Tuesday, April 14, 2009

An Interview With Chester French

On April 21, Chester French's album "Love the Future drops.

I had the privilege of speaking to both DA and Maxwell Drummey (Max) by phone today and it was a blast! I already loved their sense of humor in previous interviews I've seen them do. Just as I expected, they had me LMAOing the whole time.

If you have not yet heard of Chester French, you don't know what you're missing! This band is ON FIRE, let me tell you! And they are rising quickly with stars like Diddy and Paris Hilton taking notice among many others.

In fact, they've been touring around the country with Lady Gaga and crowds have responded well, snatching up their CDs after the show like candy. Diddy gave them a shout-out on Twitter, causing their followers to rise by 3,000 (DA said that it means a lot to them to have the support of such a legend). They recently performed for Paris Hilton at her birthday party in Vegas. And MTV has made them a featured artist.

If I could lay money on it, I would bet that they will be a household name by the end of the year.

In keeping with their fantastic sense of humor, Max answered "medium-loud" when I asked him what kind of sound fans can expect from "Love the Future." Seriously though, the CD will have lots of diverse tracks, and DA hopes everyone can just "listen straight through, close their eyes, and get into our minds" when they hear the music.

What sets Chester French apart from most other bands is their DIY-style. DA said that they write their own music, and do their own engineering and producing so that everything is "self-contained."

"We've been doing this for six years now," he added. "We're not entitled to anything more than anyone else is, but we've worked really hard to get where we are. We've played to empty rooms, we've sold CD's in the streets and after shows. We've put all of our energy into making music."

And it shows. The band is currently offering a free mix tape called "Jacques Jams," the brainchild of Clinton Sparks ("Get familiar!") Max said that Clinton "made them do it" and that he and DA are Clinton's "mix tape children."

"Jacques Jams" is more than just music. It's an entire story, complete with skits. In addition to CF and Sparks, it features other amazing talent such as Diddy, Solange Knowles, Pharrell, Lady Gaga and more.

Click here to check it out and sign up for your free copy. (My favorites are "What a World," "Ciroc Star" and CF's exclusive remix of Lady Gaga's "Love Game." I can't get enough of those three tracks!) With 60-80 thousand copies already downloaded, you'll definitely want to be in on this one!

Another thing that sets CF apart from other artists is their love and dedication to their fans. DA and Max will sit in their tour bus until 5 am just responding to emails from their fans.

And just as a side note....when I asked them what a typical day is like on their tour bus, they jokingly told me, "Usually a combination of binge drinking and gang banging." Max wanted me to emphasize the latter part and to mention that it's "every day." I assured him that I had underlined it in my notes.

Not only does CF try to write back to every email they receive, especially ones from their biggest supporters, but they also reach out to fans...and even haters....through Twitter.

Check out this recent exchange:

AgentSkitzer: @brooklyn3383 chester french does not rock!

DAChesterFrench: @AgentSkitzer Hope to win you over. We think you rock, at least! xoxo

CF has even been known to surprise their haters with free copies of their album and other goodies to win them over. "I try to keep an eye out for what's being said about us," DA said. "Some of our strongest supporters started out as haters."

He said he understands when others judge them because "we can be judgemental" at times too. With the band being so new, he said there are a lot of misconceptions about them.

"If someone is talking shit about us, I ask them what can we do to get them on the same page as us," DA added. They've found that most people are open-minded and receptive once they've reached out to them.

As for how the band got its name, it's actually derived from Daniel Chester French, who sculpted the Lincoln Memorial in my hometown of Washington DC. When I asked if they'd been to the Lincoln Memorial yet, Max chided that he makes a point of going there once-a-month.

I told them that even though I've lived here my whole life, I've never been to the memorial myself, and that I was going to visit it just for them. "You'll have to write our name on the wall," DA said.

"Oh good idea," I laughed. "I'm gonna graffiti up the whole memorial just for you!"

When I got more serious and said I had some ideas in my head for what I could legally do, maybe something with a photo, they assured me not to worry if I went to jail because they would bail me out. ;)

So who knows...maybe my next blog can be "So a Blonde Walks Into a Jail?" All for my love of Chester French! I'll be sure to sing their hit "She Loves Everybody" at the top of my lungs in my cell while I'm there too:

Click here to check out more on this fabulous band so you too can fall in love with them, find out their tour information, watch their hilarious videos, and more.

Pre-order "Love the Future" here. (Exclusive tracks will be available on Amazon and iTunes - different tracks depending on where you purchase)

And don't forget your free copy of Jacques Jams!

Finally, watch for Chester French on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon on April 21. They assured me they are in touch with the most reputable designers (couture fashion is SO them) so be prepared for them to be dressed to the nines for the show.

I'll have to Tivo the show because you know where I'll be that night, what I'll be doing, and what music I'll be doing it to! ;)


Note: Many thanks to my assistant Heather who helped me with preparing questions for the interview and who will most likely be joining me when Chester French plays in DC. I need to confirm this, but I believe they will be opening for Lady Sovereign at the 9:30 Club in May. I'll be sure to post the exact details once I confirm them.

UPDATE: Chester French will indeed be opening for Lady Sovereign at the 9:30 Club on May 9 at 11 pm. Click here to purchase tickets to the show (CF is not listed as an opening act as of yet, but I have been assured that they will be there).

Note: Originally published at So a Blonde Walks Into a Blog.

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