Chasing Amee is a (sex, drugs and) Rock n’ Roll band hailing from Toronto, Ontario. They’ve had their music video for the single “Over & Over” on heavy rotation on the nationally-syndicated music channel MuchMusic, not too mention they’ve toured all over the Canada. With their work ethic and musical talent, these guys deserve to be on your radar!
We recently had the pleasure of chatting with keyboardist Ryan Faist and guitarist Steve Hall before their headlining show at The Mod Club on February 18th. They reveal band rituals, a crazy story about a guy they met on tour, the music they’re into right now, and more! Chasing Amee has got a lot in store for 2012, so keep an eye out for them, we know we will!
Check out the interview below:
(BestFan): How has the band experienced change or growth in the past year?
(Ryan): It’s been big in the last year. Well in the last year and a half, we went through a new drummer, our singer dropped the bass so he’s just singing now. Changed our sound a bit, started just writing the stuff we’ve always wanted to right, we’ve always tried to fit into something but now we’re just writing what comes out, and that’s how this set even came out now, too.
(BestFan): And what are you guys writing about?
(Ryan): Tuck writes a lot of the lyrics, our singer, but he’s absent at the moment, but it seems to be like, I don’t know, I think we’re all going through that quarter-life crisis right now in a way and we’re all getting older and realizing that this is something we can do full-force or not do it and get a 9-to-5 job.
(BestFan): What’s something people misunderstand about the band?
(Ryan): That we’re still the same band we were three years ago
(Steve): Pop punk band!
(Ryan): Yeah, it took us so long to get away from [disBand], literally, I’m not even lying, people will still probably not come out to a show if they see our name, because they think that we’re that band from the show who wore pink leopard print and what not. It took a while, but we got a confidence boost when we started playing 19+ bars and people were actually liking it.
(BestFan): Do you guys have a ritual before playing?
(Ryan): I drink a couple drinks, a couple rum and cokes and get comfortable. These guys drink uh, their “coffee”.
(BestFan): Who would you cite as your musical influences?
(Steve): Oh damn, right now I would have to go with Manchester Orchestra or Foster The People, stuff like that.
(Ryan): Current bands like that, there’s a really cool guy called Awolnation who we’ve been really big into, he just blew up in the past year. And older stuff like Queen, we were all watching Queen DVDs last weekend at my house. And it’s just the craziest thing to watch, how talented they were back then, it wasn’t autotuned.
(Steve): How pure and true the music was.
(Ryan): It was just microphones and guitars, there was no bullsh*t with it.
(BestFan): Bro was the first drummer to last over a year, so how do you guys get along so well?
(Ryan): We knew Bro for two years before, he was in another band that we used to make fun of, they were called Credible
Witness and they were like Christian Rock, I guess? (laughs) He’s gonna hate us for this.
(Steve): Kind of like Coldplay-sounding.
(Ryan): And we got a long with him the best out of all of them, and then we thought about it one day when we needed a drummer, and we’re like “no, there’s no way he’s gonna join. He probably makes fun of us” and then he came down and ended up joining. He’s probably the best.
(BestFan): Was there ever a moment when you guys doubted yourselves?
(Steve): There’s been some times where you’re kind of like struggling for money,
(Steve): Everyday, but like you kind of put it behind you and think about what you wanna do and flush away with all that music.
(Ryan): I think it’s good to be scared or doubt yourself, because it means that you’re attempting something that is unattainable at the moment. You can coast along and do what’s easy but that’s not really fun; and like tonight, I doubt there are gonna be any people who show up, but we’ll see. (BestFan note: The house was packed that night, shoulder-to-shoulder at The Mod Club!)
(BestFan): Are any music videos going to be released soon?
(Ryan): We shot one for a song back in June, and we don’t really like the song anymore, the video was really cool so we feel bad not putting that out. Then we shot another one last minute, but we’re not sure if we’re gonna put that one out either, we’re gonna wait. We just got another grant for a new one, so that one will come out for sure.
(Steve): I’d say the Spring.
(BestFan): If you weren’t doing music, what would you be doing?
(Steve): Probably be living on the streets of Toronto. Nah, I don’t know, probably go to school and try to actually do something. I’d probably go for guitar, guitar teacher or session player.
(Ryan): If anyone’s going to succeed and be a professional musician, it’s Steve on guitar.
(Steve): Thanks, man!
(Ryan): He’s the only technically really really talented one. Like technically [with regard to technical skill], not “technically”.
(BestFan): What was your best tour memory of 2011?
(Ryan): We were out in Alberta, and there was this guy named Bill that came to our show and he’s a little weird at first. He bought the entire bar shots at noon, he spent a hundred dollars, and we invite him to the show and he came out and this is gonna sound crazy, but as we’re unloading our gear into the show, this guy starts putting a certain drug down on our gear and snorting it off. He was snorting it in the middle of the day while we were loading into this venue in this like, boony lake town.
(BestFan): Where was this?
(Steve): Sylvan Lake, Alberta. It’s kind of like a cottage place with a really nice lake and tons of little things to do, but not this guy…
(Ryan): And then later in the night, he started snorting uh, viagra. Chopped up viagra.
(Steve): And then he calls his mom and tells her “Mom, these guys made me do something!” and his mom’s like “What’d you do now?” “I snorted viagra” “Oh! Your friends are horrible!”
(Ryan): We saw him the next morning and he was calm, didn’t say a word just sitting at a restaurant all by himself.
(Steve): And the night before he was all like “YEAH!! Woo!”, all freakin’ out.
(BestFan): What are some sacrifices you’ve need to make as a band or as an individual?
(Steve): Money, yeah, that’s the biggest one for sure.
(Ryan): Uh, having a girlfriend maybe? For me, at least. ‘Cause I wouldn’t be able to afford it or have the time.
(Steve): That’s why I don’t pay for shit for my girlfriend. (laughs)
(Ryan): Yeah, see, if you have a girlfriend like that, then you’re good.
(Steve): This is gonna sound so bad…
(Ryan): And then time and money, if you’re not spending the time and not putting the money into it then nothing’s gonna happen.
(BestFan): So what’s up for Chasing Amee in 2012?
(Ryan): This show tonight and we’re gonna bunker down and write for a full album, finally. We put out the two EPs and it’s been three years, so I think we need to put out an album, lock ourselves down and put out something that’s going to completely change us from what we were and burn off all of the old preconceived notions about what our band is like.
(Steve): And then hopefully hit the road.
(Ryan): Yeah, our old van just went to the sh*ts, so as soon as we get a new van.
(Ryan): We got a wicked U-Haul right now. (laughs)
(BestFan): Who’s the messiest person? The cleanest?
(Ryan): Look at our van!
(Steve): Okay, fair enough. Bro.
(Ryan): Cleanest? I think it’s a tie between us. I’m pretty anal about cleaning.
(Steve): I always clean, like if my room is dirty, I hate it when it’s cluttered.
(BestFan): Do you guys have any weird or hidden talents?
(Ryan): I can replicate the sound of an airplane engine taking off and landing.
(BestFan): Do you wanna do that now?
(Ryan): Uhhh, no! I’m sick, but I would. I used to do it when I played hockey.
(Steve): I don’t know if I have any, but I used to know a guy who could fart on command, that was pretty cool.
(BestFan): Which spot in Toronto can we always find the band at?
(BestFan): What do you guys usually get from there?
(Steve): Club sandwich!
(Ryan): Yep, I get a club sandwich with hot sauce and a rum and coke.
(Steve): Or a pint of Pabst.
(BestFan): What artist or song have you been really into lately?
(Ryan): There’s this song I’ve had on repeat for 4 days now, it’s by Awolnation. It’s called “People” and it sounds like Michael Jackson with guitar. Like, heavy guitar.
(Steve): I’m still hooked on “Shake It Up” by Manchester Orchestra. I can’t get over that song, so good.
(BestFan): Whatever happened to Dalton Thunt?
(Steve & Ryan): OH MY GOSH! (laughs)
(Ryan): Well, Dalton drank too much “tea” while drinking too much “coffee”. (laughs)
(Ryan): And he got sent off the rehab.
(Steve): Hopefully, he’ll be back soon.
(Ryan): We hired this guy named Running Ron, he’ll be there tonight. He’s the guy with the crazy mustache. I’m not even making this up.
(Steve): Yup, Ron the Roadie.
(Ryan): I don’t know how he got his name but he’s toured with everyone.
Connect with Chasing Amee
Official Website: www.ChasingAmee.com