On a dreary December evening after twenty minutes of wondering around the O2 Institute, The Chats’ manager, Al, guided me to their backstage green room. The Chats’ 3 band members were sprawled across picked apart sofas, with the backstage fridge filled to the brim with Fosters tinnies. Eamon, the lead singer and bass player, was set to be my main point of communication, and he instantly pointed out our shared taste in the classic black Casio watch, a fun icebreaker from what could have appeared to be a hostile atmosphere considering they were being interviewed around 90 minutes before taking stage. As the conversation developed, any attempts from myself to try elevate the achievements of the band made up of early 20-year-olds were shot down by Eamon, stating he hadn’t ‘really had time’ to think about their meteoric rise over the past year, and mused that his current job as lead singer of an extremely successful punk band is ‘better than working in the supermarket’. This mixture of humility and aloofness, which has served so many of Punk’s stars before, courses through Eamon while still providing an openness and warmth to an interviewer who one expects the band realised had not done this many times before.
Aussie youth culture is touched upon, with Eamon appreciating the band’s impact of spreading the nuances of words such as ‘smoko’ and ‘bonzo’ to international audiences. The band’s current mentors, particularly Josh Homme, of Queens of the Stone Age fame, is ‘just a bloke’ at the end of the day and has provided ample direction for the lads who are looking to navigate the music industry. Reminiscing on the surprise of seeing the bands notorious drink of choice Victoria Bitter in Newcastle, and an acknowledgement of the warmth they’ve felt from audiences from across the country, cements the UK as one of the bands favourite places to tour globally.
The whole conversation is aptly summarised by statements from each of the band members respectfully. Whether it is the chiming in of drummer Matty Boggis, coolly stating that punk is an attitude rather than a genre, in reference to the emergence of Punk-rappers such as Slowthai, or potentially lead guitarist and backing vocalist, Pricey, preferring the freedom of gigs over festivals, as the band can ‘do what they want’ in their own setting. But it has to be Eamon’s most impactful rumination of the night which best summarised The Chats’ vibe, as when I asked what the dream for the band was, he simply stated: ‘to have a good time, drink some beers and play some loud rock ‘n’ roll’.
By Ed Baidya