Chaos will soon be coming to Portland.

The Taste of Chaos ’05 tour that is, headlined by The Used and My Chemical Romance, also featuring Opiate for the Masses, Killswitch Engage, Bleed the Dream, and many more bands. The nationwide tour will hit the Cumberland County Civic Center March 2.

Many of the bands on the Taste of Chaos tour are veterans of the Vans Warped Tour, a summer concert/festival which travels the country showcasing up-and-coming musicians. Typically, bands fall within either the punk or hardcore genre, combined with extreme sport demos, such as skateboarding and rollerblading.

The tour features a two-stage format, with the bigger names playing on the main stage and other bands playing on a smaller “acoustic” stage. Although it is called the acoustic stage, the bands playing on it are going to be “bringing out everything” said Ryan Head, bassist with Opiate for the Masses.

The tour starts Feb. 18 in Orlando, Fla., and steadily moves up the East Coast; going to Canada for a week and then to the Midwest and California; and finishing up April 2 in Mesa, Ariz.

Opiate for the Masses, winner of the Arizona Republic’s Best Modern Metal Band award in 2000, was also on tour with My Chemical Romance last year when the latter band’s single, “I’m Not Okay” started to gain momentum. Head said it was amazing to be on tour with a band and watch fellow tour members find success. He hopes the Taste of Chaos Tour will provide the same boost for Opiate for the Masses.

Opiate for the Masses also toured the country with Ministry in the winter of 2004, and more recently opened for shock-rocker Marilyn Manson Oct. 29 in Phoenix, Ariz. The band has been together for five years, although its lineup has recently undergone a change.

Seven, the new drummer, joined band stalwarts Ron Underwood, vocalist; Jim Kaufman, guitarist, keyboardist and programmer; and Head.

Current band members recorded an album, titled “Spore,” their first major label release due out April 24. However, the album will be available for purchase on every tour stop.

One song from the album, “Up To Me,” is starting to receive airplay on radio stations around the country. “Spore” is the fourth release by the group. The video for the band’s song “Heaven” was played on MTV2’s show “Headbanger’s Ball,” which showcases up-and-coming metal acts as well as more established groups.

The band’s unusual name came from a conversation among band members. “We were sitting around one day, talking about religion,” Head said. “Someone brought up the Karl Marx quote, ‘religion is the opiate of the people;’ and someone else was like ‘that would be a great name for a band.’ So we decided we would take it.”

Describing his band’s sound, Head said it is “hard but also kind of melodic. We play a little bit of everything.

“We don’t really try to emulate or mimic any other bands. We just do whatever we feel like playing.”

Head said the band has never played in Maine but has “heard good things” about the state.


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