Having played their second ever show in a sweatpit basement with Gallows in last month, we thought it might be nice to have a chat with the chaps from monstrous, new New Jersey hardcore mob, Chambers. They’re pretty special.
From: New Jersey, USA
Sounds like: Gallows, The Ghost Of A Thousand, hardcore rock ‘n’ roll
Thrash Hits verdict: It’s rare that you instantly ‘get’ a band – especially so early on in their career but a couple of plays on their MySpace and we were hooked on their refreshingly beefy take on a now well-thumbed blueprint. The next step is getting their sweaty arses over to this side of the pond for some mad touring.
How did you meet?
John Pinho (guitar): I know Greg (Kautz, guitar) from high school when we were working together at a pizza shop twelve years ago – we would usually argue all day about music and guitars. Back in March I run into Greg at a friends café and were talking about how we were both going to see Motörhead in New York City that night and he told me that him and his friend Vinnie (Fiore, drums) were looking to start a new band and I was in if I wanted. I’m pretty sure they had already asked Jesse (Mariani, bass) to play bass – he also plays the keys for Darlings’ Cabinet of Sundry Horror – and so we started getting together to play. A few weeks went by and I was asking around for a singer without any luck. I posted on my Facebook and Dan, who I met a while back through my girlfriend, responded back within nineteen seconds to be exact that he wanted in and so that’s the birth of Chambers, four months old now.
Dan Pelic (vocals): Four fantastic months of musical ecstasy and hot sweaty bromance.
What made you want to start a band?
John: I hadn’t been in a band for years and it’s something I’ve always loved. Same goes for the rest of the guys, we all grew up listening and playing music and it’s awesome getting together, jamming out, and taking the stage to share what we made with people. The goal is just to rock out, enjoy youth and have something to look back on when I’m old and grey. The music industry is a difficult place to try to make a living and we all have careers but that doesn’t mean we aren’t serious about being a band.
Dan: I was super excited to do this band because I have been doing vocals in a political punk band called D.E.V.I.A.T.E. for well over ten years. After singing about fucking the system for that long, I was excited to be able to write about my “feelings” and my “emotions”, so this was right up my alley.
What was it like growing up in New Jersey?
John: We are all from different parts of northern New Jersey right outside New York City. Greg and I, however, grew up a few blocks from each other. North Jersey is a big mix of different ethnicities, religions, and races as well as art and music so I think we’ve all been exposed to a lot of stuff that have made us all well-rounded individuals. Just about everything in the world is within arm’s reach here. If you want to get a good feel for New Jersey put on some Springsteen and close your eyes.
Dan: I don’t know about that in regard to me. These guys are all from working class towns. I was born to Polish immigrant parents in white as hell Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and then moved to the whitest town known to man in Bergen County, NJ. Everyone was at least “comfortable” and many were rich as hell. I’m talking about “fucking housekeepers and a BMW for the daughter when she turns seventeen” rich. My section of town was super down to Earth, though. My family was comfortable but not rich. I was one of like, two kids into real punk rock in my town and was known as the “kid with the spiky hair.” I think it was probably a rebellion against all the brats I had to grow up with who never worked a day in their lives until their first college internship. For the most part, I liked the people and kids in my town. They were generally nice, but their heads were in the fucking clouds. They were loafer-wearing Republican parents breeding perfect little loafer-wearing children. That’s why I stayed in New Brunswick, NJ after college graduation. There are many different kinds of people here.
Where did the name come from?
John: Marilyn Chambers, the legendary porn actress of the ‘70s.
What are your musical influences?
John: A very wide range of stuff with everything from Black Flag, Black Sabbath to Converge and Dillinger Escape Plan to name just a few. In Jersey, just about everyone grew up listening to classic rock stations in their parents’ cars, or had the older brother or cousin that made you metal/punk rock mix tapes. So, we all absorbed music from many different places.
Dan: I grew up listening to my parents’ awful fucking Polish techno music. The first rock band I ever listened to was Queen and that’s where I became fascinated with the idea of a motherfucking WOW! kind of frontman. Freddie Mercury blew my mind and Roger Taylor got me into playing drums. They were the only classic rock band I liked unless you want to call G’n’R a classic rock band. I moved on to Nirvana, Green Day, Offspring and all that bullshit and then was introduced to “real punk” like Anti-Nowhere League and all the British shit like that. Then came the crust punk phase where I loved bands like Conflict, Disrupt, Aus-Rotten, Filth, and Nausea. I also found Converge in this time and eventually American Nightmare came out. Those two, more mainstream, scene bands got me obsessed with super hard vocals outside of crust punk music.
What bands do you consider as part of your scene or as your peers?
Dan: We’ve only played three shows so far (Five now – Ed) and we were a bit out of place when it came to the other locals. The one band I think we fit really well with was Killed By The Bull who are a really Dead Kennedys-influenced hardcore band. They are awesome and are trying to help us out. Torchbearer, and Overstand are bands we are really looking forward to playing with. Stressed Out and Rapid Cities have personal friends of mine that are big fans of our band. Those two fucking bands are so crucial to our scene. They put others first and do their part to keep the wheels turnin’ ‘round these parts.
What marks you out as different to other bands around at the moment?
John: We mix up hardcore punk with classic rock and ‘70s metal a bit. There’s other bands that do similar stuff, but I don’t think any from our area really.
Dan: I never thought it would work out so well, but the super hard vocals over the classic rock influenced hardcore seems to be doing it for people who have heard us. Additionally, we are a bit flashier and less traditional when it comes to the other bands in our area. I think in a scene where people and bands all seem to be trying to be the punkest in town, we are apart from that. You can just bang your head and appreciate the over-indulgence and not worry about punk purity or being PC. But, maybe that’s just me.
What’s the best show you’ve played?
John: The one with Gallows in a basement with over one hundred sweaty and very enthusiastic kids.
Dan: Agreed. The crowd was super cool and totally open to a band they had never heard. If I could have everyone in that crowd in front of us every night, I would.
You’ve recorded a great 6-track demo (Earthquake). Tell us a bit about how and why you made it.
John: Well, we recorded it at our practice space with an ancient version of pro tools and a computer that would better serve as a paper weight. We did the best we could with what we had. Those are the first six songs we wrote over the last four months since starting the band and we feel the best is yet to come. We are still writing and just coming together as a band over time. But, we felt that what we came up with at the studio was good enough to give everyone a taste of the band. We should be headed to an actual recording studio this fall to record all new stuff and rerecord some old stuff.
Dan: Shit’s raw. Deal with it.
Chambers are not embarking on a worldwide tour or releasing their debut album but they will be soon so get on the bandwagon a few months early and visit their MySpace to listen and download their awesome Earthquake demo and then go be their friend on Facebook.