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Gold Coast rockers Chavez Cartel have had a tumultuous start to their career, but now with a solid lineup in place, and a sophomore EP about ready for release, they have taken 2019 by the horns and aren’t letting go.
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Hysteria got together with the band for a chat about the new EP Confidence Is All I’m Taking Home, as we premiere the new single Love On The Run and find out what’s next for Chavez Cartel.
It wasn’t easy for the Gold Coast rockers, as they prepared to release their debut EP Lucky Lucky back in January of this year. With a slew of lineup changes and the EP actually recorded and ready to go almost two years prior to its release, there were times that Chavez Cartel weren’t even sure that they would make it.
“We’ve been through more interchanges than the Titans, but these days we do have the solid five-piece that we’ve always desired, and we’ve been going solidly and consistently for a while now. It’s difficult to see that changing, to be honest, we’re all too hungry for it,” says vocalist Ben Simpson.
Hungry seems about right for the band, as it seems like Chavez Cartel are making up for lost time, with the quick turnaround of their second EP. As Simpson explains it, by the time their first release came out, the band already had written enough material for not only their second EP, but the majority of what they hope will become their debut full length in the not too distant future.
But for some reason, they had always found a reason to hold off on the release of Lucky Lucky.
“Lucky Lucky was actually recorded in February 2017, not long after we first started with the band. But due to people coming and going and me having to spend a little time out of the country (I’m a Pom) we just kept running into what we thought were solid reasons why we shouldn’t release the record yet,” Simpson explains.
We’ve been through more interchanges than the Titans, but these days we do have the solid five-piece that we’ve always desired, and we’ve been going solidly and consistently for a while now.
[ Chavez Cartel ]
“We wanted to be able to do it justice and promote it the right way and, in our opinion, unless you’re a solid gigging band of individuals all on the same page then we think you’re pissing in the wind, to be honest, so we sat on it for probably a year too long,” he continues.
As the rockers have steadily built a name for themselves, playing shows wherever they could, they finally felt it was time to release Lucky Lucky, so that they could then move on to Confidence Is All I’m Taking Home, which is, Simpson believes, a record they felt captured exactly what they wanted Chavez Cartel to sound like.
“We had developed a way more direct sound, we think, during the period between the recording of Lucky Lucky and the releasing of it that we literally just couldn’t wait to get back in the studio and lodge the progress,” Simpson says.
“We’re more confident about our whole thing these days. We kind of don’t give a fuck so we find it quite apt calling the second EP what we have—confidence. We’re making art for us and we feel great about that. We’re in a very “whatever happens, happens” frame of mind. We’re not sure the authenticity was as rich back then,” he explains, referring to the drive and commitment of the band in previous years.
But now that they believe that they have found their most authentic sound, a sound that is true to every member of the band, Chavez Cartel are very excited to be releasing the first single Love On The Run which Hysteria has the pleasure of premiering.
It’s a grungy rock’n’roll track, one that talks about love being found in all the wrong places, and to create it, and indeed all their music, the band drew on personal experiences when writing the music and lyrics.
“No matter how we word it, I think we’ve all been there at times, when love seemed a bit harsh or toxic like an addiction. The deeper meaning of the song runs consistent with a lot of our other content too. It dips into the notion that whatever happens to you, ya gotta dig deep to make the most out of it. Like if it hurts, learn and let it heal. If it breaks, fix it up and come back stronger. If you’re lost, have a good old look around and find something worth focusing on,” Simpson says.
And while the themes that the band explore have stayed along the same path, Simpson explains that this song has actually changed quite a bit over the years, as the band also changed.
“Love On The Run was the only song already written prior to our current lineup, though it’s evolved drastically. Everyone has put their own touch to it, and it’s become a much stronger and more powerful song. Fresher too. That goes for the whole of this EP actually, everyone’s put a new stamp on it. Quite fitting that it’s the first to be released from it actually as chronologically it does bridge the gap from EP to EP,” he says.
It seems that the sky is the limit with Chavez Cartel right now, as they are gearing up for the release of Confidence Is All I’m Taking Home and planning to play as many gigs as possible. And it seems there is no rest for the wicked as Simpson says that although 2019 is drawing to a close, they aren’t planning to slow down.
“We’ll try to chill over Christmas but we won’t. We said the same last year and ended up demoing songs until midnight on Christmas Eve!” Simpson laughs.
“So I guess the year ends as it started. Working hard and releasing tunes. That’s the go.”
You’ll be able to grab a copy of Confidence Is All I’m Taking Home after Christmas but in the meantime, groove away with Love On The Run and keep an eye out for the next single from Chavez Cartel which is due out in November and catch the guys at a gig, you won’t regret it!
Catch Chavez Cartel at the following dates:
GOLD COAST // Friday 11 October // The Rompa Room
GOLD COAST // Friday 8 November // The Rompa Room