AMEN frontman Casey Chaos has issued the following statement:
"First off, I want to say 'Thank you' to everyone that has ever been a part of this rollercoaster of a life called AMEN. On both sides of the stage, it has been an honor to be able to have released three albums on three different major labels in the last five years and tour the world more times than I can even count. If you would have told me at 11 years old when I first picked up a microphone and a guitar amp to scream through that people like Henry Rollins, Iggy Pop, THE SEX PISTOLS, EMPEROR, Nocturno Culto from DARKTHRONE singing a duet with me (as well as Mortiis) for the SCUM album, MISFITS, THE ADVERTS/TV SMITH, being interviewed by Dimebag Darrell on MTV's 'Headbanger's Ball', ZYKLON, TURBONEGRO, KILLING JOKE, Nikki Sixx, B.O.D., QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, SYSTEM OF A DOWN, SLIPKNOT, PITCHSHIFTER, Lemmy, Morat, Kaz, Nancy Berry, Phil Alexander, Blag and THE DWARVES, Ian Astbury + Billy (THE CULT), signing a song with CAMP FREDDY (original GUNS N' ROSES lineup with Dave Navarro), 80S MATCHBOX B-LINE DISASTER, TORQAMADA, SATYRICON, GARY NUMAN, SLAYER, THE MARS VOLTA, Killjoy and NECROPHAGIA, Rikk Agnew and the ADOLESCENTS, Rozz Williams and CHRISTIAN DEATH, SICK OF IT ALL, David Grohl, THE CLASH, Greg Anderson, Ross Halfin, Minus, Charlie Harper from the UK SUBS, Duane Peters, Brian May, Don Bolles (GERMS), 45 GRAVE, Wattie (THE EXPLOITED), Gaye Advert and Soo Catwoman, Zach Hill (HELLA), Twiggy/Jeordie White, PEACHES, WEEN, etc… would of ever heard my noise and someone like Henry Rollins, the man who literally changed my life with BLACK FLAG, asking me to be a part of one of his albums, makes me very grateful and is more of an achievement than selling a million records, and this band was never about that. It was always a reflection of my life and what I was going through at those times.
"With a little help from the outside world, a lot of hard work, and years of years of belief, I have gone beyond any semblance of reality and achieved the impossible. Being a financial loser, but reaching achievements by having projects aside from AMEN like SCUM, which includes 3/4 of the original EMPEROR, Cosmo from MINDGRINDER, and Happy Tom from TURBONEGRO, and guest appearances by Nocturno Culto, Euroboy, and Mortiis; to recording an album with Daron from SYSTEM OF A DOWN and Zach (HELLA); to making a lot of noise with Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri (QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE), Jeordie White (MANSON, NIN, A PERFECT CIRCLE), Shannon Larkin (AMEN, GODSMACK); as well as doing guest appearances or playing with such legends as Nikki Sixx, Henry Rollins, KILLING JOKE, PITCHSHIFTER, TV SMITH, Bobby and Manny/PRIMAL SCREAM, etc… As well as finding bands and helping expose new music like: THE BLOOD BROTHERS, THE KINISON, TV SMITH and SUNSHINE. And having such great bands to share the stage with like SYSTEM OF A DOWN, TV SMITH, 80S MATCHBOX B-LINE DISASTER, CHARGER, LAMB OF GOD, SHADOWS FALL, GOD FORBID, SLIPKNOT, NOFX, Nikki Sixx, MISFITS, SUBHUMANS, SCREAM, SNFU, MINUS, IKARA COLT, RED HARVEST, DANZIG, FEAR, CIRCLE JERKS, GOVERNMENT ISSUE, DEFTONES, GOLDBLADE, PEACHES, AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF THE DEAD, WEEN, FANTOMAS, BLACK SABBATH, TOOL, Roy Mayorga, etc…
"This was just an 11-year-old skateboarder hearing BLACK FLAG for the first time and within 30 seconds my life was never the same, for better or worse, and I've been expressing myself through noise and music ever since then. I never thought of a future of actually being able to put out an album, which I did with my hardcore band at age 15, and to go on and to live in Los Angeles, a world where anything is possible. Hence, I am living proof of that.
"I've had people tell me that AMEN saved their life, as well as 'Fuck AMEN!' But it has always created a strong love/hate reaction. AMEN rumors are akin to urban legends, but of course I am by no means a legend. I'm an easy target that followed my heart and played every note and screamed every scream like it was my last dying breath. People undoubtedly talk shit and put you down, all I can say to all the kids who ask me for advice is to be true to yourself and to never do what they tell you to. This industry has destroyed a lot of my friends and a lot of people I looked up to.
"Certain people in America measure your success by record sales, but given the choice of being in AMEN and touring the world several times versus being in CRAZYTOWN and selling millions of records in a classic one-hit-wonder fashion and having no credibility or integrity to their product in my eyes; I am financially in ruins, I think I have made the right choice. Having Brian May asking you to join him at his table for the Kerrang! awards while giving Iggy Pop his lifetime achievement award that night, and then to have the SEX PISTOLS handpick AMEN out of all the bands in the world to be the main support for their 25th anniversary show, is yet another fine example of my rewards. The respect from the people who have changed my life and the lives of millions. Winning best live band, man of the year, best vocalist, best overall band in the world, being included in the 100 most important and influential albums and singles of all time, playing the Reading and Leeds festival 5 years in a row, as well as being the only unsigned band to ever play the mainstage, I have by far exceeded any goals or expectations I've ever had.
"That is my life, one giant surreal dream.
"After this two-month tour and doing this SCUM video and playing our debut live show in Norway, I come home to a house that has been robbed. Stolen are the tools of my trade, and this has not been the first time. I know a lot of people don't like AMEN, and I know a lot of people that have the name tattooed on their bodies, or even my name; both types of people are the driving force that keeps me going.
"If success was selling millions of records, I could have easily had any number of friends write me a hooky tune designed and aimed for commercial consumption. But that is the exact opposite of what I ever wanted. Instead I would have Shannon Larkin lay down the perfect drum tracks for me to play guitar, bass, scream and whatever else needed to create the sound of a band that never fit any genre, with a little help from Zach Hill and Roy Mayorga as well. I always wanted to present AMEN as a group, and live that's what it was. Five individuals living that lifestyle and believing in the same goal and the same intent, but in the studio it was just the drummer and I... thus the revolving door that hasn't stopped since the original line-up (because no two tours had the same line-up in the group) will remain a backdrop to what I menace I created.
"Looking at bands like QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, BLACK FLAG, THE MARS VOLTA, IGGY POP, THE SMASHING PUMPKINS, MISFITS and even NIRVANA and the success of those bands how there would be one or two of the original members left, it never seemed to be a big deal. Which is incredibly strange when it comes to AMEN. Considering I wrote and played everything on the records, the fact that people would dramatize the most trivial exits. Like all relationships, some grow and some die. Life moves forward.
"I especially want to thank the original line up of AMEN, for they were all pros and I was the new kid on the block. And they were around, for the most part, for all three of the albums. Shannon Larkin is a living legend and one of the greatest people I have ever had the honor of playing with. My heart goes out to you and your family and wish you all you deserve and more.
"Reflecting on all this is a big blur that all the beauty and rewards outweigh the rumors, lies, traitors, and thieves that don't ever get acknowledged, because I could care less what anybody wants to believe. People who know me….know. I believe you are only as good as your word and the trail you leave behind to your tombstone will determine the character and true identity of the sellouts and the puritans trying to make a change in a society that lets killers like O.J. Simpson free, while children like the West Memphis Three are in jail all because of their looks and their society's stupidity.
"As for now, I only plan on playing the SCUM record release party in London on September 9th. For the first time since I can remember, I am going to take some time off for myself and my personal life. There will be another AMEN album recorded this year with an undisclosed and undecided label at this time.
"Bloodied, broken and penniless yet again, I hope AMEN has set an example that if I can do it, anyone can. And maybe… just maybe, we changed a few people's lives and opened people's minds to other worlds of music. Nonetheless, my life has been an unmistakable journey with no compromises.
"At 7 years old my life was skateboarding, doing demos, contests and tours, up until I was 15 and released my first album, until today. I guess in the immortal words of Bon Scott… it's a long way to the top if you wanna rock 'n' roll!"