Meet: Gold Coast Indie Rockers Chavez Cartel

With their new EP ‘Man’s Best Friend’ out today, we caught up with Chavez Cartel to find out a little more about the band.

Give us a potted history of the band

So we got together I think around early 2017. We were slow and shit for a long time but got some momentum together around 2019. We put a couple of EP’s out that year (2019) and to our surprise one of our songs got support from BBC INTRODUCING and another three songs got nominated for the ‘song of the year’ at the Gold Coast Music Awards. Covid hit not long after that and we spent the isolation pushing our sound and recording our ‘Man’s Best Friend EP’ during. We sent it out to a label that we were interested in working with (End Of The Trail Creative) and they signed it on the spot. Since then things have been going a bit crazy for us. The UK tour, supporting The Reytons, being booked for festivals all over the world. It’s just going nuts! 

Who inspired you to start making music

The band that made me want to start a band was Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. I was still at school when I first heard them and their sounds and guitars changed everything for me. I listened to music differently after them. 

And the one or maybe two records that inspired you artistically

The Velvet Underground & Nico. The sounds in this are unbelievable. Even the simplest and most straight forward songs are just flipped on their heads. It really is a lesson in just how much you can do with a chord or how far you can take a note. It’s so alternative but easy listening at the same time. Venus In Furs is the gem of gems. I’ve taken more artistic inspiration from this one song than the vast majority of every other song I’ve ever heard combined. Its so fuckin druggy and messy and sounds like it was recorded last night never mind in the 60’s. Heroin is great too. The album is an absolute masterpiece and it’s never once stopped giving. 

If you’re trying to explain who you sound like to someone that’s never heard you, what do you say

It’s not necessarily a ‘who do we sound like’ but more of a ‘where would our music belong’ sort of explanation. A few years ago I became OBSESSED with the Peaky Blinders soundtrack. It’s so strong and edgy it’s basically it’s own genre (or at least sub genre). That’s the area in which we try to operate. An area which we wouldn’t sound out of place being played on that show. A fight scene on there would do us just fine. 

Tell us about your new track

Midnight Skies is a break up song. It’s about giving everything you’ve got to someone and coming away with what feels like nothing. I think if you applied the lyrics to a darker arrangement then you’d get an absolute depressing misery but the songs really bright and bouncy and it carries it  away into the light. It makes you feel like you’ve won. Even if you’ve lost. It’s off our new album which is out May 5th through End Of The Trail Records. 

Where can we get hold of it

Right now you can get the single on all streaming platforms! The EP that’s it’s off you can find the pre save link on our socials and you can purchase on vinyl from May 5th! 

Tell us how you write

These days it’s more systematic and band like. One of us will have an idea and jam it in the studio and we’ll work it out between us. Before it was all bit all over the place. I’ve got loads and loads of songs/lyrics written from down the years and the poetry is all sort of tattooed on my brain. Some is on there really clearly and some is really faint but it’s all up there. I’ve got hundreds of poems that aren’t in use and if the boys are jamming a new idea and the music moves me to a familiar place I’ll often jump to old words to see if I can make them work. Other times if the music gives me a fresh feeling or a new feeling and that’s when I write new stuff. We’re in a rich vein of creativity at the moment so fortunately we’ve got ideas coming out of us from everywhere. We’re really embracing this period too. As all creatives know the creativity isn’t always at your disposal. It often leaves and goes fuck knows where! 

Tell us about your live show what would be your dream gig

Our live shows are loud and come with more of a punk energy than maybe our records suggest. We had a really great run of shows last month supporting The Reytons on their Australian tour. Got a really phenomenal reception from their crowd too won a lot to them over.  When I started the band funnily enough I only had one objective and that was to get to playing the Glastonbury Pyramid Stage. Now I know where a long way off but we’re also a lot closer than we were when I dreamt that up so the dream

Is very much still alive. That’s our dream gig. 

What can we expect from you in the near future

New EP out May 5th with a UK tour to promote it then back to Australia for some festival appearences. We’ve got a follow up single then which we’ll probably put out around September we’re hoping. Busy year indeed!!! 

Tell us your favourite records that are rocking your headphones/tour bus / stereo

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Baby 81, Fontaines D.C – Skinty Fia, The Black Angels – Passover, The Stooges – The Stooges, Brian Jonestown Massacre (take your pick)

Read our review of the EP here

Find out more via the bands Facebook

‘Man’s Best friend’ is out now and available to download and stream here.

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