By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
California native Seth Boyack was visiting a historical museum in Australia when he came across an interesting phrase: “new chums.”
“There was a placard that said when new prisoners were coming in to jail, the current prisoners would say, ‘The new chums are here.’”
Upon his move to Arizona, the Gilbert resident recalled that visit.
“I was getting a group of new people together to form something great,” he said. “I thought of New Chums. It’s a relevant name. None of the band members knew each other. I found them all through an advertisement on Craigslist.”
Formed less than a year ago, New Chums released their debut EP, See It for Myself on October 6. The band will open for Weird Radicals and Walker Lukens at 8 p.m. Sunday, November 19, at Valley Bar in Phoenix.
“We always have high-energy shows,” said guitarist Matt Lloyd of Queen Creek. “We will be playing all the songs from our EP, and we’ll throw in a cover to surprise the crowd.
We’re a pretty straightforward rock band. We’re not into props or anything like that – at least currently. We hope the music is really good and speaks for itself. We have a lot of energy and connect with the crowd.”
New Chums have been likened to The Strokes, Neon Trees and Jimmy Eat World, bringing big guitars and catchy choruses. Boyack and Lloyd are joined in the band by bassist Cassandra Clark of Glendale, and Ben Hedlund of Gilbert.
The EP was recorded at the downtown Mesa studio Flying Blanket Recording with its owner, Bob Hoag, who also has worked with Dear and the Headlights and Jared and the Mill.
“He’s great at what he does,” he said. “He’s a great engineer and helped us form our sound.”
The musicians come from varied backgrounds. Lloyd was living in Nashville and gigging around town when he returned to Arizona unexpectedly to care for a sick family member.
“I found a great group of guys,” he said. “A year and a half ago, I never would have thought I would be out here, let alone have life-changing things go on around here. It’s been pretty neat. You never know what’s around the corner.”
A Boston native, Hedlund has a background in recording and touring. Meanwhile, Clark, who hails from Michigan, provides a solid foundation.
Expect New Chums to further push See It for Myself and its two singles, “Come On, Come On” and “Cave In,” with more shows.
“We love the way the EP turned out, and we hope others will, too,” Lloyd said.