Chk Chk Chk !!! is a spicy American indie rock band from California. The eight-member ensemble was born from the merge of the bands Black Liquorice and Popesmashers in 1995. Since then, they’ve been navigating through the realms of rock, electro, disco, and pop. Known for their strong live performances and their nonconformist name, they slowly joined the dance music movement and incorporated electronic disco-funk rhythms to their usually more aggressive sound.
This is what Nic Offer, their lead singer, told us right before his exuberant live performance at Jazz Fest.
Husa Sounds: Why did you choose such a difficult name to say and to look for online?
Chk Chk Chk !!!: We are a very old band, we didn’t think about Google and all the Internet madness at the time. We wanted something different, a name that would set us apart. It’s a reference to the bush language in South Africa and to the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy. I was bothered by the name Chk Chk Chk* at first, but I don’t care anymore.
*The original name was !!!, but the band adopted Chk Chk Chk later on as it was easier to find online.
HS: We heard so many designations to identify the band: disco-funk, dance-punk, rock, electro, pop, indie-punk… How do you define yourself?
CCC: Funk, disco, punk… These are too broad. We had this raw energy and we wanted people to dance to our music. We only used live instruments in the early days, drum machines came later. It was an experiment, a journey of discovery. Our sound slowly evolved to become dance music. It was a long process.
What would you say differentiate your last album Shake the Shudder from the others?
CCC: We believe records tell a story. We learn something new from each album and we make baby steps. This album is related to the others, but it involves more sampling, more computer-oriented music. We’re not really trying, but we always end up playing something similar to disco. The first record I’ve ever had was from the Bee Gees, it was a time of awakening, and I think this vibe will always remain.
HS: You’ve played a DJ set at Newspeak a few months ago, what’s the main difference with a live show?
CCC: DJing is the most difficult thing in the world. Anyone can do a live show, you can see the actual instruments play. Visuals help. It’s a trickier thing to learn what people want on a dancefloor. You have to inform your music to achieve something different with the vibe. It’s hard to match a live performance, but I think DJing will help us be a better band. It’s a learning experience, it’s challenging.
HS: What do you think about Montreal and all the Summer craziness?
CCC: I love Montreal. I came many years before I got to play here, it has something unique. Something that always stays in a corner of your mind, even if New York was the first city I fell in love with.
Their live show was truly amazing, a perfect mix of quality and fun. The description that resonates the most with it came from a music journalist at Modern Fix: “Imagine a world where disco doesn’t suck and indie rockers went to shows to dance. This is the world of Chk Chk Chk.”
Article by Sarah Duvivier