Fight or Flight: Is Life By Design? Interview with Dan Chandler

While on hiatus from Grammy Award-nominated, multi-platinum Chicago-based juggernaut Disturbed in 2012, guitarist Dan Donegan started to intensely miss touring and recording. So, he reached out to Evans Blue front man Dan Chandler with an idea. We caught up with Dan Chandler to talk about the beginnings of Fight or Flight, the album that drops tomorrow and much more. The tour starts on July 27th (see link for dates below) so show some love and support for an amazing band fused with top musicians to create a brand new sound. Fight or Flight consists of Dan Chandler on vocals, Dan Donegan on guitar, Mike Wengren on drums, Sean Corcoran on bass, and Jeremy Jayson on guitar. Ugly Scene: Thank you for calling. After listening to the album I’ve become an instant fan. Let’s get started about how you met Dan Donegan online. Talk about social networking. Dan C: It was incredible. I don’t know exactly what I was doing but I checked my Facebook a long time ago and he had reached out saying he was a fan of Evans Blue. It was a pretty awesome moment for me that the music is reaching people of that caliber and it was very flattering. We ended up playing a few shows with him later on and stayed in touch from then on out. Talked back and forth about maybe writing and putting some songs out there. Nothing necessarily released as a band or project but one thing led to another and we ended up with quite a bit of material and just went for it. Ugly Scene: After listening to the album you can tell the band is a good mix of musicians. Dan C: It does feel good. That was a big thing for all of us. We have guys that not only are good players but have the same intentions and we can be buddies. When you are around each other so much the worse thing in the world is to be surrounded by somebody that you might think is an asshole or something. We have good chemistry between us. Ugly Scene: For the album the phrase “A Life By Design” what is the meaning behind that? Dan C: It goes many ways really. When we first started, me and Dan for starters, we got to talking about a lot of conspiracy theories. It was interesting to look at a lot of those things. Not necessarily believe one thing or another but its fun to take that path and let your mind wander as to what could really be happening. One of the songs is “A Void” and is life by design is actually a phrase and we thought A Life By Design with a question mark and throw it out there and have everybody wonder. It’s a good question. Is everything planned out for us? Are we falling into the hands of everything hand fed us or are we actually designing our own future here? We just have fun with that stuff and felt like it was an appropriate title for what we were doing. Ugly Scene: The first single “First Of The Last” the main concept behind it is conspiracy theories. Can you give me your take on that? Dan C: Yeah. It stems from conversation after conversation and one thing led to another and it became a cool video for us. Like I said, it’s not for any opinions to being pushed to say we believe everything out there because that would be ridiculous. It’s just a matter of raising the question and letting people take that path we didn’t. We enjoy it and maybe it will get people thinking and start making decisions for themselves if they haven’t been already. Ugly Scene: Coming from a family full of military The song “Leaving” I listened to that and it gave me chills knowing what my grandpa went through when he came back. Dan C: Oh wow. It is exactly what you probably got from it. It’s a matter of how many soldiers come home that can’t fall back into normalcy and are still fighting a battle in their head. They are trying to find their place back here and it’s sometimes very difficult. We got to talking back and forth once we started on that track and thought it would be appropriate and a good idea to throw something their way. A lot of people probably don’t pay attention to that as much. As much as it is out there and how many people that are going through it, it’d just be cool for them to have something to relate to. Ugly Scene: What was it like when you guys realized that the album was finally brought to life and you were going out on tour? Dan C: It’s awesome and it’s another accomplishment that feels really good. We are all really close friends now and we’re going through this together. It’s like having a new baby. You’ve got a new record and it’s a breath of fresh air. You look forward to getting out there and get the nerves kicking in a little bit again. It’s been a while for all of us since we’ve been on stage. I’m really looking forward to that. Ugly Scene: Even with all of the musical background were there any challenges your had getting it out there and started? Dan C: I don’t think we faced any real challenge as compared to anybody else. It is a new band but obviously the backgrounds are going to have their advantages and disadvantages. The advantages weigh more than the disadvantages by all means. As far as getting the record laid out and put together it was pretty painless. It was mostly me and Dan sending tracks back and forth to each other and we had Mike as well. We reached out to find some good players and because we all have been playing for a long time we knew some good guys from just meeting them in the past. We had a good list of people that we wanted to check out. It was no question once we met the other guys. Ugly Scene: I have to ask about Evans Blue. Just like Disturbed would you say the band is on a hiatus to? Dan C: Nothings actually been announced in any way or another. The band is healthy and we’re good. My guitarist, Vlad just had a baby last week and Parker had a baby around a month and a half ago. It’s actually really good timing for them to get to hand out with the family and it worked out good. I’ve had some down time to write and everybody is spending time doing their thing. Evans Blue to me is definitely there but Fight Or Flight is priority number one right now. It’s a new band, it’s a real deal thing and we are taking it as serious as we’ve taken everything. Ugly Scene: The band will be on tour soon. You will be at Sokol Underground on August 20th in Nebraska. I’m really looking forward to that show. Dan C.: The tour starts the 27th in Fort Wayne, Indiana and we’ll be out for a little while.

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