• Cherry Popper

Chicago-natives Scrap Laptop Beats for Rock ‘n’ Roll

written by: on February 1, 2013

2013 is an exciting year for Chasing Mars. With the upcoming release of the band’s EP – expected out in late spring/early summer – along with a Midwestern stint during the end of March, Chicagoans should expect to hear a lot more from this band.

Chasing Mars released its  first album in April 2011 headed by Neven Armic (guitar, vocals) and Sean Goes (keyboard, vocals). The duo met through a mutual friend when they were teenagers, and didn’t begin playing with one another until Goes introduced Armic to “Spiderweb,” which later became the first single of the band’ first record.

“We ended up working together after exchanging music through our inboxes. Slowly but surely it actually turned into a band, even though  it started out as a fun thing to do,” Goes says.

“Now, years later this band has become a full-fledged project, a life dream and goal.”

During the past two years, the duo scouted  artists to fill their roster and turn their laptop-electro rock into a fully functioning rock band. With the addition of Evan “Westy” West on the bass and Sam Brown on the drums, the Chicago-based quartet  is as well-balanced as a high-energy rock band, ensuring that this upcoming release is going to be much different from the last.

Photography by Lucy Hewett

“It’s got more of a live rock band feel,” Armic says. “I think a lot of the songs lend themselves well to a less electronically produced sound, because they were written in the context of the full band, whereas most parts of the last album were written separately.”

The newest members of the band, drummer Sam Brown and bassist Evan “Westy” West, contribute well to the new sound with their taste fresh taste in music.

“They seem a little more in touch with the newest bands, and I’m still listening to the same bands that influenced me a lot five or six years ago,” Goes says.

Goes also enjoy classical music, as does Armic, which is evident in tracks off the previous record.

“A lot of the British bands have one foot in Classical music and one foot in pop music. They have a really interesting blend of melody and harmony that comes from both of those worlds,” Armic says. “American bands seem to have one foot in folk and blues and the other in pop music, which is still really great, but different.”

The group, ranging in age from 17 to 27 finds further influence from iconic acts like Radiohead, Coldplay and The Flaming Lips.

The new members also provide new fans. After going to school in Bloomington, Brown  garnered quite the fan base and on several occasions the crowd has chanted his name – one where he was dressed as a banana. Chasing Mars is making its way around the Midwest the DIY way – connecting with locals to meet new faces and to continue building a fan base. Right now, their biggest plans is “hopefully getting to that wonderful phase where we’re poor and living out of a vehicle and playing shows every night,” Goes says with the utmost sincerity.

The group’s upcoming EP is expected to drop late spring/early summer. They’ll be hitting the road to promote the release at the end of March, making stops in Nashville, Madison, Columbus and Milwaukee. The group will also be playing a show at Subterranean with A.M. Taxi – Adam Krier and Jason Schultejann of Lucky Boys Confusion – and fellow newcomer, The Kickback.

Neven says, “If you aren’t a big fan of Celine Dion – maybe you should come check us out.”