By Ellen Chapman
On May 7, Chester Brix made their American radio debut at KX 93.5 with Tyler Russell, featuring live versions of two singles: “Deep End” and “Pirouette” We got an Arctic Monkeys vibe … if Arctic Monkeys were R&B and funk inspired.
For such a refined sound, it’s surprising to learn that Chester Brix only formed 6 months ago, beginning their public unveiling by busking on the streets in Melbourne. Members Danny Finkelstein, Davy Simony and Jayden Reid are all from North Queensland and attended school together and all ended up moving to Melbourne. There, they busked to make just enough money to record their EP, Pirouette, saving the rest for their America tour.
We were certainly impressed with their live performance at KX and were not surprised when Los Angeles received them with welcome arms. In their short stay, they performed at the famous Hotel Café, and on May 11th I had the pleasure of seeing them play at a warehouse in Boyle Heights.
The show was hosted by Make Out Music and being a secret show, the address was only released two hours beforehand. In addition to Chester Brix, it featured Inspired and the Sleep, Disco Shrine, and Jen Awad. The venue was 800 square-feet but was packed way beyond capacity. Flashing lights lined the walls and the room glowed red from the stage lights.
I arrived at the beginning of Inspired and the Sleep’s set only to find members of Chester Brix front row in the crowd, dancing along to the psych-pop sound. They enjoyed the set until the end and excitedly started setting up their equipment as they played next.
Lead vocalist Jayden Reid introduced the band, and the crowd was clearly enamored with their soft-spoken Australian accent. They began the show with one of their most popular songs that we heard on the station, “Pirouette.” Hearing it this time, with a full drum kit and in front of a live audience, the song had a new, powerful energy. No one in the crowd knew the song yet everyone moved along to it and drank it in.
After “Pirouette,” they played “No Love,” a single from their new album. It had a soft, sexy sound with smooth electric guitar and snare drum.
For the duration of the show they mostly played their new songs for their upcoming EP. “Deep End” and “Mysterious” were acoustic and had a slower, more relaxed sound, speaking of relationships new and old. “Deep End” was my favorite song of the night with gorgeous lyrics like “I’ve fallen in the deep end/ ‘Cause someone’s gotta love you/like I do.”
Chester Brix also played a cover of “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers, and we all had no problem singing along to their smooth rendition. Overall, for being a band new to America with not much music released or marketed—they were received incredibly well. I was scheduled to interview them after the show and decided to wait outside the venue for them as so many new fans were coming up to them to tell them how much they enjoyed the show.
Once the commotion died down, the band met me outside, glowing with sweat, beers in their hands and light in their eyes.. When I asked them how they were feeling, they replied, “I feel like I’ve just gone through a tunnel on the train, you come out, and it’s sunshine.”
They all agreed the show was incredibly fun but were a little phased by how well-lit the space was, and also how they were missing a couple band members who they didn’t have the ability to fly out.
“It’s like going to work with your underwear on,” lead vocalist Jayden Reid jokingly said.
They were missing another guitarist and a keyboard player, who are friends of theirs and have started to jump in and help out in shows as their sound has evolved.
I asked them about their upcoming EP, which is finished should be released in the upcoming months. All the songwriting comes from lead vocalist Jayden Reid, who has written most of their music to date. The new EP will reflect their past CDs, but a little more stripped away and raw.
So what’s next for Chester Brix? Well, on May 14, they played at the Analog Cocktail Bar in Nashville, and on the 15th met with Acme Radio to end their U.S Tour. While here, they met with Capitol Studios and other record labels but can’t disclose any information about that just yet.
Check out the full interview audio below: