THANKS to THRILLCHASER…
for talking about their new single, QUIT IT!, and what its story is. I ask them how they got together and which artists they are influenced by; how it felt seeing their debut single do so well; what the music scene is like in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island – they reveal the upcoming artists we should watch.
I was keen to know if THRILLCHASER are touring and what their favourite memories are; the advice they would give to artists coming through; if they get time to chill away from recording – they each select a song to end the interview with.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Rob Lundy (Bass/Synth/Vocals): Hey there! We are doing great. It’s been a productive, albeit rainy week for us here at home in Rhode Island. We’ve mainly just been holed up in our practice space, rehearsing and writing like crazy.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We are THRILLCHASER; an Alt/Pop/Indie/whatever trio consisting of members from both Providence, R.I. and Philadelphia, PA. We officially went public as a band in October 2017 and are fresh off of the release of our debut album, A Lot Like Love.
Our lineup is as follows: Rod Pires: Vocals/Guitar; Nikki Zell: Guitar/Vocals and Rob Lundy: Bass/Synth/Vocals.
We also have a touring-drummer named Chris! People often wonder how we pull off the percussive aspect of our music live without having an ‘official drummer’ in the band, and he’s how!
QUIT IT! is your latest single. Can you talk about its formation and story?
The origins of QUIT IT! actually date back to the recording sessions of our debut album, A Lot Like Love. Us and our producer Taylor Larson had written the bare bones of the instrumental quite early on in the process of making our record; however, the song was never officially finished during those sessions due to time constraints.
After some time away spent launching THRILLCHASER into the public and debuting our album, we found ourselves still revisiting the ‘unfinished’ instrumental on our own time and, before we knew it, we were back in the studio early 2018 recording what would eventually become QUIT IT!.
Your debut single was hugely popular and was a massive success on Spotify. Did you feel a pressure to follow it with something even bigger?!
To be honest, whenever we enter the studio we just do whatever feels natural to us at the moment. We’re so early in our career as a band that we haven’t fully started to feel the pressures of living up to past-successes quite yet. Many people are still hearing THRILLCHASER for the first time and becoming fans, so the potential for growth is everywhere for us.
We have nowhere to go but up in a sense as such a new band and that is kind of liberating. While recording QUIT IT!, I’d say the overall band mentality was a general excitement over the fact that we were already working on new music despite having just dropped a record months prior.
How did THRILLCHASER get together? When did you all meet one another?
Rod (Lead Vocals/Guitar) and myself met back in 2012 when the two of us were only eighteen. We both originally started working together as members of a Metalcore band signed to InVogue Records called The Illumination. Once that group dissolved in 2015 with only him and me left standing, we sought out a fresh start and thus formed a new band with a more active-rock type of sound, American Wolves. It was during the process of seeking members for American Wolves in which we found Nikki (Guitar/Vocals) via the Internet. She drove several hours from her home at the time in rural Pennsylvania to rehearse with us and we all just instantly clicked.
Eventually, circumstances behind the scenes and within the industry led us to a point where we found the only viable option was to reinvent ourselves as a band, and so we started fresh yet again in late-2017 as THRILLCHASER.
PHOTO CREDIT: Shervin Lainez
Which artists inspired you to get into music? Did you have musical idols growing up?
Bands like Blink-182, New Found Glory and Goldfinger were my initial gateway into the world of music. I’ve always dreamed of being in a band and traveling the world as long as I can remember, even before I knew how to play an instrument. I know that’s the case for everyone in THRILLCHASER; we were all born to do this.
You originate from Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. What is the music scenes like there? Is there a lot of good local venues?
Nikki Zell (Guitar/Vocals): Philly might not come across as a place that has a thriving local music scene, but the arts are strong within the city and surrounding areas. Everyone, for the most part, is a family; growing and supporting each other. There are countless venues, recording studios; songwriting and collaboration opportunities - meaning you can actually make a living as a full-time artist here. The spirit of the city reflects in its local scene. It shaped me into the artist and musician I am today.
Rob Lundy (Bass/Synth/Vocals): Back in the early to mid-2000s; the days of when The Living Room was still an active venue, the R.I. music scene really was something special. Things have fluctuated since then but, in the last several years, I’ve seen a lot of great talent and energy begin to emerge from my home city. I truly do believe the scene here is making a comeback.
Do you think there will be touring dates? Can we catch you play?
Most definitely! Our next performance is September 8th, in Philadelphia at the Dockside Bar.
Might you come to the U.K. and see us here? Do you like the music here?
We absolutely would love to tour the U.K. at some point in the future. Most definitely, The 1975 and The Wombats are big influences of ours.
If you each had to select an album that means the most to you; which would they be and why?
Dude Ranch by Blink-182
It’s the soundtrack to so many of my perfectly awkward adolescent moments that helped shape me into the awkward man I am today.
Nikki: No record in its entirety has ever personally spoken to me like Strange Desire by Bleachers, which came out at a very pivotal time in my youth.
Rod: John Mayer’s Battle Studies
One of my all-time favorites for sure.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Rob: I’d have to say that, collectively, one of our favorite memories is all of us sitting in the control room with our producer Taylor Larson watching him master the finished version of the record, thus completing the process of recording the album 100%. Metaphorically-speaking, it felt like standing triumphantly on a mountaintop after a death-defying climb and looking downward.
The energy in the room was so positive. We had undergone many trials and tribulations, endured many personal sacrifices and literally transformed ourselves as a band in order to make that album happen. It was a very proud moment for sure.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
It’s a rock-solid tie between The 1975 or John Mayer for us.
As far as a rider goes, every venue would be required to have a cat that we could chill out with and pet in the green room before every show. I go nuts being on the road and not getting to regularly interact with any animals. Also; sushi. Sushi would be nice.
What advice would you give to artists coming through?
Stay determined, passionate and persistent. Eventually, it all pays off.
IN THIS PHOTO: Awaken I Am
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Not really. Music is kind of all that I do in some way shape or form, especially since I also handle the managerial aspect of the band. I wouldn’t have it any other way, though. It’s what I love.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Rob: Hard to Explain by The Strokes
Nikki: Let’s go with I Would Die 4 U by Prince (because I am perpetually jamming out to Prince)
Rod: My Thoughts on You by The Band CAMINO