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FLAW – Through MY Eyes – By: Darius

28 August 2009 30 Comments

By: Darius

Mr. Chris Volz

Mr. Chris Volz

FLAW released Through The Eyes in 2001 and I was one of the 300,000+ people who bought it. Unbelievable album. I still listen to it, in its entirety, every few months or so. It’s one of those records that just does not grow stale and my appreciation grows with every listen. When I first saw FLAW open for Sevendust years ago, I thought I was seeing the next truly great heavy metal band. I was instantly hooked and even wrote a glowing artist review for my college newspaper. Later, I bought a ticket to see them again, this time as direct support to Kittie. The band put on a sick show, solidifying my opinion on FLAW. At this point, I was blasting Through The Eyes on a daily basis and annoying everyone around me.

Chris Volz Solo Show Poster - 2007, Des Moines, IA

Chris Volz Solo Show Poster - 2007, Des Moines, IA

Less than one week after that show, guitarist Jason Daunt was kicked out of FLAW for supposedly getting in a huge fight with lead singer Chris Volz on the tour bus, who confronted him about getting too drunk before shows. The band continued as a four-some, played that summer’s Ozzfest, replaced drummer Chris Ballinger with Micah Havertape, and later recorded their follow-up album, Endangered Species.

Alex Cando (l) and Chris Volz (r) - Reno, NV - 2007

Alex Cando (l) and Chris Volz (r) - Reno, NV - 2007

To say Endangered Species is a disappointment is an understatement. It’s markedly different from Through The Eyes; the heavy material takes a backseat and we are treated with one pathetic dirge after another. Chris Volz was blessed with a great voice, make no mistake about it. But it’s safe to say the label pushed the band into a more melody-driven record. The album kicks off with a fantastic heavy song, “Medicate”, but then just puts you to sleep thereafter. Endangered Species sold less than half of its predecessor and the band broke up during the middle of a tour.

Lance Arny at the Webster Theater in Hartford CT - 2004

Lance Arny at the Webster Theater in Hartford CT - 2004

Since then, it has been nothing but drama for the members of FLAW, with the primary focus of conflict centered around Volz. Here is a fairly detailed account of what followed; the band’s career trajectory, as you can see, is one huge soap opera.

    • Volz starts a new band called Five.Bolt.Main and lands a record deal with Rock Ridge Music. The album is released in September, 2005, and within a month, three members leave the band and are replaced.  Both sides had differing opinions as to why the majority of the band quit just after their debut album dropped and a tour is set to begin.  Rock Ridge cites “musical difference and unforeseen rigors of the road.”  Departing trio cites “Chris Volz’s alcohol and drug abuse.”
    • The band tours behind the strength of two singles that were well received by the public and got great airplay on Sirius and Headbanger’s Ball: “Pathetic” and “The Gift.”  During a stop in Baltimore, MD, Volz gets increasingly drunk at the bar while opening bands play.  The show, which was majorly delayed, was a disaster.  Five.Bolt.Main doesn’t take the stage until after 1am, at which point Volz is heavily intoxicated.  Volz and drummer Ivan Arnold are seen arguing before their set.  After altering the lyrics to insult Arnold, Volz calls Arnold a “fa**ot” on stage, to which Volz’s face is greeted with a pair of drumsticks and begins to bleed.  Volz than destroys Arnold’s drumkit, the show abruptly ends and the remaining tour dates are cancelled.
    • FLAW guitarist Lance Arny launches Nailgun Strategy with fellow axeman Andy Russ.
    • Former FLAW guitarist Jay Daunt begins a number of bands as well as balancing his job as an attorney.
    • Drummer Micah Havertape, along with Ryan Juhrs, join Max Illidge’s (40 Below Summer) new band, Black Market Hero.
    • Chris Volz plots a FLAW reunion tour that includes all original members except Ryan Juhrs.  Juhrs’ role to be filled by Alex Cando (ex-Darwin’s Waiting Room) as well as a solo record.

(l-r) Chris, Ryan, Micah, Lance

(l-r) Chris, Ryan, Micah, Lance

Now this brings us to an infamous moment in All Knowing Force history. Chris Volz conducted an interview with Andrew on March 6, 2007. Volz was supposed to promote the reunion and solo record. As some of us remember, very little promoting was actually done. Instead, Volz became increasingly belligerent during the interview and used the airtime as a means to publicly slam Ryan Juhrs, questioning his playing ability and even blaming his girlfriend, Fuse TV VJ Mistress Juliya, for the band’s break-up. According to Volz, Juhrs became brainwashed after meeting his childhood idols through his well-connected girlfriend. Volz blamed Juliya for many of the internal tensions within the group, including getting the band to switch management. Volz even went further with his bashing, claiming that Juhrs was never an original member of FLAW and was just playing in a cover band beforehand.

The following week Ryan Juhrs, Juliya, and members of Black Market Hero called in to All Knowing Force to refute these claims. Juliya didn’t hesitate to blame Volz’s comments on drugs and alcohol and then, in a damning final shot, called Volz a woman beater. Needless to say, these shows received a vast amount of coverage all over the internet.

FLAW - The Cash Cow of Mr Chris Volz

FLAW - The Cash Cow of Mr Chris Volz

FLAW later embarks on their reunion tour and Jay Daunt only makes a handful of the dates, due to his work obligations in Kentucky. Andy Russ from Nailgun Strategy fills in for Daunt for the vast majority of the tour. I attended the show in Hollywood at the Knitting Factory. It was a late night as I recall, but I had a great time hearing all of the songs, even if I was only seeing 3 of the original members of FLAW onstage. I must note that Ryan was sorely missed onstage; nobody was able to step up and sing his backing vocals, which are a key element to songs like “Whole” and “My Letter.”

After the show I approached Volz, shook his hand, told him it was a great show and that I never thought I’d get to hear the songs again live. He responded with, “you’ll be hearing them a lot more, if I have anything to do with it.” He didn’t stick around long and just walked out of there. However, the rest of the band hung out for awhile drinking beer and talking to fans.

I approached Lance next to compliment his playing as well as that of Andy Russ, who I had never seen on stage before. The latter compliment delighted him, and he brought Andy over to meet me. After a few minutes of chatting, I asked Lance what was up with Jason Daunt missing so many shows, completely unprepared for the answer that was to come. Arny than went off on a diatribe, proclaiming:

  • Jason sucked and never practiced his guitar.
  • Andy Russ is 100 times better.
  • Jason looked ridiculous when he painted his face and he cared too much about image.
  • It took him hours to rehearse the most simple of guitar parts.
  • Through The Eyes sucked before he put his parts on them.
  • Jason had numerous drug problems in the past (that need not be mentioned)
  • Jason was flat out, a shitty guitar player, and that the show would’ve sucked if he were there.
  • I was absolutely blown away by Arny’s candor. He doesn’t even know me and he is absolutely slamming his bandmate to anyone who would listen. Just another day in FLAW, I guess.

    Fast forward to 2008. Press reports are flying that the original members of FLAW are trying, again, to reunite. Dates are booked. The MySpace page is updated trumping the announcement as well as plans to record a new album. Well, guess what happened? Everyone walked out on Volz and he went on anyway, touring the entire country with another set of musicians that he called FLAW. What a mess. I refused to attend any of these shows but would love to hear from anyone who did; the few clips I’ve seen on YouTube are terrible.

    Recently, Ivan Arnold got together with some friends and played a Five.Bolt.Main show, with someone else singing Volz’s lyrics. In a MySpace bulletin announcing the show, Arnold writes:

    1) I guarantee our new singer WILL NOT choke slam his girlfriend against the van.

    2) I also guarantee he WILL NOT leave the stage mid-set to take a crap. Or at least, if he does, he will find a clever and funny way to disguise this move, not just announce it on mic. Again, to those of you present at the show in Chicago in 2006 where this actually happened, my deepest apologies.

    3) I promise you that we WILL NOT attempt to drunkenly cover any songs we don’t know. Specifically, we will not be attempting to play “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath for about thirty minutes until the promoter makes us stop. If you happened to witness our last attempt in Detroit in 2006, again, I am very sorry.

    4) No on stage fist fighting. That’s right. None. You heard it here first.

    Just a couple of weeks ago, I decided to check the FLAW MySpace to see if there were any updates with the band and was absolutely shocked by what I saw. The main picture was one of Volz and its implications are pretty clear:

    The text within the MySpace page was more brutal invective directed towards Volz. These are copied verbatim with some text removed to save space:

    The “About” Section of the page read:

    “After getting rid of has-been, waste of life, drunk singer, FLAW is currently looking for a vocalist who can sing without falling drunk off the stage and beating on girls.”

    BLOG ENTRY 1

    LOOKING FOR SINGER TO REPLACE OLD DRUNK

    “Flaw is looking for someone to replace has-been vocalist. Must be able to sing without falling down drunk and making an &ss of yourself.

    it is amazing how so many people dont have a clue what they are talking about, yet wanna voice there opionon cause its the internet and they can. WHAT DO SOME OF U NOT UNDERSTAND? we are not here to trash volz.. he has trashed himself.. do u not read the posts from the people that saw what he does live? do u not chat or have conversations with people from Louisville that can verify the truth? as for what people say is airing dirty laundry.. ITS THE TRUTH.. would u rather we lie to the fans and act like its all good and rip u off and take your money? no… if people wanna clown the band, go ahead.. yea we know volz is just so irreplaceable.. well keep thinking that.. we dont care.. we are going to find a new singer and keep playing regaurdless… we are very professional and choose to inform everybody the truth, instead of faking it. we are going to keep on for us, and for what makes us happy. if u wanna check us out and give it a chance, cool.. if not, dont hold your breathe waiting on volz to produce.. cuz it is not gonna happen..u small few remind us of his kids, waiting desperately for the phone to ring to no avail and thats the TRUTH. TAKE CARE”

    BLOG ENTRY 2

    FLAW seeking new vocalist

    “As all of you probably exspected, another lineup of musicians have had enough problems dealing with Chris Volz. Once again he has routinely got drunk at 10am in the morning, been to drunk to perform, fell off stage becauase he was so drunk, started fights with people in the crowd because he was wasted, and assaulted and beat up his girlfriends to the point where they had to go to hospital.
    None of the labels we have been shopping with are willing or wanting to invest any money into a project with Chris Volz as the singer. He has destroyed every single bridge within the industry possible, as everyone has become aware of the drunken criminal he has become. IF YOU HAVE BEEN TO A SHOW IN THE LAST YEAR YOU ARE FULLY AWARE OF ALL THIS… Ask anyone in Louisville. He is the most hated person in town. This webpage recieves 100s of emails a day from people that hate him, came to a show and want to kill him for what he did, or just want to talk crap to him. Enough is enough. Nobody wants to work with him anymore… He is 40,000 dollars behind in child support, and hasnt seen or called his kids in years, ask his ex wife…”

    It’s safe to say that Jason Daunt and Chris Volz had another falling out and Jason gained full control of the FLAW MySpace page, which he used to publicly slam Volz. It’s pretty vicious stuff and doesn’t serve well for Volz’s reputation.

    Chris Volz’s life is a mess. It’s a pretty tragic story because the guy is an incredible singer and frontman. If he could control his demons, than FLAW or Five.Bolt.Main, or even both, could be doing quite well right now. As I have mentioned before, Through The Eyes sold over 300,000 records. This is no fluke; it stands as one of the finest metal albums ever recorded. Now this isn’t to say that the other members of FLAW are saints and contributed nothing to the in-fighting that has plagued the group, but it’s hard to ignore the consistent reporting about Volz. I’ll be honest, as fun as it is to watch all this drama unfold, I really wish they would just get it together and record a new album. No matter what happens, Through The Eyes has a permanent spot in my record collection and I’ll always remember what it was like watching FLAW dominate the stage during their better days.

    **Note: On our free music page, you can download – legally – for free – Chris Volz’s solo record, Redemption, as well as Five.Bolt.Main’s 2005 release, Venting. Five.Bolt.Main also did a live album called, appropriately, Live, in 2006. You can download that for free as well.

    Payback – Flaw

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    30 Comments »

    • mAAT said:

      I HAVE TO GIVE THE DEVIL HIS DUE AND SAY THE SHOW ANDREW DID W/ VOLZ WHERE HE WAS ON DRUGS AND THREATNING PPL WAS GOLD

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    • OhCrap said:

      This band is a fucking joke why even waste web space for this topic? Now they are trying it once again with another half ass line up

      FLAW SUCKS!

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    • 5150 said:

      This is the pride and joy of Louisville. How sad of a city? Pathetic.

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    • FxBLeSSeD said:

      Anything associated with Flaw or Louisville disgusts me.

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    • 1942 said:

      He appears to be sober here…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpHEHdCcIp8

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    • polaroidgrl said:

      I don’t know who Alex Cando is but if that caption wasn’t there I would have thought it was Dustin Diamond (Screech).

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    • Dennis said:

      If there were 4 unique voices in the “nu-metal” explosion that were also QUALITY singing voices – AKF has touched on all 4 of them in the last week. Ryan Mccombs, Cameron from AHC, Volz from Flaw, and Burton from FF. Before you jump on me, I realize FF isn’t nu-metal. I’m just making a point.

      Sick article.

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    • Vinny said:

      Chris has an excellent voice. That can’t be disputed.

      The guitarists only know one chord.

      In closing: Screw them.

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    • Carla said:

      That is some heavy stuff right there. Interesting blogs.

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    • ArchedIsisByleveling said:

      Yes, Blessed, most of the music these days sucks and it’s all on the radio and TV. We would have to look at indie music to really appreciate the art. Fortunately, there are plenty of bands that have been around for a while still making consistent solid work. Not all of them, many sell themselves out *cough* Metallica.

      And the overplayed hit songs of today? I don’t get why they decide to make certain songs hits when they are simple and catchy. People are so stupid. Not all, just the ones who think Flaw even made a blip on the radar screen.

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    • Dropbows said:

      Tell me that Baltimore fiasco happened at the Thunderdome!!!

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    • Oscar said:

      The Thunderdome! Is that place still there? That’s a blast from the past.

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    • SMASHERDEVOURER said:

      I FUCKING HATE EVERY ONE IN THIS BAND. THEY ARE EVERY THING THAT IS WRONG WITH MUSIC. FUCK THEM.

      CHRIS VOLZ BEATS WOMEN AND THE WORLD SHOULD KNOW TH

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    • darius said:

      they shut down the Thunderdome a few years ago. probably a good thing too; that neighborhood was sketchy as hell. to answer Dropbows though, the infamous Five.Bolt.Main Baltimore show took place at Club Sonar.

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    • yiggernes said:

      all this talk about harpos and webster theater but thunderdome was in a dump neighborhood too

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    • SMASHERDEVOURER said:

      DARIUS IS THE SHIZNIT THO

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    • KARNOV said:

      Chris Volz is overated

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    • jay said:

      first off.flaw was a great band.and the people slamming that and louisville are sad and pathetic.apparently they have never seen the local seen here and know nothing of what they speak. I deeply agree with this article if FLAW would be able to get there things in order they would dominate.

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    • jay said:

      and the thunderdome was opened back up for a while as of like a month ago.09/05/09

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    • deaddude said:

      I remember the early days of FLAW. Back then, they were great(before they signed w/ Universal).Gigs @ the Tiger, FCCC, Crunch Zone, Tek World were GREAT! The “White Paper” cd was awesome. A few of the tracks ended up on Through The Eyes re produced by Botril. They were a great live band. Could work the crowd into an adrenaline driven frenzy. You could catch a show about every week before the signing. Every venue wanted them. Sad to see a good band go down in flames due to drug and alcohol abuse and obvious underlying mental issues. It was fun while it lasted but now it’s time to move on. Let the FLAW name die, get back to the work ethic that was once there, and rock out with your c**k out. Leave the cry baby emo lyrics alone and get back to the primal screams and the heavy riffs.

      $.02
      Louisville music fan.

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    • zebo said:

      say what you will, but payback is a sick song

      i thought these guys faded away, this will be a miss

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    • center-gravity said:

      2 CHORDS MAKES NOT A GREAT SONG.

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    • Trevor said:

      Flaw is an amazing band! They’re back in business with original members and the new music is fukin awesome!

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    • Trevor said:

      Also, I heard their myspace page was hacked by an ex hired gun. So that means all of that stuff posted on their blog a few months back was BS!

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    • spliff said:

      ok if anyone noticed that motovational poster of volz was actually created and posted by me.

      i went to a flaw show in 09. i actually risked my job to go to this show. when i got there flaw wasnt there. it was chris volz and a bunch of dudes. the music was out of tune, off key, and just terrible. i was wearing a black market hero t shirt. i started chanting it. chris volz calls me up on stage and starts talking shit. we exchanged words and got me escorted out of the venue. when i was outside he started talk more shit. if it werent for bouncers blocking the door way i would of beat that little girls ass! he had them call the police on me. for months we exchanged words via myspace. then i created that pic and never herd anything after that.

      i just think its awesome to stumble on something i created randomly!

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    • Brian said:

      Jason daunt is a great guitarist!
      he wrote all the guitar parts on the paper cd
      and most of Through The Eyes,just listen to
      endangered species all the guitar parts was written by lance
      and was it a good heavy album? NO!
      and jason’s image is so fucking cool!
      im gonna paint my face just like jason’s when im on stage rocking!
      he is my fucking idol!

      jason daunt will always be my favourite member of FLAW!

      Lance is a lying A**HOLE Taking all the credit for jason’s work!
      and Andy russ fucking suck just listen to Homegrown studio sessions
      the most pathetic album ever made!

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    • Jimmy C said:

      I was at the Sonar show in Baltimore the night of the meltdown…I had a great conversation with Chris in which I was a big fan of because of how much of a Flaw fan I was. Shortly after that not knowing that Chris was apparently already intoxicated…which really wasn’t obvious, my Dad and I bought him a Red Bull and vodka. I didn’t see the stuff between Ivan and Chris before the show and it seemed to me he was also extremely pissed off at the sound engineer. Chris’ father was there by the way (I assume actually both parents but I did not get to meet his Mom) and what he actually said was “Sorry Dad that you have to see me play with these fagets”. I couldn’t believe what happened in front of my eyes…He kicked Ivan’t bass drum head in and went off the handle. I was about 5 feet from the stage and in fact I have one of the sticks that hit Chris…actually it’s the one that hit him right below his eye. However horrific it was…I have to say it was nothing like I’d ever seen live…especially that close.

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    • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Darius said:

      @Jimmy C: an eye-witness account! thanks for writing Jimmy. i was living in the area during that time and I actually contemplating going to that show. the only reason i wasn’t there was because it was a late show on a week night. wish i had gone though; would’ve been a sight to see! Sonar… what a dump!

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    • Jarod Delgado said:

      If you guys would like to see what Chris is doing currently, you can check out our new song, “Here and Now”. Chris drove over 14 hrs to Nashville and stayed at my place and was there for 4 Days. Not once, did he consume any alcohol or take any drugs. Chris looked very healthy and is a very cool, down to earth guy. This song we did together was a very awesome experience for the both of us. I would just like to end this with, “There’s a time to change your life, there’s a time to make things right”

      If you wanna hear the song, you can just google, “Here and Now by Jarod Delgado

        (Quote)  (Reply)

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

      Jarod Delgado:
      If you guys would like to see what Chris is doing currently, you can check out our new song, “Here and Now”. Chris drove over 14 hrs to Nashville and stayed at my place and was there for 4 Days. Not once, did he consume any alcohol or take any drugs. Chris looked very healthy and is a very cool, down to earth guy. This song we did together was a very awesome experience for the both of us. I would just like to end this with, “There’s a time to change your life, there’s a time to make things right”

      If you wanna hear the song, you can just google, “Here and Now by Jarod Delgado

      Thank you for sharing your story. I took a listen to the song and enjoyed it. I’ll be the first to admit that hearing Chris Volz and Flaw disaster stories is entertaining. But, it’s great to hear he’s apparently clean and doing the right thing.

        (Quote)  (Reply)

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