Q & A with Vermont’s favorite band, Chamberlin
Chamberlin is a great new band from Vermont. Recently picked up by Roll Call, the group released their excellent debut album, Bitter Blood, in March. Written in a cabin located in the woods of Vermont, the album has a down-to-earth, woodsy feel that is extremely accessible and familiar to everyone. Produced by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’ guitarist, Scott Tournet, the album is an expert blend of acoustic and electric textures that harbor some likeness to My Morning Jacket and Grace Potter thus instantly grabbing the listener’s attention. If I had one major complaint about Bitter Blood it would be that it’s not long enough and my brief encounter left me wanting more. And, if you’re like me, left wanting more, you can catch them on tour this summer with Carbon Leaf. You can also read my interview with Chamberlin discussing their recent tour with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and their current summer tour.
CFM: What was it like for the band to be picked up by Roll Call soon after recording the demos for Bitter Blood, then, soon after signing, working with Scott Tournet and recording the actual album?
Chamberlin: It all happened really quickly. We’d been working on demos all winter and spring and once we signed with Roll Call, the plans for our first record fell right into place. Scott heard a few acoustic tracks and set aside almost all of his rare free time in Vermont to work with us. He really helped us along every step of the process from choosing which songs to record to tweaking the settings on our amps. Between Roll Call and Scott, recording “Bitter Blood” was a great experience.
CFM: What was it like to go on a cross-country tour with Grace Potter and The Nocturnals?
Chamberlin: The tour with Grace and company was our first real experience being on the road and we loved it. When we were offered the dates we had to rush and find a van and a trailer to even do the tour. Once we actually got out on the road though it was amazing. Everyone in Grace Potter and the Nocs and on their crew were great to us and helped us figure out what the hell we were doing. We also got to play some of the coolest venues in the country (like the Fillmore in San Francisco). We really didn’t have anything to complain about.
CFM: Describe the backstage and on-stage experience of your first show on the Grace Potter tour.
Chamberlin: Oh man. Our first show with GPN was in Lexington, Kentucky. The last time they had played there they opened for Gov’t Mule so the crowd was of the harder-edged, rowdy sort (not at all an indictment of Gov’t Mule fans as a whole). It was a huge room too so needless to say we were pretty intimidated. We’d never had a real dressing room with food and booze etc so we were in heaven. The show ended up going really well and no one threw beer bottles at us.
CFM: What excites you the most about the upcoming summer tour?
Chamberlin: We’re pumped to go out west again. We love California and the Pacific Northwest. It’s also nice to be on the road during the summer when weather is less of a worry for our little van. We are opening for Carbon Leaf the whole tour and we’ve heard such great things about those guys. Should be really fun.
CFM: You have toured and will tour the western half of the country more than the east. What do you miss most about the east coast and Vermont?
Chamberlin: We have been out west a lot this year. Playing the east coast is great because we have so many friends. We did a 10-day tour earlier this summer and didn’t need a hotel once. Plus some of these friends even cooked for us! Also all the cities are so conveniently close to each other. No 16-hour drives. No matter where we are though we miss Vermont. It’s our home and most of our families are there we just love the place (even in the dead of winter).
CFM: You’ve only ever done a handful of shows in Vermont, what will it be like to do a show there on this tour?
Chamberlin: Though rare (and perhaps because of that) our Vermont shows are always the best. Our friends and families always hear about what we’re doing out on the road so it’s nice to actually come back and play for them and show them how we’ve evolved and improved. Plus we’ll be playing on the Burlington Waterfront with Grace Potter for her Grand Point North Festival, which is something we’ve always wanted to do.
CFM: What are Chamberlin’s plans when the tour is finished?
Chamberlin: Hopefully we’ll have a little time off to relax, write and record but we love being on the road. We get a little stir crazy when we have too much time off so hopefully we can get right back out there. It keeps us out of trouble when we’re busy.
July 11 – Festival On The Green – Middlebury, VT
July 13 – Belly Up w/ Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – Aspen, CO
July 14 – Howelsen Hill Amphitheater w/ Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – Steamboat Springs, CO
July 15 – Grand Targhee w/ Grace Potter & Sharon Jones – Alta, WY
August 2 – Songs @ Mirror Lake – Lake Placid, NY
August 12 – Stanhope House – Stanhope, NJ
August 13 – Grace Potter’s Grand Point North Fest w/ Taj Mahal & more! – Burlington, VT
August 20 – River Roots Live Festival – Davenport, Iowa
August 23 – Bottleneck w/ Carbon Leaf – Lawrence, KS
August 25 – Bluebird Theater w/ Carbon Leaf – Denver, CO
August 27 – The State Room w/ Carbon Leaf – Salt Lake, UT
August 29 – Sainte Rock w/ Carbon Leaf – Hermosa Beach, CA
August 30 – Soho w/ Carbon Leaf – Santa Barbara, CA
August 31 – The Independent w/ Carbon Leaf – San Francisco, CA
September 2 – Mississippi Studios w/ Carbon Leaf – Portland, OR
September 7 – Varsity Theatre w/ Carbon Leaf – Minneapolis, MN
September 8 – Majestic Theatre w/ Carbon Leaf – Madison, WI
September 11 – The Ark w/ Carbon Leaf – Ann Arbor, MI
September 13 – HOB Cambridge Room w/ Carbon Leaf – Cleveland, OH
September 14 – Tralf Music Hall w/ Carbon Leaf – Buffalo, NY
September 15 – Water Street Music Hall w/ Carbon Leaf – Rochester, NY
September 24 – Mid Point Music Festival – Cincinnati, OH
01 Fools – Chamberlin