Since No Doubt hit the scene back in the late 90’s most girl fronted bands have not showed as much promise as No Doubt with the one exception of Paramore. Since than trying to find girl fronted bands that showcase both the strength of a guy lead singer and the softness of girl singer is rare with a million in one long shot.
Just when you think all might be lost out of the darkness comes a bright light, local NY band Kelsey and The Chaos.
I had the amazing opportunity to talk with Kelsey and interview her about their music, tours and their recent signing to record label Tragic Hero Records.
Lisa: Hi Kelsey, thanks for taking your time to talk with me. I would like to know more about you and the band, from how you all meet and got started on the music road?
Kelsey: The band officially started at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Nick, the drummer and I met at school and started the band soon thereafter. From there we had a series of different members. I finally settled on the group we have now. Tyler Lyons on guitar, Corey DeVincenzo on bass and Nick Rotunno on Drums. We had all either played in other bands or in my case, been a solo artist before this group got together!
L: Wow, that seems like a long journey, but I am sure I speak for many people when I say I am glad you guys are together because you have some pretty great tunes. Which makes me wonder what are some of the musical artists that are out there that inspire you and why?
K: We are all inspired by a lot of different types of bands and musical styles. For me personally, I love everything from Classic Rock- like Queen and Tom Petty... to top 40 pop and Country music and my parents always had Frank Sinatra playing when I was a kid.
L: That is a wide range of musical influences, which is great to have! How did it feel when you and the band were signed to Tragic Hero Records in 2009?
K: It was great to have someone else step behind the band and help guide us. Tragic Hero released our first EP "Shut Up and Deal" in 2009.
L: I agree, it always good to have support and guidance especially in this industry. I saw on your music myspace you put the back-story behind the songs “Life Goes On” & “Take Me Away” but the question on many fans minds is, what is the back-story on your song “Wrapped Around Your Finger?”
K: Wrapped Around Your Finger was written in 2008. Lyrically speaking, this song is about meeting someone and immediately becoming "enchanted" with him or her so to speak. I think a lot of guys and girls can relate to a situation like this. This song started out with one lyrical idea: "it's safe to say, you have me wrapped around your finger." and it took off from there.
I think another strong lyric in this song is "Now I'm hanging on like a new believer." Believe it or not, we have had a strong reaction from fans asking if this lyric is about the bands relationship to God or a religious affiliation. Although we do not consider ourselves in anyway shape or form a "Christian" band. I think it’s really cool that you can interpret this song any way the listener feels it pertains to them.
L: It is amazing how music can help and effect people on so many different levels. “Wrapped Around Your Finger” is the most played song on your myspace music player, did you think when you were writing it that it blow up big like it is right now?
K: I had no idea it would ever even be released. So to see the reaction fans have to this song is incredibly rewarding for us.
L: Wow, I can’t believe that song may have never got to see the light of day! But I am glad like I am sure many fans are that it did! Who came up with the concept behind the music video for “Wrapped Around Your Finger”?
K: Scott Hansen from Virginia Beach, VA. He directs horror movies and horror themed music videos. I think the image of the band has changed a lot since the release of this video. But I think the story is VERY original. It's a lot like a short film.
L: I agree it is something you could definitely see in the news. The album title for your EP Shut Up and Deal, does it have a story behind it?
K: Yes. It does. We have accomplished quite a lot for such a young and new band. We had a lot of haters and naysayers on message boards and popular websites criticizing us. This was just a subtle way to tell those people to SHUT UP AND DEAL WITH IT- because we are NOT going to fade away from the music scene for a while!
L: Ha-ha, that is one way of telling them! I really do like the balance of hard-hitting songs and lighter pop-punk songs on the Shut Up and Deal EP is that something that will be the balance on your future albums?
K: We played around with softer and heavier sides of our writing and musical vision for Shut Up and Deal. This next album will definitely have a balance but this time, it's going to a lot more synth based. We are in the process of writing a Pop album with distorted, chunky guitars and lots of fun pop vocals and party songs! It's been described as a mix between No Doubt circa "Rock Steady" and Katy Perry.
L: Nice, that sounds amazing! I see you are performing on Warped Tour, that is a big deal for a lot of bands, how do you feel about it?
K: Warped Tour is the best tour a band can possibly be on. It is such an amazing opportunity to meet a ton of fans and people from all over the country. It is a really fun time but it's rough being out in the heat for 9 hours a day. We are counting down the days until we leave!
L: Yeah I agree, I go to Warped Tour and Bamboozle and walking around in the sun all day is absolutely killer! I am curious what other venues or tours would you like to play on in the future?
K: ANY TOUR ANY TIME! We will play on any tour. But we'd love to tour with Forever The Sickest Kids and The Rocket Summer again.
L: Forever The Sickest Kids are a good band. Well before this interview end’s, I am sure your fan's out there would love to know what could we expect from Kelsey and The Chaos in the future?
K: A lot more music. More tours.
Kelsey and The Chaos show this undying love and passion for what they do, which clearly shows in their performances, music and words. This band is on my 2010 Bands to Watch Out For list, which will be coming out in the next few weeks.
Shut Up and Deal receives a 4 out of 5 Music Stars for great musicality and lyrics. This eight song EP brings both hard and soft guitar riffs, drums and amazing vocals all to the table, something that most bands lack. Kelsey and The Chaos will performing on March 20th, 2010 at Angels and Kings in NYC and will be on the Warped Tour this summer, which is coming to the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY.
Songs To Check Out Now: Wrapped Around Your Finger and Heartbreaker (Pat Bentar cover).