Chant, a project group hailing from Austin, TX, was asked to join KMFDM for the rest of their 2013, 23 cities-in-23-days I<3YOU tour.
I saw them at the Showbox in Seattle, being the second of 4 opening acts.
Bradley Bills is the main engine of this industrial/aggro rock percussion group. Much like NIN, he is the singular constant, with guest artists from groups such as The Butthole Surfers, Pigface and The Razorblade Dolls sitting in studio. His talent ranges far beyond a single onstage kit: he has two and a half custom drum sets in racks, garbage cans, various buckets, satellite dishes, bongos…anything that makes a resonant sound is likely to be pounded upon in a rhythmic fashion. Bills and his partner (for this tour) Chris Telkes showed no road fatigue, no evidence of this being their last stop on hat must have been a very demanding tour schedule. Telkes slings a laptop station around from which all manner of backing synth tracks issue and takes over various drumming duties when Bills is hammering on something else. The LEd light show, keyed to the music, only adds to the frenetic atmosphere.
When I saw Combichrist at the Rammstein reunification a couple of years ago, I thought there was nothing that could top Joe Letz’s percussion work.
Mr Bills is an amazing compilation of rage and style, passion and noise and love, and if you are lucky enough to be in the first three rows (or in front of the floor amp, as I was ), you’ll feel the waves of all of that roll through you. Chant promised they would warm up the audience, and they were the perfect opener for KMFDM. Though not a new group (near continuous touring for the last 8 years), Chant has only had time to release three albums, the latest titled “Strong Words For Strong People.” Bills has plans to work on new material for a new release, bu also mentioned touring again. I don’t know which I would prefer: seeing Chant live again (and again) or hearing more new stuff. Whatever is decided, Saturday’s performance was proof that anything Bills comes up with is gonna be good.