Daren Zomerman - assistant editor
The Order of Chaos is one of Edmonton’s most prominent metal bands. They’ll be lighting up the Pawnshop on St. Patrick’s Day, because nothing says chaos like green beer at a metal show.
Female vocalist/frontwoman, Amanda “Wench” Kiernan, maintains an impressive vocal range and ability despite her Tinkerbell-esque figure. Kiernan has been singing for 11 years; she started when she was 13 when her stepdad taught her to play acoustic guitar. From there she began learning to play and sing songs.
As a child Kiernan was rather shy and would not actually sing in front of anybody, including her parents who once offered her $100 for a single song. It wasn’t until she was 17, and she had a chance to join a band that she really began to open up.
At the time, her sister was dating the drummer in The Order of Chaos, and the band was in need of a singer. After some debate, Kiernan was asked to learn how to sing “Tornado Souls” by Megadeth and “Bark at the Moon” by Ozzy Osbourne to try out for the band.
“I went down to audition, I was really, really nervous and intimidated, but after I sang, Simon [the founder of the band] took me away and said ‘okay, you need to learn these songs and we need to jam these days,’” recalls Kiernan. “He was really excited, but I know at the beginning the other band members were like ‘no.’”
Since then, the band has been through a lot of hardships, including in-band conflicts, members leaving just before touring, people dying and even the band’s entire jam space burning down. “Our whole jam space, along with the drummer’s family company, burnt to the ground one night,” says Kiernan. “The funny thing is, the day before the whole place burnt to the ground, Timothy had just bought a new drum set still in the box — I bought new speakers. It was like the day that we all had brand new stuff. I was watching the news that night and I was like ‘hey, that looks like our . . . oh . . . yeah alright, that’s our jam space, it’s burning to the ground.’”
Despite all the lost equipment, the band found opportunity within the ashes that helped bring everything back to light. They used the opportunity to do a photo shoot in the remains of the building. “It was almost like it was meant to happen,” says Kiernan. “We went back and it was depressing, but we took a photo shoot with all the burnt everything and it looked really neat. So we used all those photos for our first album.”
The burnt-down jam space also helped inspire their second album, accurately titled, “Burn These Dreams.” Since then Kiernan has been through an accident that completely changed her life.
Back in early 2011, Kiernan was a passenger in a car when the driver had lost control and hit a pole. The near-death experience was enough to change the way she thought about the limited amount of time we have. The accident inspired her to take every opportunity that she could, which recently opened up a door into another band called Into Eternity.
Kiernan writes music to inspire people. “I want to relate to people, I want people to read our lyrics and be like ‘I remember that lyric.’ I want people to get motivated by it,” says Kiernan. She recalls a time when a fan told her how one of the songs she wrote inspired her to continue on with life. This is the most rewarding part of being a songwriter, says Kiernan who is not about the money or the fame — although, such dreams are definitely on the verge to being reality.
Red Lion Records recently signed The Order of Chaos for a touring contract. This means big plans for the band this summer, as they will be announcing a European tour. Looking back on everything that happened, Kiernan would definitely consider her life to be a success, although she never once expected it.
“I was a 17–year-old little girl who didn’t know anything, and I got into this amazing band that has taken me farther than I ever thought I could be right now. I’ve been in the band for seven years and I can’t believe all the things we’ve been through. It’s only getting better from here,” says Kiernan.