Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Conquering dance floors in Europe for years, UK's Chew Lips have been beating up the beats around the world and are now looking to make a mark across the pond in the US. The band's combination of ambient sounds meets hard electro fronted by the voice of angel than can morph into a demon at anytime, Chew Lips will have you moving and shaking for hours after the music has stopped. The band who just released their debut full length LP, Unicorn this past January have finally made their way to the States, while on a small tour and featured at this years SXSW festival in Austin that just wrapped, the band is experiencing critical highs and new fans. Just before coming to the US, I had the chance to speak with singer Tigs as we discussed the band's sound, style and nerves of steel. Take a look at my interview with Tigs below.

What was it like, after two years of being in a band, recording your first album?

Well we were only in a band for a year when we recorded the album, in the summer of 2009. Then we did festivals before the album campaign began proper. We wrote many songs. 60, 70 songs. As a band should. We creamed off our best and our favorites. It’s a ten track album and we're very proud of it.

With all of the electro acts coming out of the UK these days, how does Chew Lips differ?

we're not really an electro band, we just use some electronic instruments. we're a rock band in spirit, which can be seen in our live shows.

The band hails from South London, sometimes a pretty dodgy area. Has your location in England’s capitol influenced your sound and style?

We did all meet when we lived in south London. Its really not so bad. We’re all based east now, which is a great place to be. There wasn't a musical scene where we lived before, and certainly none of our friends bands weren't making similar music, so I don’t think it’s affected our style.

After being together for a short time, you started making big waves in the UK. From NME to The Guardian doing great write ups about the band. How do you respond to such high acclaim?

It did start rolling quite quickly but it’s what you do then that counts. its all very well being talked about but you’ve then got a small window to turn that into something tangible, of quality, or someone else is the next new thing.

2009 was a big year for British female fronted electro groups to break big globally. Acts like La Roux, Little Boots, Fan Death and many others, how do you and the rest of the band stand apart from the other female fronted acts?

Only fan death is a group / band. the others are solo artists. And yes it has been a big year for female electro artists. But there’s the difference - we are a band, we write together, play together, a proper band.

Your stage shows have gained you much attention. What can you tell someone, like me, who has never seen you before what the experience of Chew Lips live is like?

Its entertainment, an exciting spectacle of keyboards and guitars and me wailing and 'dancing,’ flailing my limbs around.

You are coming across the pond this year to the US for South By Southwest in Texas. Is this your first time playing in the US? Are you a bit scared?

Not scared, just excited. We can’t wait to play sxsw, it looks like an incredible event. And its Texas - I want to eat a steak bigger than my head. as the only meat eater in the band i feel its my duty. Bloodier the better.

This is a question I love to ask Brit bands and I always get a different response from each one. Is making it in the US still a big deal for a British band?

I think its more important to make it on home soil first. America is always going to be a challenge you want to conquer, but only in as much as wanting as many people as possible to hear your music. But then there’s the adventure of travel, and the USA is a big old place to look around.

Will we get full on US tour soon from you?

There is some talk of doing some other dates around sxsw......but I can’t confirm anything yet. fingers crossed though. We’d love that.

Video for "Play Together" off Unicorn:

Special thanks to Tigs and Keoneg Woo for the interview!