Chapel Club's Lewis Bowman
On unwelcome comparisons, cheeky samples and swimming against the tide
Let's start with an easy question: are you in fact White Lies in disguise?
It doesn't really bother me when people compare us to White Lies. I don't think of the band as being like a brand or a firm, where I really worry about stuff in terms of how we are perceived. It worries me if someone says we sound like White Lies and a friend looks at me in a picture and says, ooh, is that what you are into?
You've copped some flack for pinching the chorus from Dream A Little Dream Of Me on your single Surfacing.
I never even thought that song would be released, I kind of didn't want it to be released in a way. I'm over it a long time ago. I suppose I shouldn't say that, the week it's coming out. A lot of people love it and a lot of people are very angry about it. My take is that we were taking this golden age, very dreamy lyric and turning it on its head, because the song is about hate. That's a valid use. We had to give away the money for it. That didn't bother us.
Of course, were you an edgy dance band sampling the same track you'd be praised for your 'eclecticism'.
Yeah, different rules, isn't it? You can't get away with anything if you are in a guitar band. All you can do is put loads of synths and some dance beats on -- a lot of good bands have done that and gone very bad. Somehow they get away with it.
Your timing's not great is it? Only the other week we were reading another 'rock is dead' article.
If you ask anyone else in the band they'd be like, 'we don't think about it. It doesn't influence us'. It influences me a lot. I do feel we are swimming against the tide. I read that article in The Guardian about rock being dead. In a way I don't care, 'rock' makes me think of Spinal Tap. Indie guitar music is in good health. The thing is, the people who are into it are savvy enough to know their way around the internet. Most of what they want they get for free.
Oh God, not another 'death to downloaders' rant.
Everyone has downloaded something for free. There are moral issues around that, but no one is in a position to berate anyone else -- me least of all. You can always find an audience if your songs are good enough. It's not as if we want to be rich and famous. The difficulty is we are trying to be a lyrical band that focuses on something other than the dancefloor. Bands like The Drums get tons of airplay. I like what they do, but when you try something heavier... Look at The National or Elbow. It took them like 15 years to get a bigger audience.
The album Palace is out now. Chapel Club play Academy 2, Dublin, on February 25
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