Chris Chinchilla Formed Another Band
Our collective crush on Art Brut
hasn't been a secret around here. Their debut album was Top of the Pops for Rajeev and I (maybe Paul too?) in 2005 and we've tried to attend nearly every show the band has put on in the area.
For me it started about five seconds after I heard "Formed a Band" for the first time. I was won over so completely by this song that I signed up for Art Brut's Yahoo! group, which led to an exchange of a couple emails with then lead guitarist Chris Chinchilla
. Like a loyal fanboy, I offered whatever help I could to bring Art Brut stateside. Nothing came of our conversations then, Chris left the band and I assumed that was the end of the story.
However, Chris was kind enough to remember our brief meeting and when he asked for assistance with booking some New York shows for his new band, I jumped at the chance. Long in the making but finally almost here, Chris and his band Macaca Mulata
will play three shows here in New York next week: April 25
at Cake Shop, April 28
at Sin-e and April 30
Chris and I recently sat down for a long friendly chat (well, we actually emailed each other today) to discuss Art Brut, his new band and his multi-pronged plan to rule the world!Easy questions first: Who is Chris Chinchilla?Chris Chinchilla
: Me... Bit moody sometimes, but generally a good bloke. The name comes from a fanzine / promotions company I used to run when I was about 17, and it kind of stuck...Tell us your Art Brut days. Why did you leave the band? Are you still friends with them?CC
: They were great, I left because I was running up enormous debt and I had a few personal things I needed to sort out. That's all OK now, and we're all good friends, saw them last week, Jasper [Future, who took Chris's place in the band] was very nervous with me around. Bless ;-)What have you been up to since leaving Art Brut?CC
: Getting new songs together, slowly. Getting a new band together, slowly. Working on a few other things, like an Arts project and doing quite a bit of DJ'ing (featured DJ in this weeks NME!) and sadly, working :-( Though that will end again soon as it bores me shitless and I want to get back on the road!Tell us more about your new band, Macaca Mulatta. Who's in it? Where did you come up with the name?CC
: Jim & Arran, who used to be in a London Punk band, Rhesus make up the rest of the band. The name (as far as we're saying...) is the Chinchilla-Monkey that you see on our flyers and publicity. In fact there will be 3 chinchmonkies out and about eventually. It's an amalgamation of my name and a Monkey... The Internet might try to tell you other things, but don't believe that...
- Listen to Macaca Mulatta's "Change" (rough demo, MP3)OK, time to ask the obligatory influences question. Who helps shape the Chinchilla/Macaca Mulatta sound?CC
: Hmm, well, my influences don't often come out in the music I make, but at the moment I'm kind of aiming at a Jam / Dead Kennedy's crossover, which is more obvious in the newer material than the tracks you can hear so far
(which are very, very, very rough demos). Though generally whatever I intend something to sound like is not how it turns out...
- Listen to Macaca Mulatta's "Welcome to the Real World" (rough demo, MP3)Judging from your personal site, you're involved in much more than just being in a band. What are you up to? And is this all part of a plan for world domination?CC
: Yes - DJ'ing, Art Projects, a radio show, music reviews, production, web design, all sorts... World domination would be nice, but it's mainly because I just get bored easily and want to be involved with anything and everything.
- Listen to Macaca Mulatta's "Ex Beauty Queen" (rough demo, MP3)What are you listening to now?CC
: Just finished listening to a demo of a band called 'Vacuum Irony' not greatly impressed...What was your first concert?CC
: Can't honestly remember, I used to go to really tiny gigs when I first started going to gigs, probably something at the Bull & Gate in Kentish Town.