band crush: chaos chaos
an indie-pop band goes electro—and we like it.
Sometimes we wish we had a giant indie rock family tree, where we could follow bands as they form, expand, break-up, and spin-off. That way we would have known the instant Smoosh morphed into Chaos Chaos. You'll remember Chloe and Asy Saavedra, who formed Smoosh when they were still kids. They released three albums, played big festivals like Lollapalooza, and toured with the likes of Death Cab For Cutie and Cat Power. But like most things, they grew up and grew out of things, and decided not too long ago to become Chaos Chaos. With the help of fans--via Kickstarter--they largely self-funded their upcoming EP S (out October 16), and it's clear that this duo is evolving. Take "My Hands," their first single which we've got available today: Instead of angst-y indie-rock, its got an electro-edge. We spoke with Chloe about the making of the song--and then got our hands on a copy (check it out below), so you can listen to it, too. What was the process of writing "My Hands" like? The process of writing "My Hands" was pretty strange and not very ideal. We were in a situation in our lives where we had no studio--this is a death-like situation for us--so Asy was writing songs on her own (since I couldn't play drums). Sometimes limitation is a gift because you are forced to get out of what's comfortable to accomplish something. And that brought us to something interesting: an all-electronic song. Once we got in a rehearsal studio, Asy and I finished the song. Since it was so different than the music we usually wrote, we decided to go all out with it. Our inspiration for the song was Timbaland; we studied a song he did with Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake. This process led to a lot of laughing and making fun of each other (because at one point we were rapping to the song). The end result was the most mainstream pop we've ever wrote. We did the same with the lyrics; we decided not to dig deep into the psychology of the lyrics, like we did with the other songs, but to keep them light and naive while trying to keep it personal at the same time.
At what part in the process of recording the new EP did this song come? This EP was all over the place, geographically and in time. "My Hands" was written a couple years ago, put on hold (in our logic chamber of secrets) and then revived right before we got into the recording studio. We thought all the songs should have the same vibe, in the sense that we wrote them at the same time. This was weird, because all the songs were written at different time and in different places, but then were all molded together because we tweaked and changed them to suit the things we were going through when we recorded them. Since time is a constant thing, change is also a constant thing--and no song is ever the same the next time you play it. We wanted to embrace that, and allow the songs to change and evolve as they wanted.
What makes it a Chaos Chaos song? This EP is the only Chaos Chaos song, and what really makes all these songs fit together and represent us is that they are chaotic, moody, all over the place, and contained at the same time. They are contained in little lines and codes in your computer. FYI, they will not be contained when we play them live. Chaos Chaos really doesn't have any rules (we don't really follow the 'you must know the rules to break 'em' thing either). We don't know the rules and ways to make music, because we learned on our own, and that's how we've always done it. Even when we were eight and 10, we were two white girls rapping to our own "indie pop" songs. We don't know anything, but we allow ourselves to figure out as much as possible about whatever it is we are interested in. We aren't barred in by any preexisting rules we wrote music by; we are trying everything and enjoying the adventure.
What's the song about? Let me tell you something about my hands: they're filthy. I don't wash them. No, I'm kidding! This song is about the will people have to conquer in small ways. The lyrics are very hypocritical and stubborn, they're about how annoyed this girl is with this guy who thinks he's all that, and thinks he "owns everybody," when really the lyrics portray how the girl wants to do the same thing. She is guilty of the same crime as him, but is oblivious to this.
When's the ideal time to listen to "My Hands"? It's the most party-like song we've written together. The best place would be ideally in concert, or blasting in a concrete jungle. Or when you are on your way to meet someone--we wanted it to be a natural energy booster. Starting with the hands, and then getting the blood flowing to the whole body.
Describe the song in one sentence: The usual human suspect: stubborn, oblivious, hypocritical--and wanting to party despite the problems!
Describe Chaos Chaos in one sentence: Chaos Chaos is a giant amoeba with attitude.