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Welcome to Monday Morning Musical Mayhem: an online series that focuses on musicians, bands, artists, and whoever else in the musical industry that reaches out to us! The goal is help spread the word about people doing rad stuff in the music world! Are you doing rad stuff? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured! xoxoxo
Let's stick around Alberta for once in our miserable lives! It is here where we will learn about Chimp Change - a band that existed in the 2010s but has recently resurfaced! Why is that? Well let's ask Craig - the bassist/vocalist of the band. He has the answers and we have the questions! Let's dive in!
BRUTAL REALITY DIGEST: Introduce yourself, your band, and weapon of choice.
CRAIG: I'm Craig, and I play bass and yell in Chimp Change.
BRD: How did the early days of Chimp Change come about?
C: I used to play in a band called the Smash and Grab Ladies back in the day, and even before I joined that group they played a bunch of shows with Josh's old outfit Fridge or Freezer?. Josh and I became buds, and a couple years later we were both between bands and he asked me if I wanted to get something going with him and Ben, Fridge or Freezer?'s (and then Chimp Change's) other guitar player. Josh hit Craigslist or Kijiji looking for a drummer, found Ozone, and thus was born Chimp Change.
BRD: The Chimps always had duel singers/song writers. Do you prefer to write the whole song yourself or collaborate with your bandmates?
C: Collaboration, and it's not even close. Sometimes I'll have nothing but a bass part, but we get together as a group and work on it and end up with something really cool in the end.
BRD: What was the funniest show you remember playing with the band?
C: At the time it was infuriating, but the one gig I'll never forget because of how fundamentally dumb it was would be the time we drove up past Whitecourt to play standing on a highboy trailer to a crowd of about 10 people in the middle of a field. Didn't even get paid enough to cover our gas on that one!
BRD: Type Zero Civilization came out in 2013. What do you remember about the process of writing and recording that record?
C: We started writing songs for that record while I was living in Edmonton. Josh and I would bring stuff to the group when we could get together once every couple weeks to rehearse and refine them between sporadic shows. When the time came to record we got in touch with Casey Lewis because - if I am remembering this right - we liked the fact that the name of his studio (Echo Base) is a Star Wars reference. That ended up being fortuitous: our experience recording the album with him was great, and actually pretty eye opening for us since none of us had recorded in a 'proper' studio environment before, or with an engineer that knew his craft like Casey does. He worked really hard to make us sound better than we actually are.
BRD: How did you keep busy after Chimp Change broke up?
C: After Chimp Change, I spent some time filling in as a touring bassist for my then-roommate's band Knifedogs, then joined his other band Streetlight Saints full time, and put out Landlocked as a member of The Ativans. I've been taking it pretty easy the last few years on the music front, filling in for Streetlight Saints a handful of times before the pandemic shut all our shit down.
BRD: A little bird told us you are a bit of a gamer. What are you playing these days?
C: These days I'm fucking around with World of Warcraft for the re-released version of the first expansion for the game, but 2021 to date has been mostly about roguelikes such as Risk of Rain 2, Hades, and Dead Cells, and tinkering around with MAME in anticipation of eventually building my own arcade cabinet.
BRD: Who is your favourite supporting character in the Star Wars universe?
C: Ponda Baba. That asshole in the cantina was probably mistranslating everything he said, and he lost an arm for it. Tragic.
BRD: Why do you think there has been such a resurgence in vintage media? I have even seen 8 tracks and floppy discs for sale lately!
C: I'm waiting for some genius to start manufacturing betamax tapes again and tell us its the 'authentic home video experience'. Actually that's probably already a thing. To be honest that resurgence is pure nostalgia and object fetishism. There's nothing inherently wrong with it but like, these formats are not actually better than what we have today. They're just curios, and that's cool.
BRD: Tell us about your musical plans for the rest of 2021 and beyond.
C: Probably better to call them 'intentions' than plans, per se, but we had so much fun doing the new song to accompany re-releasing Type Zero Civilization that I think Chimp Change might just keep on writing. Stay tuned.