The Chapman Family

The Chapman Family

BandAlternativeRock

Alternative indie-rock band who merge intensity with chaos encouraging comparisons with Joy Division and Sonic Youth. They provide a distortion fuelled antidote in a musical climate big on apathy and lacking in integrity. Dark and noisy and according to the NME "music to change your life"

Biography

Meet Kingsley (vocals/guitar), Paul (guitar), Phil (drums) and Pop (bass). Together they cook up a firestorm of feedback drenched punk with the dynamics of The Sex Pistols, the intensity of The Fall and the discordance of Shellac.

Most of all they have a desire to do things differently. The Chapman Family are proud of their hometown of Middlesbrough in the same way that only a child is allowed to criticise its own parents. It's a strained kind of affection, one that has seen Pop shot at with air rifles for looking the way he does. When Kingsley talks of "next door neighbours sitting on the porch from 9am, drinking cans of Carling," his tongue is only halfway into his cheek. As he explains, "it's a forgotten part of the UK, the people are very insular. Ambition isn't always seen as a good thing. Everyone is fiercely proud to be working class or even below, so anyone who wants more than that is treated with suspicion."

And it's lost on none of them that the nearby industrial estates are what inspired local boy Ridley Scott for the dystophian vistas of Blade Runner. The tentative steps they've so far made into Europe have proved to them that country, not the town, may be the problem. "When we play in Germany the most amazing thing we see is that people actually put litter in the bins!" observes Kingsley. "I never feel intimidated walking through the streets of Berlin or Munich. People seem to have a bit more respect for themselves and each other"

Their story begins with Kingsley, a former fine art student, tiring of spending his twenties in dead end jobs, decided to give the band he'd been tinkering in for years a proper go. It was the end of the era ushered in by The Libertines, and they found themselves in a local scene flushed with pasty imitators. Kingsley and Paul's first attempt at a band saw them making stop-start angular music in thrall to The Futureheads, until they crossed the attentions of a flambouyant local promoter calling himself Pop. He vowed to join the band, and the fact that he had never picked up a bass in his life didn't much damage his application. "I still can't play now," admits Pop, "I know where certain chords are. I know the noise. I don't think a band or music should be restricted to people who play their instruments really well."

The point of the band was always passion over proficiency, of people with "ideas well beyond their capabilities." Their characters clicked, and Pop brought to the table the walls of noise and rushes of discordance that would come to define their sound.

They christened themselves The Chapman Family and all assumed the surname, in solidarity with bands ranging from The Ramones to The Partridge Family who held the bond between bandmates as unbreakable. Even if they don't always like each other, the love is there.

Drawn to the dark side, Kingsley admits that they named themselves after Mark Chapman, after a lifelong disdain for John Lennon. Following death threats over the internet, it's a decision he's close to regretting as much as the casual internet slogan they posted on their Myspace : 'THE CHAPMAN FAMILY IS NOT A CULT.'

It had the only effect possible. They won an early show at the Glastonbury Festival, which was met by swathes of fans in home-made Tshirts bearing that very slogan, which then made more people do the same. They became a cult in ways they could have never predicted, and if it speaks volumes about the dark fashion in which this band have captured young Britain's imagination, Kingsley's still worried about the connotations that the band may be perceived as a joke.

All of that changed with the fruits of their December 2008 sessions with producer Dan Swift (Futureheads / Art Brut / Untitled Musical Project). All of these roads led to 'Kids' - the band's signature tune - a feedback-splattered live favourite and anti-anthem for a generation, skewering those who would denounce the new generation, as much as it does the generation themselves.

As Kingsley explains: "It's one of those rants, probably from an indie kid moaning that nobody's got any fight any more, nobody has any get up and go, they just wanna sit around and play on Xboxes and chat online. It's someone moaning at the youth of today from an outside perspective. It's the musical equivalent of one of those grumpy Old Men shows."

"It's almost like our 'Anarchy In the UK'," says Pop, "an anthem to 'Apathy in the UK' really, from a sarcastic standpoint. Kingsley's poking fun at these apathetic people, these girls who just wanna marry footballers or people who just wanna get rich for nothing."

What's really at the heart of this band is not sheer belligerence, but for a desire to, as Pop says, "bring something more to the table."

The single succeeded in gaining the band regular airplay on BBC Radio One with Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens and Steve Lamacq, single of the week in NME and XFM, as well as the accompanying video getting rotation on MTV, stay

Lyrics

Kids

Written By: The Chapman Family


Well you know that these days they just don't want to know
They say it's alright but I just don't think so
Well they say it's alright, alright, alright
Well I just don't know well I just don't know I don't know

Don't you know
The kids are not alright
The kids are not OK
The kids are not alright today
Don't you know
Well the kids are not alright
The kids are not OK
And the kids are not alright today

I'd like to make it right but I just don't know
They say they're never gonna let it go they're never gonna let it go
We'd all like to live in those Hollywood bungalows
Well there's a time to let go there's a time to let go there's a time to say no

Don't you know
The kids are not alright
The kids are not OK
The kids are not alright today
Don't you know
Well the kids are not alright
The kids are not OK
And the kids are not alright today

Don't you know
Don't you know
Don't you know

Well I don't want to hear about your woe
I just don't wanna know I just don't wanna know
You know where it's at everybody says so
Well are you OK I dunno are you OK I dunno

Don't you know
The kids are not alright
The kids are not OK
The kids are not alright today
Don't you know
Well the kids are not alright
The kids are not OK
And the kids are not alright today
HEY!

Virgins

Written By: The Chapman Family

When you look straight through me
As if I'm not there
It's difficult to know and it's difficult to care
Whatever you're trying to tell me
Whatever it took
You're a walking contradiction and I don't want to look

And I don't think I like what you've become
I don't think I like what you've become
I don't think I like what you've become
The more I give the less you take
The more you give the less I take away

The jury's still out on the verdict
But I know what's on your mind
When are you going to realise that you're just being unkind
There's a method to your madness
An urgency of style
That's taken so long to compile, well a while
And I don't think I like what you've become

I don't think I like what you've become
I don't think I like what you've become
The more I give the less you take
The more you give the less I take away

Here we go go go go go!
Here we go-go-go-go-go-go-go-go!
Here we go go go go go!

So please don't let us hold you back
Please don't let us hold you back
Please don't let us hold you back
Please don't let us
Don't let us
Don't let u-s
here we go go go go go
And I, don't like, what you, become

Discography

26.04.09 'Kids'
19.10.09 'Virgins'

Set List

Something I Cant Get Out
Sound Of the Radio
Virgins
Lies
Feel The Hurt
Kids
Million Dollars