BROKEN HOPE To Reunite?

Chronicles of Chaos recently conducted an interview with former BROKEN HOPE and current LUPARA guitarist Jeremy Wagner. An excerpt from the chat follows:

On what led to BROKEN HOPE's split:

Jeremy: Well, we'd gotten to our fourth album and we'd paid a lot of dues and had been working really hard to get out of CANNIBAL CORPSE's shadow, basically. [laughs] You know, people early on had always painted us as a CANNIBAL CORPSE clone band, because we had the gory lyrics as well; and what they don't realise is that we both started around the same time. But anyway, when "Loathing" came out, we were really hitting our stride as a band, I think, and unfortunately from there everything just went down the fucking tubes, which was due to a combination of things. We'd just done our first nationwide headlining tour — travelling coast to coast across the States with VADER and MONSTROSITY opening. It was a great, great package and an amazing tour. So we came off that, but the issue was that we weren't getting, nor had we ever gotten, the support that we needed from Metal Blade in Europe. We did a shitload of press for Europe; spoke to every magazine and whatnot, but there was just no support. I mean, I remember picking up a Kerrang! and reading an article about "Loathing" and them actually saying that unfortunately BROKEN HOPE wouldn't be making it over to Europe to tour in support of the record, and I was just like: "What the fuck?"

Chronicles of Chaos: That hadn't even been discussed with you guys at that point?

Jeremy: No, not at all. The guy from Metal Blade Europe who was meant to be pushing us — he wasn't a fan of the band at all, and he just had it in his fucking head that this was the way it was going to be. So with all the press that we had done and all the good reviews we got for "Loathing", it felt to me like we'd almost been sabotaged. We finally made it to Europe when "Grotesque Blessings" came out, but that wasn't with the original line-up; and even though the tour was great, we should have been there fucking years before that. But going back to why the band split up, we'd come back off the U.S. tour and then it was down to a combination of factors. I mean, you can't change the past, but I'll tell you what I would have done differently. For one, we had a manager — this girl that used to work at Metal Blade Records — who was dating one of the band members. Lethal fucking combination. Just ask anyone in SEPULTURA or OZZY OSBOURNE. [laughs] That situation just can't work out. There are a lot of issues there. So, long story short, we ended up getting dropped from Metal Blade, which really pissed me off. I mean, we had always sold well, our albums always recouped, and I had a great relationship with Metal Blade in the States at least; Brian Slagel and everyone else there — I still love those guys. But we got dropped because of people representing our band; problems with management that pissed the label off. So we started shopping around for the next label, but in the meantime a few other factors had cropped up as well. Right after we got dropped, we got rid of our drummer, Ryan Stanek, for reasons I don't want to go into — but let's just say that he acted inappropriately on some things. So he went. Then we still had this manager, and we ended up going with her label, which was a big mistake too. I mean, we were the biggest band on the label, and the recording budget and the distribution network was there, but other than that she didn't have a proper staff or anything like that; so in hindsight, we should have just gone with a legitimate label. That caused Shaun Glass, our bassist, to leave — he was disgusted with where we were going business-wise with the new label and all that. That really bummed me out, because to this day, he's one of my best friends, and we were always fucking partners in crime.

Chronicles of Chaos: How so?

Jeremy: Well, he contributed a lot to the band — not just musically, but it was just great being in a band with him. So he was fucking gone. Then we put together "Grotesque Blessings" with basically just Brian [Griffin, guitars], Joe [Ptacek, vocals] and myself and some hired hands. It got great reviews, and we did a tour but that wasn't very good either. There were a lot of things that were just half-assed on that tour — a lot of shit that was just done at the last minute. So when we came back from that, I was just totally disgruntled and I was going to call it a day then. But we got the offer to come to Europe where the album has just fucking blown up, and by this point Joe had left as well, so there was another hired hand in his place. I mean, don't get me wrong — the tour was great, because so many people had been waiting to see us. But when we got back, the band basically got divided into two camps, with one half wanting to do one thing musically and the other wanting to get things moving in another direction. No one could get on the fucking same page, and it just didn't feel right. I had been doing fucking BROKEN HOPE since high school, and I had been recording and touring all through my twenties, but I don't know. Some relationships just get to the point where they aren't meant to be, I guess. Don't get wrong, even with the original line-up BROKEN HOPE was dysfunctional as fuck. We got pretty far and I always thought that we could go even further, but nonetheless the chemistry was gone and shit just went downhill to the point where I just said: "BROKEN HOPE is fucking over, I'm done."

Chronicles of Chaos: And that was it?

Jeremy: Well, I'm going to tell you something now that I haven't mentioned to any other website or magazine. Three months ago, the original BROKEN HOPE sat down for the first time, face to face, in about six years, and we discussed — like the BLUES BROTHERS — putting the old band back together. I'll tell you how it happened real quick: Shaun Glass heard from Joe Ptacek, who I haven't heard from in years, and over time a lot of bands have been referring to BROKEN HOPE as one of their influences — the guys from SLIPKNOT are big friends of mine, for example, and when they brought out their first album, they actually went and said that BROKEN HOPE had been a huge influence on them. And as time has gone on, a lot of bands have been coming out of the woodwork and talking about us. Then in the last year, we've had a couple of booking agents get in touch with us, and they've talked about putting us together and putting us on tour. So I talk to Shaun all the time anyway, he mentioned that he and Joe had been speaking and that he was really into the idea of getting back together again. Brian Griffin is the tour manager for LAMB OF GOD these days, so he's busy as fuck, and Shaun Glass is busy with SOIL all the time. But long story short, the four of us communicated, agreed to meet up when time allowed, and that happened about three months ago. So the way it will work is that once we all have a bit of downtime, we'll put aside a couple of weeks to rehearse and we'll play a couple of shows to start us off. The only way we're doing it, is doing it fucking right — full spectrum of all the albums, booked properly and advertised properly, and if it happens it will be a proper reunion with all the members. Then we'll go from there, and see where it all takes us. Some of the people that have approached us are the people that helped put OBITUARY back together, so there you go.

Read the entire interview at www.chroniclesofchaos.com.

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