“Can we go watch Fontaines D.C.?” asks Eamon Sandwith of The Chats, backstage at a European festival, cutting our interview short. Of course, we say yes because either way, they’re leaving. The Chats don’t care about playing by the rules. Like an excitable moth to the flame, they do what seems like the most fun in any situation. And it’s carnage.
Earlier this year, The Chats supported Iggy Pop at Melbourne’s Festival Hall. They spent the night before partying with friends and, “it wasn’t until we walked onstage that we realised, ‘oh fuck, I wish we’d written some better songs’,” grins Josh Price. “As soon as we stepped up to the mic though, we got in the zone. Do not fuck this up.”
“You have to do a good job when you’re supporting Iggy Pop,” offers Matt Boggis.
It was a similar story when they headlined the Regent Theater in Los Angeles. After a tour with Queens of the Stone Age, Josh Homme said he’d like to see a headline show, so the boys text him to let him know they were in town. As you do. He asked for a few extra passes, The Chats assumed for his kids, but as they left the green room to head to the stage, Josh was there with Dave Grohl and Arctic Monkeys’ Matt Helders and Alex Turner.
“We must be doing something right,” reasons Matt.
But despite the rapid growth, helped in part by the viral spread of their ode to fag breaks ‘Smoko’, The Chats aren’t stressing themselves out.
“There’s no pressure, it’s fun as fuck,” continues Matt.
“No one cared for a couple of years, but now they’re catching up, and we’re loving it,” explains Eamon. “We hope that everyone else is loving it as well. It’s all good times.”
“It’s hard to know why our music is connecting. We don’t think about it, we just play,” adds Matt, before Josh explains how he “just wants people to have a good time. We don’t want people to look into the lyrics, because it’s all bullshit.”
“We’re never going to write a love song,” declares Eamon, with Matt pointing out he’s already written one about beer.
“I like the pressure [of playing to bigger crowds],” offers Josh, but “it’s the same show whatever.” Being in this band “is always fun,” he continues, before Matt adds, “but it’s definitely not a holiday.”
Their no-bullshit approach means something to the thousands of people buying tickets to see them on tour. So are they starting to take it seriously?
“I hate that question,” starts Josh with an eye-roll. Probably because there’s not a funny answer to give.
“We didn’t, then all of a sudden we had to,” reasons Matt.
Next year The Chats are releasing their debut album. “It sounds like all our other shit,” laughs Josh, with Matt countering: “It sounds better. We figured out a much better sound. Our last EPs, we didn’t put much effort in. We recorded them in maybe a couple of hours, and we didn’t have the right equipment.”
“It’s hard to believe we’ve been touring this long on just those two EPs” adds Josh. “We’ve got this album, and we’ve had it for so long. I can’t wait for it to come out because it’s going to be a new The Chats.”
“I think when people hear it, they’ll say ‘actually, these guys are starting to take it a little bit seriously now’,” explains Eamon. But the message never changes. “Bring your friends, enjoy the rock, have fun, whatever.”
Taken from the December 2019 / January 2020 issue of Upset. The Chats tour the UK from 30th November.