ANNIHILATOR's JEFF WATERS Announces First Part Of AMERIKAN KAOS Trilogy, 'Armageddon Boogie'

April 25, 2024

On April 26, Metal Department will release 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.

The recording process 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

ANNIHILATOR will celebrate the 35th anniversary of "Alice In Hell" by performing the album at an exclusive appearance at Topfest 2024 in Slovakia this June. Former ICED EARTH and INTO ETERNITY vocalist Stu Block will sing the entire LP. There will also be a few "best-of" songs that will include "hits" chosen by the fans.

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".

Three 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.

Find more on Annihilator
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).