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Name: Adam Bernard
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Kelsey and the Chaos - On & Off Tour
Thursday, September 02, 2010

Having steadily gained fans and notoriety since they first hit the scene in 2008, Kelsey and the Chaos are currently poised to make the next big leap in their career. The New York City based foursome of singer Kelsey Merritt, guitarist Tyler Lyons, bassist Corey DeVincenzo and drummer Nick Rotunno, are now veterans of three Warped Tours and when I caught up with them they told us about their history, how William Shatner’s been hooking them up, and what their lives are like when they’re not on tour.

Adam Bernard: When did you officially form as a band?
Kelsey: May of 2008. Nick and I met at Berklee College of Music in Boston and it’s funny, because we both went to school with the idea that we wanted to start a band. When we met we hit it off and started playing shows.

AB: Did you graduate, or were you like forget this, we have a band, that’s all we went to school for anyway?
Kelsey: We’re still students. We’re taking online classes, but right now I figure while we’re young enough to do the music thing we should give it our 100%.

AB: So does that mean you’re a phoenix?
Tyler: I do online with SUNY.

AB: You’re currently wrapping up your third Warped Tour. What was different this time around?
Kelsey: I would say the band’s grown a lot in the last couple of years. We’re definitely doing a lot more press, we’re definitely seeing a lot more kids coming out, watching the band, and knowing the words to the songs. We’re selling more merch. I think things have just gotten a little better each year.

AB: That’s a very cool way to see your growth process.
Both: Yeah.
Tyler: Our first tour ever was Warped Tour in 2008. We had never toured before, no nothing, so to see from that year, to 2009, to this year, it’s been our summerly gauge and it’s easy to see that things are definitely going upwards.

AB: Since you’re now officially road warriors, do you have any secrets to touring that you can reveal?
Tyler: When we drive ourselves, and when we’re on a good tour, we can afford to get hotel rooms. We use Priceline.
Kelsey: You can get ridiculous rooms for like thirty bucks.
Tyler: So we control how much we shower and we’re not moving while we sleep.

AB: When you’re not getting hooked up with a room by William Shatner, what’s sleeping while on the road like?
Kelsey: Being on a tour bus is kind of interesting. It’s very crowded and when you go to sleep you hear the buzz of the engine and you’re moving. It’s interesting.

AB: And you can fall asleep on Long Island and wake up in Rhode Island.
Kelsey: Yeah, I think that that’s the most bizarre thing.
Tyler: If you’ve ever heard someone say “I don’t know where I am,” they probably were on a tour bus. When you’re driving yourselves you see the road signs, you stop places, you can see you're getting somewhere. For us we haven’t been anywhere but a venue in like two weeks. All we see is tents and stages and then leave.
Kelsey: It’s very bizarre how quickly the days blend in. I don’t know if I can hit one day and tell you what was going on.

AB: Aside from the big tours, do you get to play any of the clubs in your hometown of New York City, or is your crowd almost too young to have that make sense?
Kelsey: That’s kinda what it is. There are a lot of places to play in New York, but the system’s kind of messed up. It’s mostly 21 and up and I think most of our fan base is under 21.

AB: Would you consider booking a smaller show in Manhattan just to do it?
Kelsey: Love to.
Tyler: We do, a friend of ours named Keith Morales, he owns a production company, he throws shows at Angels & Kings, a bar owned by Pete Wentz. They’re all acoustic. A lot of them are 21 and up, but we did get to do an all-ages show there and we actually had a great draw. Having them be so few and far between means that when we do have them they’re pretty big.

AB: I don’t see why your music wouldn’t connect with an of-age crowd. You’re not Raffi.
Tyler: A lot of our younger fans’ parents seem to like us.
Kelsey: Which is cool.

AB: Other than touring, and your music, what should people know about you as individuals?
Tyler: We’re just normal people. We’re young, we can relate to everyday problems. When we’re home and not touring we work 40 hour weeks. We’re giving our all to make this our full time job, but we can appreciate the dream.
Kelsey: Another thing is we’re very outgoing. Not to be pumping ourselves up, but we’re genuinely very nice people. I think that there are some people that may have ideas about us, or think that we’re stuck up or something, but I think that if people just took a minute to get to know us they’d see that we’re very grounded and normal and fun.

AB: Why do you think people might have those kind of preconceived notions about you?
Kelsey: I think that a new band that does a lot pretty quickly in their careers kind of takes some hell for maybe not paying their dues, but we’ve all been musicians and trying to make it in the industry for longer than this band’s been around.

AB: Is there anything else people should know about you or your music?
Kelsey: We’re releasing a single, it’s called “Life Goes On.” We’ve released it ourselves, but we’re gonna re-release it with a bigger press push on August 31st with two other songs. It’s gonna be a little sampler, a little preview of our record that’s gonna be on iTunes. The album will be through ADA (Alternative Distribution Alliance), which is Warner. We’ve got distribution, which is half the battle.

Story originally ran on SubstreamMusicPress.com.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:47 AM  
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