Interview with !!! (Chk Chk Chk)

I feel ashamed that I’d never heard of !!! (Chk Chk Chk) before, but having been sent their two latest singles, I am officially hooked and a newfound fan! With the release of their latest album, which is tasty AF and gives all the funky disco vibes, I got to chat with lead singer Nic Offer about their journey thus far, and find out what keeps them motivated.

Polish off those dancing shoes people cause this new record is an absolute fire starter for the d-floor!

 

For those out there who may be like me, in five words or less, how would you would describe !!! (Chk Chk Chk)?
As long as you’ve heard the new stuff you’re okay! When we started we probably sounded like nobody else, but we’ve been around for a long time so we started calling it disco-punk and dance-rock; that all works fine. We wanted to play dance music like disco or funk but have a visceral live energy to it.

Your new single ‘Dance Is The Best Revenge’ and the video are phenomenal! I think it’s anthemic. I just want the whole world to know about it. What is the message of this track?
It’s pretty simple. I wrote the lyrics in like 10 mins and sometimes those are the best ones; they just fall down on the page. When you think of musicians or artists you think they were brave or visionaries, but you don’t think about what that actually means, you just say it. When you say it, it means it’s difficult; you go out on a limb, it takes strength and courage, and that song is an anthem for everyone to look inside themselves for that courage. It’s about people being free on the dance floor, shaking it off; you’re free and you can be what you want.

I love how you speak about confidence and stepping out within your own world. Is that how you wanted to explore that theme, by having the drag queens in the video? And then by you dressing in drag as well, was that a way for you to embody individuality?
Yeah. In my head I was thinking of the vogue ball where everyone is making themselves up and they’re creating themselves; they’re not letting themselves be defined by society, they define themselves. To me that was so powerful, I loved watching that. It felt like a strut and I wanted it to be for queens to walk to.

I also saw the video to ‘The One 2’, which is so hot. You’re fast becoming known for your signature video style. Are we to expect more videos for tracks off the new album?
I’m not sure? Those two videos were definitely paired together but we’re not sure what we’re gonna do with the third video. It just depends on how well the first two do. We’ll see. Dancing makes you pay attention to the song; it makes the song come alive. I wish every one of our videos were a dance video!

I don’t know if you come from a professional dance background, if you just have a passion for it, or if you’re spiritual at all, but do you believe you were a dancer in a former life?
[laughs] I don’t know!? I’ve always felt connected to this land and this Earth. I always just felt like dancing. I told my mum when I was six or seven that I wanted to be a disco dancer; it’s something that’s always been there for me.

Let’s talk about the album that is so fresh to everyone’s ears. Shake The Shudder is your seventh studio album, which is a huge achievement. What keeps you guys motivated and creating work each and every time?
We’ve never found anything more fun to do! I love it! It’s what I wanted to do since I was six or seven, it’s always been fulfilling and really fun to us. We feel lucky and blessed that it still is, and we feel lucky that we’re still friends and that we love to make music together. We feel like we have to exploit it for as long as we can [laughs]. We’re always pushing ourselves harder and harder to get somewhere else with this artistically, and in doing that it opens more doors.

I love how open minded you are and the strength of friendships you have with your band mates. Do you think though that in today’s musical climate there’s much originality, or is everyone just trying to copy each other and outdo each other?
I think there’s always a bunch of crap and people copying each other, but then there’s always a few bright lights here and there. I think what gets confusing is that it’s changing genre. Not that every genre is exciting, but when one dries up that’s when another one gurgles up from another area. You have to switch out.

You’re about to go on tour around the US and a sneaky stop off in Japan. Are you gong to come to Australia anytime soon because listening to your music means that I now need to see you live. I think your live show will be an experience!
We love playing Australia, but it just depends on how the record does and whether there’s demand for us to get there. We hope to. We’ve had some great tours there before so we hope to get back!

To end, I have a few little fun questions to get to know you a little bit better, but they play on your song titles.

  1. ‘Dance Is The Best Revenge’ – What is your favourite dance move of all time? [laughs] [squeals] There are so many! It’s like picking your favourite song! I can’t put any hierarchy on it! I’m gonna pick something silly but I’m gonna say I wish tap dance would come back. Whenever I see it in a movie I’m like yes tap dancing is cool! I’d like to see that come back but I don’t want to say that one is better than the other. These days you see these people on Instagram doing amazing things, and there are so many new styles.
  2. ‘The One 2’ – Up on N12 is McCarren Park. Do you get to spend much time up there? Go to the outdoor cinema in summer? It’s been a while but I love that park! In fact, one time someone said I met that guy, I saw him sitting on a sofa in McCarren Park at like 4am. It was a nice night! I was probably eating a bodega sandwich!
  3. ‘One girl / One boy’ – If you were a twin would you rather a twin sister or a twin brother? Either would be awesome, but probably a sister so I could date her friends!
  4. ‘Even When The Water’s Cold’ – If your hot water system was broken at your house, what would you do if you desperately wanted a hot shower? Honestly I’d take it cold. I’ve had this problem before and I’ve had to deal with it. I take cool showers all summer. So that’s probably what I’d do!

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author: Kara Bertoncini

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