INTERVIEW: The Chakras



Just two years ago The Chakras were born, of the imaginations of two Dublin brothers Rocky(lead vocals) and Gordo Whittaker(vocals/guitars), gathering three other members Richie McArdle (guitars), Bryan Pepper (keys, harmonium), Ian Kane (bass/vocals)to join them on their journey. They put out a series of low key releases in their homeland, and performed a support slot with Ian Brown. Before deciding that they had to devote their lives to the band. They killed off long-standing relationships, resigned from the day-jobs and cut local ties, moved to London and have here made a record that took those noisy, hissing 8-track bedroom demos and transformed the very same songs into swirling, guitar-heavy anthems.

The Chakras first caught my imagination with their gloriously gorgeously self redemptive slice of pomp-pop for the underdog ‘Build me A Swan’. Last week (1st of August) the Chakras released a new single ‘Drifting’ yet another example of their quickly maturing swirling-psych dappled sound, that powers skywards towards swaggering, epic, life affirming chorus’ that ripple with the passion and power to move.

In a world of too cool for school outfits and timid indie types the vast scale of The Chakras ambition, that gives a nod to reverb drenched patterns of the early Verve. Then infuses them with the fuzz heavy wall of sound sweeps of the Jesus and Mary Chain and manipulates with almost Simple Minds levels of anthemic quality, makes the Chakras a refreshingly bold proposition. We caught up with The Chakras for the lowdown on their past, present and immediate future.

Hi how are you today?

Well if we are being totally honest, not the best I’ve ever been, very heavy weekend at one of our friends wedding, so there’s a couple of weary heads around the place.

Why the Chakras?And do you know your yogic Chakras?
Well rocky’s came up with the idea and we all just liked the sound of it so we decided to run with it. Yeah we know all about them but wouldn’t be Practicing yoga.

Can you briefly recap us through your releases up till now?
Well we had a few releases back in our infancy but to be honest it was like a different band, the sound that you know now, as that band we have had a few singles in Ireland and the UK, all songs that are on the album, we the people, build me a swan and drifting (take a walk inside) which is our current single, it just got to number 5 in iTunes alternative chart, which was cool the last one got to number 2 as well, so far so good..

As you’re a relatively new band how would you introduce yourselves to our readers in no more than five words?
Emotive, epic, uplifting & powerful

Why did you chose Drifting as the next single? How did the video shoot go?

We just really felt that it had such a summery vibe to it that it would be a serious waste not to release it during the summer. It’s a hard process though it’s like trying to decide which one of your kids not to bring to disneyworld. The video shoot was brilliant, probably a little bit harder for rocky than any of us cause we had nothing to do except sit around watching and eating nice food.


From where do you draw your inspirations? Everyday life and emotion?Absolutely, spot on, it’s not something you plan for, it’s just what comes out when you pick up a guitar or sit down at the piano, but I definitely think that it’s a reflection of your life and experiences you’ve had.

You are apparently fans of Storm in heaven era Verve and the Mary
Chain, what is it that attracts you to their sounds?

It’s funny you say that, I keep reading that about us as well, don’t get me wrong I’m a massive massive Verve fan but urban hymns is my number one, I actually only listened to a a storm in heaven For the first time a year or two ago, our manager was the head of their label, he found them and signed them so he got me a copy. But it’s true that we love that type of hazey reverby sound, we are a pack of reverb junkies, there’s no doubt about that…

I note you don’t shy away from epic sounds, do you think there’s a timidity within some of the current guitar music scene?Like some bands are scared of standing out?

I honestly don’t know what it is, I definitely hate the way that when a band comes out with a cool sound that they have 10 lookalike wanna-be ones that pop up the next month, it really pisses me off. I’m not sure if thats a case of not wanting to Stand out or just getting a quick dollar.

Coming from Dublin what’s the scene like there at the moment?Any bands you’d like us to keep our eyes on?

Well we haven’t really been there for quite a while, we have been based in London for a year and a bit now, so we don’t really have our fingers on the pulse of the Irish scene, but one band is getting quite a bit of press and I just heard one of the tunes and was massively impressed, cashier no. 9. Check em out…

What’s the transition to the big smoke of London been like for you guys? I see you quit your jobs and former lives to start a fresh plan of attack with the band in London do you believe its important to have that kind of focus as a band, to get the best out of yourselves?

It’s been amazing, we love London, its such a cool city, our whole team (manager/agent/etc…) were already based in London so it was just the best move for us. In terms of the focus question, I think it’s different for different people, as a band we need absolute focus to be really productive, deadlines are actually our best friends, when we are not up against it, we don’t seem to work at full tilt. It’s like any profession though you need focus, determination and loads of belief to succeed.

I presume you are working up to a debut album release, when can fans expect that?

We sure are, the last single before the album came out last week, so we are on the final stretch now, it’s out in UK and Europe on Sept 26th and Ireland on Sept 23rd, getting pretty excited now, we have always felt the our strength lies in the album rather than a singles type of band.

Do you have any shows you are particularly looking forward to at the moment?

We just finished up a few months of gigging and touring and are now having our first holiday this year so not a huge amount ahead for this month, but obviously dying for the touring once the album is out, I think we are having an album launch in Ireland & the Uk so we will be dying for those gigs for sure

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
We are getting a first delivery of the album this week which we are pretty excited about, the cover was done by storm thorgensen who did all of pink floyds covers, including dark side of the moon, he also and muse and loads of other amazing bands, so we are dying to see it, a vinyl copy of our own album is something I’ve always wanted…

The Chakras released their new single, ‘Drifting’ through Planet Function Records on the 1st August 2011. Their debut album is slated for release this September.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.