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King of Chaos

The idea popped in my head the other day to blog about the thinksobrain song "King of Chaos."  There's more to that song than what most people have heard and I think it deserves to have it's full story told.

"Chaos" was the second song we ever wrote.  Or maybe it was the third.   I know "Burning The Bush" was the first, and either "Chaos" or "Fucked Up" was the second.  Anyway, here's the story.  I never meant the song to be a political statement - it certainly has a ton of political overtones but that was never the intent.  It was never meant to be a slower song either.  The original idea I had when I first scrawled the lyrics "Through fire and chaos, it's all crashing down," was that I wanted to write an Iron Maiden or Judas Priest type of song.  We were sitting around and Lucifer started playing the riff that became "King of Chaos."  I thought about the lyrics I had written down, and ran upstairs to grab my notebook.  I wrote the rest of the song within a half hour, and the song was born.  I say "born," because the song took a life of it's own and grew up.

The version you hear on the thinksobrain MySpace or Reverbnation pages is the song the way it was written - but not originally performed.  In the studio, John Helms pushed me to the brink of my physical vocal abilities to give the song it's distinct sound.  The "KING OF CHAOS" chant in the chorus was also Johnny's idea.  He felt the song was missing something in that area and suggested screaming the name of the song between lines.  There have been many a night where "KING OF CHAOS" was the last line I sung during a show.  But this still wasn't the final evolution.

In the early days, we covered the Garth Brooks song "The Thunder Rolls."  Something unique to that song is that it had a verse that wasn't on the album, but was always performed live.  We did that with "Chaos."  The bonus verse detailed the King of Chaos losing his power much in the same way he attained it - he was killed.  In a scary story like ending, the verse ended with you being able to still hear the King sing the chorus of the song.

And it still wasn't done.  It was never performed, but it was there, and we were set to play it for the first time had we played the Halloween show with Into Your Own last year.  We had a prelude to the King of Chaos' uprising.  This was it:

I was a slave to the almighty king,
rush to his side at his beckoning.
Trusted and loyal at least in his eyes,
while deep down inside, rebellion would rise.
(He said) "Slaughter the chickens, plow all the fields,
Sample for poison in all of my meals.
Protect this crown, guard it with your life."
I just had enough, I reached for my knife...

As I mentioned earlier, we were set to unveil this at the 2010 Halloween show we wound up canceling when the band split up.  We even had a stage show surround it planned out.  Our sound guy was going to play the old king, I, in a skull mask, was going to "kill" him during the song and take his crown, thus becoming the King of Chaos.  Then I would probably be "killed" at the end of the song.  Sadly, we never got to do that.

"Chaos" was one of thinksobrain's three "signature songs" as I liked to call them.  The other two were "Burning The Bush," and the song that eventually took over as the show-closing song, "This Isn't Hollywood."  Will "Chaos" ever get dusted off and performed again?  Not the most likely of possibilities, but I wouldn't say "never."  Time will always tell.

Posted by ThinkSoJoE on Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 6:57 pm
Category: Music
Keywords: king of chaos, john helms, political overtones, reverbnation, judas priest, garth brooks, many a night, distinct sound, vocal abilities, myspace, missing something, lucifer, iron maiden, riff, brink, chant, half hour, evolution, notebook, bonus