Chairman Wow‘s self-titled debut full-length album is out now. Typically comprised of just three voices and one guitar, Chairman Wow’s music is impossibly catchy. I contend that there’s simply no way to listen to songs like “Someone Pick You Up And Put You Down” or “Hold My Fire” (which you can stream below) and not walking away humming the melodies.
Chairman Wow is available now in the iTunes store. Hit the jump for an interview with Tom Mullaney, Chairman Wow guitarist and singer/songwriter, Stanford professor, and all around good guy.
MG: Where was the album recorded?
TM: At my home studio, and with Keith Milutinovic at “Studio C”.
MG: How’d the recording process go? Any surprises?
This album took us a long time, and we almost fell apart at multiple points; this gave the entire album a lot of space and time to morph, as I think you’ll be able to hear when listening to, for example, “Every Organ in His Chest Was a Heart” alongside “Someone Pick You Up and Put You Down” — this album was not a “reading” of one moment in time, by any stretch of the imagination, but more like someone accidentally leaving the “record” button depressed and capturing everything that happened in a given space for months, even years.
MG: What are some non-musical influences on your music?
TM: The built environment of language, like street signs, ATM screen prompts, BART prerecorded announcements, 1-800 number automated operators, things like that.
The “in-between” moments, like when you can just barely hear the music from two separate broadcasts, but are unable to tell what’s coming from where; these intersections create fleeting “3rd zones” in which we take a lot of inspiration.
Language, generally speaking, is a major influence. Colloquial discussion, turns of phrase, and the way that, if you pay close attention, you find that everyone is crafting painfully beautiful phrases practically all the time. I find prose to be so very poetic.
MG: What’s on the horizon for Chairman Wow?
TM: We are working on our second full-length album, giving ourselves plenty of space to see how our music changes and hopefully evolves. We’ll be taking time in the Winter for songwriting, and then will start playing out again in the Spring.