Jacobs Dream is an American Christian power metal band originally based in Columbus, Ohio, that formed in the mid-1990s under the name of Iron Angel. Their first three full-length releases were released on the Metal Blade Records label. Below an interview with frontman Chaz Bond [ex-Biogenesis vocalist].
TMR: Hello to you from ´The Metal Resource’ Holland, how are things going there in the USA?
Chaz: The weather is very cold here. Other than that its all good around here. I’m just spending time with my wife and daughter.
TMR: Will you Introduce yourself and the band please ? [name and instrument]
Chaz: Well we have guitarist John Berry and Jon noble, James Evens on bass and Gary Holtzman on drums as well as myself (Chaz Bond) on vocals.
TMR: Can you tell us something about the origin of ‘Jacobs Dream’ please?
Chaz: The band originally formed in the late 80s to early 90s under the name “Iron Angel”, playing local gigs as much as they could. They signed with “metal blade records” right before the start of the new millennium. The first two albums featured original vocalist David Taylor. I joined the band as vocalist around 2003 and have recorded the last three albums with the band.
TMR: Are you guys full time musicians ? If not what kind of job or school do you do beside the band ? [for everyone personal]
Chaz: No we are not. As much as we would like to be it just isn’t possible. We all have families and it would take us being on the road full time in order to live that kind of life. Gary is a supervisor. John Berry runs a printing press. John Noble works for the Legal department as a supervisor. James is a supervisor for a Tow Truck company and I am an Optical lab Technician.
TMR: Is this your first band ? [for everyone personal]
Chaz: No not even close. Ive been in many bands since i was a child. The first few were horrible but you’ve got to start somewhere. I was also first known through the band Biogenesis who was signed by an Australian label back in 2000. I know that the other guys had been in other bands as well accept for James Evans. I believe that JD has been his only band.
TMR: Why the name ‘Jacobs Dream’ ? Is there a story behind it ?
Chaz: No not at all. The guys each came up with names and decided to throw them all in a bucket. Jacobs Dream was picked out of the bucket and everyone was OK with it. I wish that there was more to it than that but there just isn’t.
TMR: Who writes the music/lyrics in ‘Jacobs Dream’ ? .. how do you get in the mood for writing music? And which bands/situations have influences you for writing music and lyrics ?
Chaz: Usually John berry will come to us with ideas for songs and then we pick out what we like the most and begin to build upon it from there as a band. Most of the time John berry and I write the lyrics for the band. It is usually about half and half.
As far as influences and inspiration goes, we all like different bands so i guess that you could say its a nice mixture. It could be anything from Iron maiden to Iced Earth to Symphony X etc. We are often inspired by what is going on around us be it locally or globally. Mostly the negative things that effect the world around us.
TMR: How do you describe the music of ‘Jacobs Dream’ the best ?
Chaz: To me its a mixture of old school power Metal with a heavy edge. Sort of like an Iron maiden, Megadeth Mixture. A mixture of melody and power.
TMR: How does ‘Jacobs Dream’ stands in life till events in the world, religion and politics and in which proportion stands that till your music and lyrics ?
Chaz: We are all born again Christians. However we do not categorize ourselves as a religious band or anything. Some songs are directly related to our spiritual beliefs and some have nothing to do with it at all. Its a freedom of speech kind of thing. We do often carry a political message in some of our songs as well especially when we disagree with something that is going on and effecting our world at the time.
TMR: For a lot of bands the lyrics are just a accidental circumstance, but for some bands they use them to communicate ! ..can you tell us how that is for ‘Jacobs Dream’ ?
Chaz: We just want to be a positive voice to those who listen to us. Wether they believe in what we do or not. There is way to much darkness, anger and negativity in Metal music and we just want to be a light in the darkness.
TMR: What is the message you want to bring with ‘Jacobs Dream’ ?
Chaz: That life is short and precious. Be careful of the path you choose in this life because we believe that there is much more to life than what the eye can see. We believe that there is a God and that humanity will in fact have to answer for how they lived and how they treated those around them. Life doesn’t have to be sad and dark. We have all been given the freedom of will to choose a good path or a bad one. Living a good and happy life is a choice.
TMR: Is there a highlight you will always remember, since the beginning of ‘Jacobs Dream’ ?
Chaz: Well for me personally, I met my wife at a show in Puerto Rico. now we have a three year old daughter so you could say that the show in PR was a real life changer for me so that one stands out to me the most. I’m sure that every guy in the band would give u a different answer for that.
TMR: And the worst thing were ? [if there is one]
Chaz: I guess you could say that we don’t always like playing in the U.S because the majority of our fans are over seas and that’s just the way that it is but sometimes its still nice to play a small home town gig here and there.
TMR: Name some of your favorite bands to play with live [past and future] and tell us why ?
Chaz: Petra, Bride, Mortification and Deliverance. The guys were great to be around and are a lot of fun to watch. Its hard to say who i would want to share the stage with in the future because you never know what they are like until it happens.
TMR: What is your favorite food and drink? for everyone personal [no idea why people always want to know that]
Chaz: I like fast food a little to much. I like Mexican, Italian etc. My favorite drink is Diet Pepsi. James is a diet freak. He eats alot of salad and his favorite drink is water. The rest of the guys are pretty much into the basics i guess. Burgers, Pasta etc. I have no idea what their favorite drinks would be however.
TMR: First record you bought?
Chaz: Motley Crue, Shout At The Devil.
TMR: What makes you laugh?
Chaz: Good jokes. Good humor. My three year old daughter doing her goofy things.
TMR: How do you prepare for a show?
Chaz: I just drink water. The other guys just tune up shortly before going on stage.
TMR: Favorite movie(s)?
Chaz: Anything with suspense or good comedy. I like way to many to pick favs.
TMR: What is the dumbest question you have ever been asked?
Chaz: I was once asked how my vocals changed so much since the first album. I didn’t sing on the first album. It was of course David Taylor who sounds nothing like me.
TMR: Do you have a life philosophy?
Chaz: Yes. God knows all. The rest of us know nothing.
TMR: Are you visiting many gigs by yourself and what do you listen to these days?
Chaz: I’m going to see Iced Earth soon. None of us have actually been to a show in awhile. I mainly listen to bands like Evergrey, Iced Earth, Kamelot etc.
TMR: Tell us about the hardrock/metal scene in your area please?
Chaz: Its terrible. Everyone is into Rap which gives me migraine’s. There are very few places to perform and most are very small. The scene here is nothing compared to what Ive seen in Europe which is why we love playing there.
TMR: How do you think about downloading music from the Internet ? [Also the music of Jacobs Dream]
Chaz: If it is bought and paid for that is OK. However if it is ripped off for free then it is stealing from an art form that is already starving when it comes to Metal. This scene needs your support to survive.
TMR: About your latest album ‘Beneath the Shadows’ (2009), please tell us about the album [such as the songs etc.]
Chaz: The entire album is a concept or story line based on a man who gets into drugs and loses everything he loves as a result. Each song takes you along through all of his emotional stages throughout. The point was to show the negative effects of choosing such a life and that one can escape that life if they wish.
TMR: ‘Beneath the Shadows’ was released by ‘Retroactive Records’. How did you get signed by them ? Are you still with them ?
Chaz: They originally signed my first band Biogenesis. We talked to them and we struck a one album deal. We are not with a label at this time.
TMR: What about the (near) future, any plans ? (new album, European tour maybe ?)
Chaz: We are right in the middle of working on our sixth studio album as we speak. It should be really good. id say that we are about half way there. We are also hoping to return to Europe after the release of the new record.
TMR: Chaz thanks for your time and the interview, we wish ‘Jacobs Dream’ all the best ……Is there anything you wanna say at last? [any final statement ?]
Chaz: Your most welcome and Id just like to say God bless you all and keep it Metal!!
Current line up:
Chaz Bond – Vocals
John Berry – Guitars/Synth
Jon Noble – Guitars
James Eveans – Bass
Gary Holtzman – Drums
Demo ’96 
Jacobs Dream 
Theater of War 
Drama of the Ages 
Dominion of Darkness 
Beneath the Shadows