Hull and Leeds-based sister-doom duo Chambers will be releasing their new single Hostile on December 2 via I’m Not From London Records. We caught up with the band to find out a little more!
Can you introduce yourselves and tell me a bit about the band?
AH: I’m Aeris Houlihan guitarist and singer from Chambers.
EC: I’m Ellie, I’m resident drummer at Chambers. I live in Hull, Aeris lives in Leeds.
When did you first start making music as Chambers – how did it all start out?
AH: Around 2 years ago. We originally met via joining another band together but it didn’t work out as the style of music wasn’t for us. Ellie fancied putting together a two piece band and it just felt right to give it a go. What’s interesting is the fact that when we look back through the photos from that band we were always next to each other, even though we only had a few jams in that old band.
EC: Chambers was something I’ve wanted to do for quite a long time but never found the right musician to do it with. I knew what I wanted out of a band for a very long time but finally finding someone with the same interests has really helped.
You’re soon going to be releasing your single Hostile. What’s the story behind the song?
EC: We wrote the song after watching the film Bronson by Nicolas Winding Refn. There’s something about his energy we loved in the film and we wanted to transfer that energy into music. We recently renamed our bass amp Bronson to celebrate its arrival into the Chambers set list.
Is it perhaps typical of what fans can expect from an upcoming full-length release, or would you class it as more of a standalone piece?
EC: The song is directly linked to our next single Sister Doom released in 2017. Hostile is more or less the first half of the story and Sister Doom will be the second instalment so to speak.
The sister doom theme flows through our work generally, but here we’ve been able to really create a proper concept for it through Hostile and Sister Doom itself. We won’t give too much away, but there’s a link between the intensity we’ve tried to portray through Hostile and the powerful feeling felt through Sister Doom.
What has been your best experience in the industry so far?
AH: Being played on the Huw Stephens show (Radio 1) for the first time was good.
EC: I think the best experience for me as a musician was meeting Aeris because I could share a vision with someone who really wanted the same thing. Nothing is ever good enough for me, I always want something bigger and better.
And what’s the most difficult thing?
AH: Carrying my guitar and bass amp (Bronson). They’re sooooooo heavy.
EC: Time, money and energy! It’s hard being in an active band when you’ve got a lot going on yourself but we support each other in different ways so the balance works well I think.
What inspires you as an artist – who are your role models and idols?
AH: I’m inspired by chaos. Whether it be in a horror film or everyday life. Absorbing that energy and turning it into music seems to work for us.
Growing up I was really inspired by Siobhan Fahey’s performance in the Stay music video. That’s my earliest memory of knowing that I was going to be doing something similar to her one day (in more ways than one). I also really like Marina Abramovic. You can’t help but admire her work.
I seem to take to quotes, poems, lyrics or sayings as opposed to people (idols). One of which that I can’t get out of my mind is Mono no aware. Beautifully Dark!
EC: I’m inspired by a lot of things in life. Musically, I’ve found the Hull scene very inspiring, the scene here is incredible and it always makes you challenge your own work. I’m a big lover of hip hop and rap artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Reggie Snow and Mac Miller as well as bands such as SUNNS, Slaves and don’t mind spinning a bit of swifty.
Art wise, I’m a big fan of Leonora Carrington, Yayoi Kusama and Fiona Rae. I’m also a huge fan of Anna Bean. I’ve never seen work which matches so well to what goes on in my head quite frankly. Everything I have ever been very fond of artistically has always been very beautiful and very dark at the same time but I didn’t realise this for a long time. It’s only when you start actually observing what you’re doing things start clicking into place.
I’m inspired by cats on a more personal level, things that comfort me and make me feel like I’m only human. Cat noises, moomins, street lamps. Sort of reminds you that all the heavy stuff in life doesn’t really matter. That kind of thing fills my brain with less noise.
I’ve heard great things about your live shows – but what can fans expect from a Chambers show?
AH: It’s sort of that feeling you get when you’re stood in a dark, empty house with all the lights turned off. A figure suddenly appears in front of you and your eyes try to work out if it’s real or not. It’s sort of that adrenaline you get from the unknown. Like something you shouldn’t do but you just want more.
EC: I’m intrigued to know what you’ve heard! People really love seeing us live which is so lovely. You’ll have to come and see us for yourselves.
What’s the best show you’ve ever played?
AH: We enjoy all our shows. We’re lucky enough to play a mixture of nights. One night it’s promoting women in music and the next it’s a free outdoor festival in Hull.
EC: I would say our first Headline show at The Dublin Castle in London – it was packed and the energy was great.
What about the strangest or weirdest?
AH: Our show at the Dublin Castle (Camden). A guy from the crowd had his head pinned up against the PA system smiling and just looking at us throughout an entire song.
EC: Yeah, that was an odd one, but it made us laugh.. lovely guy though!
And finally what’s in store for the band in 2017?
AH: We’re releasing another single in February which will lead into a debut album Sister Doom.
There are a lot of other really good things in the pipeline but we can’t announce them until they’re finalised.
EC: Lots of lovely things.