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Chad Hanks of American Head Charge Interview

17 August 2009 34 Comments

By: Andrew Bilach

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American Head Charge

This interview was conducted August 18th, 2009 at 10pm EST. If you’d like to visit the blog of Chad Hanks, where you can keep up to date on all post-Head Charge happenings, go here .

For those of you keeping score, as of August 19th, 2009, American Head Charge has sold 101485 copies of War Of Art, 44900 copies of The Feeding, and 9190 copies of Can’t Stop The Machine.

American Head Charge’s decision to disband didn’t catch anyone by surprise. I’ve been a fan of American Head Charge since I heard “Violent Reaction” on an Ozzfest CD sampler eight or so years ago.

I’ve seen them five times.

1. opening for Slayer at Roseland Ballroom in New York City on one of Slayer’s tour in support of God Hates Us All.
2. as support for Gravity Kills at Birch Hill Night Club in Old Bridge, NJ in 2002.
3. as support to Otep at The Webster Theater in Hartford, CT in the winter of 2005.
4. as support to Static-X at Irving Plaza in the summer of 2005.
5. headlining at Rebel in New York City with Godhead as support in May 2007.

All good things must come to an end. American Head Charge will always have a place in my music collection. The interview is in the bag. All the questions have been answered. I wish Cameron nothing but the best in battling his demons and am thankful for the two quality albums released by these Minnesota natives.

This is the fourth interview Chad Hanks has done with us since 2006. The three other interviews are up in our interviews section.


A brief synopsis of the chat appears below.

– …welcomed Chad to the broadcast (his fourth time appearing on AKF). He was in Minneapolis.

– …we asked him, in his own words, to describe what’s been going on in the world of Head Charge. Two years since the Can’t Stop The Machine Tour. Took a break. Cameron fell back into his old habits. In February 2008, Cameron went to treatment in California. Last saw Cam in September 2008, when he went out to California to work with him, Karma, and Justin on new material. Cam was living in Los Angeles with Karma. Said Cam was having difficulty adjusting from addiction to sobriety. Said Karma was pushing Cam to work on material, but to no avail. Head Charge completed 20 songs over the period of at least 18 months, and said it “was the best stuff we’ve ever written.” The material was varied. The material was sent to Cam to work with/write on and he never responded. In order to contact Cameron, Chad texted him, called him, and went as far as to call his mother. Chad knew a decision had to be made on the band’s future. Called what was happening “absurd” and Cam (“one person”) was “holding a group of people back from being creative.” The band never got any solid reasons why Cameron was blowing off the new material. Chad discussed disbanding with Karma and Justin. Chad is unsure why Cameron moved out of Karma’s place. Last Chad heard about his whereabouts was that he’s moving to San Diego from Orange County. Last time Chad saw Cameron was in 2008.

– …the VHS tapes American Head Charge were handing out at shows during the War Of Art touring cycle. (Andrew received one at their May 2002 show in Old Bridge, NJ. They served as direct support to Gravity Kills. Pulse Ultra and 3rd Strike opened the show.). Chad assumes they owe(d) Universal $15,000 for the tapes.

– …said there were two events that stunted their growth out of the gate: coming in at the tail end of the heavy music explosion of the time, as well as War Of Art being released weeks prior to 9/11/01.

– …the band was not paid a cent from sales of The Feeding by DRT Entertainment.

– …signing with Nitrus Records, which was owned by their manager, Gary Richards, and the conflict of interest created.

– …stated he and Cameron had to put in their own money to keep the machine going after the Static-X tour because DRT pulled their tour support.

– …thoughts on working with Rick Rubin.

– …criticisms concerning Can’t Stop The Machine. They had to fill a contractual obligation, and he wishes they had more money to put into the release. Finishing Can’t Stop The Machine was their “bargaining chip” to get off of Nitrus Records. He felt some of the song choices for the release weren’t the best, but that was due to sampling issues on War Of Art that could not be legally used. More or less, Chad feels that they worked within the confines of their budget and did the best they could given the circumstances.

– …discussed their last tour, which was in support of Can’t Stop The Machine.

– …lots of talk about the new band.

– …said he really enjoyed touring with Slipknot.

– …said as of now, the new band will be Chad, Karma, Justin, and most likely Dane.

– …Chad responded to 30 minutes of listener questions. He even told a story about when Michael Jackson came to his house.

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  • frogger19x said:

    American Head Charge has no one to blame but themselves. I hope this guy doesn’t come on here tomorrow and glorify being a user because look what it did to him and this band. They had more potential than anyone in the genre.

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  • Carla said:

    This was expected. I am in agreement with the above poster about potential.

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  • mAAT said:


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  • Moosey said:

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard AHC glorify drug use… I think I remember something about not being what they were if it hadn’t taken place, but isn’t that true of everything?

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  • wendy said:

    Uh – wrong member first poster

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  • Cod said:

    Drugs do rule, but doing them too much ruins your music/life. Moderation is the key. THE KEY!

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  • Dennis said:

    I’m sorry – Wendy – if you’re saying “wrong member” then you must mean “wrong member” now because these guys were ALL pretty fucked up. I don’t give a shit either way but I agree with Andrew and the others that this band could have been a beast.

    Everyone is disappointed. American Head Charge had alot of chances and if Hanks is a man he’ll come on the show and admit to that.

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  • 5150 said:

    Drugs don’t rule. I hope that was a joke. If you think the other way why don’t we run through the list of talented musicians who died due to drug addiction. You’re going to be adding Cameron “Martin Cock” Heacock to that list very soon. Mark my words.

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  • SDSUMetalHead said:

    Damnit I miss these guys. I hope things turn around and they find a singer that can come close to what they had.

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  • 1942 said:

    War Of Art was better than most give it credit for but it does drag in the middle. I commend them for giving us more songs than most.

    I thought once they got involved with UFC and lent Chuck Liddell one of their songs that they’d blow up. Using American out of the gate was not the right move.

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  • hatuespatue said:

    Does anyone remember Aaron Zilch? Didn’t any of you just want to wave a magic wand and make him go away? Justin used to duct tape his shoes together. That’s hardcore.

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  • Carla said:

    I hope that was sarcastic.

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  • hatuespatue said:

    Duh, Carla.

    Of course it was sarcastic!

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  • Cakes said:

    I already miss AHC. Summer in Minneapolis just hasn’t been the same without them. It is what it is, and I wish all of them all the luck in the world.

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  • megs said:

    No one can say that they didn’t see this coming, I’m just surprised it took this long. We used to watch AHC play in the warehouse down by 418, then they got a little bigger and started playing to packed crowds in First Ave…I remember it being so god damn hot upstairs that you couldn’t hardly breath in there. But we loved every second of their shows because there was something different and intoxicating about the band, mainly due to Cameron’s voice and stage presence…there isn’t anyone else in the business that has a voice on the same level as him. I wish them luck with finding someone to fill his shoes, but it won’t ever be the same.

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  • ChaosKid said:

    Man, you people have nothing to say do you? Anything said aside from praise sounds like ignorant speculation. Your opinions are most likely the farthest thing from reality. It’s hard to be in a band period, let alone whatever personal issues come up. There was no wasted potential here. The universe wastes nothing and things happen as they ought. I bet they come back in new form every bit as innovative and kick ass as ever, if not more-so.

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  • andrea said:

    wtf, cameron?!?!….sigh….so disappointing, so sad…

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  • LuciferHJones said:

    You people have no idea what you’re talking about. All the members of AHC have been advocating sobriety since before The Feeding was released. Their web site even had a request from Chad Hanks not to offer them anything and to respect their attempt to be sober.

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  • N.Creep said:

    If any of you knew what you were talking about you’d know that Cam is the reason. They have had the material for 2 years now and from what I’ve read they were waiting on Cam. That’s the reason they are looking for a new singer.

    AHC will be hugely missed, it sucks knowing that they arent going to be making music or doing shows again. I first seen them at teenage rampage in Dec of 99, still got the ticket with their and Flipps name on it

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  • ArchedIsisByleveling said:

    Can you guys please do the upcoming interviews live? It’s more fun that way. I’d like to know Darius’ opinion on his dumb articles. (joking about “dumb”)

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  • 612 said:

    Just goes to show what drugs do, I remember one show Cam was so high he couldn’t even stand up most of the time. Like stated before there is no one to blame but themselves. Various line up changes/deaths and the non stop in and out of rehab. I really didn’t like the feeding and being that I was into Headcharge before the War of Art was released it was disappointing to see a couple of new songs and the rest from Trepenation. Which was far superior and much more heavier. Indeed I did enjoy going to their shows and when it was good it was really good. For the most part they are still cool guys to talk to and it will be interesting to see what happens now.

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  • Jesse said:

    Despite what’s happening with the band we all know that AHC will be missed, everyone can sit here and argue all they want but everyone will always have different opinions, and nobody will truly know 100% what is going on or what has already gone on. Just keep playing their music and wish for the best.

    I got the privilege to not only go to an AHC concert but got invited by the band, i dont have an old concert ticket to show it like N.Creep does, but what i do have is much better, i went to their concert in salt lake city back when they toured with Mudvayne, BloodSimple and one other band that i don’t remember because they sucked and i was busy on the buss watching everyone warm up for the show, sadly the concert was right after Bryan’s death so i didn’t get to meet him, I surprised the band with shirts in memory of Bryan, they all signed the shirt for me and wore them on stage that night, they also already had a signed poster waiting for me, That night was the time of my life. I will never forget the looks on everyones faces when i would walk off the buss with all the bands, i thought i was going to get hurt, cutting in line with my Vip pass with the band before the concert. haha, i love it. I hope everyone got a chance to at least see them in concert, they threw one hell of a show. Just want to thank my dads close friend that was actually related to a band member for giving the opportunity that i had.



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  • SCG said:

    My thanks to N.Creep for being the only person thus far who actually knows what’s going on. Chad’s mentioned multiple times in the last several months (possibly even year, I don’t keep track) that he and the rest of the band has had up to two albums’ worth of tracks recorded and ready, just waiting on Cameron’s input that never came.

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  • SKULLY said:

    iam devestated about this whole situation ive been a die hard loyal & deadicted AHC fan.atic death squad trooper for over 8 yrs of my life i have 4 american head charge related tattoos thatz how much of an impact their music haz made on my life i have met & hung out w/AHC when they were ontour in my area on numerous occasions since the feeding tour & they have been nothing but cool and appreciative of me Chad (& the rest of AHC) is xtremely talented and creative and i KNOW they will rezurrect themselves & dominate the muzik scence! lotza luck to u chad and the resta american head charge. CAMERON U WILL BE MISSED yer voice will 4ever be embedded in the mind/ears.

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  • Oscar said:

    As far as Cameron goes…

    “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.” -A Bronx Tale

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  • Uriah Heep said:

    Andrew said that he thought Chad was a smart guy. These two are one in the same. Both complete assholes but can talk well so it’s forgiven.

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  • ArchedIsisByleveling said:

    There are haters wherever you turn. I don’t like that word but it applies: HATERS. I’ve never met Chad but have met Andrew at shows over the years and he’s probably the nicest person I ever met. So whoever you are you can take that comment and shove it up your ass.

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  • Blah said:

    This is sordidly disappointing.
    After “Can’t Stop the Machine,” I’ve had my hopes that they’d be making a new album.

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  • Blah said:

    Oh, well. I can just put my music on a loop and listen to “Pushing The Envelope,” over and over.

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  • HeadChargeFanIreland said:

    So any more recent news on the new band with the Head Charge guys? It’s been a while since I’ve heard any news? Anything at all anyone knows would be welcome!

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  • Andrew (author) said:

    @ HeadChargeFanIreland

    We have as little news on American Head Charge as all the other sites. All we know is their supposedly done and looking to re-brand.

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  • Bruneau said:

    It’s just killing me not being able to help these guys and especially Cameron. Man… What would I give to see this band alive again, and have news from Cameron.

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach (author) said:

    I don’t think there was a media outlet that did more to promote American Head Charge in their later years than All Knowing Force. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, Chad Hanks was always extremely respectful of All Knowing Force and me personally. As far as the band goes, they will always be left to ponder what could have been, and there isn’t any worse feeling than that. The saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and as a collective whole, American Head Charge wasted a ton of it.

    I listen to them still to this day.

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