The Chills - Leigh Sawmill Cafe


The life of 'The Chills' founder and front man 'Martin Phillipps' has been one of controversy and heartbreak, but this is the life of the father of the Indie Pop movement. The band with a history of never being able to break that final glass ceiling between obscure cult following and genre defining musical icons is back. Their newest album 'Silver Bullets' is the groups first full length album in close to 20 years and also boasts the longest unified group of musicians in the bands history. What's your angle with 'Silver Bullets'- is there an overriding theme or new life philosophy throughout?

'Silver Bullets' represents violent action against evil forces and, as such, is a change of tactics from our 1992 album 'Soft Bomb' which stood for pacifist impact against many of the same issues; environmental destruction, corporate takeover of monetary systems and the media etc. 'Silver Bullets' does not advocate violence but points out that, historically, when you push people too far that is what you will get. In 2005 you were asked by J.L. Fernández of Perfect Sound Forever your opinion on the NZ music scene and said 'a lot of the new music sounds hopelessly derivative, with its influences so obviously displayed' – how do you feel NZ  music has progressed 10 years on?

I now feel that there is so much good music being made that I shouldn't complain. There is still far more awful and unnecessary music but the ease of access to world-wide sounds is creating some wonderful new combinations. On the down side it is less likely that there will pockets of isolated like-minded people creating something startlingly new due to lack of outside influence. Do you think you'll follow the ever increasing trend of re-emerging bands and do a separate series of concerts playing only one of your previous albums in its entirety?

Our audience is very divided over which is the best Chills' album so it would be difficult to pick just one and I don't find the concept particularly appealing anyway as it is too restrictive and formulaic. Having said that, 'Silver Bullets' might be the first of our albums where that concept could actually work.

The current lineup of musicians is the same as your July 2014 concert at The Lido in Berlin. Can fans eager to see this tour expect the same charismatic performance or will it be more tailored to your home crowd?

We are finding that, generally, every gig we perform is a step up from the previous one and we are excited to let as many people as possible see what we are doing live with the old and new songs these days.

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January 10, 2016


Leigh Sawmill Cafe

142 Pakiri Road, Leigh