Brandon instantly strikes me as someone who is not confined to a genre, the space he is given, or defined by a name
Chastity is the name given to Brandon (and his band - Fletch on Bass, Dan on Drums and Colm on Guitar) who is the creative force and the vocal strength and frontman. Having watched them perform, Brandon instantly strikes me as someone who is not confined to a genre, the space he is given, or defined by a name. His performance changes and flits from sublime melodies to the harder side of punk and grunge rock.
Chastity are not unfamiliar with Leeds, having played The Brudenell in November and playing Headrow House tonight (Tuesday 17th May). I managed to catch them and pin them down for a brief chat. They were feeling quite relaxed after a few days of rehearsal ahead of the mini tour and in preparation of the upcoming festival season. They were only in the UK for a few days, having just played in Paris, they are returning to Ontario on Sunday before heading off to Halifax and Montreal, Canada. I wanted to find out a little more about what happens on tour and what make the band work.
What is the strangest thing that has happened to you on stage whilst performing?
Dan - Everything has broken on me, cymbal stands have fallen to the side, so from a drummers perspective, quite a lot!
Brandon - I got a shock right in the face from the microphone and it really hurt.
Fletch - I got rugby tackled off the stage, that was a pretty bad one and it really f***ed up my bass.
What would be your dream gig support slot?
Brandon - Smashing Pumpkins! Without a doubt, they are the dream gig!
What would you like to happen next for Chastity?
Brandon - Dan and I were talking intensely the other night and saying we really must finish the record this summer. We are trying to finish and then we feel it's appropriate to play tons of shows, at the moment we are just trickling in a few singles.
... and then contact the Smashing Pumpkins?
Brandon - Yeah, like I think Darcy might be coming back to the pumpkins...so that will be the time...
What was the last song you listened to?
Dan - Radiohead, the new album, it's a great album.
Brandon - I was listening to the new song by Skepta, do you know him?
Jordan - Yeah, I saw Skepta in Glasgow last week. But, I was listening to the new Iggy Pop song,
You all have a rather broad taste in music just listening to those three...Who would you say will be the next band to come out of Canada?
Brandon - I love this band, but I don't know if their intention is to break out, but there is a band called the Venus Tramps. The singer is quite punk, they are young and all in high school and doing their thing. We have played with them and they are really good. Also, there is a band from Whitby, Ontario (where I am from) called Straight Truth, they are an amazing band too. They just released a tape, they are playing load of shows and they are off to play the states this summer.
What was the last thing that got you really angry?
Brandon - I have real issues being out too long and I get really anxious. We were in Paris, in the Gare du Nord, and we couldn't find the exit! We were walking around and I started feeling claustrophobic, I just got angry at that and the fact we couldn't get out. We found it eventually, but yeah, it was that.
I bet you needed a drink after that?
Brandon - I don't drink or smoke. So, maybe just a blackcurrant juice.
What is your vice then?
Fletch - Cheeseburgers? Like you don't even drink coffee any more so it is not even caffeine...maybe sleeping?
Brandon - Maybe take it from him, but I really don't have a vice. So I don't know, maybe communication? Or power naps, yea, I had one today for about twenty minutes.
Is there a moment that you know music was the thing you were going to do?
Brandon - (is rather pensive) I don't think there was a path, the project kind of grew itself in to that. I feel a responsibility to the songs I write and that is like who I am serving in this project. I have always written ideas and structure, that is what Chastity is.
Which leads on to the name, Chastity, how did that evolve?
This is where Brandon seems to be almost protective and finds this hard to talk about, this is why I say I feel he is not confined by a name and watching the performance you can see there is a crossing on genres and an air of the mysterious...
Brandon - It is a sensitive think to talk about and I think it just has a million different origins.
Jordan - When you are choosing a name for a band, it is something that just comes and sticks.
Brandon - Yeah we'll just leave that there...
What do you miss most about home when you are touring?
Brandon then shows me his phone with some messages to his girlfriend from about twenty minutes previous to our conversation.
Brandon - Oh I just texted my girlfriend. I said 'Fuck I miss you a lot right now'. Also, it was my Grandmothers birthday yesterday, the family were sending me pictures. Straight up, I am sad to say and I don't tale this lightly, because I don't know how many birthdays are left to spend with her, so I do like to spend as many as I can with her.
Do you have any pre gig rituals?
I usually try not to have any elevation before, so I just keep it flat you know, and go on and play. If I get anxious and the heart rate goes up, it is not good. So yeah, I just try to stay calm.
So the last time I interviewed a guy from Canada, he spontaneously sang me the national anthem...would you like to?
Laughter echoes all around.
Brandon - Let's see about these guys, or do you want me to? I don't know about that? My ritual is to save my voice.
We wrap it up and wish the guys luck for their tour and the future.
So listen out for their music and check out the captivating video for Peroxide below: