Chore Are Between the Rock and a Soft Place

Chore Are Between the Rock and a Soft Place
"The fact that we don't fit into any of these big scenes that exist, like emo or hardcore or whatever, has harmed us," according to Chore guitarist/vocalist Chris Bell, on the musical balancing act between aggression and melody that both defines and isolates Chore.
Throughout the course of their six-year existence, the Dunnville, ON, four-piece have been increasingly torn between the nascent metallic noise-rock flailing of their 1997 debut, Another Plebeian (Sonic Unyon), and the more layered and textured sonic discord of 1999's Take My Mask And Breathe. It's an ongoing musical struggle that has established Chore as a near-peerless progressive rock unit, retaining its formative aggression yet utilises a level of melodious dynamics that few aggressive acts can manage.

This conflict of loud versus quiet has placed Chore in the rather precarious position of being too heavy for the indie, emo and pop spheres and not aggressive enough for the hardcore and metal sects. And nowhere in Chore's musical canon is this synthesis of the hard and soft more evident than in their latest offering, The Coastaline Fire, produced by Alex Newport (At The Drive-In, Melvins).

"That aspect can be pretty intimidating," comments Bell on Chore's bipolar musical personality. (Bassist Mike Bell, drummer/vocalist David Dunham and guitarist/vocalist Mitch Bowden round out the line-up.) "If you stand there and watch a super-heavy freak-out band play and then we go on and it's kind of like, ‘Jesus, I don't think this crowd is going to like us.' Or if it's a super-poppy band and it's all girls in barrettes, they're definitely not interested in a wall of guitars in their faces."

While Chris understands the disadvantages inherent in not being tied to a discernible scene, he also sees it as one of Chore's defining characteristics. "I think we've got to the point now where as long as we go up and do the show the same, no matter where we are, a certain percentage of the crowd always get sucked in. We still get intimidated but it's something we are getting used to at the same time. I think that is one of the main things they find cool about Chore — the fact that we are sort of unique and that we don't really fit in.