New Band- The Chasms by John Robb
The Chasms play a hypnotic, powerful, unsettling feedback drenched indie rock. It sounds massive and thrilling. They are based on the Isle Of Man and quite possibly named after a big steep rock feature on the island. John Robb has been to the Isle Of Man few times and is impressed by how many good bands there are there but is really buzzing about this one…
1. who the fuck are you?
Mike Seed– I have no idea who we are. That could be why we do what we do.
Richard Quirk – Think of the band as a therapy meeting for three bored men addicted to feedback.
Simon Pott – Two Lancastrians and a Manxie/Canadian with a love of anything that produces feedback that exist on a rock stuck in the middle of the Irish Sea trying to make sense of it all.
2. Gimme some history
MS – That’s a scary question. What’s that sound? It’s the ground vanishing behind us. Quick, grab hold of that rope of feedback!
RQ – Someone introduced us, we met for a drink, convened in the barn and recorded “Cosmos collapsing”Â and thought we’ll have more of that.
SP – Me and Mike have been making abnormal music together since our very early twenties, we met Richard a while after he moved back to the Island after living in Canada, that was about two years ago… lots of noise ensued.
3. whats it like being in a band on the Isle Of Man
MS – There are words and noises to be found all over this Island. They just waltz straight into what we do. It’s a great place.
RQ – Easy to not get noticed.
SP – I’d imagine that it’s pretty much like being in a band in any little town or village miles from any large population, a bit cut off from any major musical movement or trend. But being on the Isle of Man we have the added disadvantage of not being able to just jump in a van or get on the train to go to the nearest city or large town to play a gig, we have to spend a few hundred quid for the privilege of spending four hours stuck on a boat first. We haven’t actually played a gig on the island yet, haven’t really seen the point. Kind of get the feeling that there might only be about four people on the island who’d actually like us, and three of them would be in the band. We will do a gig or two on the island this year though.
I think we kind of had a problem getting noticed in the beginning due to the fact that if we’d sent you a promo CD you couldn’t come and see us live, so we had an album sat there gathering dust until we decided to create our own little netlabel called Command to Destroy and just give the bugger away. Luckily that seemed to work and we started getting lots of plays on Dandelion Radio and word started spreading. I do think it would have been easier to get noticed though if we could just pop into Manchester or something and play live. I could be completely wrong about us not getting signed because we are stuck on an island though. It might be because we make a right racket. Probably the latter.
4. do you actually record in a barn?!
MS – Yes we do record in a barn. It’s not stone, which would result in a totally different sound. Sometimes there are sheep outside, sometimes not. The birds tend to fly away.
RQ – We have too much equipment to record in a garage.ÃÂ Main tracks improvised live to stereo mic in the barn.ÃÂ Just got to move the timber and motorbikes out of the way to set up the equipment.
SP – Yep, and it’s bloody ace. No volume restrictions as it’s in the middle of pretty much nowhere. It does mean though that there are several months of the year when it’s just too bloody cold to do anything out there because were mard arses. So to keep us busy in the winter months me and Mike have our little side project called Lonesome Mercury and Richard works on his solo stuff. I couldn’t imagine recording in a studio. The sound you hear on our recordings is what it sounds like in the barn, it just has a great natural reverb to it. There are pretty much zero production effects on anything we do apart from on the occasional vocal. Basically the barn is the fourth band member.