”, “Driving Harder thru the Pain” and “She”. I listen to it once in a blue moon, so yea eventually I definitely want to get it out there. I’m just tied up with Kaotica doing a concept project. After that I have some personal recording projects I’m interested in doing (totally different from Heavy Metal). I also have an old Abnormal Thaughtz EP (another band I was in during the 90’s) to release and I have an Abnormal Thaughtz full CD I want to remaster and re-release so it’s going to fit somewhere in there! After all that, I am interested in a project line up with bass, guitar, vocals and drums something on the thrashy side. I have some material for this and just need the musicians, but there’s sometime before I get to it.

Why did you decide to return to Abnormal Thaughtz after all this time? What time were the EP and full length you want to release and rerelease recorded?
It was actually John Scacco who found an old EP we did before the full length CD, we had it transferred to digital format and re-mastered. So it was actually all by accident the way it occurred The EP and full length was the early to mid-90’s.

Describe all the contrasts between Stryctnyne and this Kaotica?
With the new band we went from playing once every two to three months to playing three times a week with two to three hour sessions. They have a lot of drive. They’re setting up rehearsal time and studio time, and they were booking gigs before Covid hit. It was actually nice to see them doing everything. They’re all around good guys we all share ideas it’s good so the band consists of: John Scacco – vocals, Ty Rosenburg – lead/rhythm guitars, Chris Ciecirski – bass, Vinny Riina – drums, and myself on guitars.
The writing is similar as before; someone brings something to the table and we just build off of it. Ty is a great guitarist with a lot of Judas Priest influence, and a nice guy to work with. Vinny is a beast on the drums with a lot of stamina, unlike Sabatino who couldn’t remember how the songs started or their titles. I actually enjoy doing it all again. Ty is a phenomenal guitarist I think we really complement each other’s styles on the leads. Chris is an awesome bassist, it took me some time to get used to him, I played with Vin for so long and was so used to his style John is a great vocalist and just comes up with lyrics and melodies on the fly. 

Has any new material been composed for Kaotica’s conceptual project this far? 
When we started writing we discussed recording and wanted to try something different. We decided to record a concept project consisting of two EPs. We wrote the entire two EP’s but would split it in two. This way we could get it out faster and the cost would be more tolerable. We are in the final mixture of part one and that should be wrapped up in a week or two. We are currently discussing when to start part two.

Explain the concept as it appears on the first of the EPs you’re releasing and how each song tells a part of the story.
The story comes from our singer John Scacco and it’s the first part of the story. I’ll just leave it here for reading:
Date: December 25th year: 2666 time: midnight
There is a huge political wedge driven through the center of all beliefs. Satan has been watching this happen as this is his creation of Kaotica.
“The Spawn Of Satan”
Satan calls on his human hidden cells, satanic churches and all that is evil in the world.
To recruit the army of the dammed. While this is taking place an evil seed is planted into a lost soulless whore’s womb. Kaotica cursed by his mother while in the womb. All good men in this family would soon be dead while Kaotica grows inside. The plot thickens as the soulless whore attempts suicide and is now committed to an insane asylum. Therefore the child beast is now protected from harm.
“Deathmarch From Hell”
Six hundred and sixty six days after birth, Kaotica the beast’s child is now in his prime age to take over and continuing their recruitment of the army of the dead. Millions of weak lost souls will be given as their allegiance to the beasts cause.
The army of doom has risen and Kaotica’s death march begins.
“Sociopath Of Destruction”
Kaotica the son of Satan has now realized he hasn’t enough lost souls and takes to the mortals streets to recruit the weak and homeless lost souls (he considered and speaks to them as his army of abandoned orphans who he will adopt and rise them to immortality). Kaotica now sees his sociopath of destruction has begun and the seasons of death are beginning to change. 

Who in the band devised this concept and what was the inspiration for it? Is it meant to reflect on what’s happening in the world or strictly fantasy?
Our singer John Scacco created the story and I think with everything going on in the world today it can be referenced to good against evil.
Any particular occurrences in the news that you can associate with Scacco’s storyline?
For me the rioting and destruction coincide with the story Evil trying to take over that could be ones interpretation.
How has the pandemic affected your Kaotica practices? And how do you plan to distribute your first EP once it’s completed and ready for release?
In the beginning of the pandemic we were not able to get together and everything was put on ice for a while. It gradually eased up but it’s a day by day thing and there’s a lot going on in the world. We haven’t discussed distribution yet, but I don’t think they’ll be any issues with getting the music out.
How have bands and clubs in Long Island been affected by Covid in general this past year? Is it still having an impact or are there some signs of recovery?
It’s a mess clubs are closing, or there trying to have music under the NY state guidelines seems like all businesses especially small business are suffering. 

Will you be releasing both EPs independently? Will it exclusively be a digital release or were you planning to put it on CD or cassette when you began writing?
We will release independently I think as time goes on CD’s will be obsolete however we will release digitally and on CD.

Are you searching for an official label release or distribution, or will it be handled independently?’ll just do it ourselves for now.

Do you think Stryctnyne will ever reform?
I learned to say never say never, however there’s a lot of hate in that band As far as the core members go I’m already playing with John Scacco in Kaotica, Mike Sabatino I really want nothing to do with him. Vin well it’s a funny thing I recently tied the knot and it was a small wedding due to the whole Covid thing. We had about 25 people mostly family. I only invite 4 friends and Vin and his wife were two of them. I thought it would be a good opportunity to reconcile bury the hatchet so to speak. I sent him an invitation and also wrote him a personal note basically extending the hand of friendship. He texted me with a very short sentence or two basically saying No. I joke about it with my wife now and then saying “the hand of friendship only extends so far” in any case I would say I highly doubt Stryctnyne ever getting back together I really don’t think I’ll ever attempt to contact him again.

-Dave Wolff

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