What I Learned at Bandcamp: Chick Quest
Photo by Ryan White
Interview with Ryan White of Chick Quest
Ryan White, an American expat living in Austria, created Chick Quest in 2014. The four piece creates songs based on chord progressions from old ’60’s western soundtracks like “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” over a dancey post-punk style like Talking Heads and early B-52’s.
In April 2015, the group released an 11-track album it recorded on its own. Vs. Galore is available to stream and download on Bandcamp.
Read The Spec‘s interview with White and stream tracks from the album, below…
How long have you been making music?
Chick Quest started in early 2014 and we were ready to record by the end of the year. Everyone in the band is into many different things, but deliberate influences we are focusing on for this band are artists like Talking Heads, Manicured Noise, Pylon, Violent Femmes, and ’60’s Western soundtracks. We just like simple parts that interlock to make creative and dancey songs.
What is your favorite song you’ve released and why?
My personal favorite song on the album is “Explain Yourself to a Bat” because I think the lyrics are weird and the music is really dancey. However, a lot of people like “Girl on Fire” and “I’m Tired of Pretty Girls,” which were both also fun for us to record.
Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
Upcoming projects include booking a tour outside of Austria and recording a second album. Our first album was very well received, but it’s always hard to break through the massive wave of music that is always coming out, so we would like to expand our reach to a bigger indie audience. We’re excited about the new songs we’ve been writing!
If you could no longer be a musician, what would you be or do for a living?
If I weren’t playing music, I suppose I’d be doing what I do to pay my bills: coding websites. But if I could choose what I would be doing, I’d be designing roller coasters. Too bad I’m not so good at engineering.
What musicians or bands do you look up to?
Musicians/bands I look up to include many of the earlier scenes from Athens, Ga., as that’s where I come from and cut my musical teeth on. However, I love the late ’70’s CBGB scene and ’70’s German bands. Something about a band like Talking Heads, much like many post-punk bands, is they didn’t seem to fit in anywhere. Sure, they were apart of that scene, but they didn’t sound like anything there, and it’s kind of amazing their music took off the way it did. I think, having played music my whole life, I get really suspicious of music scenes and the people that come with them. I find myself really looking up to bands who kind of didn’t fit in anywhere and did their thing the best they could, and with a little luck got some attention for their uniqueness instead of the scene around them. If anything, they create the scene around them once they become popular.
So, in short, David Bowie.
Why do you make music?
We make music because it’s fun and it’s a release. I write the songs, and I love writing songs because it allows me to say things and express myself in a way that people usually ignore or overlook if I were to say it in speech. It’s like my own little megaphone in my own little corner of the universe. I love writing and composing music because it’s very satisfying to finally hear the sum of parts I often hear in my head, and it’s exciting to hear the happy accidents that come out of nowhere to improve an idea you had. The evolution of a song is often a very complicated, interesting one, and that’s just very thrilling to me.
Anything else you’d like readers to know that we haven’t asked you about?
Other info about us: I’m an American living abroad in Austria, while the other three members are all Austrian. I went off traveling and ended up here for a few years. The band idea just grew out of an itching to get back into making music.