Last month I was lucky enough to get a Press Pass at Chon's show in LA! It was the coolest I have felt yet with my blog. It was the most legit too - I had to go through security and wait in certain areas and even got to do the interview in Chon's touring bus! I wish I could have documented it more. FYI I will begin in 2018 doing all my interviews with my camera so I'm hoping that'll help you feel more included in these once in a lifetime experiences with me. Chon released a new album this year, Homey. It's a mix of their well known sound blended with a few electronic tracks. I think I've listened to this album 50x already since it has come out. I chilled with Mario, Chon's guitarist, after their set! I also got to know his parents who were waiting with me for him to get to their bus. They are SO sweet! It's so cute they go to as many local shows as possible still with how often Chon tours.
Hello! I'm Mario from Chon. I play guitar.
Everyone's been so terse with their intros! You're in Oceanside still, right? I find that so weird - in a good way because everyone I know that makes it, to a certain degree, moves to LA or some crowded ass city. Oceanside is so chill and most people don't even know what that is! I loved Oceanside when I was there for almost six years.
Oh yeah. Did you go to high school there?
This is not my interview! But I'm originally from Philly so I doubt you heard of my high school. Right after I graduated I moved to California and ended up in North County. I miss the pier so much! What makes you not wanna trek out to big ole LA?
Well - my career aside - I just wouldn't want to be in a place so populated. Traffic is so heavy. LA is cool to stop by and do things but as far as living there I would not enjoy it. I would not like driving in traffic all the time. Finding places to park and all that stuff. I like having privacy. I stayed in LA for a month last year to record our album. I think it was in January of this last year. We stayed at an Airbnb. It was in some neighborhood close to the recording studio and it was just such a packed neighborhood. The streets were so tiny. Only one car could park on the street and only one car could get through - so if two cars were coming in opposite directions - one car would need to pull over to let the other one go.
Ew. That gives me anxiety.
I don't know - that's just too cramped for me. I need some space.
I think it's cool because most people move up near LA to "make it" and Chon has definitely, by my standards, done that and didn't have to conform to the pressure from society to move to Hollywood to make their dreams come true.
I feel like people move to LA to try and find a gig or something. But luckily we already have some stuff going so we don't really need to go there. With the internet you don't have to anymore too. We're lucky though because three quarters of the band are brothers so we don't really have to go meet to find members or anything. Eric is basically our brother too. I've known him since we were really little.
I know so much about you already just since Seth is in our life so much! Seth, for those who don't know, was Mario and Eric's guitar teacher when they first started. He also teaches my boyfriend guitar and I interviewed Seth on here - so Chon comes up quite frequently in our life!
I love Seth - so helpful to us. Every single lesson we had and then also anytime we have a guitar issue.. I'll hit him up and he will come through and help me.
Something really cool happened recently. He's the guy who turned me and Eric onto Ibanez guitars. We started playing them exclusively just because we liked em a lot. We eventually got a deal with them and I've been working with the company for a few years. Last year at the NAMM show - Seth went and I went. I was able to introduce Seth to the Ibanez dudes. He actually got a few jobs doing paint swirls and stuff for them which I think is so cool. He turned us on to Ibanez and we were able to introduce him to the company. I think that's really awesome.
What would you say is the greatest lesson you learned from Seth as a student?
Let me think. There's a lot. Probably -- one of them was to not take writing music so seriously. To have humor in everything. That went a long way with us. I remember he told me that he liked solos that you can sing - singable solos. So that has always stuck with me too to this day. Whenever I write a solo - I'll sing it and think about Seth telling me that. I'd say those two are the biggest.
Those are solid. Are there any refinishes you'd love to see on your equipment from Seth?
Yeeeah. Hm. Right now I really want a Halloween themed guitar. Halloween colors swirled.
What are your ideas of Halloween colors?
Black, orange and purple..maybe green. Or just have him do a graphic of straight up 90's Halloween stuff.
That'd be rad - he was wanting to know!
To me, Homey is a perfect blend of classic Chon but it has this spectacular new sound swirled in (get my Seth reference?) too. The electronic tracks are actually my favorite on the album. I know not everyone loved that - I saw some hater comments about those tracks. What made you want to introduce those kinds of sounds? For Chon they are so out there but in the best way!
Well for the past few years, we pretty much listened to that style of music almost exclusively. Currently all of our favorite artists are electronic artists. We've been wanting to make that type of music for a long time. We are working on it ourselves trying to sound better. We don't sound like how we want to just yet. Because of that we just hit up our friends who are super good and just told them we should collaborate on a track.
For those - did you write the lyrics that are in any of the tracks or did the guest artist write them?
No. Nayhoo - Masego wrote those. The other songs just have vocal samples. That was actually pretty cool. We sent him the beat one day. He was on tour in Europe and any touring musician knows how hard it is to write music on tour especially an international tour. So - he sent us back Nayhoo like 90% done that same day. We were just thinking, "holy crap this is insane". We talked about it before but still.
How do you know the guest artists from Homey?
All from the internet - from Twitter. I'll follow an artist I like and then sometimes they'll follow me back. But I'll reach out or hit them up. We'll just start talking.
I thought you were going to have a crazy elaborate story for that one.
Haha - nope! Just that. The internet.
A big part of Chon isn't just your music but the album artwork too. Does someone in the band design that or do you hire someone?
We've been working with a friend of ours, Daniel McBride, for a long time. Ever since we had an official release - Newborn Sun. We've known him forever - again through the internet.
That's goals right there. No IRL friends just internet friends forever!
Haha. Yeah! I talk to them online first, then meet them, and then we are finally IRL friends!
That's this day and age for you. I love it.
He's been working with us for 4.5 years now.
For those things - did you go to him with an idea in mind or does Daniel just listen to your tracks and get inspired?
Usually we have a vision and we'll explain it to him. Then he'll do his thing with our vision in mind. We like his style of art. We're a fan of what he does so we know that he gets us. We can explain our vision for anything and he will just get it. He'll do it and we will love it. We have good chemistry.
Even something very minimal, like the backdrop to your set, is very simple but so well executed. I couldn't think of that if you came to me with a vision. It's incredible.
He's pretty much a part of the band in a way.
You tour a lot! I feel like you're ALWAYS on tour. Where haven't you gone that you want to explore?
Japan was a place that I've always wanted to play and go to in general. It was even cooler than I could imagine, honestly. I was there for just a week.
Did you do anything outside of touring?
Yeah! We had a few days off in Tokyo. The first day we just walked around and ate at really cool places - we ate at a really good ramen place. We went to shops and stuff. The next off day we had we went to this huge gaming district. It looks like Town Square times a million but anime version. It's insane. Sensory overload. We went to this arcade - it was a six story arcade. We played a bunch of crazy games.
What's your favorite one?
It's like DDR kind of but....with your hands. You have to swipe. All right so it looks stupid when I did it but there were pro guys there doing it: -- he was wearing gloves haha. Like what?
Japan is a place I want to go again and Austrailia too. A place I haven't been that I wanna go to is France. We haven't toured much of Europe - we've toured Germany and that's about it.
I know you're a gamer! So - which Pokemon would you be - it can be a mashup too - and what would be your ability?
Hm. Let me think. Probably I'd be Dragonite - he's awesome looking. He can fly. My attack? I'd have Ice Beam. It's super effective against other dragons. I'd be the best dragon.
A bunch of people on Twitter told me to bring up Melee! You and the rest of Chon are kind of known for playing Super Smash Bros. Heck you went on tour with a theme of the game. What do you play on SSB and who is the best in Chon?
Well - we don't play Melee.
Well wtf why did everyone ask me to bring that up!
I don't know - everyone calls us noobs and scrubs because we play Smash 4. Melee is supposed to be the superior game. According to the meganerds at least. It's too crazy to play Melee. I think they just want us to play Melee sometime haha. We do go to tournaments and stuff and compete with Smash Bros.
I don't know who the best in the band is. Technically I am because I'm ranked...#5? On the North county rating. Here's the thing - there's a thing called Power Rankings. Every region has them and it's the 10 Best Players in the region. They have one for North County and I'm #4 or #5 or something and none of my other brothers are on that so I'm the best on paper.
Crystal Pepsi = the Vaporwave of beverages. What drink would Chon be?
Hmmm. Let me think. It would be Passion Fruit La Croix.
EW LA CROIX! You should live in LA after all not Oceanside.
Wait though have you had that flavor?
So good. It's sooooo good.
How do you #staynerdy?
I'm an extreme Halloween nerd. I listen to this Podcast called No Sleep. It's a bunch of cheesy, scary stories. It's pretty good. The stories are hit or miss but I like 'em. Some are super cheesy. Some are actually pretty good and scary. I like all of them.
What's your favorite Halloween flick?
Hm. I like every horror movie. Even if they're bad. Really stupid horror movies are my favorite types. Wish Upon, I think, was one I recently watched. It was such a dumb movie but I enjoyed it. I have this chalkboard thing on my wall in my room - it's a Halloween countdown. It's blank and says "___ Days till Halloween". That's how nerdy I am for Halloween.
Halloween just passed. What did you do?
I made spooky rice krispy treats with my mom. I also have a dog that I named Pumpkin. So yeah - I love Halloween!
Mario was so kind to take the time to hang out with me after he just played a killer set. If you haven't heard of Chon - get on it! Here they are all over the web - be sure to listen to their latest album, Homey! That's my favorite of theirs.
PERFECT HUMANS NEWS OF THE WEEK
HOLLLLYYY MOOOLLLYYYY! New product drops at Perfect Humans! Introducing CANDLES! They are soy and are not your average candle - they have a pin inside waiting for you once the wax melts away. This is my first batch and I'm new to this so I'm anxiously going to be waiting on feedback! All of them smell ASTOUNDING and have an enamel pin though! We are also going to begin selling bookmarks as per ya'll asking! Our first set will be the Sailor Scouts and they will be formatted like the one pictured! I'm SO EXCITED!!!
MERCURY PICTURE OF THE WEEK
I'm a dog mom. Mercury needs to wear clothing according to the season so enjoy these pics of her in a sweater that looks like a Christmas tree that has a LIGHT UP STAR ON TOP. She ended up chewing up the electronic part within two nights.