Today Beauty in Chaos release the new video for the track titled ‘Stranger’ from ‘The Storm Before The Calm‘ album. This time around partnering with Holy Wars/Pep Squad member Kat Leon, BIC Curator Michael Ciravolo takes a mellow turn and really finds that special place between disarray and serenity. The chemistry between Michael and Kat is symbiotic in the fact that their talents within their craft complement each other on an almost spiritual level. The sustained guitar almost sings and answers Kat forming an interaction that is left to the imagination.
The video is an almost auspicious merger of the song and the meaning of giving the impression of slight sadness and subtle hope. Directed by Leslie Gladney, the video for ‘Stranger’, to me, is a subtle creative departure that further highlights what I have said in the past few months; Beauty in Chaos is in a state of change. This is the time to listen.
We recently asked Kat and Michael a few questions about ‘Stranger’ and more.Read on to get more of the details as well as what is coming up from Kat and Michael below!
How would you describe the song and the video ‘Stranger’?
Michael Ciravolo: I am going to defer to Ms, Leon on the lyrics as they are very personal and close to her. They do resonate deeply with me, and I am really happy that the musical soundscape Michael Rozon and I crafted led her down the path to writing this. To me, the video was meant to do convey a cinematic backdrop to her telling the story … her story.
Kat Leon: Stranger is a special song to me as it was the first song since my “Mother Father” EP in Holy Wars that touches on grief and life after loss. It has been a while since a song made me feel connected to expressing such deep and personal feeling again but when I heard this track by Beauty in Chaos, there wasn’t anything more fitting. This song focuses on the internal feeling of losing disconnection with myself and the struggle and search for finding my identity again through acceptance. This video gives an intimate look into this feeling.
What was it like working with each other and how did that come to be?
Michael Ciravolo: I was on YouTube watching a live clip of one of our longtime Schecter bands, Papa Roach, and it turns out her band, Holy Wars opened the show. I went down the YouTube ‘rabbit hole’ and got to a video of her and her guitarist, Nick Perez doing sort of a mash-up of NIN’s ‘Closer’ and Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’. I was certainly intrigued and dug further and really feel in love with her voice and lyrics on her songs. I simply reached out … and now we have ‘Stranger’!
Kat Leon: It was so easy to work with Michael. He is so supportive and gives a lot of freedom for me to create over something beautiful and I feel it was a perfect fit. I told him I wanted to write these lyrics that were so personal and he really made me feel comfortable to explore some of the saddest thoughts I have. We actually met online after a video I did where I covered a mashup of NIN’s “Closer” with Led Zeppelin’s “Whole lotta Love”. He was very complimentary of my performance and asked if I would be interested in singing on one of his tracks. And the rest was history. Since then, he has become like family to me and Holy Wars’ Nick Perez.
You both have a unique sound together, do you think it’s possible to do another collaboration in the future?
Michael Ciravolo: Like most of the BIC collaborations, this was pure creative joy. ‘Stranger’ came together really easy and natural. I strategically placed ‘Stranger’ as the album’s final cut, which to my ears ends this record perfectly. To jump ahead a bit, which is what my brain does, I plan this to lead into the next studio album which I would plan to be with all female singers. I would absolutely love to work with Kat again, maybe even this time on a heavier track.
Kat Leon: Definitely. In some ways, “Stranger” felt like its own thing on the album and so I would surely be interested in doing another collaboration in the future.
Where do you think ‘Stranger’ will go creatively when it is remixed for the next album?
Michael Ciravolo: To let a bit of the proverbial ‘cat’ out the bag, ‘Stranger’ has certainly been to the most requested song to remix from the new album. It is so open and can be taken in a lot of different directions. I actually just got a remix today from someone in a pretty big band that took it in sort of an ambient/trance route .. and it works beautifully. I think the remix styles will run the gamut on this one. We are already discussing a video concept with one of them.
Kat Leon: I can’t wait to hear what everyone’s interpretation of the song is but I am expecting to hear some dark, industrial vibes and some trailer epic sounds as well.
What are you both working on now besides BIC?
Michael Ciravolo: I’ve been fortunate to have been invited by Wayne Hussey to part of the ReMission International project. This is a great bunch of artists, many who take up a large part of my record collection that have come together to record a version of The Mission classic ‘Tower Of Strength’, with 100% of monies earned going to Covid-19 charities. I never would have dreamed of being on a track with Gary Numan, Martin Gore, Midge Ure, Bill Duffy, Julianne Regan; and this is just a few involved. The song and a few cool remixes will be out on August 28th.
BIC producer Michael Rozon will be working next month with Silence In The Snow at our SAINTinLA Studio. They are a great dup that know you have covered. Cyn M. has asked me to possibly add some textures on the tracks, so that will be fun as I do really like the band. She and I have also started a song that will certainly be part of the ‘all-female’ concept I mentioned above.
Kat Leon: I am about to release a single called “IHATEMYSELF” in Holy Wars. A song that is been highly anticipated by our fans. We’ve been playing it live for the last year and has been the song everyone keeps asking us when it will be released so I am very excited to get this one out. I also released a solo EP under Kat Leon of a collection of songs for film and tv and debuted a project Pep Squad.
Directed by Leslie Gladney
Filmed at Tiger Lab Studio, Van Nuys, CA
voice: Kat Leon
guitar: Michael CIravolo
statue woman: Sophia Ciravolo
‘Statue’ Makeup by Nicole Ciravolo
Kat Leon: voices
Michael Ciravolo: guitars and textures
Michael Rozon: bass, piano, synth
Dirk Doucette: live drums
recorded, mixed and produced by Michael Rozon at SAINTinLA STUDIO
additional recording by Nick Perez
About ‘The Storm Before The Calm’
Recorded at Ciravolo’s own SAINTinLA Studio, this album was recorded, mixed, and produced by Michael Rozon, Grammy-nominated for his work with Ministry.
Earlier, Beauty in Chaos previewed several tracks from this record, including ‘A Kind Cruelty’ featuring Curse Mackey (Pigface, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, Evil Mothers), ‘The Delicate Balance of All Things’ featuring The Mission frontman Wayne Hussey, and ‘Almost Pure’ featuring Steven Seibold of industrial-synth-punk legends Hate Dept. and the Martin Atkins-led Pigface. This album also features collaborations with Ashton Nyte (The Awakening), Rafe Pearlman, Kat Leon (Holy Wars), and mezzo-soprano Adrienne LaVey.
About Beauty in Chaos
Beauty in Chaos is the brainchild of guitarist Michael Ciravolo. Originally from New Orleans and now based in Los Angeles, he is best known as President of Schecter Guitar Research. He also played guitar in Human Drama for 30 years, in addition to playing live and recording with Michael Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel since 1998.
“Undaunted and unscathed by the studio software/hardware meltdowns and the unprecedented global pandemic shutdown, here is our new album. I am in complete awe of the amazing artists; some returning, some new that have lent their voices and words to make this record possible. And I‘m eternally grateful to our growing BIC FAMILY that continues this journey with us,” says BIC curator mastermind Michael Ciravolo.
“To me, ‘The Storm Before The Calm’ represents a rewind and a fast-forward. Rewind to the ‘80s and the great albums that lived on my turntable, that set a mood, a vibe… even the feeling of temperature.. as well as a crystal ball, look into the next evolution of Beauty In Chaos. Beauty wrapped in chaos. Dark, but always, with a light”.
In 2018, Beauty in Chaos released their acclaimed debut album ‘Finding Beauty in Chaos’, followed by the ‘Beauty Re-Envisioned’ album (2019). Other BIC artists include Simon Gallup (The Cure), Al Jourgensen (Ministry), Robin Zander (Cheap Trick), Pete Parada (The Offspring), dUg Pinnick (Kings X), ICE-T (Body Count), producer Tim Palmer, guitar icon Zakk Wylde, Ashton Nyte (The Awakening), Kevin Haskins (Bauhaus, Love & Rockets), Rolan Bolan, Michael Anthony (Van Halen), Michael Aston (Gene Loves Jezebel), Paul Wiley (Marilyn Manson), Michael Aston and Dirk Doucette (Gene Loves Jezebel), Pando (A Flock of Seagulls), UMMAGMA, Evi Vine, Johnny Indovina (Human Drama), Danny Lohner (Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson), Betsy Martin (Caterwaul / Purr Machine), Kevin Kipnis (Purr Machine) and KITTY LECTRO, among others.