Interview with Helios Creed
By: Chuck Key
It's Dagger Zine Issue III
While many musicians try to stretch out their 15 minutes of fame with ‘old standards’ from their glory days, Helios Creed has managed to write at least one album a year of great original material since the 70’s. He was ½ the core of the rock group CHROME during what most fans refer to affectionately as ‘the Helios era’ (a.k.a. the good stuff) and he has led a successful solo career spanning over 20 years. When his album DEEP BLUE LOVE VACUUM was released in 2006, it was heralded as his ‘best work to date’. That’s an impressive compliment considering that in 1985 his first solo effort X-RATED FAIRY TALES (and every release since has carried the same description. He recently took some time to answer a few questions from Chuckket for IT’S DAGGER…
CHUCKkey: A write for Trouser Press described you as ‘someone who likely has more acid in his system than a Sears Die-Hard.’ How accurate is that statement?
HELIOS CREED: I think people listen to the music and decide that this guy must take a lot of acid to get his music like that. I’m just really one of those people that is into the psychedelic culture and always have been since I was a kid. That doesn’t mean I must take acid while I record music or play live. It’s for the people to do the acid and listen if they’d like, and experience the nice work that I have made for them, and enjoy those 3 dimensional songs that have depth and created a picture in your mind. Rather than a flat two dimensional song that says very little or nothing. But yes I have done acid but its been a while..
Chrome released ALIEN SOUNDTRACKS back in 1978,
HC: It was accepted very well. And I didn’t think they would accept us. I was very happy about that.
CK: Fast forwarding to more recent times, there have been several ‘new’ CHROME releases including ‘RETRO TRANSMISSION’ and ‘ANGEL OF THE CLOUDS’. It’s no secret that many Chrome fans did not think Damon had left a very impressive legacy for Chrome after you went solo. Were the new Chrome recordings based on any obligations you felt you had to the Chrome name after Damon’s passing or were they based on ideas you had always intended to record with Chrome in the 80’s? Are there any future Chrome releases in the works?
HC: No, I will make no more Chrome records. But don’t forget Ghost Machine. It was the second to last Chrome I made. Angel of The Clouds is my last. And yes I had a need to end Chrome the way I felt would complete the story for Damon and I.
CK: I’ve never caught a live Helios Creed show, but I understand that you still tour whenever you possibly can. When is the next tour starting, and is there any chance of Helios Creed touring the east coast?
HC: Yes, I’m working on a nation wide fall tour. And if all goes well it will happen, spread the word. It will be booked as Chrome/Helios Creed, we will play half Chrome stuff and Helios stuff. It has been going over very well, because you get the best of both. It’s made for everyone who likes either or both, I love to do it this way.
CK: A lot of bands doctor their sound in the studio and can never pull it off the same way during a live set; All of the live recordings I’ve heard of your songs sound almost identical to the studio work. How many effects pedals and processors do you have to carry along to pull off a typical show?
HC: Trade secret. No itwould take forever for me to tell you everything. But I will say, I think its very important your live stuff resembles the recordings. That’s professional. And that’s a word you don’t hear very much these days.
CK: It’s been a while since DEEP BLUE LOVE VACUUM was released; When can we expect the next Helios Creed album?
HC: I’m working on one now. It will be finished soon.
CK: It seems that over the years you have accumulated enough points to be considered a ‘rock legend’, yet you seem pretty humble about it. Could you ever have imagined yourself doing anything else in life outside of rock and roll, like selling insurance or managing a Wal-Mart?
HC: No never, I’d rather be dead.