One of New Zealand’s most acclaimed bands, The Chills, are coming to London this summer. Ahead of their show at EartH Theatre on 16th June, we got to ask the group’s frontman and songwriter Martin Phillipps about the upcoming reissue of their debut album Brave Words, how it feels to be back in their second home of London, and what deep cuts fans might be able to expect to hear on tour.
You’ve just announced the first ever double vinyl reissue of The Chills’ 1987 debut Brave Words, what prompted the decision to rework the original release?
I have always been unhappy with the sound of the album and I had hoped it could be not just remastered but actually remixed since its first release. I was fortunate in having producer Greg Haver take on the project. He has worked with bands like The Manic Street Preachers and ourselves with our 2018 Snow Bound album and was fortunately also very familiar with The Point Studio in London where Brave Words was recorded in 1987.
Has the reissue changed the way you feel about some of the songs on the record?
I seldom listen to my back catalogue anyway, so it was already a process of rediscovery, but I am so thrilled that the remix has revealed the strength of the band at the time and I am very proud of the material. We will be playing at least one of those songs on our upcoming EU/UK tour this month.
This tour will be the first time songs from your two latest albums ‘Scatterbrain’ (2021) and ‘Snow Bound’ (2018) will be performed live in the UK – how have you found the songs translate from record to live performance?
Like most newly recorded material, songs have continued to grow and improve as the band discover more about them and, generally they are being played with more power than on the original recordings. We will be combining tracks from all three recent albums with some of the best from the back catalogue on this tour.
It’s been 6 years since The Chills last performed in London, how does it feel to be coming back?
I lived many years in London, and always love returning. The band enjoy our shows there as it is a great chance to catch up with old friends, fans and reconnect with our London label Fire Records.
Is there a particular song from the debut album you’re most looking forward to bringing back live?
We get requests from our fan-base for many of the songs and perhaps Ghosts is one that we might look at putting back in the set list, as it would sit well alongside newer material.
The Chills headline EartH Theatre, London on 16th June. Tickets are available here.
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