Recently I saw Chamber Band when they toured the West Coast, and what an experience it was! The first thing one notices about Chamber Band when one approaches them is their shoes. While Chamber Band is primarily a musical act they function as a multi-media extravaganza. The band’s bass player, Anthony, is also a painter. For the band’s fashionable fortune, Anthony painted five pairs of white sneakers in vibrant colorful splotches, which Chamber Band wears proudly. Anthony live paints to music as conceptual performance practice. Each of the members of Chamber Band hand picked their favorite album to have their sneakers painted to, making it so that all the members of Chamber Band are literally walking on music.
Chamber Band is touring behind their second album Careers, a concept album about The Hunger Games and finding a career during young adulthood. Their first album Deities is a concept album about Dungeons and Dragons. Both efforts are stellar, however, Careers marks a pivotal growth for the band. When I interviewed the band, Asarr, the band’s guitar and keyboard player, said the album was about economic oppression. It seems as though at some point all of the members of Chamber Band have been homeless so the yearning for fiscal stability and sense of purpose resonates strongly with these people and their fans. Indeed, the financial struggle may seem surprising given that all of the members attended good colleges. In fact, three of the members attended Sarah Lawrence College. But such is the state of the world for liberal arts majors these days, particularly those living in New York.
Chamber Band seems to create albums by latching onto a theme derived from some piece of popular culture, like The Hunger Games or Dungeons and Dragons, and imbuing it with more universal human concerns and emotions. Like in Dungeons and Dragons, the members of Chamber Band are concerned with role-playing. They stand steadfast with their role as a band in a world with a changing economy for creative folks, and to startling inspiring results!
I saw Chamber Band play twice when they came out to the Bay Area. The first show was at a house party in Oakland hosted by artist Laura Miller. The show was very intimate and Chamber Band played brilliantly in a room that required a delicate and unique dynamic. At the show I was told that Chamber Band was used to playing these small rooms from having the experience of playing game stores throughout their tour where they make connections with the comic book crowd. The second show I saw was at the Milk Bar in San Francisco on Haight Street. This was a more traditional rock setting and produced a powerful sound. Few bands can play to any room and Chamber Band is one of them. I urge the reader to see them under any circumstance given the opportunity.
Currently at Bedrock we have Deities on Vinyl and CD as well as a copy of Careers, which we exclusively have prior to its release date! Get it here first and find your role to play in the violent landscape of Careers!