Known for hard grooves and hypnotic rhythms, punk funkers !!! (Chk Chk Chk) bring their frenzied live show to http://www.tntdownunder.com/article/2437918549.html[Australia]. Singer Nic Offer chats about their name, David Bowie and universal plug adaptors
!!! are a band without a name and one of the most excited names at the same time. (If in doubt, call them “Chk Chk Chk”). The Americans are also known to be bloody brilliant live. As I speak to singer Nic Offer, they’re in Brooklyn getting some new songs together for their upcoming Australian tour. “If you’d asked me last night I’d say they were coming along pretty good. Tonight I’d say great.”
Where abouts are you know?
I’m in Brooklyn right now. This is our work week. The whole band is together and we’re trying to get some new songs together for you guys. If you’d asked me last night I’d say they were coming along pretty good. Tonight I’d say great.
Is there a new album in the works?
We’re pretty far from bringing it in for landing but we’re getting there. That’s why we do these small tours, to test out the new stuff.
How does the new stuff change from now to the end of the studio time?
Yeah, we like to have fun in the studio, the usually get all changed around when we get in there. The whole thing is a process. We’re making it up as we go along.
While there’s seven dudes on stage playing chaotic music, you still get locked into a hard single groove. How long does it take to hone each new song – does it start pretty messy?
I think the quick answer is that it takes as long as it does to write the whole album. The songs that we write right now are re-written and re-written until we write the last songs, which will be in the last week because we just keep changing them. As long is it’s not set in a computer chip it’s unfinished.
How has life changed for the band since the release of Myth Takes?
Well, we toured last year for seven months. We got pretty tired so it’s been nice to take a break. We’re just working in a new drummer right now. Jerry is also in The Juan Maclean and they’ll be in Australia around the same time as we are, so we’ve worked in this new drummer.
You’ve got some hard complex rhythms. He’s getting his head around it?
He is actually, its kind of hard to fins someone can do what we want but he’s getting it.
What was the thought behind the name?
When we started almost 12 years ago we were convinced we had an original sound so we wanted something that instantly set us apart from other bands. We were young idealistic and pretty arty so that really appeal to us.
I like it cos you come up first on my iPod.
Except that if you’ve downloaded the new version of Itunes it puts us at the end. We were pretty upset about that one. We’ve been dealt a lot of tough breaks because of that name so that was just another blow to our career.
Damn you Aardvarks.
I refuse to update my itunes. But the name still stands out as it used to.
You’ve got a song called “All my heros are weirdos” Who are some of your heros?
I’ll go for Bowie today. Songs like spaceoddity really appealed to my imagination and his stories really blew my mind. You’ve got to respect him for constantly changing and always pushing for so long. He has a good string of albums and each were different. I gotta respect him for that.
How do you guys co-ordinate travelling with such a big group?
I don’t know. It’s kind of a mess. We’ve been together for so long we don’t know any other way. It used to be easy cos we were the one tiny little band so we were always centred as a group and we have an unspoken way of communicating.
How does travel affect your music?
I like to think that you soak in everything when you’re travelling and it rounds you. The first time I ever danced to techno was on a hitchhiking trip through Europe, you didn’t get that in Sacremento – it’s a hick town. Travelling broadens your horizons, it cultures you.
Will you struggle to settle down?
I think I always will travel. After seven months of travelling last year we played our last show in Mexico city and I just stayed there and travelled around there for a few weeks. It’s in my blood. I’ll always be travelling.
Do you get to see much on the road?
You do, but sometimes you don’t. We were all very excited to go to Greece but we were only there for 24hours and dog-tired from Spain the night before in a late-night festival. Other days you have time off to lay on the beach.
The last time we spoke your favourite place was the Rainforests of Costa Rica and were looking forward to experiencing Australia. Did you get time to look around?
Yeah, we saw abit, not as much as we would have liked but we’re looking forward to finding more.
How many plug adaptors do you have?
I used to have one great all-purpose one that did all your countries but they don’t make it anymore. I have a whole bunch in my suitcase – there’s about five or six and who knows what country they belong to.
The Australian one has two angled prongs with one vertical one in the centre, if that helps?
Okay, I’ll look for that one.
Myth Takes is out now through Inertia. !!! play http://www.sounds.net.au[We Love Sounds] at http://www.tntdownunder.com/article/2443949843.html[Melbourne]’s Docklands on Saturday 7 June. http://www.tntdownunder.com/article/2437919268.html[Sydney]’s Ent. Quarter on Sunday 8 and http://www.tntdownunder.com/article/2440450887.html[Adelaide] Shores Monday 9. Tix vary.