Interview with The Chase: ‘My aim for ‘Black Cloud’ was to keep it short, sweet and in your face’
by Sara Seddon at The Bucket Playlist
Nottingham-based four piece indie rock band, The Chase, will bring out an acoustic session 4 track EP later this year, which will include acoustic versions of their released singles, ‘Someone’s Somebody’ and ‘Chain Gang’.
They comprise Tyler Heaney (vocals and guitar), his brother Dion (drums), their cousin Luke Childs (bass) and school friend James Cahill (keys). Their name is a reference to where they grew up, their local precinct, The Robin Hood Chase.
Last month, they brought out their feel good, energetic, post punk single ‘Black Cloud’. It’s a bombastic, riff heavy and piano driven track that is incredibly catchy and which they wrote around a year and a half ago, according to frontman Tyler. ‘It’s a bit of a shouty one, isn’t it?,’ he laughed. ‘We got it down in two takes.’ And while James plays the keys on the track, it could equally have been Tyler, who has grade 8 piano. I tell him I love the tinkly piano outro. ‘It’s a nice little treat at the end, isn’t it?,’ he said.
I had assumed that the ‘black cloud’ referred to depression but that turns out not to be the case: ‘To be honest, ‘Black Cloud’ wasn’t written with any particular meaning or person in mind, the words just kinda formed along with the melody,’ Tyler said. ‘The song was pretty much written within the length of time it takes to play the track. We’ve had ‘Black Cloud’ for a long time now and have been performing it live – when we could – for a while, it has always gone down well with the audience and got everyone moving. For ages, I wasn’t too sure about releasing it, it was only through Dion twisting my arm that when we went to the studio we decided to record it. My aim for ‘Black Cloud’ was to keep it short, sweet and in your face. We kept the instrumentation to a minimum and the structure simple.’ Black Cloud was recorded at Steel City studios, mixed by 2Fly Studios and mastered by Abbey Road.
Although Britpop has been a huge inspiration to them, they have also been heavily influenced by 1960’s northern soul, rock ‘n’ roll and psychedelia as well as punk, post punk and indie, according to Tyler.
The upcoming EP will also include an acoustic version of their Smiths’ cover, ‘There’s a Light’. ‘I’m not sure how we came to pick it,’ Tyler said. ‘We’d seen a lot of covers, we slowed it right down, the lyrics aren’t very happy, we went full Morrissey!’ They’re all big Smiths fans, although Tyler says he prefers Morrissey’s solo work. I ask him if he prefers to sing the rockier or the acoustic songs: ‘The rocky stuff, 100 percent,’ he says laughing. ‘We do like to do a slowed down one, though.’
James joined the band at the end of 2016 and ‘pitches in’ on some of the songwriting, according to Tyler, who is the main songwriter in the group: ‘We balance each other out, we can bounce ideas around,’ he said.
‘We were like “Let’s use the craziest stuff we can find!”‘
‘Wondering’, one of the singles they released last year, is another massive track, which features all kinds of surprises. ‘Haha, yeah, we were like “Let’s use the craziest stuff we can find!”,’ Tyler said. It has echoes of The Beatles in places but also of 90’s alt rock band, EMF, all held together by a synthesizer that sounds like a trumpet. ‘I like that the ending’s really slow. I like to get a basis for a song and then say “Let’s do something interesting”. I’ve been interested in sampling but I haven’t done it yet.’
As the song kicks off: ‘Towns alight and the streets alive, the smell of fumes stain the air tonight. The taste of the Trent and slate grey sky as the sore heads of today lament drinks last night.’
Their debut single, ‘The Pit of Poverty’, is about St. Ann’s, where they grew up in Nottingham. ‘Have you been to Nottingham?,’ he asks. I say that I have. ‘I don’t imagine you’ve been to St. Ann’s, you’re still alive!’ (It’s considered to be quite rough.) We grew up there, me and my brother. I shouted out of the window to Luke.’
If he could have their music featured in any film, Tyler picks horror comedy cult movie, Shaun of the Dead, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and we chat for a while about how brilliant it is. ‘It’s my favourite ever film,’ he said.
He cites his musical influences as The Beatles, Oasis, Kasabian and Arctic Monkeys. If he could tour with anyone, he picks The Who and Oasis: ‘It would be Noel and Liam, fighting, wouldn’t it?! And me and Dion would be going at it, too! You’d get a right good laugh with The Who. To throw a TV out of the window would be on my bucket list!’
(Photo from left to right: Dion, Tyler, James and Luke)
This story first appeared on: https://inthebucketplaylist.com/ on March 11th 2021