Canadian pop-rock band Chase Your Words, which is comprised of Chris Siglos (guitar/vocals), James Songalia (guitar/vocals) and Alex Johrden (drums), combine nostalgic mid-2000 vibes, infectious hooks and bouncy melodies that have earned them plenty of buzz since their formation in 2013. Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens signed the band to his label Pretty Rad Records, helping the band to release their 2017 EP Here To Stay. They also worked closely with producer Cameron Mizell (The Word Alive/Memphis May Fire) and shot a professionally produced video for the EP’s single “Keep In Mind“. The trio has done several Western Canadian tours and have shared the stage with bands such as Against The Current and I See Stars. The band has released two singles, “Battle Scars” and “Let’s Go”, from their upcoming EP to be released later this year. They have also released a music video for “Battle Scars”, which you can watch below. You can catch Chase Your Words opening for Wonder Years and Chief State next month as part of Vancouver’s Westward Music Festival (check out the event page HERE). The band will be announcing details on their new album in the coming weeks so make sure to follow them for all of the latest information. Staff writer Emily May recently spoke via email with singer Chris Siglos about working with Kellin Quinn, their latest single and what’s next. You can follow the band and stay-up-to-date with all band, music and tour news via the following links:
You have worked closely with Kellin Quinn, who released your ‘Here To Stay’ EP in 2017 on his independent label Pretty Rad Records. What was it like for you to be his first signed band? What has been like to have that level of support from someone who has been a part of the industry for many years now. Has he given you any really good advice that you have found helpful as a band?
It was interesting. We’d never been signed to any label before and had no management prior to working with Kellin, so we didn’t really quite know what to expect. Working with Kellin has been an absolute blast and was quite the experience. Kellin is a fun and ambitious guy and definitely wants to see success from the artists he collaborates with. Kellin poured a lot of time, energy, and funding into making our EP ‘Here To Stay’ a reality (produced by Cameron Mizell) along with putting together a rad lyric/music video (produced by Sean Garcia) for us. He’s really given us the foundation and boost we needed in order to really push forward in our development as a band.
You’ve said that what began as a hobby turned into a passion which turned into a dream to make it to the top. How do you stay focused as a band in order to achieve those goals?
There’s a thrill in playing live shows for us. The lights on our faces, the crowd singing the lyrics to our songs back to us, the incredible opportunities to meet new faces and see familiar ones, it really keeps us going. There’s also a hunger to make that thrill a big part of our lives. It’s hard work, but we’re inspired by the up-and-coming bands that are really rising up. Ultimately, as individuals, as a band, and as musicians, we’re seeking growth and we never want to stop growing.
What is the Vancouver music scene like? Have you found a lot of support from the scene? Who are some of your favorite Vancouver artists right now?
The Vancouver music scene is something along the lines of a hidden treasure. We’re only in a small portion of it. This scene has an eclectic taste, and that’s what makes it interesting. Back when we first started, there were a lot of people locally keeping their eyes on us. We were putting a ton of effort into our online following and coincidentally and infectiously spread to our local supporters. We were in our late teens and early twenties when we first started the band, so our local supporters were either our age or younger. There were a lot more options for all-ages venues which helped with show attendance being so great. These days, it seems like most (decent) venues are 19+ only which can really limit the crowd since our local following really varies in age and resonates mostly with a younger audience. A lot of our younger fans from back in the day have grown and have either grown with the scene or out and away from the scene. We strongly appreciate the people who stuck around over the years and always appreciate friendly new faces!
If we were to name a few Vancouver artists we enjoy, there’s HAWKING, Chief State, Arlo Wells, Tama Hills, and Youth Fountain. It’s cool to see our friends in these bands making waves in their own way and they’re definitely all worth the attention.
You will be releasing a new EP later this year! What can you tell me about the writing and recording process? You featured Derek Sanders from Mayday Parade on ‘Here To Stay’. Do you have any guest artists appearing on the upcoming EP?
The writing and recording process for this upcoming EP was definitely an interesting one. Our vocalist (Chris Siglos) has been doing a ton of writing and experimenting/learning recording on his spare time between the shifts of his 9-5. Going into this record, we all contributed to the writing process and recorded demos that were so close to the final versions. This EP is easily the most polished product we’ve ever done. HUGE thanks to Seth Henderson of Always Be Genius Studios and Derek DiScanio of State Champs for helping make this EP a reality. We don’t have any guest artists appearing on the upcoming EP simply because we wanted this EP to focus 100% on us as an independent band.
You released your ‘Forever and Always’ EP in 2015 and ‘Here To Stay’ in 2017. How do you feel that your new material compares to your previous music? How do you feel you have evolved as a band over the years?
The ‘Forever & Always’ EP was ultimately a demo EP consisting of songs we felt represented the pop-punk sound we were chasing. Our EP ‘Here To Stay’ was our most adventurous and creative work considering we went into the studio not knowing what to expect for the first time with industry professionals who helped us expand our sound to more than just pop-punk, going from effervescent pop-rock to what is bordering post-hardcore vibes with breakdowns, minus the screaming. Our new and upcoming EP accurately represents our sound and growth over the years, pulling inspiration from some of our favourite artists while painting the picture to the story behind the music.
What can you tell me about the process of filming your video for “Battle Scars”? Did you have an idea of how you wanted the video to look going into filming?
Chris had a vision for this music video, and that vision was to take the story of one of his past relationships and merge it with some comedic relief in a way where it was relative to a modern audience. Chris is very into modern technology and wanted to fuse the concept of Tinder and Pokemon GO to create a new augmented reality dating app called “YeahNah”. The app was developed by his coworker John Thomas strictly for the music video. The music video would feature reenactments and flashbacks scenarios of Chris’ past-relationship along with cracking jokes on the world of internet dating world through dramatizations of the type of people one might encounter in said dating apps.
What can you tell me about your latest single “Let’s Go”?
Let’s Go is about letting go of any emotional/mental baggage, living in the moment, and breaking free. Sometimes you need a getaway from the daily routine, the 9-5, and the negativity. This song was written in self-realization that you can’t wallow in self-pity or doubt forever and that you need to do something to make a positive change in your life, otherwise you’ll be stuck in the same place.
You released an acoustic EP last year. What do you enjoy about performing acoustic versions of your songs? Do you see yourselves releasing another acoustic EP in the future?
The acoustic EP we recorded was mostly a re-imagination of the original tunes. We wanted to give a heavily romanticized vibe from the selected songs. We found that the full-band vibe with distorted guitars and hard hitting drums almost took away from the lyrics and the feeling, so we softened the songs and wrote/recorded them in a way that anyone could naturally listen to. The last track “Darling/One Four Three” was supposed to be a play on words with the fact that we say the word “darling” a lot in our songs. Would we release another acoustic EP in the future? Absolutely!
Chris- I have read that many of the songs you write are about past relationships and that the concept of writing love songs for you is from the viewpoint of making people feel understood. Have you guys had a good response from your fans who have related to the songs?
The response has been absolutely mind-blowing over the years. It’s bittersweet to read and hear from our fans and listeners that they can relate to our music; Bitter because I would never wish for anyone to feel heartache the way I’ve felt it when writing the darker songs, but sweet because we’re making music people can find peace listening to. I feel that writing music is oftentimes therapeutic for me, so when someone listens to our music, I sincerely hope it they feel it too.
Chris- You wrote a piece a few years ago about how social media is a great thing but how it has led people to start to lose their communication skills. What are your thoughts on the internet/social media currently and how interconnected it all is to music? How do you handle social media as a band and in what do you feel that the connection to social media has helped you as a band? Do you feel like people have started in recent years to listen to and appreciate new music?
The internet is a noisy place. It’s hard to be heard with noise all around you. That being said, the social media is a wonderful place to share your thoughts and common interests with friends, family, and even complete strangers. The coolest thing I see these days is how people share their music. I’m a huge fan of Spotify and Apple Music because of what they do for both the artists and the listeners. I oftentimes will go on my favourite social media sites/apps and find people sharing their favourite tunes and playlists, and that’s something special. Years ago before the digital era boomed, we were all listening to the radio, blasting our favourite CD’s, cassettes, and vinyl while popularizing music through word of mouth. The connection to social media for us as a band has honestly just been through lucky bounces and discoveries by bands and artists far bigger than us, but the attention we’ve gotten as a group has made us excited to keep moving forward. We’ve had a lot of love and hate over the years, and it’s the love that keeps us rolling. I definitely feel that people are starting to listen to and appreciate new music, but I also think there’s room for improvement in terms of the way people integrate and share music. I think more people should be talking about their favourite up-and-coming artists more than just the big names.
You guys will be playing a show in Vancouver in September with Wonder Years and Chief State as part of Westward Music Festival. What can you tell me about the festival? What are you looking forward to the most with the show? Are there any other bands playing that you are particularly excited to see perform?
Westward Music Festival is absolutely massive for us and our friends in other local bands. Our live scene here is something that could always grow, and I think Westward Music Festival will help draw attention to the artists that need it most. We’re honestly really excited to share the stage with our friends in Chief State. Both our band and Chief State share a rehearsal space. To see our friends on the same big stage as us, it really fills our hearts.
What’s next for Chase Your Words?
We’re really excited for everyone to hear our upcoming EP and have plans for it (to be announced). We’re keeping things under wraps for now, but we’re really grateful to everyone who have been waiting on us and our music. Stick around and pay attention to our social media pages… you never know what we may drop!