Monday, April 20, 2009

Exclusive: Chester French Interview

I recently had a chance to talk with the guys from Chester French who's debut album drops April 21. In a lighthearted and earnest conversation the guys talk about Twitter, their VIP Concierge service for fans and the age-old question of who wins in a fight, Gorilla vs. Bear?

You may or may not have heard the name Chester French bandied about recently. That's not important. What is important is that you pay attention to Chester French. You might be asking yourself hey guy who is Chester French? Good question, I'll answer it because I'm nice like that. No, it's not a fantastical cartoon character who wears suspenders and has a curly mustache like you thought it was. Chester French is a band made up of members D.A. Wallach and Max Drummey. Signed to Pharrell Williams' label, Star Trak, the group is seemingly on a collision course with awesomeness. Their debut album "Love The Future" hits stores April 21 and based on the mixtape they released this past week (for free!) it's sure to be redonk. Hard Peaches recently had a chance to talk to the guys about topics ranging from how they see services like Twitter helping artists reach their audience, their esteemed concierge VIP service, and even their favorite animals and colors. Here's some of the things the guys from Chester French were kind enough to reveal:

HP: First guys, I want to say great job on Jacques Jams Voume 1: Endurance (the groups free mixtape). How was it working with Clinton Sparks and the seemingly endless amount of featured artists?

Chester French: Awesome.

HP: Let's talk about services like Twitter and how you see them helping artists such as yourselves reach fans and potential fans?

D.A.: Well, music should be a communal experience. We're trying to bring people together through a common thread and that's our music. Twitter is just one of the way we can reach people. We also have a Concierge Service on our website that allows people to sign up and receive exclusive content and invites to special parties. The way we look at is the people who support us know truly are VIP's.

HP: No doubt. It's definitely refreshing to see artists taking an active interest in their fans and supporters. I read that you named your band after the sculptor Daniel Chester French. Why?

D.A.: We thought it was a cool name.

HP: That's a good reason. As people may or may not know you guys went to Harvard and formed your band there. How did you find the Boston music scene and how were you received in general.

D.A.: We played to a lot of empty bars and clubs. We weren't really received that well in Boston, when we went underground and started working is when we found a lot of things happening.

HP: I'm obligated to ask what instruments you guys play?

Max: I play Guitar, Bass and Keys well. I can pretty much hack it on any instrument except woodwinds.

D.A.: I sing and can play drums.

HP: Cool. Who are some of artists that you guys are currently listening to?

Chester French: Eric Satie (a French minimalist composer) and The Talking Heads.

HP: What's the last song you guys listened to?

Chester French: "Get By" by Talib Kweli. We performed it live last night with Talib and it was great.

HP: Awesome, the Nina Simone sample in that song is killer. Now to find out some more about you guys as people, the questions everybody wants to know. What's your favorite color, animal, and great lake.

D.A.: My favorite color is purple. I really like Elephants but also the Bengal Tiger. And my favorite Great Lake is Lake Michigan because I live on it.

Max: My favorite color is brown...obviously. My favorite animal is a Human and my favorite great lake is the Atlantic Ocean.

HP: Alright, now the people know. Few more questions. Who would win a fight: a gorilla or a bear, assuming they were of equal size and stature.

D.A. (pause) Bear. I mean, bears have claws and they're really fast and they're bigger.

HP: Assume they're equal in size.

Max: It's gotta be a Bear, just their claws and speed...although a Silverback Gorilla is pretty bad.

HP: Don't underestimate the intelligence factor of the Gorilla.

Chester French: (The general consensus was Bear wins)

HP: Can you talk about the creative process for your debut album "Love The Future"

Chester French: We just played a lot of Twister and vibed off that.

HP: That's exactly what I imagined it to be. Last question, are you guys fans of any particular sports teams?

Chester French: As our mixtape Jacques Jams Volume 1: Endurance shows we're a fan of all athletics. It's all about getting your endurance up.

HP: Hahaha, nice. Thanks guys for your time, it's appreciated and best of luck with the new album.

Chester French: Thanks.

While the guys were modest and tolerant of some of the odder questions it's clear that Chester French are employing a grass-roots strategy of reaching out to fans and supporters and making them feel welcome. That combined with the quality of their music seems to be a recipe for success. With innovative marketing strategies and unprecedented accessibility Chester French are creating quite the buzz from within the music industry. It seems only natural that type of enthusiasm will extend to music fans far and wide. Here's wishing the best for the guys from Chester French although I must insist that a gorilla can take a bear in a no-holds barred grudge match.

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