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The CHIRP Blog

Entries categorized as “Interviews” 73 results

DJ Mick writesThe CHIRP Radio Interview: Aight Bet

by CHIRP Radio DJ and Features Co-Director Mick R (Listen to his most recent shows here / Read his blog here)

E-Town Concrete might be officially retired, but we might just have the next best thing brooding and biding their time on the city’s Southside.

Chicago’s Aight Bet, the self-described “hood-core” band, has yet to release a full EP, but their early singles “Accountability” and “Alpha Status” are already showing a tremendous amount of promise.

Rolling through alternating currents of knuckle-sandwich serving, ‘90s metalcore grooves and bum-rushing beats that stomp like a boss, Aight Bet know how to handle themselves in a hardcore and metal scene that boasts such heavyweight brutes as Harm’s Way, La Armada, Kharma, amongst many others.

To get the scoop on this sick ensemble of upstarts, I caught up with bandleader Maurice to give him the chance to introduce his band in his own words. Check out the interview below!

[The following interview was conducted via email on September 9, 2021. It has been edited slightly for the sake of clarity. Photos by Rick Lancaster.]

Who is Aight Bet and how did you all meet? 

Aight Bet is a band of musicians with different backgrounds and years of experience. We've all played in different bands and came together because it was destined. Maurice on rap vocals, Calvin on hard Vocals, John on Bass, Jeff on drums, Mike on guitar, and Alex on Guitar.

Keep Reading…

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Categorized: Interviews

DJ Mick writesThe CHIRP Radio Interview: Timothy Corpus

by CHIRP Radio DJ and Features Co-Director Mick R (Listen to his most recent shows here / Read his blog here)

Timothy Corpus is a Chicago local composer and sound designer who has a new album out this year that he's titled MMXX.

The album is a reflection on the tumultuous year that changed all of our lives but in different and, at times, imperceivable ways. How did your life change this past year and a half? Who were you before? Who are you now? Have you taken stock of these changes and transitions? Each of us has gone through them, but I think very few of us have dug as deep into these questions as Timothy has on MMXX. The album is a contemplative space in which to explore these investigations into ourselves and the passage of time. The album is self-released by Tim himself, and you can check it out here

Read an exclusive interview with Timothy about the making of his album below:

Tell our listeners a little about yourself- what is your background? what part of the city are you local to? favorite food? etc...

I'm Tim Corpus, composer | sound designer | arts manager based in Chicago. I live down near Printer's Row, but I also studied music performance at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts.

Best burger in the city? DMK.
Best Chicago tavern-style pizza? Flo & Santos.
Best coffee shop? Robust Coffee at 63rd & Woodlawn.

You've stayed fairly busy during the pandemic despite the lockdown, can you give our listeners an overview of all the projects you've been working on since March of last year?

Ya I've been working hard to stay busy, despite a lot of work drying up. I think that's part of trying to keep myself sane during the lockdown.

I helped launch the Opera Festival of Chicago's inaugural festival last month, did a lot of arts consulting for groups around the country, then I composed for a lot of short films, video games, and music for live performance.

I also did a lot of concert broadcasts for performers. It has been the only way performers could keep doing what they were doing, so I've spent a lot of time doing video editing.

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Categorized: Interviews

Ninja writesThe CHIRP Radio Interview: Cold Beaches

Cold Beaches played their first post-COVID-hiatus show last month at Schubas, with an entrance Sophia Nadia had been ideating for months. “All the bands were so good,” Nadia said. “I felt kind of fulfilled for the first time in a really long time. My ego has been significantly and efficiently stroked.”

Cold Beaches launched their set with “Ride,” the opening track from Drifter. "It sets the tone for a fun time,” Nadia said. “Reno Cruz, which is an amazing artist, they played this beautiful, kind of like sweet ballad, soft set. And I was telling my bandmates watching it, like I was about to cry, it was so beautiful, and slow and soft. And then I was like, ‘Wow, the vibes in here are going to change so significantly when we go on.’” “Ride” begins with open string guitar-tuning with underlying amp buzz, then climbs into a fast-paced rocker, catching a live audience by surprise at the top of a set.

Nadia thought extensively about how she wanted her return to the stage to look, including her own headpiece—a headband with a slew of zip-ties attached, all painted silver. “It looks like a halo crown, just like a bunch of silver spikes,” she said. 

The rest of Cold Beaches’ band members wore all black with silver chains for the Schubas show. The show marks the first time songs from “Drifter,” originally released in July of 2020, were able to be heard in a live venue, nearly a year later.

Even before the COVID delay, the album saw months of release setbacks going as far back as winter of 2019. Pushed to April of 2020, and later July, the album sat ready for release for months. Then in July, Nadia actually wanted to delay the release again amid the protests, activism and fallout from the George Floyd case, but contractually, the album had to drop. “I just wanted to give space for people to speak about important issues. And I really didn't think it was the time, amongst all of this tragedy and loss, to be like, ‘Listen to my band! Check it out! Look at me!’” 

With the band unable to rehearse over pandemic, once the Schubas show was booked, they did, “Hyper-tons of rehearsals,” for about a month, she said.

Nadia plans for her next album to be a synth-pop release, as piano is her first musical love. She said fears about working multiple synth lines into live shows previously gave her trepidation about featuring them prominently in her music. “Piano is my first instrument. I love synth. It’s hard to execute that properly live, but I'm feeling brave...Guitars just, it started that way just because I thought to be in a rock band when I was 14 that it had to be the guitar,” she added.

Cold Beaches formed when Nadia was 17. After eschewing college to tour with a prior band that broke up, she met frontman Connor Wood of 3 Legged Dog in Richmond, Va., who offered to play drums on her new Cold Beachesproject. While the backing lineup has evolved over time, Nadia has always been the core of the project, dictating its musical direction. “Really, it's kind of always been just, I'm in my underwear in my room doing some form of tomfoolery on the piano or the guitar. The only changes that have happened have been more my personal development and curiosity as a musician and as a writer,” Nadia reflected.

While Cold Beaches may have started in Virginia, it’s now a Chicago-based band. But originally, Nadia had intended to take the project to New York City. “Everybody thinks ‘New York’ in Richmond, and then they don't last six months, and they move back, sounds a little daunting,” Nadia confessed.

But one day, she happened to meet Chicago’s own Twin Peaks while on tour with Cold Beaches in Philadelphia. “I actually ran into some Chicago musicians while I was on tour in Philadelphia through this weird circumstance where my credit card got canceled,” she said. “I was trying to book a hotel at the same hotel they were staying at so we could hang out. And they were like, ‘Oh no, I'll front you.’ So they helped me get a room. And then one of their band members got locked out of their room and had to crash on the couch of my room.” After a lengthy late-night conversation with Twin Peaks’ Colin Croom, she started to think Chicago would be a better destination.

Besides the synth-pop venture, Nadia said she also hopes to score video games, after a lifelong love of them stemming back to high school. “I’ve always loved video games,” she said. “I think it sparked another form of curiosity with my creativity to see how these developers could create worlds and stories and dialogue. And on top of that, they have incredible musicians just orchestrating beautiful compositions.” 

Nadia said the pandemic gave her the chance to return to her love of video games, which touring and recording had sidelined since high school. She said the idea of writing music with a purpose beyond self-focus would be interesting. “I would love nothing more than to be able to score something like a video game or a movie, where instead of it being about me, me, me, it would be like, ‘This is about this. Can you make a song for when this happens?’” Nadia is even dabbling in video game creation from the ground up, learning code to create a simple 2-D game. “I want to score it and write some poetry, some dialogue, create a little experience,” she said. “It’s not going to be a full-fledged thing, but it would be nice to present my music in a new way.”

 

CLICK HERE to listen to the full interview on the CHIRP Podcast.

 

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Categorized: Interviews

DJ Mick writesThe CHIRP Radio Interview: Karaboudjan

by CHIRP Radio DJ and Features Co-Director Mick R (Listen to his most recent shows here / Read his blog here)

Multi-instrumentalist Karaboudjan, aka Billy Kim, is preparing to drop his first solo album, IMAGO.

Billy always knew he wanted to be a musician and was inspired by his parent's amateur performances in his home as a child. His career has progressed through a number of different permutations over the years, starting out in the progressive post-hardcore band The Prisoner's Dilemma, and eventually land a gig working with, and touring alongside, the magnificently vibey Tycho.

Now Billy is poised to make a statement all his own with IMAGO, a dreamy and transportive pop record that he fittingly wrote and recorded at night while his roommates were asleep. Check out our exclusive interview with Billy and get some insights into the sonic, psychedelic landscape he has cultivated before the IMAGO drops this September. 

Give us an outline of how you went from touring with Tycho to recording and releasing a solo record? 

I moved out of Anaheim, CA when I started touring with Tycho back in 2016. When we weren't on the road I would stay with my friends who lived in Union City, NJ where I did the majority of the writing for IMAGO in 2017.

This was the first time in my life where I had an opportunity to completely focus on music without the burden of balancing a job.

Keep Reading…

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Categorized: Interviews

DJ Mick writesThe CHIRP Radio Interview: L.H.

by CHIRP Radio DJ and Features Co-Director Mick R (Listen to his most recent shows here / Read his blog here)

L.H. is a Chicago MC and entrepreneur with a new EP out this week through his Visual Audio brand called XXXibition. The album is a playground of gritty imagery that defines the outlines of internal struggles and adversity experienced in attempting to survive and thrive in this world.

L.H. makes the most of his fast and nasal flow, twisting and juking on and around sputtering trap beats like a cat on a hot tin roof. You can't pull down what you can't catch, and L.H. is always on the move.

Check out our snappy and exclusive interview with the rhyme maestro himself below: 

Tell our listener’s who you are and what part of the city you hail from.

Name is L.H.. I'm a rap and hip hop artist from Chicago, Illinois

You present yourself as a real go getter. What are the ups and downs of always being on the grind?

Time. Grinding and taking risk is not for everyone. Being a indie artist running my own label, I have my hands in everything from recording to booking shows.. My success will only go as far as my motivation.  There's literally no days off for me.

What’s the hardest part about staying relevant in a fast moving world like hip hop? 

Always staying on top of changing sounds. I try not to vaacume my style. I am always on the hunt for new beats and listening to whats trending.

You sound really comfortable and like you’ve really come into your own sound on your new EP XXXibition. Did your approach for this release differ from past releases? 

I approached it the same as any other project.. Once I decide I want to do a EP or mixtape, I focus on completing it. That's always been my approach. I had a great time making it.

What should people know about you in order to get into the right mindset to listen to this album? 

I'm a high energy artist that loves to create.  If you are looking multiple styles along with lyrics then this project is for you. 

Who handled the production for your latest release? 

I have production from El47, DomEd and T.o. produced it. I just worked with those three producers. Also everything was recorded at UntoldStories recordings in Chicago.

You only have one feature on this new album. Was that intentional? 

Yes. I'm pretty introverted so I'm use to just cracking our songs by myself. I'm always down for features but only if the song needs it. Me and Crystal3x pulled it off and it was great working with her.

Nintendo games seem to be a recurring motif in your work (Hyruken, Treasured, King Koopa). Why do videogames factor into the themes and lyrics of your work in such a big way? 

I just grew up playing video games and I've always been a fan of  art work in general. Especially zelda game art. Nintendo has a lot of The 8 bit sounds that I really like and they get stuck in your head.

What are your goals for the rest of 2021?

My goals are to do more touring, sell more merchandise, make more music, continue to build my fanbase while getting better as an artist. I am always looking to grow who I am as well as the Visual Audio brand. I will follow My goals into the following years as well.

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Categorized: Interviews

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