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CHAIRS

Submitted by RamonLP4 on May 1, 2012 – 7:50 amNo Comment
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One would think I am in Cypress, Texas. And with the images of homogenous architecture and SUVs parked in their driveways, this would seem to be the case but when I ask the three masked beings before me (who just minutes before were playing a cover of a Mayhem song) how they came to live in the suburbs, they turn to me incredulously and say with an air of urgency, “Where did you hear we live in the suburbs? Check your sources friend! The last thing you want to do is trigger an Intergalactic War!” That’s hardly the response anyone would expect but a band like CHAIRS seems hardly a band of this world, much less this dimension.  The entire time I am interviewing them they remain masked and mysterious and I begin to wonder if perhaps my senses are wrong, that I’m not in Cypress after all, and what I am witnessing is an elaborate illusion for my benefit.  The music is no less baffling.  One minute the band sounds like a group of Jazz heads, the next minute they sound like a sloppy garage band playing Dick Dale inspired guitar riffs, then they may very well turn off the amps and resort to using any of the myriad of instruments from around the world at their disposal.  Yet, the band is not simply about defying categorization, it is about absorbing any every idea they encounter and channeling it in a way that only CHAIRS can.

 

Invader Cass (self-portrait)

FPH - Who are you behind those masks?

Cass - I am Invader Cass; an extra-terrestrial who was shipwrecked on Earth. I am forced to blend in with the Human Hive until my ghost rocket is repaired, or till I am picked up on a galactic hitch.  Dr.FingerQ (the key holder) is another imposter here on Earth. His home planet is unknown. He is a joker with a twisted sense of humor. You do not want to encounter this highly intelligent trickster. And Clubfoot Kreezerast is an underground dweller who came up to the surface in search of children to eat. Not much is known about this underground race of creatures besides they are extremely hostile if encountered.

FPH - Why, given your fantastical backgrounds, why hide these identities behind masks?

Cass - The costumes and masks are tools which we utilize to transcend the universal glitch you call ‘life’. They empower us to do things we couldn’t normally do.

FPH – When you play, it’s as if you don’t have any control over what is happening or where things are going.  Are you guys just crazy high or is something else happening when you play?

Cass - We are mere conduits to the Universe. For thousands of years, people across the world have used music as a medium to connect them to the spirit realm. We use that trance-like state to liberate ourselves from this world. We are not creating the music so to speak, we are just the antenna thru which the music flows.

FPH - Your shows are pretty epic.  Are there any that stand out?

Cass - Well, this one time at Super Happy Fun Land, we ended up playing for almost 3 hours. One guy was there with some friends, he shot some footage of us and put it on Youtube. He wrote “This would have been awesome if it was 15 mins, but it went on for WAY too long”. He also said that they went out to eat in the middle of our show, and when they came back, we were STILL playing. We won’t apologize and are not liable for any detrimental effect on your psyche after seeing a CHAIRS performance.

FPH - How was your recent tour?

Cass - We went with Doggebi and a circuit bender from France named Loic Bertrand. It was a southern tour; we rented a van and played 7 or 8 cities. The southern hospitality that everyone showed us was great. We had a place to sleep every night. This one night we all stayed in this one creepy house in Florida that was infested with spiders. It had hanging deer rib-cages, mummified cats, and other strange Skeletor stuff laying around. It was bizarre and it was hard to sleep that night.  You never know what you’ll encounter on the road, but that’s part of the fun! We hope to get back on the road ASAP!

FPH - How has it been working with Net-Labels?

Cass - Net-Labels get our music to people all over the world, for free - it’s good exposure. We’re not in it for the money; we just want our work to be heard. It’s also good for the environment, since there are no plastic cases and ink being used for CD production. You can download our albums for free at Spettro Records, based in Italy, Blek Blekk, from Norway, and TVK, based in Australia.

But we also established our own DIY label called “Den of Lost Skulls” to release physical hard-copies of our albums. We make personalized limited editions of our albums for those who like the feeling of an album you can hold in your hand.

FPH- You guys have a pretty diverse amount of instruments…

Cass - We own a lot of world instruments for the ‘acoustic’ side of CHAIRS. We like to change things up as much as possible. Sometimes we might do an all-acoustic show, but you never know…We never play the same show twice. We are hugely influenced by Sublime Frequencies - a label that releases obscure, raw musics from all over the world, with a main focus on South East Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

FPH - You guys seem to embrace everything and anything to such a degree that it’s hard to explain to people just what CHAIRS is in a nutshell.  How would you sum it up?

Cass - Diversity is our thing. Our albums thus far highly differentiate from our live performances, usually saving our written songs (as well as some covers) for live shows. Having formed in 2006 as a duo in Houston, Texas, we became a trio sometime in ‘09 when Kreezerast came on board to participate in the mischief. We don’t worry about mistakes, rather we embrace them. Mistakes reveal the humanity in us all. CHAIRS is a paradox that makes perfect sense. It says something about the human experience, it speaks of murder and love and how sometimes, they interact with one another.

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