Hot on the heels of the release of their single ‘Do You Chew?’, Chew Lips have a full summer of festival shows ahead of them, and with a brand new album stored in their armory, the duo is looking stronger than ever. They’re striving for a much more polished, pop feel to their new album, as can be seen provisionally by their latest R&B influenced single, so in the process of gearing up for this weekend’s Magic Loungeabout Festival, Jonathan Hatchman chats with front-woman Tigs.
You’re set to play at The Magic Loungeabout at the weekend, are you looking forward to it?
Definitely. Festivals are always good fun – and I like the smaller ones, the boutique ones. New ones are good: I like the smaller ones and the boutique ones, they’re generally more fun than the big ones. Obviously it’s amazing playing at like V or Glastonbury or something, but for me, there’s just too many people at something like that. And, as a punter – to be moving around with hundreds of thousands of other people is super stressful. So it’s wicked the way that The Secret Garden Party used to be ten years ago.
What can spectators that are unfamiliar with your band expect from your performance?
A lot of energy… probably quite a lot of bad dancing, and me throwing my self around, generally. But half of the set will be made of our old album and half will be songs from our new album. The new songs are generally more up-tempo, and it’s all quite polished and pop now. So it’s kind of like a pop show, but kind of a rock show at the same time. I think our aesthetic is, kind of, much more free and wild, at some level – than something really slick. So a combination of those things. And bad dancing.
We hear that the new album’s nearly ready…
It’s totally ready!
How happy are you with it, compared to your debut?
Yeah, I’m happy with it, it’s really different, but I think that you have to keep trying new things all of the time. We really love Beck for example, and he’s somebody that you just can’t pigeon-hole, because every album sounds completely different. If you start off, at the beginning, with that in mind that you want to do something different every time, then you get away with it. It’s only if you do four albums, the same, that then if you change on the fifth album it’s a bit suspicious. So we, kind of, wanted to make a much more polished record. We’ve just worked so hard on it – and it’s more “pop’ definitely. But, you know, that was the intention and we want everyone to listen to it and connect with it, somehow. So you have to be a bit, more, clever about how you write them, I think.
Going back to talking about festivals – what’s your favourite show that you’ve ever played?
God, we’ve done a couple this year that are probably the best ones we’ve done. There was a show called Pohoda, I think, in Slovakia two weeks ago, which is an unbelievable festival I think everybody should go to. They had the best crowd and the most beautiful people. They’re all completely brown and were walking around, wearing – like nothing – and you’re like: “Wow, this is just like Utopia.” That was a wicked show… And I’d say that some of the gigs we’ve done in Russia have been really good. Russian crowds are great. I think, generally, when you go to Europe, the further East you go, the better the festival, the better the crowds and the more, into the music, they are. It’s just a completely different scene from the UK festivals. And it’s really fun to see the differences.
Your latest single – ‘Do You Chew?’ was pretty well received… what do you think it is that made it resonate with the people, so much?
Ah, fuck knows. I’ve given up on thinking about what other people are going to like, and what they’re not. It’s impossible to tell. I really like that song, but I don’t think it massively represents the album. So it was just an interesting thing to put it out there, and we didn’t sell it, we just put it out as a free download to see what people thought of it… And people seem to like it, but that doesn’t really mean much, because people may say they like something, and you could put it out and sell, like, ten copies. These days, music is a really strange thing. But we’ve had some good feedback, and I guess that is the most important thing, that people say they like it, but we’ll never know how much they like it, as people didn’t have to buy it.
Is it a good lead track to showcase just what the album is like?
Kind of, that’s definitely the most R&B track on the album, or R&B influenced, but the rest of the album isn’t really like that, so I’d say it’s one extreme of the album, and it’s definitely not the most pop track, so it shows one side of the album. But it’s not a personal representation of the album, no.
So following the festival shows, what’s next for Chew Lips, to bridge the gap between the summer and the album release?
I think we’re just wanting to do some support tours and go out with some other bands for the rest of the year. We really want to do some charity shows as well for Cancer Research UK because we have personal reasons to support the charity, and I’ve been running Cancer Research’s Race For Life for five years now. It’s just important to us. And we have a single out in September, called ‘Hurricane’ which we’ve just shot the video for, and that’s looking really exciting. So there’ll be lots of stuff happening, and we’ll be playing lots of shows. But mainly, I suppose, we’ll be gearing up for this album coming out, which means getting the live show amazing and getting ready to tour, hardcore, next year.