Songwriter, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Chase DeMaster has a new band – again. The man behind multiple musical monikers such as Guess Genes, Kult Dizney, and most notably, Children of Pop, recently returned behind the guise of Get A Life. This Saturday night, the 33-year-old Houston native and his band will take to the stage at Deep End Records in support of their dizzyingly titled debut LP Our Band Could Be Your Life or Debt. The playlist-ready affair is stacked and loaded with addictive, playful melodies, a borderline haphazard DIY temperament riddled with welcomed mistakes in its performances, and a constant, candid state of humor.
DeMaster spoke on the phone with the Houston Press about his latest project, but he can’t recall exactly when he started its creative process.
“It was before the Super Bowl. About two months, three months before the Super Bowl.” Unsure of the specific game or which megastar headlined its halftime show, he concluded: “Three months before a Super Bowl that the Patriots played in.”
DeMaster said he named the album after Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981–1991, a book by Michael Azerrad that details careers of influential, though less mainstream, bands such as Sonic Youth and Texas’ own Butthole Surfers.
“I was trying to write my own chapter to that book. A lost chapter. A Get A Life chapter,” said DeMaster, who would later alter the book’s title with a single word: debt.
“I wanted to add death – life or death – but that’s too dark. And, I like the idea of life or debt,” he says. “If your life is indebted to someone, well then, it’s the opposite of life, you know? Similar to the way that death is the opposite of life. I don’t know. I thought it was a funny pun.”
Maintaining a referential spirit, the album’s cover art – a single line art self-portrait DeMaster sketched with his eyes closed and named Squid – harks back to a Halloween in which DeMaster drew “AC/DC” on a T-shirt and dressed up as Butt-head from the irreverent cartoon series Beavis and Butt-head, a memory he sings about in “All Fun No Gum.”
“The joke is – you can be anything you want to be. And on Halloween, I chose to be Butt-head. And then the next day, I didn’t un-choose to be Butt-head, and I grew up, and now I’m Butt-head. So you can be anything you want to be. You can even be Butt-head.”
When asked which song from the album is his favorite, DeMaster swiftly responded with: “‘Get A Job’. I love ‘Get A Job,’ dude.”
The album’s lead single finds an underemployed DeMaster singing an instantly irresistible “All of my friends want me to get a job / Even my girl wants me to get a job / Sometimes I wish I had a job / ‘Cause it seems so fun,” over a spirited, persistent rhythm guitar. He said the song yields the best crowd reaction at the band’s live performances.
“People love ‘Get A Job,’ man. They go, ‘Ugh, Dude. I need to get a job.’ They just say all the time.” (Seemingly self-prophesizing, DeMaster indeed did get a job at Lone Star Community College as a faculty member at their Kingwood and Tomball music schools.)
Before they head out on tour with TV Girl, you can catch Get A Life at Deep End Records Saturday, April 13 with Mantra Love, Meet Me At Midnight, and MIMI. 7 p.m., all ages. Follow them on Twitter @GETALIFEWAYRAD and Instagram @tvgirlismyfavband.
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