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Chavez Cartel run us through the songs that shaped the band

It’s been a couple of weeks now since Gold Coast trio Chavez Cartel dropped their debut single Bipolar Express. Since its release, we haven’t stopped spinning it.

The track is raw and raucous – everything a rock song should be. So fresh off its release, we asked each of the boys to list five must-listen records and the songs that have shaped their sound.

Fresh off the release of their debut single Bipolar Express, we caught up again with Gold Coast outfit Chavez Cartel to delve deeper into the songs that helped shape their upcoming debut EP.

Tom (drums):

Red Hot Chili Peppers  – Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik

The song that speaks to me most on this album is Under the Bridge. The first time I heard it was when I was pretty young and naive (haha), so I didn’t fully understand the message of Anthony Kiedis’ lyrics. But as I grew up and became more aware of the context behind the lyrics (about seclusion and addiction – that’s what I get out of it at least), I felt more attached to this song. I always related to the style of RHCP (especially the drumming) and feel like they are the first thought that comes to mind when someone asks me “whats your style of music?”

Tame Impala – Lonerism

My favourite song from this album has got to be Feels Like We Only Go Backwards. Such a catchy tune and the psychedelic vibe gets me going each time. Also love the fact that Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys covered it and nailed it as a simple acoustic… although nothing beats the original. What caught my eye (or should I say ear) with Tame was the fact that Kevin Parker writes every single part himself- talk about genius.

Pink Floyd – Wish you were here

Such a damn classic. David Gilmour’s voice in the title track was and still is perfect for this song. Loved this song from a young age and always will.

Black Keys – Brothers

The song Unknown Brother in this bluesy/rock album from the Black Keys is my personal favourite. It’s sexy, groovy and always pumps me up. I mean I could never resist them blues solo’s and riffs.

Arctic Monkeys – AM

I know Ben will probably have some sort of Arctic monkeys reference here too haha… after Oasis of course. It’s hard to choose which song is my favourite but I would have to say Arabella gets my vote. It’s so damn fun to jam to – the drums are groovy and the fills are tight and sexy, the bass is fat and the guitar licks/solos never disappoint.

Ben (vocals):

Oasis – Definitely Maybe

For me this album would have to be pound-for-pound one of, if not the, best album of all time. It’s packed with anthem after anthem from start to finish. If I had a gun to my head and was forced to pick a favourite tune it would have to be Columbia for the simple fact that it’s the song I’ve probably listened to most. If I’ve listened to Definitely Maybe a thousand times, then I’ve listened to Columbia five thousand. It’s big, it’s dirty, it’s loud, it’s working class and it’s mega. What more do ya want?

The Doors – LA Woman

By far my favourite Doors album. It’s got legend status too as Morrison died before its release. If you read up on how the album was recorded and produced they pretty much did it all themselves at home as their label or whatever weren’t feeling the album so they pulled out. Been Down So God Damn Long is stand out for me. It’s not my favourite song on the album but it is my favourite vocal. Morrison at his finest. So fuckin’ husky and raw and he goes mental at the end but with such control. Insane vocalist. Insane song.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – BRMC

This album was a game changer for me and I’ll cut straight to it. Track two on the album Red Eyes And Tears. I would’ve been around 13/14 when I first heard this and I’d never heard anything like it. It just blew my mind. The solo in the chorus is just immense. It’s so clattering and industrial and drug-fucked… it’s fuckin’ outrageous. I’m not surprised the chorus doesn’t have words – it doesn’t need any. I got hooked on those sorts of sounds and thanks to this band it lead me onto other top bands such as Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Black Angels. I still listen to all of them every day.

Nirvana – Bleach

Let me start off by saying Nirvana weren’t far off perfect in my book. Every album is nuts. The reason I picked this one is because of how even to this fuckin day I can’t get my head around the fact that it’s an 80’s album. The fuckin 80’s. Talk about forward thinking. The pick of the bunch for me is About A Girl… it’s right up there with their best ever and again sounds fuck all like anything else you’ve ever heard from the 80’s – still sounds like it was recorded yesterday. Kurt was the man.

Oasis – What’s The Story Morning Glory

Tom was right by the way… and I’m glad he picked a Monkeys album because I probably would’ve said the same. Do I Wanna Know is probably the finest song of this decade, but as I say T already plugged them so I’ll suck off Oasis again. Champagne Supernova should be listened to every night before bed by every man, woman and child on earth. It’s good for soul and they’d be better people for it. It’s that fuckin good. How Wonderwall is more famous than this song, I’ll never know.

Jack (guitar):

First of all, for me, when it comes to impact, it’s not about what the album is… it’s more about certain songs and the band that had an impact on me. Here’s the first five songs that sprung to mind when asked what moulded me and my playing:

AC/DC – High Voltage

High Voltage is my top favourite song written by AC/DC and this band has influenced me the most to play guitar. I first heard High Voltage and a lot of other AC/DC songs when I was just 5 years old and have been my most favourite band since I was a young child. They still remain my favourite rock n’ roll band.

AC/DC – Up To My Neck In You

This song has such grunt and a classic rocking rhythm that gets my foot tapping every time I listen to it. Even if I’m sad, hungry or bored, this song will definitely get me out of my chair and jumping around with my guitar within seconds of listening. I love it, such a rough, raw, classic AC/DC rock song.

KISS – Black Diamond

This is one of my favourite songs by the band KISS. I love the guitar riffs and solos in it. KISS put on one of the greatest rock shows on Earth. I love KISS, they are my 2nd favourite band.

INXS – Mystify

Mystify is probably my favourite song from INXS. Written by the one of the most talented musicians out there Andrew Farris, and Michael Hutchence, this song captures INXS’s signature sound and is great to listen to. This song has also inspired me to learn a bit of piano. INXS is my 3rd favourite band and a big influence on my music style.

Stevie Ray Vaughan – Pride And Joy

Pride And Joy is my top favourite SRV song and has influenced me in such a way that his style of playing has changed my guitar playing for the better. I love the Blues genre and I now incorporate more hammer ons and pull offs in my guitar riffs and solos.

Bipolar Express is available now.


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October 11, 2018

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