Oklahoma City outfit Chronicles of Mayhem isn’t like most metal bands. The four-piece is just about as concerned with shaking your hips as melting your face.
“I like music that is accessible. There’s great music that is so highly technical and impressive because of that musicianship, but it can get lost in the crowd,” guitarist Darrin Dodd said. “I want to write music that can breathe. That’s easier for the crowd to grab onto. They aren’t so intricate and complicated. They are easier to feel.”
While hard-rock legends Black Sabbath and Deep Purple held a certain amount of groove, Chronicles of Mayhem borrows from more unexpected places.
“As long as it’s catchy and has a hook, I like it. That can be Johnny Cash to Jay- Z,” Dodd said, whose other influences include N.W.A. and Prodigy. “When I came aboard, I was writing music that had more of a groove to it. You can dance to it, even though it’s heavy. There’s a bouncy, hip-hop influence.”
Four years ago, Dodd and singer Buddy Jack joined the metal act — also featuring drummer Scott Johnson and bassist Micah Nix — giving a new identity and energy to the four men. “We are a rock band, but we really come from all directions,” Dodd said. “Buddy has more of a country background. With my style of songwriting and his more Southern-influenced vocals, people have really responded to us since.”
It’s not just listeners who have welcomed the band; fellow Oklahoma metal acts have received the new and improved Chronicles of Mayhem with warmth.
“It’s a brotherhood here. It’s so easy to make friends,” Dodd said. “Typically, you’d expect a lot of selfishness, but it’s a selfless scene.”
And so the band has adopted a friendly outlook as well.
“We try not to outdo anybody. We just do what we do,” Dodd said. “There’s a lot of great musicians in
Oklahoma, so we just stick to this formula we’ve come up with.”
That formula — nothing more and nothing less — is exactly what Chronicles of Mayhem has centered its newest batch of material around, a yet-to-be-titled release that’s the group’s first since its 2010 debut EP.
“We’ve really stuck to who we are. It’s still straight-ahead, meat-and-potatoes metal,” Dodd said. “Yeah, the songs are a little longer and more varied in terms of tempo, but when it comes down to it, it’s just us.”