Battle of the Bands 2022 Q&A: The Laughing Chimes

[Photo courtesy of The Laughing Chimes]

By Cody Englander, Contributor

The Laughing Chimes are an indie-pop group from southeast Ohio who recently participated in ACRN’s Battle of the Bands at The Union. Within the band, Evan Seurkamp plays the guitar, Quinn Seurkamp plays the drums and Avery Bookman plays the bass. I met with Seurkamp after the performance to discuss the band’s performance, musical style and evolution.

[This interview has been edited for length and clarity.]

Cody: How did you feel about your band’s performance at Battle of the Bands on Thursday?

Evan: I can’t speak for my bandmates, but I feel like we all felt like it went pretty well. I think it was one of our better performances. It was a lot of fun, I came off stage drenched in sweat, so I think that attests to us just having a good time.

Read more: Starry Skies release new single from Small Wonders 

Cody: What other recent performances have you guys had?

Evan: We recently played at The Union on the first of September, we also played at the Athens Community Music and Arts Festival in August. Over the summer, we played at The Happy Dog in Cleveland, we opened for this band from Australia. 

Cody: How would you describe the type or genre of music you guys make?

Evan: The term we use is pretty niche but in a broader sense, Indie Pop. We also describe our music as being Jangle Pop, stuff kind of like 80s to 90s alternative college rock.

Cody: Take me through the origins. How did you guys come together with the idea for a band?

Evan: It started back in 2020 when my brother and I had an idea of doing something together because we had both played music before and thought it would be a fun thing to do. We just started working from home and had enough songs to release an album on streaming services. We didn’t do anything for a bit, and this label from Spain offered to put out our music on vinyl. I was very skeptical of it, you know, you get those emails where someone is trying to steal your Instagram password or something like that. I did some research and they seemed legit, and we actually have our music out on vinyl.

Cody: What music are you inspired by?

Evan: R.E.M., The Smiths, another one from the 90s would be Guided by Voices, a more local Ohio band. A lot of stuff like that, some Beatles

Cody: You guys have some very cool and unique album covers, how did these come about?

Evan: The design for our first album cover was a picture I took of a house across the street … the album is called “In This Town“, so I wanted a picture from our hometown. The picture was messy and not exactly what I wanted, I kind of just took those paint color tools and put them over the original picture. Our cover for our single was something I painted incorporating Jenga blocks – really just a weird abstract piece I did that I thought might be good for that. We try to have those album covers that stand out.

Cody: Do you guys have any plans to release new music soon?

Evan: Actually we’ve been working on this EP for a while, probably since August of last year. It’s finally getting released in November, I want to say November 18th? I think November 18th, and it’s going to be an EP with 6 songs. We’re working with this label out of California called Slumberland, and they’re going to do a limited run of cassettes. 

Cody: How do you think the band’s music has evolved since your first project?

Evan: Oh, that’s a good question. I think mostly from our first album to how I’m writing music now, I’ve wanted to be a bit more experimental while staying within our sound. Just adding in different instruments or how to arrange a song differently so it’s not so cliche or a stereotype of a song. Lyric-wise, I’ve been writing a lot more abstract and surreal lyrics than I’m used to while trying to stay within that indie-pop sound.

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