If you're going to start a band in today's crowded marketplace, you're doing best by standing out a bit. For Chase DeMaster of the band Get A Life, that's what this is all about. DeMaster owns and operates his own label through French Kiss Label Group with #VeryJazzed; he's a classically trained guitarist, and he fronts multiple projects. While its hard to believe that he has time to eat a meal, he's setting up for the most important year for his band Get A Life since they began several years ago.
With multiple dates on the horizon, a release dropping at some point this year, he and the rest of the band will also be one of the many performers on this year's In Bloom Festival. Full of chillwave groves and a tongue-in-cheek aesthetic, Get A Life seems to take the "no one cares" attitude of Millenials and set it to music. The Houston Press found a moment of DeMaster's time to chat with him about the band's beginnings, how they go about writing their music, and what member of The Shins worked on their album with the.
Whether it be releasing music on a clear plexi seven inch vinyl, or how he answers a question, DeMaster is definitely an intriguing guy who seems to be more focused than he lets on. The name Get A Life is one that is kind of difficult to find in a Google search, something DeMaster can quickly address. "I probably should have came up with a less associative band name. I don’t think we are on any radar for legal actions against us, but there we can try again tomorrow I guess. I'd say try “Get A Life Band”, or “Get A Life Houston”, or even GetALifeWayRad on socials. That might be the easiest way you can connect with us," remarks the singer.
Looking around the globe, there are plenty of groups that have the idea of "we don't care," but with Get A Life, it's in everything they do including live sets. When asked if it's fair to assume that's the case with the band, DeMaster replies, "I guess you are referring to lyrics like “All my friends want me to get a job... All my jobs want me to get a job” from the unreleased 'Get A Job'? What does the one 20th century philosopher say, find out how to get paid to play and spend your life doing that, or something to that effect? That’s all I’m trying to do, I haven’t figured out the second part all the way but, I guess that’s why you listen to the music. Or at least, that’s the narrative of this project."
Whatever the narrative is, the band has definitely latched on to a sound that's all their own, mixing vaporwave with indie rock. When asked if he feels genre mixing is the future of music, the guitarist replies, "To be honest, I put zero thought into these ideas really ever. Well, I take that back, I do when I have to do things like upload them to some of these media players and things of this nature. To me this project is realized in process first more than sound design. Continuing to try and exercise a philosophy, “first idea, best idea”. Also, there definitely is something in here related to creativity in a box. An example of that would be using instruments that are readily available. Guitar, bass, SM57 or 8 (I can’t remember which is which), and then this $30 drum machine I think it’s called a Zrt-3 Zoon or something. I've also employed this tiny Tascam tape machine. After that I really refrained from picking up any other instruments, devices, or machines."
Catching Get A Life perform is something all together different from what most people are used to. There have been times where they performed and insulted the venue in a joking manner, or they acted like they were too bored to be on-stage. When I asked if this had to do with being a classically trained musician, or if the show goes better because they appear to care less about who's there, he responds "I have been trying to absorb all sounds and music from all perspectives for a while now. Part of that approach manifested itself in academia. Are we bored? I mean maybe that can be perceived. Maybe we are just boring, we don’t really do anything new or special, just retreading some of my favorite sounds with new words. Being honest when I am performing sometimes is a weight. To dig in and be in that moment, I try and find it every time I’m on a stage, or else what’s the point? My process is always start from zero and find the masterpiece by midnight. I often times find the end result is less successful relative to the ambitions I set for myself.
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The last show we played in San Antonio at Paper Tiger, was a real one. Outside stage, first band, and we were just struggling to even get there. We found a way to do something I guess and maybe it wasn’t what everyone intended it to be when they joined the band or even woke up that morning, but we found something. I typically start with my space, my sound, move my ears and energy to band and ensemble, and if we can really get that dialed in we try and share this new thing with the audience. If everything's working or if it isn’t, I’m not going to front like it is. I’ll just pack my gear and start finding inspiration to wake up again tomorrow to try it all over again with. I guess it can be a little complicated for me or I need to get better faster maybe."
The band has found a way to capture the ears of important people; most notably a member of The Shins who mixed the band's record due out this year. "Yuki Matthews, yeah. He is an incredible person and musician, and I'm very grateful for the ears and eyes he has brought this way. He definitely has a history and an affinity for things like Get A Life and it was a really great fit to have him a part of this project. We are currently slated for Summer and plan to announce within the month. Releasing music the way we strive to at the label takes a lot of planning and resources. We are very serious about it," says DeMaster.
With all that DeMaster has going on, it makes one wonder if he has any regrets in choosing music as a career path. "You are really digging in (laughs). I’m about it though. Have you ever put it all on black and just held on with the definite of purpose that your dreams and ambitions have no other choice but to be manifested? Every day is a dream come true. Society and media is trying to have me count money, my smart friends try and have me count Bitcoin, I’m just going to keep counting my blessings and making fun of myself. Love everyone engaging in this read. If you are passionate about the music you are making and feel like nobody listens. I will listen. Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, please reach out and talk to people if the weight gets to be too much. There is always someone here as well: https://
You can stream Get A Life's music in the usual places, or purchase clear vinyls from them when they perform around town. Get A Life will perform at this year's inaugural In Bloom Festival on Saturday March 24. The all ages two festival will take place at Eleanor Tinsley Park, with sets from Martin Garrix, Incubus, Moon Taxi, Cigarettes After Sex, Beck, and many more. Gates at 11 a.m.; tickets $79 to $299.