Chepang (01.05.23)

Greetings Guys! Hope that you`re doing well and you`re ready for this ride! Crack a cold one and let`s start!

First of all we want to not only thank you for doing this but I hope and wish you well on your other side the world. I hope you are finding something positive to do amongst the war and chaos happening out there. We wish you well from our side. Your support means a lot for us.

First of all my congrats, you finally did it! “Swatta” is finally out! Tell us about this album, please. What is the main message of this sound bomb? 

This record is the grandest of all the records we have wrote. It is a record that has a focus and purpose in its sound and message . It’s a record where you will find everything from Chepang sonically and collaboratively. The record represents everything we have felt for the entirety of our lives as human beings into a big slab of wax.The main message is about hope and finding happiness in chaos and negativity . The album was totally written from the start of the Covid towards the end of it with everything coming in together just in time for release . Those times during Covid is what inspired this record, in fact sometimes when disaster strikes , everything and everyone comes together stronger to defeat this disaster . This kind of also exemplifies what you have going in your country. It’s beautiful to see you guys united and fighting to defeat the enemy with the world supporting you literally or figuratively . This unity drives hope and also gives happiness and the drive to urge/motivation to go forward  and have a purpose in life. It also means appreciating life as it comes day by day without  thinking too far into the future or past. It makes you truly appreciate the life you have and the loved ones you currently have . It gives you a purpose in life which in Japanese philosophy called “Ikagai”-Ikigai (ee-key-guy) is a Japanese concept that combines the terms iki, meaning “alive” or “life,” and gai, meaning “benefit” or “worth. ikigai is a state of wellbeing that arises from devotion to activities one enjoys, which also brings a sense of fulfillment.

Are you satisfied with the quality of this record (overall sound and songs)? I think that you sound better and better with every release.

Yes because we knew what we wanted on this record. We had a purpose in this record . The fascinating aspect about this record is we already had the concept in mind couple of before years before this recording. Write a double album that showcases the various phases oh human life and evolution in 4 sides . Each side representing various emotions .We wrote each side carefully to resonate the message and emotions in mind in various studios and engineers that capture this essence of the record vibe.

Side A – This side that showcases the light with playfulness of major chords and catchy vibes bringing in happiness and hope. Bright and full of ambient twists filled with beautiful melodies that are meant to capture the listener immediately and inspire them. The songs are essentially 1 book with various chapters but with one common sound and feel off positiveness with minimum discordant and minor chords . We wrote this side to showcase the flow as well just like the 4 seasons of life which had to be flawless from song 1 to song 10. Song 1 name is Asha which means Hope which kicks off the side in the right fashion. So when writing this record we already had an engineer and studio in mind capture this vibe in extreme detail fashion. This is why we went to Backroom Studios in NJ to record with Scot Moriarty . The studio has a very tight articulate sound that can capture amazing details. It is filled with light that gives a real positive vibe when you enter the studio. And finally Scot is such a positive person in general that can bring this vibe that oozes happiness and positivity to the recordings. Fun Fact- This side also has only 1 drums to make it as tight as possible without sacrificing the dynamics that can sometimes be taken away with 2 drums . It gives the space in the overall mix for all the other instruments and tracks to shine through.

Side B –  This side showcases the darkness and pursuit of happiness beyond that  . This side is a  journey to come out of the darkness into the light . A mission to drive through the space and darkness together and following the guide of the light where our happiness resides . This side needed a huge driving sound sonically for the adventure to unfold in the songs . This is why we have our both drummers providing the rhythmic nature of this side like a  space craft shooting through the space at thousands miles an hour. Strong but with a steady pace .Not fast not slow but with big circular motion into the void. This record was written with this vibe and we knew the only  studio and engineer who can capture this vibe would be Colin Marston in his studio called Menegroth the 1000 Caves in Queens , NY. There are literally a ton of rooms in his studio and doors everywhere which makes you sometimes feel like you are lost trying to find something. It can be cold and dark in there, however the true light in that studio is bright by Colin who brings the warmth needed with his open heart and technical experimentation/expertise that comes with his pedigree .  The live room sounds as huge as the famous Electrical Audio of Chicago . Thus giving this side a huge sound to capture the open space in the the music and mix overall. This side also features our newest member Derek (Wreckless Life ) providing spacey noise/synth and Patrick Shiroishi as guest Artist on Saxophone to truly shine through the space in the mix . It is again supposed to be heard as 1 song , a journey through darkness into the light of happiness.

SIDE C- For this side we wanted to capture this vision and unity of all our friends into one side of extreme chaos . Sometimes we come through together during the chaos and create something so beautiful that it fills you with spiritual joy and happiness. This side brings that emotion to the fold. The songs here are a  true collaborative experience with various friends around the world providing their own emotions and vibe to the sounds. A dynamic yet raw emotions in its entirety featuring 10 drummers and musicians  around the globe united as one . Drummers are Jake Cregger (Triac,Backslider), George Wright(Ona Snop), Christian Hell (Hong Kong Fuck You), Bryan Fajardo ( Trucido, Cognizant etc), Hoonee Jo (Jardim De Flores), Dave Witte (Municipal Waste, Discordance Axis), Dirk Verbeuren (Megadeth), Kenta Nakashini (Palm), Lee Fisher (Fawn Limbs) & Thom Nguyen (Manas) & guitarists are Colin Marston(Krallice), Jack Mcbride(Bandit), Gerald Chau(Gendo Ikari), Paolo Henri D. Paguntalan (Miasmatic Necrosis), Georges Tremblay (Chadhel), Irving Lopez (Cognizant, Trucido), Alex Moore (Cognizant), Mick Barr(Krallice), Takafumi Matsubara (Gridlink, Mortalized), Daniel Hernandez(Mother Brain), Tashi Dorji (Manas) . Special shout out to Romyo Maharjan(Bhusiya, Disorder) for the only guest vocals on this side 🙂 .

Side D: This was the most interesting side for us in general as it involved months of prepping and understanding the nature of the record. We wanted to really present the 3 sides in one side with all the songs showcasing the various emotions and sound of the overall record. This meant we had to finish all the sides before we could dabble this idea into this side. After all the sides were done, we started floating on the idea to really find a creative way to represent this idea. Thus came the AI using the data of the 3 sides to build our own logic to represent the record . Thankfully we had a friend whose main subject is AI and is a scientist . His name is Diwas Bhattarai who  used Realtime Audio Variational auto Encoder (RAVE) model to bring this idea of sound to the table. The hardest part of was the splicing of  the million of hours the music our AI had generated . Then came Colin to the fold who had the craziest of idea to actually have the spliced AI music on the right and the actual splices parts of various songs from the record into the left of the mix. I think this certainly captures the essence of Chepang in a way how we love evolution and constant progression into uncharted territory of life and music. Everything has a fate and purpose in this world and I think this special coincidence of Colin coming up the idea serves its destiny to be on this side . Mind you AI is hip now but back then it took a lot of research and listening to seminars by the pioneers of extreme AI music aka Dada Bots to get to where we are.  Fun Fact – There are 5 songs in this side which are called  A I F T W 🙂

I can’t avoid asking about kaiju, why did you pick this theme for this wonderful cover? Are you in love with Godzilla, Gamera, and others? Or this art has absolutely another meaning?

Actually I have no clue about this Godzilla. I wanted to really have an art that represented the record with its varying human emotions. This led me to the 3 Poisons concept that is relevant in our culture of Buddhism . “The three poisons (Sanskrit: triviṣa; Tibetan: dug gsum) or the three unwholesome roots (Sanskrit: akuśala-mūla; Pāli: akusala-mūla), in Buddhism, refer to the three root kleshasMoha (delusion, confusion), Raga (greed, sensual attachment), and Dvesha (aversion, hate).[1][2] These three poisons are considered to be three afflictions or character flaws innate in a being, the root of Taṇhā (craving), and thus in part the cause of Dukkha (suffering, pain, unsatisfactoriness) and rebirths.[1][3]

The three poisons are symbolically drawn at the center of Buddhist Bhavachakra artwork, with rooster, snake, and pig, representing greed, ill will, and delusion respectively- WIKIPEDIA” . Thus the art has these 3 characters fighting each other . In a way we are all actually fighting to get away from these emotions and this record cover exemplifies the sound and the message to get away from it to push towards unity , hope, happiness and overall positivity . Dib Gurung did an awesome job on this cover art to bring this out and cheers to Aaron Nichols (Nerve Altar) for doing a masterful job as always with the Layout. This again as many things in life could not happen between them and us,

I know that love to make experiments. The trick with two drummers, saxophone etc, these approaches were fantastic. So what the listeners will hear on this album? Any surprises?)

Many surprises and emotions delivered with each word without any words is felt throughout the record .There is no lyrics at all in the record for one does not need any words when the message and the emotion has a purpose and value to its meaning in life . The transcendence and connection it can create is pure and as raw as it can get .  On a side note the only words or lyrics in the song JG by guest  vocalist Romyo and a spoken word section by Gore in the song TC.  SURPRISE 🙂

I saw the photos of the new record and must say it looks brilliant. So when people will be able to order this beauty? Any chances to get it here in Europe?

The record is going to be up for preorder on May 05, 2023. The official release date is on July 7th 2023 with a special record release show in The Meadows, Brooklyn the following day on July 8th 2023. Holy goat will release it in Europe, CD will be released by Self Made God and tapes by Lower Class records & Coxinha Records. For the US we are handling it ourselves under our label collective GCBT RECORDS.

The first gig is like first sex – you’ll never forget that)) Tell us about your first performing experience with Chepang.

To be honest I really don’t enjoy playing live and have absolutely no recall of the first show I played. I like the process of creation and actually recording than playing songs. Therefore I don’t know about this first sex part :).

A bit personal question, but, what or who do you hate most of all in your life?

Hate is subjective as it can get. Some people’s hate can be someone’s love. For me there is no hate, only love that can transpire hare into something that we all agree and be happy about.

How many releases did you already release and what is your favorite one, and why?

I forgot to be honest again how many records we have done. There is no particular favorite since all our records are an evolution from the las t one . Each one representing the circumstances and scenarios of emotions at that particular time. Today we have already moved on to another record which is almost complete to be recorded . It represents a unique period in our lives currently but still an extension of the past.

What do your family and friends think about your music and how do they feel about you spending a lot of time in the rehearsal room?

We actually don’t practice at all or jam . It’s minimal . The writing process is all natural and comes in phases and when that phase comes we hit it hard and finish it. Then we go back to our hiding caves to listen and rejoice it and move on the next one that very second. Therefore to your point the impact to family or whatever is less. They might hate the spontaneous nature of our writing process but in fact they are used to it since that is our true nature of who we are as humans as well.

I know that you finished “Swatta” in 2022, but what about this year? Any tours or new records? What is on your mind, my friend?

We finished this actually in 2020 . But with pressing plant delays and covid it just took a lot of time and we also wanted to hold off the record to let people know the story behind this record. We have a lot of videos, documentary and content coming up soon regarding this record . For tour , we are touring with Bandit , Decultivate(CZ) in August to Mid-west, south and back to east for 3 weeks almost. For the new record, we have started demoing the songs and they are again wildly different than what we have done in the past. All I can say I am again excited to record this soon.

Will you dare to make another trip around Europe, let`s say, maybe next year?)

If time, space and fate brings us back to Europe , we will do it. For now no plans . We wish to see you though one day brother .

Damn, my can is empty! Thank you so much for this conversation! Guy this a good time to say something for your fans

“Rejoice Life for now as there maybe none tomorrow . Do what you love and what makes you happy and transpire it to spread love to everyone “.

Pre-order for “Swatta” on 05/05/2023. 2 Videos of songs below will be release as well below:

Asha/Avilasa (Hope/Desire): A song about hope and desire to persevere through the chaos and negativity in the world today. These songs are about feeding this negative energy and transpiring it  into a positive outcome with harmony amongst ourselves . The video was a collaboration between Gomez and Frank highlighting the majestic Thamel Bar (Queens). The imagery and settings of the bar perfectly highlights the energy the song breeds and the background of the culture we come from which resounds with compassion .

ANUMATI (Consent) : A song requesting the long lost loved ones to hop on a quest together to look for a spiritual travel through time and space . A song about the journey to find spiritual happiness even in loss and celebrating the joy of the afterlife that awaits us. This song features Takafumi Matsubara (Gridlink, Mortalized ) providing warm melody to accompany the heart wrenching screams of Chepang. The video features Gerald Chau (Gendo IkAri) & was shot and directed by Frank Huang. It features places like  beautiful forests & temples of Kyoto (Japan) and majestic mountains of Upstate NY showcasing all the seasons and colors of life from winter to the summer. More details about “Swatta” to come next Friday.


Contacts:  Facebook page / Instagram / Bandcamp

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