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Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! - 04.17.13

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Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! - 04.17.13When your band name is derived from a quintessential 80's film such as 1985's The Goonies, you can expect others to think that your band doesn't take things too seriously. Furthermore, when you watch the band's first music video for "In Friends We Trust", that opinion is further solidified. But despite the negative critique some would throw their way, this is a band that has refused to give up, and is driven to progress and build for a brighter tomorrow. The band's upcoming sophomore full-length album, Pardon My French, releases on April 30th on Fearless Records.

I had a chance to speak with guitarist Paul Wilson while the band was on the first leg of A Day To Remember's "Right Back At It Again" Spring headliner.


First and foremost, you just finished up the first half of A Day To Remember’s spring U.S. Headliner – can you detail your experience being on this tour? What moments have been the most meaningful to you thus far?

Paul Wilson: It was an incredible experience for us! Aside from playing festivals it was the biggest shows we have ever had the opportunity to play! Almost every show was sold out and we had the chance to play in front of thousands of kids that may not've heard of our band before, that was awesome. The crowds went nuts every night, and we didn't expect that sort of reaction. We gained a lot of new fans from this tour and it was definitely a great opportunity and learning experience for us. A Day To Remember and their crew took really good care of us and made sure we were always comfortable with everything. These guys are great dudes and we are grateful that they took us on the road with them. Every single day was "A Day To Remember", haha!

What things have you learned from A Day To Remember and Of Mice & Men guys?

Paul Wilson: Both of these bands are very professional as musicians and great people, hanging out with these guys and watching them perform every night taught us how to be more professional on stage as a band. Oh, and we also learned how much whiskey our bodies could handle in one tour.

This isn’t your first tour in America, you’ve been here a few times before – what are your favorite things about touring here?

Paul Wilson: We're currently on our 8th tour in America and every tour has been amazing and it continues to get better! There's a high demand for that kind of music here and things are getting bigger each tour. To be honest, we're not here for the food or girls because they're both way better back home, but you guys have some pretty awesome beers and crystal meth...just kidding! I would say the crowds are one of the best things about touring here, but I think Walmart is definitely the best thing about touring in America.

In your experience, what are the similarities and differences between crowds back in France and those here in America?

Paul Wilson: Crowds over here and crowds in France have no similarities at all! I feel that people have more respect for bands in America than in France. For instance, the scene in the U.S. show a lot of support to bands: tons of kids attend the shows, promote bands, buy merch, share music and play in bands themselves; it's a real business here compared to France, where it's more like a hobby or a trend. France is a small country and you can't fully compare it to America because Rock is not as popular there. I know that some people are fighting to keep the scene alive in France but i feel like it's slowly dying. There are less and less kids going to shows in France and after talking with a lot of American bands, I generally get that the worst show of their European tour was Paris and it's kind of sad, because a lot of my friends are playing in bands or they're promoters and they're fighting hard to build something in France but it doesn't really make things change.

After we got signed on Fearless, a lot of French bands got motivated seeing that something bigger was possible and worked their asses off, some of them got signed to US labels as well, and that's a good thing because it might help the French scene get back on its feet. It's bringing some fresh air and hopefully it will get better in the future if everyone does what it takes to keep this alive.

Your brand new record Pardon My French comes out April 30th on Fearless Records. Obviously it’s a play off your roots and the phrase’s popularity, but did you name this record they way you did because of how frank and upfront you are with your lyrics this time around? As to say something to the effect of “Pardon my French, but I just have to get these things off my chest…”.

Paul Wilson: Despite the tounge-in-cheek phrase "Pardon My French" and where it originates from, it's also a response to the frank and upfront lyrics as well as our "don't give a fuck" attitude.

The record sounds very similar to A Day to Remember’s third album, Homesick. Did you listen to that album while writing and recording this new album? What other records were in constant rotation for you guys at this time?

Paul Wilson: A Day To Remember is a great band and the album Homesick a great album! That being said, I would consider your opinion a great compliment, thank you! I would say ADTR would have had more of an influence on us 5 years ago when we first started our band. Since then, we have grown as people and musicians. The album Pardon My French in my opinion doesn't sound like any other album aside from itself. Sure, there may be similarities in song structure, style, etc. but this could also apply to a lot of artists/albums in the industry. When approaching this record we wanted to do our best to bring a different element to our music making it unique in its own way. We were all influenced in many ways when writing this album, definitely influenced by listening to different styles of music such as classical, dubstep, metal, rock, pop, etc. but also heavily influenced by life experiences.

Let’s talk about a couple of my personal favorites from the record: “I Am Nothing Like You” is arguably one of the band’s best songs to date, featuring a heavy guitars and one hell of a catchy chorus. This song threw me off a little bit, because I’ve always seen your band as cheerful all the time. What inspired the lyrics to this song? The line “I know the one you used to be” sticks out.

Paul Wilson: This song is probably the heaviest song we have ever written, and it’s often a reminder of how angry we can get. We are not always what we seem to be, we are often similar to our music, it can get very heavy and right after very soft. We are like this, we are very nice people but we can also get very angry sometimes, too. We're kind of bipolar, and that’s a musical theme that runs throughout the album. The lyrics are about how people can change with time and become the person they said they would never be.

“So Close And Yet So Far” sounds very reminiscent of a Transit song, with its lighter feel. “I’m getting better at getting older, but time is going by so fast” is a line that everyone can relate to, as it’s difficult dealing with things like friends getting married and moving away, family dying, etc. When these hard times come, what sort of things do you do to cope?

Paul Wilson: When things happen, they happen. A lot of the time there is nothing you can do to change life experiences, you can just be a spectator and do your best to adapt to it, even if it seems impossible. We do our best to live every single day as if it were our last. We are alive today, we live in the moment.

For someone who’s never heard of your band before, how would you convince them to give this record a shot?

Paul Wilson: You spend 10 dollars on this record, and if you hate it, I will buy you a meal, haha!

If you could change any one thing about the music scene, what would it be and why? Furthermore, what steps are needed in order to make this change?

Paul Wilson: I would make people more open minded, because there are too many haters and too many things that divide people in this scene. Music should bring us together, not separate us!

William Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice contained the line “All that glitters is not gold”. How is this true or untrue in your lives both personally and as a band?

Paul Wilson: When we first started touring we thought everything would be different; tour life is not always fun, and being in a band is not easy - it's a lot of hard work and sacrifices. When you tell people you're a touring musician they think you live in a tour bus, make a lot of money and fuck a lot of girls. But real life is way different: you live in a dirty van with 4 other stinky frenchmen, and you're broke as fuck and eat from the dollar menu at McDonald's way too often, and your shower is just a dirty sink at Walmart and your significant other is alone waiting for you back home. It's not the "Rockstar" life and its not for everyone, but we love music, and we love touring even when times get tough.

Where can fans expect to see Chunk in the summer/fall of this year? You’re not on the west-coast portion of the A Day To Remember tour, so surely you’re excited to head there. What about overseas travels? A fan had asked about Spain in particular. I’ll bet you’re excited to head home to play for fans as well.

Paul Wilson: We're going back home in couple weeks and have a few shows scheduled in France; we're really excited about it because we haven't played in Paris in almost a year and a half. Then we're heading back to UK for 3 shows on the Slam Dunk festival which is pretty much the Bamboozle of UK. After this we have a few shows in Russia, and another big US tour coming in the fall that will be announced soon!

FAN QUESTIONS:

@Shaecohan asks…”What is your favorite venue to play at?”
Anaheim, CA at Chain Reaction, because shows always get wild there and kids can do whatever the fuck they want!

@4theluvofOMandM asks…”Do you like playing in Salt Lake City?”
Yeah, SLC is like our second hometown, our crew and a lot of our friends live there so it's always a good time! Shows get crazy there and you never know what to expect, it's awesome, haha!

@radicalrow asks...”Who are your best friends that you’ve met while on tour?”
We have a lot of good friends over here, to name a few: Our Last Night, Tonight Alive, City Lights, Living With Lions, Vanna, A Loss For Words, Chelsea Grin, and Handguns.

@Olisyko asks…”What is your favorite part about touring constantly?”
Definitely meeting new people and discovering new places where you've never been before!

@Beatusfetusxo asks…”What was it like being on Warped Tour last summer? Also, is it weird when fans recognize you?”
It was an incredible experience. For us it was a dream since we were kids and we learned a lot on that tour. It's was also a really good opportunity to make new friends and party hard every night! It's always weird but cool when someone recognizes you - you don't expect that, but it happens and that's awesome.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 34
02:14 AM on 04/17/13
#2
Djentleman
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no Chunk in America til the fall?! booooo! doubt french girls/food are better than America's
02:59 AM on 04/17/13
#3
theHECKLER
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Great interview Denning. You do very well talking with bands.
03:05 AM on 04/17/13
#4
shootemup
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That part about shows in Paris is so true... most of the times I go to a show I can't help but feel bad for the band because of the lack of enthusiasm in the room. I remember Deaf Havana shortening their set, saying that they were bored and that they wouldn't come back here. You Me At Six also stopped coming to France because they can never get enough people to come to the show.
A lot of European tours have like 5 UK dates, 2 or 3 German dates and only 1 in France, sometimes none.
But hey, at least we got "better food and better girls"!

Anyway, great interview, these guys are really cool dudes from what I've heard!
03:50 AM on 04/17/13
#5
Jaimehere
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Man I wish they'd tour south east Asia
05:31 AM on 04/17/13
#6
jakeisthebest
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no Chunk in America til the fall?! booooo! doubt french girls/food are better than America's
I wouldn't know about girls, but French food is way better than American food. I've been to France many times and the US once. Food is one of the best things about France, and food is one of the worst things about the US.
09:22 AM on 04/17/13
#7
get up kidd
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Should have asked if he ever gets mistaken for Drake Bell.
10:54 AM on 04/17/13
#8
ARo2431
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no Chunk in America til the fall?! booooo! doubt french girls/food are better than America's

Ya French girls have hairy armpits. This guy's crazy.
11:09 AM on 04/17/13
#9
JordanKTM
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Should have asked if he ever gets mistaken for Drake Bell.

He interviewed the guitarist, not Bert the vocalist
11:36 AM on 04/17/13
Jake Denning
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That part about shows in Paris is so true... most of the times I go to a show I can't help but feel bad for the band because of the lack of enthusiasm in the room. I remember Deaf Havana shortening their set, saying that they were bored and that they wouldn't come back here. You Me At Six also stopped coming to France because they can never get enough people to come to the show.
A lot of European tours have like 5 UK dates, 2 or 3 German dates and only 1 in France, sometimes none.
But hey, at least we got "better food and better girls"!

Anyway, great interview, these guys are really cool dudes from what I've heard!
I'd be super frustrated if Deaf Havana came here to the States and cut their set short. That would really suck.
11:37 AM on 04/17/13
Jake Denning
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Should have asked if he ever gets mistaken for Drake Bell.
Nah, that's Zachary Garren (Strawberry Girls, ex-Dance Gavin Dance)
11:52 AM on 04/17/13
WeltallAY
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no Chunk in America til the fall?! booooo! doubt french girls/food are better than America's

Both are FAR, FAR, FAR better in France and in Europe in general. Girls are more naturally good-looking, wear clothes that are more flattering/not usually as whorish and are often more independent. You don't have these legions of women wearing that Pink garbage, rather they wear nicely put together/fashionable outfits daily. As for food, my best food memories are in Europe easily. Everything is made to be stretched thin and mass produced in the US whereas food is kept very real in Europe/France. As someone who has had bad food-caused bowel movements/gas their whole life in the US I had virtually no problems in Europe. Food is just so vibrant and delicious - I looked forward to every meal. I remember being surprised as hell to how different (in a great way) yogurt was in France.
11:55 AM on 04/17/13
WeltallAY
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I wouldn't know about girls, but French food is way better than American food. I've been to France many times and the US once. Food is one of the best things about France, and food is one of the worst things about the US.

This guy knows what's up.
11:58 AM on 04/17/13
Erik Bihl
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Awesome!
12:44 PM on 04/17/13
kbomb001
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Nah, that's Zachary Garren (Strawberry Girls, ex-Dance Gavin Dance)
TRUU~

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