You may be familiar with Asy and Chloe Saavedra from Smoosh. The two Seattle-born-and-raised sisters (still short of drinking age) have spent much of their youth and childhood producing painfully infectious indie pop. The band began in 2000 and, throughout the course of the last 12 years, they’ve released three LPs (in addition to numerous EPs), performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and shared stages with the likes of Mates of State, Sleater-Kinney, and Pearl Jam. While there was certainly something endearing about their youthful exuberance, it was also legitimately quite impressive, regardless of their ages. Well, the sisters recently relocated to Brooklyn and officially announced the death of Smoosh and the birth of Chaos Chaos (Although don’t get too attached… they’re still referring to it as a “project.”) They released their 5-song debut EP, S, last month. Although equally infectious, Chaos Chaos bears little resemblance to Smoosh. It’s quite groovy, heavy on the percussion and synthetics, with the sass of 90s alt rockers. It’s a sort of postmodern, minimalist disco, a bit like Luscious Jackson, but far more whimsical. Tonight, November 17th, the girls will find themselves at PhilaMOCA, headlining the “Sister/Sister Show,” alongside locals Baa Ram Ewe and 2nd. I recently got a chance to chat with Asy about this new project and, despite still being in the “project,”zone, she seems quite enthusiastic about it.
Izzy Cihak: So how did Chaos Chaos come to be? How does it relate to other projects you’ve worked on, or has it allowed you to experiment with things you haven’t previously? I feel like I was interviewing you about Daydream Vacation just the other day.
Asy Saavedra: Hey Izzy! Yeah, it does feel like that! It was time for a change with Smoosh. We decided to approach music in a way where we challenge ourselves to take every song as far as it can go (we thought of the process as our version of college). We wanted to write the best material we could write at this time, so we really worked each song. We also wanted it to be a fun and crazy adventure, so we listened to many different styles of music (like blues and mainsteam pop) and pulled parts and pieces and mixed it into our own music.
With the writing process, Chaos Chaos is totally different from our past project, though of course the project is still an extension of us as people. Every project we’ve been in has been a blast and a challenge –this carries into everything we do. We found that the more different kinds of bands we play with, the more we can take away from it. Chloe’s learned a lot from drumming with the band Jan and I’ve learned a lot from collaborating with Dave Einmo. Collaborating also makes me realize how much I don’t know, and how much is out there to experiment with! It’s exciting, and a bit overwhelming…
IC: What are the band’s biggest inspirations? Not necessarily musically.
AS: We both run a lot and it inspires us. I think about things in a more idealistic way when I am on a jog, and that mindset helps me with writing music, and doing anything creative. Just being in NYC is also incredibly inspiring, because the people you meet here are amazing, and the city keeps you on your toes. Some of the other most inspiring things in my life are traveling, reading, and listening to NPR :D. Chloe and I are also super interested in world music, — we like trying to understand new kinds of music and new cultures.
IC: What have been reactions to your debut EP thus far? I’m guessing most people were fans of previous work of yours and possibly had some sort of expectations relating to the sound of this particular project.
AS: Honestly, I don’t think we had many fans that followed us to this new project (We have some very loyal, very supportive fans that have been there with us for a while.) but mostly, I think, we are making new fans! The music is different, and we are different so it attracts some new fans.
IC: What are Chaos Chaos’ plans for 2013? Is there a full-length to be expected in the somewhat near future?
AS: Everyone’s asking us that! Probably not. We are interested in creating smaller projects (like EPs and singles) with a direction, so we can keep trying out new things and getting feedback, and then we can release things more often. I love making albums but, with Chaos Chaos, we don’t see it fitting in right now with the way we’re doing things.
IC: What can we expect of the live show?
AS: Man, we have been having so much fun at these live shows. You can expect some cool drum sounds for sure (trash, a sampler, and we are using a loop pedal). We have been rehearsing a lot to work these new instruments/things into our set and it’s been a big challenge. But we’re having the most fun we have ever had playing shows, and all the material is more upbeat so we get really into it live. You can expect weird facial expressions.