MEB staffer Ridge Briel recently caught up with Cameron Argon AKA Big Chocolate about the new Disfiguring the Goddess album and the story behind it. He also touches on his past history with the numerous bands his name has been associated with over the years and how he rocks a flower guitar.
MEB: As a man of many projects, how is it that you’re able to concentrate on one at a time enough to release it instead of going all over the place?
Cameron Argon: I get in the ZONE and once my flow is flowing well, I can just keep working till one is done. I do switch back and forth sometimes though if I’ll get a random Big Chocolate idea while writing metal. Haha! Everything is music in the end and I use it all to influence each other.
Concerning Disfiguring the Goddess, what sort of artistic differences are there between Circle of Nine and the Sleeper EP?
Vocal maturity for sure. I tried not to cover everything with GURGLING GUTTURAL MADNESS. Stronger song structuring. Better production. Better use of electronics. Just better in general.
It seems that with every release your voice is honed and perfected more and more. Is there a secret to belting out your world-renowned vocals? Do you use any sort of distortion or is it au’ natural?
All natural. Definitely like any mic’ed vocal there is a bit of EQ and compression. I use a bit of small room reverb in the post production process as well, but for the most part, that’s what I sound like. Each release I try and get a bit more tasteful with my vocals so I’m not covering an entire track with the deepest vocal I can do like in the old days.
Why is it that you continue the Disfiguring the Goddess project as a one-man thing since Circle of Nine instead of allowing others in your band? Would you ever consider bringing this to life and touring with it?
Circle of Nine was all me as well, just not that well promoted as such. Nope, 99.9% chance for DTG ever hitting the road. I like metal just enough to listen and make, but not enough to drop everything and hit the road for extensive tours.
What are the lyrical aspects of the Sleeper EP?
Most of the concepts in the album are all about ancient underwater stuff, such as huge monsters, kingdoms, and other weird stuff I can just go with while typing out lyrics.
I’ve noticed that you’re representing a lot of different programs now. What sort of gear and programs did you use for the EP? And I have to ask, how did you get sponsored by Daisy Guitars?
HAHA YES! Daisy Rock rules. I’m using Logic Pro as my DAW, Toontrack for drums and for some mixing plugins as well (ezmix). Line 6 x3 Pod Pro for guitars. Sm7b for vocal recording. Sadly, I didn’t use the Daisy Rock on the record. With Daisy Rock, I pretty much just asked them and told them I was doing Warped Tour and wanted to play guitar in my BC stuff. And BOOM. Pink flower guitar on my doorstep. Daisy Rock rules as a company too!
What is it that makes you want to write slam metal instead of the more popular and arguably accessible deathcore or death metal?
Well, the new record is just sort of what I wanted to hear. It’s not 100% any type of sub metal. I don’t want to confiscate for creativity to fit a guild line to genre better. I love brutal DM and I love groove so there is definitely a TON of slam influence on the songs, but also a lot of out of the box ideas like electronics and odd time signatures.
Are there any other slam bands you would like to recommend to people who are largely unfamiliar with the genre?
Japanese and Texas slam bands take the cake 100%.
Back when you first started blowing up, you were covering bands like Sleep Terror and Abominable Putridity. Have you ever thought about playing with Luke Jaeger of Sleep Terror?
Haha no, all that stuff was mainly for fun. Sleep Terror had no vocals so I decided to do some vocals over it! I dug Sleep terror but I never thought the actual band should have vocals in it. Same with that Faceless audition thingy, never intended on actually joining the band. I wasn’t even done with high school when I did that. haha.
One question that many people want to know is: Whatever happened with Abominable Putridity? Did you ever record anything with them other than “Entrails Full Of Vermin”?
No I didn’t. I did like six of the songs on their new album, but there was some huge miscommunication stuff going on and it was just decided that I wouldn’t the one doing it anymore.
Are there any other bands that you are working directly with like you did with Burning the Masses? What about individual artists, such as the “I Declare Goddess” track?
Nope. Right now I’m only doing DTG as far as metal goes and I really intend to keep it that way. Simple and fun.
What is the news on Commissioner? Have you ever thought about writing more metal-oriented songs with Mitch Lucker? Will you two ever tour or play one-off shows together?
Yes! Planning on doing another Commissioner release this year. Shows have always been talked about but never acted on.
What about the Big Chocolate persona? Do you have any releases and/or tours coming up?
Just got done with about three months’ worth of touring on the weekends. I have a month off before I go back to weekends and such. I’m doing Bamboozle in NJ in May. That should be awesome.
Your early solo stuff (CMA-era) was more experimental and broader than the EDM of your more recent stuff. Have you ever thought about going back to that stage of your career or will you continue to advance with your songwriting centering around EDM?
I was really into acts like Moby and Paul Van Dyke so I really didn’t have much direction as far as where to take it, so I just did everything. Well with Big Chocolate stuff, it has definitely been the center of my career. I’ve done more with BC in a year than I ever have with metal. BC solo has more fans and a larger network/reach/pull than DTG does. I do metal for fun and as a kickback where with BC I take it a lot more seriously as far as choices and how things play out. I never thought that I would be doing music let alone dance music as a main vessel. I remember back in high school though when I was having a heart to heart with a friend. I told him that I would way rather be known for electronic music and doing that rather than doing metal. I’ve always felt that electronic music is more my style. Frank Mullen from Suffocation said that himself in a SYWH podcast very recently.
What are your favorite remix(es) you’ve done so far? Are there any that you’re working on right now?
I don’t think I have a favorite one. The Whitechapel one slams hard, the Breathe Carolina ones have been played on the radio and have been a big vessel for me to tap out of the straight heavy/metal EDM.
Very few people know how many bands you were actually a part of and did/didn’t record with, such as Malodorous, Misericordium, and Dissever the Tyrant. Would you be able to give a full list of the bands you’ve been with?
I don’t have a single piece of Malodorous material out. I was in it for a while and wrote a song or two that never made it out on a release. So I was never really ‘a part’ of it. I was also 16 haha. Misericordium I was going to be a part of but then that fell through, nothing was actually done about that. Dissever the Tyrant I did some studio vocals for their first demo. Never really was a part of any of those acts in a way to be mentioned as groups I’ve ‘been’ in. I’ve always done DTG. I did vocals for a Burning the Masses album and tour. Aside from that, everything has either been talk or something I did when I was like 16.
Have you heard that there is a grind band called Big Chocolate? They’re based in Chile or Colombia or something like that.
Yeah haha! So dumb. So so so dumb. They haven’t really crossed any lines that have caused me to shut it down.
Any last words for your fans and followers?
Thanks for all the mad support you’ve given over the years from all aspects of my music. Mad respect for anyone who has ever bought something off iTunes, a shirt, or been a long-time subscriber to cam every day.