It is nice to know that GAY is the new buzz word right now. Companies, businesses even artists are realizing the power of the gay dollar. They are gearing promotional materials towards the clientele of the gays because we are loyal and devoted costumers. If we like you, we will phone a friend, tweet it or send a message in a bottle. We need as many allies as we can get in the aggressively homophobic world we live in. It also makes us feel special and who doesn’t want to be recognized as the powerful market that we are?
A case in point is the new video “Black Girls” from rock duo, D.A. Wallach and Maxwell Drummey of Chester French. Not only is the video featuring an interracial couple, it also contains some pretty hot girl-on-girl action. I talked with the two members of the band about their stance on the music they make and how it impacts their listeners.
What do you guys have going on right now?
Making music, hanging out, playing with my dog and just living a regular lifestyle.
You’ve had some great success over the past couple of years, and you are coming out with a new album. Can we expect that to be different or similar from your previous album?
I think the production is a little more modern sounding. We took what we learned from doing our last album and our mixtape and combined it with what people responded to and what we loved doing.
What inspired the song, “Black Girls?”
One day Max made a demo of a song. The next day D.A. wrote a lyric about his affinity for black women and I think the results sort of speak for itself.
So what prompted the making of the video?
D.A. suggested we do a video like that. We talked to director Francesco Carrozzini about making the video. The two of them masterminded the concept. Francesco is a really good director/photographer that we had worked with before. He shot our first album cover. We had a fun day working with him. We get along with him, so we asked him to do the video.
Watch the video below:
How do you feel about the attention you have gotten because of the video?
We try not to read what people say about Chester French in general, positive or negative. We gather that some people like it and some people don’t. Any time that you do something that engages sex and race, it is intense and public. People are going to have different reactions. We think that it is cool that it has inspired people to talk about that sort of thing.
Speaking of garnering all of these extreme reactions, is that what you try to do with your music?
We are not necessarily trying to get a specific reaction from our audience. We just try to make things that we relate to musically or emotionally and hopefully others will too.
Obviously you have some sort of gay fan base; especially with the video. Do you see yourselves as a group that expressive what is going on in our everyday culture?
We both think about the world and what it is like in contemporary times. We are not trend chasing, cause chasing or looking out for what is hot every five minutes. That is sort of silly. In general we are aware of what’s going on culturally and socially. It does have an impact on what we do.
One of the interesting things with the video is that YouTube blocked the video or age restricted it. On the surface the language that they used is “Anything intended to arose is ground for being blocked.” I am pretty sure that if it were a heterosexual couple then YouTubewould have not blocked it.
I don’t think that by making the video we were trying to make some super political statement, but we are not uncomfortable with having same sex love in our work. It was a nice thing to hear from people who are in interracial relationships. They felt like the song spoke to them. Also, knowing that there were same sex couples who felt like it was a positive statement affirmed something about what’s going on right now.
Where is Chester French touring and what are you excited about performing live?
We are doing a lot of touring around Los Angeles. We are also going to the cities were we have a bigger fan base. The first couple of years we did a lot of driving nonstop around the country. We found specific cities where we have a lot of fans concentrated. We are definitely going to those places.
Something special about this album is how it plays to our skills in the studio. Max’s production takes advantage of a huge number of instruments that we can not replicate live. Whenever we play this live, we are going to look at an interesting way to represent the music instead of an exact duplicate to what the recordings are.
How do you perform with just two of you?
For different performances we will do different things. Sometimes we will do acoustic or striped down things with just the two of us. In the past, we have had a five or six piece band of pretty awesome musicians. Between the group of us, we figure out how to make the songs fun and listenable for what they are.
Is there anything that you want to say about the album that you haven’t already said?
It’s fun. We tried to make an album that is fun and not super self serious. Before we get to old we want to make something that has a little bit of youth to it.
People should go and check it out. We are already selling preorders to it on our website www.chesterfrench.com. We are selling the album with some cool merchandise packaged with it. We are trying to create a special experience.