Chapel Club’s new album Good Together offers a complete change to direction away from their indie roots to a more sinister electro-pop sound. Guitarist Mike Hibbert explains how they found new focus.
Does Good Together represent a band comfortable with experimentation?
I think it all came about out of the desire not to repeat ourselves. We bought a couple of old synths and used them as our primary instruments. Instantly things sounded different, the biggest change being the ability to hear Lewis sing. We also started to experiment with samplers around this time, which is how Sleep Alone came about – that song is almost all samples. I think we found it quite liberating writing songs with a completely different sound palette – we no longer feel like a guitar band.
Have you worked out how the new material will sit in the set list?
Surfacing has morphed into a beast now as we run a sequence from Juno 6 throughout the whole song. It breathes life into an old song and is now one of my favourites in the live set. Aside from that and The Shore we no longer play any Palaces tracks.
Where do you stand on the whole Thom Yorke vs Spotify debate?
We’ve been using Soundrop via Spotify to host mix-tapes and live chats with fans; maybe we need to reassess. We’ve yet to sell our music for such purposes but I feel like it’s becoming the only way for bands our size to make a living and I think it’s a shame.
Force You sounds like it must have taken a lot of work to get all the orchestration right – was it a labour of love?
I can’t even begin to tell how long we spent on this track. The original demo is something Liam brought in and was just a loop. I liked the idea of marrying the ethereal strings and harps with percussive elements, like opposite ends of the spectrum. It’s my favourite song we’ve ever done.
Which band or artist would you personally like to see live before they pack it in?
Our drummer Rich turned me on to Neil Young a little while back so I’d really like to see him before he shuts up shop.