ANNIHILATOR Founder JEFF WATERS Releases New Single From AMERIKAN KAOS Project

June 14, 2024

In May, Metal Department released the debut album from AMERIKAN KAOS, "Armageddon Boogie". AMERIKAN KAOS is described in a press release as "the secret love child" of guitar virtuoso Jeff Waters, best known as the founder and leader of Canadian thrash metal pioneers ANNIHILATOR.

AMERIKAN KAOS was born from Jeff's lifelong passion for diverse music genres, ranging from blues, punk, thrash, heavy metal, hard rock, to pop, classical and jazz. The global shutdown provided the perfect opportunity for Jeff to delve into this creative endeavor. Jeff's vision for AMERIKAN KAOS expanded into a trilogy, each part showcasing different styles and featuring diverse lineups and vocalists. This ambitious plan stemmed from his desire to write across multiple genres without being confined to a single style.

On June 14, Metal Department will release the first single off "Armageddon Boogie", a double-sided affair featuring exclusive radio edited versions of "My Little Devil" (Jeff Waters) and "Roll On Down The Highway" (Fred Turner, Rob Bachman).

Waters comments on "My Little Devil": "The first track on the album! There is an obvious 'nod' to AC/DC and THE [ROLLING] STONES. There is a definite 'Hells Bells' vibe going on in the music part in the beginning and, somehow, it then kind of transitions into a ROLLING STONES vibe! I also love the vocals on this one. Chandler Mogel (vocals) has such a nice, gospel/rock feel on this, while Marc and Jessie each put the icing on the cake with their unique backing vocals. The song is about how I met my wife and how I had been living most of my life just to get to the point of meeting her. This tune seems to be the most popular song from everyone who's listened to the album, so far... And I think that is also probably my favorite song on the record, too!"

Jeff states about "Roll On Down The Highway": "As a kid growing up in Canada there many amazing bands from my country... TRIUMPH, RUSH, APRIL WINE, THE GUESS WHO... Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings were just a legendary duo! But when Randy Bachman left that band and they moved on without him, he started up BTO (BACHMAN-TURNER OVERDRIVE). They produced some of the most badass music and Randy even outsold his former band THE GUESS WHO. We all know 'Taking Care of Business', 'You Ain't Seen Nothin Yet' and other great songs from that era, but 'Roll On Down The Highway' was one that I would hear as a kid going to hockey games in Canada and I loved it.

"I just had to put a cover song on this record and for a while I thought it would be an APRIL WINE song ... maybe that will appear on the last album of the AMERIKAN KAOS trilogy! This was a tough one to do because it's hard to play like other guitar players, especially the greats, like Randy Bachman! So I kind of went off on my own but kept that vibe and sound of a bit of Van Halen and Jeff Waters in the solo because I just couldn't pull off the Randy Bachman ... he's just got his own style and feel!

"Another cool thing about that is that I got to play it for the guys when I went to Vancouver. I cranked it up at The Armoury Studios and Paul Dean from LOVERBOY, a friend of mine who was there and with the Mighty Mike Fraser...and they liked this new version of it and I hope a lot of people get to go and revisit BTO...and for those who don't know that band hopefully you can go listen to them! Oh, and a cool note, Marc LaFrance has been singing on many ANNIHILATOR records and the AMERIKAN KAOS stuff... and on MÖTLEY CRÜE, David Lee Roth, BON JOVI and many other bands records... but Marc also PLAYS DRUMS for Randy Bachman! Small world."

The single will be released as a very limited deven-inch record through the Rock Kommander web site and as streaming tracks on all major streaming sites.

The recording process for "Armageddon Boogie" spared no expense. Old-school analog was a key feature in the planning, as well as who and where this was to be created. Vocalists, musicians and personnel were hand-picked by Jeff and have worked with artists as diverse as AC/DC, VAN HALEN, WHITESNAKE, Billy Idol, Stevie Nicks and Kid Rock.

While most of "Armageddon Boogie" was recorded and mixed at Waters's studios in the United Kingdom — where he moved from his native Canada in 2018 — additional studios in Athens, Vancouver and New York were also used.

Part two of the trilogy, "All That Jive", will be released in 2025, and part three, "The Sheeple Swing", will arrive in 2026.

To purchase "Armageddon Boogie" in various formats, visit

Commented Jeff: "AMERIKAN KAOS was born out of the fact that I have spent my career with, of course, ANNIHILATOR, for many decades. 17 studio records and many other releases… and a lot of touring.

"People that follow ANNIHILATOR know that I like all kinds of music. I have influences from blues, punk, thrash, speed, heavy metal to pop music, classical and jazz. I have tried to do as much of that with the ANNIHILATOR music as I could, but there was always a certain limit to the area I stay within. And I always knew for decades that I hoped I would have the opportunity to sit down and write a record for a new band or a new project for a different kind of music. I didn't really know what it would be. So when the world shut down, I lost some interest in the writing side of ANNIHILATOR, and I took it as the perfect opportunity for me to explore my creativity and do something, finally, that lets me create and apply a lot of what I've loved and learned over the decades. Whether it is other musical styles than I have been known for making, different studio productions/technical ideas (engineering, producing, mixing) and have a blast making great music, with some great talents and people involved.

"As much as it was cool to have that time in the studio, it was also confusing, as I had no solid idea of the style of music I wanted to do, and I had to be careful that it was not too influenced by my favorite bands," he explained. "I have so many different favorite bands and different types of music that when I write songs, sometimes they sound the same as other bands, because I'm so much of a fan of them. That was a tough thing to do, to decide to write a record when you are known as a thrash metal / heavy metal guitar player for your whole life. If you sit down and put something else out, it's going to get criticized, so I decided to just do what I wanted to do. I started writing a few songs and they were scattered … one was like a pop song, the next was back to a heavy metal song, the next was ROLLING STONES-style and another with some THE KNACK grooves. So, I thought I really need to come up with a plan and get some focus here, because I can't just put out a record with ten or eleven songs that make no sense to each other. So, I decided what area I was going to go into for writing and try to keep some focus, but the problem was that I wanted to write across many areas and styles. I didn't want to be held back to one style again, so I thought, what about maybe three records? What if I have the focus and time in the creative space that I was in during 2020? Why not spread the styles across three different records, with maybe three different singers and maybe three different sets of lineups or people? So that is where the trilogy came from, whether it made sense to anyone else. This was for me, to get the ideas out of me while I had the time and creative mindset to get it done.

"So, the album I wrote first came out with a VAN HALEN/STONES vibe. There is a little VAN HALEN tribute song and also heavy metal-meets-hard rock songs. This one, AK1, we call it 'Armageddon Boogie'. I really wanted it to have that Alex Van Halen kind of groove; he's one of my favorite drummers. So, I needed to find a drummer that was a big VAN HALEN fan also, so I immediately thought of Brian Tichy from California. I talked to him, and we became immediately drawn to our VAN HALEN connection and a few other things. Brian and I hit it off right away musically, and we knew exactly what we wanted to get out of the drums on this record. It was essentially a fun, Alex Van Halen-meets-Brian Tichy [approach] and that's exactly what we got.

"For the songs and the sound, I literally did try on some of the songs to get that more singular early VAN HALEN sound of more of a one guitarist sound, but sometimes put the guitar on the other speaker so there are two guitars playing. Then on some I went for a ROLLING STONES [approach], [with] two guitar players, one on each speaker with different guitars and setups and playing different parts. So, we kept it mid-'70s, late '70s to 1985. It's not a brand new sound; it's trying to go back and try to take the best of what I loved about the '70s and '80s but keep it in a heavy metal-meets-hard rock vibe.

"The key on this one was always going to be the singer and I had a long list of people I was looking at," Jeff revealed. "I wanted to stay away from heavy metal singers for this one, and long story short, I ended up working with a guy named Chandler Mogel from New York, who's in a Lou Gramm / FOREIGNER cover band. I was put on to him through Bob Katsionis, keyboardist from FIREWIND and a great guy and studio owner. So, when I listened to Chandler, he had a very clean tone, almost gospel/George Michael tone. There was no raspy [David Lee] Roth or ballsy deepness to his voice, which made me pass on him at first. But then I kept coming back to him and he ended up being the perfect person for this record. He brought a bluesy tone to the record and was anything but heavy metal. That was one of the best decisions I made. That, along with Brian Tichy on the drums, both gave it exactly what we needed.

"So, the concept for that first record is just that. That '70-'85 vibe. It's got a bit of Alex Van Halen/Brian Tichy-style drums and it's got a clean vocalist with a lot of feel and that gospel/blues… Just rockin' …a rockin' singer. I played bass and guitar. Bob Katsionis played keyboard. We had an incredible backup singer, Jessie Wagner, working a few tracks. And, of course, someone I enjoy working with always, the amazing Marc LaFrance, who worked on probably most songs you remember from the '80s and '90s from 'Living On A Prayer' to 'Dr. Feelgood' to David Lee Roth, as well as many ANNIHILATOR songs.

"We used a hell of a team on production and artwork also. The cover for 'Armageddon Boogie' was done by Gyula Havancsák from Hungary, who happens to be one of the most amazing creative artists out there. He has done ANNIHILATOR's artwork for decades. For production, we used the amazing Mike Fraser, who is known for working on pretty much every AC/DC release. He engineered the drums in Vancouver, in Armoury Studios. Brian travelled up from Los Angeles and recorded the drums there. Mike Fraser worked on the 'Balance' VAN HALEN album, which I love, so he was, of course, the natural choice to work with on this record. The album was mastered at Sterling Sound in Nashville by one of the top mastering engineers in the world, Ted Jensen. I mixed and produced the album myself in my studio here in Durham, U.K., and apart from one cover song, I also wrote all the songs: lyrics, melodies and music.

"This was a fun record to make!

"So as far as this trilogy goes, the next one, AK2 (finished by the time you read this!) is a different style again, and a different singer (many will know him!)… more rock 'n' roll/less heavy metal… and the last one of the trilogy will be much heavier!

"I hope you enjoy 'Armageddon Boogie'!"

A recent interview with Chaoszine in which Waters discusses AMERIKAN KAOS in detail can be seen below.

For more information, visit

Following the cancelation of ANNIHILATOR's appearance at the Topfest in Slovakia, which was scheduled for late this month, the Canadian thrash metal pioneers have announced a livestream event from the United Kingdom celebrating the 35th anniversary of ANNIHILATOR's classic debut album, "Alice In Hell", with former ICED EARTH frontman Stu Block singing the entire record. Block, ANNIHILATOR guitarist and founder Jeff Waters, guitarist Aaron Homma, bassist Rich Gray (a.k.a. Rich Hinks) and drummer Fabio Alessandrini will also perform a few "best-of" songs that will include "hits" chosen by the fans.

The livestream will take place on June 29 at 12 p.m. PDT / 3 p.m. EDT / 8 p.m. BST / 9 p.m. CEST.

For more information, go to this location.

Block can be heard on "Metal II", the reworked version of ANNIHILATOR's 2007 "Metal" studio album. "Metal II" also features former SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo.

Founded in 1984, ANNIHILATOR took the metal scene by storm with "Alice In Hell", upped the ante with 1990's "Never, Neverland" and has continued a non-stop career-pattern of releasing records and touring with many of the biggest bands in the metal genre (mostly all outside North America),ever since, cementing ANNIHILATOR as the biggest-selling metal act in Canada's history.

"Alice In Hell" was the first of six ANNIHILATOR albums to feature songwriting contributions from the band's former singer John Bates, who was credited as the co-writer of the songs "Alison Hell", "W.T.Y.D.", "Burns Like A Buzzsaw Blade" and "Human Insecticide".

To promote "Alice In Hell", ANNIHILATOR supported ONSLAUGHT internationally on the "In Search Of Sanity" tour, and TESTAMENT in the United States on the "Practice What You Preach" tour.

"Alice In Hell" was re-released twice: in 1998 with three demo tracks as bonus tracks and again in September 2003 as part of a two-disc compilation set along with "Never, Neverland", titled "Two From The Vault".

Two years ago, earMusic announced a reissue series of (almost) the entire ANNIHILATOR catalog. In total, 18 records are being released over the next few years, including the original 2007 version of the "Metal" album.

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