You have to question the motives behind a band who put a picture of two gurning band members on the front cover of their debut 7″, or when asking the record company for a promo photo being offered ‘the one where they’re all dressed up in drag’, or ‘the one where they’re chewing grass’ (we passed on both). Sheffield’s Seize The Chair have the air of a band who clearly and delightfully just don’t give a fuck. In fact they probably just want to make music and have a laugh. Which, if you’ve seen that record sleeve, you’ll be laughing too.
Seize The Chair are not a comedy band. In fact they’re like a rockier, bespectacled version of The Housemartins. Released this week is “You Who”, the aforementioned 7″ on the Too Pure Singles Club. A freakishly catchy hook-driven number “You Who” breaks off at a fast guitaring gallop, throwing down some Oasis-class rhyming and adding a little Talking Heads “Road To Nowhere” into the mix (I swear it’s in there). Flipside “It Happens Periodically” is a more considered stab at indie country rock without the affectations, adding some unexpected diversity to their repertoire. Not only just for shits and giggles then, eh? So the question had to be asked (and believe us it was), who the hell are Seize The Chair?
01. Who are you?
We are Jam Freeman (drums), Nick Chantler (Vocals & Guitars), Rowan Roberts (Guitars & Vocals) and Steven Mullins (Bass). Our name came from a game that we used to play as infants. We are from all over Narnia, but we reside in Sheffield. We have probably been together about 18 months.
02. What do you sound like?
We sound like we have fun.
03. What do friends say you sound like?
John said we’re alright – we trust him.
04. How did the band get started?
Nick, Jam and Steven all met when they moved to Sheffield – Rowan joined us shortly after, although Nick and Rowan knew each other before the band was formed. It took us far too long to get round to actually go and make noise together. In fact, we booked our first gig while we were all at opposite ends of the earth. We had like, two weeks to write some songs and practise them in order to play it. Somehow, we pulled it off (we think).
05. Give me your five band-defining albums?
Well, this is going to change every five minutes, but, at the moment:
Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
Thee Oh Sees – The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In
The Strokes – Is This It?
Gomez – Liquid Skin
Queens Of The Stoneage – Songs for the Deaf
06. Current band lowlight/highlight (you choose)?
Well – we played a show in Coventry. The whole day was a disaster. We got mugged, then we played to three very drunk large men who only had ears for Kings of Leon.
07. Tell us about the last song you wrote?
The last one we wrote is an all out garage freak-out. It’s probably less than two and a half minutes long – sometimes, that’s all you need. It has 3 chords, ‘chuggy’ drums and delayed vocals. I think we finished it within ten minutes.
08. Who would be some dream collaborators?
Oh, erm – Steve Albini would be a good one. No one else though – we are control freaks.
09. You’re making us a Seize the Chair mixtape. What’s going on it?
Lots of The Fall, a load of Super Furry Animals singles & anything that has been put out by In The Red.
10. First time listeners, where should they start?
I guess “Deborah” would be a good song to start with.