Interview with Dave Musson (guitars, bass and vocals) of Chapter Nineteen and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
DM: We’re a punk/metal-infused post-hardcore twopiece from the West Midlands. We like writing big riffs and peppering them through what are, hopefully, interesting songs that will make you bang your head and generally have a good time.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
DM: Officially, we formed in 2019 – and it came about pretty naturally. Originally, I had started working with Chris to record these songs for Dave’s previous band – WAVE, which was also a two piece. Chris was going to produce them, as he had done their first two EPs. In fact, CHris and I had known each other since I recorded with him in another former band, Crimson Star, back in 2014.
Anyway, after tracking all the guitars and bass for the songs WAVE disbanded, leaving me with a drummer-filled gap – and studio time booked to record those drum parts! Luckily, Chris was a drummer before he was a producer and by this point, having spent months recording these songs whenever we both had a spare moment, he was more than familiar with the material.
Chris stepped in to record the drums, laid down what quickly became the definitive drum parts for those songs and the rest, as they say, was history.
2019 ended up being a bit stop-and-start for us; Dave became a dad for the first time in the Spring, but we continued to work on our songs when we could, doing a second drum session, followed by a few days of vocals spread out over a couple of months. We released our first single in September of that year, with a second coming that November, before Chris became a dad for the second time that December.
We were set to really take some big strides in 2020 but, like everyone else, had our plans torn up by the pandemic. So, we spent the year juggling work, childcare, and general anxiety about the world with getting the best possible mixes together of these songs – which included a few remote recording sessions for extra guitar overdubs and some fresh vocal takes. We even managed to play together in the same room a couple of times in that brief summer hiatus from lockdown!
Sorry, that wasn’t exactly ‘brief’, was it?
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
DM: The bands we’re both big fans of are Black Peaks, Biffy Clyro, Palm Reader, Manchester Orchestra, Jamie Lenman, and Nirvana. I am also very much into The Chariot, ‘68, Every Time I Die, and Code Orange – and their influences definitely sneak through into the songs on this EP.
Chris is a massive fan of Rush, as well as lots of pop-punk, mid-noughts emo, and 80s synth-pop stuff too.
As for non-musical influences, I take plenty from Stephen King – our first single was about him and our name is also a nod to his world.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
DM: Right now, simply to get our debut EP out there and have people listen to it! We’ve worked really hard on these songs and just want them to be heard. Obviously, we’d love to be able to play live too, but I can’t see that happening any time soon.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
DM: For this EP, I wrote the majority of the material, with Chris adding his drum skills and really helping shape the songs into the best versions possible.
In terms of what they’re about, this EP is effectively a concept EP. It tells the story of a band who tried their very best to make it but who, despite having great potential and doing everything that was asked of them, failed to break out. It’s a story very much based on my own experiences with my previous project, where people wrote off how seriously we took our music because we liked to have fun on stage, or didn’t appreciate what we did live because we didn’t have a bassist. Ultimately, it’s a story about how being different – which is something every band likes to think it is and what you’re always advised to aim for – doesn’t always go well.
We even have a narrator on it, who acts as a link between the songs – I’m really pleased with how that came together as I was worried it would sound a bit too much like an amateur dramatics society taking over the EP, but I think we’ve avoided that.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
DM: We promote the band online – so opportunities such as this to have interviews are really helpful, thank you! As for shows, we’ve not been able to play one yet because of the pandemic…come back and ask me again in 2022!
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
DM: It depends if you mean paying for your downloads or not! I’m all in favour of buying music online and downloading it – especially if you go through bandcamp or direct from the artist. Good art is worth paying for, and I download all my music. I’m not in favour of illegal downloads though, that’s just not on.
Streaming is a difficult one; channels like Spotify are a great way to get your music heard, but the miniscule amount they pay artists completely takes the piss and they should be ashamed of themselves. There’s nothing about how Spotify positions themselves that makes me think they actually care about artists, but they’re in such a position of power that if you’re not on the platform it’s really tough to get your music heard. It sucks.
That being said, please check out Chapter Nineteen on Spotify!
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
DM: From a creative point of view, I’d love to have written anything on 10,000 Days by Tool, because it’s an amazing record that sounds like nothing else.
From a money point of view, I’d gladly have my name listed as a writer for Enter Sandman or Sweet Child O’Mine and live off the royalties!
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
DM: Racism, homophobia, and sexism.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
DM: Sound the cliché alarm, but it’s the songs on this EP. I’ve never been more proud of anything that I’ve created and I really hope people check them out.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
DM: Our debut EP! It’s called a Story Well Told, it’s got seven songs, riffs galore and is out on 23 April – you’ll love it! Before that, we’re releasing the first single from the EP – How Is There Hope – on 12 February, which is a really good insight into the rest of the release and, as an added bonus, features a guest bass solo from the fantastic Josh Redrup of the amazing Palm Reader.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
DM: Head to our bandcamp page – http://chapter19band.bandcamp.com – and you’ll find our previous singles, as well as the EP from 23 April onwards.
Thanks so much for having me and for supporting new artists – it’s really appreciated!