Some bands are known for intricate melodies, some bands are known for raucous on stage antics and some bands are known for being introverted. Part Chimp are known for being loud. It’s a reputation that precedes them, but could be somewhat reductive – their records are always an intricate balance of harmony and dissonance. That said, they are deafening both on record and on stage, so perhaps it’s understandable. We caught up with guitarist Tim Cedars for a chat ahead of their Leicester show this Autumn.
Formed in Camberwell in 2000 the band released three full lengths and a smattering of other releases before their amicable split back in 2011. After taking some time apart they announced their return, and new record IV, earlier this year. With such a prolonged break from playing together it would be easy to imagine something would get lost in those intervening years, but, perhaps consequently IV is every bit a ‘Part Chimp’ record. “I think the break certainly helped me. I was finding that the tunes I was coming up with before we “split” were getting a bit too complex and were increasingly difficult to play and sing, which was kind of dull” explains Tim. “After a while “off” I was starting to miss the whole Chimp sound. It’s sort of ingrained in us and when we don’t do it for a while, it feels weird. So I naturally started coming up with stuff that was pushing those buttons again.”
IV sees them return to their old home on Mogwai’s Rock Action records, a decision that was seemingly completely natural. “Ha! We’re still lazy as fuck!” Jokes Tim. “We always liked working with Craig and the Mogwai. It seemed logical to see if they were into doing this album. Especially as we already had one already recorded, sort of. I think they were a little bit surprised as they thought we had split up too.”
The pairing of the Mogwai and Chimp, bands who are not obviously from the same musical background, might seem like an unusual one on paper, but in practice it makes total sense. What is it that brought them together? “A mutual love of volume I think. And devastatingly beautiful melodies. I think we have that in common. Jonny drummchimp and I used to play in Ligament and we used to kick around the same sort of gig-hoods as those guys, did a couple of tours with them and when we split (for real), Jonny and I formed Part Chimp and they had just got Rock Action together and they asked us to do a record.”
Despite a break from the band for half a decade some old habits die hard, which manifested in a more elaborate plan for the album than was perhaps necessary; “I still wanted to over complicate it as usual. We originally had the idea of going up to Norfolk to record demos with Jerry (Hieronymus). We had a few tunes and some other stuff we had knocking about and I had a few riffs in my head. We did that in a weekend and then we were going to come back and do a week and do it properly. But what we ended up with sounded like an album so we decided to skip the faffing about and just get on with it and use what we had.”
September sees the band return to Leicester for the first time since their split, but it’s familiar territory to the band – though Tim can’t decide quite how he feels about their shows here. “I’ve played in Leicester so many times I’ve forgotten with who and when.” he explains. “Deffo played the Charlotte with many of my bands throughout the ages; The Love Blobs, Ligament, Penthouse, The Action Swingers and I think Part Chimp played there too. Funny place. It was either awesome or shite, I can’t remember. Both I think.”
So with IV out and back in to the swing of things, plans for the future are being laid. “Joe has totally moved to New York which makes it slightly tricky getting together, but we aren’t letting that get in the way.” insists Tim. “We have Bob from Hag doing bass for us when Joe can’t be here but he’ll be over at christmas, so we hope to knock something together then and do a few shows at the same time I hope.
Part Chimp play The Cookie on Friday 8th September. Get tickets here.