Monday, February 16, 2009

Chapel Of Thieves: Where Everyday Should Be Halloween

Los Angeles and Orange County, California. What comes to mind? Sunshine, bikinis, beaches? For the band Chapel Of Thieves, it means dark, brooding lyrics that are written best when raining. "Ryan, our bass player, and I write most of our material when it's dark or raining. We can't write when it's sunny outside. I vacationed in Cabo last summer and I took a journal and thought that I was going to get some writing done. It was over 100 degrees everyday and I couldn't write," said lead singer Elysia.

The band released their cd "Haunted Hearts" in 2007 and their sound at times is very dark and melodic with lyrics that may have you doing a double take. Songs such as "Swamp" and "Haunted Hearts" are dark and sometimes creepy but at the same time very gripping. "It's hard to pinpoint our sound. We don't want to sound exactly like anyone and I don't think that we do. I can hear a little Siousxsie and the Banshees in us. Lyrically, we are inspired by artists such as the Smith and Morrisey, the Cure, Joy Division and alot of stuff that was coming out of Manchester during that era. Ryan and I are huge AFI fans and also Interpool. I think because of that, our earlier writings had more of a punk edge and feel to them," said Elysia.

My first listen to the brought to mind several things. Their drummer Woody provides an amazing back beat that is evident throughout every song. He is ferocious! Elysia's vocals are eerily similar to Kate Pierson of the B-52s, almost to the point that I had to ask her is they were related! She told me that her vocals have also been compared to Dolores from the Cranberries. She also provides the keyboards for the group which at times sounds like an eerie organ from a horror movie, but it works with their sound.

So, why the dark lyrics? "Well, Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I just like dark stuff. I love vampires and, I know this will sound weird, but I love stuff about serial killers. I have this strange fascination with all of that. So does Ryan, we have very similar interests," said Elysia.

What does the future hold on store for this young band? "We are in the beginning stages of writing and getting ready for our new cd. I'm going to say maybe in April or May is should be ready. We want to do it ourselves. We have had some interests from some labels, but we want to do this on our own. We want to incorporate more vocal patterns and harmonies into this new cd. We're all really into Tom Waits and we want to add more influences like that to our style," said Elysia.

The band plans on hitting the road and venturing out to the East coast to support their new cd. "It's really the best way to expose people to our music. Nothing beats performing live in front of people and making new fans," said Elysia.

Well, I for one hope that they do make it to the East coast, since I am a residence of Virginia. They are a unique group that stands out in this complacent music industry that has turned into a cash cow and doesn't really look ahead towards the future. The band shows a lot of promise and their determination will set them apart from the rest.

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