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- Posted on Mar 13th 2010 10:57PM by Andrea Mitchell
How would you describe Chew Lips' sound?
We kind of describe it as 8 bit drum disco. We're not hugely into the electro tag. We do use electronic sounds and equipment. What differentiates us from a lot of the other artists doing the same thing is we are a band and we write songs together. We perform in a rock band way when we play live. With our sound, Its kind of disco-y and a bit rocky.
How did the band form?
James and I had been talking about being in a band in the winter of 2007 going into 2008. It was just talk, we would go around to peoples houses and play a lot of music that we liked and get into the zone about it. By the time it got to spring 2008 we decided to get together and write songs. When I got to James house Will was there. He knew Will from years ago and that's how the 3 of us got together.
How did the band come up with the name Chew Lips?
The band name was James' idea, I love the name I think it describes us quite well. I think its really hard to get a decent band name. Chew Lips is from a book called Borstal Boy which is by a Irish author named Brendan Behan. We think its kind of sleazy and kind of sexy and a bad pun, it describes us quite well.
What are your musical influences.
Everything from 60s classic pop to classic 80s records. Records that stand the test of time like Prince and Bowie. Also modern bands that we like are I suppose like LCD Soundsystem, and Hot Chip. As a singer the people that have influenced me by far, I've said it many times my favorite singer is Karen Carpenter, I think she's got the most amazing voice ever. I love Stevie Nicks, I love Pat Benatar, I love women that can really sing. Patti Smith as well, I got into punk first. When I saw that she was properly fusing music and poetry, it seemed like something that I really wanted to get involved with. That's what got me involved in music in the first place, Patti Smith.
What's are some of your must haves while touring?
You've got to have sunglasses, it's a bit of bit a cliche´. You've got to, cuz you find yourself in airports at 6 am and its so bright and you've had such a late night. Not because you've been the rockstar party thing but because you've been up doing a show since 3 am. Every tour that you do your level of preparation goes up a notch and you learn what you cant live without. I take candles that remind me of the smell of my house, and shower gel.
Any musical guilty pleasures?
I don't have any musical guilty pleasures. That's not to say I don't listen to music that other people would say is not cool. I just don't have any guilt about it. I think a good song is a good song. It doesn't matter if it was written by Britney Spears or the most underground that nobodies even heard of yet except for you. Two days ago I downloaded the whole Billy Joel catalog onto my Ipod, which some people might think is cheesy but I don't really care.
Beatles or The Stones?
Its got to be the Beatles. The range of the Beatles songwriting is far superior to the Rolling Stones. Even though the Rolling Stones look like they're probably having more fun.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while touring?
I wont mention the name of the band because I'd probably get sued. A band that we have in the UK that's pretty big in the UK but seriously lacking credibility because their songs are quite rubbish. We saw the lead singer of that band shagging this girl up against the side of their tour bus in the middle of the afternoon. She was being nailed against the back of the tour bus the whole time. She had one hand in the air holding onto her kabob! A kabob is like a late night snack, it's a mystery meat in bread that you get when you're totally hammered. It cost a couple of pounds its like really trashy food. For lead singer of this band it wasn't enough for her to put down her food!
Describe the writing process.
The writing process normally happens with James and myself. We'll get into a room and he'll start with a drum beat and I'll sing and write words afterwards or at the same time. It can happen a lot of different ways.
What do you enjoy more touring or recording?
Touring definitely! I would say to be honest the only thing I enjoy out of the whole process is being onstage. I love the shows, they're such fun! All of the rest of it the writing to an extent although I do enjoy the writing I could give it up and just do the performances.
Any pre-show rituals?
We say a pray to God and we link hands. No I'm kidding. We are into the habit of being completely ready at least 20 minutes prior to show time. Then we sit in the dressing room and put the speakers up really loud and I sing along to songs that I like and everyone else kind of sings along a bit. Kind of a warm up thing, that's about it really nothing too exciting.
What's your biggest vice?
I should probably say I don't have any, I live my life according to the good book and I never do anything wrong but that would be a lie. Probably punctuality by that I mean I'm never on time for anything.
Andrea Mitchell is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.