Perpetually in motion

Laura Lofgren

Craig Owens speaks on his busy schedule, an attempted suicide and breaking all those teenage girls’ hearts

Photo courtesy of Nicole Rork

Credit: DKS Editors

Calling Craig Owens a “busy man” could be considered the biggest understatement of the year. Fronting the popular post-hardcore, melodramatic band that is Chiodos; developing the calmer, poppier sound of his newest band, Cinematic Sunrise; performing a solo tour across America; and overcoming an attempt at suicide, Owens is like a perpetual motion machine, which is thought not to exist in the music industry.

The blue-eyed, sandy-haired singer/songwriter hails from Davison, Mich., where he began writing songs at the age of 15. His first song, “Lindsey Quit Lollygagging,” was about a girl Owens had a crush on but never really talked to. The poet thinks highly of his adolescent lyrics and still performs it on special occasions.

Owens’ first band, Chiodos, began as a group of best friends from high school. They signed with Equal Vision Records and released “All’s Well That Ends Well” in 2005.

Real Quick:

What: Craig Owens

When: April 5 at 6 p.m.

Where: The Grog Shop in Cleveland

How much: $14

“It was pretty amazing,” Owens said of getting signed with Equal Vision, a record label he’s always admired. “I was really excited when we signed to Equal Vision in particular. Some of my favorite bands, Bane, The Stryder, Converge . are all signed with them.”

Once Chiodos made a name for themselves in the music scene, Owens was asked to record a few songs for a mish-mash group called The Sounds of Animals Fighting, an experimental, “crazy” band made up of members from outside bands, including Circa Survive’s Anthony Green.

With his life taking a brief turn for the worse, Owens attempted to overdose in July 2008. He personally posted a message on Chiodos’ band Web site explaining his situation and his search for help. He thanked his fans for their continued support and recuperated under the radar of the public.

With some psychiatric help and support from friends and family, Owens moved on to promote his new band, Cinematic Sunrise and work on recording

its first CD.

“I wanted to do (Cinematic Surprise) for fun,” he said. “I wanted to try the poppier side of music.”

Releasing “A Coloring Storybook and Long Playing Record” in 2008, Owens displayed his softer side to his growing number of fans and found a nice contrast from his darker side as Chiodos’ frontman.

Now on a solo tour, Owens has no set plans for a solo album, although he is writing one.

“I’ll be playing old Chiodos, new Chiodos, Cinematic Sunrise, some cover songs and some solo stuff I’ve been writing. The solo stuff is more chill,” Owens said.

Owens writes from his own personal experiences like any other writer.

“Life. Day to day living,” he said. “I write what I feel at the time I feel it.”

While on tour, Owens is trying to catch up with fans on his personally built Web site,

“Basically, it was to originally wean myself off of relying on other Web sites like MySpace,” he said. “It’s a good way for me to reach out to people. It’s a more personable approach.”

Realizing he hasn’t updated it in a while, Owens laughed, adding he should probably blog something sometime soon.

After the solo tour is said and done, Owens revealed Chiodos is putting together a new album set to release sometime next spring or summer, followed by more touring.

“It’s up in the air,” Owens said of the release date. “We don’t want to rush anything, but there is a timeline, which is kind of forced upon artists these days.”

Owens suddenly became hesitant about admitting to being a huge success in the eyes of the hardcore music industry.

“Personally, I’d say yeah, I’ve really had an amazing time doing what I’ve been doing for almost eight years. I’m the kind of guy that is always looking toward the future, and I know this is only the beginning of my career, so I’m very, very proud and very happy and lucky with who I am.”

Juggling two bands, a solo tour and press bombardments, Owens still managed to break a few teenage girls’ hearts by recently announcing his relationship with girlfriend Joanna, whom he met through mutual friends.

“I never really thought of it like that … as breaking their hearts,” Owens said. “I just kind of have to search for my own happiness. I really believe I’ve given a little bit too much of me. That’s what left me as an open target. I have to look out for myself and my personal life.”

At the end of the every hectic day, it comes down to one simple thing to get Owens through until the next morning: personal happiness.

“You know what, maybe I am an asshole, but you realize that (people) don’t really know you, and although I may have broken these young girls’ hearts, it’s more about me being happy. It’s something I really need to focus on.”

ontact all reporter Laura Lofgren at [email protected].