Getting Acquainted with Tchotchke (7/21 at JB’s w/ BRONCHO)

“I always thought our old band got a pretty good reaction, but it was more like being impressed like, ‘Oh, they’re so young and they can play,’ and, ‘Oh,...

“I always thought our old band got a pretty good reaction, but it was more like being impressed like, ‘Oh, they’re so young and they can play,’ and, ‘Oh, they can play for girls.’  And this time around, it feels like they’re generally surprised sometimes, and I feel like we get a better reaction to the music and musicianship this time around because we’ve just worked harder and grown up a lot,” says Eva Chambers, bassist of NYC-based sunshine punk trio Tchotchke.  Chambers and Tchotchke drummer and vocalist Anastasia Sanchez first came together musically as teenage co-founders of LA garage rockers Pinky Pinky, which they recently proclaimed on Twitter to be Tchotchke’s dead name.

After their recent relocation, evolution, and addition of guitarist Emily Tooraen, this Friday, July 15th, Tchotchke are dropping their 9-song, self-titled debut LP.  The album was produced and recorded by Brian and Michael D’addario, AKA The Lemon Twigs, with whom Tchotchke recently toured, appearing at our very own Underground Arts this past May.  And although we got to know the band from the road of that very tour earlier this year, this Monday I got a chance to chat with Eva, Anastasia, and Emily once again (via Zoom) as they prepare to kick off a second leg of dates with indie rockers BRONCHO, who Eva and Anastasia tell me have been friends of the band since the Pinky Pinky years: “This is our third-or-fourth-time touring with them…  They’re definitely like mentors to us, and it’s amazing how they invited us to be on their tours again after not seeing them for so many years, and we’re in a different band and a whole new thing and they trusted us.  We really owe it to them.”

Discussing the band’s recent move from LA to New York, Eva (who is originally from New York) tells me that while the transition has been easy, the musical environment is a bit different: “The music scene was a whole new thing.  I mean, LA has one of the best music scenes, or the best music scene, in my opinion, but in New York it feels like a lot more of a community and everyone’s way more supportive of each other than in LA.  [LA’s] a little more competitive, I think.”  And Tchotchke’s newest member, Emily, tells me that the band have already received some super inspiring reactions, especially from one particular demographic: “I’ve noticed we’ve had some younger girls that have been interested in the music, which is really nice.  I really love seeing that ‘cause that makes me feel like we’re hopefully inspiring other young girls to play music, or something along those lines.  I feel like it’s been a nice variety of people that have responded to it, and they’ve been very kind, and luckily we’ve been able to meet a lot of nice people at our shows that have been supportive and talked to us and have been really excited about the album, so it’s nice to see that it’s reached a wide variety of people.”

Tchotchke’s upcoming tour opening for BRONCHO will have them returning to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection to play Johnny Brenda’s next Thursday, July 21st.  They tell me they’re very excited to get back out on the road and play their new music (along with “some oldies”), in addition to getting to see BRONCHO’s set every night, which is apparently always changing.  After these dates Tchotchke have their first-ever mini-headlining tour this August in California (alongside Fatal Jamz, Dagger Polyester, and Abracadabra), and they also say they have some more music videos in the works for 2022 when they return from the road.  For the time being, though, they tell me that they’re especially excited for their show in the 215, and not just because we’re awesome: “We’re excited to play Johnny Brenda’s.  We’ve heard so much about it.  I think the women’s restroom is supposed to be haunted!”

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.