Tigs from The CHEW LiPS Gets Mouthy: “Men don’t have much charisma on stage”

21 Jul

Words by Rahsian Parris/Photography by Matthew Beedle

Two guys, a girl and some of the best melodies you are likely to hear on one album. Dance pop trio, CHEW LiPS’ debut album Unicorn is like an addictive concoction of colourfully textured electro sounds, solid pop vocals and edgy lyrics that are like a love potion where you are in between infatuation and tantalising neurosis and it always feels good. With, possibly, this years most underrated debut thus far, Tig, James and Will have been working the festival circuit this summer, touring non-stop to promote the album and perform to adoring crowds. Tig took some time out of their busy schedule to give us the low down on one of summer’s hottest acts, about the album and why front-women are ultimately better than front men.

So, who are the CHEW LiPS and how did you guys get together?

It was two years ago now, we played our first show on May 10th, 2008, it was kind of like the same old story, I knew James, James knew Will. James and I talked about being in a band for quite a long time and over the course of the winter just got together and played each other records and just got really drunk a lot and just didn’t really do anything about it. Then it got to April, May and thought, shall we actually do something about this?

We made a friend of ours hold a house party so that we could play at it; the best house parties are always at someone else’s house so you don’t have to clean up. We had a deadline then so we went in to the studio, wrote some songs, rehearsed for a week and that was the beginning of it really.

Tell us a bit about your album Unicorn

Before we recorded the album we wrote nearly 70 songs. In the beginning we worked really fast. You’re in a rehearsal room which you’re obviously paying for, so as appose to sitting for 20 minutes trying to think of a really good name for a song you just sort of think, well you might as well write a song in that 20 minutes, so a lot of them were just numbers in the beginning. Gold Key, until the album came out, was Three, Eight was Eight, but we never thought of that as a name for it.

(I mention that Slick is my favourite song from the album)

James wrote the backing track for [Slick]. He gave me a CD with a bunch of stuff on it and that was one of the songs on there. He called it Slick because he thought the backing track was all slick and ridiculous, hip-hoppy, Beyonce type thing and the title stuck, because it is really slick, but if you hear the demo, you’ll be amazed, it’s virtually identical, it hasn’t hardly changed in the whole time.

It’s really interesting what people like. It’s just hilarious to me, because I love [Slick], but it’s got a two minute break down, a bit where it just goes (makes a strange broken washing machine sound) and I always think, it’s the kind of song that people might go to the bar to get a drink at that point because it’s not one of the more upbeat ones, but people really like that one. I guess it’s about growing up, I think the whole album is about that, the notion of being a very small person, alone in the world, a sort of transitional thing.

You played the first Russian Standard Vodka event along side The Noisettes this summer, how were they?

I met Shangai (lead singer of The Noisettes) like a year ago, we both happened to do an Arena photo shoot, it was Little Boots and her and myself and it was like “This Year’s Pop Vixens” or something ridiculous like that and she was prancing around in hot pants all day, it was quite a sight; but they (The Noisettes) are very polite, they’re the kind of band that will come and say hi to you as soon as they get there, you’d be surprised how rare that is. It’s not even rudeness, I guess people just keep themselves to themselves, but a band like that, or even a band like us who tour constantly, sometimes, when you get to places, you don’t want to talk to people you just want to have a nap and stuff because you’re travelling all the time and meeting new people all the time, so it’s not rudeness, it’s just exhaustion, but she was straight in here like “hi love” so they kept their shit together and came over and it was nice speaking to them.

So what do you think about the sudden influx of ‘front-girls’, are they taking over?

I don’t think girls are taking over, but they’re definitely more prominent because generally they are far far superior, in terms of being a front person, than men. Men are terrified of not looking cool and generally don’t have much charisma on stage. I think a lot of it is just nerves and not wanting to look silly in front of their mates, whereas girls really give it some and they don’t have that fear, well the good ones don’t.

I still think good live performers, generally are really rare, because a lot of people might have a decent album, but they just can’t pull it out of the bag live. Generally speaking, the ratio, as in bands fronted by men and bands fronted by girls, is still 5% or 2% lead by girls, but out of that 2% if the people topping the charts are the girls then that’s f******g amazing, but still there’s just way too many crap guy lead guitar bands around and so girls are better really.

We know you’re busy playing the festivals this summer, what’s happening next?

We’re still playing shows, but we are pretty much starting the cycle again. I think we’re done for this record and we’re on to the next one, I’m looking forward to writing the new record. I think the plan is to be writing where we can over the summer then in September, take six weeks out and go to New York and write the record. We want to have a record out by next spring, it seems like a fair amount of time to do it in and release it in America as well, we hope. I’m just really excited.

You can still catch The CHEW LiPS live at the FireFly Festival, V Festival and Leeds Festival, amongst others. For tour dates, tickets and tunes go to www.myspace.com/chewlips

Rahsian Parris For TheMusicMagazine


One Response to “Tigs from The CHEW LiPS Gets Mouthy: “Men don’t have much charisma on stage””


  1. Tweets that mention Tig from The CHEW LiPS Gets Mouthy: “Men don’t have much charisma on stage” « -- Topsy.com - July 21, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rahsian Tamsy Parris, Rahsian Tamsy Parris. Rahsian Tamsy Parris said: Tig from The CHEW LiPS Gets Mouthy: "Men don’t have much charisma on stage": http://wp.me/pDZ8z-88 […]

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