8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 8, 1998
By Ted Watts
Daily Arts Witer
Bands are like families. They have complicated,
and often bitter, interpersonal dynamics. And
Chrome has as complicated a home life as anyone.
Cobbled together 20 years ago into its classic
incarnation with the song writing duo of Helios
Creed on guitars and vocals and Damon Edge on
synthesizer Chrome was a major force in the cre-
ation of electronic music today.
More rocking and organic than Kraftwerk or
Gary Numan musically, the band has achieved
more in its primary five years than most bands
could in decades. Creed put it best when he said,
"We are the true alternative."
From straight ahead bluesy songs like "Pharaoh
Chromium" to apocalyptic stompers like "New
Age," the band was efficient and entertaining. In
1983, Edge moved to France, essentially breaking
up the band.
"He did the 'Damon' Chrome records, four or five
of them," said Helios Creed in a recent interview. "He
took over the band when he left the U.S. and I did the
solo thing, strictly. When he died (in 1995), 1 felt the
urge, him being out of the way and all."
"We were going to do a reunion album," Creed
said. "I wanted to do one with him, John and
Hillary (Stench, drummer and bassist on several
Chrome albums) but he couldn't; he didn't want to
do it except through the mail. I could only do it
with all of us in the studio, so
that never came together, and
after he died - that's what I
Chrome mean with him out of the way
- then I sought to get John
and Hillary and Gary (Spain)
The Magic Stick or whoever is still alive to do
Tonight at 8 pm. a semi-Chrome reunion.
Because really me and
Damon were the only original
members, really. And Gary
Spain. And Damon's dead and
I don't know if Gary's still
alive I tried to find him and I
couldn't Actually I'm the
only real original member
Helios's new Chrome is far more true to the
original band's sound than anything else under
'Chrome's name in the past 15 years, although
more in the modern electronic music idiom. It has,
after all, been two decades,
"I wanted to pump some life into it because it
was dormant," Creed said. "And I'd like to pump
some life into it, not to make a bunch of money,
it's just what I want to do. Money is nice, but it's
Blood Work oughAllthe detectives thatd
are mean-spirited idiots.
Michael Connelly good guys are angels and the
Little, Brown and Company guys do not possess a si
Eve rything in the wvorK is black
and white, except for the imagery.
The imagery is a forced shade of
Connelly's imagery is the only
comic relief to be found in the
In one nassage. Connelly
Hellos Creed of "Chrome" will perform at the Magic Stick tonight at 8.
not the motive for doing it. Solely," he laughed.
"I don't really want it to be like the way Damon
did it. I want it to be not featuring anyone, really,
just try to make a band, be a part of a band. Maybe
I do a little more than everyone else, but I still
want it to be a band."
Creed said that playing by himself creates too
much pressure and attention for him, and also
takes away from the diversity that comes with a
"Because how your solo records sell, it all
weighs on your shoulders," he said. "I just thought
it would be neat to do something that didn't fea-
ture or limelight me. There's actually another gui-
tarist in the band, Nova Cain, and he's holding
down a lot of the rhythm stuff. It's really different
from (my solo work) in a lot of respects."
Chrome is finally touring America, and Creed
say that this is the way to go.
"It's very simple, actually. We're just playing the
bigger cities, and skipping most ofthe small towns
.. Chrome has never toured in the States. We did
a show in '83 or '82 in San Francisco, and that was
it. (For) seventy-five percent of the show I'm
going to play the old classics, and twenty-five per-
cent will be the new stuff... It's gonna be about an
hour and a half set, maybe two hours. We're trying
to sound exactly like the old fdbums as we can. It's
easy to do the new albums, since we just recorded
them," he said.
And new material there is. With two full-length
Chrome CDs, an EP and two solo albums out with-
in the last year, Creed has been quite prolific, even
if distribution of the material hasn't been great.
"I try to stick to the old school of Chrome.
Whereas Helios has some almost jazzy-like beats,
Chrome was always old-school rock. Not jazz, but
you know what I mean. Chrome is more primal,
machine-kinda thing, if that makes any sense."
Oddly enough, this material, although all out in a
fairly short period of time, has been on a slew of
"It's just because it's what I'm doing at the time.
It's mostly a money thing, if you really want to
know. About a year or two ago when I wasn't tour-
ing, I tried to get all the money I could and make
all the records I could," Creed said. "And now that
I can tour again, I don't feel I need to do that. It's
almost like I have too much product now."
Never one to get overly comfortable, Creed isn't
ready to rest on his laurels quite yet.
"I don't like to live in one place for too long.
I'm already wanting to move from here, but I real-
ly can't right now. Touring will probably get it out
of my system. I just need to go somewhere. See
something else, I don't know why. Bored."
Touring is never entirely good, of course. "I hate
cigarettes. It's terrible. I have a hard time doing
shows, 'cause I'm allergic to cigarettes. You've got
to breathe all this smoke at shows. I get used to it
towards the end, but I don't really like it .,. You're
a lot better off without all that crap."
Well, although Creed will have to suffer through
the noxious cancer cloud at the Magic Stick
tonight, there will be a form of Chroie gracing
If Chrome has some kind of family relationship
with its fans, then this must be Christmas.
Chroie will perlbrt iith Silver Apples. iDotrs
open at 8 p.i., and the show'i isfr those 18 and
older. Tickes are 8. fr more inforitation call
t~f- -} y -)3:1
lead or do the
the LAPD in a manner
very similar to the
Keystone Cops; at one
point McCaleb even a hypnotizes
Connelly's heavy reliance on
McCaleb's skills further stretch
the thin credibility of this weak
The mystery isn't all that is
predictable; the characters are not
surprising either. "Blood Work"
is full of one dimensional stock
Terrel McCaleb is the perfect
detective with a heart of gold.
Although he is still convalescing
from a recent heart transplant, he
is able to get into gun fights, take
in large amounts of caffeine and
lead a murder investigation with-
out many problems.
His eventual love interest,
Graciela Rivers, is the generic,
breath-taking beauty. His first
encounter with her seems to be
borrowed directly from Dick
Tracy or Sam Spade. McCaleb's
driver, Lockridge, is the generic
sidekick who obediently does
whatever McCaleb commands
him to do.
All of the detectives who help:
our hero are intelligent and thor-
It's the students'
and other interactions are ridice
lous at best.
The novel's only redeeming
feature is that it is just a merciful
391 pages long.
At one point in the work, a
minor character sums up the
problems with detective works;
the perceptive comment clearly
sums up "Blood Work" as well,
"Everything is ordered, go
and bad clearly defined, the b*
guy always gets what he deserves,
the hero shines, no loose ends."
- Mahesh Joshi
The University of Michigan College of Engineering
Roger M. Jones Poet-In-Residence, will be in Ann
Arbor for a series of events April 8-9. Mr. Browne will
meet with students from throughout the University, and
on April 9 at 4:00 PM. He will hold a Poetry Reading
at Rackham Amphitheatre (public welcome).
Mr. Browne has published five books of poetry,
including You Won't Remember This, which won the
1993 Minnesota Book Award. He is the author of
l7he Turning of the Stones, a novel for children, as well
as several opera librettos, song cycles, choral
works and carols. He has been awarded fellow-
ships from the National Endowment for the Arts,
the Bush Foundation, and the Jerome and
McKnight Foundations. Mr. Browne is currently a
professor of English at the University of
Minnesota, and co-director of that school's creative
For more information,
or a schedule of Mr. Browne's activities on campus,
please call Lisa Richardson at 647-7037