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INTERVIEW: Chasing Down Sunset

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We’ve been tight! Since we’ve finished recording the EP we’ve all had a lot more time to kick back and just breathe for a little bit until the release, it’s all been really exciting.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Dear You”?

Dear You was on the first EP we released with our former vocalist, and it was a fan favorite from the jump.  When we started working on material for this release we thought it’d be cool to update it and give it the production treatment it deserves, and this way we can keep playing it regularly without it growing outdated.  We feel like people will really dig it because it’s like an angsty duet haha, the Pop Punk equivalent of “Don’t You Want Me, Baby?” by The Human League in a way.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Jill: Definitely. Being the person that wrote this song off the EP, it definitely was not expected to be used as a song for the band let alone such a successful song of ours. This is actually the oldest song off the new EP we’re releasing this month, and we also released an old verson off our last EP. I wrote this entire song in about two days (finishing an entire song usually takes a long time for me) in December of 2014 and I was only 14 when I wrote it. The situation that I wrote about in “Dear You” is something that I now barely even remember. I look back on it and laugh. I dated this guy in 8th grade for I think 6 months and he broke up with me in the summer of 2014 for “personal reasons,” and then I ended up finding out that he broke up with me for some girl that rejected him anyway. It pissed my 14 year old self at the time but I got over it once I got into freshman year and we started talking again in the fall time and accepted his whole apology for what he did. In December he texted me and ended up telling me that he missed me and still had strong feelings for me. He mentioned that he started talking to a girl and stated her name, then said they started talking exclusivley, and told me that he was using her for his lonliness and all. He said he was going to end things with her the next day “for me.” I didn’t really care much at the time because I didn’t really feel much for him and was going through confusion of my sexuality at the time, but 5 days after that text conversation we had when he spilled all of that out to me, I saw on all of his social media that he was officially in a relationship with the girl he was telling me about that he was using for his lonliness. I wasn’t heart broken at all or upset, I was just so angry that he was just such a liar and manipulator thinking he could actually get away with it. So I picked up my acoustic and just started writing some lyrics about it which was around late December of 2014 and I just thought it was another okay song of mine. I showed it to Dan and he was like, okay we’re making this into a full band song. So Dan, Zion, and I made the song come to life in full band version and it ended up being our most popular song on our debut EP. Once Jimmy joined as our frontman and Ryan took place as our bassist, we wanted to remake this song into exactly how we now sound. I feel like this song, especially the new version deserves to be on the new EP because it’s such a fun jam to sing along to, while at the same time it tells a story that can relate to so many people in different ways. The story that inspired me to write this song doesn’t matter to me at all anymore and it doesn’t even cross my mind when I hear it or when I’m singing it but I definitely am proud of it, we all are.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yes, and we’re so excited for it. This is our first music video, and there’s no crazy action happening but it’s definitely an entertaining story. The release of the “Dear You” music video is actually right around the corner. We have a lot of announcements coming up within the next week, but the music video is extremely soon which we’re so stoked to release. Robindeep Singh directed the whole video and we cannot be happier with it. He’s one of our closest friends and he’s insanely talented, we’re extremely lucky to know Robin.

The single comes off your new album A Proper Introduction – what’s the story behind the title?

The band’s gone through a LOT of personnell changes, we probably hold a record for longest list of former members within one year of existing, and we finally have a line up that we feel is all the right people with the right chemistry, we’ve come into our own in a way finally and that’s where the title comes from.  We put out music already but this feels like the first REAL representation of this band, and where we aim to go musically. Everything seems right right now, and the title derives from that sense of regeneration of sorts.

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing/recording process of this EP took way longer than what you would think it would take to record four songs. We wanted to make sure everything is exactly the tone we wanted and how we wanted ourselves to sound. For the entire process of recording the new version of “Dear You,” we started tracking in December of 2015 which was also the time Jimmy joined as our frontman. We took a break on recording everything for a month or two since we wanted to all really rehearse with Jimmy and make sure he gets a feel of being our lead vocalist and just work on writing new songs as a band. In March of 2016, we then ecorded guitars/bass on the two tracks, “Words/Phrases” and “Copper Pulse” with Rob Chiarappa at Cannon Sound Foundation which wasn’t our usual location to record but we wanted to get the exact tone we were looking to get for guitars and bass. We then finished up drums and vocals for the two tracks at Rob’s home studio and ended up writing as well as recording our last track on the record, “Positivity In Transit” as our acoustic song. A lot of parts were even improvised in the studio when recording vocals and we’re really happy with how it all came out. The recording and writing process of these four songs were definitely (believe it or not) a journey and we took a lot of time writing, perfecting, and tracking these songs with Rob, and we’re so content with the final product of the EP.

What was it like to work with Rob Chiarappa and how did that relationship develop?

Working with Rob makes us realize that we’re so lucky to know and be friends with such an awesome and talented guy. Rob lives 5-10 minutes away from almost all of us so we’ve known of Rob for a long time, especially Jimmy since they’ve had that same friend group for years. Rob came to our first show we’ve ever played that his brother hosted in March 2015, and even though we were so new to everything and our sound was barely developed, he saw something in us that night he watched us play our first set out and instantly wanted to record us. Since he recorded our first EP, we’ve considered Rob not just our producer, but a close friend. (We like to call him the dad of Chasing Down Sunset). Rob has done nothing but encourage us, help us with ideas, produces the sound that we want for the band, and most importantly inspires us. We can’t be luckier enough to have such an incredibly talented producer that has such an awesome personality, and most importantly be able to call him a close friend of ours. Working with Rob Chiarappa on our music was always, and will always be a truly amazing experience.

How much did he get to influence the album?

Rob definitely deserves credit for a lot of influence of the album. His suggestions for tiny ideas for certain parts on songs give the song so much more power and he always helps us out with different suggestions or ideas when we’re recording. For “Words/Phrases,” him and Ryan both made up the diverse bass line of the whole song, as well as Rob coming up with a few extra guitar tracks/riffs on certain parts the song. For our acoustic song, “Positivity In Transit,” Rob definitely collaborated with us the most on. We came into Rob’s studio with the song half written, and Rob helped us figure out the melody for the words in the first verse. He helped us a very huge amount with that song and it’s always astonishing how talented of a person he is.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Jimmy: For me, a lot of them came naturally just jotting down lines when I was bored. “Copper Pulse” for example was written before I joined, so I just listened to the instrumental & started writing down ideas. After a while my subconscious just kind of started throwing stuff out about a situation I was once in and the song became coherent. For “Positivity In Transit,” it was a different story. I made a lot of mistakes in my life, more than the average 20 year old should, and I finally found a way to close the darker chapter of my life.  In a way that song is a farewell to that time and a huge F YOU to who I was then.

Jill: I write a lot of songs. Like…a lot. I’ll go through weeks where I can’t write anything and then I’ll have weeks where I’m working on several songs each week although none of them usually get finished. Most of them are just songs I write and just play on my own spare time, but then the ones that stick out and have a really good hook with a lot of potential for it to be made into a full band song. All of these songs on this EP that I have contributed writing to stem from the inspiration of my feelings, situations that are currently going on in my life(I can never write about something in the past, that’s just me though), or my feelings about the situation. “Word/Phrases” although is a very straight forward song that can be just a typical love song to anyone listening, but it was inspired from very strong feelings to someone extremely special to me, and to a situation with the person. The lyrics that Jimmy, Dan and I wrote to it are very special to me and speak to me on a personal level. I feel like the inspiration on all of these songs whether it was my lyrics or Jimmy’s lyrics, they stem from really strong emotions that mean a lot to us and it’s so awesome being able to hear these songs that mean a lot to the both of us, being heard as a full band, with all five of us contributing to it, better yet releasing it to the public.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes, at the end of this month in fact! This is our first real tour and we’re all so excited and nervous to be going out to all of these states and cities we’ve never even been in before. We’re touring from July 20th-31st and we cannot be more stoked. A few places we’ll be hitting on tour is Poughkeepsie, NY, Connecticut, Syracuse, NY, Eerie, PA, Columbus, OH, Pittsburgh, PA, Long Island, NY, a few others and our homeshow in Jersey!

What else is happening next in Chasing Down Sunset’s world?

We’re going to push this EP as hard as we can, we feel like it’s worth the effort because of how strongly we believe in this record both as a great finished product of all of our hard work over these past few months and also in the regard that we really think people will relate to it and enjoy it. There’s a little something there for everyone, and we’re going to try to get it to as many people as possible for that reason. Not to jinx anything but everything’s looking up for us right now, and we’re all excited to see where this journey takes us!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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