Waving hello to us from Los Angeles is the modern alternative rock group Chainflower whose sparkling shimmer of a sound has gained the attention of Universal Music Group / Hood Associates Records to cement a distribution deal to further showcase the music being created.
Consisting of members Kelly Wheeler and Syd Duran, Chainflower has been striving only for the best and even set out for the help of iconic industry personal such as Johnny K, Synematik, and Doug Grean to complete their vision of what the music should be. This was something that was easy to hear in Chainflower’s latest release “Brave.”
“Brave” opens up with an intensely cinematic boom before exploding in energy when the main guitar riff comes in. Then to pound us in the chest in the verse is the thundering drum kit that holds the ground for Syd’s beautiful vocals to sit on top and sing to us about how despite having her wings cut she will use her rage to keep flying.
We couldn’t help but feel equally angered and calm while listening to “Brave”, there are moments of empowerment but also intensely driven moments in the songwriting that make you want to get up and scream. Chainflower has something unique to talk about in “Brave” and we can’t wait to hear what else is coming from this edgy group.
Hey there Chainflower! Welcome to BuzzMusic! Your latest release “Brave” seems to tell us about using rage to keep yourself flying even without wings, how do you find yourselves personally connecting to the lyrics? Were there ever any different themes or messages in “Brave” before settling on the final lyrics?
For us, Brave is about having a warrior attitude and never quitting through life’s challenges. There were other lyrics with the working title Vaccine, which is ironically relevant today. But I wasn’t happy with the lyrics and wanted something completely new so we started from scratch. In the end, Brave became even more relevant to the current events we’re experiencing now.
It’s incredibly exciting to hear some industry icons worked on this record! What was that whole experience like? Did you learn anything new while working on “Brave”?
It was amazing that such talented artists wanted to work on Brave with us. Synematik, who co-produced, engineered, and performed keys on Brave, was amazing to work with and brought a whole new vibe through his R&B roots. He’s very focused, talented, and knowledgeable, which made it a pleasure collaborating. He gets the best performances from singers and it was a great recording at his studio in Hollywood. Johnny K took the song to new heights with his mixing and mastering. He’s worked with some of the top acts in rock, so we were very excited that he liked our stuff and wanted to really make Brave shine. Adding strings and keys on this record was a new experience, especially the nuance of strings. Even though we haven’t used them before, it seemed to be the right direction to capture the unique sound of Brave.
What does your typical songwriting session look like? Do you usually start with the lyrics?
I usually have a music arrangement in mind and I’ll play it for Syd. Then we work on vocal melodies. After that the lyrics. By doing it this way, Syd’s lyrics are inspired by the music and can reveal exciting twists and turns that otherwise wouldn’t be found.
With some influences being icons that include Led Zeppelin, Blondie, Siouxsie, and the Banshees, Killing Joke, Soundgarden, and Queens of the Stone Age, what about all of these acts makes them influence for you? How do you draw inspiration from each one?
We’re inspired by and love heavy and innovative music done extremely well. Led Zeppelin is the king along with Black Sabbath and Jimi Hendrix. They were each hard in their own way, but also soft and beautiful, creating a unique sound that is still unparalleled. Blondie and Siouxsie and the Banshees were fronted by legendary female artists who were very innovative with performance and style. Their music could be hard, but also gentle and playful which is very difficult to balance. Killing Joke artfully combines power, anger, innovation, beauty, and amazing performance. Something that post-punk aspired to, but rarely achieved. A reason Nirvana also loved their music. Soundgarden, Queens of the Stone Age, Alice in Chains, White Stripes, Jane’s Addiction, and Tool brought innovation, imagination, and power back to rock during a time when there was little. Each of these icons is very rare, unique, and powerful visionaries that continue to inspire us and millions of others. They have deeply infused our playing and artistry on our own journey of unique expression, as we attempt to also create music that‘s hard and beautiful.
Thank you for being here Chainflower! What else can we expect for 2020?
We are finishing up two more singles for release this year. We also have streaming events coming up and will be back playing live as soon as venues open.