Interview: Indie-Rock Band, New Chums, Talk Eclectic EP
New Chums might be the most aptly-named indie-rock band you haven't heard yet. Asked about their origin, the charismatic rockers will confess the Craigslist ad that frontman Seth Boyack put out. They've since gotten to know each other, but when they first started out, they really were brand new pals. That band camarederie shines on their latest EP, See It For Myself, released last month.
See It For Myself begins with "Disposable Music," an in-your-face rock ode heavy with battling guitar and bass lines, persistent percussion, and cool vocals. "Cave In" comes next, a tropical pop-rock track that proves how thoughtful the production of See It For Myself is. Shimmering drums pulse in the background while Seth's strong voice merges effortlessly with impressive guitar work that begs for well-deserved attention. It's a solid song made more impactful by details like distant harmony and rumbling basslines. The halfway mark of the record, "Come On, Come On," doubles as an instant radio hit. Combining addictive pop elements -- sing-along stutters and jingly hooks -- with classic rock instrumentation, trust us when we say it will take its rightful place as your next earworm. Next is "The Right Thing," a slick indie-rock track so hook-heavy and well-produced that it takes center stage for the record -- a clear example of what happens when the musical stars align. See It For Myself ends with "Blossom," a wailing up-tempo tune that finds fuzzy vocals delivering rapid-fire wordplay above hearty multi-instrumentation.
See It For Myself is a dazzling effort featuring five expertly produced indie-rock jams that charm the ear and move the feet. The members of New Chums are not joking around -- each artist brings such thoughtful proficiency, mastering an intriguing and innovative collaboration that elevates the indie-rock we know and love, instantly proving themselves to be a force on the scene.
Listen to See It For Myself below and read on for an exclusive interview with the band:
We caught up with New Chums to learn all about the new EP, their favorite song off the record, their influences, and a whole lot more:
The Music Mermaid: First, can you tell The Music Mermaid a little about yourselves and your music?
New Chums: [We are] the brainchild of Seth Boyack. After moving to Phoenix, Arizona, and not knowing anyone in the Valley, he decided to put an ad out on Craigslist to start, what is now, New Chums. He found drummer Ben Hedlund, a recently transplanted Bostonian, and they started sifting through Seth’s catalog of songs. Next on board was guitar maestro, Matt Lloyd, who recently moved back to Phoenix after a long stint in Nashville, TN. Lastly, Cassandra Clark, a recent transplant from Los Angeles, joined the band after she found our music and submitted a killer bass track to one of our songs.
TMM: Describe each band member in 3 words each.
NC: Seth - Sarcastic, dry, understated. Ben - Smiley, genuine, creative. Matt - Driven, passionate, inspired. Cassandra - Clever, spunky, bold.
TMM: What is the music scene like in Phoenix and how has it influenced your own work?
NC: The music scene in Phoenix is very diverse. There are so many bands sonically doing so many different things that it’s hard not to get inspired and push yourself as a band to put out the best songs you can on every release. We knew we had to make this EP great if we wanted the music to do anything locally or nationally and we feel we’ve done just that.
TMM: What was the production process like for your new EP, See It For Myself?
NC: Typically Seth and Matt would get together to work on songs from Seth’s catalog. They get together in the evenings working on just the right guitar hooks to match the pace and tone of the vocal melody, which Matt seems to do so effortlessly. Once they have the guitar parts in place, they bring the songs to Ben and Cassandra. From there they all work together to put the rest of the parts in place -- which ultimately become the finished product.
TMM: Do you guys maintain a collaborative songwriting process? What are some central themes you chose to dwell on for this record?
NC: Yes, everyone gets to put their stamp on the songs. The themes on this album are all over the place from "caving in" to new relationships, balancing your drive and passions in life with your friends and family, and finding your place in this thing called life.
TMM: We know it’s a tough question, but is there one track off See It For Myself that really epitomizes your pride as a band? That extra special song, the one that was most exciting, the one that was impossible to write but you fell in love with anyway...
NC: "The Right Thing"! This song was the last song to make the record and it turned out to be the song everyone loved and felt was one of strongest out of the bunch. Our producer, Bob Hoag, give the verses a very cool "Rick Ocasek from The Cars" vibe and the chorus seems to really pop starting with the vocals, complemented by Matt’s guitar part and Cassandra’s dance-y bass line. .
TMM: Who are three musicians you think the world needs to hear right now?
NC: This question fluctuates on a daily basis but as it stands [as of last month], Alex Lahey is great. Day Wave is fantastic. Catfisth and the Bottlemen are amazing. Listen to all three of those bands now. You won't be disappointed.
TMM: Who are your biggest influences, both musically and personally?
NC: Musically our influences vary from 60s Motown to Metallica’s Black Album and everything in between. I’d say we’re all big fans of bands like The Strokes, Neon Trees, Jimmy Eat World, Interpol, The Killers, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and the list goes on and gets more obscure from there.
TMM: What has been your most memorable musical moment so far?
NC: Coming up with an EP that we feel is some of the best work we’ve done individually on any past or present project we’ve worked on.
The Music Mermaid: Finally, what’s next for New Chums?
New Chums: More shows, more music videos, more recordings, new merch, more press, more writing, more fans, more hugs, and less salt.