BY JEANETTE MOSES
Rob Chaos is a very busy man. He has been touring with his band Total Chaos for nearly ten years and in 2003 he and his partner Ezzat Soliman started SOS Records. SOS has been responsible for reissuing some of the greatest punk rock albums and convincing some of the most influential punk bands to tour the US. And between all this, Rob Chaos and Total Chaos have finally released their seventh album: Freedom Kills. Freedom Kills is the band's first album in four and a half years, and like most of Total Chaos's previous releases, its pumped full of heavy, fast, street punk songs that scream out about the injustices being done to the American people by their government.
Freedom Kills was released shortly after the 2004 presidential elections and because of its' timing a lot of the songs on the album are more politically charged than earlier songs.
SLUG: Did you vote in the last election?
Rob Chaos: I did vote, because I had to. I didn't want to because there was no one I really wanted to vote for. I just didn't want [George] Bush in office. I personally believe that stuff doesn't change anything. If voting really changed anything it'd probably be made illegal. I just think that we need to take our government back over if we want real change. There was an old statement made, I believe by Thomas Jefferson, that when the rich control the government its time for the people to take the government back. When the rich control the government, like they do now, they only care about the rich and are only out for their own interests. They aren't there for us at all. They try and pretend like they are, so that we feel like we have control but really we don't.
Lots of the songs on Total Chaos' older albums are not only politically driven but also address other problems in society, especially in the punk rock scene. One of these problems are the Nazi's.
RC: We wrote, "Kill the Nazi's" because back in the 80s we had a lot of fights with Nazi's. They were trying to run the scene, showing up to shows, fighting with kids, and stealing their boots. Then in '92, I got jumped because my girlfriend was black. I was stabbed in the back and was in the hospital for some time and after that I wrote "Boot Party" and "The End of White World Supremacy." After that, they were trying to stomp me out saying things like I was a race trader. So, I just wrote more anti-Nazi songs. When Patriotic Shock came out in '95 we were considered one of the biggest threats to the Aryan Nation. We had the Aryan Nation guys, the American Nazi Party and Ku Klux Klan guys showing up to our shows. We had a rally in front of our show in Orlando, our tires were slashed in Lancaster, death threats in Jacksonville, and some Nazi's jumped our old guitar player in Miami. That all happened in one tour too. The next year in '96 people from the anti-Nazi League showed up to help us out. In Houston, Texas Nazi's started shooting into the crowd during a drive-by-shooting. After that happened all the anti-nazi leaguers pulled them out of their car and started beating the shit out of them.
He laughs as he remembers that time in Houston.
RC: Those were some crazy times. I had forgotten about a lot of that stuff. We've had some problems recently, and I thought these guys were gone, man. Nothing compares to as bad as it was in '95 though.