The Chimpz are a convergence of rock, heavy metal, punk and hip-hop. Their songs deliver great hooks, high energy, insightful lyrics and raw power. On May 9 at the House of Blues, Sunset Strip, The Chimpz played their last LA appearance for the year, as they embark on a national tour in their mobile billboard, a self-contained camper van where the band will eat and sleep while on the road.
The current band lineup have been together for four years and in that time they’ve recorded three EPs: “On Parole”, “Home Invasion” and “Who Can I Trust”. Their EP “Who Can I Trust” and upcoming self-titled album “The Chimpz” were recorded and produced by famed producer Ryan Greene (Bad Religion, NOFX, Megadeth) and you probably heard some of their songs on TV shows like FX/Son’s of Anarchy and MTV/ Bam Margera’s Unholy Union.
We had a chance to meet with the guys before their HOB show in a kind of impromptu setting on the Sunset Strip. With cars buzzing by and the momentary stops for sirens, here’s what the guys had to say about their music, influences and upcoming tour.
Q: Where are you guys from?
SONIC: I’m originally from Los Angeles.
SEAN TOPHAM: We all pretty much grew up down here. Except he’s from Albuquerque.
CHUCK P: I’m from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
SEAN TOPHAM: I’m from Northern California originally.
ARTIMUS PRIME: San Fernando Valley.
SCARY CARY: LA born and raised, all over the beach, the valley, everywhere. I’m an LA brat.
Q: How did you guys all get together?
SEAN TOPHAM: Sonic and I were roommates before we were even in a band together and then Art and I we used to jam.
CHUCK P: I met these guys from being neighbors with friends of a friends friend.
SONIC: Basically most of us have been in different bands in the past. For the last three and half almost four years now the unit you see here now has been pretty solid.
SCARY CARY: We’ve all jammed and dug each others bands and now we created like one band together.
SONIC: Super group.
Q: Your music has been described as a cross between punk, hard rock, hip-hop and metal. Is that how you would describe it?
ARTIMUS PRIME: It’s a mixture of influences definitely.
Q: Who are your influences?
SCARY CARY: Pantera to Faith No More to Suicidal Tendencies to Zeppelin to--
CHUCK P: Wu-Tang Clan. Tupac.
ARTIMUS PRIME: Brittany Spears. [LAUGHS] Just kidding.
CHUCK P: Zamfir. No limitations here.
Q: What is the title of your new album?
SONIC: It’s gonna be a self-titled. It’s called The Chimpz.
Q: “Who Can I Trust.” What’s that?
SONIC: That was our previous EP, released out a couple years ago. We have a new one coming out actually in about a week.
Q: Tell me about this new album.
SONIC: It’s amazing. Ryan Greene’s our producer. He’s the same producer who did “Who Can I Trust” And he’s done a phenomenal job on this.
Q: Tell me about your song placements on TV shows.
SONIC: We have two songs on “Sons of Anarchy.” One was season 3, episode 1, which was “Home Invasion”. And then season 5, episode 4, we have “Mr. 44.”
SEAN TOPHAM: Don’t forget Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell.” (laughs)
CHUCK P: And “The Challenge.”
ARTIMUS PRIME: And MTV’s Bam Margera’s--
SEAN TOPHAM: They use a lot of our songs in every episode.
Q: Has that brought recognition to your band?
SONIC: It gives us something to promote.
SCARY CARY: So we have a huge fan-base and then their fans, we’ve gotten hit up by them. And we love the show itself. I catch every episode.
SONIC: Actually on their website they have bands that have been featured on the show and a lot of people have found us though their website.
SEAN TOPHAM: “Sons of Anarchy” was the most traffic.
Q: Tell me about the tour you’re embarking on.
SONIC: We’re actually about to leave on tour next week. We’re playing Rocklahoma over Memorial Day weekend. We’re throwing the Jagermeister after party. I think we’re going on after The Deftones, Five Finger Death Punch and then we’re doing a killer after party that night.
SEAN TOPHAM: We’re playing in Albuquerque at the Launch Pad.
CHUCK P: Yep. Which is a cool ass spot. May 17. And then after that we got some really big stuff going on. We just did a theme song for Battle Grounds MMA which are starting back up. So we just did the new song called “Elimination” for that. And so that launches June 27 at the BLK Center in Tulsa.
SONIC: Which is also gonna launch our huge tour until the end of the year.
CHUCK P: So we got another huge tour coming up after that, which we’re gonna announce in a couple weeks. But this is our last LA show that we’re doing tonight and it will be probably until New Years until we come back.
Q: Tell me a little bit more about the new songs.
SEAN TOPHAM: They’re kick ass.
SONIC: We released a single, sort of a prelude to the album called “War Machine” which we’re actually giving away for free if you go to our website. Put in your email in the headliner, you get the free download for “War Machine.” Chuck can actually explain what this song’s about.
CHUCK P: The working title was “American Spring.” So if you’re familiar at all with what’s been going on in the past couple years in the middle-east and they call it Arab spring, it’s an awakening. And so “War Machine” is pretty much an American spring.
ARTIMUS PRIME: Check it out on TheChimpz.com with a Z.
Q: You guys are sponsored by some big name companies.
CHUCK P: Shout out to our sponsors Jagermeister, Shechter guitars, Sullen clothing, Audio 2000.
SCARY CARY: Bogner amplifications.
CHUCK P: Outlaw threads.
SCARY CARY: And our Jim Dunlop pics, We just got that too.
Q: Before I leave you guys, anything else you want to throw out?
CHUCK P: You can go to Chimpz.com and get the single for free, “War Machine.” Just type in your email or you can go to reverbnation and check out the songs and stream them and see if you like it.
SEAN TOPHAM: Plus we have a ton of videos on You Tube.
Q: Anything more you want to add about your music?
SEAN TOPHAM: It totally kicks ass.
SONIC: I can’t wait to play the new songs tonight.
SEAN TOPHAM: We wanna slap your mamma.
SCARY CARY: So, yeah, just check it out and it will be new and different and I think you’ll dig it.
CHUCK P: It’s not your typical rap-metal.
Q: Last words before we go.
CHUCK P: Chimpin’ is pimpin’.
SEAN TOPHAM: Join the Chimpznation.
ARTIMUS PRIME: Yeah, blaze one for the nation. We’re the Chimpz of creation.
SEAN TOPHAM: [MAKES CHIMP SOUNDS] That’s our sign off. (laughs)
SCARY CARY: It’s a mating call ladies.
A super fun group of guys, the Chimpz are serious about their music and collectively bring a mixture of musical influences that make up their original sound. Please check out their links and see what Chimpznation is all about.
ARTIMUS PRIME (VOX, R. GUITAR)
CARY SINGMAN “SCARY CARY” (LEAD GUITAR)
CHRIS COAST “CHUCK P” (MC VOX)
SEAN CAPMASTERFRESH TOPHAM (DRUMS)
SHAWN LYON “SONIC” (BASS)
YOU TUBE www.youtube.com/user/thechimpz