Chavez Cartel has to be one of the best band names in current rock music, hasn’t it?
Sounding like something from Breaking Bad, the Gold Coast quartet just released their thunderous new EP, Man’s Best Friend, a collection of blues-infused alternative rock that could probably shake anyone in the doldrums back to life.
Chavez Cartel even sound like a band that would be found in Arizona, where Breaking Bad is set, or any such dusty, harsh state: they would swagger onstage in some godforsaken bar, armed with their dirty rock anthems, and powerfully stir the patrons from their slumber.
Their sound is gritty and alluring, and there’s also a notable cinematic quality to the EP – it’s not difficult to imagine hearing some of these songs soundtrack a thrilling action sequence or two.
Throw in a surprise Arctic Monkeys cover and you have yourself a striking record. Their moody music has even caught the ear of tastemakers overseas, with the band performing on BBC Introducing last month, while they’re currently in the UK to play some shows, including an appearance at Brighton’s beloved Great Escape Festival.
To celebrate the release of their new EP, Tone Deaf got to know the band better as part of our Get to Know series, which you can check out below.
Chavez Cartel’s Man’s Best Friend EP is out now.
How did your band name come about?
It’s a loose acronym for “Can Have It All Easily”, and the word “Cartel” after anything just sounds cool haha.
How would you describe your music to your grandma?
I’ve done this already! I described our music as a grungy rock with bluesy punky influences. She just looked at me like I was from another planet haha.
Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?
“Dead Weekend” is one of my favourites on this EP. It actually came about with a guitar riff idea and a half finished song being combined. We had these ideas for a while, however we could never get them sounding right…until we decided to join ‘em together. It’s edgy, it’s druggy and it builds up to a huge explosion of sound that makes a great last song in a set.
We also recorded a cover of Arctic Monkey’s “Don’t Sit Down Cause I Moved Your Chair” for this EP. It’s our first-ever full band agreed-on cover, which is huge for us since we all have very different influences.
“Midnight Skies”, which if I remember correctly, is the second song on the EP, is a classic break up song… although Ben’s lyrics are always very subtle (which I love) so I guess everyone can relate to it differently. I think it’s our most pop-like song but when we play it live it definitely rocks out.
What do you love about your hometown?
I love that it’s so close to the beach and that we’ve got so much around us. Countryside, beach, mountains – it’s all within reach of my hometown. How good is the Gold Coast?
Career highlight so far?
Supporting The Reytons in Sydney. Definitely a career highlight but I also think that this UK tour is gonna top it all.
Fave non-music hobby?
Right after my passion for music comes my passion for food. My full-time job is in the restaurant industry and man, do I love to cook, eat and then eat some more.
What’s on your dream rider?
I’ve always wanted a sushi buffet haha, just in general really, but if I could put that on my rider I would !
Dream music collaboration?
I’d love to collaborate with Dave Grohl…. or just even be in the same space as him. He’s a big inspiration to me personally and also musically.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Doing what I love. Music. Always has been music. I just want to be able to do it every day and every minute and give it 100% of my time and effort.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Anything Queen. Although it might not sound great, it’s great for drunk karaoke.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Go for it. Don’t let anyone tell you that this industry is not good enough or not a career in itself. If it’s what you want, do it.
What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?
I don’t really have any obsessions to be honest haha. I love music and food. Those are two things I’d always be super excited about in life.
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