Simon Jones (vocals), Dan Pritchard (bass, synth), Sam Pritchard (guitar, synth), Tom Scargill (guitar), and Sean Stockton (drums), are all members of the Chester based band Chemistry Lane.
Combining all their individual tastes and fusing several styles of music together, their sound evades definition. It is both complex and enthralling.
1. How did the band originally come together and what inspired you to start making music?
Chemistry Lane formed around five years ago. Our collective influences are wide ranging, but we share a love of music that brings disparate parts together to create a compelling whole, so this is at the core of our identity. We have always sought to achieve this and make music that satisfies our somewhat particular tastes and isn’t really out there already.
2. How often and for how long do you practice?
Usually three times a week for about 3 hours.
3. Who writes your songs and which one is your favourite?
Chemistry Lane songs are very often a collective effort. Even if one of us brings a song to the band, it’s form and character are up for debate. Songs can alter radically from demo to something we might consider finished. ‘Indian Can‘ (possibly a working title!) is tickling our collective fancy at the moment – a track from our upcoming debut album. The song arrived somewhat organically from a jam, and everyone puts their best foot forward on it. From an irresistible synth arp at the beginning, to a motif Indian style hooky riff, to a great breakbeat, the dynamics of the tune came together quite quickly. This usually indicates we’re all playing on our strengths early on in the development of a tune, with the added bonus of reducing debate about the direction of a tune further down the line.
4. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced as a band?
Ha! See answers 1 and 3! Bringing disparate influences together to create something unique in a democratic environment where everyone’s creative whims are listened to can be a pain in the ass.
5. How do you balance the band with your other obligations (family, friends, jobs)?
With difficulty and much understanding from our significant others. Our social lives are screwed.
And just for fun…
6. Who is your favourite music artist (dead or alive)?
Too many to single out just one, but a few acts that have got the juices flowing recently are: Max Cooper, Blanck Mass, Machinedrum, Thelonious Monk, McAlmont & Butler (You Do), Deutsche Amerikanische Freundschaft (Kebab Träume), Clipping, The Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Laura Nyro (Eli’s Comin), Julia Holter (Betsy On The Roof).
7. If you could wake up in the body of another person (just for one day) who would it be and why?
Tom: Donald Trump. Oh to run my fingers through his distinguished locks and survey the geopolitical landscape with his benevolent understanding and vision. Also, my Dad’s wall needs looking at, so he/I could sort that out as well.
8. You have the chance to time travel to any gig or concert that has ever taken place – which one would it be?
Tom: Tough question, it would be those now legendary early gigs of ground breaking bands that seldom people saw. So the Velvet Underground at Warhol’s ‘Exploding Plastic Inevitable’ events, The Doors at the Whiskey a Go Go in 1966, Television at CBGB’s or Kraftwerk at the Creamcheese Club in Dusseldorf in the early 70’s. To witness the energy of Otis Redding when he had Booker T & the MG’s as his backing band would be awesome, but I guess the ultimate rock & ‘n’ roll gig would be to go right back to the start, and catch Robert Johnson playing around the Delta in the 30’s.
9. What is your favourite lyric?
Tom: Another daftly tough question, so I’ll just go for the line that last brought a wry smile to my face. During ‘If You See Her Say Hello‘, when the mere mention of an ex lovers name irks him, Bob Dylan wonders of himself – ‘Either I’m too sensitive or else I’m getting soft‘. I love ‘Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again‘, and must give an honourable mention to Leonard Cohen’s ‘The Stranger Song‘, and Televisions ‘Marquee Moon‘.
10. And finally… if you were a biscuit, which one would you be and why?
A disco biscuit…long live Prince.
Chemistry Lane are currently working on their debut album. Watch their latest release ‘Tearing Wings Off a Butterfly’.