All words: April Lanier
The first time I listened to The Morning Benders I thought, okay, this is unexpected. Chris Chu’s voice is well, special, and it’s a rarity among your common drowned-out voice that I personally love, but that has become overwhelming and unoriginal. The Morning Benders are inviting and make you want to be a part of their great adventure. They evoke an era of music that’s truthful; basically saying I have nothing to hide, this is who I am. Their latest album, Big Echo, has left me with an expectation that they will be around for a very long time, continuing to surprise and affect our dear little hearts. If you’re in Washington, DC this Friday, November 12 I highly recommend that you go to Black Cat and experience the rarity firsthand.
Where are you right now? Describe your surroundings?
Montreal. Backstage at the venue we’re playing at tonight…. EDIT: WHOA so now I am in the van in America somewhere in Vermont. When I was filling out this interview before, the venue we were at in Montreal caught fire and we had to evacuate!!! That was insane.
Out of all the cities you’ve been to on this tour, which one has surprised you the most and why?
Well we just played Toronto last night, and it was probably the best show of the tour. I always expect Toronto to be awesome, but it always exceeds my expectations. The biggest surprise out of nowhere was probably Boise, though. There weren’t as many people as we are used to playing to, but they each gave us 10x more energy. Great vibes.
Did you always think of yourself as a musician? And if not, when did that moment happen?
No. I think I always knew I wanted to create something. But I didn’t know I was a songwriter until I wrote my first song when I was 18 or 19 years old.
The collaboration with the Echo Chamber Orchestra has been a great success. Do you plan on collaborating with them more often?
There isn’t really an “Echo Chamber Orchestra.” It was just all our friends that showed up that one day in the studio. I don’t think we’ll ever try to recreate anything like that again. It was too special, and I don’t want to mess it up. I like just having that one memory of it.
Recently, you did a Fleetwood Mac cover of “Dreams”; why that song and band?
Seriously? Fleetwood Mac is the greatest, that’s why!!! I love “Dreams” and the songs off of Rumours that Stevie wrote because Lindsey produced and arranged them all, and they’re all about him!! It’s such a strange and awesomely ambiguous dynamic.
Describe the songwriting and the creative process behind the music?
The songs write themselves. We just try to dress them up as nicely as possible.
What are your plans for 2011?
Making some hot jams.
If you had to pick one character, either from a book or movie, that you are most like when it comes to love and romance, who would it be?
Last question, what’s one piece of advice you would give an aspiring musician?
Follow your heart and listen to The-Dream more