Interview with Chester Doom
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
We’ve all kind of always done music, in one form or another. Most of us started pretty young and it’s just been a constant in all of our lives. It’s pretty hard to imagine that part of our lives not being there, or what might take its place if it wasn’t. Might be kind of scary :)
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
We all have day jobs and most of us have families, so a lot of normal stuff. We feel like that all feeds into the creative outlet of our music.
How long has your band been around?
We formed in 2020, initially as something to do during Covid lockdowns.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. It’s smaller city but has a long tradition of having a great and vibrant music scene. That East coast attitude comes through in a lot of our songs.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Patrick (rhythm guitar) came up with it as a character name in a sci-fi story he wrote years ago. We liked the way it sounded, and that it was completely made up which made getting the social media handles and being findable on Google easier.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Something with a big stage lol. We have six members and use a fair amount of stage props so small clubs can get really tight. We like playing festivals since there tends to be more room to move around. We can make it work on a stage of any size, but bigger definitely makes things easier and allows for a better show.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Wow, tough question haha. If we’re talking bucket list/dream shows, probably any show or festival that included some of our heroes. A lot of those bands we look up to or are influenced by aren’t really playing anymore due to key member deaths (Linkin Park, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Rush, etc) which makes it tough, but there are a ton of killer modern rock bands in Canada and beyond that we would love to share a stage with. We really like modern Canadian rock icons like Three Days Grace, Billy Talent and Monster Truck, just to name a few.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Play with other people early and often. It’s really the fastest way to get better (and also the most fun). To our younger selves, we might say to be careful not to overlook or discount the value of chemistry. It’s really one of the most important things. When starting out, the tendency is often to feel like you must find the absolute BEST guitarist/drummer/singer/etc and combine them all into one band and it will be amazing. But if any one of those is a dick, the whole thing fails before it starts. Getting along and having a respectful creative process are so much more important than who can play their instrument the fastest.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Just keep going. Keep writing and releasing music and don’t sweat not getting a lot of traction at the start. It comes with time and consistent effort.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
That’s a bit like asking which one of your kids is your favorite lol. “Not Far Behind” has been important to all of us as it has a strong message that resonates with people. “Salt and Smoke” is a favorite among the band and our local fans, even though it doesn’t maybe translate as well to an audience outside of the East Coast. We’ve closed every show we’ve ever played with it and it always kills live.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
The above two are definitely favorites to play, along with “Anxiety”, “Monsoon” and “Trash Fire”. “Anxiety” probably gets requested the most.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
A lot of our songs come from riffs or full music that Patrick had written over the years that just never had lyrics until we started working with Josh (vocals). That’s probably about half of our output. The other half are songs Josh comes up with on his own and brings to us as acoustic pieces that we then translate into a full band thing. Both guys are extremely prolific writers so we’re never struggling for new stuff to work on.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We’re pretty good at being democratic and we don’t often have major disagreements. When we do, we’re all good about putting things to a vote. When tiebreakers need to happen, we defer to the three founders (Josh, Patrick and Glenn).
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We have quite a few shows and festivals coming up this summer, and after that we’ll be back in the studio in the fall to start on the next batch for release.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?