Chaselounge (Profile)

Foursome strives to create songs that stand the test of time

Five fun facts about Chaselounge:

1. Three-fourths of the band members are landlords.

2. The original piece of furniture that inspired the band name was orange.

3. The band has been together for eight years, which in musician years is multiplied times three.

4. Some of the band’s musical influences include Jimmy Eat World, Weezer and OK Go.

5. In a parallel universe, the band is called “The Quills.”

In this universe, Chaselounge just completed its third (technically second) album, Hush of Sound. The band is releasing the album in conjunction with a local “mini-tour,” a series of three release shows that ends Saturday with a performance at Molly Malone’s in Covington.

Hush of Sound was produced by Erwin Musper (who is internationally known and has worked with David Bowie and Van Halen, among other giants) and consists of 14 tracks that combine rich vocal harmonies, Killers-like keyboards and meaty riffs.

Lead singer and guitarist Shawny Scott describes the band’s music as timeless with a wide appeal. His description of the band is a little more cryptic: “We’re a touring band that doesn’t tour. We’re not a bar band, but we play bars.”

Scott’s logic-defying summaries fit well — the band is difficult to describe, not because they play some obscure style but because its genre is a broad one. Chaselounge falls into the category of Indie Pop Rock, all original, but not unusual. There are no gimmicks, no dramatic personas, no outrageous piercings, no “tough guy” photos.

In fact, band members look like college kids without a single wardrobe item that couldn’t be found in a thrift store. According to Scott, his look is based around a jacket and tie with slacks and jeans; bassist Aaron Scott prefers a sweater vest, sporting “grandpa chic”; drummer Adam Eilers goes for the “JC Penny Rock” image with a vintage T and jeans; and Chris Lambert is just “normal Rock” without makeup or tattoos.

Like their outfits, their music is simple and unpretentious yet inviting. Scott says their sound has universal appeal.

“We have something for everyone,” he says. “We have songs for young teens and songs grandmas would love. The biggest thing with us is we’re always looking to write a good song.”

Melody-driven and dedicated to high quality, the band has already enjoyed some success. Their first album, Mayday, Roger the Radio, attracted the attention of Musper, who invited them to join his label, YeaYeaYeah Records.

“Just being signed to Erwin means something,” Lambert says.

Musper recorded half of the songs from the first album at his Bamboo Room studio, combining them with new songs to create the band’s second album, Black Plastic Ordinary, an enhanced CD/DVD package that placed in the Top 200 on the CMJ charts in 2005. The band members spent the next few years touring throughout the Midwest until early 2008, when they decided to devote their energies to creating their third album.

This wasn't an overnight project, taking more than two years to complete. They painstakingly whittled down the best 14 tracks, adding extra bells and whistles in Lambert’s home studio and making sure every detail was perfect. Scott says they all believe in “trimming the fat,” ensuring that each element in the music has a distinct purpose and works in the context of the song.

Hush of Sound is not based around a concept but has familiar threads throughout. A theme of desperation in the lyrics is offset by cheerful chord progressions and upbeat grooves. Standouts include “Eyes Electric,” which has a modern, progressive sound, and “Nest Egg,” which showcases the band’s quirky side.

Chaselounge’s approach to music is old-fashioned: Work hard, create a product with commercial appeal, be persistent. Lambert says the band likes to have fun but is still serious.

“We are realistic,” he says. “We keep a regular practice schedule.”

Scott relates the band’s goal in music to the song “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman. He heard the song one night on the radio and realized that this was what Chaselounge was aspiring to: songs that stand up to the test of time. Chapman’s 22-year-old tune still resonated with him. That element of timelessness is what Scott hopes to capture with the band.

“These are the kinds of songs that are not here today, gone tomorrow,” he says. “The goal day in and day out is to keep the band viable and creative.”

While many bands seek shock value or strive to break new musical territory, Chaselounge is focused on crafting solid, catchy tunes with memorable melodies. It’s a strategy that wins fans, as evidenced by the full house at the band’s first release show at York Street Cafe as well as the excited audience watching them on Fountain Square the following evening.

CHASELOUNGE ( celebrates its new album at Molly Malone’s in Covington Saturday with Mike Pekel, Walk The Moon and Future Strikes. Get show and club details here.

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